Yearlong Joint Indo-Bangla Celebrations to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore concludes in New Delhi
The year-long joint Indo-Bangladesh celebrations to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore concluded here today with the closing ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan. The Vice-President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari addressed the gathering as the Chief Guest on the occasion. The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni represented her country on the occasion as the Guest of Honour. Finance Minister and Chairman, National Implementation Committee Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Culture and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja also attended the hour-long function. Several dignitaries including Governors, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of foreign countries in New Delhi were also present on the occasion.
The year-long joint celebrations witnessed elaborate programmes on the multi faceted genius Tagore- a poet, writer, painter, musician and philosopher par excellence. Exhibitions of Rabindranath’s paintings, musical soirees, seminars, workshops, release of commemorative publications and coins and joint productions and performances of dances and dramas, based on the stories and songs written by Rabindranath, were organized both in India and Bangladesh as part of the celebrations. Several cultural and literary personalities of the two countries participated in the events organized in both the countries.
Addressing the gathering, the Vice President Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that Rabindranath Tagore was a multifaceted genius whose creativity spanned every form of artistic expression. His concerns ranged from global and universalist ones to practical and mundane issues. He established institutions to reflect his vision and through his travels, writings and actions demonstrated that the international brotherhood of man was not merely a theoretical construct.
Shri Ansari said that Gurudev believed that national and human identities inherent in us need not be contradictory and that promoting one’s culture should not preclude acceptance and respect for the culture of others.
He said, Tagore heralded the cultural rapprochement between communities, societies and nations much before it became the liberal norm of conduct
Shri Ansari said, it is indeed of enduring significance that the governments and peoples of Bangladesh and India have chosen such an occasion to renew their bonds of friendship and reaffirm their commitment to our shared cultural heritage and intellectual ethos.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni in her address said that Rabindranath Tagore belonged to the world and the joint commemoration of his 150th Birth Anniversary by Bangladesh and India is a joint tribute by both the countries to the great poet and philosopher. She said her country will celebrate the 100th year of Tagore getting the Nobel Prize for Gitanjali next year.
The Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in his speech described Gurudev as international cultural icon. He said, Bangladesh has wholeheartedly participated in the joint commemorations. Shri Pranab Mukherjee announced that a jury under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has selected Pt. Ravi Shankar to be the first recipient of the Tagore award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cultural harmony and universal values. He said, the award shall carry an amount of Rs. 1 Crore, a Citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item.
Shri Mukherjee said, the Government of India has further decided to grant Rs. 150 Crores to Viswa Bharati University to revive and restore the glory of this great institution founded by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
Earlier the Culture Minister Kumari Selja in her welcome speech said guided and advised by both the National Committee Chaired by the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and the National Implementation Committee, Chaired by the Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the Ministry of Culture organized and lent its support to a rich tapestry of projects related to Rabindranath Tagore. She said, her Ministry supported multi-dimensional activities through Government and Non-Governmental forums. She said, among other things, there have been publications, exhibitions of his paintings, enactment of his plays and a glorious resurgence of Rabindra Sangeet. Seminars and lectures were organized, films were commissioned, a web-portal of about 8000 books on and by Tagore was launched.
Artistes from India and Bangladesh enthralled the audience with Rabindra Sangeet as a tribute to Gurudev in the hour-long closing ceremony.