RabindraNath Tagore raised the stature of our country in the eyes of the world. A versatile genius, a literary artist, an educator, a composer, a singer, an actor, R.N. Tagore had all gifts of Nature and fortune in his favours. Born in a renowned Hindu family, R.N. Tagore pleaded not only for concord with the past but also for freedom from the past. All healthy growth needs continuity and change. We are not free unless our minds are liberated from dead forms, tyrannical restrictions and crippling social habits. Tagore condemned the corruption of many of our social practices. He believed that the essence of life was perpetual renewal and rededication to self development.
R.N. Tagore did not live in, an ivory tower. He led a procession in 1905 through the streets of Calcutta singing his song, “Are you as mighty as to cut as under the bond forged by Providence?” Millions of voices have sung the National Anthem ‘]ana Gana Mana,’ calling upon us to nourish the unity of our country and be devoted to it. He was not only a playwright but a novelist and a story teller, a nationalist and an internationalist. As if these activities were not enough, he turned towards painting in the end of life. He rejected traditional canons and experimented with new forms and colour compositions. We honour him not only for this many sided genius but also for the guidance of his life and work in this troubled world. Rabindra Nath Tagore’s mission was one of reconciliation between East and West in a spirit of understanding and mutual enlightenment. For India unity is truth and division is evil. The poet’s name is symbolic of the light of the day. The sun which dispels the mist of darkness, the clouds of suspicion and restores health to the human system.
Though his work was rooted in Indian soil, his mind ranged over the wide world and hence had a universal appeal. Rabindra Nath Tagore’s writings have been translated into many languages, but even the best translations do not bring out the music and the melody or the force of the original. As Rabindranath Tagore was born at a difficult stage when India was in a revolutionary mood, he participated in the movement revolting against social, political and religious institutions. He was all the time convinced of the validity and vitality of the fundamental ideals set forth by the seers and saints of India. Tagore’s philosophy was one of wholeness and unity. For Tagore, God, Man and Nature are bound together in single unity. He was not a dreamer or a visionary. He kept constant vigil over the world. He was a great sentinel as Gandhi called him. The moral health of a nation depended on the inspiration the people derived from their poets and artists. Asceticism for Rabindra Nath Tagore meant self control and not abstention from world activities. Very early in his life when he was seventeen, he had the need to control his emotions. He was not an unworldly saint. He had tough earthly quality. The ideals of social life, economic pursuits, and the enjoyment of beauty should be cultivated equally. Water surrounds the lotus flower but does not wet its petals. Even so, human beings should work in this world without being affected by it. Tagore himself was a harmonious man in whom there was a happy blend of contemplation and action. For Tagore, as for Gandhi, the measure of man’s greatness is not his material possessions but the truth in him which is universal. His voice was the conscience of our age. He bequeathed to the country and the world a life which had no littleness about it.