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Basanta Utsab at Shantiniketan-2010

This may not be the first time in the recent past that peace at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan has been shattered but none could  imagine that violence would take a toll on Basanta Utsav at Gurudev’s Shantiniketan on Sunday. The tradition of celebrating Basanta Utsav at Santiniketan was started by Nobel laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore himself and it is the occasion when  thousands including foreigners,  gather in the campus to witness and participate in the colourful Basanta Utsab on the day of Holi, But this time the tradition was broken when the management had to curtailed the functions by canceling the evening dance drama due to clash between two groups of students. The responsible students of this shameful act should be identified and  be expelled from the prestigious institution without any hesitation.

What happened on Sunday, is shame to Bengal, shame to Bengali, shame to  all of us who love Tagore.

(Photo : Source : Times of India)


 
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Posted by on 02/03/2010 in Indian festival, Shantiniketan

 

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Pachise Baishakh – a tribute to Tagore

A Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 148th birthday on Pachise Baishakh as per Bengali Calender, which falls on 08th May 2008.

Rabindranath Tagore is the first Asian person to be awarded with the Nobel prize in 1913 in literature for his book “Gitanjali” and probably the most prominent personality in the cultural world of Indian subcontinent. He is mainly known as a poet, but his multifaceted talent showered upon different branches of art, such as, Poetry, novels, short stories, articles dramas, essays, painting etc. He was a social reformer, patriot and above all, a great humanitarian and philosopher. To understand his multifaceted talent, his works, one has to do research work on him. It is amazing the way he has written so much in his life time. Here is a piece of his work from his “The  Gardener” :

IN THE DUSKY PATH OF A DREAM

by: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

In the dusky path of a dream I went to seek the love who was mine in a former life.

Her house stood at the end of a desolate street.

In the evening breeze her pet peacock sat drowsing on its perch, and the pigeons were silent in their corner.

She set her lamp down by the portal and stood before me.

She raised her large eyes to my face and mutely asked, “Are you well, my friend?”

I tried to answer, but our language had been lost and forgotten.

I thought and thought; our names would not come to my mind.

Tears shone in her eyes. She held up her right hand to me. I took it and stood silent.

Our lamp had flickered in the evening breeze and died.

Bangla culture, especially music of Bengal (India) and Bangladesh too has been greatly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore – by his thousands of songs and poetries. The songs known as Rabindrasangeet is still popular. The songs of Tagore have an eternal appeal and is permanently placed in the heart of the Bengalis. In Bengal its like a rituals in their lives that in every house children learn and practice Rabindrasangeet.

Amartya Sen in his book “Tagore and His India” says : “Rabindranath is a towering figure in the millennium-old literature of Bengal. Anyone who becomes familiar with this large and flourishing tradition will be impressed by the power of Tagore’s presence in Bangladesh and in India. His poetry as well as his novels, short stories, and essays are very widely read, and the songs he composed reverberate around the eastern part of India and throughout Bangladesh.”

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Bhuban dacoit & Shantiniketan

chhatim-talaa.jpgto-kala-bhavan.jpg

Once upon a time today’s Shantiniketan was known as BhubanDanga, which was the den of a local dacoit named Bhuban. “Danga” means a vast unfertile plane land. The land was owned by the Tagore family. Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, renamed it as Shantiniketan, which means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti).

Shantiniketan1bu2.jpgPath Bhavan (Above) & Basant Utsab during Holi, festival of colours

Rabindranath Tagore started an open air school there for children named as “Path Bhavan”. Tagore’s idea was that of learning in a natural environment, in the open, under the trees, would be more closer to nature. Classes in the open still in vogue there.

Khowai, Shantiniketan

Khowai, Shantiniketan

After Tagore received the Nobel Prize in 1913 for literature (for the book Gitanjali), the school was expanded into an university named as Visva Bharati. Today Visva Bharati is one of the renowned universities, which attracts thousands of students each year. Shantiniketan is also a tourist attraction because Rabindranath wrote many of his literary classics here.

Shantiniketan3aThis building was built by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore

First woman Prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, renowned film director Satyajit Ray and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen are among its most illustrious students.

Rabindra Bhavan, the useum from where the Nobel Medallion was stolen

Rabindra Bhavan, the useum from where the Nobel Medallion was stolen

Adda during Off period

The most prestigious possession of Shantiniketan, the pride of the nation, the “Nobel Prize” medallion of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore which was in display in the ‘Rabindra Bhavan’ (Museum) till it was stolen in the beginning of 2006 and it was done so precisely that country’s top investigating agency too failed to trace it.

Though BhubanDanga has undergone lot many changes in the past but Bhuban dacoit, it seems, has left his legacy and still alive through his modern day decoits who unlike Bhuban decoit, are with us in the society, in disguise. These decoits are more dangerous than the Bhuban decoit because they are in disguise and CBI too failed to find them.

UNESCO will soon declare Shantiniketan as a world Heritage site.

(Visited Shantiniketan  in March 2008)(Some picture taken from Times of India)

 

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