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Nobel Prize For Rabindranath Tagore In 1913- Some Untold Stories

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Rabindranth Tagore was not the recommendation of the Nobel Committee

Rabindranath Tagore was the greatest of all great Bengali writers. But it is sad to note that the learned Bengali readers and writers kept many facts about Tagore’s winning of Nobel Prize in 1913 are kept secret. Some such facts are given below:

A. Rabindranath Tagore was more than many Nobel Laureates. But his winning of the Nobel Prize was a political consolation for the Hindu terrorist movements launched in Bengal in the early days of the 20th century.

B. Rabindranth Tagore was not the recommendation of the Nobel Committee. The Nobel Committee named somebody else. The name of Rabindranath Tagore was not even in the short list of the Nobel Committee.

C. Rabindranth Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize neither as a Bengalee nor as an Indian. He was awarded the prize as an “Anglo-Indian”.

D. Rabindranth Tagore never made any so-called prize receiving speech.

E. Rabindranth Tagore only sent a two line prize acceptance message.

F. The prize was accepted by the British Ambassador and it was delivered to the poet in Calcutta.

G. It appears from the information, now available, that Rabindranath Tagore was awarded Nobel Prize in consideration of his successful attempt to intermingle the Western Christian-Hindu philosophy.

I shall very much welcome exact and objective reply from the esteemed readers of this Group.

I have been planning to publish a very small book on the subject: Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore in 1913: some untold stories. All the points raised in my message are based on facts. But I would like to get more information on the subject. Help from others will greatly help in the publication of the book with more information.

However, for the information of all concerned, I would like to point out that Rabindranath was a Brahmo ( a reformed group of Brahmins of the so-called Hindu community of India).

The word ‘Hindu’ never existed to identify any religion before the emergence of the British Raj in India. It was invented by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in collaboration with the British colonial rulers. This the Britishers did with a view to getting the united massive force together against the defeated Muslim rulers of the then India.

As such, until the early last century, we find that 99% civil servants, lawyers, judges, engineers, doctors, professors etc. under the British Raj in India were from the Hindu community only. The fourth class employees like peons, messengers, bearers or guards are not included.

Brahmos allowed the conversion of even the low caste Sudras. But in fact, all Brahmos were Hindus. This was well understood by the British Rulers of India.

Rabindranath Tagore was not very vast in literary productions in the first decade of the last century. In fact, excepting the limited 250-copy English edition of Gitanjali, hardly there was any English version of Rabindranath Tagore’s other books. Not to speak of any Asian, until 1913 even any American was not awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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The word ‘Hindu’ was invented by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in collaboration with the British colonial rulers.

Rabindranath Tagore was in the spiritual lineage of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna and others. In the lyrical lineage he was obviously reflecting D.L. Roy, Lalon Fakir, Atul Prasad Sen and others.

Rabindranath Tagore was a pro-British wealthy successor to the vast property left by his grand father Dwarakanath Tagore. In the first decade of the 20th Century he was the leading-most Bengalee intellectual friend of the British Rulers in India.

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Had there been no Khudiram Bose or ‘Terrorist Movement’, perhaps there would have been no Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore

During the last decades of the 19th century and in the early 20th century there were popular uprisings, known as the ‘Terroist Movement’ in Bengal. Khudiram Bose was young recruit by such leaders of ‘Terroist Movement’ in Bengal. The British Rulers were very much disturbed by the widespread activities of the volunteers of ‘Terroist Movement’. They needed to pacify the Bengalees. Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore was an attempt in that direction.

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Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize Medal

Rabindranath Tagore was not known to the West in the first decade of the 20th century; hardly any body could have had access to his English edition of Gitanjali; this is obvious from the fact that Rabindranath Tagore was named in the short list of the Nobel Committee for the award of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. It was said that Rabindranath Tagore was known to the Swedish Academy as an ‘Anglo-Indian poet’ and not either as an Indian or as a Bengalee.

In addition, Rabindranath Tagore did not visit Sweden or Norway before or after being awarded the Nobel Prize. The British Ambassador received the prize for and on behalf of Rabindranath Tagore and it was confidentially delivered to Rabindranath Tagore at his Jorasanko residence in Calcutta.
Had there been no Khudiram Bose or ‘Terrorist Movement’, perhaps there would have been no Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore. Even hundreds of Gitanjali could never open the passage of Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore for Literature in 1913.

Of course, the high diplomatic circles and political decision makers in London did not like to take any risk and responsibilities and they decided, more or less during the same period, to shift the capital of the British Raj from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911.

A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah
(Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh &
formerly Assistant Professor of English in
Jagannath College, Dhaka)
P.O. 351, Dhaka-1000
BANGLADESH

Email: shamsuddoulah@yahoo.com

12 Responses

  1. you are a fuck face muslim looser. Its a relief that bangladesh is not with Bengal any more..U all Osama lickers understand only one thing and that is being fanatic about your religion…What can insects like you ever understand the greatness of Tagore, Vivekananda and such pioneers….As long as you can munch on beef and lust for 70 Virgins to screw in heaven and keep condemning anything that is not Islam , what else is the purpose of shit worms like you to live in this planet?

