- Birth anniversary of India’s first Nobel Award winner Rabindranath Tagore was observed recently (May 7th).
About Rabindranath Tagore
- He was born on 7 May 1861 to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi in Kolkata (Calcutta).
- He is popularly known as ‘Gurudev’.
- He was primarily known as a writer, poet, playwright, philosopher and aesthetician, music composer, choreographer, and painter.
- He was influenced by the classical poetry of Kalidasa and started writing his own classical poems.
- He released his first collection of poems under the pen name ‘Bhanusimha’ at 16 years of age.
- He published several books of poetry in the 1880s and completed Manasi (1890), a collection that marks the maturing of his genius.
- He wrote the National Anthems of India and Bangladesh.
- He wrote the song Banglar Mati Banglar Jol (Soil of Bengal, Water of Bengal) to unite the Bengali population after the Bengal partition in 1905.
- He also wrote the famed ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ which helped ignite a feeling of nationalism amongst people.
Role in the freedom struggle
- He started the Rakhi Utsav where people from Hindu and Muslim communities tied colourful threads on each other’s wrists.
- He denounced British imperialism, yet he did not fully support or agree with Gandhi in the Non-cooperation Movement.
- He viewed British rule as a symptom of the overall “sickness” of the social “disease” of the public.
- He renounced the knighthood that had been given to him by Lord Hardinge in 1915 in protest of the violent Amritsar massacre in which the British killed unarmed Indian citizens
- In 1913, he became the first Indian to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature for his novel ‘Geetanjali