Tagore bonds all together | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 08, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 08, 2011

Tagore bonds all together

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Bangladesh once again assured India yesterday that its territory will not be allowed to be used by elements working against the interests of any country.
Addressing a function at Vigyan Bhavan here in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Bangladesh Planning Minister AK Khandker said, "The spontaneous support we received during the Liberation War] from the government and the people of India can never be forgotten by the people of Bangladesh.
"The courage, the spirit of sacrifice, the spirit of the people of India particularly the visionary leadership of Indira Gandhi who announced her recognition of Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign nation even before the war ended can perhaps never be fully reciprocated by the people of Bangladesh," he said.
Referring to Tagore's message of peace and harmony, he said Bangladesh firmly believes that the subcontinent must get free from the scourge of terrorism and extremism to develop and achieve peace, prosperity and stability.
In this regard, the government of Sheikh Hasina has launched an uncompromising fight against terrorism, extremism and militancy.
Khandker said the joint celebration of Tagore's birth anniversary commemoration underscores the cultural and social bond shared by the two countries. India and Bangladesh share a history of struggle against colonisation and exploitation.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address, said he was delighted when the Bangladesh prime minister last year agreed to jointly celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.
"Government of India has decided to institute a prestigious international award in the name of Rabindranath Tagore to recognise very distinguished contributions towards the promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity," he said while inaugurating the function.
A jury headed by the prime minister will select each year from across the globe a citizen of outstanding public eminence whose work "epitomises the high universal ideals that Tagore stood for."
The first award, he hoped, would be presented by the end of the commemoration period.
Singh said a wide range of projects are being undertaken as part of the anniversary celebration to make Tagore's work more accessible to a wider audience and to preserve those for posterity.
"I can think of no more important task than the revival of Visva Bharati. As a chancellor of the university, I am personally committed to this important task."
The Indian prime minister said a special grant of Rs 95 crore would be given to the university "which stands as a living symbol of the poet's enduring faith in the learning ability and creative power of the young mind and free spirit."
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who released a volume of Tagore's paintings at the function, said the Nobel laureate's message of unity through diversity is all the more pertinent today while some forces mistake uniformity for unity and find themselves uncomfortable with the diversity of our country.
She said India and Bangladesh celebrating Tagore's birth anniversary together signifies the ever lasting bond that the poet has created across the nations' boundaries.

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