Father of Modernism: Rabindranath Tagore’s 75th Death Anniversary

Rabindranath's cosmic views owed much to the lyric tradition of Vaishnava Hinduism and its notions about the relationship between man and God

Portrait of Rabindranath Tagore. Image source: Wikimedia Commons


” Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high”

For people who love his works, have guessed it by now! The stalwart was a Bengali poet and polymath who reshaped and built Bengali literature in the true sense of the term. Words, however ornamental, we use to describe him; can never defeat the mark he creates on one’s heart and mind, through his works.
Composer of our country’s National Anthem, Rabindranath Tagore died on August 7, the same date, but in 1941. He was Poet, novelist, composer of songs, painter, playwright, educationist, philosopher. Rabindranath Tagore is widely regarded as an eminent personality in Indian history and the greatest multi-faceted polymath India has produced in the last two hundred years. He was the first Asian to receive Nobel Peace Prize for his literature (Gitanjali).

Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in Calcutta as the 14th child of Debendranath and Sarada Devi. His grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore was a social reformer . Tagore began writing poems at the age of eight.

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He wrote his first book, a collection of poems at the age of 17, which was later published in 1901. In the same year, he established a school Visva Bharti outside Calcutta. This school later turned into a Univerity.

Tagore was rewarded with Knighthood in 1915, but in 1919 he surrendered the knighthood as an opposition against the Massacre of Amritsar, in which 400 Indian protesters were killed by the British troops.

Jawahar Lal Nehru with Rabindranath Tagore. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

His literature Gitanjali made him widely popular in the United States and England. His cosmic views owed much to the lyric tradition of Vaishnava Hinduism and its notions about the relationship between man and God. Most of the Tagore’s beliefs developed from the teachings of Upanishads and from his own ideas that God can be found in one way i.e. by serving others and by personal purity.

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He is also a central figure in India’s creative responses to it encounter with the West. The range of Tagore’s creativity is truly astonishing and his work of art have been critical to the evolution of different art forms; besides his literary contributions, Tagore has widely regarded as the ‘father’ of modernism in Indian painting. His significance extends beyond the sphere of arts and literature in the sense that he is also an important milestone in the emergence of a modern Indian identity.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117



  • AJ Krish

    He has shaped our literature and created a path for all the aspiring writers. His philosophy on life is depicted in all of his poems.