Lausanne (Switzerland): As the world
celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore,
President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday unveiled a bronze bust of the
Nobel laureate at the University of Lausanne here, describing
him as a "goodwill ambassador" of modern India.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed
between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the
University to establish Rabindranath Tagore Chair on Indian
Studies that will begin with the teaching of Hindi.
"This will add a bit of India to the rich palate that
this University offers," Patil said in an address at the
University`s auditorium packed with students and faculty
On Tagore, she said "he was not only a poet, writer,
scholar, painter, educationist and philosopher but also
perhaps the most able goodwill ambassador of modern India
and did a lot to acquaint the world about its marvelous as
well as vast and rich cultural ethos."
Patil, who drove down to the University from the
country`s capital Bern, said Tagore was a great patriot and an
inspiration for India`s freedom movement.
"He visited your beautiful country at the invitation of
French author and philosopher Romain Rolland, who he counted
among his close friends," she said.
After the bust was unveiled amidst thunderous applause
from the audience, Patil plucked a rose from the bouquet kept
nearby and placed it in front of the bust, taking a cue from
her Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmi-Rey who did the same.