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Tagore’s affiliation with Bangladesh and Bengali Culture

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed
Rabindranath Tagore is the greatest literary genius of Bengali literature. He had a vast knowledge in all the branches of literature, but he is familiar to as a great poet. He was awarded Noble prize in 1913 for ‘song offerings’ (Gitangali). Not only the Bengali readers enjoy his poems and songs but it is equally enjoyed by out side world. His poems and songs in spear people in the well and woes and peace and struggles. There are a large number of readers in home and aboard. Once the song offerings are tasted by anybody, he/she gets lost.Rabindranath was born in undivided Bengal. Though India is his motherland but he has a mind of connectivity with Bangladesh. His forefathers were the inhabitants of Bangladesh. By marital status also, he had a connection with the soil of Bangladesh. About an era he supervised the Zamindari in Bangladesh. So he was very close and dearer to Bangladesh and to her people. There are many many examples in his creation.Many of us think that Rabindranath was the son of Zamindar and he was bron and brought-up enjoying luxuries, but the fact is that Rabindranath had his hardship in his life. And earned money by many ways for livelihood and for the formalities of society. He realized the nature of Bengal with liberal heart and came closer to the sufferings of common people. Tagore of Kolkata and of Bangladesh is not the same person. In Kolkata Tagore could see urban life and its varieties. Things became the elements of literature at that time, but it was mostly artificial composition of an intellectual poet. But he created in East Bengal with changing pattern of literary theme as poet. Here all things got life in his hands. There was a touch of reality everywhere. We can mention the place of Shiladah, Shajadpur and Patisor. He move to and fro of Bangladesh. And created the many poems and song on common people’s lifestyle. Specially farmers, workers and the helpless became the issue of his writings.To us Rabindranath is not only a literary personnel. The other side of Rabindranth is that he is very much pro-people and a social reformer. He was a pioneer of social reconstruction, and contributed to eradicade poverty of common people. We see him a founder of farmer’s bank, a thinker of microcredit concept, a social philosopher and developer of Sri Nikatan. As a professional teacher of village women vocational knowledge and environment conscious leader. He did many good works for village development which did not lose there integrity and relevance. He took education not for education’s sake, but as a tool of technology and implementation of life.Tagore is also also important to us for his struggles against fascism and imperialism. He always talked for humanity and against oppression by the ruling classes. He had a mind to spread the massage of speech against the tyranny, despotism, anarchy and nepotism. He was anti-communal, and he tried to high-lights the message of secularism by all the means. And till to last day of his death he was against the aggression and he always raised the high voice for humanity.We hear from the verses of Rabindranath-

There comes the greatman

Romance flow in & around

Victory voice coming from

And Capturing over the space

[Shes Lekha]

These above lines have been depicted for the enemies of humanity and country. Rabindranath fought a lot against the conspirators, ill designers of country. He was honored with the kingthhood title by the British ruler but he raised the withdrawal voice amidsts of sorrows. The way he rejected the title was as follows :”The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in the incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part wish to stand, shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen, who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.These are the reasons which have painfully compelled me to ask Your Excellency, with due deference and regret, to relieve me of my title of Knighthood, which I had the honour to accept from His Majesty the King at the hands of your predecessor, for whose nobleness of heart I still entertain great admiration.”Rabindranath is a connoisseur of beauty, love and truth. His poetic version of truth claims the whole universe to be an explication of one spiritual spirit. This is the best teaching of Upanishad. He writes, ‘to me the verses of the Upanishads and the teaching of Buddha have ever been things of the spirit, and therefore endowed with boundless vital growth; and I have used them, both in my own life and in my preaching…’  His preoccupation with nature as animated with life-force and alive as our cosmic counterpart is a new addition to nature poetry.  An intense experience of oneness with universal life is the hallmark of his cosmic romance. “The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures… If I be mud or water, grass or flower or move along with all creatures I will be blessed remaining tied to my endless self.” This expansion of consciousness rose out of his direct experience and occurred as “a species of involuntary and unconscious autobiography”, as Frederick Nietzsche held every great philosophy to be.  Realization of the grand unity in diversity made him sing, “Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well.” Rabindranath will remain in heart of Bengali speaking world and most probably he will remain ever. This is not a simple talk but truly he will be here as long as Bengali literature exist and dominate in the heart. That should be our only desire on this very day that Rabindranath is a must to know more about him, to know the history and culture of Bengali and elsewhere. It is sometimes written that he is over-introduced; but on the contrary, it is equally true that most part of his whole creation is little assimilated.

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