Roughly four kilometres from Eden Gardens, near the Sealdah Railway Station, is the Father of the Nation Statue. Backdropped by the flags of their respective nations are the busts of Mahatma Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his Bangladesh counterpart, side by side. There are several other memorabilia of Rahman too in the city, where he spent considerable years of his youth. A biopic of his, directed by Shyam Benegal was screened in the city, where its lead actor Arifin Shuvoo, said: “People of Bengal will emotionally connect more with this film than their counterparts in Bangladesh.”
There are still resplendent social, linguistic, cultural and political affinities between West Bengal and Bangladesh. The national anthem of both countries was penned by Rabindranath Tagore, who spent much of his lifetime in Shilaidaha, a town in Bangladesh, where a three-day celebration is held on Tagore’s birth anniversary. The city was the capital in exile for the first Bangladesh government, and at 8 Theatre Road, there is a Mujibnagar Memorial Monument and Complex in remembrance of the signing of the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender. Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bangladesh’s national poet, is still a revered literary figure in the city.