Sunday, May 9, 2010

Big celebrations have been lined up for the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, with the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and the union culture ministry joining hands to mark the occasion.
A three-day event titled “Rabindra Pranati” beginning Friday will take place in Rabindra Bhavan in Delhi. May 9 is the poet’s birth anniversary

Rabindranath Tagore (8 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), sobriquet Gurudev was a Bengali polymath. As a poet, novelist, musician, and playwright, he reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", in 1913 being the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore was perhaps the most important literary figure of Bengali literature. He was a mesmerizing representative of the Indian culture whose influence and popularity internationally perhaps could only be compared to that of Gandhi , whom Tagore named 'Mahatma' out of his deep admiration for him.

A Pirali Brahmin from Kolkata, Tagore was already writing poems at age eight.At age sixteen, he published his first substantial poetry under the pseudonym Bhanushingho ("Sun Lion") and wrote his first short stories and dramas in 1877. Tagore denounced the British Raj and supported independence. His efforts endure in his vast canon and in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.

Tagore modernized Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to political and personal topics. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and contemplation. Tagore was perhaps the only litterateur who penned anthems of two countries: Bangladesh and India: Amar Shonar Bangla and Jana Gana Mana.

In 1915, Tagore was knighted by the British Crown. He later returned his knighthood in protest of the massacre of unarmed Indians in 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh.

In 1921, Tagore and agricultural economist Leonard Elmhirst set up the Institute for Rural Reconstruction, later renamed Shriniketan—"Abode of Peace"—in Surul, a village near the ashram at Santiniketan.


  • The danger inherent in all force grows stronger when it is likely to gain success, for then it becomes temptation.
  • Our fight is a spiritual fight, it is for Man.
  • I say again and again that I am a poet, that I am not a fighter by nature. I would give everything to be one with my surroundings. I love my fellow beings and I prize their love.
  • Creation is an endless activity of God's freedom; it is an end in itself.
  • Freedom is true when it is a revelation of truth.
  • India has ever declared that Unity is Truth, and separateness is maya.
  • I believe in the true meeting of the East and the West.
  • It hurts me deeply when the cry of rejection rings loud against the West in my country with the clamour that the Western education can only injure us.
  • That which fails to illuminate the intellect, and only keeps it in the obsession of some delusion, is its greatest obstacle.
  • After sixty years of self-experience, I have found that out and out hypocrisy is an almost impossible achievement.
  • Our country is the land of rites and ceremonials, so that we have more faith in worshiping the feet of the priest than the Divinity whom he serves.
  • the religion of economics is where we should above all try to bring about this union of ours ... If this field ceases to be one of warfare, if there we can prove, that not competition but cooperation is the real truth, then indeed we can reclaim from the hands of the Evil One an immense territory for the reign of peace and goodwill.
  • I have no zeal for life. You know the only thing that concerns me? That I have labored so hard to build Viswabharati, wouldn't it have no value after my exit? ... I think I have one reservation regarding death, and that is Viswabharati, nothing else.
  • It's difficult to know a person until he turns twenty-five---difficult to say what would happen to him ... but it is easy to recognize a twenty seven years old--- it can be said he's become what he's supposed to be, and from now on this is how his life would be guided, there's in left anything in his life to get astonished.
  • To enjoy something, it's essential to guard it with the fence of leisure

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