Bolpur: Santiniketan is all geared up to host the convocation of Visva-Bharati on Friday morning in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also been invited to attend the convocation in a deviation from Visva-Bharati’s convention. The last time any Chief Minister attended the convocation at Santiniketan was Siddhartha Shankar Ray some 42 years ago.
Mamata Banerjee has reached Bolpur tonight and is staying at a private resort here. Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi will be flying down at Kolkata airport and Panagarh Airbase, respectively, at 9 tomorrow morning. They will then take helicopters to reach Santiniketan.
Visva-Bharati, which has been passing through an administrative turmoil for the past few years, will be holding the convocation after a gap of four years. The last convocation was held in 2013.
Apart from the convocation, the Prime Ministers of the two countries will on Friday inaugurate Bangladesh Bhavan ~ an auditorium, a library, and a museum under one roof ~ constructed at Santiniketan with Rs 35-crore aid from Bangladesh.
The convocation will start from Amra Kunja from 10 in the morning; the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan is scheduled at 11.30 am. Visva-Bharati authorities said that some 10,000-odd students will attend the convocation.
Due to security concerns, barring journalists, none will be allowed to carry electronic devices (including a cellphone), umbrellas, water bottles, etc. to the two venues, a security advisory issued by the state home department has stated.
Also, none, including journalists, will be allowed to move from Amra Kunja to Bangladesh Bhavan and vice-versa. Those desiring to attend the events have been advised to reach the venues by 9 am and 11 am, respectively.
GIFTS FOR DIGNITARIES
Visva-Bharat has lined up a bouquet of unique items that will be gifted to the visiting dignitaries.
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh will be gifted a batik uttariya (scarf) designed by Renu Das, a student of Patha Bhavana; a terracotta made by Prof Gautam Das, principal of Kala Bhavana; an enamel painting by Sk Sahajahan, an assistant professor of Kala Bhavana, and a digital limited edition reproduction of Tagore’s collection of short stories on East Bengal produced by Visva-Bharati Granthan Vibhaga.
Prime Minister Modi, who happens to be the Chancellor of Visva-Bharati, will be gifted an alpana on paper made with earth-colour by former Visva-Bharati teacher Sudhiranjan Mukherjee. A jute bag by Ritam Mondal, a student of Siksha Satra is ready for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Besides this, Rabindra Bhavana has produced three audio CDs that will be gifted to all the three dignitaries.