Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rabindranath Tagore (or Rabindranath Thakur) (May 7, 1861 – August 7, 1941), also called Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo philosopher and nationalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, becoming the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel.
Although poetry dominates his literary oeuvre, he also wrote novels, essays, short stories, travelogues, and drama. No less notable among his works are over 2,000 songs, now known as Rabindra Sangeet which are considered as Bengali cultural treasures in both West Bengal, India, and in Bangladesh.
Tagore's prose deals with social, political, educational issues and his vision of the universal brotherhood of man. His poetry and songs, apart from their deep spirituality and devotion, often express a celebration of nature and life. For him, life's multifarious variety is ever a source of pleasure without outward reason. The subject of love is a recurring motif throughout his literature, and he often wrote about patriotism.
His songs have been chosen as national anthems of both India and Bangladesh. In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first Asian to receive this honor, for his English translation of his work Gitanjali .
Tagore wrote quite a few in support of the Indian independence movement. He renounced the knighthood conferred by the British Crown to protest against the 1919 Jaliyaanwala Bagh Massacre (Amritsar), where, without warning, British soldiers opened fire upon an unarmed gathering of civilians, resulting in the death of over 500 innocent men, women and children.
His views about education led him to establish his school, called a Brahmacharyashram (center for Brahmacharya), at Santiniketan in West Bengal in 1901, where his father had left a landed estate in his possession. This later became the Vishwa-Bharti university.
Since 1951, the university has been administered by the Government of India as a Central University.
Tagore was keenly sensitive to the world events of his time and expressed eloquently his pain and despair over war. He yearned for world peace.
His international travels sharpened his understanding of various national and civilizational characteristics. His comparative treatment of the East and the West ranks among the finest examples of this genre of world literature.
- Rabindranath Section in Parabaas
- Project Gutenberg e-texts of some of Rabindranath Tagore's works
- contains some of Tagore's English works
- "Tagore and His India" - Amartya Sen - article on Tagore by Amartya Sen featured on Nobel Foundation website
- Biography of Tagore on the official website of the Nobel Foundation
- Poems of Tagore with some attractive photos
- Profile by BBC
- Nobel Prize in Literature Presentation Speech from the official website of Nobel Foundation
- Section about Tagore on Calcuttaweb.com is in Bengali but has some nice photographs
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