Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], December 24 (ANI): Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the centenary celebrations of Visva-Bharati (V-B) in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, via videoconferencing on Thursday, senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bratya Basu asked him if he practised what he preached.
"The Prime Minister referred to the word viswa (world) in the context of acceptance in India. But does he practice this spirit of acceptance? Then what about cow vigilantes who beat people to death? Can he take responsibility for their actions," Basu asked.
While addressing the centenary celebrations of the Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan, the Prime Minister said the university's hundred-year journey is very special. "Visva-Bharati is a true embodiment of Gurudev's contemplation, vision and hard work for Maa Bharti (Mother India). This is an adorable place, which gives continuous energy to the country to fulfil Gurudev's dreams."
Basu also took offence to PM Modi establishing a link between Tagore family and his home state Gujarat. "I did not understand why he deliberately tried to link Rabindranath Tagore with Gujarat. The Prime Minister claimed Jnanadanandini Tagore, his sister-in-law, learnt a style of draping saree from Gujarati women. It is a partially true. Jnanadanandini also learnt this style from Parsi women. But, the Prime Minister is naturally reluctant to mention Parsi women."
He added Tagore is a "Viswakavi" (universal poet). "Then why is the Prime Minister so enthused on establishing his (Tagore's) links with Gujarat. It is unfair to restrict his relevance to a particular region."
On West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee skipping the ceremony, Basu said she was not invited as per the decorum. "It is an insult to people of Bengal," he said, accusing PM Modi of not mentioning Calcutta University and Jadavpur University while citing the name of other universities just because these are "situated in Bengal".
Founded by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, Visva-Bharati is also the oldest central university in the country. In May 1951, Visva-Bharati was declared a central university and an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament.
The university followed the pedagogy devised by Gurudev Tagore, though gradually it evolved in the format of the modern universities. The Prime Minister is the Chancellor of the University. (ANI)