On the 150th birth anniversary of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, India hosted a three-day international conference at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
As a part of the celebrations, Tagore’s vision of the contemporary world and the relevance of his outlook on humanity was the central topic of the conference. It was held between October 10th and 12th at the Azad Bhavan in New Delhi, under the aegis of the ICCR. The Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, also a Bengali and a staunch student of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, inaugurated the conference.
The President of the Council, Dr. Karan Singh, in his address discussed at length the greatness of Tagore and also expressed his personal views on Tagore and his work. In Dr. Singh’s opinion, Tagore, though proud to be an Indian, was perhaps also one of the first who believed in being a global citizen. As a Renaissance man, Tagore was the vital bridge who forged the links between Indian culture and world culture. This single contribution of Tagore itself is sufficient to consider him as the first true Indian global citizen.
The participants at the conference included academics and artists of various streams, both from India and abroad. The discussions focused on the present day challenges of the contemporary world and the usefulness in adopting Tagore’s global visions and philosophy to achieve the goals he envisioned – freedom and unity of mankind.
The themes of the conference, which the ICCR had announced prior to the conference, included: Beyond Nationalism: Contesting the Boundaries between the Home and the World; Man and the Universe: The Ecological Oneness; Writings of Tagore and his Integrated Vision; and The New Education: Reasoning in Freedom.
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