Centre tells Visva Bharati to replace controversial plaques

Centre tells Visva Bharati to replace controversial plaques

Kolkata, Nov 16 (PTI) The Centre has asked Visva Bharati University to replace the controversial plaques commemorating UNESCO's award of World Heritage Site to Santiniketan, a varsity source said on Thursday.

The Union education ministry has told the university to remove the plaques and replace them with ones having Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's name, the source added.

Visva Bharati spokesperson Mahua Bandyopadhyay told PTI, 'We cannot confirm anything about the plaques unless we have a written communique from the Union education ministry.' Days after Santiniketan got the UNESCO tag on September 17, three plaques commemorating the honour came up in different parts of the campus having the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former VB vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty but did not mention Tagore's name, the founder of Santiniketan and Visva Bharati.

This triggered an uproar from students, faculty and political parties.

On October 26, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked Visva Bharati to immediately change the plaques or face indefinite protests by her party activists on the campus.

Finally, the protests were withdrawn after Chakrabarty's five-year term ended on November 8 and Kala Bhavan principal VC Sanjoy Kumar Mallik took over as the officiating VC.

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. PTI SUS MNB

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