The 79th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European and Bengali poet to win the Nobel Prize for literature, is being observed today.
Different socio-cultural organizations used to chalk out elaborate programs to observe the day in a befitting manner as a tradition in both Bangladesh and India.
However, this year the day is being observed with limited programs due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
According to the Gregorian calendar, Tagore died at the age of 80 on August 7 in 1941, but his death anniversary is traditionally observed on 22th Srabon according to the Bengali calendar.
To observe the day this time with low-key arrangements to avoid mass gatherings, different cultural organizations and government and non-government institutions will pay their tributes with virtual programs.
Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi, Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samannay Parishad and other cultural organizations, and noted Tagore exponents are scheduled to remember and pay their homage to the great poet throughout the day.
The youngest of 13 children of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi, Rabindranath was born on 25th Baishakh, 1268 of Bengali calendar (May 7, 1861, according to the Gregorian calendar) in the Jorasanko mansion at Kolkata.
Tagore, also called as the ‘Bard of Bengal”, composed over 2,000 songs which created a separate genre, known as ‘Tagore songs’ in both the Bengals.
He also wrote eight novels, 84 short stories and an uncountable number of poems in his prolific literary career spanned over almost seven decades.
His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems –Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangla and India’s Jana Gana Mana.
To spread the practice of culture and literature in the broader sphere and create future artists and literateurs, Rabindranath Tagore envisioned and founded Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan in 1921.
For his anthology of lyrical ballads titled ‘Gitanjali’ (Song Offerings), Rabindranath Tagore received the Noble Peace Prize in Literature in 1913 as the first Bengali and Non-European poet.