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 150th Birth Anniversary of RABINDRANATH TAGORE

rabindranath tagore akshat's sketch.jpg
The year 2011 marks the 150th birth Anniversary of the monumental Bengali Poet Rabindarnth Tagore. He was the first non-European to be awarded the Literature Nobel Prize in 1913. He wrote the National Anthem  ( Jan Gan man )of India and composed the music for India’s National song( Vande Mataram). Tagore visited more than 30 countries in five continents. ‘Gurudev’  as he is fondly known , said once “the man whose inner vision is bathed in consiousness at once realises the spiritual union which reigns over racial differences”. Tagore held that promoting one’s own cuture and approving the culture of others could be one and the same attitude. This was the substance of many of his essays .  This great Poet, Educationist, Humanist, Philosopher  and founder of Shantiniketan and Vishwabharati  University  was remembered all over the world on 8 May 2011. The celebrations  of The150th birth anniversary of ‘Guru Dev’continued  through out 2011.

Homage To GuruDev

“Where the mind is without fear and the heart is held high,
Where the world is not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls,
Where the words came out from the depths of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habits,
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever widening thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom,
My father let my country awake.”
- Rabindranath Tagore, “Gitanjali”, 1912

Rabindranath by Rohit.jpgMany Indians recognize Rabindranath Tagore as the winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature, and the philosopher who discoursed with Gandhi, Albert Einstein, W. B. Yeats, and other greats of his day. Many more Indians are admirers of his poetry and   artwork. Throughout India, students recognize Tagore as the author of India’s national anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
Despite his fame in other arenas, Tagore’s progressive educational philosophy is largely forgotten today. The experimental models Tagore pioneered in his schools, Santiniketan and Sri Niketan, remain mere experiments. His ideals have not found their way into India’s schools; future generations have returned to rote-memorization as the predominant learning style. The above poem, which outlines Tagore’s vision for an innovative approach to education, is today mindlessly recited in thousands of schools across the country–in ironic contrast to the vision it advocates.
Yet Tagore’s vision for education is one that modern India cannot afford to forget. His creative fecundity was inexhaustible and the unlimited variety of his literary output is so extraordinary that the phrase myriad minded which Matthew Arnold (1822- 88) has used for Shakespeare can appropriately be used for him. His writings include more than one thousand poems and over two thousand songs in addition to a large number of short-stories, novels, dramatic works and essays on the most diverse topics. He took to painting when he was almost seventy and yet produced within ten years about three thousand pictures some of them of exceptional quality. He made notable contributions to religious and educational thought, to politics and social reform, to moral regeneration and economic reconstruction. His achievements in all these fields are so great that they mark him out as one of the greatest sons of India and indeed one who has a message for entire mankind.














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