(Reported by Shriya Dasgupta)
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will unveil a bust of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar at College Street on Tuesday, following which it will then be taken to Vidyasagar College. The event comes a month after a bust of the 19th century social reformer was vandalised inside the college premises on May 14, when a roadshow of BJP leader Amit Shah was held in Kolkata.
The incident had become the centre of political strife in Bengal during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, and had added fuel to the battle between the TMC and BJP, with both parties blaming each other for the damage.
While the previous bust was formed of plaster of Paris, the new one will be made of bronze. Another bronze statue of Vidyasagar will also be installed at the college gate.
“The Vidyasagar bust will be reinstated in the same room, where it was installed earlier. The CM will unveil the bust on the Hare School ground at 1 pm, and then it will be transported to Vidyasagar College,” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had told the media recently.
Chatterjee had also said more statues of iconic figures would soon be unveiled, including one of Rabindranath Tagore at the main gate of Presidency University, Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee at the main gate of Calcutta University and another of Rammohan Roy in College Street. According to sources, plans are afoot to set up a museum on Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the college too.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also promised to build a ‘panchadhatu’ statue of Vidyasagar while he was in campaigning in Bengal. In fact, promises are not just limited to statues. An official of Kolkata Municipal Corporation said they had received requests from several councillors, post the vandalism incident, to name newly-built parks in their area after Vidyasagar.