Suvaprasanna and Shaoli Mitra announce the plans to celebrate Tagore’s 150th anniversary. (Amit Datta)
A book fair, a “grand” rally, exhibitions, cultural programmes and discussions feature in the state government’s plan to celebrate Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary next month.
“We are planning a range of events and activities to celebrate Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, which will go on till Ponchishe Baisakh next year,” said Shaoli Mitra, the chairperson of the Rabindra Shardhoshato Janmabarsha Udjapon Samiti, on Tuesday. “But our focus right now is implementing various programmes to commemorate Baishey Srabon between August 7 and 9.”
Before that, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate an 11-day Rabindra Boi Mela on July 29 on the Rabindra Sadan premises.
“Consortium for Books and Culture, India, is organising the fair that will comprise all kinds of books and publications on Tagore and his works. There will be exhibitions and an open-air stage for cultural performances every evening,” said Mitra.
To mark Rabindranath’s death anniversary on August 7, a “grand” procession has been planned, where participants will sing and recite the poet’s verses. The rallies, called Alokpheri, will originate from four different points — Jorasanko Thakurbari, College Square, Harish Park and the Park Circus Maidan — from 7am and converge on the Shahid Minar ground.
Various schools, colleges and personalities from different walks of life have been invited to participate in the rallies, which will also be joined by the chief minister.
“There will be canvases kept on the Shahid Minar ground for people to write or sketch on. We will end with Bauls singing Tagore songs,” said Mitra.
“Tagore passed away on August 7, 1941, and therefore we chose to organise the grand procession on this date though Baishey Srabon is on August 8 this year,” Mitra said.
Some of Tagore’s paintings restored at the Academy of Fine Arts will be put up for display on the three days.
The five government-run auditoriums — Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Girish Mancha, Madhusudan Mancha and Minerva Theatre — will host Tagore-related performances on August 8 and 9. Discussions featuring Jaya Mitra and Srikanto Acharywill be held in the evenings at the Bangla Akademi.
A cultural programme has also been planned at Netaji Indoor Stadium on August 8, with Mamata Banerjee at its helm.
“We want to engage people from all sections of society and so the entry to all the venues is free and open to all,” said Mitra.