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Five busts in Siliguri send harmony message

Manik Dey, the councillor of Ward-13, has taken initiatives to install busts of five poets of different communities in his ward, and he has named the same ‘Kabi Tirtha’. State tourism minister Gautam Deb unveiled the busts of Rabindranath Tagore, Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, Tulsidas, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Vir Singh.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

To spread the message of secularism and communal harmony at a time when the nation has been facing the grave conflict between the secular spirit and the sectarian narrative, a ward councillor of the Trinamul Congress in Siliguri has tried to send across a message of cultural harmony through his innovative thoughts.

Manik Dey, the councillor of Ward-13, has taken initiatives to install busts of five poets of different communities in his ward, and he has named the same ‘Kabi Tirtha’. State tourism minister Gautam Deb unveiled the busts of Rabindranath Tagore, Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, Tulsidas, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Vir Singh today. Mr Deb said the initiative reflects an example of unity in diversity. “I welcome the idea of the busts of five great poets from different communities. It is an example of unity in diversity. We believe in pluralistic society and divergent opinions,” Mr Deb said.

According to Mr Dey, the poets sent messages of religious harmony, and pluralistic and inclusive society. “In this ward, different communities, and people from diverse religious backgrounds have been living in peace. I am hopeful that it will send across a strong message that we want to live together in peace and harmony. We should continue with our culture of communal amity,” he said. He said he believed in the age of Internet and that many young people were not aware of the creations of those poets. “I am hopeful it will help make them aware and remind them of their great creations,” he added. The glass fiber busts were erected with help from the Councillor’s Local Area Development Fund worth Rs 2.5 lakh.

The population of the ward, where mostly business persons stay, is around 14,000, but the number of voters is 4,000. The locals hailed the initiative. “We call the area as mini-India as people from different religious backgrounds have been staying here over the years. The busts of the five great personalities will help the people of different faiths, and especially the youngsters, know more of the importance of peaceful coexistence,” said a resident, Rajendra Sharma. Meanwhile, Mr Deb said proper steps should be taken for the preservation and maintenance of the busts and statues in the town.