Shanghai: A statue of legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore was unveiled on Sunday by President Pratibha Patil, honouring the Nobel laureate`s journey to this eastern city that left a lasting impression on Chinese poets and writers.
The statue stands at the busy junction of the Mao Ming Road and Nanchang Road in China`s gleaming business hub, and is a fitting tribute to the bridge of friendship that Tagore`s visits to this city built.
On the last leg of her six-day China visit, Patil unveiled the 125 kgs structure sculpted by Gautam Pal and paid floral tributes to the poet, at a ceremony attended by Chinese
officials and dignitaries.
The Indian poet philosopher was invited by the Beijing Lecture Association in 1923 to deliver a series of talks as part of its objective to have foreign scholars come
and talk to Chinese intellectuals.
Tagore visited China thrice in the 1920s and is the most widely translated foreign author in Chinese after Shakespeare.
"In contemporary times personages such as Gurudev Tagore, Dwarkanath Kotnis and Prof Tan Yun Shan have become symbols of India-China friendship and cooperation," the President had said in Beijing last week.
Noted poet Xu Zhimo developed a profound friendship with Tagore, who gifted his paintings with a Bengali poem and an Indian robe to the Chinese scholar and his wife, before leaving Shanghai.
Tagore made such a lasting impression on the minds of
successive generations of Chinese poets and scholars and many
of his works has been translated in Mandarin. To bring out the
original essence of Tagore`s works, several Chinese scholars
learnt Bengali to translate his poems.
The impact of his visit to China was such that
several Chinese literary personalities at that time spent a
great deal of time translating his works into Chinese.