Ministry of Culture
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Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts celebrates Rabindra Jayanti

“Indians and India is coming back to what we were and we have to work hard and go back to our character, it will be our true tribute to Gurudev”, said Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi

Posted On: 13 MAY 2023 8:46PM by PIB Delhi

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in collaboration with Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University and Sanrachna Foundation held Rabindra Jayanti Celebrations on 12th May in New Delhi today.

On this occasion ‘Vigyan Vaibhav’ portal developed by IGNCA was launched by Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs. Vigyan Vaibhav is dedicated to seventy-five Indian scientists. The guest speaker on the occasion was Former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Riva Ganguly Das. The other guests present on the occasion were Goutam De, former Regional Director of ICCR, an eminent actor from the Bengali film industry Rudranil Ghosh and Prof. O. P. Kalra SGT University.  On this occasion, Dr Sachichidand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Prof. Pratapanand Jha, Dean Academics and HoD CIL, IGNCA were also present.

Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi while addressing the audience expressed pleasure to be present at the event. She further added that the thought and philosophy of Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore guided  India through the dark ages of our history. The inscription of ‘Visva Bharati’ as a UNESCO world heritage site is in fact a tribute to the stalwart, as the university comprises not only buildings or murals but the thought and philosophy behind which adds character and value system in us Indians added Smt. Lekhi. While launching the portal, she said that all the things we do were not without evidence, but that pride in doing things with scientific temperament was taken away from us by colonial rule. The intersection of culture and science was provided by Rabindranath Tagore and those ideals were carried forward by Visva Bharati University. She further reiterated that the spirit of Takshila and its learning was carried on by Visva Bharati given to us by Gurudev and therefore it can be said knowledge has no boundaries. In this context, she also said education is to improve ourselves and character building is part of the knowledge system given to us by Rabindranath Tagore. Indians and India is coming back to what we were and we have to work hard and go back to our character, it will be our true tribute to Gurudev, she added. India always had a culture of science and women have contributed equally to it. She continued and said India never stopped women from doing what they wanted to do that’s why the ‘Vigyan Vaibhav’  portal identifies the contribution of women and men in equal numbers. Smt. Lekhi ended her speech by reading Tagore’s poem as a prayer for India, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high….. into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake”.

Prof. O. P. Kalra while addressing the audience stressed the importance of a mix of culture and science by citing a photograph of Gurudev and Albert Einstein and said we were ahead in the field of medicine and other sciences from the rest of the world.

 Riva Ganguli Das said, “Tagore appeal exists still today and it is because of his thoughts and ideals”.  She added that Tagore left a huge impact on the Hispanic world as Geetanjali is translated into Spanish and so is the case of China. Tagore is beyond borders that’s the essence of Tagore added  Riva Das. Eminent actor of the Bengali film industry Rudranil Ghosh spoke on “Tagore’s Legacy in Bengali Films”. He in this context said that Tagore’s writings reflect all social and contemporary issues and that’s why filmmakers make films on Tagore to give respect to his thoughts and philosophy. He also said Tagore is in the hearts of people of this country and his influence will always be there in Bengali films. Speaking earlier at the event Goutam De talked about the different facets of Tagore and said his philosophy and thoughts are crucial in contemporary times.

Dr. Sachichidanand  Joshi while giving his welcome address remarked that Indian culture brings Gurudev in the minds of people and his ideals and noble thoughts have greatly contributed to our nation building. He went on and said Tagore's philosophy promotes Indian Culture. Talking about 'Vigyan Vaibhav' he said in Indian philosophy there is nothing without empirical thinking and logic and 'Vigyan Vaibhav' is a tribute to men and women who have contributed in equal numbers in the field of science. Prof. Pratapanand Jha while explaining about ‘Vigyan Vaibhav' said India has a long tradition of scientific knowledge. He further elaborated on the subject and said to achieve the dreams of being independent in the field of science it was deliberated to bring to the people the true legends of science of this country through ‘Vigyan Vaibhav'. He also said it’s a collective effort and its launch can be seen as an extension of the launch of 'Kala Vaibhav' which was recently launched at IGNCA.

Special cultural events, which took place during the occasion were Rabindra Sangeet sung by Mrs Sulagna Banerjee and Mrs Payel Ghosh and a cultural presentation by the Spondon group. In the end, a formal vote of thanks was given by Prof. Sanjay Jha, Archivist, IGNCA.

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