Bangladesh presents Tagore memorabilia to Bengal universities

September 12th, 2012 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Replicas of two boats associated with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore were presented by Bangladesh Wednesday to two Indian universities.

A Bangladeshi delegation, led by culture and information minister Abul Kalam Azad gave the replicas of the houseboat ‘Padma’ and ‘Chopola’ - a dinghy attached to it - to the Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) and the Vishwa Bharati University here.

While the RBU, located at Tagore’s ancestral home-Jorasanko Thakur Bari, was founded May 8, 1962, to mark his birth centenary, the VBU, located in Birbhum district was founded by the poet himself.

“The boats are a symbol of Tagore who is equally revered in India and Bangladesh and their gifting signifies the close cultural bonds which both the countries share,” said Azad at a function organised at the University campus.

“The 150th birth anniversary celebration of Tagore has opened new vistas in Indo-Bangla bi-lateral cooperation. The fields of Indo-Bangla bi-lateral cooperation have to be expanded now,” he said.

Tagore had composed some of his works in the ‘Padma’ floating on the river by the same name while overseeing his family estates in Silaidah, Shahzadpur and Patisar in the erstwhile East Bengal (now Bangladesh) for a decade from 1890.

On this boat, Tagore began his English translation of ‘Gitanjali’. The poet used the ‘Chopola’ to travel into narrow strips of water where the barge couldn’t go.

The visit of the delegation comes in the wake of the 150th birth anniversary commemoration of Tagore which the two countries jointly celebrated.

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