Visva-Bharati gears up to receive another Nehru-Gandhi scionSeptember 13th, 2010 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS
Santiniketan (West Bengal), Sep 13 (IANS) With the nattily turned out Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel keeping a close watch, security arrangements have been tightened ahead of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s maiden visit Tuesday to Visva-Bharati in the sylvan surroundings of Santiniketan.
Besides attending two political programmes in nearby areas of Bolpur town in West Bengal’s Birbhum district during his whirlwind tour, Gandhi will also visit Tagore’s Santiniketan (abode of peace) to pay homage to the poet, who holds the unique distinction of having composed the national anthems of two countries - India and Bangladesh.
University spokesman Amitabh Chowdhury said: “Rahul Gandhi’s office has communicated to us about his visit to Santiniketan and we have arranged the programme.”
On his arrival from Kolkata by helicopter at 9 a.m., Gandhi will be received by the vice chancellor (VC) Rajat Kanta Ray and other senior officials. He will then head for the Uttarayan complex housing the Rabindra Bhavan Museum, and pay floral tributes to Tagore in the bedroom of the Udayan house, where the poet spent several years.
Rahul will hold a 40-minute interactive session with the university students, meet principals of the different departments and senior officials, and also inaugurate an exhibition — “Three Chancellors - Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi”.
He will stay at the university, set up by Tagore, for one hour.
Some rare pictures, and letters exchanged between Rabindranath and Nehru will be displayed at the exhibition.
“There is a strong relation between the Nehru and Gandhi family and Tagore’s abode of peace,” Chowdhury said.
“Security has been tightened ahead of Rahul’s visit. We are in constant touch with the district administration to ensure foolproof security,” he said.
Birbhum Superintendent of Police Humayan Kabir said: “We are maintaining close coordination with the SPG.”
“We would deploy around 250 personnel comprising combat forces and bomb squads. Hi-tech security gadgets will be installed along the route to Santiniketan.”
Barricades have been put up along the road.
Rahul will then proceed to nearby Jamboni, where he will hold an interactive session with the youth congress leaders of seven Lok Sabha constituencies.
He will wrap up the visit by meeting all elected gram panchayat (village council) and zila parishad (district council) Congress members of these seven constituencies at Gitanjali auditorium in Bolpur.
Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 for his collection of poems “Gitanjali”.
Santiniketan is about 200 km from Kolkata.
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