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ARTICLE : Indo-Bangla Joint Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 04:49

Indo-Bangla Joint Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore

A Joint Communique was issued highlighting the importance of joint Indo-Bangla celebrations to mark the 150thBirth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore after the visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to Indiain January, 2010. The decision to jointly celebrate the 150th Anniversary provided the two countries an opportunity to build a vibrant and forward looking relationship.

A National Committee (NC) under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister had been constituted on 27th April, 2010 to consider policies and lay down guidelines for the appropriate commemoration.  It held its first meeting on 20thMay, 2010.  A National Implementation Committee (NIC) had also been constituted on 27th April, 2010 under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee for chalking out the programmes and activities and to implement the decisions of the National Committee.  The NIC had met twice in 2010 - on 5th May and 14th July. The third meeting of the NIC was held on 6th April, 2011 and the fourth meeting of NIC was held on 24th March, 2012. Several programmes and projects were approved by the NIC for a befitting commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

A delegation led by the then Secretary Culture, Government of India visited Dhaka in December, 2010 to chalk out the programmes of Joint Indo-Bangla Celebrations. Subsequently a delegation from Bangladesh also visitedIndia in April, 2011 and further discussions was held on joint commemorations.  The inaugural function of the commemoration in India was held on 7th May, 2011 in New Delhi to start the year-long joint celebrations. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Planning Minister of Bangladesh, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.), Shri A. K. Khandker,Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, National Advisory Council (NAC). Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Culture Minister Kumari Selja, Information & Broadcasting Minister Smt. Ambika Soni, External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna, HRD & Communications Minister Shri Kapil Sibal and President, ICCR Dr. Karan Singh participated in the inaugural programme.

Earlier, an inaugural function was also held on 6th May, 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The National Implementation Committee had decided in its fourth meeting held on 24th March, 2012 that the joint commemoration will culminate with Closing Ceremonies to be organized in Dhaka on 6th May, 2012, and inNew Delhi on 7th May, 2012. Accordingly, the Closing Ceremonies are being organized in Dhaka and New Delhi. Vice-President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony on 7th May, 2012 atVigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.  Several cultural programmes will also be organized by Indian and Bangaladeshigroups on 6th and 7th May, 2012 in Delhi as well as Dhaka.

During the year-long joint Indo-Bangla celebrations, several programmes involving various art forms like songs, dramas, recitation, poetry, kantha paintings etc,  were organized in India and Bangladesh. The programmes have been attended by several dignitaries, high officials and top cultural artists of Bangladesh. The performances in packed auditoria have received rave reviews in practically all leading newspapers and electronic media of India andBangladesh. The same have renewed the bonds of shared cultural heritage of the two countries.