‘In a very real sense, he was a world poet. His words- the tools which he used- are words of beauty, sensuous not sensual, comprehending not only love of God and relationship between man and God but human love. The profound sense of beauty pervades Tagore’s work and ennobles that and makes it understandable to every heart. The world needs such poets.’

Pearl Buck, American novelist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, on Tagore’s Birth Centenary in 1961 to India’s President Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.

Tagore, the Goethe of India, gives expression to his personal experience that this is the truth (life affirmation) in a manner more profound, more powerful and more charming than any man has ever done before him. This completely noble and harmonious thinker belongs not only to his people but to humanity.

-          Albert Schweitzer, Gunsbach 18 September 1959. Famous missionary surgeon, philospher and musicologist. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize 1952.

Fortunately Tagore’s poetry overflowed national boundaries to reach us in his own English. He belongs little less to us than to his own country. He was my friend and I am proud to take part in celebrating his greatness.

-          Robert Frost, famous American poet

Rabindranath Tagore! In the centuries old history of India one will perhaps not find another person whose work in the development of the social thought, culture and art of his people was so great and diverse. That is why the Soviet people, together with the Indian people, celebrate the centennial  of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore as an outstanding event in the history of the development of world culture..  On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great son of the Indian people, all Soviet people recall, with a feeling of gratitude and deep love, Tagore, who made a tremendous, invaluable contribution to the development of world civilization, and who laid a firm basis for friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the Soviet Union and India.

-          On behalf of the USSR Committee for the Celebration of the Centennial of the Birth of Rabindranath Tagore and the Union of Soviet Writers: Mehta Aesop, E.P. Chelyshev, N.S. Tikhonov, Mirzo Tursun-Zade, P.G. Tychina.

Just a year before his death, Oxford came to Visva Bharati on Aug 7, 1940- to confer on him the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa). Sir Maurice Gwyer, then Chief Justice of British India on behalf of Oxford University said,

“I salute its youngest Doctor and I deem it a priviledge indeed to have taken part in this memorable ceremony, in which the University whose representative I am has, in honouring you, done honour to itself”, from the Gazette of India, August 1940

Tagore welcomed them by saying ‘Bring brilliance in the court of knowledge, Take your seats there, you the children of the Immortal’

‘We are both united through having the same aim: a thorough deepening and raising of mankind’

-          Rudolf Eucken -the great German Philosopher- winner of the 1908 Nobel prize for literature, in a letter to Tagore during his visit to Germany in 1921 written  from Jena, June 11, 1921

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13 Responses to “How the world viewed Tagore”

  1. Arun Palit says:

    It is as if I discovered Tagore one more time – spell bound with his talent, speechless with his genius – even though I have him in my heart since my childhood. The more I read about him, the more I am amazed, and the more I want to know him.

  2. Khairul Chowdhury says:

    To my knowledge, beside the legacies mentioned in the webpage, one of the Tagore legacies is “Sonar Bangla”. The ideal captured imaginations of Bengalis of East Bengal in the 1960s to make Bangladesh an independent country. I am of opinions that if you could rethink your committee to make your work more open and inclusive. In Bangladesh, of many, Professor Anisur Rahman is considered the most renowned on
    Tagore and his economic and humanist philosophy. A University is going to be inaugurated in Tagore’s name in Bangladesh. The shared memories and inspirations of Tagore appeal demand more inclusiveness and careful consideration.

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    I didn’t talk to the man, and he did not have a price tag on it. I’m guessing he experienced it out there for display and also to lure in men and women like me.

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Our Tagore events

  • Oct 6, 2012 AUTUMN EXTRAVAGANZA, Michael Power St. Joseph High School, Toronto. A variety show with Tagore’s works, and a multicultural Dance Ensemble with folk dances of Ukraine, Chile, and India.

  • Sep 25, 2012 'Walking Alone: Justice and Inequality in Tagore's thought', talk by Ananya Mukherjee-Reed at Princeton University, USA.

  • May 4, 2012 Soul of Spring,McMichael Art Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario. A medley of music, dance and poetry based on Tagore's play. It was performed during an exhibition of Tagore's paintings 'The Last Harvest' at the gallery.

  • Jan 19, 2012 'Race and Diversity in Tagore', talk by Ananya Mukherjee-Reed at the University of Toronto

  • Sept 30, 2011 Tagore reading at the Festival of South Asian Literature and the Arts

  • October 2, 2011 A panel on Tagore featuring Uma Dasgupta and Martha Nussbaum on Writers & Company, CBC Radio One Broadcast time 3:05 pm Eastern. Click here for more details and podcast
  • Dec 3-4, 2011: A film festival featuring the North American premier of two films based on Tagore's work.
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