Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah attended the birth anniversary celebrations of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore as the chief guest in Kolkata, West Bengal, today.
In his address, Shri Amit Shah said that 162nd Rabindra Jayanti is a big day for people who respect free thought and art, not only in Bengal or India but across the globe. He said that we are celebrating the birth anniversary of such a great personality that even a word like ‘Mahamanav’ falls short to describe him. He said that Kaviguru was a global personality in true sense of the word and contributed not just in art and in India, but across various disciplines globally. Shri Shah said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was truly a multifaceted personality and contributed across many fields throughout his life.
Union Home Minister said that there is no discipline in literature in which poet Rabindranath Tagore did not leave his mark, while he also created new dimensions and touched upon different areas. He said that the Kaviguru was a source of inspiration for every leader of independence movement. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was the biggest medium of expression of Indian art in the world. He was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize and to credit also goes to him for the honour of being the writer of the national anthems of two countries. He said that Kaviguru inspired people across many fields. Shri Shah said that by establishing Shanti Niketan, Kaviguru provided a new dimension to education and made an indelible contribution in the field of education. He said that through Shanti Niketan, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore established the form of education that infinitely enhances the capabilities of the students. He added that Rabindranath Tagore also worked towards inculcating the message of Brahmo Samaj and Upanishads in the society.
Shri Amit Shah said that Guru Rabindranath Tagore introduced the world to India and its soul. He said that Kaviguru had a deep connection with Gujarat and the state’s literature as well. Shri Shah said that while Gurudev honoured Gandhiji by referring to him as Mahatma, Gandhiji also referred to him as Gurudev and that is how they are honoured globally. He said that the imprint of Gurudev’s thoughts is visible on the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and literature are synonymous with each other. He said that Kaviguru contributed creatively in every field of literature throughout his life. He said that Gurudev also participated enthusiastically in the debates on the issues of individual freedom versus liberation and rejected the European idea of individual freedom. Shri Shah said that many people identify Gurudev as a poet, agitator and educationist, but he also made a huge contribution in the cooperative sector as well. He said that when Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore received the Nobel Prize in 1913, he established a cooperative bank in his ancestral village Patisar by investing the prize money in the Agricultural Cooperative Bank. Shri Shah said that Gurudev’s life was greatly influenced by his father, family and Hindu traditions. Gurudev laid great emphasis on promotion of his mother tongue, Bengali, and the emphasis on Indian philosophy and thought is clearly visible across his works of art.
Shri Amit Shah said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore always laid great emphasis on education in one’s mother tongue. A child’s capacity of thinking and researching are severely restricted, if he/she cannot speak in his/her mother tongue. He said that the New Education Policy, formulated under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has taken inspiration from the thoughts of Gurudev and given thrust on education in mother tongue. Shri Shah said that this basic idea of Gurudev about the field of education is exemplary across the world. He said that Gurudev believed that glorifying foreign education and universities should not be the goal of our education system.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that the educational experiments conducted in Santiniketan are exemplary for the educationists across the globe and showcase a new vision of education for the entire world. He said that the all the people associated with the field of education in India should take responsibility to strengthen the experiment of Santiniketan and put emphasis on it globally. Shri Shah said that the university should act as an active medium for exchange of ideas. He said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore put forth this new idea of education as opposed to education by rote learning. He said that Gurudev had a great contribution in the freedom movement and his thoughts had a deep impact on the entire movement. Shri Shah said that Gurudev supported all efforts for India’s independence. Gurudev’s opposition to partition of Bengal ensured that the movement reached every nook and corner of India.
Shri Amit Shah said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore also vociferously opposed the Jallianwala Bagh incident and wrote a letter to the then Governor-General of India and returned the knighthood. Shri Shah said that when Gurudev received the Nobel Prize, many people were surprised at an Indian winning the prize. He said that Gurudev’s thoughts continue to guide our nation even today. Gurudev’s free thought for politics, social life, art and patriotism are unlike the kind of narrow mindedness that we see in politics now. Shri Shah said that Gurudev’s thoughts are equally relevant and inspirational even today and his thoughts are the wealth for India and the whole world.