Modi to visit Mujib’s mausoleum during Bangladesh visit Kallol Bhattacherjee

PM to also visit Thakurbari at Orakandi, the heartland of Matua Hindus, who constitute a sizeable population in Bengal

In a rare gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the mazar or mausoleum of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Tungipara of Gopalganj district during his March 26-27 visit to Bangladesh, sources told The Hindu on Wednesday. The two-day visit will also include a major cultural show by Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and his nine-member musical troupe from Kolkata.

Mr. Modi will participate in the centenary celebration for Sheikh Mujib upon his arrival in Dhaka where he will hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The visit to Gopalganj is symbolically significant as it is the first time that an Indian leader will pay tributes to Bangabandhu at his grave which was neglected during the military rule of the 1980s in Bangladesh.

The mazar of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been developed by the Government of Bangladesh in the last two decades as a major destination for visitors to the country. The mausoleum contains the grave of Sheikh Mujib and his parents, Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and Saira Khatun. Sheikh Mujib was buried at his ancestral estate at Tungipara near Dhaka after he was assassinated on August 15, 1975 in a military takeover.

Gopalganj will be in focus also for the visit by Mr. Modi to the Thakurbari at Orakandi, the heartland of the Matua Hindus who constitute a sizeable population in both Bangladesh and West Bengal where they are expected to play an important role in the coming Assembly election.

Mr. Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina will attend a concert in the evening of March 26 where Mr. Chakraborty will perform live with his team. The classical singer will call on Mr. Modi during his stay in Dhaka. Mr. Chakraborty will hold a workshop for musicians and singers at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on March 28.

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