Rabindra Jayanti celebrated in Tripura, Assam
Agartala/Silchar, May 9 (IANS): The 157th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate and poet Rabindra Nath Tagore was celebrated on Wednesday in Tripura and south Assam.
However, the Rabindra Jayanti celebration in the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley region of southern Assam comprising of the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi was low-key this year due to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s administrative decision.
Braving rough weather, numerous programmes were organised across Tripura, with “Prabhat Pheri” (morning procession) being held in each locality.
Songs written by the bard were sung and his poetry was recited at different venues in Tripura by local artistes and performers as well as some from West Bengal and Bangladesh.
The Tripura government, which declared a holiday on Wednesday on the occasion, also organised programmes in the Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan and Rabindra Kanan in Agartala.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the Information and Cultural Affairs Department, and Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan were present at the Rabindra Kanan functions.
Chhandaneer, a decades-old renowned cultural organisation of Tripura, has also organised the “Kabi Pranam” programme in Agartala.
“We are organising Rabindra Jayanti for the past 44 years. Artistes from Bangladesh, West Bengal and Kolkata along with Tripura took part in the week-long programme,” Chhandaneer chief Samiran Roy told IANS.
In Silchar, a controversy erupted since last year after the Assam government officially cancelled the celebrations in schools and instead asked the Education Department to hold academic activities.
However, non-government cultural organisations observed the day with numerous programmes and functions in three districts of Bengali dominated Barak Valley region in south Assam adjoining Tripura.
Silchar-based Barak Upatyaka Banga Sahitya-O-Sanskriti Sammelan leader Taimur Raja Chowdhury said: “Despite the state government’s apathetic attitude towards celebrating the Rabindra Jayanti, various NGOs are observing the day with day-long colourful and traditional functions.”
“The BJP government in Assam should encourage the students and youths to participate and celebrate the great occasion,” Chowdhury, an editor of a leading vernacular daily, told the media.
Tagore had visited and stayed in Agartala and Shillong several times between 1899 and 1927.
Academician Rameswar Bhattacharjee said: “Tagore’s close relations with the princely state of Tripura and its four successive tribal kings form an important chapter in the state’s history. This relationship prompted him to visit the state as many as seven times between 1899 and 1926.”
“Tripura had a special place in many of Tagore’s songs and he wrote a number of novels with the princely state’s history as the theme. Some of these are ‘Bisharjan’, ‘Rajarshi’ and ‘Mukut’,” he added.
The 101-year-old “Pushpavant Palace”, which until April 18 was the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s house), will turn into a museum and research centre dedicated to Tagore.
The Raj Bhavan on April 18 shifted to a newly constructed sprawling mansion at the new capital complex on the outskirts of Agartala.