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Rabindranath Tagore had deep connections with US, know why?

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Rabindranath Tagore had deep connections with US, know why?

Tagore – a Bengali writer and poet, educator, musician and visionary was a big time traveller and his visits to the United States always raised a question about his relations with States. Between 1912 and 1930, Tagore visited the United States five times, travelling from coast to coast and receiving a warm welcome. World sought Tagore as a bridge builder between East and West.

The records of several government agencies reveal even more about Tagore’s complex relationship with the West, especially the United States, where he was beloved in some circles and viewed with suspicion by others.

Tagore’s earliest visit to the United States in 1912 followed the first publication of his poetry in Chicago’s literary journal ‘Poetry’ that year. Six free verses of his devotional poetry were translated from his work Gitanjali (The Offering of Songs). Many years later, during the 1961 centenary celebrations of Tagore’s birth, President Kennedy quoted a “majestic verse” from Gitanjali that “might serve as today’s universal prayer”.

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During that seven-month visit in 1912, Tagore spent time with his daughter-in-law and son Rathindranath Tagore, who was a student at the University of Illinois and an active member of the Urbana Unitarian congregation. Tagore’s regular meetings with local church members and students, and his famous Harvard lecture series established long-lasting ties with communities in the United States, where Tagore Societies soon sprung up to study his work.

Records created by the War Department, Military Intelligence Division, between 1918 and 1947, include biographies of leaders, politicians and significant people such as Tagore.


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