The 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore, who reshaped the Bangla literature in the late 19th and the early 20th century, will be observed in Bangladesh and some other places today.
Tagore, who became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel prize in literature, was a poet, playwright, novelist, educationist, social reformer, nationalist, business manager, artist and music composer. Tagore wrote the national anthems of Bangladesh and India.
India and Bangladesh decided to celebrate jointly the 150th anniversary of his birth and both the countries have planned elaborate programmes to mark the event through year-long celebrations. Bangladesh and India in 2010 decided to celebrate the occasions jointly.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, inaugurated a three-day programme at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Friday in the presence of Indian vice-president M Hamid Ansari while the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, launched the celebrations in New Delhi on Saturday. Bangladesh’s planning minister AK Khandakar attended the programme in New Delhi on behalf of Bangladesh.
Tagore was born on Baishakh 25, 1268 in the Bangla calendar, in a zamindar family in Kolkata, India. The occasion came to be celebrated on Baishakh 25 in accordance with the date of his birth in the Bangla calendar.
The anniversary of his birth will, however, be celebrated in West Bengal on Sunday as the Bangla calendar in use in Bangladesh was changed in 1988 in line with a modification done by a Bangla Academy committee headed by Dr Muhammad Shahidullah in 1963.
The government, educational institutions, socio-cultural organisations and radio and television channels have planned programmes to mark the day.
Newspapers will bring out special supplements on Tagore’s work and life. The electronic media will air special programmes, including soirees, recitation from his poems, discussions, film shows and dramas scripted or based on Tagore’s stories.
The president, Zillur Rahman, in a message on the occasion, said that the extraordinary literature and all creative works of Rabidranath Tagore would inspire new generations.
He said, ‘Worship of truth and beauty, and expansion of values of humanity are the main themes of his works.’
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in a message, said, ‘Rabindranath is a lighthouse for the Bengalis. He wandered in the hearts of the Bengalis.’
‘Rabindranath always voiced for humanity. His sense of nationalism is the source of inspiration all Bengalis. His creations touch our consciences in all our problems and crises, joys and pains in personal, social or even national spheres,’ she said.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, also the leader of the opposition in the parliament, in a message, said that Rabindranath had immense influence on the life of the people of Bangladesh. His works have not only enriched the Bangla literature but have also projected it to the outside world.
The cultural ministry will hold the national programme on the occasion in Dhaka, Shahjadpur, Patisar and Dakshidihi.
The Bangla Academy will begin a three-day programme on the academy premises.
The Nazrul Academy will hold a discussion and cultural programme at 6:00pm today.
The Jatiya Ganatantrik League will hold a discussion at Maitree Milnayatan at Purana Paltan at 11:00am.
Courtesy of New Age