Visva-Bharati shifts from tradition, holds spring festival ahead of Dol Purnima

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(Eds: Fixing typo in headline) Santiniketan, Mar 16 (PTI) In a departure from tradition, the Visva-Bharati authorities organised the annual Basanta Utsab (spring festival) on Tuesday, instead of the usual day of 'Dol Purnima' on March 28, in a scaled down manner.

Only a handful of students and teachers of the central university were present at the programme which usually draws thousands of people from across the state.

Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty was present at the event.

However, ashramites, tourists, journalists and many teachers were not allowed access to the programme, a faculty member said.

The festival of colours, an important occasion in the calendar of the institute founded by Rabindranath Tagore, could not be held last year due to coronavirus pandemic.

'The situation is different this year. The festival was held following Covid-19 restrictions,' said Anil Konar, a member of Santiniketan Trust which organises the programme.

One of the participating students said, 'We had been informed a few days back that Basanta Utsab will be held this year. Yesterday, we were told that it will be held today on a smaller scale.' Sabujkali Sen, a former officiating vice-chancellor who lives within Visva-Bharati precincts, said, 'There was no notification, no invitation. Why was it held so secretly?' It was not known why the festival was not held on the day of Dol Purnima. PTI SUS COR NN NN NN NN