The father of India’s national anthem, Rabindranath Tagore left a mark on the world of poetry forever. What many don’t know about him though is that he was much more than just a world-renowned poet. He was also a novelist, writing and composing a plethora of songs. Not just that though, he was also a philosopher and educationist who had his own theory for education, one that was very different from the conventional methods. Let’s take a look at his life and achievements.
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- He was inspired by the works of Kalidasa which he read at a very young age. His first poem was in the Maithili style which he composed in 1877.
- He moved to Brighton, England in 1878 to study law. He started following the works of Shakespeare though while he was in the University College London. He left his degree midway to return to Indian in 1880 and pursue his passion for poetry.
- Fusing Bengali and European traditions in his literary works he wrote one of his most acclaimed poems, ‘Nirjharer Swapnabhanga’ in 1882. From there on he expanded his scope to various forms of art including music, painting, theatre, poetry, writing and education.
- His international reach was such that his works were translated into all of the widely spoken languages. English, Dutch, German, Spanish, and other European languages all found a place for Tagore’s words. He gained critical acclaim throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Some of his famous followers include Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata, Czech ideologist Vincen Lesný and French Nobel laureate André Gide.
- He was the 1stNon-European to win the Nobel prize in literature. He however did not directly accept the award and it was delivered to him by the First British Ambassador who accepted it on his behalf. He was also given knighthood by the British Empire in Indian which he returned in protest of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
- He wrote national anthems for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- Tagore wrote around 50 dramas, 100 books of poems and 40 volumes of novels. His paintings were exhibited in Paris and London in 1930.