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Rabindranath Tagore – Discovering India’s roots, nationalism & struggle for independence

On the occasion of the 161st anniversary of the birth of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, let’s take a look back at his unrelenting struggle for Indian Independence along with his personal lifestyle.

Rabindranath Tagore was born into a wealthy Bengali culture in Kolkata. Tagores are labeled as Prilalini brahmins and they rejected conventional and orthodox beliefs while emphasizing the liberation of thought through art. Prince Dwarakanath Thakur, the grandfather of Rabindranath Thakur, was known and respected by many British people. Co-founder of “Brahmo Samaj” he heralded a social reform that earned the appreciation of educated and elite Hindu men. He has effectively contributed to 19order The Renaissance century in Bengal, which denied superstitious beliefs, promoted rational thinking and saw the abolition of many social evils such as Sati. His son Debendranath Thakur; Rabindranath Tagore’s father continues to carry on the legacy of Brahmo Samaj.

Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Baeck Institute, F 5343K.

As Western education permeated their veins, the Tagores fostered logic and encouraged women’s education and widow remarriage. Their home became the site of Bengali dramas staged and shown by family members and outsiders alike. Born on 7order In May 1861 Rabindranath Tagore resented institutional education and was tutored at home by his brother Hemendranath. At the urging of his older brother, he composed his first childhood poem, where the lines rhyme according to a pattern.

“Aam sotto dudhe feli
tahate kodoli doli
Aam sotto dudhe feli
tahate kodoli doli
shondesh makhia dia tate
hapush hupush shobdo
charidik nistobodho
pipre kadiya jay pate”

He was brought up in the midst of a flood of literature. His siblings were involved in theatres, composed songs, and were great philosophers. As a poet, playwright, songwriter, essayist, painter, linguist and novelist, he was actively involved in the literary movement Contextual Modernism. . The movement to gather and focus on Santiniketan artists was observed by Kumar as they “considered traditional forerunners in relation to the new avenues opened up by intercultural contacts. They also see it as a historical imperative. They realized that cultural insensitivity had to give way to eclecticism and cultural impurity.”

Tagore wrote poems and songs about animism, modernism, love, nature, and freedom. He sees India as a place strongly influenced by foreigners, who exploit the natives in every possible way. In his poems, he called on the Indians to wake up and rebel for freedom. The first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; He has left millions of people dazzled with his sensitive lyrics and poems compiled in Gitanjali. Known as the “Bard of Bengal”, his poems, short stories, and novels have been translated into different languages ​​and studied around the world. While Tagore’s artifacts continue to be treasured throughout Bengal, it reached a multilingual level when Gulzar, the great poet, filmmaker and writer expressed a love for the Bengali language to read. Tagore. He worked on translating several of Tagore’s poems that were released under the names “Nindiya Chor” and “Baaghbaan”. He quoted, “I firmly believe that Tagore should be taught in schools all over India.”

On a personal level, as a Bengali girl born and raised in Calcutta, I have known Tagore since childhood. While my mother read Tagore’s poems, my institution also had stories written by Tagore in the syllabus. At first, “Hidden Treasure” or “Mritunjaya” didn’t interest me much, and I couldn’t romanticize Tagore like other people usually do. It’s when I’m older and maturity begins to creep into my bones that I’ll re-read Tagore and still be in awe of his philosophical thoughts. His approach to dealing with human relationships and questioning human nature was felt terribly when I read “Nouka Dubi,” “Ghare and Baire,” and “Chokher Bali.” His female characters are sewn with a different thread as he expresses the female mind with absolute perfection and female readers can connect with it. After a long time, I continued to associate Tagore with the Greek character, Tiresias, in such a way that he excels at beautifully illustrating male and female emotions.

As a freedom fighter, Tagore took up the pen to protest against colonialism.

“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not
been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls”

Lifting the spirits of his country’s men through his poems, he went on to design a new India that had been liberated from British domination as he urged his countrymen to wake up. the provincial. His dream was idealized by the Indians when they stopped surrendering to the white domain. Deepened by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place on April 13order In 1919, where a large number of nonviolent protesters were attacked and shot by 50 troops. Tagore expressed his indignation at General Dyer’s infamous order by renouncing the knighthood bestowed by Lord Hardinge in 1915. He accepted the loss his country grieved for. Gandhiji adopted a policy of swadeshi and non-violence, and urged people to burn foreign clothing and wear Khadi. Other respected men and politicians also support this view including Tagore.

However, after a certain time Tagore felt that the reckless burning of foreign clothes had no effect. For a country that is impoverished and men can barely afford food, in such a scenario the squandering of resources does not benefit the marginalized sections of society. Furthermore, he studied the dichotomy in people who accepted swadeshi but instead of embarking on a journey to fight for freedom, they accepted wrongdoings and engaged in making money. Tagore highlighted such a political scenario in his novel “House and the World” (Ghore Baire) and he wrote:

I am ready to serve my country, but my adoration for the Right is far greater than that of my country. To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse to it.

His politics took an uncertain turn with his resentment of European politics and his denial of the Swadeshi movement. His denunciation of the Swadeshi movement was published in his essay, “Charkha Sect”. Here he talks about Gandhi’s policy of non-cooperation and the swadeshi movement. A rivalry and a silent retreat were noticed between the politician and the intellectual as the latter rejected the means of the former. Tagore in his essays and lectures highlighted the Basic British policy of Division and Rule, which incited religious enmity between Hindus and Muslims. Lord Curzon’s decision to partition Bengal in 1904 influenced him deeply and he gave a lecture entitled “Swadeshi Samaj” where he made an alternative decision. His song “Banglar mati Banglar jol” was composed to promote unity among Bengalis. Tagore suggested merging East and West and felt the need to understand each other’s cultures. This is what he considers nationalism and he writes:

What is needed is the eagerness of the heart for effective communication between different cultures. Anything that prevents this is barbarism.

His views on nationalism were made clear in “The Home and the World” where he spoke of a more humane nationalism that would develop with the active participation of all citizens. India. There will be equality in it and both men and women can participate. Thus, Tagore suggested a Utopian world where there would be no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, race or religion. This perfect world can only be built by a man if he is freed from the shackles of not only colonialism but also “deadly habits”. That’s when men can call themselves free.

The institutionalized education did not comfort Tagore much. He hated the corrupt way of the Western education system and went on to write it in his story “The Training of the Parrot”. He feels that nature plays an important role in enhancing the learning process. Since then, he has emphasized learning in the midst of nature. His founding of Viswa Bharati University followed a similar concept and emphasized the idea that educators should act as mentors who will guide students in their spiritual and intellectual development. .

21st century emphasis on the writings of Tagore to better understand the era of Indian Independence. Several authors glorified Tagore in their verses and novels. To this day, he is still an inspiration to thousands of Indians and his works help to develop thought. Viswa Bharati University founded by Tagore is today regarded as the central university of Bengal and it retains the legacies of the Tagorian method of education. The multiracial Bengali has established himself as a successful writer among readers and his poetry resonates with peace of mind in harmony with nature’s symphonies.

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