Shimla: Less than a year before the 150th anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) Shimla will be setting up a Tagore Center, first of it’s kind, at it’s campus at the historic Viceregal Lodge at Shimla.
Rabindranath Tagore had stayed at the Viceregal Lodge campus in 1863 at the nearby Woodfield house with his brother Satyendranath Tagore, first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service, and wrote eight poems later published in periodical Sonar Tari.
The proposal,submitted by the Institute sometime back has been approved by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and now awaits approval of a high power committee headed by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This will be nation’s biggest tribute to Tagore — whose contributions as a popular poet, novelist, musician, painter, playwriter, social scientist and philosopher have been acknowledged internationally.
The excitement over the upcoming centre is palpable at the Institute. Director Peter Ronald deSouza was quoted in the media saying, ‘Looking at the kind of mandate,which IIAS has been given by its visionary founders like Proff. S. Radhakrishnan, this centre will be a biggest contribution that Institute will be able to make to Tagore’s life and legacies. We are getting ready for the events to follow in the 150th year of Tagore’.
As proposed, the centre, which will have a permanent Tagore Chair at the IIAS and will have four fellows, including one exclusively working on his works in the creative field like visual art, theater, music etc. Tagore had composed more than 2,200 songs and was a prolific painter. Some of his songs are an integral part of Bengali culture.
Other three, will devote on Tagore’s works in the Indian literature, humanities and social sciences. The funding will be provided by the HRD ministry .
‘We have suitable infrastructure and environment to facilitate advanced studies on this greatest human being of the century, having influence across the world. There are some of the amazing facts about Tagore’s personality ,which need to be explored. Tagore had traveled almost all over the world and even had met noble Laureate Albert Einstein in 1930 who turned out to be a great admirer of Tagore’, deSouza informed.
Himachal tourism’s recently launched coffee table book Har Ghar Kuchh Kehta Hai, also mentions detail on Tagore’s association with Shimla including his stay and poems written at Woodfield.