On May 7 th, 1861, was born a man who left an indelible mark in the world of literature, philosophy, music, education and on the lives of many people. He wrote the national anthem for at least two countries, India and Bangladesh, and influenced the writer of the national anthem of a third country, Sri Lanka.
Rabindranath Tagore, the first non- European Nobel prize winner, was a remarkable man. Despite having his songs picked for national anthems and providing inspiration to other national anthem writers, he was critical of a system that drew borders among men and created hatred or intolerance. He withdrew from the politics of nationalism. He wrote: “…my conviction (is) that my countrymen will gain truly their India by fighting against that education which teaches them that a country is greater than the ideals of humanity.”
His birth anniversary is often commemorated with songs written by him. He is accredited with the creation of more than two thousand songs, novels, novellas, many short stories and plays, most of which bear social and political relevance to the current world despite having been written more than a century ago.
Last month Oxford University Press decided to honour him by making him the Philosopher of the Month. Read more about it.
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