Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN), the global network of non-resident Bangladeshis, greets all on the occasion of Baishakh 25, the 148th birth anniversary of the poet guru, Rabindranath Thakur.
Few other poets were as tuned to the beauty of the nature and seasons as Rabindranath, and much of his poetry and songs was actually inspired by the land, rivers, flora, and fauna of the current Bangladesh. It was in Shilaidaha of Kushtia or Shahjadpur and Potisar of Pabna, on the banks of the river Padma, Garai, Atrai, and other rivers of Bangladesh, where Rabindranath’s feelings soared and were immortalized in his poems and songs.
How would Rabindranath react today, if he came back to his beloved abodes in Bangladesh, only to find dried up Garai, Padma, shrunk to a caricature of its previous self, and other rivers? How would he react to see the landscape despoiled by industrial effluent and all kind of waste overflowing, and air, polluted by smoke and dust belching out from brick kilns, cement factories, stone extraction industry, etc.?
The activist that he was Rabindranath would not have accepted the ravage, the degradation that Bangladesh environment is now witnessing. He would have protested and engaged himself actively in an effect to stop the process. Rabindrnath would have initiated an environment movement.
So all those who love Rabindranath, his poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and particularly his songs, should also think that it is not enough to love the poet’s works; it is also necessary to preserve what inspired much of his work.
BEN is glad that the media has recently become more sensitized about industrial pollution killing the rivers and water bodies in Dhaka and elsewhere. BAPA and BEN have been warning about this consequence for a long time now. BEN hopes that the current media attention will prompt the government and other responsible parties to take appropriate steps.
BEN greets all Rabindra-lovers on this anniversary, and it hopes that the poet’s birthday will inspire them to join the environment movement to save what Rabindranth loved so much.