Birth anniversary events will befit Tagore's legacy: PM

Birth anniversary events will befit Tagore's legacy: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader L. K. Advani after paying tributes to Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary at Parliament House in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

Singh, who inaugurated a specially curated exhibition 'The Master's Strokes: Art of Rabindranath Tagore' at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here, said India would organise a grand exhibition of his paintings in Paris next year to commemorate his birth anniversary.

"I am deeply honoured to inaugurate this exhibition of one of the world's foremost cultural personalities...The Visva-Bharati, the Ministry of Culture and the NGMA are working together on a grand exhibition of Tagore's paintings in Paris next year.

"This will mark his 150th birth anniversary in the very city where he displayed his art for the first time in 1930, before a discerning and appreciative audience," Singh said.

The prime minister noted that the government had already set up a national committee with several senior Ministers, state Chief Ministers and many eminent scholars, experts and others, "to suggest, formulate and plan a number of events that would rekindle public interest in Gurudev's rich cultural legacy and in his thoughts, ideals, teachings and values."

It also constituted an Implementation Committee headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to work out operational details of the proposed celebrations and to ensure that the commemoration was really a befitting one, he said.

Noting that Tagore's genius as a poet, dramatist, philosopher, educationist and composer won him universal acclaim, the Prime Minister said his genius as a painter was, however, less well known, perhaps because he began painting when he was well into his 60s.

Singh said he was happy the NGMA was commencing the national celebrations by showcasing some of the "precious contributions of the versatile genius of Indian art".
Noting that Tagore hardly had any formal training in art, he said, "yet, through his own efforts, he developed a highly imaginative and spontaneous visual vocabulary.
"His work displayed a superb sense of rhythm and vitality and his techniques matched his highly developed and refined creative expression," he added.

For Tagore, Singh said, art was the bridge that connected the individual with the world.
"What began as a poet subconsciously joining his erasures, over-writings, corrections and doodles, gradually materialised into a unique form of art. Rabindranath came to enjoy his efforts and found painting to be another expressive medium of his restless, creative mind," he added.

The Prime Minister noted that Tagore made 3,000 paintings and drawings in the last 17 years of his life, adding that the largest part of the treasure was in Visva-Bharati, which would come out with a publication of a prestigious set of Tagore's paintings and drawings called the 'Chitraa-vali' with assistance and support from the Culture Ministry.

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