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25th Baishakh: Exploring the Versatility of Rabindra Genius May 8, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, Literature.
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tagoreToday is 25th Baishakh. It’s the 148th birth anniversary of the greatest poet of Bengal Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The day is coloured with different events including musical soiree, discussion meeting, drama, art competition etc.
Different TV channels also telecasted programs of various types.

But the whole day I was thinking the versatility of Rabindra genius. I doubt one would not get a comparable genius in other literature who has traded all the departments of literature with same mastery. We have seen genius like Shakespaere, Shaw, Ebsen who shine in Drama, seen Shelly, Byron, TS Eliots or Yeats in poetry, Chekob, Tolstoy in novel but Rabindranath is the exception who wrote with equal energy and depth in poetry, songs, story, novel, and essays.

The songs he has wriitten are 2230 in number, they are also of various type ranging from romantic to spiritual, he himself gave tune to the lyrics and in giving the tune he explored the music of both the western and local songs. He had great affection for folk composer Lalon and Hasan Raja’s spiritual songs. The songs of RT are of very meningful, expressive,relevant, thoughtful and intellectual. His songs are more message-oriented and the music is set with the words so the it doesn’t suppress the meaning. The limitation of RT songs is that it is not enjoyed and understood by the general mass.The songs are mainly for the literates.

RT got the Nobel Prize in Poetry in 1913 for his work Gitanjali which he translated to English by himself. The excellence of Rabindra poetry has not yet exceeded by any poet in the language.

Regarding short story it is said that RT would live ages through the short stories he has written and the character he has potrayed in those stories.

His stories are always an important source of script for the Bangali films. He himself play roles in the film in 1930’s.

His dance drama gave a new dimention to this creative art. His songs remain always a strong supporting component to the dance practiced in this part.

His casual artwork, many of which are done on his pieces of poetry created a new line of artistry again depicts his creativity.

He has own his philishopy of life which is scattered in his differents essays and writings. In one word he may be termed as a humanist- he longs for all the good in life and on earth.

His feeling for patrotism was also of high. He rejected knigthood in protest against the killing by the British in Jalinwalabag. He had close relation with Mahatha Gandhi who also visited the BishaBarati. He was also sympathetic to the then nationalist movement.

He has his own thoughts on education out of which he developed his own centre of education of BishaBharati and Santi Niketan. He prefered more natural way of teaching and many comtemporary academics of different countries taught in his institution and the instution is continuing to remain one of the most influencial academy in the subcontinent.

I am impressed by his interest in agriculture and in his attempt to mechanise the agriculture in our country. He also introduced Agricultural Bank in the country to give financial support to the farmers.

He is the only person in the history whose songs are at the same time the national anthem of two different countries – Bangladesh and India.

Though the new generation is trying to develop thier own style of songs and music, the thoughts of RT will always influence them.

An ordinary citizen


1. Global Voices Online » Bangladesh: Rabindranath Tagore, The Versatile Literary Genius - May 8, 2009

[…] 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest poet of Bengal, An Ordinary Citizen explores the versatility of the talented Nobel Laureate. He was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, educationist, […]

2. subhrajit deb - December 12, 2009


3. Suraj Pal - June 29, 2010

he is a real freedom fighter.

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