Rabindranath Tagore 100th Nobel Anniversary

Zee Media Bureau/Aparna Mudi

New Delhi: Canada’s Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature this year. But this year is also significant for Indians for another reason. 2013 is the 100th anniversary for Rabindranath Tagore getting the Nobel for ‘Gitanjali’.

Tagore and his ideas are not only limited to Bengali literature. He remains a commendable literary figure in Bengal and outside. His translations are read widely throughout the country. Moreover, Rabindranath or Rabi Thakur is held in high esteem even in Bangladesh.

He is the only poet to have penned the National Anthems for two nations, India and Bangladesh.

‘Gitanjali’ which was originally a collection of 157 poems published in 1910. The English translation called the ‘Song Offering’ featured 103 of them, and was already into its 10th edition by the time the award was announced.

Here is the literary giant’s most popular poem from the book. ‘Chitto Jetha Bhoyshunno’ was translated by Tagore himself. The first two lines of the poem were also quoted by President Barack Obama in his 2010 speech to the joint session of Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”


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