Rabindranath Tagore Birth Anniversary is on 7th May. He is known as a poet but he has many other talents. He was a writer, song composer, and a painter who has played a main role in modernizing Bengali art. The national anthem of India was originally composed by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali. Today, we’re going to remember him on his 159th birth anniversary.
Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7th May 1861 in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. He was raised by his servants because his mother had died in his early childhood. His father Debendranath Tagore was a Bengali philosopher and was the founder of Brahmo religion. The oldest brother of Tagore was Dwijendranath who was a philosopher, poet, musician, and mathematician. His sister Swarnakumari was a novelist, musician, poet, and social worker. His other brother, Jyotirindranath was also a musician, composer, and playwright. The wife of Jyotirindranath, Kadambari Devi played an important role in inspiring young Rabindranath in composing many of his poems. She was also a good friend of him and was one of the women who played a very important part in his life.
Tagore went to England for formal education in 1878. He was only 17 at that time and was not much interested in school learning. Later, he joined University College in London to learn law but he dropped this learned various works of Shakespeare.
The Establishment of Shantiniketan
Maharshi Devendranath Tagore founded Shantiniketan Ashram in 1863. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore established Shantiniketan as an experimental school. This school was expanded to form the famous Vishva Bharati University, in 1921. The institute alumni include Oscar winner Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen, Gayatri Devi, Abdul Ghani Khan, and Indira Gandhi.
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Popular Works of Rabindranath Tagore
Tagore was mostly known for his poetry, he wrote novels, essays, short stories, dramas, and thousands of songs. Some of his popular works include Gitanjali, Chokher Bali, The Postmaster, Gora, Sadhana, Ghare Baire, and much more. Tagore also wrote autobiographies. He wrote Valmiki Pratibha, his first original dramatic piece when he was 20. He wrote Visarjan in 1890 which has been regarded as his finest drama.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote Gitanjali which consists of 157 poems and all of them are in the Bengali language. Gitanjali is one of the finest works of Tagore. The theme in Gitanjali focuses on devotion to God.
The novel focuses on the story of a woman, Binodini. After the death of her husband she returns to her village and lives there for a couple of months. She stays with her friend however after some time she starts an affair with her friend’s son who is already married.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote Ghare Baire or Home and the World as an autobiographical novel. The novel focuses on the two major themes which are religion and nationalism. Later, Satyajit Ray made a film based on the novel.
Tagore wrote the short story “Bhikharini” (“The Beggar Woman”) when he was only 16. He wrote eight novels and four novellas which include Chaturanga, Shesher Kobita, Char Odhay, and Noukadubi. Ghare Baire (The Home and the World).
Tagore was a creative composer and has almost 2230 songs to his credit. He wrote the national anthems for two different countries, the national anthem of India which is Jana Gana Mana, and Amar Sonar Bangla, which is the national anthem of Bangladesh.
Rabindranath Tagore won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his best-known collection of poetry, Gitanjali. He was the first non-European to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature and second non-European to receive a Nobel Prize after Theodore Roosevelt.