Visva Bharati is our pride, but facing problems now: CM

Visva Bharati is our pride, but facing problems now: CM

KOLKATA: While interacting with students from Birbhum district during the virtual felicitation programme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said: "Visva Bharati is a place of pride. But it is now passing through a phase in which it is facing problems."

It may be recalled that earlier the Chief Minister had reacted sharply during the row over the ancestral property of Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen in December 2020 and her government had taken back the control over 2.9 km "century old" road that leads to Santiniketan and Sriniketan after a few ashramites complained to her against the varsity authorities of restricting usual movement of vehicles on the thoroughfare.

Meanwhile, the alumnus of Visva Bharati—known as the ashramites—extended their solidarity with the agitating students on Thursday. The students are on a round the clock agitation, demanding withdrawal of the expulsion order of three students and suspension of two professors. The agitation entered its sixth day on Thursday.

Partha Chatterjee, former Education minister, said the VB authorities should sit with the students to resolve the impasse. "What is going on at Visva Bharati is shameful. The prestige and legacy of Visva Bharati, set up by Rabindranath Tagore, should be preserved," he added.

While commenting on the allegation of Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty that he was not allowed to buy food from outside, the ashramites said the students had given food and "it is not their problem if he refuses to eat." The ashramites said it was most unfortunate that the V-C was asking the police to provide security. "It is the students who have always provided security to the V-Cs and they are the assets of Visva Bharati," the ashramites added.

Visva Bharati authorities had rusticated three students for three years and suspended two professors of the Physics department. The professors had lodged complaints with the police against the VB authorities for alleged confinement of their colleagues.

One of the professors under suspension, Professor Arani Chakraborty, had requested the police to provide security.

For the first time in the history of VB, more than a dozen police complaints had been lodged against the V-C and the VB authorities had suspended more than a dozen teaching and non teaching staffs on one pretext or the other.

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