Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Culture
07-April-2011 19:07 IST
India – Bangladesh Meeting on Cultural Cooperation at Secretary-Level

Joint Press Statement

• Secretary level discussions on India-Bangladesh cooperation in the field of Culture was held in New Delhi today, 7th April, 2011. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the Bangladesh delegation was led by Ms. Suraiya Begum, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Culture Secretary also called on Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Km. Selja.

• India and Bangladesh share close historical, cultural and ethnic links. The cultural agreement between the two countries was first signed in Dhaka in December, 1972. • The India-Bangladesh Cultural Agreement covers a range of areas of cooperation including art and culture, mass-media including T.V., radio, films and press, sports and youth activities, archaeology, museums, libraries and archives, and education activities. The objectives enshrined in the Cultural Agreement are realized through the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)

• The current Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2010-12 between India and Bangladesh was signed on 11th January, 2010 in New Delhi in the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries when the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina paid a State visit to India.

• In the Joint Communiqué issued after the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, one of the significant agreement was to jointly celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

• The discussions between the two sides were held in an atmosphere of great warmth and cordiality. The two sides recalled the successful visit of Secretary (Culture) of India to Bangladesh in December 2010 and undertook a detailed review of the implementation of CEP.

• The two sides highlighted the common cultural heritage of the two countries and emphasised the need to build on these shared links.

• The areas of discussion included the following:-

 Monuments and Archaeology

 Museums and Visual Arts

 National Science Museums

 Films and Media

 Library and Archives

 Performing Arts

 Joint nominations of Intangible Cultural Heritage for UNESCO

 Joint Commemorations of the 150th birth Anniversary Commemorations of Rabindra Nath Tagore, including, inter-alia, opening ceremony on 6th May 2011 at Dhaka and 7th May 2011 at New Delhi and programmes throughout the year.

• The two sides noted with satisfaction that under the CEP 2010-12 following activities have already taken place:

 Visit of a delegation of craft persons to Bangladesh in December, 2010

 Participation of Bangladesh in the International Film Festival at Goa in November, 2010. The Golden Peacock award of INR 4 million was won by the film “Moner Manush” coproduced by Indian producer Gautam Kundo and Bangladeshi producers Habibur Rahman Khan and Faridur Reza Sagar and was directed by Gautam Ghose.

 A Bangladesh Film Festival was held in April, 2010 in Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.

 Shri Belal Choudhury, Shri Rafiq Azad, Shri Syed Al Faruq and Smt. Jahanara Parveen visited Shantiniketan for a “Kavita Utsav” on 12- 13 Feb. 2011 in connection with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore on the invitation of Sahitya Akademy.

 The National Archives of India (NAI) and the National Archives of Bangladesh have been in close cooperation as well.

 Retrospective of Uttam Kumar films in Dhaka and Chittagong

 ‘Ananda Jagya’, - a festival of Indian Performing Arts held in Bangladesh.

• During the discussions both sides identified several activities for the current year. They include the following:

- Lalit Kala Academi to invite Bangladeshi artists to participate in the Triennial – India. India to participate in the Asian Art Biennial in Bangladesh.

- Sahitya Akademi and Bangla Academy to enhance cooperation and Sahitya Academy to publish an anthology of poetry of Bangladesh.

- Cooperation between the National Museums of both countries.

- The National Archives of India (NAI) and the National Archives of Bangladesh to continue their active cooperation, including modalities for exchange of archival records.

- Cooperation with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).

- National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) to send an exhibition of Modern Art of India starting from the Company School to the Modern Contemporary Art. NGMA to also host the exhibition of contemporary Art from Bangladesh.

- Enhanced cooperation in the field of Archaeology, including visits of experts from both countries, capacity building and training by the ASI of India and the Directorate of Archaeology of Bangladesh.

- Shared heritage sites to be pursued with UNESCO for inclusion in the World Heritage Site list.

- Development of the Buddhist circuit.

- Visit of Indian experts to Bangladesh in the areas of Archaeology, Museology, Archives, etc.

- Training of Bangladeshi scholars in the leading National institutes, including the National School of Drama, National Museum Institute, National Archival Institute and National Institute of Archaeology.

- Cooperation in the area of Science Museums.

- Participation in the Film Festivals of both countries, including Children Film festivals.

- Cooperation in the areas of films, TV, performing arts and theatre.

- Cooperation in the field of library sciences and capacity building.

- Cooperation in manuscript conservation

• The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress on preparation for celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore both in India and Bangladesh. In this context the following were discussed:

o Opening Ceremony between 6-8 May 2011 at Dhaka, with participation of an Indian VVIP and performing artistes.

o Opening Ceremony between 7-9 May 2011 at New Delhi, with participation of a Bangladeshi VVIP and Performing Artists.

o Joint programmes in India and Bangladesh between May 2011 and May 2012 covering Performing Arts i.e. dance, drama and films, of original prints and paintings, exhibitions, seminar / conferences / scholar retreats, etc..

o Joint overseas programmes viz. at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

o “Robi Tirtha” – Tagore Circuit in Bangladesh and India to be worked out through the Tourism Departments.

o Technical assistance for restoration of Tagore heritage sites in Bangladesh.