Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir will inaugurate the long-pending joint retreat ceremony on the zero line of India-Bangladesh border at the Petrapole-Benapole IB Wednesday.
The ceremony would create an “environment of friendship” through the common culture shared by both the countries.
“It is perhaps for the first time that border security forces of two neighbouring countries have joined hands to promote peace, harmony and mutual understanding between the people of two countries by involving culture instead of encouraging animosity. I have been asked by DG, BSF and DG, BGB to create a composition using the common culture of two Bengals. This is a dream come true for me,” said B D Sharma, Additional Director General, Border Security Force.
Sharma said the ceremony would be unlike the one that takes place at Wagah-Attari border between India and Pakistan.
“While the Wagah- Attari border retreat ceremony between India and Pakistan is known for its aggressive mood and body language, the Indo-Bangla joint retreat ceremony would be a form of cultural treat to both the countries, giving a message of “ mutual understanding,”
According to BSF officials, around 25000 people from both countries would witness the ceremony. It would be followed by a cultural programme that will include Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul songs, recitations from poet Jibananda Das as well as old Sufi poets of Bengal like Lalon Fakir.
Children from villages of both countries will perform at the programme while songs recorded by ADG Sharma and Rezwana Banya Choudhury, an eminent singer from Bangladesh, will be played.
The dance has been choreographed by danseuse Alokanada Roy.
The retreat ceremony was supposed to be held on October 2, but it had to be postponed due to inclement weather.