    Invent your own sick theories and conspiracy ideas , the whole world spits and laughs at Bangladeshis and no wonder why bangladesh is what it is today — a garbage of fanatics,who sadly cant even call them bengalis because it would sound “Hindu” to them…mother fuckers.

  2. Hey Porki,

    Had it not been for India, where would Bangladesh been today? A thrown out dumping ground for the Pakis , masturbating their vile on you….Imagine 1971 and be grateful to India you pigs …or maybe you all enjoyed that rape and blood bath at the hands of Pakis your blood brothers…

    Oh yes coming to terrorists, if Khudiram is a terrorist should we not call those young guys who gave their lives for Bengali language at the heart of Bangladesh…as terrorists too?

    The biggest enemies of Bengalis are Bengalis themselves…FIrst they divided on religion and now they are divided by thousands of other reasons and pigs like you are a good contributor to this.

  3. Mr. Partha and Mr. K. Bhatts replies well speak of the sad mental developments of the Indian Hindu Bengalees.

    I am sorry to have hurt you. But I challenge if you can really disprove my comments on Rabindranath Tagore. Come up as educated persons.

    However, thank you for your response!

    A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah
    Dhaka
    shamsuddoulah@yahoo.com

  4. So what if nobel prize was not given to him how does it change its status because he was born great and will continue to be great in the heart of every indians to quote your kobi kazi najrul”aaj bangla jane bangla ki haraieche:on the eve of his death and to quote einstien “ai prithibi te na kokhono emon bektitto jonmo niyeche na jonmo nebe”

  5. To: Mr. Partha, Mr. Bhatt and To Mr. Bose and like others:

    Poetry, poetry, and poetry! Remember as civilization advances, the values and impact of poetry also necessarily declines. Poetry is also a psychiatric factor, so common with the less educated and aboriginals.

    When I was attending Presidency College in Calcutta, at a Coffee House gossiping one Mr. Sharma, a student from U.P. annoying us observed: What you talk of Rabindranath! If you translate the first line from Gitanjali “Aamaar maatha noto korey dao tomar charantoley”, he said sarcastically quoting the words into Hindi as: “Patak dey merey sar terey taang par”. Such observations are never correct.

    Not to speak of all Tagore literature, hardly the people outside West Bengal and and the non-Bengalees read Rabindranath Tagore today.
    His writings are not there in the school and college texts among the non-Bengalee Indians. Even most of the Indians do not know his “Janagana manana jayahe Bharat bhagya bidhaata…” Even more Indians do not understand it. It is like Pakistani National Song “Pak sarzamin shad baad …” in the then East Pakistan.

    To speak the truth, Rabindranath Tagore is still remembered widely among the Bengalees only because he was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize for literature.

    But few people know that it was a political reward!

    A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah
    Dhaka
    Bangladesh

    Email: shamsuddoulah@yahoo.com

  6. There is a political aspect attached to all nobel prizes. Having said this, you can not just ignore the talent, thoughts and philisophy of RNT. Very few poeple in the history of mankind can measure up. BTW, Mohandas Gandhi never got Noble prize and is the most respected persona from Indian sub-continet globally. So, if you are great, prizes do not matter…RNT was gr8 and he got the prize too. It is alleged that some Bangladeshi smugglers stole it from Shantiniketan.

  7. Ravindranath Tagore is one of the greatest Indians…Period! Please don’t insult people whom you are not intellectually capable of comprehending. One of my advise to you would be to concentrate on using your energy positively to help your country progress instead of trying to defame a saint and hurting the sentiments of a billion people. Bangladesh is way behind India, you as a writer should concentrate on educating you fellowmen. Try to teach them technology or the goodness of your religion and not throw mud in the dark. Do you even have the brain to understand Gitanjali?? It is taught in graduate schools in the US and there are subjects on Ravindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandi and so on.

    I am an Indian working in the US and have used most of my salary to open schools in my village in UP, India. Sadly none of the Bangladeshis or Pakistanis I know do such things. Hope you people change your attitudes from hating other religions/countries and use that energy to help your nation/fellowmen progress.

    Granted India also have many people like you, but it also has a far greater number of progressive people who help society instead of doing worthless activities! Our middleclass exceeds entire US population and we have the most number of millionaires. We produce the most number of intellectuals after China. Goto anywhere in the world and you will find Indians doing well of. US grad schools have 13% Indians! Whereas your country (the most densely populated country in the world) produces only a fraction of contributors. It just sad. Please change your ideology in life. Do good and good things will happen to you. Its called Karma and its a Hindu fundamental concept which the west readily caught on (because they are intelligent and open).

  8. Your forum can do with more such posts and lesser like Let`s Eliminate Indian Terrorists in Bangladesh – which is so patently silly. Ambitious governments the world over make mistakes – and in today’s cult of Republican Democracy, elected dictators have few checks on power.

