This year, ‘Panchishey Baishakh’ came with silent footsteps, not in the noise of celebrations, or in the crowd of the poet’s votaries. Yet, more than ever before, the poet has been our companion in these times of distress and anxiety. This year the poet has been felt in the silence of our hearts. It was technology which joined the beatings of our hearts, and the results were manifested in the programmes which were put up by the different departments of The Bhawanipur Education Society College.
The teachers of the Department of English made a collage of videos with the aid of their colleague from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. It was not only their humble tribute to Tagore, but also, a presentation meant to convey to their student how Tagore speaks to each one of them. Thus, Tagore the philosopher who could embrace pain in order to transcend them, the poet of freedom and humanity, the poet of the eternal child in the spirit of Man, the poet who saw the divine in the beauty of nature, all these aspects were presented through the readings, songs and dance presented along with brief comments by each teacher. The multilingual presentations reached out to even those students who are not Bengali speaking. The video, uploaded on YouTube (https://youtu.be/2o7jJbUf400), was also uploaded on the Google Classrooms as a change from the usual study materials.
The faculty members of the Department of Computer Science also made a video (https://youtu.be/gRaPfPgeCa8), uploaded on their departmental YouTube channel, in which songs, dances and recitations in English, as well as Bengali, were presented. The joy and hope of youth which remains undaunted even in these troubled times, was on display in the presentations by this youthful department.
The Department of History marked the day with a live programme through Google meet, which was joined by both students and faculty members. The programme included reading of papers on Tagore and his ideals by the teachers of the department as well as live performances of Tagore’s poetry and songs by students and teachers both. Two students also presented dances based on his songs.
In the evening, the Department of Bengali, which has always taken the initiative in organising Rabindra Jayanti in the College, organised a cultural programme with participants from the various departments of the Art Section. Once again, students and teachers came together on Google meet and presented their performances, through which the continuing relevance of Tagore, especially in these often lonely and painful times, were understood by all in a collective appreciation of this great thinker who was a critique, as well as a path finder of modernity combined with humanity.