Death anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was observed in the city with due solemnity.
Come 1 July and a full statue of Sister Nivedita will be installed at Wimbledon in the UK. The initiative to install the statue was taken by Sister Nivedita Celebrations, UK. Dr Chanchal Dey of Bidhannagar Ramakrishna Kendra, University of Engineering and Management and hundreds of Nivedita admirers across the globe have contributed to get the statue done. Swami Vishwamayananda, popularly known as Tushar Majaraj, secretary of RKM Centre at Sargachi in Murshidabad constructed the statue which reached the United Kingdom on Saturday.
Margaret Elizabeth Noble later known as Sister Nivedita had set up a school in Wimbledon before she came to India. Swami Vivekananda met her in London in 1895 when she was the secretary of Seasme Club, a centre of literary activities. Swamiji had visited the school. Margaret Noble came to Kolkata in March 1898 and was initiated by Swamiji who gave her the new name Nivedita which means The Dedicated.
Swamiji had invited her to India to set up a school where girls from middle class families would be taught in both Oriental and Occidental styles. Sister Nivedita’s lecture on Kali at Kalighat temple attracted the intellectuals of Kolkata and she became friends of Rabindranath Tagore, Jagadish Chandra Bose and his wife Abala, Dinesh Chandra Sen among others. It was Nivedita who translated Tagore’s Kabuliwalla in English at the request of Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Nivedita became a close friend of SK Ratcliff, the editor of The Statesman and the newspaper, along with Nivedita had played a leading role in exposing Lord Curzon. Nivedita used to write letters and opinion pieces for The Statesman. She was also the key person behind the setting up of the Indian Institute of Science, formerly known as the Tata Institute, in Bengaluru.
The initiative of install the statue of Sister Nivedita in Wimbledon was taken by Sarada Sarkar, a non-resident Indian. She got in touch with the descendents of Sister Nivedita and was instrumental in bringing Selendra Margot Giardin to Kolkata, great grand daughter of Nivedita’s brother Richmond Noble.
The Noble family got the news of Nivedita’s death from a letter written by Lady Abala Basu from Darjeeling in 1911. Because of Sarada’s initiative, a half-bust statue of Nivedita has been installed at her family cemetery at Great Torrington in Devonshire, England.