Friendship that withstood the passage of time


A year-long exhibition highlighting the mutual respect between Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi began at the Rabindra Bharati University, coinciding with the 78th death anniversary of Tagore. The exhibition at the Jorasanko campus would showcase correspondence between the ‘two great souls of India’, besides displaying archival photos.

Christened ‘Smarane barane Gurudev o Mahatma’ (Remembering and recalling Gurudev and Mahatma), it would display a rare picture of Tagore’s meeting with Bapu on March 6 in 1915 in Santiniketan for the first time, university curator Baisakhi Mitra said. “The exhibition, which will be open on all days except national holidays, has been organised to make the present generation aware of the relations between Tagore and Gandhi,” said Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chowdhury, RBU Kolkata vice chancellor.

“There will be 22 panels having archival photos, correspondence letters and telegrams between the two personalities during the period from 1915 to 1941,” she said.The exhibits have been sourced from the university’s archive and also from the National Gandhi Museum.”There is also the last correspondence between the two in May 1941.

Gandhi’s telegram on ‘Pochishe Boishakh’ (the date in Bengali calendar associated with Tagore’s birth day) and the poet’s witty reply to the same. It is our prized possession,” university curator Baisakhi Mitra said. The photos of Gandhi’s first visit to Tagore’s ancestral house at Jorasanko in 1901 to meet Maharshi Debendranath Tagore (Rabindranath Tagore’s father) in the company of great Bengali thinker Shibnath Shastri will also be on display.