Bolpur (West Bengal): The Union Ministry of Education has ordered to replace the controversial plaques at Visva-Bharati University that omitted Rabindranath Tagore's name and were installed to commemorate UNESCO's World Heritage Site tag by former vice chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty.
The Ministry has also sent a text for the new plaque with the name of Tagore to Visva-Bharati. The text however does not mention the names of either the Chancellor Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the VC of Visva-Bharati.
The new text sent from the Ministry reads, "Visva-Bharati was established in 1921 in the spirit and ideals of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Santiniketan cherishes the spirit of innovation and harmony." The text mentions Tagore as the founder of Visva-Bharati and a brief description of the organisation has been given.
On September 17, UNESCO conferred the World Heritage Site tag to Santiniketan. To commemorate the occasion, Chakraborty had installed three white-stone plaques at the traditional house of worship, Rabindra Bhavan and Gourpangan. The plaques carried the names of both Modi as Chancellor and Chakraborty as VC but Tagore's name was omitted.
The plaques sparked off a controversy and the university authorities faced criticisms from all quarters. On the orders of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress leaders, ministers, MLAs and MPs protested for 14 days. Even BJP state and central leaders joined in.
Chakraborty's tenure has currently expired and Sanjay Kumar Mallick, principal of Kala Bhavan, has become appointed as the new acting VC. He was earlier summoned to Delhi by the Union Ministry of Education. It has been learned that the Ministry has ordered the university authorities to replace the controversial plaques.
Santiniketan, which was facing sharp criticism over the old plaques finally heaves a sigh of relief. The Ministry's order and the new text has left people from all quarters extremely happy.