Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s vision is the essence of the government’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. He said this while virtually addressing a gathering at the centenary celebration of Visva Bharati University.
PM Modi also enumerated Tagore’s role in furthering the message of nationalism and universal brotherhood. The address by the prime minister comes at a time when West Bengal is going to polls in April-May and the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to come to power in the state.
He said Tagore and the institution he founded not only strengthened the spirit of nationalism but also promoted inclusiveness that strengthened “vishva bandhutva” (universital brotherhood).
“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 vision is also a derivative of this sentiment,” PM Modi said.
Praising the institution for its remarkable achievements in varied fields like art and literature, and science and innovation, the prime minister urged its students to reach out to the artisans in the region to explore ways to find national and international markets for their produce.
“That will make them self-reliant. Atmanirbhar Bharat is the initiative for India’s prosperity which will aid in global prosperity,” he said.
Controversy over invitation
A controversy has erupted over the centenary celebrations after the TMC claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not invited to the programme. The university, however, has refuted the claim saying that an official invite was sent to the CM 20 days in advance.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Visva Bharati University turns 100. This temple of learning was Rabindranath Tagore’s greatest experiment on creating the ideal human being. We must preserve the vision and philosophy of this great visionary.”
The TMC also targeted the saffron party. It said, “Had Tagore been alive today, they would have targeted him, just like Mamata Banerjee is being targeted for speaking of Tagore’s vision, his ideology.”
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