Model Code of Conduct dulls down Tagore's birth anniversary celebrations at Mongpu
Darjeeling: The Model Code of Conduct eclipsed the celebration of Tagore's birth anniversary at Mongpu in Darjeeling district this year, as the bard's 158th birth anniversary was observed on a low key.
Though the ministers were not present, the participation of the local community was overwhelming. Even the commemorations had the local flavour that Tagore had adored.
Mongpu, situated 33 km from Darjeeling town, was a favourite destination of the bard. He visited the place in 1938 on May 21 and stayed till June. In 1939, he stayed there from May 14 till June 17 to return again on September 12 to stay till the first week of November.
In 1940, he arrived on April 21 and his birthday was also celebrated there, that year. This was his last visit as he fell ill and had to return to Kolkata.
Tagore had written several memorable works during his stay at the hill retreat, including Chelebela, Nobojatok, Sesh Kotha, Bangla Bhashar Porichoy, Mongpu, Giribas, Sanai, Akash Prodip and Jonmodin. In Mongpu, Tagore used to stay in the house of Manmohan Sen (Husband of Maitreyi Devi), who was the chief chemist of the cinchona plantation. In 1944, this house was converted into a 'Rabindra Smrity Bhavan.' Later in 2009, the building was renovated and converted into a 'Rabindra Museum.'
The museum displays artifacts used by Tagore including pastels as well as homeopathy medicines. Manuscripts and paintings are also on display.
Officials of the district administration garlanded the statue of the bard located on the premises of the museum. People from all walks of life also paid respects to Tagore on his birth anniversary.
Owing to the ongoing elections and the Model Code of Conduct being in effect, the celebrations were toned down this time, stated officials of the district administration. Local artistes of the Bhutia Development Board and Gurung Development Board presented local dances like Singhi dance (lion dance by the Bhutia community).