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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 08.05.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukhrjee received the first copy of the book ‘Contemporarising Tagore and the World’ at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (May 8, 2013).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the book is the result of a joint India - Bangladesh venture to commemorate Gurudev Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. He stated that this is entirely consistent with the reverence with which Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is cherished in both India and Bangladesh.

The President said that Tagore was inspired by the Upanishads and Gita, by the Bhakti movement in India and the philosophy of the Bauls in Bengal. In all of these Tagore saw the need for man to discover the God in himself and steer his actions accordingly, with a sense of his dharma and a sense of purpose. He emphasized that these principles are extremely important today- regardless of the religion that we practice.

The President said that in both his paintings as well as his lyrics, Tagore never failed to pay tribute to women and their crucial role in the evolution of a better society. He added that we are only too aware of Tagore’s intense focus on the transformational role of education and its impact on children, women and young adults and his emphasis on women's empowerment and their role in changing societal mindsets, both within the family and in the wider community. He stated that there is need to revive these guiding principles that are fundamental to our way of life. We cannot afford to dilute the Indian way, the President added.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Dr. Karan Singh, President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Prof. AAMS Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka, Prof. Muchkund Dubey, President, Council for Social Development and Dr. Suresh K. Goel, Director General, ICCR.

This release issued at 1925 hrs