Kolkata, Sept 12: A Bangladeshi delegation, led by Culture and Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad, on Wednesday presented replicas of houseboat 'Padma' and a smaller boat 'Chopola', associated with poet Rabindranath Tagore, to the Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) here. "The boats have been presented in memory of Tagore who is greatly revered in India and Bangladesh alike," Azad said at the function here.
The 'Padma' boat, along with the 'Kuthibari' (zamindari estate) in Silaidaha in Bangladesh's Kusthia district, is considered to be intrinsic to Tagores creative output. The poet is known to have used the houseboat regularly as a retreat in between his managerial duties at the family estate intermittently for a decade from 1890. On this boat, Tagore began his English translation of Gitanjali. 'Chopola' was a dinghy attached to the 'Padma'. The delegation's visit comes in the wake of the recently-concluded 150th birth anniversary commemoration of Tagore which the two countries jointly celebrated.
Azad also said that India and Bangladesh have agreed to increase mutual cultural exchanges and strengthen institution-to-institution coordination in the fields of conservation and restoration, drama, literature, fine arts and performing arts etc, apart from exchanging exhibitions. Azad had met India's Culture Minister Kumari Selja in New Delhi on Tuesday.