Rally in Santiniketan in support of Amartya Sen

Santiniketan: A rally was taken out in this university town in Bengal by intellectuals and local people on Friday against the eviction notice issued by Visva-Bharati to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
The protest also featured singing of Rabindra Nath Tagore’s songs, recitation of Gurudev’s poems of protest and acting of sections of dramas by him which resonated with the occasion.
The rally by the fledgling ‘Samajik Maryada Raksha Committee’ (Social Dignity Protection Committee) was participated by intellectuals both from Santiniketan and Kolkata and locals in protest against the central university’s move.
The rallyists gathered in the morning near ‘Siksha Bhavan’ in Visva-Bharati campus, formed a human chain outside Sen’s residence ‘Pratichi’ as a mark of support to the famed economist and walked in a procession singing Tagore’s songs. Parts of selected plays were enacted later.
Literateur Swapan Kumar Ghosh, an ashramite and a former teacher of Visva-bharati led the rally, in which participated well-known doctor and social activist Arindam Biswas from Kolkata also took part.
“We are protesting against the continuous insults and insinuations being heaped on Prof Amartya Sen and threats of physical attack being issued to him by Visva Barati authorities to silence him. We are distressed and apprehensive over this. We have taken to the streets today in abhorrence of such tactics. We are worried,” Biswas said.
“The main intention is to silence Prof Sen so that he does not speak out … Even the people of the nearby villages have participated in the rally held in support of an academician … Today’s protest is a vocal expression of social protest,” he said.
There was no report of any disturbance from anywhere during the rally.
The central university issued an eviction notice to the economist on April 19 accusing him of “illegally occupying” 0.13 acres of land on the campus. It asked him to vacate the land which is part of the 1.38 acres of land of ‘Pratichi’ within May 6. The Calcutta High Court, however, put an interim stay against the order and the next day for hearing in the case at a court in Birbhum district was fixed on May 15 .
‘Pratichi’ was built on the land leased out for 99 years to Sen’s father, Ashutosh Sen by the then Visva Bharati general secretary, Rathindranath Tagore in October 1943, the nobel laureate told the court.

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