Tagore challenges all even today: URA

Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of Rabindra Utsav organised by Manipal Institute of Communication in association with Ministry of Culture, Government of India, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore here on Thursday, Ananthmurthy said Tagore is someone who challenges all even today.

Tagore intervenes with Gandhi and he was highly influenced by the Spanish poet Neruda. Tagore was a patriotic and not a nationalist. Tagore was suspicious of nationalism. He envisaged the model of India as the site of civilisation rather than viewing it as country.

Unlike Gandhi, he was not a revivalist, rather Tagore was revisionist. Whereas Gandhi was revivalist. Tagore was more consciously modernised than Gandhi. Gandhi and Tagore are still in struggle against each other and they need to be studied together.

Ananthmurthy said Gora, the volume authored by Tagore is a fundamental text for all Indians in understanding equality, he added.

He said hunger for equality, hunger for modernity and hunger of new spirituality that goes beyond the conventional religion was the three great hungers of 20th century that charged the history of times. These three hungers were charged by intelligentsia and also the common masses. All the three hungers have roots in equality and self respect.

Hunger is a kind of urge in people that is both subjective and also historically objective.

During the times of Tagore, writers in western countries with deepest desires had political reservations not shared by the common masses unlike in India where it was shared by the common masses. Tagore influenced various other Indian languages through inspired translators. Great writers begin with emptiness as happened with Tagore.

Driving oneself to that point of nothing to say will bring out something. It applies to all fields like music, writing, mathematics and so on. Writing in English language had one advantage where the writer need not had to mention the area, caste or religion to which he belongs, he added.

Stating that Karnataka had major impact of Bengal rather than the neighbouring states, Ananthmurthy said it was the British rule and Hindu renaissance that made differences in Bengal.

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