Inauguration/Opening Ceremony

Formal Opening Ceremony was held in New Delhi on 7th May, 2011 and in Dhaka on 6th May, 2011. Detailed Cultural programme such as Rabindra Sangeet, Recitation, Dance performance with eminent cultural personalities from both countries were worked out. Programmes were held in Shantiniketan and Kolkata too.


An International Conference on “Contemporising Tagore in the Modern World”, anchored by Prof. Muchkund Dubey from India and Prof. Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University, was held between 29th April 2011 and 1st May 2011 at Dhaka. The following themes were identified for Joint Workshops and Seminars as Rabindranath Tagore had contributed significantly in these sectors:

  • Gender equality and Women’s empowerment.
  • Social discrimination and its impact: corrective, affirmative action agenda.
  • Rural Development and reconstruction.
  • Nationalism and Internationalism in the present day context.
  • Education and its transformative role.
  • Relevance of Tagore’s ideas on environment in the light of recent global developments.
  • Co-operative Banking movement and its future prospects.
  • Tagore and the shaping of Bengali identity.

Organisations on both sides like ICCR, Bangla Academy, Sahitya Akademi and Universities held Joint Workshops/Seminars on these topics.

Publication of Books/CD – DVDs etc.

  1. Bangla Academy and Sahitya Akademi would work on a joint publication of representative writings of Rabindranath Tagore.
  2. A book on Gurudev, comprising critical essays by Tagore experts, is likely to be published in 2013, the centennial year of Tagore’s winning of the Nobel Prize. A working group would be constituted by the Bangla Academy and the Sahitya Akademi for the purpose.
  3. A Coffee Table Publication on ‘The Life and Works of Tagore’ would be taken up. Prof. Bharati Ray would be the Nodal Expert on the Indian side. A pocket book version may be considered.
  4. It is proposed to bring out a joint publication and DVD on the year long Commemorations by the respective Ministries of Culture and Foreign/ External Affairs.

Tagore/Rabindra Chairs

  1. Tagore Chairs are likely to be set up after clearly specifying their mandate as being related to his ideas, philosophy and works. ICCR has a scheme of setting up Chairs and may be able to expand it during the Commemoration period. The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla would establish a Tagore Study Centre shortly. Other proposals received in the Ministry of Culture are being examined by a Sub-Committee under the Vice Chairman, UGC.
  2. Ministry has launched a very prestigious ‘Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research’ in select Cultural Institutions, for which Bangladeshi Scholars can be considered during the Commemoration period.
  3. Bangladesh PM’s proposal to set up a Tagore Centre for Advanced Research in Shilaidaha/Kushtia to encourage interactions between international scholars is under consideration.

Cultural Programmes

  1. Artistes from both countries would participate in special Cultural Programmes under the existing schemes of ICCR and the recently launched Tagore Commemoration Grants Scheme.
  2. Joint Play Festivals could be organised by the National School of Drama. Staging Bangalore People’s Theatre’s production, the “Mystic and the Poet” would be facilitated. Selection of works more suited for T.V. and stage by Rabindranath Tagore experts would help in promoting an appropriate presentation and adaptation of best of Tagore’s genius to a wider audience. Joint Workshops on theatre, dance, music and dramas would be given priority.
  3. Joint Recitation Programmes and Readings would be promoted by Cultural Organisations through the Tagore Commemoration Grants Scheme.
  4. Joint production of Short documentary films would be explored.


Inauguration of 'Rabi Tirtha' or a Tourist Circuit, covering Jorasanko, Thakurbari, Shantiniketan, Tripura, Shillong etc. in India and Shahzadpur, Kusthia and Shilaidaha in Bangladesh was agreed upon.

Awards & Scholarships

The Tagore International Prize for Universal Brotherhood has been instituted by Government of India. Awards for achievements in Tagore Studies and Performing Arts could be conferred during the Opening/Closing functions of the Commemorations.


Bangladesh was keen to have an exhibition of the original paintings.

Bangladesh Bhavan

Bangladesh’s proposal to set up ‘Bangladesh Bhavan’ in Shantiniketan, was agreed to.

