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Santiniketan

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    16th Dec, 2023

Context

A Centre-approved board/plaque identifying Santiniketan as UNESCO-approved world heritage site has been erected by Visva-Bharati at the location.

 

About

About Santiniketan:

  • Founded by Debendranath Tagore and home to Visva-Bharati, the university set up by his son Rabindranath - was accorded world heritage status by UNESCO.
  • Established in rural West Bengal in 1901 by poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, it was a residential school and centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions and a vision of the unity of humanity transcending religious and cultural boundaries.
  • A ‘world university’ was established at Santiniketan in 1921, recognizing the unity of humanity or “VisvaBharati”.
  • Distinct from the prevailing British colonial architectural orientations of the early 20th century and of European modernism, Santiniketan represents approaches toward a pan-Asian modernity, drawing on ancient, medieval and folk traditions from across the region.

Debendranath Tagore:

Maharishi Debendranath Tagore was a scholar and a social reformer. He joined the BrahmoSamaj in 1842, which was founded by Raja Rammohan Roy in 1828.

  • Earlier, he headed the TattvabodhiniSabha, which was founded in 1839. The sabha started a monthly theological journal named TattvabodhiniPatrika in Bengali.
  • TattvabodhiniSabha and TattvabodhiniPatrika, both focused on the systematic study of India’s past with a rational outlook and propagated the ideas of Raja Rammohan Roy.
  • In later years, TattvabodhiniSabha was incorporated into the BahmoSamaj.
  • Debendranath Tagore’s Samaj came to be known as the AdiBrahmoSamaj.

Rabindranath Tagore:

  • Born in Kolkata on May 7, 1861, emerged as a globally acclaimed poet, author, philosopher, and the first Nobel laureate from Asia.
  • Revolutionized Bengali literature by introducing innovative prose and verse forms, liberating it from classical Sanskrit conventions. He was highly influential in bridging Indian and Western cultures.
  • Composed around 2230 songs known as RabindraSangeet and painted 3000 artworks. Notably, he penned India's national anthem, Jana GanaMana, and Amar Sonar Bangla, the national anthem for Bangladesh, leaving an indelible mark on Sri Lanka's anthem as well.
  • Received a knighthood in 1915, he renounced it in 1919 as a protest against the Amritsar (JallianwallaBagh) Massacre.
  • Founded ViswaBharti University, initially named Shantiniketan.
  • Among his major literary contributions, Gitanjali: Song Offerings, which earned him the Nobel Prize, stands out. Other notable poetic works include Sonar Tari and Manasi.
  • Tagore delved into novels, plays, and short stories in both Bengali and English, with outstanding pieces like Chitra and The Post Office.
  • Credited with pioneering the Bengali short story, his exceptional narratives are collected in The Hungry Stones and Other Stories and The Glimpses of Bengal Life.
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