The 100th anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to Sylhet ended with festivities as people from all walks of life celebrated the occasion.
On November 5, 1919, Tagore arrived in Sylhet, stayed for three days and attended many programmes.
Marking the poet’s stay, several programmes were held by different organisations at the places Tagore visited and a formal committee was formed to organise the “Sylhet-e Rabindranath: Shatabarshe Smaran Utshab” from November 5 to 8.
The celebrations ended with a grand programme at Sylhet District Stadium yesterday where seasoned performers of Bangladesh and India sang and recited works of Tagore and danced to his music.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also joined the closing session via video conference and delivered a speech marking the occasion.
At the closing session, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was present as chief guest while Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid attended as special guest.
Thousands enjoyed performances of renowned Bangladeshi artiste Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, and Padma Shri Purna Das Baul and Medha Bandopadhyay from India.
The four-day celebration was inaugurated by former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith with unveiling a mural of Tagore in Chandni Ghat area in the city on November 5. A cultural programme was organised afterwards.
Sylhet City Corporation brought out a procession from Nagar Bhaban in the morning which walked through many roads of the city. Srihatta Brahma Samaj also celebrated the day with a flowery tribute at Chandni Ghat, followed by a procession.
At the discussion session of the programme, Dr Usharanjan Bhattacharya of Gauhati University (Assam, India) presented the keynote speech. Professor Golam Mustafa of Chittagong University also spoke at the discussion.
TAGORE AT SINGHA RESIDENCE
During his visit, Tagore attended a family programme at the “Singha Bari”.
The patriarch, Gobindanarayan Singha, was the secretary of Brahma Samaj in Sylhet.
Marking his visit, the family and well-wishers organised several programmes on the premises of the house in Chowhatta area of the city on Wednesday.
The programmes included discussion, musical performances, art camp and more.
Planning Minister MA Mannan was present as chief guest at the programmes.
THE POET’S FOOTSTEPS IN MACHIMPUR
During his visit in Sylhet, Tagore was introduced to Manipuri art and cultural, especially Manipuri dance. On the second day of his visit, he appreciated the traditional performances in Machimpur’s Manipuri Para.
Marking the visit, the Manipuri community organised programmes at Machimpur on Wednesday which included discussion, Manipuri dance performances and staging of Tagore’s musical drama.
Tagore researcher Mihir Kanti Choudhury presented a keynote speech at the discussion.
The Manipuri community also declared November 6 as “International Manipuri Dance Day”.
SPEECH AT MC COLLEGE
Tagore’s time in Sylhet also included a visit to the century old Murari Chand College where he delivered a speech titled “Akankhya”.
Commemorating the event, a seminar on “Rabindranath Tagore and South Asia” was organised at the college auditorium where Professor Begum Akhter Kamal of Dhaka University’s Bangla department presented the keynote speech.
Seven Tagore researchers presented their articles at the Bangla session of the seminar while another five researchers presented their articles at the English session.
The formal committee of “Sylhet-e Rabindranath: Shatabarshe Smaran Utshab” organised an international seminar on “Rabindranath and Bangladesh” at the seminar hall of Sylhet Women’s College.
Noted novelist Selina Hossain was present as chief guest while Dr Usharanjan Bhattacharya of Gauhati University presented the keynote speech.
TAGORE IN 700 PHOTOS
A photography exhibition featuring 700 images of Tagore was held at Mohammad Ali Gymnasium in the city.
The two-day exhibition -- inaugurated on Thursday morning -- was organised by the formal committee and supported by Sylhet Photographic Society.
Former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, also president of the committee, said, “Tagore is limitless and it was a pleasure to organise a programme marking such an auspicious occasion.”