Tagore’s affiliation with Bangladesh
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, Former Deputy General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy:
Rabindranath Tagore is the greatest literary genius of Bengali literature. He had a vast knowledge in all the branches of literature. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913 for ‘song offerings’ (Gitangali). Not only do Bengali readers enjoy his poems and songs, but they are equally enjoyed by the outside world. His poems and songs have inspired people in their well and woes, peace and struggles. There is a large number of readers in home and aboard. Once the song offerings are tasted by anybody, they gets lost.
Rabindranath was born in undivided Bengal. Alhough India is his motherland, 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.
Many of us think that Rabindranath was the son of a Zamindar and was born and brought-up enjoying luxuries; but the fact is that Rabindranath had his hardship in his life. He 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 that of Bangladesh is not the same person. In Kolkata, Tagore could see urban life and its varieties. Things around him became the elements of literature at that time, but it was mostly artificial composition of an intellectual poet. What 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. He moved to and fro of Bangladesh and created many poems and songs on common people’s lifestyle, especially farmers, workers and the helpless became the issue of his writings.
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 the eradication of poverty. 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 integrity and relevance. He took education not for education’s sake, but as a tool of technology and implementation of life.
Tagore is 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 message of speech against the tyranny, despotism, anarchy and nepotism. He was anti-communal, and he tried to highlight the message of secularism by all the means. And to the last day of his death he was against the aggression and always raised the high voice for humanity.
He was honored with the knighthood title by the British ruler but he raised the withdrawal voice amidst of sorrows.
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.