Thakurbari and Japan is the name given to the new art gallery at Rabindra Bharati University’s Jorasanko campus. The gallery will house over 100 priceless paintings by Rabindranath and Abanindranath Tagore. The irony is that while we bask in the glory of our past maestros, we care very little for the upkeep of their creations. If not, couldn’t RBU preserve them? After all, the only USP of an institution like RBU is its tutelage over everything Tagore in Kolkata. The same goes for Viswa Bharati University, Tagore’s one-time abode, where not long back Tagore‘s Nobel Prize medal went missing.
This is not to belittle Japanese help in restoring our heritage. It goes to show how they value Tagore‘s relationship with Japan. Why only Tagore? At a time when we’re busy debating the reasons behind Netaji‘s disappearance, the 400-year old Renkoji Temple in Tokyo has dedicatedly preserved the great leader’s ashes.
Sometimes it feels we are yet to grow as a nation. We are still to figure out how we wish to value our past, let alone learn from them.