Rabindranath Tagore was an artist of the highest caliber, he was, a poet, a painter, a patriot, a philosopher and a humanist all in one. He was born in 1861 – at Jorasanko in Calcutta, and was the fourteenth child of his parents. As a child he grew up in a rich and big joint family but, this child was very different from all the other children of the family.
He was not very happy and satisfied with just simple education at his school but instead, he wished to explore the outside world, away from the premises of his school.
He wanted to explore the firmament above and the earth below. This child was taught different subjects by different teachers at home only as, he did not wish to go to school. Rabindranath wrote poems from his very early childhood days and some of these poems of childhood were even published in journals and magazines, while he was still very young.
After some education in all variety of subjects, Rabindranath was sent to England for higher education where again, he was not happy with the routine system of teaching and learning. When he came to India next, he established a school named Shantiniketan at Bolpur in Bengal.
This school was to be a unique experience where the teachers were to take classes in the open air, under the trees and the sky. With the passage of time this school became a college and then a University called the ‘Visva Bharati’. Today, children from all parts of the world come here to study.
Rabindranath’s art did not confine only to writing of books poems, he also wrote short stories, dramas, novels and essays. In 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, for his world famous book of songs called the ‘Gitanjali.’ The British Crown awarded him the great honour of those times, one of knighthood.
Tagore also took part in the freedom movement of India in his own novel and unique way. For one thing, he returned his knighthood to the British. Thi£ he did in protest for the massacre of thousands people, men, women and children at the Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab, by the British.
Secondly, he participated in the movement by comprising a number of patriotic songs. It is Rabindranath Tagore who gave us our National Anthem, the Jana Gana Mana. In 1941, he passed away at Calcutta, after making his name and poetry immortal. His name will ever remain in the annals of Literature of the world.