The Bharatiya Janata Party and Trinamool Congress on Sunday evening were busy taking credit, with both parties lauding their top leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, after Santiniketan in Birbhum district was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
While BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra praised Modi’s “vision”, Banerjee claimed that the West Bengal government has significantly added to Santiniketan’s infrastructure in the last 12 years.
Santiniketan, the famed place in West Bengal where poet Rabindranath Tagore built Visva-Bharati over a century ago, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a “proud moment” for all Indians. “Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s vision and India’s rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians,” Modi said on X.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, Banerjee wrote, “Glad and proud that our Santiniketan… is now finally included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List… We from the Government of West Bengal have significantly added to its infrastructure in last 12 years and the world now recognizes the glory of the heritage place. Kudos to all who love Bengal, Tagore, and his messages of fraternity. Jai Bangla, Pranam to Gurudev.”
Hailing the PM’s “dynamic leadership” on Santiniketan making it to the UNESCO list, Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi wrote, “A birthday gift from the Prime Minister to Bharat! Delighted to share that Santiniketan has been successfully inscribed as Bharat’s 41st World Heritage property on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list… This successful nomination is dedicated to the vision and dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji, also the Chancellor of Visvabharati, whose keen interest in India’s heritage and its global acknowledgment and appreciation that guides us for inscribing India’s tangible heritage on the World Heritage List.@MinOfCultureGoI@MEAIndia@ASIGoI”
BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya too thanked the efforts of the central government. “Earlier in 2021, Durga Puja was declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Now this recognition for Shantiniketan… No Prime Minister has done more to recognise and restore the glory of West Bengal. Thank you PM @narendramodi,” he wrote.
TMC MP and nephew of the chief minister Abhishek Banerjee said, “An immensely proud moment for all citizens of our great nation and Bengalis around the world. May Bengal forever remain a shining beacon of hope, embracing the teachings and ideals of Rabindranath Tagore.”
The Trinamool Congress posted on its official handle on X, “Proud moment for Bengal! Santiniketan, the cherished home of Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore, has earned its place in @UNESCO’s World Heritage List… Let us continue to cherish and protect this treasure for generations to come.”
Santiniketan was founded by the renowned poet and philosopher Tagore in 1901. It served as both a residential school and an artistic center, drawing inspiration from ancient Indian traditions. Its core mission was to foster unity among humanity, surpassing the limitations of religious and cultural divisions. In 1921, a “world university” was founded at Santiniketan, known as “Visva Bharati,” emphasizing the concept of the unity of humanity.