Agartala: The BJP-led Tripura government would take steps to recognize the contributions of Tripura’s kings for the development of Visva-Bharati University, founded by Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Monday.
The Chief Minister told a delegation of The “Purvaudaya”, a socio-cultural body, that the Tripura government would take necessary steps so that the contributions of Tripura’s kings are recognized by the Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
Deb announced this when a delegation of “Purvaudaya”, led by its President Alka Sinha met him at his official residence.
The “Purvaudaya” delegates urged the Chief Minister to take appropriate step by the state government for recognition of erstwhile Tripura Kings’ contributions by Visva-Bharati University, which is run by the Central government.
“The Purvaudaya delegation informed the Chief Minister that on February 21 a team of the organisation led by its General Secretary Niti Deb had visited Visva-Bharati University and had requested Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty to recognise of former Tripura King’s contributions towards the development of the Visva-Bharati,” an official release said.
Niti Deb, a bank official-turned-social activist, is the wife of the Chief Minister.
The “Purvaudaya” team had requested the Vice-Chancellor to take appropriate steps so that the contributions of Tripura Kings from Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur to Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur are properly and adequately recognised by the Visva-Bharati.
“The Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati varsity had told the Purvaudaya delegation that he would take some initiatives in this regard,” the release added.
The Chief Minister in his response to the “Purvaudaya” delegates said, “Our government already working to take forward the ideals and contributions of the former Tripura Kings and will also take necessary steps to meet the demand.”
According to the historians, many Tripura kings had given huge funds to world fame bard Rabindranath Tagore for the development of Visva-Bharati University.
Historian and writer Salil Debbarma told IANS that at the end of the 1355-year-rule by 184 kings, on October 15, 1949, the erstwhile princely state of Tripura came under the control of the Indian government after a merger agreement was signed between regent Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi and the Indian Governor General.
Another historian and writer Pannalal Roy said that Rabindranath Tagore had visited and stayed in Tripura capital Agartala and Meghalaya capital city Shillong several times between 1899 and 1927.
“Tagore’s close relations with the princely state of Tripura and its successive tribal kings form an important chapter in the state’s history. This relationship prompted him to visit the state as many as seven times between 1899 and 1926,” Roy told IANS.
He said : “Tripura had a special place in many of Tagore’s songs and he wrote a number of novels with the then princely state’s history as the theme. Some of these are ‘Bisharjan’, ‘Rajarshi’ and ‘Mukut’.”
The 103-year-old “Pushpavant Palace”, which until recently was the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s house), is proposed to be turn into a museum and research centre dedicated to Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The Nobel laureate during his last visit to the state in February 1926 stayed in the “Pushpavant Palace”, which was built in 1917 by then king Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya (1909-1923).
Tagore was the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature for his collection of verses “Gitanjali” in 1913. (IANS)