President seeks report about Rabindranath Tagore sites in Shillong

President Pranab Mukherjee has sought report from the Meghalaya government with regards to renovating historic sites associated with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore during his stay in this North East city in the 1920s.

In a letter to the Meghalaya Chief Secretary P Barkos Warjri, the Presidents office has sought an action taken report from the state government on renovations of Tagores bungalows in Shillong seeking "appropriate attention" in this regard.

"Please find appropriate attention a petition addressed to the President of India which is self explanatory..." Chirabrata Sarkar, under secretary to the President of India, said, seeking that an action taken report be 'intimated' to his office.

The order came in the wake of a city-based writer and researcher M Bisharad lodging a petition with the President of India last December informing about the neglect in which the famous 'Brookside bungalow' is lying in at present.

Tagore stayed for a month in 1919 during his first visit to this hill city. He composed short write-ups like the Ekti Chawni and Ekti Din at the Brookside Bungalow. The Centre has deputed Director of Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, K K Banerjee in February last year to prepare a report for renovating historic sites associated with Tagore including the Brookside Bungalow, Tagore Art Library and Tagore Cultural Centre.

Banerjee told PTI over phone from Kolkata that a detailed report in this regard had been submitted to the Union Ministryof Culture even as he admitted that the bungalow is in need of emergent renovation works. According to him, "Tagore spent some time in Shillong during which he wrote some of this famous memoirs here and the Government wants to contribute in memory to this great poet." Tagore composed the Red Orleanders while sitting at the lawn of Jeet Bhumi. All these original works of the poet were however, not in the list of exhibits now. In 2011, Sidli House, another site stayed by Tagore was brought down by its new owner.

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