Rabindranath Tagore 158th birth anniversary: Facts that you didn''t know about India''s first Nobel laureate As the nation remembers ‘Gurudev’, here are some little-known facts about him...
Today marks the 158th birth anniversary of India’s first Nobel Award winner Rabindranath Tagore. From his poetries, to easys, to his songs & paintings, Tagore has a great contribution to Indian literature, music, as well as art
Rabindranath Tagore is famous by many names - Gurudev, Kabiguru, Biswakabi and often referred as "the Bard of Bengal".
As the nation remembers ‘Gurudev’, here are some little-known facts about him...
1. The man who composed National Anthems for 3 nations
Do you know that the literary icon is father to national anthems of three nations of Indian sub-continent? From India’s ‘Jan Gan Man’, to Bangladesh’s ‘Amar Sona Banlga’, Sri Lanka’s national anthem is also based on Tagore’s poem. It is said that Tagore’s Bangla poem was translated in Sinhalese and adopted as national anthem in 1951.
2. The man who conferred title of ‘Mahatma’ to Father of Nation
The special bond shred between Bapu and Tagore is well-known. However, little do people know that it was ‘Gurudev’ who conferred the title ‘Mahatma’ on the Father of Nation.
3. The beautiful friendship with Albert Einstein
Tagore and Einstein met four times between 1931 and 1931. Not only did they revere each other, but they also shared common interest of music and curiosity for general things. In describing Einstein, Tagore wrote, “There was nothing stiff about him - there was no intellectual aloofness. He seemed to me a man who valued human relationship and he showed toward me a real interest and understanding.”
4. The bard who was music icon
From his iconic body of work in field of literature, Tagore was also a well-known expert in music. Gurudev wrote more than 2,000 songs, which are now known as ‘Rabindrasangit’. Several of them are inspired by his travels. He was also highly influenced by the up-beat English, Irish and Scottish folk music that he often listened to along with Hindustani classical music.
5. World traveller at heart
Tagore travelled to over 30 countries on five continents in a little over five decades in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. The more he travelled, the more he fell in love with the concept of internationalism.
6. When Tagore returned his Knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Bagh massacre
On May 31st, 1919, a month after Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Tagore renounced his 1915 knighthood. In his letter to the viceroy, Tagore wrote” The time has come when the badge of honour makes our shame glaring in their incongruous text of humiliation, and I, for my part, wish to stand shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.”