Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Bolpur in Birbhum district, hoardings with his picture above that of Rabindranath Tagore in the same frame caused outrage on Friday in neighbouring Santiniketan, which is famous as the bard's abode for long years. A member of Tagore's family called it "disgusting" and the Leftist students "sacrilege".
BJP leader Anupam Hazra, a picture of whom also figured in the same hoarding, alleged it was the handiwork of Trinamool Congress to embarrass the saffron party ahead of Shah's visit. Supriyo Tagore, an ashramite of Santiniketan and a descendant of the famed Tagore family, said it was "Cheap and audacious on the part of a political party to put pictures of their leaders along with Rabindranath Tagore and shows the state of affairs in the country".
He said, "It is disgusting and deserves contempt." Shah arrived in the city late on Friday night for a two-day visit to the poll-bound state. He is scheduled visit Bolpur on Sunday and hold a roadshow. The Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and members of the non-teaching organization of the party took out a rally at Santiniketan and Visva Bharati campus condemning theflex hoardings featuring the pictures of the BJP leaders and the Nobel laureate.
SFI leader and Visva Bharati University student Somnath Sau said "It is quite natural that the proponents of fascism will insult Tagore and crores of his readers in this way. We are not surprised but we will take out rallies against this sacrilege."
The hoardings carried the name of an organisation 'Bolpur Santiniketan Sanskriti Vikas Samity' and were seen in the campus area and elsewhere in Bolpur town. They were later found to be removed. TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said "Those who have no respect for Rabindranath Tagore, those who vandalise the bust of an icon like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar do not have any respect for Bengali culture and will commit a crude act like placing the picture of their leaders on top of that of Gurudev".
The 19th century polymath's bust was vandalised during a rally by Shah in Kolkata in May, 2019.