Vol. 5 Num 71 Fri. August 06, 2004  
Front Page

Tagore's 63rd anniversary of death today

The 63rd death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore will be observed today to flash back to a towering literary life spanning over 60 years.

Rabindranath dominates the Bangla literary scene with copiousness of works. He was not only an immensely versatile poet; he was also a great short story writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, and composer of songs, as well as a talented painter.

His essays ranged over literature, politics, culture, social change, religious beliefs, philosophical analysis, international relations, and much else.

Different government and non-governmental cultural organisations have laid out special programmes on the occasion.

After having won world-fame with the mystical-devotional poetry of the English Gitanjali, he dug over much along that particular seam -- a one-sided impression of his work. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913.

Born to a wealthy land-owning family of Bengal, Rabindranath was initiated into art fairly late in his life and painted close to 2,500 paintings.

In 1930, through a series of exhibitions in Paris, London, Berlin, Moscow and New York, the world discovered the poet Rabindranath as an important modern painter.

Politically active in India, Rabindranath was a supporter of Gandhi, but warned of the dangers of nationalistic thought. Unable to gain ideological support to his views, he retired into relative solitude. Between 1916 and 1934, he travelled widely, attempting to spread the ideal of uniting the East and the West.

Only hours before he died on this day in 1941 (Sraban 22 in Bangla calendar), he dictated his last poem.