Rabindranath Tagore Anniversary: Bangladesh, India to have joint celebrations.

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Offline Md. Mehedi Hasan Shoyeb

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India and Bangladesh are to launch this week joint celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the globally revered poet who wrote their respective national anthems.

Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari arrived in Dhaka Thursday to launch the celebrations jointly with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a function scheduled for Friday.

The Indian part will be opened in New Delhi Saturday by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ansari, who arrived here on a two-day visit, is accompanied by wife Salma, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and a 59 member delegation that includes three lawmakers.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni received Ansari.

Ansari's itinerary includes meeting President Zillur Rahman, paying homage to the martyrs at the National Memorial at Savar and to the martyrs of the War of Liberation in 1971.

India and Bangladesh had decided to jointly celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore during Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January last year.

Both the countries have chalked out elaborate programs to mark the year-long birthday celebrations of the poet who has penned the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

As part of the celebrations, the two countries have decided to produce two feature films, prepare a tourist circuit and dramatize the Nobel laureate's novels and poems on Tagore, who lived and worked in Bengal and visited several other nations.