Various programmes have been organised and wards instituted in memory of India’s poet laureate, thinker-writer –painter –philosopher- musician and teacher the revered Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary
As a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary, the government announced a grant of Rs 150 crore to the
Nobel Laureate's abode - Visva Bharati University to help restore it to its old glory. This respected institution founded by India’s poet laureate – the revered writer-thinker-painter and teacher Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is physically on the verge of collapse.
On the closing day of the year-long celebrations to mark the anniversary that saw a flurry of activities both in India and outside, the government said the first 'Tagore International Award' would be presented to sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar. The award has been instituted by the government to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, for promoting values of universal brotherhood.
The name of Ravishankar, the Varanasi-born most known contemporary Indian musician, was chosen unanimously by a jury under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
On the recommendation of the jury, the award has been renamed as 'Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony', Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while announcing Ravishankar's name for the award.
The award would be presented by the President in a special ceremony, he said.
Singh had last year announced establishment of the Tagore Award for promoting values of universal brotherhood.
The award comprises Rs one crore, a citation in a scroll,a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.
Announcing Ravishankar's name, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Ravishankar would receive the award that carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore and citation from the President of India at a ceremony later.
Leaders from India and Bangladesh, whose national anthems were penned by the poet, paid rich tributes to Tagore as Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said he would continue to inspire "every Bengali" at every point of life.
Mukherjee and Moni quoted extensively from Tagore's work, especially the much-aclaimed Gitanjali, to drive home their point that the Nobel Laureate was a "global citizen" who was firmly rooted in the world of sight, colour and sound.
"I am happy to announce Rs 150 crore will be granted to Visva Bharati University to revive and restore the glory of this great institution founded by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore," Mukherjee said at the closing ceremony of
celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.
Vice President Hamid Ansari said Tagore was a multifaceted genius whose creativity spanned every form of artistic expression and his concerns ranged from global and universalist ones to practical and mundane issues.