Rabindranath Tagore Brief History:
Rabindranath Tagore was a renowned poet, writer, philosopher and Nobel laureate in literature. He was born on May 7, 1861, in a wealthy Brahmin family in Kolkata. His father was Devendranath Tagore, a renowned philosopher and nobleman; his mother was Sarada Devi. He spent his childhood days with joy and profoundly enjoyed the atmosphere around him. He studied law at the University of London in 1880 but did not complete his studies and got back home. Later he chooses his career as a poet and writer. He married Mrinalini Devi in 1883 at the age of 22 years and was blessed with two sons and three daughters.
Rabindranath Tagore Early days:
Rabindranath Tagore’s formal education was completed in the local Oriental Seminary School. But he did not like conventional education and started studying at home under several teachers. At 11, he travelled all over India with his father, Devendranath Tagore, for several months. He visited his father’s Santiniketan estate and Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie.
Child Tagore in Literary works:
There, Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of Kalidasa. Since his childhood days, he has been very talented at writing poetry. So many times, his poetry themes impressed the local people and made them surprised at his fantastic talent. At the very early age of 8, he wrote his first poem. At 16 in 1877, his first short story was published in a local magazine and infused him to write many magnum opuses later. His father had been working in Brahma Samaj, and the religious discussions among the Brahmo Samaj scholars impressed Rabindranath Tagore. He also studied the Sanatana Dharma and understood the concept of God. These ideas made Tagore create excellent and universal subjects in his books. Tagore composed nearly 2,230 songs.
Noble Laureate and as a Poet:
Tagore introduced the Rakhi Bandhan ceremony, the symbol of unity among the people at the time of Lord Curzon’s decision to divide Bengal into two parts in 1905. He also wrote many national songs to infuse the freedom fighters and attended protest meetings.
Gitanjali into the hands of Yeats:
He wrote Gitanjali in 1909 and translated it into English during his visit to London second time in 1912. There he met William Rothenstein, a noted British painter, in London. The impressed Rothenstien made copies of the poems and gave them to Yeats and other English poets. Yeats was passionate about the lyrics and later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali, published in September 1912 in a limited edition. Finally, he got the Noble prize for his book Gitanjali in 1913, and British King George V was awarded a knighthood in 1915. But his knighthood was renounced in 1919 due to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He strongly supported Gandhiji but did not enter into politics.
His Contribution to Bengali Literature:
His Bengal literature brings cultural consciousness through India. He greatly composed the magnum pous Gitanjali, an excellent work combining music and philosophy. They got Nobel Prize in 1913, and he was the first Nobel Laureate in Asia. He also wrote two national Anthems: ‘ Jana Gana Mana’, the National Anthem of India, and Amar Sonar Bangla’, the National Anthem of Bangladesh. In the world, he was the only poet whose poems had been chosen by two different countries.
Educational Reforms and Establishing Santiniketan:
Tagore was interested in education and wanted to bring educational development to rural areas. So he established Santiniketan in West Bengal in 1901 as a small school with only about five students. The same Santiniketan had been developed, reached the strength of nearly six thousand students, and got university status in 1921. He settled near the Santiniketan and tried to reconcile the best of Indian and Western traditions.
Famous Indian leaders and prominent personalities were also studied in Santiniketan. Our former prime minister Indira Gandhi was also a student of Santiniketan. Now the country is recognized as a great university and is supported by bringing many educational and cultural systems to universities.
His Final Days:
Rabindranath Tagore was a precious gem of Mother India. People of India appreciate him for his wondrous works in literature, his life and career and his strong desire to get India free. His contributions to art and literature were marvellous and became a ray to future generations. Such a great Gurudev died in Calcutta on August 7, 1941. He only failed, but his breath always woke up when we sang ‘Jana Gana Mana’.