Tuesday, May 11, 2010

His constant presence in a changing world

While the world celebrated Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary on Friday, his home state is gearing up to honour him on the date of his birth, May 9, as per the Bengali calender

‘Tagore remains quite alive in the Spanish speaking world’

The radical liberal ideas that we encounter in Tagore’s works look refreshingly modern even by today’s standards. He was constantly experimenting with form (eg, ‘the novel of ideas’ as in Gora) and drew as much from Indian cultural forms as from his encounters with Western cultures, internalising everything in the process and revealing India to itself.

In fact, there is a recent UN document that hails Tagore as the key reference point for the notion of a “reconciled universal” of the 21st century. In other words, all humanity — not just jingoistic Bengalis —should look to him in order to move forward and learn how he was capable of embracing the world while still rooted in his own soil, that is, being adaptable and resilient at the same time. This stands in sharp contrast to today’s fashionable multiculturalism, which leads to apparent widening of knowledge but only produces shallow minds.

Full report here DNA

No comments:

Post a Comment