  • Secretary level discussions on India-Bangladesh cooperation in the field of Culture was held in New Delhi on 7th April,2011. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the Bangladesh delegation was led by Ms. Suraiya Begum, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Culture Secretary also called on Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Km. Selja.
  • India and Bangladesh share close historical, cultural and ethnic links. The cultural agreement between the two countries was first signed in Dhaka in December, 1972.
  • The India-Bangladesh Cultural Agreement covers a range of areas of cooperation including art and culture, mass-media including T.V., radio, films and press, sports and youth activities, archaeology, museums, libraries and archives, and education activities. The objectives enshrined in the Cultural Agreement are realised through the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
  • The current Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2010-12 between India and Bangladesh was signed on 11th January, 2010 in New Delhi in the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries when the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina paid a State visit to India.
  • In the Joint Communiqué issued after the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, one of the significant agreement was to jointly celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
  • The discussions between the two sides were held in an atmosphere of great warmth and cordiality. The two sides recalled the successful visit of Secretary (Culture) of India to Bangladesh in December 2010 and undertook a detailed review of the implementation of CEP.
  • The two sides highlighted the common cultural heritage of the two countries and emphasised the need to build on these shared links.
  • The areas of discussion included the following:-
    • Monuments and Archaeology
    • Museums and Visual Arts
    • National Science Museums
    • Films and Media
    • Library and Archives
    • Performing Arts
    • Joint nominations of Intangible Cultural Heritage for UNESCO
    • Joint Commemorations of the 150th Birth Anniversary Commemorations of Rabindranath Tagore, including, inter-alia, opening ceremony on 7th May 2011 at New Delhi and 6th May 2011 at Dhaka and programmes throughout the year.
  • The two sides noted with satisfaction that under the CEP 2010-12 following activities have already taken place:
    • Visit of a delegation of craft persons to Bangladesh in December, 2010
    • Participation of Bangladesh in the International Film Festival at Goa in November, 2010. The Golden Peacock award of INR 4 million was won by the film "Moner Manush" co-produced by Indian producer Gautam Kundu and Bangladeshi producers Habibur Rahman Khan and Faridur Reza Sagar and was directed by Gautam Ghose.
    • A Bangladesh Film Festival was held in April, 2010 in Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.
    • Shri Belal Choudhury, Shri Rafiq Azad, Shri Syed Al Faruq and Smt. Jahanara Parveen visited Shantiniketan for a “Kavita Utsav” on 12- 13 Feb. 2011 in connection with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore on the invitation of Sahitya Akademy.
    • The National Archives of India (NAI) and the National Archives of Bangladesh have been in close cooperation as well.
    • Retrospective of Uttam Kumar films in Dhaka and Chittagong
    • ‘Ananda Jagya’ - a festival of Indian Performing Arts held in Bangladesh.
  • During the discussions both sides identified several activities for the current year. They include the following:
    • Lalit Kala Akademi to invite Bangladeshi artists to participate in the Triennial – India. India to participate in the Asian Art Biennial in Bangladesh.
    • Sahitya Akademi and Bangla Academy to enhance cooperation and Sahitya Academy to publish an anthology of poetry of Bangladesh.
    • Cooperation between the National Museums of both countries.
    • The National Archives of India (NAI) and the National Archives of Bangladesh to continue their active cooperation, including modalities for exchange of archival records.
    • Cooperation with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
    • National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) to send an exhibition of Modern Art of India starting from the Company School to the Modern Contemporary Art. NGMA will also host the exhibition of contemporary Art from Bangladesh.
    • Enhanced cooperation in the field of Archaeology, including visits of experts from both countries, capacity building and training by the ASI of India and the Directorate of Archaeology of Bangladesh.
    • Shared heritage sites to be pursued with UNESCO for inclusion in the World Heritage Site list. Development of the Buddhist circuit.
    • Visit of Indian experts to Bangladesh in the areas of Archaeology, Museology, Archives, etc.
    • Training of Bangladeshi scholars in the leading National institutes, including the National School of Drama, National Museum Institute, National Archival Institute and National Institute of Archaeology.
    • Cooperation in the area of Science Museums.
    • Participation in the Film Festivals of both countries, including Children Film festivals.
    • Cooperation in the areas of films, TV, performing arts and theatre.
    • Cooperation in the field of library sciences and capacity building.
    • Cooperation in manuscript conservation.
  • The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress on preparation for celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore both in India and Bangladesh. In this context the following were discussed:
    • Opening Ceremony between 6-8 May 2011 at Dhaka, with participation of an Indian VVIP and performing artistes.
    • Opening Ceremony between 7-9 May 2011 at New Delhi, with participation of a Bangladeshi VVIP and Performing Artists.
    • Joint programmes in India and Bangladesh between May 2011 and May 2012 covering Performing Arts i.e. dance, drama and films of original prints and paintings, exhibitions, seminar / conferences / scholar retreats, etc.
    • Joint overseas programmes viz. at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
    • “Robi Tirtha” – Tagore Circuit in Bangladesh and India to be worked out through the Tourism Departments.
    • Technical assistance for restoration of Tagore heritage sites in Bangladesh.

Workshop with Dancers and Choreographers of India and Bangladesh

A workshop was held with dancers and choreographers from India and Bangladesh on 10 February 2011. Ms. Priti Patel, a well known Manipuri dance exponent and choreographer, coordinated with the group involving different classical and folk dance forms of the two countries.

Workshop with Eminent Theatre Personalities of India and Bangladesh

The workshop will see an assembly of playwrights and scholars from the different parts of India particularly West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Delhi and from Bangladesh. The Project has been conceptualised in three phases viz. Pre-Workshop Phase, Workshop Phase and Post-Project Phase. It is being coordinated by Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation.

Workshop with Eminent Artists of India and Bangladesh

A painters workshop was held with artists from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from 10th – 16th May, 2011 at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. The works executed during the workshop were exhibited at the Akademi from 18th – 24th, May, 2011.