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VC defends decision on varsity wall

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  • Published 20.07.11

Santiniketan, July 19: Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Rajat Kanta Ray today defended a decision to construct a boundary wall around the varsity’s campus, days after Amartya Sen had criticised the move.

Speaking at an event organised by the Pratichi Trust in Bolpur on July 13, the Nobel laureate had said: “These walls are enormously big.... They are more like Presidency Jail than any other wall I can immediately think of.”

He also said construction of the wall went against what Tagore had envisioned. “Rabindranath might have wanted to remove walls from classes.”

Vice-chancellor Ray said: “We have not destroyed Gurudev’s vision. We have protected nature (within the campus). If we had not done it, then it (nature) would have been wiped out.”

He said the construction of the wall was “rational” and had a “broad justification”. “There may be different opinions in this regard and they may be right. Professor Amartya Sen had often referred to positional objectivity. There may be opinions which can be contradictory,” he said.

Ray also referred to a letter by governor M.K. Narayanan, dated April 2011, and said: “He wrote that construction of a wall does not go against the vision of Tagore.”

“The wall was constructed following a recommendation by a high-level committee,” he added.