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Bengal celebrates Tagore’s birth anniversary

IANS | Kolkata |

West Bengal on Monday paid homage to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on the bard's 156th birth anniversary with offerings of his popular songs, enactments of his plays and readings from his works.

Dance dramas composed by Tagore were performed in educational institutions, while cultural functions were organised across the state by clubs, political parties and non-governmental organisations, besides the state government on the occasion.

Poeple thronged in hundreds to pay their tributes to the versatile genius at his birthplace Jorasanko Thakurbari (the sprawling ancestral house of the Tagores at north Kolkata's Jorasanko) where the room where he was born was thrown open to the public through the day. Well-known singers, elocutionists and dancers participated in a cultural programme in the courtyard of the house.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated a fortnight long celebrations at the state-run Nandan-Rabindra Sadan cultural complex, emphasising on the evergreen appeal of Tagore, who holds the unique distinction of composing the national anthems of two countries – India and Bangladesh.

Special issues of little magazines were brought out by young Bengali culture enthusiasts to mark the day.

Special prayers were held at Santiniketan in Birbhum district, where Tagore created the knowledge town of his dreams that blossomed into the Viswa Bharati university in 1921.

The teachers, employees, youths, children were all part of the celebrations as the knowledge- town wore a festive look.

Born on this day Vaisakha 25 according to Bengali calendar (May 7, 1861, according to the Gregorian calendar), Tagore in 1913 became the first Asian Nobel laureate and the first non-European to win the prize for literature.