PM inaugurates DD programme on Tagore poems


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday switched on the telecast of Rabindranath Tagore's anthology of poems `Gitanjali" in Hindi on the Doordarshn (DD) national channel on the occasion of the poet's 146th birth anniversary.

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National broadcaster Prasar Bharti, will run a year-long programme of Tagore's poems in Hindi rendition on DD national channel every Sunday morning for half an hour, said Information and Broadcasting ministry officials.

Simultaneously Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee released a set of 10 digital video discs containing 40 songs of Tagore rendered in Hindi.

Informatoin and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said his objective is to introduce the vast Tagore literature to Indians who do not speak Bengali.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also released 'Satyagraha', a documentation on Mahatma's Gandhi's satyagraha, produced by the Publication Division of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the same function.

Earlier explaining the connection, Dasmunsi said, it was Rabindranath who first gave Gandhiji the honorific title of Mahatma and Gandhiji always used to call the great poet `Gurudev' of 'the Master'.

The Prime Minister said on the occasion, "Today we are gathered here to mark the 146th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The organisation of this event, where we pay homage to the memory of Gurudev and Mahatma Gandhi makes this event even more special.''

He said “Gurudev Tagore's melodious songs inspired our freedom fighters and generations of Indians. Both he and Mahatma Gandhi summoned extraordinary courage from the depths of ordinary people's hearts and motivated them to great acts of heroism and sacrifice.''

The Prime Minister recalled the bond between Tagore and Gandhi, “by calling him "mahatma", Gurudev acknowledged Gandhiji's true inner self. Gandhiji hailed Tagore as Gurudev. Both became icons of our freedom struggle movement. They had their shared vision and yet agreed to differ on many issues.''

Singh hoped that “this event rekindles the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. It should inspire us to nurture the values that they and other leaders of our freedom struggle espoused.''