Visva Bharati was once known as a crucible of excellence epitomising Guru Rabindranath Tagore’s dream of a world "where the mind is without fear... and knowledge is free."
But sadly, it seems to have degenerated into an institution that has slipped on 'ethics and ideology.' 'Indiscipline, infighting and indecency' among students, 'surrender and manipulation' of university authorities to 'pressure groups' are hampering the university’s emergence as an institute of excellence.
This strong indictment, and more, comes from a high-powered inquiry committee set up by the university to probe the 'whys' and 'wherefores' of a crippling spell of unrest by Visva Bharati’s students and employees last year.
The probe panel headed by a retired judge of the Calcutta High Court, Justice Narayan Chandra Sil, began work in October and submitted its report on May 12 this year.
The 86-page report, a copy of which is in the possession of Hindustan Times, indicts the students, especially those of Vidya Bhavan, the humanities wing, for Visva Bharati’s eroding prestige.
The report found Vidya Bhavan to be at the root of most problems. The election to Chhatra Sammiloni (students’ union) has been the cause of tension and fighting among the students every year, the report says.