Maintaining social distancing guidelines, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee celebrated the 159th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore in Kolkata on Friday along with junior state cultural minister Indranil Sen. While every year, several cultural events are organised right on the Cathedral Road, this year saw low key celebrations at Cathedral Road. Also Read - Preparations in Full Swing as West Bengal to Resume Domestic Flight Operations From Tomorrow

Mamta garlanded the statue of Tagore at the Rabindra Sadan complex. Sen played host as various artistes joined hands to perform virtually, responding to the call of the state government. Standing right at the venue at Cathedral Road, in front of the Bangla Academy, Sen conducted the virtual cultural programme via video conferencing which saw various singers, dancers and film personalities perform their act from their respective homes. Amid the corona scare, the occasion was celebrated in an unprecedented manner. Also Read - Domestic Flights to Andhra Pradesh From Today, West Bengal Issues Guideline as Flights to Start From May 28

An official statement had informed earlier, “Rabindra Jayanti will be observed by the state government at 4 PM on May 8 at Cathedral Road in the southern part of the city. The honourable chief minister will remain present at the programme. There will be no big celebrations like other years as no gatherings will be allowed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The chief minister will only garland the statue of Tagore. There will be no stage and no singing programme.” Also Read - Fighting COVID-19 And Amphan Simultaneously, Bengal to Resume Domestic Flight Operations From May 28

Rabindranath Tagore was considered a Nobel laureate, genius poet and the man behind composing India’s national anthem. He was given a nickname by Mahatma Gandhi and was called Gurudev with love and respect. He contributed in reshaping Bengali literature and played a catalyst in the nationalist movement with his poems and music.

Born in 1861 in Calcutta, he was the youngest of 13 children in the Jorasanko mansion and is widely known for authoring Gitanjali which made way for him to become the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in literature. He is also referred to as the ‘Bard of Bengal’. He even expanded his fathers Santiniketan to what came to be as the Visva Bharti University.