    Having said that, the Indian govt. in the last 65 years, has delivered much to India, the world – and to Bangladesh.

    There are good reasons for Bangladesh to work with India – unlike Pakistan, which believes that there are good reasons to work against India.

    This is a rather dispassionate post on the politics behind Rabindranath Tagore’s (RNT) Nobel Prize.

    A few weak points: –

    1. Tagore’s open and organized opposition of the British during the partition of Bengal give us little reason to doubt his nationalism or loyalty to India.

    2. Your point about RNT’s work being being unknown outside Bengal is diluted by the fact poetry in any language has died in the last 100 years – after the birth of the novel, according to Marshal McLuhan. Regardless of merit. Is there any poet whose work is ‘known’ after 1910. A few lines excepted, no poet has achieved recognition in 20th century.

    3. The favorite conspiracy story in India is that RN Tagore wrote Jana Gana Mana – India National Anthem, as homage to King George. Defenders of RNT believe that it could be also be read in that manner.

    4. The fact that RNT never went to Oslo to accept the prize could have well been engineered by the British – from the fear that that RNT may make some damaging statement in that forum. So no marks to you :) for this piece of weak logic.

    Some outstanding observations

    1. Your observation that American won Nobel Prizes after RNT – implies that they were ‘allowed’ to win the Nobel prizes, makes sense. The award of the Nobel prize to Obama so soon after he became the President supports your thesis of politics behind the Nobel. It makes me happy that Gandhiji ‘never’ won the Nobel Prize. A Nobel Prize for Gandhiji would have been a slur against Gandhiji’s fair memory.

    2. Your other observation which makes eminent sense is the real reasons to shift the British Raj capital from Kolkatta to Nai Dilli was the ‘terrorist’ activities – especially after the partition of Bengal. Of course, Bagha Jatin, Swami Aurobindo had been ‘terrorists’ who made the British nervous is worth mentioning. The activities of Khudiram Bose will make any Indian and a Bengali proud.

    3. Your point about the ‘creation’ of a ‘Hindu’ identity by the Raja Ram Mohun Roy+British is meritorious – but unsubstantiated. If you can add a few links, events, dates, it would make for an excellent contribution to ‘Hindu’ historiography.

    4. Your observation on British objective ‘to intermingle the Christian-Hindu philosophy’ has significant merit. India has a long tradition in this – with Guru Nanak Dev being ahead of the pack. Sikhism blunted the proselytizing zeal of Islamic rulers earlier. British tried for some time to show that they were ‘Aryan’ brothers, who were meeting again. Gandhiji himself used Christian theological arguments to dilute the moral standing of the British Raj.

    No merit or demerit to RNT for using this tool.

  9. Dear Shamsud,

    Recently I came across few facts which created doubts in my mind about nobel prize to Tagore. I now believe it was given to him as some kind of appeasement or as a trade off. I did not find anything worthwhile in Gitanjali for which such prize would be given. Even the song (jana Mana Gana …) written by him was merely in praise of british king George V on his visit which was first time sung for G-V. I believe this should be viewed as antinational instead it is now national anthem of India. If you prefer I will post you with facts.

    Please do not get bogged down with comments of narrow minded orthodox people. Bring out the truth.

    Arvind Bimbisariye, National Capital Region, India. Cell-9899789057. E-mail- bimbisariyea@indianoil.in

    • Hello Mr. narrow-minded & ultra-orthodox Arvind ,
      if u did not find anything worthwhile in Gitanjali, then its your lack of depth of philosophical feelings, no doubt . Nobel prize can just be a minor & unimportant scale to measure RN’s literary excellence. I also condemn your comment ‘antinational’ which you did for India’s national .anthem . RN did not composed it to praise the king George V. I suggest you to read more on this matter & not to post such silly comments publicly for it would only proof your foolishness . I demand your ‘facts’ on the relations between ‘Janagana…..’ & Gerge V. Hope, you will enlighten yourself with the light of true knowledge .
      Bodhisattwa Sinha , Bengal

  10. Dear Shamshud!
    Why dont you attempt an anthem for your country, that still sings “Aamar Shonar Bangla”…! I hope you and people like you in Bangladesh know the name of the poet…If not..google it..
    And, if your anthem is selected, you may get next Nobel Prize in literature…
    All the best!

  11. All the people engaged in this discussion are passing their time, me too. Rabindranath Tagore is a light which enlightening everything till today. And it he will be enlightening in the coming future too. Some people engage themselves in ugly matters. They will never find the white board but the black dot always. Rabindranath Tagore is known to people for what he has given, not for what he has taken. We are pleased with what we have received from him. Everything is covered by his works he did. Some one said ” Rabi roshmi probesh kore nai emon kono kshetra nai”. The people who criticize him have got the ability to think from him. He said ” Koria bikrito mukh, chulkaite boro sukh”. It is obvious that there would be some people who will have “Chulkani” and doing that they will show their “Bikrito mukh”. We are happy what we have got and continue to get the fragrance. Thanks.

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