Rabindranath Tagore


Rabindranath-TagoreRabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) was born in the city of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), at No. 6 Dwarkanath Tagore Lane, Jorasanko Thakur Bari. Rabindranath Tagore is best known as a poet but he was a man of many talents. On the one hand, he was the first Indian to win a Nobel for literature (1913) and on the other, a novelist who wrote and composed an entire genre of songs. He was a philosopher and educationist who established a university that challenged conventional education.

He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education.

In 1901, Tagore left Sheildah. He came to Shantiniketan (West Bengal) to build an ashram. He built a prayer hall, a school, and a library. He planted many trees and built a beautiful garden. There, Tagore’s wife and two of his children died. His father also died on January 19 1905. By this time, he had started receiving monthly income as part of his inheritance. He also started receiving some royalties for his literary works. He had a large following among readers of the Bengali language, as well as other people who knew his works through translations and reviews.

Tagore (who perhaps should be referred to as “Rabindranath”) became famous in the West when he traveled to England and met W. B. Yeats and others, and translated his works into English. He was knighted in 1915-but, after the massacre in India in 1919 of demonstrators, gave up his knighthood. Although he did not agree with all the political activities and nationalistic principles of the movements for independence, he did participate in them along with Gandhi.

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