Friday, 24 September, 2021

Protect Shelaidah Kuthibari at any cost

The Padma River is quite often referred to in Bangla as kirtinasha (KxwZ©bvkv) meaning that it has records of damage and destruction and of devouring vast tracts of cropland, human habitats and innumerable establishments of historic importance. Due to the unique nature of the river and the distinct geo-physical nature of the land that it flows over, riverbank erosion of massive scale is a regular feature of this mighty river that otherwise has made immense contribution to the formation of this deltaic plain. Due to the destructive aspect of its nature, vast areas of cropland and homesteads on its banks are washed away every year, rendering hundreds homeless and pushing them to utter destitution.

Erosion in the Padma has taken such a serious turn during this peak monsoon that it threatens the existence of an establishment of historic importance. According to reports, Rabindra Kuthibari, the country house of Nobel laureate Tagore at Shelaidah in Kushtia is at a distance of just one kilometre from the river advancing at a quicker pace. This Kithibari is the house where Tagore passed a part of his life and did important literary works. It is also the place where Tagore met the great mystic singer and composer Lalon Shah and made him known to the outside world. The Kuthibari is now an important tourist attraction. It is feared that the lodge may be lost anytime if protective measures are not taken on war footing.

It is natural that rivers will keep on changing directions but it is unbecoming to us as nature-conquering creatures to give in to vagaries of nature. Instances are in great number in this era of advanced technology that rivers have been tamed around the world. It is our obligation to protect whatever we created over time. Loss of this all important edifice will be a matter of shame for us as a nation. Effective measures must therefore be taken immediately to ensure that this pride possession does not go out of our hand for ever.