Even as a Trinamool Congress demonstration against the omission of Rabindranath Tagore’s name from plaques installed at Visva-Bharati to mark it being declared a global heritage site by UNESCO threatened to become a major political issue, it is learnt that West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose, who is also the rector of the university, has intervened and demanded an explanation from the vice-chancellor.
TMC leaders and workers congregated near the central university since 11 am on Friday to demonstrate against the plaques which were earlier placed by the varsity authorities. The move had irked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who announced the agitation on Thursday.
Sources in Raj Bhavan said after the Governor demanded an explanation on the omission of Tagore’s name, VC Professor Bidyut Chakrabarty has clarified that the text to be engraved on the plaque had been submitted to the Department of Archaeology, Government of India, for approval.
Governor Bose is said to have indicated “that Gurudev Tagore is a symbol of the greatness and gravitas of Bengal, Bharat and humanity at large” and he should be honoured in the new plaques to be installed.
The scene at Santiniketan where TMC had announced an indefinite agitation remained peaceful with demonstrators singing Tagore songs and reciting poetry.
West Government Fisheries Minister and TMC leader Chandranath Sinha, who led the demonstration, told reporters, “We will stay here with our protest till the plaques are rectified. We are not withdrawing our demonstration.”
He pointed out that local residents, alumni of the university and other concerned citizens had never sought any plaques, but since they have been put up with only the names of the chancellor, who is traditionally the prime minister of the country, and the vice-chancellor, they wanted recognition for Tagore, the founder of the university.
Earlier on Thursday, Ms Banerjee had told reporters, “It is only for Tagore that Santiniketan got the UNESCO tag and you (the central government) have removed his name from the plaques. We were silent because of Durga Puja celebrations.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)