Last updated: August 06, 2022 7:20 AM IST
Death Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore: The Bengal poet, Rabindranath Tagore, was a world-class poet, composer, playwright, painter, and social reformer among others. His poetry collection, Gitanjali, brought about a paradigm shift in Bengali literature, while his songs did the same for Bengali music. On the eighty-second anniversary of his death, we take a look at some of the lesser known facts of his life.
Tagore was born on May 7, 1861, and died on August 7, 1941 at the age of eighty. He was diagnosed with severe uremia and obstruction of the urinary bladder. Dr. Jyotiprakash Sarkar and Dr. Bidan Chandra Roy insisted that he undergo surgery against his will on July 30, 1941. The complications of the surgery led to his death a week later.
Whether it is the anniversary of his birth or death, the life of Rabindranath Tagore is worth celebrating. Not just literature, music or art, his philosophies have influenced generations of Bengali people and people across India.
Lesser known facts
- Tagore was the first lyric poet to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1913), after his collection of poetry, Gitanjali, was published in English in 1912. Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote the foreword to this edition of Gitanjali. The Nobel medal was stolen in 2004.
- Tagore did not like the Western way of teaching or teaching in rooms. He founded Visva Bharati University with Nobel Prize money and taught his students outdoors.
- In 1915, Tagore was awarded a knighthood by King George V for his contributions to literature. In 1919, a British general named Reginald Dyer ordered his forces to shoot a crowd of peaceful protesters in Jallianwala Bagh, Punjab, causing nearly 1,000 deaths. Tagore responded by renouncing his knighthood.
- The national anthem of India ‘Jana Gana Mana’, adopted on January 24, 1950, forms the first stanza of Tagore’s Bengali poem, ‘Bharuto Bhagyu Biddhatta’ (1911). He also wrote the national anthem of Bangladesh “Amar Sonar Bangladesh”.
- Tagore suffered the deaths of his mother, sister-in-law, daughter, father and son. He began to believe in a supreme deity which he called “Giban Devata” or the Lord of Life. The source of creativity and spiritual bliss.
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