on Friday decided to cancel the ''Basanto Utsav'' (spring
festival), slated to be held on March 9 this year, in the wake
of a letter by Union HRD Ministry advising against any large
gathering in the campus in the wake of the coronavirus scare.
Member of Executive Council, the highest decision
making body of the university, Sushobhan Sarkar told reporters
after a five-hour long emergency meeting of the EC, it was
decided the customary ''Basanto Utsav'', which was being held in
the campus for ages as the festival of colours, will not be
held this year.
"Novel coronavirus spreads from gathering, it is a
dangerous virus and we have to look for small kids. If one
incident happens we cannot have any other option. Hence the EC
declared the Basanto Utsav closed this year. We will try to
have it next time," the senior EC member said.
The EC meeting took place in the wake of a letter
received from MHRD and Union ministry of Health and Family
Welfare requesting all universities not to hold anything where
there is a gathering, he said.
The UGC in its letter to Visva Bharati said for taking
combative measures to check the outbreak of novel coronavirus
in the country, a coordinated effort is the collective need.
"All universities and their affiliated colleges are
therefore requested to take necessary precautions and follow
the advisory given below in prevention/reduction of the
virus," the letter said.
Hence "universities and colleges are advised to avoid
large gatherings in the campus," the letter said.
Visva Bharati spokesman Anirban Sarkar said "after
getting the letter from MHRD we had no other option but to
cancel the Basanto Utsav in the prevailing situation. However,
we are grateful to the state government who had promised all
help in holding the event."
"We will organise it at a later date in future," he
"We welcome the EC decision as the safety of people is
more important than anything else," Visva Bharati SFI leader
Somnath Sau said.
The teachers of the institution also said they were in
favour of the move even though people of Bolpur and elsewhere
in the state look forward to Basanto Utsav and Pous Mela every
Rabindranath Tagore had started ''Dol utsav'' in his
institution with colourful cultural programmes.
The students of Visva-Bharti celebrate this festival
with Tagore''s ''Ore Grihobasi'' song every year as thousands
attend from different parts of the country and smear gulal on
each other''s face. PTI SUS COR SUS