Kolkata: Based on reports, the Union Education Ministry has requested that the ‘controversial’ plaques commemorating UNESCO’s designation of Santiniketan as a World Heritage Site be removed from the university campus. Tagore’s name is not inscribed on the plaques. Visva Bharati University was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan, in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.
An insider at the university confirmed that the Education Ministry had sent a communication requesting the immediate removal of three plaques bearing the names of former vice chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and prime minister Narendra Modi, who is the Chancellor of the central university, but not Tagore.
The insider claims that the ministry has instructed the university administration to swap out the plaques with new ones that bear Tagore’s name as the founder.
Mahua Bandopadhyay, a spokesman for the institution, informed reporters that comments on this issue could only be made following receipt of a formal correspondence.
Political leaders from across party lines have denounced the contentious plaques without Tagore’s name, causing a stir in the state’s political circles.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister, and Suvendu Adhikari, the opposition leader, had pushed the Union government to replace the plaques with ones that said “Tagore.”