5th January, 2022 Mains
- Son of Debendranath Tagore (leader of the Brahmo Samaj); Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, writer, music composer, and painter.
- He was known by his pen name Bhanu Singha Thakur.
- He is referred to as ‘Gurudev’, ‘Kabiguru’, and ‘Vishwakavi’.
Literature & Art
- He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art.
- In 1913, Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for his novel
- He wrote the National Anthems of India and Bangladesh.
- Tagore despised rote classroom schooling. His vision led to the establishment of a unique educational institution - Visva- Bharati University.
- Santiniketan Ashram established by Devendranath Tagore, was later expanded by Rabindranath Tagore.
- The educational complex invented its own syllabus —that kept students abreast of political, social and environmental changes in the country.
- He used his literature to mobilize people towards political and social reform.
- Through his works, he protested against Brahmanical social order, Caste System, narrow sectarianism, untouchability and animal sacrifice.
- In 1921, Tagore and agricultural economist Leonard Elmhirst set up the "Institute for Rural Reconstruction", later renamed
- He emphasized on expansion of small-scale cottage industries in the villages. The aim was to supply fresh blood to the rural economy depending on local resources.
Partition of Bengal (Swadeshi Movement)
- Tagore wrote the song Banglar Mati Banglar Jol (Soil of Bengal, Water of Bengal) to unite the Bengali population.
- He started the Rakhi Utsav where people from Hindu and Muslim communities tied colorful threads on each other's wrists.
- He urged the masses to seek self-reliance and unite themselves against oppression.
Protest against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
- He was awarded a knighthood by King George V in 1915, but Tagore renounced it after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
His vision of Nationalism
- He skeptically scrutinized the construction of the nation on narrow parochial lines.
- Tagore opined that the term nationalism was derived from the term nation-state. And it was nothing but the embodiment of Western ideas of capitalism and mechanization.
- He believed that these ideals were intrinsically against the Indian tradition of self-autonomy, pluralism and religious tolerance.
- Fundamental to his belief was that nationalism could not rise above humanity.