Asansol: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s compositions laid the foundation for achieving the country’s independence.
She was speaking at the Kazi Nazrul University here, where she was conferred the honourary Doctor of Literature (DLitt) at a special convocation.
On receiving the degree, Prime Minister Hasina said that she dedicated it to the Bengalis, adding that her honour was also being cherished by the people of Bangladesh.
The convocation also assumes significance since it marks the occasion of 119th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul, who was also born in Asansol. While the West Bengal government celebrates it on Saturday, Bangladesh celebrated the affair on Friday.
Prime Minister Hasina said, “Right from the Language Movement to the Liberation War, Kazi Nazrul’s songs and poems acted as both inspiration and arms and ultimately sowed the seeds of our Independence.”
She also added that Kazi Nazrul’s compositions inspired the people to fight for justice, not only against the British rule but also against Pakistan in the pre-Liberation War era between the 1950s and 1960s.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister was not short on her praises for Kazi Nazrul and Rabindranath Tagore, saying, “The Bengalis are blessed to have two great poets. Not only they have contributed to our language, our literature and our culture, they have also had a positive impact on our value and lifestyle.”
Prime Minister Hasina continued to speak on Kazi Nazrul’s literary works being carried out by the Bangla Academy in various universities in Bangladesh.
Earlier on Friday, the Bangladesh Prime Minister told a gathering at the newly-inaugurated Bangladesh Bhavan in Santiniketan saying that India should play an important role in ensuring the safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar.
Recalling the Liberation War of 1971, Prime Minister Hasina invoked former prime minister Indira Gandhi, who was instrumental in securing the complete independence of Bangladesh (then called East Pakistan) from then West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan).
She lambasted the erstwhile West Pakistan’s “oppressive” rule over Bangladesh claiming that its forces had suppressed the cultural heritage of the Bengalis and Rabindra Sangeet (Tagore Songs) was banned in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Hasina also inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan in Santiniketan on Friday to symbolically highlight the warm bilateral cultural ties between the two countries.
The inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan inside the Vishwa Bharti University complex took place in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Bangladesh Bhavan features a museum that showcases renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore’s association with that country, the Liberation War of Bangladesh and Indo-Bangla relations.
It has been built at a cost of Rs. 25 crores, which was provided by the Bangladesh government. A fund of Rs. 10 crores would be given to help maintain the museum premises.
After this, she travelled to Kolkata, where she visited Tagore’s birthplace – Jorasanko Thakur Bari and met various political leaders and businesspersons in the city later, as per reports.
Prime Minister Hasina, who is on a two-day visit to India, on the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, was received by Banerjee.
Prime Minister Hasina will return to Bangladesh on Saturday evening. (ANI)