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Rabindranath Tagore

Focus: GS I- Personalities in news, History

Why in News?

PM has paid tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on Tagore Jayanti (May 9th).

About Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Ji

  • The Rabindranath Tagore Ji was a Bengali poet, writer, composer, philosopher, music composer and choreographer, founder of a unique educational institution Visva Bharati and a painter.
  • He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Popularly known as ‘Gurudev’, he was born in an affluent Family.
  • He was also called the ‘Bard of Bengal’.
  • He was knighted by the British government in 1915, but he later renounced it protesting against the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
  • He was a widely travelled person and had been to over 30 countries in 5 different continents.
  • He met many other eminent personalities like Albert Einstein, Romain Rolland, Robert Frost, G B Shaw, Thomas Mann, etc.
  • He had spoken at the World Parliament for Religions in the years 1929 and 1937.
  • The Tagore Ji’s birth anniversary is celebrated by Bengalis all over the word as Rabindra Jayanti.
  • It is marked on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boisakh (falls in early May in the Gregorian calendar), it is celebrated in Bangladesh also.
  • A period of prolonged agony ended with Tagore’s death on 7 August 1941, aged 80.

Contributions of Gurudev Ji

  • The Tagore Ji began writing poetry at the tender age of eight years old and at 16 years of age, Tagore released his first collection of poems under the pen name ‘Bhanusimha’.
  • He became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature when he won the award in 1913 for his translation of his own work in Bengali, Gitanjali.
  • In 1918, he founded the Vishwabharati University at Santiniketan.
  • The Tagore JI is responsible for modernizing Bengali prose and poetry.
  • His notable works include Gitanjali, Ghare-Baire, Gora, Manasi, Balaka, Sonar Tori, he is also remembered for his song ‘Ekla Chalo Re’.
  • The Tagore Ji is said to have composed over 2000 songs and his songs and music are called ‘Rabindrasangeet’ with its own distinct lyrical and fluid style.
  • He started the Rakhi Utsav where people from Hindu and Muslim communities tied colorful threads on each other’s wrists.
  • His poems and songs infuse people with a feeling of patriotism and love for the motherland.
  • His novels, dances, dramas, essays, dance-dramas and stories cover a wide range of topics from personal to political.
  • The national anthems of both India and Bangladesh were composed by Tagore. (The India’s Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangla.)
  • The Sri Lankan national anthem is also said to have been inspired by Tagore Ji.

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