May 2018 \ Cover Story \ COVER STORY: SPECIAL ARTICLE
Bound together by poetry

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina is an admirer of both Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Her visit to Santiniketan, Asansol bears testimony

By Syed Muazzem Ali

For the construction of Bangladesh Bhavan, Visva Bharati allocated 11,112 square meter land adjacent to the Indira Gandhi Centre at Santiniketan, and it is being funded by the Bangladesh Government. The aim of the Bangladesh Bhavan is to contribute in the field of language, culture, art, economy, history with emphasis on cultural exchange between the two countries. It will be a centre of exchange of academicians, performers, students, and will facilitate people to people exchange between the two countries with research in inter-cultural exchange. The influence of Tagore in Bangladesh shall be a core area of study and exhibition. A special picture gallery on the theme “The Tagores and Bangladesh” will include the history of the interaction of the Tagore family with Bangladesh.

Scholarships will be provided to under-graduate and post-graduate students from Bangladesh as part of the activities of Bangladesh Bhavan. Modern Bangladesh and its history will also be represented through a museum, art gallery, library and such other installations.

The Bhavan will also have a centre for research on the Liberation War of Bangladesh, apart from the history, culture and art of Bangladesh. The museum will have four elements, namely, History of Bangladesh, Liberation War of Bangladesh with special focus on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Tagores and Bangladesh and modern Bangladesh. In the art gallery, there will be a special permanent gallery on the Liberation War of Bangladesh and the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the creation of independent Bangladesh.

The emotional and cultural bond continues to remain a dominant factor in our overall relations. Taking advantage of the historical symmetry of our tradition, culture and heritage, we should reflect on our relations to cultivate the “spirit” of culture and translate the same spirit in other areas of our cooperation for a mutual and shared vision of development of our two countries. The developments in recent years have already taken our bilateral relations as well as our cultural cooperation to a new multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and comprehensive platform. It is expected that Prime Minister Hasina’s visit and her meeting with the PM Modi would add a new dimension to our ever increasing bilateral ties.

Long live Bangladesh-India friendship.

—The writer is the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India. He wrote the article just prior to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s most recent visit to India




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