Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his 160th birth anniversary. Tagore was born on 7 May but his birthday is celebrated in West Bengal, where he was born and is revered, according to the traditional Bengali calendar, and this year it falls on Sunday.
On Rabindra Jayanti, the people of West Bengal hold cultural events to celebrate the social reformer’s enduring legacy.
In Santiniketan, Tagore’s abode, elaborate celebrations mark the day with the students and teachers of Visva-Bharati paying homage to the founder. Tagore was a playwright, philosopher, composer and poet.
He became the first Asian to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1913 for his epoch-making collection of poems, Gitanjali. Most of his writings were in Bengali, later translated into English to make them accessible to a broader audience. Besides penning the national anthem of India, Jana Gana Mana, his composition is also part of Bangladesh’s national anthem, Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem is also said to be inspired by his work.
The prime minister also paid tributes to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale and celebrated warrior king Maharana Pratap, both of whom were born on this day. Gokhale’s life was devoted to serving the nation, and it will always inspire the countrymen. Paying tributes to Maharana Pratap, Modi said he brought glory to India with his valour, boundless courage and battle skills.