Hasina to send Tagore's Padma houseboat model to Visva-Bharati museum | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Hasina to send Tagore's Padma houseboat model to Visva-Bharati museum

The upcoming museum in Visva-Bharati for Tagore’s 150 anniversary celebrations will have a big replica of the poet’s famous Padma houseboat, thanks to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed.

kolkata Updated: Mar 12, 2010 09:39 IST
Avijit Ghosal

The upcoming museum in Visva-Bharati for Tagore’s 150 anniversary celebrations will have a big replica of the poet’s famous Padma houseboat, thanks to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed.

On March 1, a letter from Sheikh Hasina’s office reached the secretary of the Cultural Affairs Ministry of Bangladesh asking him to promptly respond to an appeal for help from Rabindra Bhavana (RB).

RB is the arm of Visva-Bharati entrusted with the job of preserving Tagore heritage.

The letter has directed the Culture Affairs secretary to treat the request as “extremely important and necessary.”

Among the exhibits Rabindra Bhavana officials want to highlight is the houseboat that Tagore used to sail on, the Padma.

“The size of the replica would ideally be five to seven feet in length, big enough to bring out the inside details of the original structure,” said Nilanjan Bandyopadhyay, special officer who appealed to the Bangladesh Prime Minister on January 25.

The boat, along with the Kuthibari in Silaidaha in Bangladesh’s Kusthia district, forms inalienable parts of Tagore’s creative persona.

Tagore had stayed at Shilaidaha intermittently for a decade from 1890 when he used the boat regularly. Some of his best compositions, including Sonar Tari and the English translation of Gitanjali took place at that time.

The Padma boat was built by craftsmen from Dhaka and was ordered by the poet’s grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore. It had a dining room and a bedroom.

Among the other requests that Rabindra Bhavana authorities made apart from the Padma boat are digital copies of Tagore’s manuscripts preserved at different archives in Bangladesh.

Tagore is the only poet to have composed the national anthems of two countries India and Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh have decided to jointly celebrate Tagore’s 150th anniversary.