West Bengal Celebrates 156th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore

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Rabindranath Tagore, Wikimedia

New Delhi, May 7, 2017: 

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”- Rabindranath Tagore 

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941 C.E.) was a Bengali polymath who rejuvenated Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with contextual modernism. According to English calendar, he was born on 7th May 1861.

He was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, who was a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which endeavoured a revival of the absolute monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads.

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He was home-schooled; and although at seventeen he was dispatched to England for formal schooling, he did not complete his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he looked after the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity, grassroots which dragged him to social reforms. He also established an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education.

Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems, he became rapidly known in the West. His famous works are Gitanjali [1913], Saddhana, The Realisation of Life (1916)The Crescent Moon (1913)Fruit-Gathering (1916)Stray Birds (1916)The Home and the World (1915)Thought Relics (1921).

According to Bengali calendar, he was born on 25th day of Boishakh month, in 1422 Bengali Epoch. His anniversary is observed as per local Bengali calendar. The day of Boishakh 25th currently overlaps with either 8th May or 9th May on Gregorian calendar. However, in other states, Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is observed as per Gregorian calendar on 7th May. In Kolkata, Tagore Jayanti is popularly known as Poncheeshe Boishakh.

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Rabindra Jayanti is an annually celebrated cultural festival, existent among Bengalis around the world, in the reminiscence of Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday anniversary. It is celebrated in early May, on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh.

Every year, many cultural programmes & events, such as : Kabipranam – the songs (Rabindra Sangeet), poetries, dances and dramas, written and composed by Tagore, are organised in this particular day, by a lot of schools, colleges & universities of Bengal, and also celebrated by different groups abroad, as a tribute to Tagore and his works.

Tagore’s birth anniversary is largely celebrated at Santiniketan, Birbhum in West Bengal, chiefly in Visva-Bharati University, the institution founded by Tagore himself with a vision of the cultural, social and educational upliftment of the students as well as the society. The Government of India Issued 5 Rupees coin in 2011 to mark the 150 Birth Anniversary in the honour of Rabindranath Tagore.

– by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse