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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Silver fishes at Prez Pranab sendoff

Anirban Guha Roy, Hindustan Times  Patna, October 05, 2012
First Published: 16:15 IST(5/10/2012) | Last Updated: 16:16 IST(5/10/2012)

Apparently keeping Bengali culture and tradition in mind, Governor Devanand Konwar presented President Pranab Mukherjee a memento three beautifully crafted fishes in silver in fluent motion.

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The memento was presented just before the President emplaned for Mumbai on Thursday morning. Officials said the President was visibly pleased with the gift from the Governor and his wife Neeva Konwar.

In a return gesture, Mukherjee presented the Konwars a set of books on Yoga, besides 'India Idea' a compilation of the best
ideas, which have emerged from India. The book is carried by topmost dignitaries to present to their counterparts abroad.
Pranab also presented a musical CD on Jugalbandi to the Konwars. An identical set of books was presented to chief minister Nitish Kumar.

"Fish is considered auspicious and is of symbolic value on big occasions. This is why we thought of a memento befitting
the occasion," he said an official in the government.

Sources said the memento weighing around 900 gm was crafted at a local jewellery shop in Patna on a special order from
Raj Bhawan. It is learnt the jeweller had to redo the memento as the first design had not impressed the officials concerned
owing to its small size.

A senior official said, "Raj Bhawan was tired of gifting the same things — Bhagalpuri silk and Madhubani paintings. Then, someone mentioned that the crafted fish in silver was a Bihar speciality — though undiscovered till now! We took off from there."

As a matter of fact, the President on his arrival to Raj Bhawan was welcomed by the Governor and his family in traditional
Assamese style and was gifted a set of 'gamcha', which is a symbol of highest respect shown to guests and elders in the north-east state. The Governor hails from Assam.

Even chief minister Nitish Kumar presented a momento to the President — a replica of the Nalanda seal and Shahid Smarak — both of historical value and for the symbolism associated with Bihar’s rich cultural and political heritage.

The Nalanda seal was discovered in late 18th century during excavations along with various seals considered to be in use during the Gupta period. A Delhi-based designer was assigned the job of crafting the replica of the Nalanda seal, which is on display at the museum in Nalanda.

Later, President Pranab Mukherjee was given a warm sendoff by Governor D Konwar, chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Patna Mayor Afzal Imam and other dignitaries at the Patna airport on Thursday morning.

The President left for Mumbai by a special IAF aircraft after rounding off his twoday visit to the state.

Before departure, the chief minister thanked the President for launching the agriculture road map ( 2012-2017) and requested him to visit Bihar more often. Others present at the airport included health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, chief secretary A K Sinha, DGP Abhyanand, principal secretary to the chief minister Anjani Kumar Singh, Patna divisional commissioner S K Negi , Patna DM Sanjay Kumar Singh.


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