FOR PRESS AND WEBSITE – INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION – 11.08.2021
As part of their on-going 75th Foundation Day Celebration, Rabindra Bharati Society like all other Wednesdays, met virtually to usher in Independence Day in advance, with regard to Bankim Chandra Chottopadhyay and Rabindra Nath Tagore, under the guidance of their General Secretary, Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay. Sottokam Bagchi took the viewers through the 3 hour programme with songs, dances and recitations in between. He spoke about Sahitya Samrat Bankim Chandra Chottopadhyay and his contribution towards independence. During that era, his “Vandemataram” was in the mouths of every citizen and all freedom fighters died uttering this meaningful word which depicted India as everyone’s mother. It was put to music by none other than Rabindra Nath Tagore. He also apprised all about the unsung heroes who left an indelible mark in the path of the freedom movement to fight against the British Raj. But unfortunately their names are not well inscribed in the pages of history. Among them were Nikunja Sen, noted for Writers’ Building Avijan, Badal (Sudhir) Gupta, Binoy Bose and Dinesh Gupta – the trio whose names form the famous Binoy Badal Dinesh Bagh of Kolkata, Hemchandra Ghosh, known as Borda, who formed the noted Bengal Volunteers, Syed Allimuddin Mohammad and his friend Hemchandra Bose, known as Master Saheb, Apurba Sen, Mrigendra Nath Dutta and his friend Anath Bandhu, sisters Beena and Kalyani Das, Basanta Kumar Biswas whose age was manipulatively increased by 2 years so he could be hanged, Anurup Chandra Sen, Naresh Roy and his 14 associates and Botukeswar Dutta, Bhagat Singh and Jatin Das who were responsible for Sangsad Bhawan Bombing. Since today is that day when young Khudiram Bose was hanged to death, he mentioned about him and showed his pictures while in prison and the order of his hanging. All these freedom fighters either faced the bullets, noose or had a tragic death.
It was really interesting to view the exhibits of Dr. Abhijit Ghosh, a practising gynaecologist by profession. He showed his collection of various records and discs of Vandemataram sung by eminent personalities, including Rabindra Nath Tagore himself, Bijoya Das, wife of Satyajit Ray, Sati Debi, mother of Ruma Guha Thakurata, etc. Also shown was a picture of a cylinder where Tagore’s voice was captured singing this song which was signed by Thomas Edison.
Singer Soumitro Bandopadhyay sang a patriotic song after taking us through Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Kolkata residence in Pratap Chatterjee Lane, while the legend’s relative Barnali Chattopadhyay gave a virtual tour of his ancestral house in Naihati, his research centre, their family temple and the 160 years old raath. She sang two songs composed by him, Vandemataram being one of them.
Based on the theme, songs were sung by Sreeja Mukherjee, Pubali Debnath, Sanjukta Das, Soumyajit Mukherjee and Himadri Mukherjee, who also was in charge of conducting the virtual programme, while Prof. Dr. Tripti Kundu and Mohua Mukherjee recited poems and Sibanjan Ganguly and Koushik Mukherjee danced to patriotic tunes. Asst. Secretary, Ranjit Nayak rendered vote of thanks and drew the curtains of the evening’s programme.