This is a scene from Basanta Utsab ( spring festival) song- and-dance programme at Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan, a couple of years back. The VC of the University, Bidyut Chakrabarty, called it “Basanta Tandav” and banned it along with the Poush Mela.

How can you expect a person found guilty of sexual harassment and punished, to understand, leave alone to appreciate, such an aesthetic event, originally conceived by Poet laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore ! Even choreographers Farah Khan and Saroj Khan of Bollywood fame would have shuddered to organize and choreograph such a beautiful event at such a large scale.

It is indeed a travesty to to have permanently stopped such a high quality cultural event, inseparably intertwined with Tagore’s concept of Visva-Bharati as “the communion of the world with India” , including the world of nature ! We join the students, teachers, senior residents of Shantiniketan  and the common people of Bolpur in their demand for revival of both the Basanta Utsav and the Poush Mela at Visva-Bharati. ( For the video on Basanta Utsab see the link below ).

 Aurobindo Ghose is a lawyer and human rights activist



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