Rabindra Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the creative literary genius. A great poet, music composer, novelist, playwright, painter, humanist, philosopher, scholar and social reformer, Rabindranath was all in one.
Rabindranath was born on May 7th 1861. However, Rabindra Jayanti is celebrated on his birthday in the Bengali calendar, on the 25th day of Baisakh. Usually, the day falls on either May 8th or 9th.
Tagore’s writings brought in a distinct change in style, which was heavily influenced by the classical Sanskrit form. His writings had a colloquial flavor and expressed human sentiments, which touched people deeply. Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems titled Gitanjali.
Rabindra Jayanti Celebrations
Special programmes are organized on Rabindra Jayanti. Schools, colleges, local communities and several households celebrate the occasion with his songs, poetry recitations, and dance. In many places in Bengal, children go around their locality from early morning hours, singing Tagore songs.
Rabindranath: Glimpses of his Life
Youngest among his siblings, Rabindranath lost his mother at a very young age. His father used to travel a lot, and so he was mostly raised by his maids and servants.
Rabindranath Tagore began writing verses early, at the age of 8, but his father, Debendranath, wanted him to be a barrister. So he was sent to a public school in Brighton in England. Later, he enrolled for a degree in law at the University College of London. However, Rabindranath left London without completing the course and returned to India. While in London, he spent more time studying Shakespeare and moving around in literary circles, something that was close to his heart.
He was then sent to manage the family’s vast estates in Shelaidaha, now in Bangladesh. His benevolent attitude quickly made him a favorite among the ordinary people living in the estates. As a result, many of their dues were exempted. His stay in Shelaidaha was an excellent creative period for Rabindranath. References to the people and the region’s natural beauty found their reflection in many of his later creations.
Rabindranath: Interesting Facts
- Two national anthems, Indian and Bangladeshi (Amar Sonar Bangla), are his creations.
- Rabindra Nath was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize.
- We all refer to Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi, the father of the nation as Mahatma Gandhi. It was Tagore who first called Gandhiji a Mahatma.
- In 1919 he repudiated the knighthood given to him by the British Government as a protest against the Jallianwala Bagh killings.
- He started an open school providing holistic studies and personal guidance at Shantiniketan in West Bengal in 1921. The school has now become a prominent University of India, Viswa Bharati.
Tagore’s work teaches us human values and care for others in society. But unfortunately, translation issues limit his works to only a section of the people in India.
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