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Santiniketan, Rabindranath & Bangladesh June 3, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
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One of the greatest achievements of Rabindranth Tagore is transforming Santiniketan, 180 km from Kolkatta  into a great hub of  educational institutions of his time .He first started Pantha Bhavan, a seat of early education. Then in1921 , he transformed it into Visva-Bharati. In his lifetime, many illustrious teachers came to Santiniketan to teach in Visva Bharati. Many brilliant students also studied in this institution. In 1951, Visva-Bharati became Visva-Baharati University. The son of Rabindranath, Rathindranath Tagore became the first VC of the university. BV University is now one of the best universities of India.

The vision of Rabindranath was to develop an institution of education where the students will learn their lessons in a more natural environment. He also thought of the rural people and introduced curriculum which would lead to scientific research in Agriculture.

With time there had been change and extension of Visva Bharati and I am not sure how far the original philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore could have been kept intact.

Recently the PM of Bangladesh expressed in a meeting to establish Santiniketan in Bangladesh. The idea is good but it will be hard to copy the vision of the poet at a time when the state of the universities In Bangladesh is very pathetic. The Government should first try to give a respectable shape to the already running universities in Bangladesh.

An ordinary citizen

Visva- Bharati

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

Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh August 9, 2007

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rabi-2.jpg On the last 6th August, 2007  66th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore  was observed. In Bangladesh the occasion was observed with pomp and pride. The TV channels broadcast different programs, the newspapers and magazines published articles and reviews and different cultural and social organizations exibit  their performances. 

Rabindranath is the greatest poet of Bengal. His wonderful creations not only confined to poetry, he virtually left no field of literature untraded in his lifetime and every field of literature in Bengali was illuminated by his touch whether it is song, story, novel, drama, travel or essays. His influence is such that neither his contemporaries nor the following generation could come out of his style and influence completely.

He is the only Nobel Laureate in Literature in Bengali; also only in the Sub-Continent.  That was in 1913 that he got the prize. After so many years Bengali  language could not produce any giant except Kazi Nazrul Islam, our poet of revolution.

Rabindranath Tagore is not only a poet of West Bengal. He is equally honoured and equally respected in Bangladesh. You cannot confine a language with borders. So he will be read and respected wherever there is Bengali spoken people are staying. Many of his literature were written in Bangladesh territory,in Shilaidaha and Sajadpur. 

Most important, one of his songs ‘Amar Sonar Bangla, Ami Tomai Bhalobashi……’ is the national anthem of Bangladesh.

Rabindranath became a part of  the culture and part of the identity of Bangladesh; religion didn’t  cause any hindrance in this assimilation.