Rabindra Jayanti is celebrated as an annual cultural event commemorating Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary. This day is a reason for joy for Bengalis all over the world. The novelist-musician was born on this day in the Bengali calendar year 1268 (1861 AD). Rabindra Jayanti is observed on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh (commonly known as Pochishe Boishakh in Bengali). The article below covers key facts from the life history of the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore. This topic holds importance in the UPSC CSE, as questions on personalities are sometimes asked in both Prelims and Mains.
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Who is Rabindranath Tagore?
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, writer, and painter who was instrumental in exposing Indian culture to the west. He was acclaimed by W.B Yeats as the finest creative artist of modern India.
- He was born in Jorasanko Thakurbari, Kolkata, to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi on May 7, 1861. According to the Bengali calendar, Tagore was born in 1268. He was the youngest of 14 children.
- He is fondly and respectfully referred to as Gurudev, Kabiguru and Biswakabi.
- Tagore was highly exposed to the world of theatre, recitals (Bengali and Western), classical music and literary debates as a member of the prestigious ‘Thakur‘ family. He advocated for humanism and universalism.
- Tagore was a legendary figure and a significant cultural symbol around the world, revered for his tremendous contribution to the fields of literature, music and art.
- Rabindranath Tagore was a recognised polymath who altered the region’s literature and music on his own. He was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his work on Gitanjali.
- He composed national anthems for two countries, India and Bangladesh, and this inspired a Ceylonese student of his to write and compose Sri Lanka’s national anthem.
- Tagore was awarded ‘Knighthood’ in 1915 by King George V of the United Kingdom. However, he renounced his Knighthood in 1919, following the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre.
- He wrote more than 2,230 songs. They are known as Rabindra Sangeet. Sahaj Path, a Bengali language study book, was written by him. Ghare Baire, Chokher Bali, Jogajog, Gora and Manihara are among his works that are still relevant today.
- Although he was a learned personality with many of his literary accomplishments, he was also a philosopher and educationist who founded the Vishwa-Bharati University in 1921, a university that questioned the conventional education.
- Tagore was a multi-talented man who was a poet, writer, playwright, musician, philosopher, social reformer, educator, linguist and painter.
Read more about Rabindranath Tagore’s Biography, by visiting the linked article.
When is Rabindra Jayanti Celebrated?
- Tagore is deeply ingrained in every Bengali’s heart and spirit. A typical Bangali refers to Tagore and invokes Kobiguru in every event of life, in pleasure, sadness, misery, or suffering, from his short tales to songs and plays.
- Rabindra Jayanti is observed on the 25th day of the Pochishe Boishakh in the Hindu calendar, which is close to May 7 in the Gregorian calendar. Tagore’s birthdate is sometimes confusing, owing to the mismatch in dates between the Gregorian calendar and the Hindu calendar. Rabindra Jayanti will be held on May 9, 2022.
- The Rabindra Jayanti celebrations in Santiniketan in Birbhum, West Bengal, are nothing short of beautiful. Santiniketan was started by Devendranath Tagore and later expanded by Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore established the Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan for the benefit of students and society in terms of culture, socialisation and education.
- A number of cultural programmes and celebrations are planned throughout Bengal to honour Rabindra Jayanti. Tagore-written and composed dances and dramas are frequently performed at school and college gatherings. On Rabindra Jayanti, cultural organisations from all around the world pay tribute to Tagore.
Learn about Mahatama Gandhi’s Early Movements, in the linked article.
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