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Live video stream debut for New Town Tagore centre show

Rabindra Tirtha at New Town this year introduced live video streaming of its Rabindra Jayanti celebrations

By Tathagata Ray Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 7.06.19, 7:06 PM
  • Updated 7.06.19, 7:06 PM
  • 2 mins read
Salt Lake resident Dipak Rudra performs at Rabindra Tirtha (Tathagata Chowdhury)

Rabindra Tirtha at New Town this year introduced live video streaming of its Rabindra Jayanti celebrations through Facebook Live to reach out to the Bengali culturati across the world. The daylong event organised by Hidco, titled Kobi Pranam, was an instant hit both at the venue and on social media.

The auditorium of Rabindra Tirtha, which has a capacity of 200 people, was filled from corner to corner early in the morning of May 9 on the occasion of the poet’s 158th birth anniversary, while some of the videos of the songs and recitations hit more than 16,000 views on Facebook.

This was the seventh year of Tagore birth anniversary celebrations at Rabindra Tirtha. But it was the first time the authorities chose to use social media to reach out to people from across the world, especially the youngsters who are more adept at using social media.

“There are many global Bengalis of the present generation who can’t read or write Bangla properly. But they have a huge attraction towards Tagore. We strive to take the help of technology to reach out to them with the works of the poet,” said Hidco chief Debashis Sen.

“In fact, one of the objectives behind setting up Rabindra Tirtha was to reach out to the millennial Bengalis scattered all over the world. We have taken up several initiatives to present Tagore’s works electronically to the people of the new generation. We have set up Rabisarani — a chronological timeline of the poet’s life and work — on the website of Rabindra Tirtha. A lot of Tagore’s works are also available there. Digital media is the best way to reach out to the new generation,” he said.

Anindya Sain, who was in charge of video streaming and managing the Facebook Live, was enthused about the online response that the videos generated.

“Our video reach was 1,22,100, which means that the videos were sent to as many people with the help of Facebook. More than a hundred people shared the videos, while people from places as far as New York watched the programme online and commented on the links,” he said.

Celebrated artistes from the worlds of Rabindrasangeet and recitation — such as Chitralekha Chowdhury, Abhirup Guhathakurta, Manoj and Manisha Murali Nair and Pranati Thakur — took part in the event. The auditorium was packed and the authorities had to arrange for extra chairs to accommodate the crowd.

“The event was free for all and more than 300 people thronged the auditorium. People came in as early as an hour ahead of the scheduled start to get a seat. It is good to see that the Rabindra Jayanti celebrations are getting more popular among the residents of New Town with every passing year,” said an official of Rabindra Tirtha.

Septuagenarian Bani Ghosh, who had moved to CB block of New Town from north Calcutta a few years ago, said: “I always used to attend the Rabindra Jayanti celebrations at Jorasanko Thakurbari which was close to our earlier house. Initially after coming to New Town I used to miss that milieu. But now at Rabindra Tirtha, we are getting to listen to many of the artistes who also perform at Thakurbari or Rabindra Sadan on the same day. It is a great feeling that we have such a place in New Town.”