Foreign dignitaries in the Netherlands paid Himalayan tributes to ‘Bangabandhu’

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was remembered in the Netherlands by the foreign diplomats and dignitaries in a big number as they attended in the first ever art exhibition on Bangabandhu titled ‘Bangabandhu : In Remembrance’ on 28 August 2019 at the Embassy of Bangladesh, The Hague. A sizable crowd of Diplomats and dignitaries attended the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition. 

Ambassadors of the Republic of India, Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of the Sudan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Republic of Nicaragua, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of the Philippines, Malaysia, Republic of Kosovo, Republic of Georgia and Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See as well as representatives from the Embassy of United States, Spain, Russian Federation, Panama and Austria were present in the inauguration ceremony. Chairperson of the Board of Trust Fund Victims H.E Mr. Felippe Micheleni, and other TFV Board Members and representatives from International Organizations were also in attendance.

Former Deputy Mayor of The Hague H. E Mr.  Rabin Baldewsingh and H.E. Mr. Carlos J. Arguello Gomez, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in the Netherlands were the Guest of Honor of the ceremony and joined Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal in inaugurating the art exhibition ceremonially. 

A total of thirty art works of artists from Bangladesh, including art works of celebrated artists Mr. Quayyum Chowdhury, Rafiqun Nabi, Sarbori Roy Choudhury, Murtaja Baseer, Abdus Sattar and Jamal Ahmed etc being exhibited by the Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague in cooperation with Buriganga Arts and Crafts, Dhaka. More than 100 guests, comprising members of diplomatic corps, local media, students, expatriate Bangladesh community gathered in the opening ceremony. 

Ambassador of India to the Netherlands HE Mr. Vanu Rajamony stated Bangabandhu as the greatest Bengali of all time and shared his own memory of “Joy Bangla” moment in his life when he heard, in his own ear, the news of Bangladesh’s independence on 16 December 1971 when he was a boy of eleven years. Terming Bangabandhu’s assassination as history’s one of the darkest chapter, he recalled the days of Bangabandhu’s two remaining daughters in India after the assassination of Bangabandhu. Recalling his time with former President of India Hon’ble Pranab Mukerjee, with whom he have had the privilege of serving as his Press Secretary, Ambassador  Rajamony shared how respectfully Bangabandhu is recalled in the whole of India and indeed in the world. He praised the peace loving people of Bangladesh and urged everybody to draw inspirations from history’s one of the greatest leader – Bangabandhu . Ambassador Rajamony became emotional when he tried to share his experience of his visit to Bangabandhu Museum in Bangladesh years ago. 

Mr. Rabin Baldewsingh, former Deputy Mayor of The Hague in his speech drew reference from former Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Bangabandhu. Mr. Baldewsingh shared Fidel Castro’s famous quote “I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas.” with the audience. Mayor Rabin presented himself as a witness to Bangabandhu’s unmatched love for his people while recalling his recent visit to Bangladesh. Mr. Rabin went to state that although Fidel Castro’s “Himalayas” like Bangabandhu was there, in the state power, only for short time but left an indelible record of serving people with unmatched love and passion. Mr. Rabin, showing a portrait of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam which was among the exhibits in the exhibition, recited Nazrul’s poem“Sammya” in depicting the philosophy of unity and harmony cherished by Bangabandhu throughout his life. 

The Guest of Honor, H.E. Mr. Carlos J. Arguello Gomez, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and H. E. Rabin Baldewsingh, former Deputy Mayor of The Hague congratulated Bangladesh Embassy for organizing such a wonderful art exhibition in the Netherlands to bring life and ideals of  the founding father of Bangladesh- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Mr. Gomez expressed his gratitude for giving him the opportunity to know the “Himalayas of Bangladesh” and thanked Ambassador Belal profusely for giving him the opportunity to know more about a personality like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He agreed with Ambassador Belal that in this time of populism plagued world, leaders like Bangabandhu would have been the right antidote.

Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal while welcoming the international guests to the first ever art exhibition on Bangabandhu in the Netherlands paid tributes to the best Bangalee of all time, the architect of Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ambassador Belal gave a brief introduction to Bangabandhu colourful political life and narrated how Bangabandhu sacrificed his whole life for the welfare of his people. Giving reference to world’s greatest leaders, Ambassador Belal stated that Bangabandhu was as unique in his unequivocal love for his people as history is going to  get ever. If there were any flaws in his character, it was that of his unbound love for his people. Indeed, his people, in return, gave Bangabandhu, what Ambassador Belal termed as ‘childhood of immortality’, as their love for Bangabandhu only growing in esteem and revence as they know more and more about Bangabandhu. Ambassador Belal noted that the canvas of Bangabandhu’s life is too big to grasp in a brief setting like this or in an exhibition or two. He went to state that “childhood of immortality” that people of Bangladesh bestowed on Bangabandhu is a perpetual inspiration for all to continue their quest to know more about him through in-depth research and studies.

Ambassador Belal added that, Bangabandhu’s love, dedication and vision for the country were second to none and the untimely demise of Bangabandhu not only made our development journey challenging but also created a scarcity of leadership in the political system of Bangladesh. However, under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh found its lost hope and a way to turn around. Ambassador Belal also briefly shared milestones of Bangladesh’s development journey under the leadership of Bangabandhu worthy daughter Sheikh and narrated how she turned Bangladesh truly a role model for development to the world. 

Former Dutch Ambassador to Dhaka H.E. Mr. Garben de Jong narrated his own memories during his tenure in Dhaka and informed that he saw spontaneous love and affection of mass people towards their great leader Bangabandhu. He reminisced his visit to Foreign Ministry in Dhaka where had the chance of observing so many beautiful paintings on Bangabandhu. 

Mr. Sulayman, Curator of Buriganga Arts and Crafts, Dhaka presented how contemporary arts are being evolved in Bangladesh and how our contemporary artists are adding new dimensions in this ancient form of art.He thanked the Embassy for taking such an innovative initiative for showing respect towards our father of the nation – Bangabandhu.

Earlier in the day, an art camp for children was arranged involving children of Bangladeshi diaspora. In the camp, conducted by visiting artists Dr. Gopal Chandra Trivedi and Mr. Shafiqul Islam, children put their thought and imagination on Bangabandhu in an innovative and creative display of talent. Both the programs were conducted by Dr. Dilruba Nasrin – spouse of Ambassador Belal.

The exhibition will continue till 30 August 2019.  A large number of visitors are expected to visit the three-day long art exhibition.

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