Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861. He was a poet, musician and artist, he wrote the world famous book "Gitanjali" which is famous worldwide, and it is a beautiful collection of sensitive Bengali poems which won him a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 he was the first person to won noble prize in Asia. He also composed our national anthem - "Jana Gana Mana". Rabindranath Tagore was famous by many other names such as Gurudev, Kabiguru, Biswakabi and often referred as "the Bard of Bengal". Rabindranath Tagore wrote several novels, essays, short stories, travelogues, dramas and songs, he is best known for his poetry. Some of Rabindranath Tagore's best-known works, apart from Gitanjali, include Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World), Chokher Bali, Kabuliwallah, which are world famous.
In February 1873 when Tagore was just 11 Years Old, Tagore went with his father for a tour composing all over India. He covered parts of Amritsar in Punjab with Dalhousie and Himalayan range as part of his journey ended in Shantiniketan his father’s estate. Rabindranath Tagore started his learning at the place unlike other students going to school for learning subjects. Tagore was surrounded with no. of teachers specialized in several subjects that helped him to strongly beloved with Indian literature and moreover a special place in his heart for Bengali writings and also a great interest in English Literature. During his stay at the place Tagore wrote a beautiful poem in Maithili (the language used by people of Mithila) Tagore used structuring of the poem in famous Vidyapati style.
Rabindranath Tagore envisioned at the centre of knowledge where we would have the best of both the eastern and the western. He has established the great Visva Bharati University in West Bengal. Visva Bharati University has two campuses one at Shantiniketan and the other at Sriniketan. Sriniketan mainly focuses on agricultural firm, adultery education, villages, cottage industries and handicrafts. In year 1905 during the start time of the Swadeshi Movement and Boycott movements that started in many parts of Bengal and all over India to resist Sir Lord Curzon’s declaration to separate the province into different states, Rabindranath Tagore had been an important part of the movement both politically and ideologically. He wrote many songs that were sung by several great singers through the streets of Calcutta and travelled extensively to address people on various types of issues. His nephew Mr Abanindranath Tagore has written about one incident that showed the poet in action in one of the earliest examples of mass mobilisation for the cause of Swadeshi in Indo-Pak war for Bangladesh.Tagore’s imagination world bestowed him with talent to compose poem at very early age as he composed his first poem at when he was just 8 years Old and the personal to write several poems about things and nature around and the state of India under British rule were his inspiration to write poems.
Tagore is such a creative and engaging figure – by whatever facet of his work one approaches him – that he has the potential to grip the attention and deepen the awareness of those who encounter him. There is, moreover, a vital link between the person and his multi-faceted work, all of which is subtly interconnected. The work itself, whether in literature, music, visual art, religious or philosophic reflection, sociology-political critique, education, rural development ('reconstruction' as he called it) or whatever else, commands attention and offers much food for thought, refinement of sensibilities, and inspiration for an engaged integrated way of living, private and public. Moreover, as those who saw him and heard him speak in colonial India and throughout his travels have testified, the man himself embodied and resonated the message that he gave, and still gives through his vivid expressive writing.
It is this remarkable integration of diverse modes of creativity and productivity in one individual that makes him potentially so influential a cultural icon. The diversity-cum-coherence of his genius allows him to function not only as a paradigmatic figure in each of several fields of endeavour, but as an iconic exemplar of what it can mean to be integrally human in this complex world.
- By Pallabi Ghosh