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Remembering Rabindranath Thakur

Remembering Rabindranath Thakur

The 158th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Thakur [or Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)] will be observed today. Different cultural organisations have taken elaborate programmes to mark the great poet’s birth anniversary.

Cultural affairs ministry will hold daylong celebration programmes at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, featuring performances by renowned Tagore artistes, discussions and exhibitions. Education Minister Dipu Moni will be present as chief guest at the event, to be presided over by state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid. National professor Anisuzzaman and Chhayanaut president Sanjida Khatun will be present as discussants.

A three-day exhibition showcasing replicas of Tagore’s paintings will also be opened at National Art Gallery of the academy.

Marking the day, Bangla Academy will present ‘Rabindra Award’ to professors Shafiuddin Ahmed, and Begum Akhter Kamal and Tagore singer Iqbal Ahmed today. 

Celebration programmes will also be held throughout Bangladesh especially at Rabindra Kuthibari at Shelaidaha in Kushtia, Shahzadpur in Sirajganj and Patisar in Naogaon.

Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Samannay Parishad held a three-day Tagore festival in 4-6 at Shawkat Osman Memorial auditorium at Central Public Library. Rabindra Academy organized a daylong programme on May 5 marking the day.

Rabindranath Tagore, born on Boishakh 25 according to Bangla calendar, was the youngest of the 14 children of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi.

Tagore reshaped the Bangla language and literature in the 19th and 20th centuries through his works in almost all genres of literature. He also left a profound mark on music and performing arts.

The poet wrote over one thousand poems, eight volumes of short stories, almost two dozen plays and playlets, eight novels, and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social issues.

He also composed over two thousand songs and set them to tunes. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. 

Rabindranath wrote his fist poem at the age of eight. He wrote his first substantial collection of poems under the pen name 'Bhanusingho'. 

Rabindranath was a trend-setter playwright as his plays 'Raktokarabi', 'Daakghar' and 'Achalayatan' show.

He was the first non-European poet to win Nobel Prize for literature. He won the prize in 1913 for ‘Song Offerings’, the English version of his collection of poetry ‘Gitanjali’.

Besides, in 1915, he was knighted by King George V, but Rabindranath renounced his knighthood in 1919 following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian peasant demonstrators by British troops.

Tagore founded Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan in 1921 which drew scholars from all over the world.

He died on Aug 7, 1941 at the age of 80.

- Compiled