To celebrate the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Embassy is hosting a cultural extravaganza across the Capital from November 8 to 16.
The “Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week 2013” will also be celebrated across eight Indian cities. According to Swedish Ambassador to India Harald Sandberg, Rabindranath Tagore was a man far ahead of his times. “I was impressed by Tagore’s literary bent of mind while going through Gitanjali. His works penned almost a century ago still have relevance in today’s world. Perhaps, the central issues that moved Tagore most are the importance of open-minded reasoning and the celebration of human freedom as he effectively embraced humanism and universalism as opposed to patriotism and regionalism. Tagore’s visit to our country in 1926 attracted huge attention. His Majesty King Gustavus V. received the poet at Stockholm. In 1913, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature would be presented to Tagore. He was instrumental in fostering friendly relationship between India and Sweden.” Admitting that Tagore was popular only among the intelligentsia in Sweden, the Ambassador said the Memorial Week seeks to rekindle interest in “the exceptionally gifted personality of the 20Century”.
Mr. Sandberg will inaugurate “Nobel Memorial Wall” at Rajiv Chowk metro station here on November 9. The display will explain why the Nobel Prize was conferred on Tagore. “We have managed to translate a historic Swedish document into English. The translation was done because we wanted Delhiites to go through the display. Tagore was not only the first Indian to bring home the award but also the first non-European to get one in literature.”
The Memorial Week begins with a panel discussion moderated by Tagore scholar and translator Radha Chakravarty. Panellists include filmmaker Kaushik Mukherjee, theatre personality Prakash Belwadi and Shirshendu Chakrabarti.