One more winter passes in Santiniketan. Rabindranath left us about 75 years back. Santiniketan now languishes at one corner of existence still trying hard to recollect him. The internal composure has weakened in each successive year to make Tagore an undefined entity even in Santiniketan, almost like a revered sage of yester years. We all know that he was great, in fact he is still great, but we have lost the means to comprehend him within our souls. However vociferous may be the addresses by luminaries, Santiniketan is not too sure if Tagore is still relevant. In fact, as things stand now, the whole nation is not sure about where it stands. Naturally we are at crossroads.
The real problem is not that Santiniketan is not too sure footed on Tagore, it is perhaps inevitable, but the real problem is that Visva Bharati loathes acknowledging the above fact officially. So, officially Santiniketan and Visva Bharati remain loyally entrenched in Rabindranath Tagore, which is a erroneous premise in reality. This has created huge lot of intellectual confusion in Santiniketan for about a decade now. In consequence, one may observe that, the intellect of Santiniketan has become pretty stale in last decade. Today generating path breaking ideas in Santiniketan in the fields of arts, literature, drama or music appears to be an illusion, in fact a distant mirage! But 75 years back, or even later, such ideas just sprang forth in Santiniketan almost like divine magic.
So, perhaps it is time for Visva Bharati and Santiniketan- Sriniketan combine to make an attempt to define life and existence without the assistance of Rabindranath Tagore. The baby, after all, has substantially grown up in all these years and should not always beg his father for guidance!
Rabindranath Tagore has left us 75 years back. It is a painful realization. We need to accept and realize the pain in its full gamut. Let us move on, all we need is the grace to cherish life- as Tagore staunchly believed himself, nothing less and nothing more either.
Is this an unrealistic hope?


-Shubhashis Mitra

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