‘Jana Gana Mana’ is our national anthem, whose words are deeply imprinted in every Indian’s heart. It was written by none other than the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore was highly prolific and is credited with writing the national anthem for not just India but Bangladesh too.
Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta (Now Kolkata), West Bengal. He wrote his first poem at the age of 8, a source of inspiration for children like us who also like to write. At the age of 16, his first book of poetry was published. Soon, he began to write short stories and dramas. The most admirable quality about him is that he used his extraordinary talent of writing to fight for India’s freedom from the British. He proved through his impactful writing that the pen is mightier than the sword.
One thing that some may not know is that he wasn’t just a poet and writer. He was a musician and painter as well. In a few years, word about his exceptional talents had spread far and wide and he was praised by people across the world.
In November 1913, Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work titled ‘Gitanjali: Song Offerings’. He was not only the first Indian but also the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize. He was a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain. Tagore was called the Bard of Bengal and was also known by the nicknames Gurudeb, Kobiguru, and Biswokobi.
He was awarded a knighthood by King George V in 1915. In 1919, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre happened, a painful chapter of our history, where the British opened fire on peaceful protesters killing a large number of them in an inhumane manner. He decided to stand by his fellow Indians and renounced the title in protest.
Tagore was passionate about education and was against rote learning. In 1919, he founded the ‘Visva-Bharati university’ in Santiniketan with the dream of creating a world class institution with focus on real learning.
Thanks to his talent of music and patriotism, he wrote the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.
Did you know that Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein met each other two times to discuss whether the world is dependent on humans or not? Both conversations were recorded and are widely read even today.
Tagore shaped Bengali and Indian literature with his powerful words. We bow with respect to such a great personality.