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Bengal Governor intervenes in Visva-Bharati university plaque row, wants correction

Kolkata/Santiniketan: Even as a TMC 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 C V Anand Bose, who is also the rector of the varsity, has intervened and demanded an explanation from the vice-chancellor.

TMC leaders and workers have 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 on Thursday announced the agitation.

Sources in Raj Bhavan said after the Governor demanded an explanation on the omission of Tagore’s name, the VC, Prof Bidyut Chakrabarty, has clarified that the text to be engraved on the plaque had been submitted to the Department of Archeology, Government of India, for approval.

Governor Bose is believed 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.

Earlier on Thursday, 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.”

(Published 27 October 2023, 09:09 IST)

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