Published: 17th November 2023
Centre asks Visva-Bharati to remove controversial plaques from the campus
Union Education Ministry has directed that the plaques be replaced with ones having Rabindranath Tagore's name
The Centre has asked Visva Bharati University (VBU) to remove the controversial plaques commemorating UNESCO's World Heritage Site award to Santiniketan. The Union Education Ministry has directed that the plaques be replaced with ones having Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's name.
However, Visva-Bharati spokesperson Mahua Bandyopadhyay said, "We cannot confirm anything about the plaques unless we have a written communique from the Union education ministry," as per a report by PTI.
Days after Santiniketan received UNESCO's award, on September 17, three plaques were set up at different locations inside the campus, bearing the names of PM Modi and former VBU Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty, but having no mention of Tagore, the founder of Santiniketan. This triggered an uproar from students, faculty and political parties.
On September 26, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed VBU to remove the plaques or face indefinite protests from her party activists in the campus. The protests were finally withdrawn on November 8, as the five-year term of Bidyut Chakrabarty as VC came to an end.
Now, Kala Bhavan Principal Sanjoy Kumar Mallik is the officiating VC of VBU. Soon after taking over, Mallik told reporters that he would ensure the ideals and values cherished by Tagore are retained in the university's functioning, as per PTI.