?Kavi Guru? Rabindranath Tagore - History And Achievements

Kavi Guru Rabindranath Tagore

Today you will be learning about Kavi Guru Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore was a bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist and painter who introduced new prose and verse forms into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th century India. In 1913, he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was born on 7 May, 1861 to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi in the Jorasanko mansion which is the ancestral home of the Tagore family in Kolkata. He was the youngest child. He lost his mother when he was very young and his father was a traveler. He was mostly raised by his servants and maids. At a very young age, he was a part of the Bengal renaissance and his family was actively involved in it. At the age of 8, he started writing poems and by the age of sixteen he also started composing art works and started publishing his poems under the pseudonym Bhanusimha. In 1877, he wrote a short story 'Bhikharini' and in 1882 the collection of poems 'Sandhya Sangit'.

He was influenced by the classical poetry of Kalidasa and started writing his own classical poems. His sister Swarnakumari was a well-known novelist. In 1873, he toured with his father for several months and gained knowledge on several subjects. When he was at Amritsar he learned Sikhism and pen down around six poems and many articles on the religion.
Rabindranath Tagore is the only person to have written the national anthems for two different countries. He wrote ?Jana Gana Mana,? the national anthem of India and ?Amar Sonar Bangla,? the national anthem of Bangladesh.

In 1901, Tagore founded an experimental school in rural West Bengal at Shantiniketan (?Abode of Peace?), where he sought to blend the best in the Indian and Western traditions. He settled permanently at the school, which became Visva-Bharati University in 1921.

From 1912, Tagore spent long periods out of India, lecturing and reading from his work in Europe, the Americas and East Asia and became an eloquent spokesperson for the cause of Indian independence.

In 1919, Tagore returned his knighthood in protest at the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, in which many peaceful Indian protesters were killed.
Tagore was a polymath, and towards the end of his life he took up art and also pursued an interest in science. Tagore wrote songs and articles in support of the general principle of the Indian independence movement.

Rabindranath Tagore: Literary Works

? Japajog: Published in 1929, His novel is a compelling take on marital rape.
Nastanirh: Published in 1901. This novel is about relationships and love, both requited and unrequited.

? Ghare Baire: Published in 1916. It is a story about a married woman constricted in her household trying to find her own identity.

? Gora: In 1880s, it is an expansive, exhaustive and extremely relevant novel which deals with several themes like religion, gender, feminism and also tradition against modernity.

? Chokher Bali: In 1903, a novel which consists of various facets of relationships.

? His short stories are Bhikarini, Kabuliwala, Kshudita Pashan, Atottju, Haimanti and Musalmanir Golpo etc.

? Poems are Balaka, Purobi, Sonar Tori and Gitanjali.

No doubt he has changed the dimensions of Bengali literature as it was earlier viewed. Many countries have even erected his statues to pay tribute to the legendary writer. Around five museums are dedicated to Tagore out of which three are situated in India and remaining two in Bangladesh.

He spent his last years in severe pain and even in 1937, he went into a comatose condition. After lot of suffering, he died on 7 August, 1941 in the Jorasanko mansion in which he was brought up.

How is ?Rabindra Tagore Jayanti? celebrated?

In different parts of West Bengal, this day is celebrated with splendor on 7th May. Various cultural events pertaining to Tagore?s works are performed in schools, universities, and even in localities. Dances, dramas, songs, and recitals form an integral part of these events. Foreigners studying in Visva-Bharati University also partake in these events. Various events are organised in Jorasanko Thakur Bari, where Rabindranath was born.

How you can celebrate ?Rabindra Tagore Jayanti??

To be a part of the massive celebrations, you can do the following:

? In India, you can explore your city for literary and cultural events celebrating Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti. You can also plan a trip to Kolkata or Shantiniketan (165 kms from Kolkata) to take part in the festival.

? You can stay at home and listen and play songs by Rabindranath Tagore.

? However, if you are staying abroad check for Bengali communities as a lot of cultural programs are organised by them.

Get out your highlighter and mark the date on your calendar. Try and participate in one of the best literature induced cultural fests in the country.

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