Rabindranath Tagore's abode in Shillong demolished



Shillong: The structure, which was the abode of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore during his last visit to Shillong, where he had penned two of his most important works, have been razed to the ground.

The demolition of Sidhli House, where the bard stayed during his last visit to Shillong in 1927, comes at a time when the country is celebrating his 150th birth anniversary.

The structure has been demolished over last few days by owner of the house Philip Pala, a sibling of Union Minister of State for Water Resources and Shillong MP Vincent Pala.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma when contacted claimed he was unaware of the existence of such a historical building, saying "usually there is a process of identifying buildings with historical connection which are then declared as heritage structures."

Sangma said he would try to find out if the government, previous or present, had ever taken steps to identify such significant structures.

The chief minister added that usually prior to demolition of a structure, agencies such as the urban affairs department are consulted to ascertain the value of the structure and that he would find out if any exercise in this regard was indeed conducted prior to the demolition.

The poet laureate had visited Shillong thrice. He had visited the hill station for the last time in May-June 1927 when he resided at Sidhli House located on Upland Road in Laitumkhrah area of the city.

"Here lived Rabindranath Tagore in May and June, 1927. His famous novel 'Yogayug' and poems 'Susamay' and 'Debdaru' were written here," reads a plaque that still stands at the lawn of the demolished house.

As per records, the house originally belonged to an Italian, Louis Joseph Dalingrad, who had played host to the poet during his two-month stay in Shillong.

The house was later purchased by the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Sidhli in Goalpara district of Assam.

The queen of Sidhli, Rani Manjula Devi, wife of Raja Ajit Narayan later resided in the house where she had set up the Jayanta Academy of Indian classical music, dance and art in the memory of her son.

PTI