Tagore Center Foundation

A slice of Santiniketan, coming up in Houston

Jhimil Mukherjee Pandey| TNN | Jun 2, 2017, 06.00 AM IST

KOLKATA: Rabindranath Tagore’s abode of peace, Santiniketan, is being replicated some 14,200km away, in Texas’s largest city of Houston.

 The Tagore Centre for Arts and Culture, expected to be ready by the middle of next year, has been conceived by alumni and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and has the full support of the Texas administration.

The design of Houston’s Chhatimtala will keep the spirit of the original alive, promised Asoke Dey Sarkar and his wife Ruma Acharya Dey Sarkar, both IIT-KGP alumni from the chemical engineering department. The Sarkars are bringing this dream alive with the help of IIT-Kharagpur’s architecture faculty.

The entire campus is being designed in a fashion that will immediately give one a feel of the real Santiniketan — open spaces merging into learning centers, spaces for an interdisciplinary approach, language centers, performance centers with open-air theatres, continuing education centers and visual and performing arts centers complete with a fairground for the signature Pous Mela.

Asoke Dey Sarkar, the brain behind Houston’s proposed Tagore center, said: “You cannot take out baul heritage from the heart of Santiniketan. Naturally, you can expect baul music to reverberate here too. This center is being set up to promote Tagore-inspired humanism and inclusiveness through art and literature.”

The swastika, used as a symbol by Tagore for Visva-Bharati, will also be used thematically. “However, there will be no religious connotations. It will be a completely secular campus, a melting pot of all humanity like Tagore had envisaged”. Sen Added.