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How many residents at Bhagalpur, the erstwhile ancient silk city which once towered tall in the country due to its high value cultural and literary arrogances, have yet registered their protest against the transformation of a philanthropic institution into a police station ?
The national wide tide favour and disfavour of NRC and CAB has already touched Bhagalpur where people have started mobilizing. Recently the city witnessed large scale vandalism and terror during the day long bandh that was called by RJD party in protest against NRC but it’s really unfortunate that people here yet not come forward to protect Kala Kendra, an institution for learning art and crafts.
Activities related to learning of different features of art and practices of different forms of culture would no more take place at Kala Kendra, an affiliated art school of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. Adampur police out post has shifted to the premises of Kala Kendra after the principal requested local administration to open the police out post there.
On 1954, some eminent art lovers like Late Bamkim Chandra Benerjee, a former student of Shantiniketan, Bolpur (Bengal) and disciple of noted Indian artiest Nandala Basu managed to open Kala Kendra beside Lajpath Park at Bhagalpur for giving the opportunity of learning art and crafts to the youngsters here. Many former students of the institute today holding key positions in their respective fields at different parts of the country. Not only that, Kala Kendra was also the epicenter of cultural activities in the city. “Bhagalpur once known as the center of literary activities but unfortunate the entire scenario has been changed. But Kala Kendra managed different cultural activities like staging dramas etc till the date of its closer,” Binoy Kumar Jha, an art lover here pointed out.
Dispute between the family members of former principal and the man who is presently on the chair of principal at Kala Kendra is said to be the reason of closer of the institute. Internal conflicts in the organization further made the situation critical, observers claim.
“It’s very strange that no body yet oppose the opening of a police out post at Kala Kendra. Bhagalpur has started witnessing the gradual losing its grandeurs and this incident is the latest example of such erosion in cultured society of Bhagalpur ,” said Pankaj Kumar a former student of the institution.
“Bhagalpur has its glorious past but unfortunately, some events like the blinding episode or the infamous Bhagalpur carnage of 1989 had tarnished its image. And again the closing of Kala Kendra has added in the list of such misfortune of this city,” pointed out Shashi, a media person here.
Well, on December 24, local Congress leader, Anamika Sharma along with some social workers called on the divisional commissioner, Town commissioner and district magistrate, Bhagalpur and urged for protecting the institution. “ It’s a good and positive step but more people should come for the sake of Kala Kendra here,” said Anirudh Kumar, a resident here.
Many people here pointed out that how the local governmental agencies and even the government remains hostile towards the heritage and places having cultural significances. “Many Indian stalwarts like Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, cine actors Ashok And Kishore Kumar and many others had spent their early days at Bhagalpur but today you don’t find the houses where they used to live. We have failed to protect such monuments or the heritages for our next generation. We don’t know how to preserve such heritages; otherwise we would not have missed to place Bhagalpur into country’s tourist map by one of such world heritage site, Vikramshila Budda Mahavihar which is laying almost neglect at Bhagalpur,” acclaimed Sharmila Bagchi, former teacher at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University.