Rich tributes to Tagore on 71st death anniversary

August 8th, 2011 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s huge corpus of work, including his writings and paintings, form part of India’s national consciousness and will continue to be relevant in the future, the government said Monday, paying rich tributes on the poet-thinker’s 71st death anniversary here.

Music soirees and poetry recitation sessions were held in the capital on the occasion.

The programme, inaugurated by the union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was presided over by the Culture Minister Kumari Selja, who was the chief guest. Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi was also present on the occasion.

Rabindranath Tagore died on Aug 7, 1941 at his family residence in Jorasanko in Kolkata, and the day according to the Bengali calendar is observed as “Baishe Sraban” (or 22nd day of Shravan month.

Addressing the function, Kumari Selja said, “The 71st ‘Punya Tithi’ (death anniversary) of this great poet, thinker, and leader of modern India that we are observing is not only an occasion to pay tribute to him, but also a sombre moment for us to pause and ponder the rich legacy that he has left behind. His values and thoughts continue to
inspire us.”

She said, “Tagore’s creations could be boxed in any one category.”

“A reader may spend a lifetime with Rabindranath’s poetry, fiction, drama, and essays. A musician who falls under the spell of his songs would make her home in Rabindra Sangeet for life, as many have indeed made. Practitioners of theatre and dance have likewise devoted a good part of their creative life interpreting Tagore’s plays and
dance-dramas,” she said.

For contemporary artists Tagore’s paintings and drawings are a continuing lesson, the minister said.

Kumari Selja said it was not just the large corpus of literature, paintings, or music and dance creations, but the entire range of issues he raised, pertaining to our social and political life, that should engage us today.

“They have helped form our national consciousness, and will continue to be relevant in the foreseeable future. Thus he was truly the guide and mentor for a large section of creative and thinking people of India in his lifetime, as he is today. Today, as our country is traversing through the inexorable process of globalization, the
thoughts of this great humanist will be more valuable for us as for the whole of mankind,” he said.

Earlier in the morning, a seminar titled “Remembering Rabindranath Tagore” was organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, by the ministry of culture.

The seminar highlighted the multifarious aspects of Tagore’s vision, creativity, and contribution.

Speakers like Ashok Vajpeyi, chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi, critic and writer Samik Bandyopadhyay, political analyst Ashis Nandy, publisher-writer-critic Anand Lal, writer Reba Som, Krishna Kumar and Prabodh Parikh recalled Tagore’s contribution to art and culture.

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