Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is the annual commemoration of Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday. Rabindranath Tagore is perhaps India’s biggest literary figure who had left an indelible mark in not only the Asian sub-continent but globally as well.

He was born on the 25th day of Baisakh, according to traditional Hindu calendar and according to Gregorian calendar on the 8th or 9th of May, in the year 1861.

Bengalis all across the world, in particular celebrate this day amidst cultural activities in which they perform various plays, dance dramas, songs and recitations all penned by the Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore himself.


  • Who was Rabindranath Tagore?


Rabindranath Tagore was born in the 1861 in the affluent Jorasanko Thakur Bari to Maharshi DebendranathThakur and his wife Sarada Devi. He was born into a progressive Brahma family, where art and culture played a major role. The Brahmas were also a reformist religious sect. They were the zamindars of various provinces. Under an extremely cultural background, Tagore started writing from a very early age. At the age of seventeen, he went to England to get a legal degree.  He did not enjoy pursuing law and became a student of Prof Henry Morley, and started taking an avid interest in English literature. In 1883 he married Mrinalini Devi, and had five children, amongst whom 2 died suddenly and untimely. His lack of conventional education made his learning and the reflection of life and education unique. His literary works all displayed an amazing in-depth understanding of human psyche and connect with the greater God and nature.


  • How was Viswa Bharati formed?


In 1901 Rabindranath Tagore established an ashram, which gradually became Visva Bharati, an open air unconventional education center, based on the similar lines of Indian Ashram. Breaking the barrier of time, religion and region, the thespian Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore introduced the Raksha Bandhan Utsav, which was a gigantic step towards national integration at a time when the British rulers were breaking India in the name of religion and creed. Rabindranath Tagore inculcated the seeds of nationalist movement with his writings and despite being accorded the highest orders the British Government by conferring Knighthood, remained an ardent nationalist at heart. He renounced his Knighthood protesting against the heinous Jalianwala Bagh Massacre where hundreds of civilians were killed without any provocation.


  • How did Tagore form a bridge between the East and West?


Rabindranath Tagore’s deep eastern mysticism charmed the western hemisphere. Starting from poets to philosophers like W.B. Yeats to Roman Rolland; all became infatuated with his poetry and deep philosophy. Geetanjali, a translation of the same in the name “song Offering” took the world by storm and went on to fetch him the first ever Nobel Prize for an Asian in the year 1921. Gandhiji conferred upon him the title Gurudev. Humbled and moved with Gandhiji’s way of life and thoughts, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore also conferred upon him the adjective of Mahatma- a great soul.


  • What social significance did Tagore’s Vasant Utsav and Rakhi celebrations have in the then Society?


Rabindranath Tagore initiated the Basantotsav on Vasant Panchami, where the student of Vishva Bharati, would celebrate the day irrespective of religion, caste and creed through dance, drama and music. To uphold the same principles he also introduced Rakhi Bandhan Utsav where people took to the streets to tie threads to uphold friendship between people of all cross sections of the society. In his own way, Tagore always tried to break free of social mandates that challenged humanity. He always believed in upholding humanism.


  • When did Tagore leave for heavenly abode?


On a rain drenched 7th of August, 1941 Rabindranath Tagore passed away after suffering from ailments for quite some time.


  • What are Tagore’s contributions in the literary world?


Tagore’s literary works really is difficult to discuss in a short span. He wrote what can be termed as children’s literature (Sahaj Path), drama against social apartheid (Chandalika), various political novels and dramas (Ghare Baire, Achalayatan, Raja and many more). His pen showed a trait far advanced than the time he lived in. the honorary Doctorate degree was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford in the year 1940. His literary works have found a global resonance and worldwide acclaim. Jana Gana Mana penned by Rabindranath Tagore went on to become India’s national anthem, while a song written in the wake of partition, “Amar sonar Bangla” went on to become the National Anthem of Bangladesh, which was to be formed later. His contribution to not only Indian literature, but to world literature is unparallel.


  • How is Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti celebrated?


Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary is commemorated with reverence and amidst literature. The day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and grandeur in the entire west Bengal. Celebrations are organized by the Government as well as various organizations. In almost all the schools and colleges functions are held based on his literary works. Various programs are held where Rabindranath’s songs are sung and his poems are recited. Various programs starting from dawn to dusk are held at the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, where he was born, at Rabindra Sadan- where musical programs are held and at Santiniketan; where he had set up Viswa Bharati. Rabindra Jayanti is celebrated in all the places which have Bengali population, which includes Bangladesh, US, UK and other countries.

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