Rabindranath Tagore

English: Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gand...
Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi at Santiniketan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was an Indian renaissance man born in Calcutta, W. Bengal. Tagore is known throughout India and the world for his paintings, folk songs, verse, short stories, plays and novels.

In 1901 Tagore founded an open-air school at Santiniketan, West Bengal. Sometimes referred to as the ‘asram’ at Santiniketan, Tagore’s school integrates Eastern and Western approaches to education and has flowered into Visva-Bharati university, which offers a diverse curriculum in the arts, sciences and humanities while hosting students from abroad. The school is recognized by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, which funds qualified international students, particularly for graduate studies at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels.¹

In 1913 Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In his Presentation Speech Harald Hjärne, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, said

Amra Kunja by Paul Ancheta (Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. Bolpur, Birbhum, West Bengal, India)
Amra Kunja by Paul Ancheta (Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. Bolpur, Birbhum, West Bengal, India) via Flickr

Tagore’s Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), a collection of religious poems, was the one of his works that especially arrested the attention of the selecting critics.²

Tagore’s worldly acclaim and social impact didn’t stop there. Knighted in 1915, he shocked India and the British Empire by resigning his knighthood in 1919 in protest over the British colonial presence in India. And he continues to inspire creative people of all ages.³

¹ As a Canadian, I was eligible. It was great to not have to worry about money for two years, and just study in such a unique environment (MC) .

² See http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1913/press.html

³ See, for example, this great video made for a school project:

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