Santiniketan (West Bengal), May 25 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed her government’s desire to build a Bangabandhu Bhavan in the memory of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Banerjee was speaking at the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan in the presence of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is the daughter of Mujibur Rahman. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the function.
“We want to make a Bangabandhu Bhavan in the name of Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). After discussions between the two countries, whenever we are entrusted with the responsibility, we will do it,” Banerjee said in her address.
Banerjee said she was repeatedly remembering Bangabandhu — the leader of the Bangladesh’s liberation war and first President of independent Bangladesh — at the function.
Speaking about Indo-Bangladesh relation, Mamata said the two nations have a “continuous and steadfast relationship”, and exuded confidence that the Bangladesh Bhavan would become a “centre of pilgrimage” in the years to come.
“Indo-Bangladesh ties will remain in fine fettle forever. Bangaldesh Bhavan, I feel will become a centre of pilgrimage in the years to come. The two countries have shared a continuous and steadfast relationship since 1971 (when Bangladesh became independent).”
Banerjee also laid stress on the shared cultural heritage of West Bengal and Bangladesh — both having a majority of Bengali-speaking people.
She said both India and Bangladesh have high regards for poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam.
“Just like India can’t think without Rabindranath (Tagore) and Nazrul, Bangladesh also can’t think without them.”
“Tomorrow (Saturday) is Kazi Nazrul Islam’s birthday here. In Bangladesh, the celebrations are taking place today,” she said.
She also noted that Kazi Nazrul University had been set up by her government in Asansol of West Burdwan district where Hasina would be conferred an honorary D.Litt degree on Saturday.
“We have built the Nazrul Islam University, where Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will go tomorrow. We have also named an airport after Nazrul Islam in Andal (Durgapur).
Hasina, in her speech, had also said that Tagore belonged more to Bangladesh than India as most of his literary work were compiled on Bangladesh soil.
Banerjee is slated to have a “courtesy meeting” with Hasina in Kolkata on Saturday.