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On PM Modi Bangladesh itinerary: Bangabandhu memorial, Matua shrine, Satipith temple

Though he arrives on March 26, he will fly off to Orakandi on March 27 and pay respect to Harichand Thakur, the founder of the Matua sect, who was born there on March 11, 1812.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: March 18, 2021 7:03:44 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina (AP Photo/File)

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes to Bangladesh next week, he is likely to visit Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s memorial in Tungipara in Gopalganj district, a sacred shrine of the Matua community in Orakandi and a Satipith temple in Shikarpur. All these places are more than 200 km off Dhaka.

Along with the memorial, he is likely to visit the shrine for the community and the temple on March 27 — the day of the first phase of eight-phase elections in West Bengal.

Though he arrives on March 26, he will fly off to Orakandi on March 27 and pay respect to Harichand Thakur, the founder of the Matua sect, who was born there on March 11, 1812.

Matuas are a Hindu sect, the Namasudras, a scheduled caste group, and are spread across the districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia and smaller parts of Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Cooch Behar and Bardhaman.

This community is said to be quite influential in about 30 seats in West Bengal Assembly constituencies. Estimates suggest there are about 2 to 3 crore people from the community in the region.

Besides, he will also visit the Bangabandhu Memorial in Tungipara, where Bangladesh first leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s father — is buried.

He will also go to “Sugandha Shaktipith” (Satipith) temple in Shikarpur in Barishal district.

Modi is set to visit Bangladesh on March 26-27 at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to join the 50th anniversary celebration of the Independence of Bangladesh, the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu, and the 50th year of Bangladesh-India diplomatic ties.

There are plans of him visiting Rabindra Kuthi Bari in Kushtia (one of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s homes) and the ancestral home of Bagha Jatin, a revolutionary leader against the British rule, in Kushtia, but sources said that time is a major factor.

A source said that it is almost certain that he will visit the three places — the Bangabandhu memorial, the Matua community shrine and the Sati pith temple, but the visits to other places is not yet confirmed.

According to Modi’s two-day schedule, on March 26, he will pay tribute to the martyrs of the country’s liberation war at the National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar and deliver a speech at the National Parade Ground as a guest of honour.

During the visit, Hasina and Modi will inaugurate the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition. They will hold a bilateral meeting and will also inaugurate two memorial postal stamps. Modi will also meet Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid during the visit.

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