Rabindranath Tagore

Friday marks the 80th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European and Bengali poet to win the Nobel Prize in literature, reports UNB.

According to the Gregorian calendar, Tagore died at the age of 80 on 7 August 1941, but his death anniversary is traditionally observed on 22nd Srabon, according to the Bengali calendar.

Since his death, the day has always been observed with extensive programmes in a befitting manner as a tradition in both Bangladesh and India. However, because of the ongoing pandemic and the consequent shutdown, the day is being commemorated with online events this year.

Several cultural organisations and government-non government institutions are paying their respective tributes with virtual events, featuring several noted artists, Tagore enthusiasts and scholars.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) began the day by streaming live on its Facebook page a virtual programme at 10:00am. The event, titled 'Apon Majhe Shokti Dhoro, Nijeke Koro Joy', features discussions and cultural performances. Several cultural personalities, including Syed Hasan Imam and Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, have been roped in by BSA.

Bangla Academy will also pay its tribute with an online programme, to be streamed live on its Facebook page at 4:00pm. KM Khalid, state minister for cultural affairs, will join the event as the chief guest while eminent novelist Selina Hossain will present the keynote speech.

New director general of Bangla Academy, Mohammad Nurul Huda will deliver the welcome speech and the event will be presided over by national professor Rafiqul Islam.

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi will stream a Facebook live programme at 7.30pm. The online event will feature songs, dance, recitation, and discussions, and it will be joined by professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, Azizul Huq, Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi general secretary Jamshed Anwar others.

Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samannay Parishad will stream an online event on Saturday at 8:00pm. The event will feature Tagore songs and discussions featuring singer Roquaiya Hasina, Khairuzzaman Kaiyum, and Soma Rani Ray will entertain viewers rendering Tagore songs.

The country's leading cultural institution, Chhayanaut will broadcast an online programme, titled 'Shraboner Amontrone' on its Facebook page and YouTube channel at 9:00pm. The event will feature recorded videos of Tagore songs, rendered by prominent Rabindra Sangeet exponents.

Besides, different TV channels, radio stations, and other online platforms will telecast special programmes marking the death anniversary of Tagore.

The youngest of the 13 surviving children of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi, Rabindranath Tagore was born on 25th Baishakh, 1268, in Bengali calendar (7 May 1861, according to the Gregorian calendar) in Jorasanko mansion of Calcutta, then in British India.

Also referred to as the "Bard of Bengal", Tagore composed over 2,000 songs that created a separate genre known as ‘Tagore songs’ in both the Bengals. Besides, he penned a total of eight novels, 84 short stories, and an uncountable number of poems in his prolific literary career spanning almost seven decades.

He envisioned and founded the Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan in 1921 in order to spread the practice of culture and literature in the broader sphere and create future artists and litterateurs for ages.

For his anthology of lyrical ballads ‘Gitanjali’ (Song Offerings), Tagore received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 as the first Bengali and Non-European poet.

Bangladesh's national anthem 'Amar Shonar Bangla' and India's 'Jana Gana Mana' were written by Rabindranath Tagore.