Tagore had an enduring faith in the creative power of young minds which today is marred by artificiality. He provided philosophical underpinnings and led a life of aesthetic simplicity, said Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) during the day long celebrations jointly organized by the School of Humanities (SOH) and Tagore Chair of the university.
IGNOU paid homage to the most revered noble peace prize winner by also organizing dramatic performances in the latter half of the day based on Tagore's story 'Samapti' by National School of Drama's troupe.
Eminent guests like Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy (contemporary writer, critic and Padma Bhushan awardee), Prof. Manoj Das (recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award, Padmashri and the Saraswati Samman award), Prof. Indranath Choudhury, Prayag Shukla, Dr. C.K. Ghosh and Dr. Nandini Sahu discussed various aspects of Tagore's personality and creativity in the light of his humanism.
“The wise/ intelligent people have meanings/words in their minds and choose some language to vent their expressions but there are other people called 'rishis' who go after language/rhythm/musical notes and find their thoughts hidden in them. That is what makes any writer great and Rabindranath Tagore was one of them,” said Prof. Ananthamurthy while delivering his keynote address during the seminar. He further added that there were dark corners of Tagore writings which could be accessed only through his paintings.
Prof. Manoj Das talked about the humanist aspect of Tagore's writings and said, “His greatest characteristic was his sublime simplicity with which he wrote stories, legends, novels, songs, dance, dramas, essays, etc, reflecting a spiritual aspect.”
Prof. Rita Rani Paliwal, Director, SOH, IGNOU, recalled the ecological issues that Tagore felt concerned about. The panel discussion included sessions on various art forms of Tagore by Mr. Prayag Shukla, a literary critic, who emphasized the need to spread awareness about Tagore's works in the society, Dr. C.K. Ghosh, who presented the community development initiatives undertaken by Tagore and explained how Shantiniketan and Sriniketan are the two faces of Visva-Bharati and Dr. Nandini Sahu presented some of Tagore's poems and read the translations.