NEW DELHI: Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore left a legacy behind that can never be forgotten. He would have turned 154 today if he was alive.Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying tribute to the gracious soul, said, “I bow down to Gurudesv on his birth anniversary”

At 80, Rabindranath Tagore died on August 7, 1941 but his work and inheritance will be alive eternally. 

While there is almost none who would not know about the celebrated works done by the ‘Gurudev’, there are many other things done by him which are not popularly known.

On his birthday today, let’s take a look on some lesser known facts about the man who reshaped Bengali literature and music.

  1. We all are aware that Rabindranath Tagore wrote the National Anthem of India. But not many are aware that his song ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ was adopted as the National Anthem of Bangladesh and also the lyrics of Sri Lanka’s National Anthem were given by him.
  2. Disappointed by the idea of regular classroom schooling, Rabindranath Tagore laid the foundation of Visva-Bharati University in 1918 that was funded by his Nobel Prize money. The gurus were the mentors and of the students in true spirit which offered them emotional, spiritual and intellectual guidance individually.
  3. The Nobel Prize of Tagore was stolen from the safety vault of the university in 2004. Swedish Academy, as a replacement offered two replicas of the same to the university.
  4. Tagore was knighted by the British Government in 1915; however, as a protest against the British policies in colonial India, he gave up the knighthood.
  5. Even though Rabindranath Tagore was an extremely close friend of Mahatama Gandhi, there are several known disagreements between the two on different issues including nationalism, cultural exchange, economy, patriotism etc. 
  6.  Rabindranath Tagore introduced the best of Indian culture to more than 30 countries while touring five continents. 
  7. Tagore was the first non-European to be awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. 
  8. Rabindranath Tagore was nicknamed ‘Rabi’ in his family and was youngest of the 13 surviving children. He was majorly raised by servants as his mother died while he was too young and his father was a frequent traveler. 
  9. Tagore had five kids, two of whom died in their childhood
  10. Rabindranath Tagore in his visit to the Chennai in 1934, then Madras took a firm stand in favour of educating regional languages.