- Published on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 18:28
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A Bust of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore was unveiled today by Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka in the presence of Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India and Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo at the Main Library of the University of Colombo.
The Bronze Bust has been gifted by Ministry of Culture, Government of India on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. The greenish bronze bust is sculpted by Janak Jhankar Narzary, a renowned sculptor and Professor of Art History in Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati.
Tagore’s three visits to Sri Lanka in 1922, 1928 and 1934 and two transit halts had clearly left an abiding imprint and his extensive interactions with artists and literary personalities of Sri Lanka significantly contributed to the country’s cultural resurgence, inspiring artistes, dancers and singers to develop their genres to classical forms. Prominent Sri Lankan artists such as Ananda Samarakoon, Chitrasena and Sunil Shantha attended Visva-Bharati University and they were greatly influenced by their association with him. On the other hand, Tagore was himself impressed by Kandyan dance and mask dance of Sri Lank and he adapted some elements of those dances in his later choreographic productions.
Tagore was a quintessential ‘Renaissance Man’, one who represented and embodied the ethos, aspirations and challenges of his age and also shaped them in a remarkable manner. His genius as a poet, dramatist, philosopher, educationist, painter and composer is universally acclaimed. But Tagore was perhaps most passionate about his ventures in education. The enhancement of intellectual capacity through a right combination of teaching and learning in a creative manner was central to his many preoccupations. What stands out in Tagore’s interventions in education was his aspiration to spark imagination among students. Towards this end, Tagore initiated the school in Santiniketan as early as 1901 and Visva-Bharati University in 1922. During his visit in 1934 at the invitation of Dr. Wilmot Perera, Gurudev Tagore also laid the foundation of Sri Palee (where beauty reigns) in Horana, an educational institution modeled on the lines of Santiniketan.
Sir Ivor Jennings, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon had said “Tagore had more influence than anyone on the revival of the arts in the island. His love of learning his deep sense of poetry and his feeling for literature makes his light a beacon for youth of Ceylon of Follow”. The current Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama has taken a keen interest in organizing various events to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore in Sri Lanka and it is most appropriate that the bust of Rabindranath Tagore at the main Library, University of Colombo has been unveiled by Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and former Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo.
The unveiling of the bust marks end of year and half long celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in Sri Lanka which included the release of a special Postal stamp on May 7, 2011 by the Sri Lanka Ministry of Posts, and a commemorative volume “Remembering Rabindranath Tagore” with a message from the President of Sri Lanka, containing a compilation of articles in English, Sinhala and Tamil.-