Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan (left); Asis Choudhary at Rabindra Bhavan in Jamshedpur on Tuesday. (Bhola Prasad)
Jamshedpur, Jan. 4: Finally, India’s best known poet ‘steels’ the show in Jamshedpur.
The Tagore Society, in collaboration with Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, will come up with Jamshedpur’s first archive on Rabindranath Tagore in his 150th birth year, tentatively titled Rabindra Sangrahashala.
The so-called Tagore theme in the Jamshedpur Book Fair organised by Tagore Society may have been a damp squib, the railway-sponsored showpiece Sanskriti Express may have chugged out a month ago, but now, the poet will get a more lasting — and apt — tribute.
To be established on the top floor of the auditorium building at Rabindra Bhavan, the 1,000-sq ft structure will contain memorabilia, writings, books and rare pictures of the multi-faceted talent.
Significantly, it will also mark the Society’s golden anniversary this year. The organisation, established in 1961, is one of the leading cultural hubs of the city.
“As Tagore Society, it is our responsibility to propagate the works and vast cultural heritage of the Nobel laureate. This would be a permanent address where visitors can learn more about Tagore. The idea was conceptualised about six months ago after which we approached Visva-Bharati for their help,” said its secretary Asis Choudhury.
To cost Rs 3.5 lakh in its first phase, the archive will contain material on Tagore’s life and works, all sourced from Santiniketan, the university town founded by the poet, where Visva-Bharati formally came up in 1921 with the proceeds of Tagore’s Nobel prize money.
After the Tagore Society approached Visva-Bharati, a five-member inspection team visited Rabindra Bhavan, and gave the Tagore Society its green light.
The site earlier hosted various activity classes of the organisation, including music and dance. The Tagore Society, however, has plans to expand the archive.
The arched entrance to the archive has also been planned as it is reminiscent of Tagore’s childhood residence at Jorasanko Thakurbari, in north Calcutta, which now houses the Rabindra Bharati University. “We hope that the archive will not only enthuse literature lovers but contain enough material to provide serious students and researchers an opportunity to study the life and works of the cultural colossus. Later, we may plan to store Tagore’s paintings too,” said Choudhury. The Society plans to inaugurate the archive in the first week of February, depending on the availability of archival materials from Santiniketan, he added.
Interestingly, there is a Tata connect between Santiniketan and Tagore Society, which not many might know. In 1934, Tagore received a “modest grant” from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Much later, the same Trust contributed to the Tagore Society.