Modi’s Visva Bharati address draws criticism, TMC says Mamata Banerjee was not invited to university centenary

WB minister and TMC leader Bratya Basu said that PM Modi, who attended the central varsity’s meet on the occasion over a video conference, made “factual errors” during his speech

Modi’s Visva Bharati address draws criticism, TMC says Mamata Banerjee was not invited to university centenary
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NH Web Desk

A senior TMC leader on Thursday claimed that the prime minister, during his address at the centenary celebration of the Visva Bharati University "denigrated" Bengali culture and traditions in more ways than one.

Addressing a press meet in Kolkata, state minister and TMC leader Bratya Basu also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who attended the central varsity's meet on the occasion over a video conference, made "factual errors" during his speech.

"Gujarat cropped up often in the PM's speech. Why is he confining Rabindranath Tagore to Gujarat? He said Satyen Tagore's wife (Rabindranath Tagore's sister-in-law) learnt how to drape sarees in a certain fashion from Gujarati women. The fact is that she learnt it from the Gujaratis as well the Parsis. But the prime minister wouldn't mention Parsis.

"The PM also spoke about the varsities of Delhi and Lahore during his address, but failed to make a mention of Calcutta University, which played a important part in the country's freedom movement," state minister Bratya Basu claimed.

He further alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not invited to the centenary celebrations of Visva-Bharati.

"Mamata Banerjee did not receive any invitation for the centenary meet of Visva Bharati," Basu said.

Responding to a query by a reporter, he said, "Even if the invitation, as you suggest, was sent last night, should that be the decorum? After all, she (Banerjee) is the chief minister of a state."

On the occasion of centenary celebrations of Visva Bharati University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the founder of Visva Bharti University Rabindranath Tagore's vision was the essence of "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India) and said the varsity embodied Indian nationalist sentiment during Independence with his guidance.

Modi said, "Guided by Gurudev (Rabindranath Tagore) Visva Bharati presented a strong image of Indian nationalist sentiment during Independence. Gurudev wanted entire humanity to benefit from India's spiritual awakening. Atmanirbhar Bharat (self reliant India) vision is also a derivative of this sentiment."

"Be it the Visva Bharati University, Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Andhra University, Anna Malai University, and several others premier institutions, these came up around the same time, in the same era, and gave momentum to India's thirst for knowledge," he said.

The Prime Minister said that today, as more and more people are getting a good education, we now have to work to build a strong and wise nation - one that is self-reliant.

"We must take inspiration from all those who have contributed to making India great over the centuries and millennia. We must also keep in mind the India that our freedom fighters envisioned when they fought for our independence. That is why we are now at the stage to create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," the Prime Minister further said.

He also said that 'Bhakti Andolan' brought us all together, then the 'Gyan Andolan' gave us knowledge and finally the 'Karm Andolan' helped us execute our plans to take the nation forward beginning with our struggle for independence.

"Learning not just from what is happening in India, India has always been open to learn from the world over. Take your university's name for example. That itself shows India's approach and views on education - Visva Bharati - which joined 'Maa Bharati' (motherland India) with the Visva (world) and we as a people have always pursued education and greatly valued it," Modi said.

He also said that Visva-Bharati's milestone is a moment of pride for all of us.

"Its 100-year journey is historic. Visva-Bharati is a true embodiment of Gurudev's contemplation, vision and hard work for Mother Bharati," Modi said.

Modi said, "Visva-Bharati was a true embodiment of Gurudev's contemplation, vision and hard work for motherland India. For India, the dream that Gurudev had seen, is a kind of adorable place to give continuous energy to the country to embody that dream."

The Prime Minister further stated that the work of 'Gramodaya' of Visva-Bharati has always been admirable. "The Yoga department that was started in 2015 is also growing in popularity. Visva-Bharati University campus is an example of both study and life together with nature," Modi said.

In May 1951, Visva-Bharati was declared a Central university and an institution of national importance by an Act of Parliament.

With agencies inputs

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