Tagore the 'prophet of Asia's revival'
Beijing: Poet and novelist Rabindranath
Tagore was on Thursday described as the "prophet of Asia's revival' at a global meet here to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel laureate and discuss his achievements, life and
"At a time when it is fashionable to talk of a shift of power towards Asia, we might do well to remember Tagore as the prophet of Asia’s revival," said S. Jaishankar, the Indian Ambassador to China.
Addressing the conference jointly organised by India and
China at Peking University, he said many of Tagore’s speeches
and activities "were devoted to the very subject that is in
the minds of policy makers and intelligentsia now: the
distinction between modernisation and the westernisation".
The envoy said Tagore would "surely see in 'development
with Chinese characteristics', the validation of many of his
Tagore, one of the most revered Indian literary figures
by Chinese readers, visited Shanghai three times between 1924
to 1929 besides Beijing, Nanjing and Hangzhou.
Through his visits, the Nobel laureate made extensive
contacts with many influential figures of China's literary
circles and delivered a number of speeches and exercising far
reaching influence on China's literary horizon.
But his one Asia concept, advocating a more cohesive
political union among Asian countries came in for criticism
from left wing thinkers in China at that time.
Jaishankar said Tagore's emphasis on Asian societies
retaining their distinctive cultural traits was a subject of
some controversy when he came to China.
"The world in transition requires not just new power
groupings. It also needs alternative socio-cultural and
philosophical constructs. Drawing on Tagore’s vast legacy will
be greatly helpful to that process," he underlined.