New Vidyasagar bust cast in bronze
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate a new bust of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar at Vidyasagar College on June 11, almost a month after the old one was vandalised by suspected BJP supporters tailing party president Amit Shah on May 14.
The BJP supporters were following Shah during a campaign rally in the run up to the last phase of Lok Sabha polls held on May 19.
The new bust will be made of bronze. The one that had been vandalised was made of plaster of Paris.
Mamata’s proposed visit has prompted Calcutta University to defer the practical examination of a semester paper that was scheduled to be held at the college on Bidhan Sarani on June 11, said a varsity official.
Education minister Partha Chatterjee said that prior to the inauguration of the bust, Mamata would attend a programme to be held at Hare School.
“Writers, artistes and all eminent persons have been approached to attend the programme. From there, the chief minister will lead a march to the Vidyasagar College (Bidhan Sarani campus) to install the bust on the college premises,” said Chatterjee.
A higher education department official said the new bust would be taken to the college from the Hare School in a procession to be led by the chief minister. It was, however, not clear whether Mamata herself would carry the bust.
On the same day, Mamata will also inaugurate a statue of Vidyasagar that will be installed on the footpath in front of the college facing Bidhan Sarani.
“The statue, too, will be made of bronze,” said minister Chatterjee.
During a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised that to replace the damaged bust with a new statue cast in panchadhatu (five metal alloy). Mamata had rejected the offer.
Asked why the programme will be held on Hare School ground, an education department official said: “If we were to organise the event on Bidhan Sarani, the road will be choked..”
The Calcutta University Employees’ Association owing allegiance to BJP has protested the varsity’s decision to defer the examination in the name of installing the new bust.
Asked why the practical examination of biochemistry under semester-II was deferred, vice-chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee said: “The higher education department suggested the shift of dates. They did not explain the reasons.”