Kolkata: A special edition of ‘Gitanjali’, the Nobel Prize-winning anthology of Rabindranath Tagore`s poems, was Saturday launched by union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as part of the bard`s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
"I am honored to release this special edition - the first draft manuscript of Tagore`s work which is a part of the Rothenstein Collection that is preserved in the Houghton Library of Harvard University in the US," Mukherjee said after releasing the book.
"It is indeed very sentimental to have a look and feel of the diary in which Tagore wrote the English translation in his own hand. Though the (Harvard) university has permitted to make replicas, their copyright does not allow us to sell them," said Mukherjee, who unveiled the book at the Asiatic Society established in 1784 in the city.
This year also marks 100 years of Gitanjali - a collection of prose translations made by the author from the original Bangla and published in 1912. Tagore was given the Nobel for it a year later.
Mukherjee, who chairs the National Implementation Committee (NIC) constituted for guiding the celebrations of Tagore`s 150th birth anniversary, also unveiled another book titled "Nameless Recognition: The Impact of Rabindranath Tagore on Indian Literaturse", which is a compilation of papers delivered at the National Conference on `The Impact of Tagore on Other Indian Literatures` held earlier.
Among a host of projects by the NIC for the celebrations is a printed bibliography of Tagore in English and other Indian languages prepared by the National Library.
"Rabindra Nattayan Project", a collaborative effort in playwriting by Indian and Bangladeshi writers, has also been included as a part of the programmes, aimed at dramitising the poems, short stories and novels of Tagore.