Humanism in Rabindranath’s Literature |

Rabindranath Tagore is the poet whose writings have enriched all branches of Bengali literature and opened up new horizons of creativity. This great poet of Bengali literature was born in Calcutta on May 7, 1861. He was a poet, rhymer, novelist, composer, playwright, painter, short story writer, essayist, singer, philosopher all at the same time. , and a creative humanist.

His 52 collections of poetry, 38 plays, 13 novels, 95 short stories, 36 essays and 1915 songs have taken Bengali literature to a unique level. This great poet painted about 2000 paintings. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his book Gitanjali in 1913. He perfected Bengali literature through poetry, short stories, essays and many songs. Rabindranath Tagore has made the Bengali nation known internationally with his unique designs.
In 1901 he established the Brahmacharyashram at Santiniketan in West Bengal. In 1905, he joined the anti-partition movement. In 1915, the British government awarded him the title of knight
but in 1919 he returned the title in protest at the Jallianwalabagh massacre. In 1921, he created an organization called Sriniketan for rural development. He preached the message of brotherhood through his sharp writing. In his literature, human love, love of country, love of nature, cosmopolitanism and sense of beauty were described in a very beautiful and perfect way. As a means of social welfare, he advocated for the education of the village poor. He protested against social discrimination, religious orthodoxy and bigotry in his literature. His songs continue to play a unique role in promoting humanism. The main theme of his poetry is the sadness of the human heart, the joy and love of mankind. Rabindranath Tagore’s “Balaka” (1916) was a great manifestation of humanism written after the outbreak of World War I.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote about various contemporary issues of women in his various poems and brought them out with a perfect stroke of the pen. In his poetry books Purabi (1925) and Mahua (1929), humanism is eloquently expressed and love is described perfectly here. Rabindranath Tagore was the first successful short story writer in Bengali literature and the way he portrayed humanism in his short stories was not possible for any other writer. He gave more importance to the intellectual analysis of psychological conflicts in his short stories. Her novel, Chokher Bali, explores the problems of widows’ lives in contemporary times and seeks to resolve them. Rabindranath Tagore in the novel Naukadubi sheds light on complex family conflicts or issues and gives them aesthetic form. In his novel Gora he deals with the conflict between Hindus and Brahmo Samaj, social and political conflicts and other issues in a way that no other poet-writer has been able to do, and at the same time he has promoted global humanism. Rabindranath Tagore perfectly illustrated the complex nature of relations between men and women in his novels “Ghore-Byre” and “Jogajog” and showed how to establish a true humanism.
He strongly criticized extremist nationalism in his book “Nationalism” (1917) and said that it is never possible to establish true humanism with a fierce nationalist spirit. The lectures he gave on philosophy at Oxford University, compiled as Religion of Man (1935), are truly an excellent example of humanism. The main element of Rabindranath’s writing is the human, humanity and humanism. ‘Kabuliwala’ reflects Rabindranath’s worldly human consciousness and echoes the air of universal humanity. He gave an artistic and universal form of human affection and love in his literature and proved that the domain of humanism is above all caste, religion, race, country, etc. He paints a grim picture of dowry in his short stories Dena-Pawna, Thakurda, Ponrakkha, and how a housewife is hunted to death by dowry. Rabindranath Tagore portrayed the tragic consequences of dowry on Haïmanti’s life in a very artistic way and showed the fragility of a corrupt society. In his book Aparajita, Rabindranath Tagore paints a grim picture of the inhuman behavior of greedy people and their ugly appearance. The pain of humanity’s humiliation is embodied in the story of Rakanaier Nibuddhita. Poet Rabindranath Tagore reacts strongly against social injustice in his story Bicharok. Rabindranath Tagore condemned the kind of society in which men insult women’s dignity and play the role of judge again. He always protested against the unscrupulous society and pleaded for the good of mankind. He was anti-imperialist and in his story “Megh O Roudra” he condemned the brutality of the British bureaucracy. He protested the tyranny of rulers, judges, and landlords in his literature.
He wrote with a firm hand against racial and caste discrimination and social inequality. In his story “Laboratory”, he beautifully illustrates how racism and apartheid can drive a society to the brink of destruction. In this story, he speaks out against the caste system and breaks the caste system with his sharp writing. In his story ”Muslim” he paints a picture of how the poor were hurt and mankind was ruined as a result of the introduction of the permanent settlement system during British rule. He preached in his literature the philosophy of secularism and cosmopolitanism which was one of the engines of humanism. Humanist poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote in defense of women’s dignity and continued his writing until the last moment of his life establishing women’s rights. He vehemently opposed dowry, co-death, widowhood, polygamy and other harmful issues that tarnish the dignity of women in society. The main theme of her short stories was women’s liberation. In his story, Rabindranath Tagore portrays Kadambini in a way that truly illustrates the negative aspects of the male-dominated society.
He talks about women’s empowerment in his book ‘Khata’ and ‘Wife’s Letter’. According to him, humanism is the greatest religion. Rabindranath Tagore was not like the traditional owners. He was a social reformer and he took various measures for the welfare of the people and he was called the true defender of humanism. Humanism and human love for human beings are the main tenets of Rabindra’s philosophy and literature.
He made equal contributions in all branches of Bengali literature and at the same time, he imposed himself in people’s hearts by promoting universal humanism. He gave guidelines in his literature on how disadvantaged people can assert their rights in society. He taught his readers how to protest and stand up against injustice and inspired his readers to sing for humanity all the time.
Poet Rabindranath Tagore’s teachings on humanism will inspire people from generation to generation and the Bengali nation will always remember him.

The author is Assistant Professor, BAF Shaheen College, Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.

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