President M Abdul Hamid has stressed establishing a humanitarian non-communal society, which would be free from all sorts of exploitation, deprivation, fanaticism and militancy, being imbued with the spirit and ideals of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore.
"Rabindranath is not merely a poet of certain period; he is Bengalis' pride for all times… He is an immense source of our inspirations and courage to establish patriotism, humanity, Bengali nationalism and universal consciousness," he said while inaugurating the national programme marking the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in Naogaon Monday afternoon.
"The practice of Rabindranath is now even very relevant at the time of emergence of fanatic and communal forces worldwide. Tagore's thoughts and works on poverty alleviations, rural development, people's economic emancipation, health and environment still inspire us in many ways."
He said the concept of establishing agricultural bank has come from the "Potisor Agriculture Cooperative Bank" that was a milestone initiatives of Tagore to save the farmers and working people from the torture and exploitation of zemindars or landlords.
"Rabindranath donated over Tk100,000 from the money of his Nobel prizes to this agriculture bank. He further sent his son Rathindranath Tagore, son-in-law and others to America for higher studies in agriculture and they worked for the agricultural development subsequently," the president added.
Hamid said the Nobel laureate wanted to see a self-reliant and educated rural people, and subsequently he started establishing village society, introducing cooperatives system, setting up agricultural laboratory and health cooperatives society, modernizing agriculture and flourishing cottage industries.
Rabindranath had a very deep relation as well as fascination with the present Bangladesh, the President said, as he came very close to the people of Shahjadpur of Sirajganj, Potisar of Naogaon and Shilaidaha of Kushtia for the purpose of looking after Zamindari.
President Hamid urged all to take necessary steps to reduce gap of power and resources between village and town in line with the concept of Tagore's cooperatives system to enrich the rural economy.
Paying rich tribute to the great poet, the president said: "Being a Bangladeshi, I'm proud of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who upheld the image of our Bengali culture and literature in the world arena. The Bengali- speaking people of the world owe to him for his outstanding creations as a poet, composer, litterateur, dramatist, artist, essay writer, philosopher, educationalist and social-reformer."
He observed that when the world has become a global village, the thoughts and philosophy of Rabindranath bear immense importance.
Hamid appreciated all concerned, especially the Cultural Affairs Ministry, for taking special steps to preserve the places rich with the memories of Rabindranath Tagore.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor presided over the programme. Textiles and Jute Minister Emaz Uddin Pramanik, lawmaker Mohamamd Israfil Alam, Prof Dr Hayat Mamud, acting secretary of Cultural Affairs Ministry Mohammad Ibrahim Hossain Khan and senior civil and military officials concerned were present on the occasion.