Special Dhaka train to mark Tagore anniversary celebrations

The National Implementation Committee on the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, which met under the chairmanship of union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, has approved the proposal to run a special train, Sonar Tari Express, named after one of the poet's compositions, to Dhaka on Aug 8 to mark his death anniversary.

The panel, which met  on Wednesday evening, approved the proposal to refurbish the existing Tagore complexes, most of which are in a dilapidated condition, and restore works of art like paintings, sculptures and bronze casts in Visva-Bharati - the university Tagore set up in Santiniketan. The department of fine arts at Visva-Bharati, Kala Bhavan, is home to nearly 2,000 art works, both small and big. Bulk of the works are housed in Nandan Museum, the official archive founded by Bengal master Nandalal Bose. The repertory comprises several Noh theatre masks and Ming dynasty scrolls, besides original art works by Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij and Benode Bihari Mukherjee. The committee would publish a book on the paintings of Tagore while the ministry of human resource development will explore the feasibility of setting up a Liberal Arts Institute as well as Centre for Tagore Studies at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla. The railway ministry would set up two Tagore museums.

The special train to Dhaka is part of a cultural diplomatic initiative by India and Bangladesh for the yearlong celebrations. The Nobel Laureate spent several years in Bangladesh, then undivided Bengal, to manage his estate at Silaidoh in Rajshahi district.
The committee also agreed to the constitution of zonal-level Tagore's Commemoration Committee for Cultural Programmes proposed by non-governmental organisations.
The yearlong commemorative programme began on the poet's birthday May 7 with a four-day cultural soiree at the Rabindra Bhavan in the capital and a mega exhibition of the poet's art at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The programme was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Celebrating the poet's 150th anniversary tops the government cultural agenda in 2010-2011. The meeting was attended by union ministers Mamata Banerjee, Ambika Soni and Kapil Sibal, besides culture secretary Jawhar Sircar, secretary of expenditure Sushma Nath, Namwar Singh among others.

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