Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindra Nath Tagore, the author of our National Anthem, was born to Debendra Nath Tagore and Sara Devi on 7th May, 1861 in the Joransanko mansion in Calcutta. He was the youngest among his siblings. He was raised by servants after his mother died in his early childhood. He largely avoided the classrooms and used to roam around and observe things. In 1978 he went to London and enrolled himself in a public school at Brighton, England. He wanted to become a barrister. Later, he studied at the University College London but since he did not do well there, he was called back to India by his father. Then his father got him married to a ten-year old girl named Mrinalini Devi. He was fond of writing, so he started writing from an early age. He wrote his first short story when he was 16 years old.

Apart from his famous poetry he was also indulged in various literary works that included essays, short stories, travelogues, dramas and thousands of songs that gripped everyone’s attention. He was also an expert painter. He is the only person who had written the national anthem of three countries. He was the critic of European Colonialism. He also criticized the Swadeshi Movements. He conceptualized and glorified the Hindu Rashtra in his book named ‘Swadeshi Samaj’. He emphasized on self-help and intellectual uplift of the masses. He requested the nation, “there can be no question of blind revolution, but of steady and purposeful education”. He wrote songs praising Indian independence movements. After the massacre of 1919, he repudiated his honour of knighthood that he got for his literary works from the then government, as a protest. He played a key role in resolving the dispute between Gandhi and Ambedkar, even though he didn’t have any amicable relation with Gandhi. He was not in favour of traditional style of education. He thought of a new type of education and established a university named Vishwa Bharti University. He worked hard to raise funds and even gave all his noble prize money to this university. He wanted this university to become “a world centre for study of humanity…. Somewhere beyond the limits of nation and geography.” He also wanted India to be free from the tag of a British colony and dreamt for an India “where the mind is without fear.” And with this dream he took his last breath on 7th August 1941, at the age of 80 year.