Kolkata: Jorasanko Thakur Bari bears a deserted look on the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary after all programme cancelled during the extended nationwide lockdown imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, in Kolkata on May 8, . Image Source: IANS News

Agartala/Guwahati, May 8 : Amid the nation-wide lockdown to battle the COVID-19, the celebrations of the 159th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on Friday were very modest in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and other northeastern states.

To maintain the social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines, the birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet was observed in a less colourful manner with most places the event was on an average 30 to 40 minutes instead of day-long or week-long celebrations, held during the past several decades.

"Unlike previous years, there was no major celebration as no gathering was allowed by the government due to the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown related rules," an Assam Cultural Affairs Department official said in Guwahati.

Except in few places, in many areas there were no stage and no singing programme in the northeastern states. The world famous bard Rabindranath Tagore had visited and stayed in Agartala (Tripura) and Meghalaya's Shillong (when the city was the capital of undivided Assam) several times between 1899 and 1927.

Tagore's close relations with the princely state of Tripura and its four successive tribal kings form an important chapter in the state's history. This relationship prompted him to visit the state as many as seven times between 1899 and 1926.

Tripura based Northeast India's largest cultural body "Chhandaneer" had been celebrating Rabindra Jayanti for the past five decades with the presence of artists and performers from Bangladesh, Kolkata and Assam, but this year it was a very simple event inside a small room.

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