Michael Madhusudan’s legacy turns squalor in Kolkata
Tribune Online Report

The legacy of legendary poet-dramatist Michael Madhusudan Dutta is dwindling as his grave lies desecrated and his former home about to be demolished in West Bengal’s Kolkata.

  • Poet-dramatist Michael Madhusudan Dutta 
    Photo- File Photo

The Times of India (TOI) reports the heritage committee of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has downgraded Madhusudan’s home from a Grade I heritage site to a Grade III heritage site in January 2017 – which permits the demolition of the existing site and construction of a new building on the spot.

The decision was met with abject criticism from various groups. The outcry was met with a demure statement from the KMC which said the authenticity of the house being Madhusudan’s home was disputed.

It has also been reported that the plot has been purchased by one Mohammed Salauddin who raised a legal dispute over Madhusudan residing in the Kidderpore house. Salauddin won the legal battle when the KMC failed to produce sufficient documents to authenticate the building’s claim as a heritage site.

The KMC has ensured that when a new building is constructed on the site, a bust of Madhusudan will be erected along with a plaque describing the significance of the location.

As Madhsudan’s home during his life is being torn down, his home after life is also suffering abuse. His grave at Kolkata’s Lower Circular Road Cemetery is frequently found littered.

The grave of Michael Madhusudan Dutta has become a site for disposing garbage Times of India

The Christian Burial Board, supervisors of the cemetery, claims the poor condition of the grave is due to a lack of funds for maintenance and dwellers of the nearby Bandarpatti slum using the graveyard as a dump.

On January 25, people gathered at the cemetery to pay tribute to Madhusudan – one of the greatest figures of Bengal Renaissance – on his 193rd birth anniversary. The people who came to pay homage found the grave littered with beer bottles, plastic packets and garbage piling up behind the tombstone. 

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