Biography of Rabindranath Tagore | the author of Indian National Anthem
Rabindranath Tagore is a symbol of Indian culture. He was a poet, philosopher, musician, writer and even a teacher. He was honored with the title of ‘Hero’ by King George V of England. Rabindranath Tagore, the founder of Visva-Bharati University, was known as ‘Gurudev’. All his famous albums were called ‘Rabindra Sangeet’. Two Rabindranath Tagore songs composed by him, “Jana Kana Mana” and “Amar Sonar”, are the national anthems of India and Bengal. Read on to know more about one such iconic poet Rabindranath Tagore who composed the national anthem of our country.
|Rvindranath Tagore – phpto credit youtube|
Born: May 7, 1861
Place of Birth: Calcutta
Died: August 7, 1941
Occupation: Poet, writer, philosopher, teacher, painter, freedom fighter, playwright, philosopher
Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861, in Calcutta in a wealthy Brahmin family. He is the ninth son of Devendranath and Sharda Devi couple. His grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore was a wealthy owner and social reformer.
Rabindranath Tagore started his primary education at Oriental Seminary School. But he did not like the traditional education system and started studying at home under several teachers. At the age of eleven, he was given the rite of ‘Upanayana’. He then left Calcutta with his father on 14 February 1873 and toured India for several months. Went to his father’s Shantiniketan park. Later he also stayed in Amritsar before reaching Dalhousie in the Himalayan region. Rabindranath Tagore studied the biographies and histories of many people and studied astronomy, science and Sanskrit at home. He also keenly learned the traditional poems of Kalidasa.
Interest in Writing Poetry
In 1874 Rabindranath Tagore’s poem ‘Abilash’ (Desire) was published anonymously in the magazine Thattopodini. The following year, in 1875, Tagore’s mother Sharda Devi died. Rabindranath Tagore’s first book of poetry, Kabhi Kahini (The Story of a Poet), was published in 1878. In the same year, Tagore along with his elder brother Satyendranath went to England by sea to study law. However, his interest in the research works of Shakespeare and others led him to return to Bengal in 1880 without graduating. Later, he started his career as a poet and writer.
Rabindranath Tagore was married on December 9, 1883, to a 10-year-old girl named Mirunali Devi Rais Chowdhury. They had five children, three daughters and two sons . But two children died before reaching adolescence.
Works by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore wrote a collection of poems, 1884, ‘Gori-o-Kamal’ (Sharp and Flat). He also wrote the plays ‘King-o-Queen’ (King and Queen) and ‘Jadugar’ (Sacrifice). In 1890, Rabindranath Tagore moved to Silidaha (now in Bengal) to look after his family estate.Rabindranath Tagore, taking forward his poetry journey, composed seven volumes of poetry from 1893 to 1900, in which we can mainly include Sonar Tori (Golden Boat) and Kanika.. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore became the editor of Pankadarshan. Based on the ancient Indian ashram system, he established a school named ‘Polpur Brahmasaryashram’ in Shantiniketan. His wife Mirunalini died in 1902. Later, Tagore dedicated a collection of poems to his wife, Smaran (Memory Inch).
Tagore’s role in the partition of Bengal
In 1905, Lord Curzon took the communal decision to divide Bengal into two separate parts in 1905 AD with the aim of breaking Hindu-Muslim unity.. Tagore wrote several national anthems and participated in various protests. He started the ‘Rocky Bandhan Festival’ in Bengal as a symbol of the basic unity of undivided Bengal.
Tagore’s Gitanjali and Nobel Prize
In 1909, Rabindranath Tagore started writing Gitanjali. In 1912 he went to Europe for the second time. During this visit to London, he translated some of Gitanjali’s poems and songs into English. He met William, a respected English painter in London. Rothenstein, greatly inspired by his poetry, copied his poems and gave them to Eats and other English poets. Eats was also very impressed. In September 1912, when Gitanjali was published in London in a limited edition Indian Community, Tagore wrote the foreword. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1915, Tagore was awarded the title of ‘Sir’ by King George of England.
Tagore’s role in the freedom struggle
After the Jallianwala Bagh assassination in 1919, Tagore relinquished the title of “Sir” conferred on England by King George. Although he was a supporter of Gandhiji, he stayed away from politics. He opposed nationalism and militarism as a policy and instead sought to create a new world culture with spiritual values and culture, diversity and tolerance. Lacking an ideological support for his ideas, he withdrew and stayed away from his ideas. From 1916 to 1934 he toured extensively.
Tagore’s broad thinking and deep intellect
In 1921, Rabindranath Tagore founded the Visva-Bharati University. He donated all the prize money received through his Nobel Prize for his books to this university. Tagore was not only a creative genius, but also an expert in Western culture, especially in Western poetry and science. Since Tagore had a deep understanding of contemporary Newtonian physics, he was able to articulate his ideas in the 1930s in discussions with Albert Einstein on the theories and fallacies of newly emerging quantum mechanics. His talent was summarized through meetings and tape recordings with his contemporaries such as Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore died on 7 August 1941 at his ancestral home in Calcutta after a prolonged illness.
Chronicles related to the life of Rabindranath Tagore
- 1861: Born on May 7, 1861, in Calcutta in a wealthy Brahmin family.
- 1873: Departure from Calcutta with his father on 14 February 1873 after Poonol’s funeral.
- 1874: His poem ‘Abilash’ (Wish) was published anonymously in the magazine Thattopotini.
- 1875: His mother Sharda Devi died.
- 1878: Kabhi Kahini, the first book of poetry, was published.
- 1878: went to England by sea to study law
- 1880: Interested in poetry research, returned to Bengal without graduating.
- 1883: On December 9, 1883, he married a 10-year-old girl named Mirunali Devi Rais Choudhary.
- 1884: Wrote a collection of poems ‘Kori-o-Kamal’ (sharp and flat).
- 1890: Moved to Silidaha (now in Bengal) to look after his family property.
- 1893–1900: Tagore wrote seven volumes of poetry, including Sonar Tori (Golden Boat) and Kanika.
- 1901: Became the editor of Pankadarshan magazine.
- 1902: His wife Mirunalini died.
- 1909: Started writing Gitanjali.
- 1912: Visited Europe for the second time.
- 1912: Gitanjali is published in limited edition of Indian Community in London.
- 1913: Gitanjali was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- 1915: King George of England conferred the title of ‘Sir’.
- 1919: After the assassination of Jallianwala Bagh, King George the Great renounced the title of “Sir”.
- 1916-1934: Toured.
- 1921: Visva Bharati University was established.
- 1940: Received a PhD in Literature from Oxford University in Santiniketan.
- 1941: Died on August 7, 1941 at his ancestral home in Calcutta.