Celebrating 150 years of Tagore
“Mukto koro Bhoy, Apono Majhe Shakti Dhoro, Nijere Koro Joy…” a slogan on everyone's lips during the week long festival. Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birthday was celebrated with various programmes starting on May 10 and ending on May 16 at the Pabna Town Hall premise.
Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu
The festival to commemorate 150 years of Tagore was organised by the Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Shammilon Parishad (JRSSP) in Pabna. The concluding ceremony was attended by State Minister for Home Advocate Samsul Haque Tuku on May 16, who was also the Chief Guest. He stressed to strengthen the spirit of nationalism by drawing references from Tagore's literature. He said, “Rabindranath Tagore was a poet for everyone for his humanity and secularism. One must be affiliated with his literature to be a pure Bengali.”
The concluding ceremony was chaired by Professor Mohammed Nurunnabi, the convener of the weeklong festival organising committee. It was attended by Pabna-5 constituency lawmaker Golam Faruk Khandaker Prince, JRSSP secretary Abdul Matin Khan, and freedom fighter Rabiul Islam Roby who spoke at the function besides others. The guests had later distributed prizes amongst the winners of the cultural competitions.
The festival was inaugurated by Rajshahi University vie-chancellor Dr. Abdul Khaleque as the chief guest on May 10. JRSSP president Ranaish Maitra chaired the inauguration ceremony, while it was addressed by Professor Mohammed Nurunnabi, Square Pharmaceuticals Director Golam Rabbani, freedom fighter Rabiul Islam Roby, and JRSSP secretary Abdul Matin Khan amongst others.
L-R: Artistes performing dance piece to one of Tagore's songs. Rally parading the streets of Pabna.
Hundreds of artistes from as many as 20 districts participated in the functions organized by JRSSP. The festival had started off with a colourful rally by students from many different educational institutes parading the streets of Pabna. Thousands, including intellectuals, artistes, and students had taken part in the rally. The artistes had performed 'Shotto-Mongol Premomoyee Tumi' in chorus to inaugurate the festival as well. The audience held candles to light the surroundings during the performance.
Throughout the festival, the speakers had one common ground when they spoke of Rabindranath Tagore and his work in literature. They said that his literature should be studied not only to expand our knowledge of literature, but to learn the Bengali Language better as well. It was because of Tagore that the language and its literature have become famous around the world. It was him who had introduced the world to the rich language through his literature.
Abdul Matin Khan said, “The festival was not only about celebrating Tagore. It was aimed at enlightening the younger generation through discussions and various programmes talking about and studying his literature and life.”
Mohammed Nurunnabi told Star Insight, “Rabindranth's contribution to Bengali literature is unparalleled. He introduced our literature to the world. Thus, the young generation must learn of his prowess. This has been to my knowledge the first time such a festival has ever been organised to celebrate the great man in these parts of Bangladesh.”
(R) thedailystar.net 2011