UNESCO recognises Santiniketan: EAM Jaishankar celebrates Rabindranath Tagore's legacy as first nobel laureate
New Delhi, September 18: India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, expressed his joy on Sunday as UNESCO granted World Heritage status to Santiniketan, the former residence of the renowned poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore in West Bengal's Birbhum district.
Santiniketan earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list during the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia, as conveyed by the UN agency through a post on the social media platform 'X.'
In response to Vishal V Sharma, India's ambassador and permanent representative to UNESCO, who shared the news on 'X,' Jaishankar commented, "Congratulations. A fitting tribute to our first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and all those who have kept his message alive."
Earlier, Vishal V Sharma expressed his excitement on 'X,' describing it as a momentous day for all Indians. He posted, "Santiniketan inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List (Agenda 45COM.8B.10). A great day for all Indians. Bharat Mata ki jai," and shared a video capturing the moment when Santiniketan was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also celebrated this achievement, characterizing the inclusion of Santiniketan in UNESCO's World Heritage List as a source of pride for all Indians. On 'X,' PM Modi shared, “Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's vision and India's rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians.”
Established in 1901 by Rabindranath Tagore, Santiniketan was originally conceived as a residential school and center for art, grounded in ancient Indian traditions and the vision of a humanity united beyond religious and cultural boundaries. In 1921, it evolved into a "world university" known as "Visva Bharati."
Santiniketan's architectural design is distinct from the prevailing British colonial and European modernist styles of the early 20th century. Instead, it embraces a pan-Asian modernity that draws inspiration from ancient, medieval, and folk traditions across the region.
India had long sought UNESCO recognition for this cultural treasure located in the Birbhum district, and it finally received the prestigious designation.
Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, G Kishan Reddy, had previously disclosed that Shantiniketan had been recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list by The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
- With inputs from agencies