Shillong, 25 May-2014: Meghalaya government has decided to construct the “Rabindra Bhavan” in Shillong city to commemoration of legendary noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s memory of the pine city. This was conveyed by the State government’s Arts and Culture department in its letter dated May 8, 2014, to Malabika Bisharad, a research scholar on Tagore who has taken personal initiatives on the need to preserve the work and memories of the legendary noble laureate, who had set his footprint in Shillong during his visit in 1919.
Rabindra Bhavan in Shillong Soon
“Shillong will feel proud to know that it would soon have Rabindra Bhavan in the coming future,” Bisharad told reporters at a news conference here on Saturday. She informed, “The department in the letter had informed that the matter has been taken up with Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) for identifying and allotment of a suitable land for the construction of Rabindra Bhavan.”
The decision of the state government also came following intervention by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee on the petition filed by Bisharad besides several petitions submitted to the government since 2007. During his first visit to Meghalaya last year, Mukherjee had also visited the Brookside bungalow at Rilbong where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had stayed during his visit to the city in 1919. According to her, it was after the visit of the president that the Rabindranath Art Gallery was reopened for the public, almost after a period of four years.
Earlier, Bisharad had submitted a proposal to construct the Rabindra Bhavan at the temporary location of the State Legislative Assembly building behind Brookside. “However, the department in the letter stated that the present Assembly building cannot be converted into Rabindra Bhavan, as the design and plans of the building has not been meant with specifications for such possibilities as required for a Rabindra Bhavan,” the research scholar said.
Apart from Rabindra Bhavan, Bisharad in her several petitions had also submitted proposals for the setting up of a ‘research institute’ and ‘library’ to be named after Rabindranath Tagore besides renovation and preservation of Brookside Bungalow and Tagore’s Art Gallery in the city. She also recalled that the Tagore’s Statue in the Brookside campus was installed by the government during Tagore Ustav on May 2011.
“I had also requested the state government to complete the renovation work of the rear of the Brookside bungalow and open a ‘Tagore cultural centre’,” she said adding “The proposed Rabindra research institute and library will to a great extent benefit the students and Tagore lovers.