Celebration of iconic cultural figures



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Sacrifice for you is like life

Living without you is death!”

Books by savarkar

  • 1857 Che Svatantrya Samar

  • Hindupadpaatshahi

  • Hindutva

  • Jatyochhedak Nibandha

  • Moplyanche Banda

  • Maazi Janmathep

  • Kale Pani

  • Shatruchya Shibirat

  • Londonchi batamipatre

  • Andamanchya Andheritun

  • Vidnyan nishtha Nibandha

  • Joseph Mazzini

  • Hindurashtra Darshan

  • Hindutvache Panchapran

  • Kamala

  • Savarkaranchya Kavita

  • Sanyasta Khadg



RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.” said once, one of the most heroic poets of India, at a time when the country was going through a tumultuous period during the British rule. Rabindranath Tagore, one of the epoch-making figures of the twentieth century, is one of the most widely acclaimed wordsmiths of India. Often hailed as Gurudev or the poet of poets, Tagore, through the sheer brilliance of his narratives and incommensurable poetic flair, laid an ineffaceable impression on the minds of his readers. A child prodigy, Tagore, showed a penchant for literature, art and music from a very young age and in due course of time, produced an extraordinary body of work which changed the face of Indian literature. However, he was not just a mere poet or writer; he was the harbinger of an era of literature which elevated him to the stature of the cultural ambassador of India. Even today, decades after his death, this saint-like man, lives through his works in the hearts of the people of Bengal who are forever indebted to him for enriching their heritage. He was the most admired Indian writer who introduced India’s rich cultural heritage to the West and was the first non-European to be bestowed the prestigious Nobel Prize.


Rabindranath Tagore was a multitalented personality. He was a Bengali poet, a Brahmo Samaj philosopher, a visual artist, a playwright, a novelist, a painter and a composer, all combined into one. Rabindranath Tagore started composing art works at a very tender age. He was also a cultural reformer who modified Bengali art by rebuffing the strictures that bound it into classical Indian forms. Given below is a complete biography cum life history of

Rabindranath Tagore :


Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7th May 1861, to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. He was the youngest child of his parents and grew up in a household of fourteen children. Rabindranath wrote poems for the first time when he was only eight years old. He left his hometown, Calcutta, with his father in February 1873, on a tour of the Indian subcontinent. It was in the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie that Rabindranath Tagore came across biographies and started studying history, astronomy, modern science and Sanskrit. 

During that time, he also started reading the classical poetry of Kalidasa. In the year 1877, Rabindranath published his first substantial poetry, under the pseudonym Bhanushingho. He also wrote the short story, Bhikharini, in 1877 and the poem collection, Sandhya Sangit, in 1882. Tagore went to England in 1878 to become a Barrister and enrolled himself at a public school in Brighton. Later, he studied at University College London. However, he came back to Bengal in 1880 and in 1883, he married Mrinalini Devi. 

In 1901, Tagore founded an ashram at Santiniketan (West Bengal), where he lost his wife and two of his four children. In the meantime, his works started growing more and more popular amongst the Bengali as well as the foreign readers. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming Asia's first Nobel laureate. In 1915, he received knighthood from the British Crown. Tagore founded the Institute for Rural Reconstruction in 1921, along with Leonard Elmhirst, an agricultural economist. 

Rabindranath Tagore took up drawing and painting when he was around sixty years old. His paintings were displayed in exhibitions organized throughout Europe. The style of Tagore had certain peculiarities in aesthetics and coloring schemes, which distinguished it from those of the other artists. He was also influenced by the craftwork of the Malanggan people belonging to the northern New Ireland, Haida carvings from the west coast of Canada and woodcuts by Max Pechstein.

Rabindranath Tagore spent the last four years of his life in constant pain and was bogged down by two long bouts of illness. In 1937, he went into a comatose condition, which relapsed after a period of three years. However, the works composed by Rabindranath Tagore during this time period comprise of his finest ones. After an extended period of suffering, Tagore died on 7th August 1941 in the same Jorasanko mansion in which he was brought up.



Fame & International Recognition

  • In 1890, while on a visit to his ancestral estate in Shelaidaha, his collection of poems, ‘Manasi’, was released. The period between 1891 and 1895 proved to be fruitful during which, he authored a massive three volume collection of short stories, ‘Galpaguchchha’.

  • In 1901, he moved to Shantiniketan, where he composed ‘Naivedya’, published in 1901 and ‘Kheya’, published in 1906. By then, several of his works were published and he had gained immensely popularity among Bengali readers.

  • In 1912, he went to England and took a sheaf of his translated works with him. There he introduced his works to some of the prominent writers of that era, including William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Robert Bridges, Ernest Rhys, and Thomas Sturge Moore.

  • His popularity in English speaking nations grew manifold after the publication of ‘Gitanjali: Song Offerings’ and later in 1913, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • In 1915, he was also granted knighthood by the British Crown, which he renounced after the 1919 Jalianwala Bagh massacre.

  • From May 1916 to April 1917, he stayed in Japan and the U.S. where he delivered lectures on ‘Nationalism’ and on Personality’.

  • In 1920s and 1930s, he travelled extensively around the world; visiting Latin America, Europe and South-east Asia. During his extensive tours, he earned a cult following and endless admirers.

Political Opinion

  • Tagore’s political outlook was a little ambiguous. Though he censured imperialism, he supported the continuation of British administration in India.

  • He criticized ‘Swadeshi Movement’ by Mahatma Gandhi in his essay "The Cult of the Charka", published in September 1925. He believed in the co-existence of the British and the Indians and stated that British rule in India was "political symptom of our social disease".

