New Delhi: Screening of a film on the poet by Satyajit Ray, release of commemorative postal stamps and coins and an exhibition of rare paintings by him are some of the events held to mark the beginning of year-long celebrations to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
It began in the morning with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formally inaugurating the celebrations by announcing institution of an international award in the honour of the legendary poet.
At the same function, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi released a set of DVDs titled "Tagore Stories and Film", a compilation of films on Tagore and his stories.
Commemorative postal stamps and coins were also released at the function.
In the afternoon, `Rabindranath Tagore, a documentary film directed by legendary film maker Satyajit Ray and `Kabuliwala`, a film based on one of Tagore`s stories, were screened at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. For the next two days, screening of various films based on the
Nobel Laureate`s stories will be held.
Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, under the aegis of the Culture Ministry, organised an international conference on Tagore`s Universalism to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore.
The two-day conference began taking up subset of themes such as `Individual & the Universe`, `The Samaja & the Universe` and `Towards Universal Humanism`.
Prof Anisuzzaman, Prof Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, Syed Shamsul Haque besides other Tagore experts and exponents of Tagore music from Bangladesh, Saranindranath Tagore from Singapore, Prof Bikash Sinha, Prof Amiya Deb, Prof Sourin Bhattacharjee, Prof P B Mangla, Dr H K Kaul and Prof Namwar
Singh from India took part in the seminar.
The seminar was planned by Prof Sankha Ghosh, a leading poet and Tagore scholar.
In the evening, a special exhibition `Circle of Art: The Three Tagores`, featuring rare paintings by the poet and his two counsins- Abanindranath Tagore and Gaganendranath Tagore- was inaugurated by Air Vice Marshal A K Khandker, Bangladesh Planning Minister at the National Gallery of Modern
Art, New Delhi.
It explores their milieu, their individual temperaments and their search for a new visual language, using amongst other genres, fantasy, mystery and romanticism.
This exhibition has been mounted from the substantial number of works by the three Tagores in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art.
Khandker, who is leading a high-level delegation from Bangladesh for the celebrations, said he was "simply mesmerised" by the paintings done by the three Tagores and described them as "out of the world."
"It is an example of how beautiful art can be. It is simply mesmerising," he said.
Selja said: "It is entirely a different world. Tagore`s world, his thinking and his world. I am really happy to have got a chance to be in his world."
Prof Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, said viewing the three Tagores together provides deeper insights into the creativity, flight of imagination and genre that bound diverse sensibilities together.
The Bangladesh delegation earlier paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in New Delhi. They also called on Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.