India will kick off mega celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the legend of Rabindranath Tagore with a series of cultural events that would see active participation of artists from Bangladesh and release of stamps and coins in honour of the Nobel Laureate.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch the year-long celebrations in the presence of NAC chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a function here on Saturday where Bangladesh Planning Minister A K Khandker will be the chief guest.

From May 7 to 9, Delhi will witness a flurry of cultural events and exhibitions to honour the multifarious talents of the 19th century genius.

India and Bangladesh had in 2010 decided to jointly celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tagore, and Mr. Khandker will lead a 20-member delegation, comprising lawmakers, senior officials of Bangladesh government and experts and artists.

The inauguration in India will be held a day after the celebrations are launched in Dhaka where Vice—President Hamid Ansari will represent India.

On May 7, the day when Gurudev was born in 1861, a slew of commemorative items like postal stamps and coins and a pack of six DVDs of films based on Tagore’s stories will be released in Delhi.

Prime Minister Singh himself headed the National Committee for the 150th Anniversary Commemorations of Tagore and the panel has already planned year-long celebrations.

Leading artistes Dwijen Mukherjee, Madhup Mudgal and Rizwana Choudhury from Bangladesh will perform a Rabindra Sangeet recital. Mudgal will render a Rabindra Sangeet number in Hindi.

Also in Delhi for the celebrations are eminent Bangladeshi poets Nirmalindu Guun, Mahadeb Saha and Rafiq Azad, along with prominent singers Lily Islam and Shama Rahman and famous dancer Tamanna Rahman.

The Prime Minister will also release Rabindra ‘Chitravali’ - a distinctive compilation of around 2,000 paintings of Tagore.

Besides, Rabindra Bhavans, Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Sahitya Akademi and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts will hold a series of events.

The National Gallery of Modern Art will exhibit an exhibition ‘Circle of Art: The Three Tagores’ while a ’Bhartiya Kavita Utsav organised by the Sahitya Akademi on Sunday will focus of Tagore’s poetry and will see the participation of about 30 eminent poets from various Indian languages.

Tagore will also be the focus of a three-day exhibition of books, music and portfolios organised by the Sahitya Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi in Vigyan Bhawan.

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