Rabindra Jayanti celebrates the birth anniversary of the great Bengali poet, scholar, novelist, playwright, humanist, philosopher, and Nobel laureate—Rabindranath Tagore. The day is celebrated in May, on the 25th day of the Bengali calendar month—Boishakh.
Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti in 2020
|7 May 2020||Thursday||Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti|
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A brief introduction to Rabindranath Tagore’s life
Born in an affluent Bengali family, Rabindranath Tagore is best known for his contribution to the field of Bengali literature and politics. His poems, shorts stories, songs (referred as Rabindra sangeet), plays, and novels are still revered and analysed in different fields of art. He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize (1913) for his contribution to world literature.
Tagore penned down “Jana Gana Mana”, the national anthem of India. He also wrote the national anthem for Bangladesh. His other notable works include, Gitanjali, Post Master, Kabuliwallah, Nastanirh, to name a few. His songs like, Majhe Majhe Tobo, Akash Bhara, Amar Hiyar Majhe, Purano Sei Diner Kotha, and Megher Kole, among others are still rendered by notable singers across Bengal and India.
Acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award Winner Satyajit Ray made a few notable movies based on Tagore’s short stories and novels. Tagore also founded the renowned Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal. Rabindranath Tagore never believed in classroom teaching. So, he introduced the idea of classes being held amidst nature, a practice still followed by the University and its students.
During the later stages of his life he was critical of the British rule and renounced “Knighthood” in protest of the Jalianwalla Bagh massacre.
How is Rabindra Jayanti Celebrated?
The day is celebrated with grandeur in different parts of West Bengal. Cultural events pertaining to Tagore’s works are performed in schools, universities, and even in localities. Dances (based on Rabindra sangeet), dramas, songs, and recitals form an integral part of these events. Foreigners studying in Visva-Bharati University also partake in these events. Various events are organised in Jorasanko Thakur Bari, where Rabindranath was born.
College and school functions celebrating Rabindranath’s works are common. You will come across children reciting poems, singing songs, or organising a play based on Rabindranath’s literary work.
Other than the usual celebrations, most of the households in Bengal play Rabindranath’s songs in their home starting from dawn till dusk.
How You Can Celebrate?
Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday is celebrated with joy and happiness. To be a part of the massive celebrations, you can do the following:
- Look for Rabindra Jayanti events happening near your locality and go there to be a part of it.
- If you are staying abroad, check for Bengali communities there. A lot of cultural programmes are organised by such communities.
- If you are in India, plan a trip to Kolkata or Shantiniketan (165 kms from Kolkata) to take part in the festival.
- If you have to stay at home or have some other work on that day, you can still celebrate by listening to or playing Rabindranath’s songs.
So, mark the date and if possible, try to participate in one of the best literature-induced cultural fests in the country.
About Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore was born in a rich Brahmin family in Calcutta and was the youngest sibling in his family. He was a multi-talented personality with a great desire to learn new things. His contributions to the Indian literature and music have been unforgettable. The people not only in West Bengal but also in all regions of the country remember his contributions on his birthday. What was he? Rabindranath Tagore was a well-known poet, novelist, composer and visual artist. In 1913, the most prestigious Nobel Prize was awarded to him for his momentous contributions to the Indian literature. He was the first person from Asia to receive this award.
Many people like reading his novels and short stories even today. He also wrote songs, essays on political and personal issues and dance-dramas. His great works include Ghare-Baire, Gora and Gitanjali. He was globally renowned because of his great writing skills and innovative thinking. Tagore introduced a cultural reform in the country. ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is his best composition. It was adopted as the national anthem of India. The writings of Rabindranath Tagore are a perfect blend of pious theology and the Indian poetry. From the Upanishads and Vedas, ideas were taken by him.
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Works of Rabindranath Tagore
- Dramas: Rabindranath Tagore began writing dramas when he was just sixteen. He was accompanied by his brother Jyotirindranath. The first drama, Valmiki Pratibha, was written when he was 20. Visarjan, which was written in 1890, is one of the best dramas. Other dramas include Chitrangada, Shyama, Chandlika etc.
- Short stories: He started writing small stories at 16. The first short story was released in 1877. He wrote many stories between 1891 and 1895. This period of four years is recognised as Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Sadhana’ period. The famous short stories written by him include Kabuliwala, Kshudita Pashan, Atithi, etc.
- Novel: Undoubtedly, he was a great novelist. He wrote four novellas and eight novels. The famous works of Tagore include Char Odhay, Chaturanga, Noukadubi and Shusher Kobita. Ghare Baire rebukes intensifying terrorism and the religious spirit in the Swadeshi Movement. On the other hand, Gora upswings controversial issues with respect to the Indian individuality.
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