Together for Tagore: India and Bangladesh celebrate (Lead)

May 5th, 2011 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi/Dhaka, May 5 (IANS) India and Bangladesh will flag off yearlong joint celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore this week, with dignitaries of both countries gracing each other’s events.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the function at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi Saturday while Vice President Hamid Ansari is in Dhaka to launch the celebrations jointly with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday.

Ansari, who arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit Thursday, is accompanied by wife Salma, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and a 59-member delegation that includes three lawmakers.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni received Ansari, Star Online website of The Daily Star reported from Dhaka. Ansari’s itinerary includes meeting President Zillur Rahman, paying homage to the martyrs at the National Memorial at Savar and to the martyrs of the War of Liberation in 1971.

Tagopre’s birth anniversary falls on May 9. The Indo-Bangla Joint Commemoration will continue through 2012, ending in a finale next year.

The joint commemoration of the anniversary clebrations was announced by India and Bangladesh in January 2010 after the visit of Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, to India, a statement by the culture ministry said Thursday.

In the Indian capital, Congres president Sonia Gandhi will grace the function as the guest of honour and the Planning Minister of Bangladesh A.K. Khandkar will be the chief guest.

The commemoration in New Delhi will be attended by a host of VIPs, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Culture Minister Kumari Selja, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, HRD & Communications Minister Kapil Sibal and president of ICCR Karan Singh.

A brief cultural programme by leading artists from India and Bangladesh, including Dwijen Mukherjee, Rizwana Choudhury and Madhup Mudgal will be the high point of the function. Mudgal will render a Rabindra Sangeet in Hindi.

The members of the National Implementation Committee created to implement the anniversary programmes will present and release several commemorative mementoes like “Chitravali”, a first-of-its-kind digital compilation of 2,000 paintings by Tagore, supported by the ministry of culture.

A pack of six DVDs, “Tagore’s Stories on Film” and Satyajit Ray’s documentary on Tagore compiled from the restored archival material will be released on the occasion.

As part of the celebrations, India and Bangladesh have decided to produce two feature films, prepare a tourist circuit and dramatise the Nobel laureate’s novels.

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