Tagore's death anniversary: Holiday in Bengal

Kolkata: To mark the sesquicentennial of Rabindranath Tagore, West Bengal government has declared August 8, the death anniversary of the bard, a holiday in all its offices and establishments.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she would urge the Centre to declare Tagore's death anniversary a national holiday.'' I will write to the Centre in this regard.''

''In 1987 during the 125th birth anniversary of the poet, I had taken the initiative of requesting the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to declare Tagore's birthday a national holiday, which he did,'' she said.

Banerjee said processions of children would be taken out on August 8 from Tagore's ancestral house at Jorasanko, from Harish Mukherjee street and another from Park circus and would converge at Shahid Minar on August 8.

''I myself will be in the procession from Harish Mukherjee Street,'' she said.

Elaborate programmes had been chalked out for August 8, 9 and 10, which included illuminating Tagore's ancestral house at Jorasanko, Rabindra Sadan, Rabindra Bhavans in the districts and all establishments which have the memory of Tagore.

A programme is also being organised at Netaji Indoor stadium to spread the message of Tagore.

All railway stations under the Eastern, South Eastern, NF Railway and Metro Railways would be illuminated, she said.

Banerjee said the state government had decided to set up a Rabindra academy at Mongpu in Darjeeling where the poet had lived for some time.