Tagore`s ancestral property in ruins in Orissa
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 09:25
  
Kendrapara: As the country celebrates Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, the Nobel laureate remains unsung and unrecognised in a village in coastal Orissa which once was his home.

The bard's ancestral house at Pandua village under Kujang tehsil in Jagatsinghpur village faces the imminent threat of being reduced to rubble in the absence of any conservation effort.

The house was one of his most preferred retreats and it was here that the poet had penned his immortal dance drama 'Chitrangada' based on Pandava prince Arjun's visit to Manipur and his marriage to the valiant princess by that name.

Pandua was a part of the erstwhile vast zamindary estate of the Tagores and like other rural settings, the village portrays poverty, backwardness and unemployment.

The neglect is evident as the drive down to the village on a winding road is nightmarish as it is full of potholes.

The locals have named the village road that connects it to the highway as Rabindra Sarani. But the road expansion work has left the stone plaque on which the road's name is inscribed twisted and uprooted. Tagore's bust in the village is uncared for and covered with thick layers of dust.

"The Orissa government has completely ignored the great poet here," says Basudeb Das, a researcher.

"We are proud that our village once housed a great son of the country. But we are sad at the same time that nobody seems bothered to preserve Tagore's legacy," says Surendra Nath Swain, a retired school teacher.

Swain rues the condition of Tagore's house. "It is in complete ruins. The 1999 super cyclone ravaged it. Now the apathy of the government is appalling. It will be soon reduced to rubble. It could have been well preserved and turned into a major tourist destination."

Pandua, he said, was one of the 53 villages that comprised the Tagore estate and noted Tagore biographer Prabhat Kumar Mukherji in his book 'Rabindra Jeevan Katha' had mentioned the name of the village.

"I was a member of the Tagore birth centenary committee. The late chief minister Harekrushna Mahatabh had paid a visit to the village and had also committed that the Tagore house would be preserved at government cost. He had also assured that an auditorium named after Tagore would be built at the village.

That was the lone occasion when a VIP paid a visit to the village housing Tagore's ancestral property. The auditorium was built at Bhubaneswar. The Rabindra Mandap auditorium complex in the state capital was originally planned to be located at Pandua, he said.

Though the government agencies forgot, Tagore's 150th birth anniversary last week was celebrated in a function organised by local Rabindranath Youth Club.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 09:25


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