The Total Solar Eclipse of 22 July, 2009 offered an unprecedented opportunity for the Astronomers of India and Bangladesh to meet together and to interact their feelings to each other. This historic Meeting was held on the afternoon of 21 July in the border between India and Bangladesh near the Pillar No. 433 of India off to the Majhipara BOP about 20km from Panchagarh, Bangladesh.


Bangladesh Team was led by F. R. Sarker, the General Secretary,Bangladesh Astronomical Society and the Indian Team was led by Debasis Sarkar, the General Secretary of Sky Watcher’s Association of North Bengal, an affiliated organization of the Confederation of Indian Amateur Astronomers. Each Team consisted of about 15 members including journalists.

The idea for such a Meeting was proposed by Debasis Sarkar to F. R. Sarker in early July. As there was no precedence of such type of Meeting in No-Man’s Land in the Border between


Bangladesh and India, the proposal appeared to be difficult to implement Further, to obtain formal permission from the governments of both the countries is a cumbersome process and might take months of time. However, in mid July, Debasis informed that he had talked to the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) officials and they have agreed to allow holding of such a Meeting in between Pillar Number 432 and 433. Following his information, official of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Panchagarh was contacted and he also informally agreed to allow Bangladesh


team to cross the Border and to attend the Meeting. Debasis Sarkar was contacted for timing of the Meeting which he fixed up at 5pm Indian Standard Time on 21 July.

On the afternoon of 21 July, Bangladesh Team was escorted by a group of BDR members hoisting Blue Flag from Majhipara BOP and walked about 2 km over the paddy fields. Arriving near to Indian BOP, they had to wait for sometimes to get clearance from BSF as there was no formal exchange


of contacts made between BSF and BDR officials. Eventually, BSF hoisted their Light Red colored Flag indicating the green signal. Both the Teams of Astronomers of Bangladesh and India were escorted by BSF and BDR. They walked for a while to come closer and stood in line about 10 feet in distance between them. Both the Teams carried with them their National Flags and Banners of their Organizations which were hoisted. Then all the members hoisted their hands above and declared


solidarity. The first speech was delivered by Debasis Sarkar, the General Secretary of Sky Watcher’s Association of North Bengal. He emotionally told that as the Sun is one, we are looking at the Sun around the world to observe Solar Eclipse, we are all same, we do not believe in border between India and Bangladesh.

From Bangladesh side, F. R. Sarker, the General Secretary, Bangladesh Astronomical Society told that when we look at the Earth from the Space, we see Earth as one entity without any border. We


human beings are the same species all over the Earth, we are one, we do not believe any border in our planet Earth.

The environment of the Meeting was so emotional that within a few minutes Members of the Teams of both Bangladesh and India forgot their identity , they suddenly closed up and embraced their counterparts as if they have met their closest friends after an interval of many years . It was a historic event and first of its kind when the


civilians of India and Bangladesh met at the border between Bangladesh and India. Debasis Sarker was so happy and overwhelmed with this event that he heavily embraced F.R. Sarker and lifted him about one foot from the ground.

Then there was a Photo Session followed by distribution of home made traditional sweets brought by Bangladesh Team for their friends in India which were enjoyed by all with great laughter and humors. Both the Teams wanted to continue their Meeting but due to security reason it was made short cut.


However, this short Meeting made a great leap for the Astronomers of Bangladesh and India to express their solidarity and friendship in the fields of Astronomical activities with bold conviction in mind that one day our Earth will be a place where people will live without border.