The Life and Works of Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore was one of the most famous Indian writers of all time. He is the only person who has written the National Anthems of two countries, which are India and Bangladesh.
He was born in 1861 to a rich Bengali family belonging to the newly created Brahmo Samaj. At the age of seventeen he was sent to England for his formal education in Law but he returned without a degree to pursue writing poetry, novels, dramas etc in India.
Tagore had written his first poem at the tender age of 8. After his arrival in India from England, he published many poems and short stories, but this was primarily written in Bengali, so these works did not have a wide appeal beyond the confines of Bengal.
His full-fledged writing Career had begun when he went to look after his family estates in modern day Bangladesh. The works of Rabindranath Tagore gained a wider audience after his famous Collection of Poems; "Gitanjali" was translated by him into English and then published in the year 1912.
He was the author of many famous Novels, such as Gora, which is considered to be one of his best works and is the largest one, concentrating on the life of people in the Bengali society of British India, which was divided into Hindus and the Bramho Samaj. Gora is also considered by many to be an Epic. Other famous works of his like Ghaire Baire and Chokher Bali have been made into movies.
Famous short stories by him include "Cabuliballah" or "The Fruitseller from Kabul" and "We crown thee King". Popular Dramas by him inculde "Raja", "Visarjan", "Valmiki Pratibha" etc.
For his excellent work, the British Crown knighted him in 1915. But due to his political views, which were critical of the British Rule in India, especially after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, he later returned his Knighthood.
After handling his estates, Tagore set up the famous Santiniketan Ashram where he then continued to live. From there, he set up "Sriniketan" or The Institute for Rural Reconstruction and he was also responsible the creation of "Vishwa Bharti", a college that has now become a University.
Many of Tagore's poems have been turned into songs with music composed for them. He also wrote Non-fiction and he also wrote an essay, titled, "Nationalism in India". He died in the city of his birth, Kolkata(Calcutta) on 7th August, 1941.