Bangladesh’s leading cultural outfit Chhayanaut was today named as one of the three winners of Indian government’s prestigious Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony.
Indian Culture Ministry made the announcement saying that Chhayanaut is being recognised for its outstanding contribution to cultural harmony, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The decision to select Chhayanout was unanimously taken by a jury headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi and former bureaucrat N Gopalaswami and Indian Council of Cultural Relations President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe were in the jury board.
The other two recipients of the award are India’s Rajkumar Singhajit Singha doyen of Manipuri dance and eminent sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar.
The award carries an amount of Rs one crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.
Chhayanaut, established in 1961, has played a leading role in promoting Rabindranath Tagore’s works and Bengali culture, music and literature not only within Bangladesh but across the world, said a statement of India’s Culture Ministry.
Chhayanaut has built a close bridge of understanding and cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India, especially West Bengal. It was part of the movement for an independent Bangladesh and provided a platform for cultural expression and assertion of Bengali identity.
“When Rabindra Sangeet was banned in East Pakistan, Chhayanaut continued to promote liberal expression through secret renditions of Tagore songs and discussions on Tagore,” the statement said adding, “The jury's decision recognises the contribution of the organisation in upholding the liberal progressive tradition of universal humanism of Gurudev and in promoting the spirit of cultural harmony.”
The annual award was instituted by the government of India during the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
The first Tagore Award was conferred on sitar legend Ravi Shankar in 2012 and the second was on composer Zubin Mehta in 2013.