The BJP is preparing to lay out a cultural red carpet for Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to Shantiniketan, Bolpur in West Bengal’s Birbhum district on Sunday.
Amit Shah will witness Rabindra Sangeet and dance performances on the songs of Rabindranath Tagore during his trip to Shantiniketan. He will also be a part of Baul song performances and dances by the Adivasis in the Birbhum district.
Shah is also slated to have lunch at the house of a Baul singer in the Bolpur-Shantiniketan area and have a peek into the daily lives of Baul singers, who are mostly mendicants and live hand to mouth.
Anupam Hazra, BJP’s national secretary, who is currently handling Amit Shah’s programme for this visit, spoke to The Daily Guardian, saying, “Shantiniketan is known for its cultural heritage and has a long association with Rabindranath Tagore, one of the greatest icons of Bengal and Bengali culture. Keeping this in mind, we are planning to showcase the traditional and cultural heritage of Shantiniketan to Amit Shah ji. Baul is also an integral part of the Birbhum district but the Mamata Banerjee government has just used Baul singers for her political needs. The Baul singers here are very happy to meet Amit Shah ji and they want to share their problems with him. He has also been invited by the Baul singers to their akhara where he will be having his lunch on Sunday afternoon.”
Hazra and the BJP have also planned to give Home Minister Amit Shah a glimpse of the world renowned Basanto Utsav (Holi) which is celebrated in Shantiniketan with much pomp every year.
“Basanto Utsav is one of the largest festivals celebrated here every year and we have decided to give a flavour of the utsav to Amit shah ji when he is here. He will witness a glimpse of the festival where people would be playing with abir or gulal, like it is done during the Basanto Utsav, on the route of his cavalcade,” Hazra told The Daily Guardian.
Shah is also scheduled to visit the iconic Kaanch Mandir, also known as the Prayer Hall in Shantiniketan. It is one of the most spectacular buildings in Shantiniketan where people assemble to pray. The name is derived from its architecture which is completely made up of Belgian glass. Every evening, hundreds of candles are lit at the mandir making for a wonderful sight.
Shah would also visit Chhatimtala, which is considered as a revered place in the history of Shantiniketan since Rabindranath Tagore’s father meditated at the site every evening. Every person who graduates from Shantiniketan is honoured with a branch of the Saptaparni tree which is located at Chhatimtala. Shah will also visit Sangeet Bhawan where he will be an audience to some Rabindra Sangeet and dance performances.
Apart from this, Amit Shah is also going to visit the Viswa Bharati University.