New Delhi: Describing Rabindranath Tagore as
a "great soul of India", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday paid rich tributes to the Nobel Laureate saying he
shunned the politics of nationalism and pitched for attaining
Mukherjee said Tagore was "spiritually" close to Mahatma
Gandhi and both became "unpopular" when they opposed extremism
in the world.
Addressing an international conference on `Tagore`s
Vision of the Contemporary World` organised by the ICCR here,
the Minister extensively quoted from Tagore`s literary works
to communicate the great poet`s message of peace and love to
"Tagore`s works and views are as relevant in today`s
world as was when they were articulated. The phenomenal
quality and quantity of works by the great poet gives an
opportunity for people in different parts of the world to
appreciate his life, work and his contributions to humanity,"
The conference is part of the Government`s celebrations
to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of
Tagore, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
Mukherjee said Tagore has "something to say to everyone
of us" irrespective of their age and social context.
"Tagore stood for shunning the politics of nationalism
which violates an individual`s inherent mode with each other
by generating hatred between nations and by locking each other
in a separate geographical cage. This nation (India) was the
basis of his most celebrated novel," he said.