Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is an annual celebration of the birth anniversary of the legendary Indian poet, writer, philosopher, and polymath Rabindranath Tagore. He was born on May 7, 1861, in Kolkata, India. The day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence across India and among the Indian diaspora worldwide.
Tagore’s Early Life and Education
Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi welcomed Rabindranath Tagore into the world on May 7, 1861 at the Jorasanko house in Calcutta, the Tagore family’s ancestral home. He was one of thirteen children, the youngest son. Despite the fact that the Tagore family was large, he was largely reared by maids and slaves because his father was a frequent traveller and his mother passed away when he was still a young child.
Rabindranath Tagore was a youthful participant in the Bengal Renaissance, in which his family actively participated. He was a child prodigy as well because he began writing poetry at the age of 8. He also began creating art at a young age, and by the time he was sixteen, he had begun writing poetry under the pen name Bhanusimha. In addition, he published the poem collection “Sandhya Sangit” in 1882 and the short story “Bhikharini” in 1877.
Classical Poetry inspired him
Reading Kalidasa’s classical poetry provided him with inspiration, which led him to begin writing his own. His brothers and sisters served as some of his other sources of inspiration. While Satyendranath, one of his brothers, held a well-regarded job, his older brother Dwijendranath was a poet and philosopher.
His sister Swarnakumari was a well-known writer. Tagore received the most of his education at home and received instruction from his siblings in a variety of areas, including gymnastics, martial arts, art, anatomy, literature, history, and maths. He traveled the nation with his father for several months in 1873. Throughout his travels, he gained knowledge in a variety of areas. His time in Amritsar gave him the opportunity to study Sikhism, which he later used to inspire up to six poems and numerous articles about the faith.
Tagore was never interested in learning at school
The traditional education of Rabindranath Tagore began in a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England. His father intended him to become a barrister, therefore he was sent to England in 1878. Later, he was joined by some of his family members to help him during his stay in England, including his nephew, niece, and sister-in-law.
Rabindranath never had any interest in learning from his school because he detested conventional education. Later, he was accepted into the University College in London, where he was required to pursue a legal education. But he abandoned his studies once more and studied several Shakespearean plays on his own. After mastering the fundamentals of Scottish, English, and Irish music and literature, he went back to India and wed Mrinalini Devi when she was just ten years old.
Tagore’s literary career
Tagore’s literary career spanned over six decades, during which he wrote in Bengali and English. He was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems, Gitanjali. He was a versatile writer who experimented with different genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, and essays.
Some of his notable works include The Home and the World, Ghare-Baire, The Post Office, and Chokher Bali. Tagore’s literary works are known for their lyrical beauty, humanism, and universal appeal.
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His writings reflect his deep understanding of human nature, his quest for spiritual enlightenment, and his concern for social issues such as poverty, education, and gender equality. His works also celebrate the beauty of nature, the importance of cultural diversity, and the need for a harmonious coexistence between humans and the environment.
Tagore as Social Reformer
Apart from his literary contributions, Tagore was also a social reformer who worked tirelessly to promote education, social justice, and cultural harmony. He founded the Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, which aimed to provide a holistic education that combined Western and Indian traditions. The university became a centre of art, culture, and education, attracting students and scholars from all over the world.
Tagore as Freedom Fighter
Tagore was also a vocal critic of British colonial rule in India and a supporter of Indian independence. He was a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and he played an active role in the Indian freedom struggle. He was also a strong advocate for global peace and a vocal critic of war and violence.
The final four years of Rabindranath Tagore’s life were spent in excruciating suffering, and he battled two long illnesses. He fell into a comatose state in 1937, which returned three years later. Tagore passed away on August 7, 1941, in the same Jorasanko home where he was raised, after enduring an extensive amount of pain.
Significance of Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti
Rabindranath Tagore was a towering figure in Indian literature, music, and art. He was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, and his works have been translated into many languages. He is considered the father of Bengali literature. Rabindranath Tagore’s impact on Indian culture and literature is immeasurable.
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He was a visionary who used his literary talent to promote humanism, cultural diversity, and social justice. His writings continue to inspire people all over the world, and his legacy is a testament to the power of literature in promoting a better world.
Celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti
Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm in India and around the world. It is a public holiday in West Bengal, where Tagore’s works are recited and celebrated. People also organise cultural events, poetry recitals, and musical performances to honour Tagore’s legacy.