Today on Baisakh 25, 1425, the 157th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore is observed across different states in India to honour the Bengali polymath. However, if one follows the English calendar his birth anniversary would be on May 7, 2018 every year.
At Visva-Bharati University founded by Tagore, the day starts early in the morning with students singing the Baitalik. In the state-run Nandan-Rabindra Sadan cultural complex, a fortnight-long celebration is planned which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “Tagore is ageless and he is universal. His thinking should continue to inspire us,” expressed Banerjee. The celebrations are also seen in Assam, Maharashtra and other states
Students sung ‘Baitalik’ (prayer songs) and many people visited Tagore’s ancestral home in Jorasanko in Kolkata to pay tributes and participate in the cultural programmes that are held on this special occasion. A special prayer was also held at Udayan, the home where he had celebrated his last birthday in 1941.
At Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) an event called ‘Shata Kanthe Gitanjali (Gitanjali in a 100 voices)’ in which a 100-member choir recited the poems from Tagore’s collection Gitanjali was held. It was a part of Sandhya Baitalik organised by Lalit Kala Kendra of SPPU and cultural organisation Upasana, on May 6, 2018 at AngaanManch of Lalit Kala.
“The spirit of Tagore is reflected in people from all walks of life and it crosses barriers of language. The choir of 100 singers will include not just Bengali-speaking people but also native speakers of Marathi, Malayalam and Hindi. Even being learnt in classical music is not a bar, all music enthusiasts are welcome to celebrate RabindraSangeet,”
-said Sharmila Mazumdar, Founder, Upasana.
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee stated,
“Gurudev Tagore set forth a vision of peace and fraternity that continues to have relevance and global appeal. In a world fettered by race, creed and colour, Gurudev Tagore promoted internationalism for a new world order based on diversity, open-mindedness, tolerance and co-existence.”
“Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was a great soul, who not only illumined the time he lived in, but continues to remain an inspiration for humanity. Let us use this occasion to draw inspiration from Tagore’s idea of oneness of humanity.”
In Patna the Rabindra Parishad organised several cultural programmes from May 9 to 27 to commemorate at Rabindra Bhavan. Few artists from Kolkata will be performing at the event which includes Hindi translations of Tagore’s drama like ‘Kankaal’, ‘Shyama’ and ‘Saza’ by a group of artists from Kala Jagaran, Patna.
At Rabindra-Bharati University in Kolkata and at other institutions all over the city, Tagore’s birthday is celebrated with songs, poems and recitals from his repertoire.