  • He never supported nationalism and considered it to be one of the greatest challenges faced by humanity. In this context he once said “A nation is that aspect which a whole population assumes when organized for a mechanical purpose”. Nevertheless, he occasionally supported the Indian Independence Movement and following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, he even renounced his knighthood on 30 May 1919.

  • On the whole, his vision of a free India was based not on its independence from the foreign rule, but on the liberty of thought, action and conscience of its citizens

Themes of His Works

  • Though he is more famous as a poet, Tagore was an equally good short-story writer, lyricist, novelist, playwright, essayist, and painter.

  • His poems, stories, songs and novels provided an insight into the society which was rife with religious and social tenets and was infested with ill-practices such as child marriage. He condemned the idea of a male-dominated society by articulating the subtle, soft yet spirited aspect of womanhood, which was subdued by the insensitivity of man.

  • While reading any of his works, one will certainly come across at least one common theme, i.e. nature. As a child, this great author grew in the lap of nature which left a deep-seated impression on him. It inculcated a sense of freedom, which emancipated his mind, body and soul from the typical societal customs prevalent those days.

  • No matter how much he was enchanted by nature, he never distanced himself from the harsh realities of life. He observed life and society around him, weighed down by rigid customs and norms and plagued by orthodoxy. His criticism of societal dogmas is the underlying theme of most of his works.

Major Works

  • ‘Gitanjali’, a collection of poems, is considered his best poetic accomplishment. It is written in traditional Bengali dialect and consists of 157 poems based on themes pertaining to nature, spirituality and intricacy of (human) emotions and pathos.

  • A proficient songwriter, Tagore composed 2,230 songs, which are often referred to as ‘Rabindra Sangeeth’. He also wrote the national anthem for India - ‘Jana Gana Mana’- and for Bangladesh - ‘Aamaar Sonaar Banglaa’ for which, both nations will forever be indebted to him.

  • ‘Galpagucchaccha’ a collection of eighty stories is his most famous short story collection which revolves around the lives of rural folks of Bengal. The stories mostly deal with the subjects of poverty, illiteracy, marriage, femininity, etc. and enjoy immense popularity even today.

Awards & Achievements

  • For his momentous and revolutionary literary works, Tagore was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature on 14 November 1913.

  • He was also conferred knighthood in 1915, which he renounced in 1919 after the Jallianwallah Bagh carnage.

  • In 1940, Oxford University awarded him with a Doctorate of Literature in a special ceremony arranged at Shantiniketan.

Personal Life & Legacy

  • Tagore married Mrinalini Devi in 1883 and fathered five children. Sadly, his wife passed away in 1902 and to add to his grief two of his daughters, Renuka (in 1903) and Samindranath (in 1907) also died.

  • He became physically weak during the last few years of his life. He left for the heavenly abode on 7 August 1941, at age of 80.

  • Tagore has influenced a whole generation of writers across the globe. His impact is far beyond the boundaries of Bengal or India and his works have been translated to many languages including English, Dutch, German, Spanish etc.

Trivia

  • This venerated poet and author was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize in Literature.

  • This great Bengali poet was an admirer of Gandhi and was the one who gave him the name “Mahatma”.

  • He is the only poet to have composed national anthems for two nations – India and Bangladesh.


TEEJAN BAI



Name: Teejan Bai

Born: April 24, 1956

Born / Home Town: Bhilai

Profession: Dancer
Teejan Bai (born 24 April 1956) is an exponent of Pandavani, a traditional performing art form, from Chhattisgarh, in which she enacts tales from the Mahabharata, with musical accompaniments.

Teejan Bai was born in village Ganiyari, 14 km north of Bhilai, to Chunuk Lal Pardhi and his wife Sukhwati.

The eldest among her five siblings, at, heard her maternal grandfather, Brijlal Pradhi, recite Mahabharata written by Chattisgarhi writer, Sabal Sinh Chauhan in Chattisgarhi Hindi, she instantly took a liking of it and soon memorized much of it, and later trained informally under Umed Singh Deshmukh.

Career


At age 13, gave her first public performance in a neighbouring village, Chandrakhuri (Durg) for Rs 10., singing in the Kapalik shaili (style) of 'Pandavani', a first time for a woman, as traditionally women used to sing in the Vedamati, the sitting style. Contrary to the tradition, Teejan Bai performed standing singing out loud in her typical guttral voice and unmistakable verve, entering what was till now, a male bastion

Within a short time, she became known in neighbouring villages and invitations poured to perform at special occasions and festivals.

Her big-break came, when Habib Tanvir, a famous theatre personality from Madhya Pradesh, noticed her talent, and she was called to perform for then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. There was no turning back from then on, in-time she received national and international recognition, a Padma Shri in 1988 , Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1995, and Padma Bhushan in 2003.

Beginning in the 80s, she travelled all over the world as a cultural ambassador, to countries as far as England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, Romania and Mauritius.

Today she continues to enthralled audiences, the world over with her unique folk singing and her powerful voice; and passing on her singing to the younger generation.

Personal life


Though she was married at 12, she was ostracised by the community, the 'Pardhi' tribe, for singing Pandavani, being a woman. She built herself a small hut and started living on her own, borrowing utensils and food from neighbours, yet never left her singing, which eventually paid off for her. She never went to her first husband's home and later split (divorce). In the following years, she was married twice times over, though none of her marriages succeeded. Later she fell in love with Tukka Ram, a former harmonium player in her troupe, and they had three children.

Today she lives with her fourth husband, Tukka Ram (fourth love), her five children, in Bhilai, where she is employed at the Bhilai Steel Plant. She travels the world for her performances. She is also a grandmother (aged 52).


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