Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is on a two-day official visit to Kolkata from Friday at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present as the guest of honor at the convocation of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan and will receive the honorary Doctorate of Literature (DLIT) at Kazi Nazrul University in Asansol. During her visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the newly constructed Bangladesh Bhaban at Santiniketan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present on the occasion. After that, a bilateral meeting of the two Prime Ministers will be held there. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s stay in Kolkata adds another dimension, a curiosity. Among the foreign missions, the Bangladesh Mission in West Bengal, India is the first foreign mission to fly the Bangladeshi flag. Is the Prime Minister going to that house in Kolkata on his current visit?
On 16 April 1971, the then Deputy High Commissioner M Hossain Ali, along with 75 Bengali officials and employees, expressed his full allegiance to the expatriate government and the Mujib Nagar government. He hoisted the national flag of Bangladesh at the head of the Pakistani mission. As a result, the Pakistan embassy became the Bangladesh mission in an instant. Instead of renaming the Pakistan embassy, the name plate of ‘Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission’ was unveiled there.
Jinnah’s picture was removed from the central hall of the newly formed Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission and a picture of President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was hung there. It was a historical event in the freedom struggle which served as a source of inspiration for the heroic freedom fighters of Bangladesh. Then he set up a ‘Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission’ there. As a result, a secretariat set up by the Bangladesh government was set up. Then Mr. M Hossain Ali, as the head of the mission, played a very important role in shaping the world public opinion towards the freedom struggle of Bangladesh by conducting diplomatic activities with the outside world during the nine months of the liberation war.
M. Hossain Ali Welfare Foundation Secretary General M. Talking to Habibullah Habib about the Prime Minister’s visit to Santiniketan, he said, “We are very proud of the inauguration of ‘Bangladeshi Bhaban’ in Santiniketan and at the same time we are grateful to the Prime Minister and daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina and the Government of India.” At the same time, I would like to pay my respects to the Hon’ble Prime Minister for visiting the Bangladesh Mission Building, which is steeped in the memory of the Great Liberation War, and for paying homage to the memory of Bengali diplomat M Hossain Ali who made an outstanding contribution to the Liberation War.
It may be mentioned that during this visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Jorasako’s Thakurbari. Later, the leaders of the Kolkata Chamber will meet the Prime Minister of Bangladesh at Hotel Taj Bengal. The Prime Minister will leave for Asansol on Saturday. Kazi Nazrul University will confer an honorary degree on Sheikh Hasina at a special convocation there. After her speech, the Prime Minister will award gold medals to the meritorious students. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Education Minister will address the function. He will then return to Kolkata to visit the Netaji Subhas Bose Museum. The Prime Minister will return to the country tomorrow Saturday night.