POST TIME: 7 May, 2016 00:00 00 AM
Tagore memorabilia still untraced, archaeology dept indifferent

Tagore memorabilia still untraced, archaeology dept indifferent

These file photos show some of the Rabindranath Tagore memorabilia found in Patisar Post Office in Naogaon and other places in Sirajganj and Kushtia. Independent Photo

The Department of Archaeology still appears reluctant to recover the Rabindranath Tagore memorabilia that have gone missing or have been misplaced in Patisar of Naogaon, Shahjadpur in Sirajganj, and Shilaidaha Estate in Kushtia. Tagore scholar and the department’s regional director (RD) for Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions, Naheed Sultana, however, denied the allegation. She said rare Tagore memorabilia, including a Krishi Bank ledger, manuscripts and some other objects have been collected from different areas and are currently stored in secured places. “I have collected many items of memorabilia during my tenure as custodian of Shahjadpur Rabindra Memorial Museum,” she added. Another Tagore enthusiast, Matiur Rahman Mamun of Patisar village in Naogoan district, has been collecting Tagore memorabilia since 2009. He handed over six pages of rare manuscripts—a Tagore biography and a Krishi Bank ledger—along with other objects to the department. “I established the ‘Kaligram Rathindranath Institution Museum’ with the help of local people and school authorities in 2013, to save Tagore memorabilia, including 11 letters of Tagore's son Rathindranath, which were lying in neglect since 1946,” said Mamun.Most of these letters were sent to the estate through the postal department from Uttarayan Rajpur of Shantiniketan in India’s West Bengal in 1954. Many objects, including books and seals of Tagore, are still lying uncared for in Patisar post office. “I sent a letter to the post master general (PMG) long ago to hand over the seals and other objects, but they are yet to reply,” said Naheed Sultana. A book with handwritten comments by the Nobel Laureate poet has been kept in Shahjadpur Pilot High School, uncared for since 1890. The Department of Archaeology sent a letter to the school authorities a few years ago seeking handover of the book with the comments, but the school authorities have not replied yet. Local journalist Bimal Kunda said he had come across a boat used by Tagore, known as ‘Chitra’, on the Shahzadpur Kachharibari premises, but now the boat is untraced. Local people and journalists said land-grabbers have allegedly occupied Tagore family lands in Kushtia, adjacent to the Shilaidaha Estate area, long ago. Two swords were stolen on 30 April, after the thieves broke open a cupboard at Shilaidaha Kuthibari.