A made-in-India bust of poet-laureate Rabindranath Tagore was presented to the Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at a solemn function on Thursday. The sculpture will later be housed in Singapore's Indian Heritage Centre when it opens in due course.
Timed for the celebrations of Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, the presentation was followed by the screening of Satyajit Ray's documentary on the poet.
Tracing the historical and cultural relevance of Tagore to Southeast Asia, Mr. Krishna said today's idea of globalisation was almost prophesied in the ideals of ‘Visva Bharati' as envisioned by the poet. Those ideals flowed from the idea that “the world makes its home in a single nest.”
Tagore's voyage to several East Asian countries in the 1920s was aimed at renewing India's millennial cultural ties with this region.
The poet had in fact said he “embarked on a pilgrimage to India beyond its modern political boundaries [of the 1920s] to see the signs of the history of India's entry into the universal [realm].”