Formation of National Identity in Bangladesh and Rabindranath Tagore Muhammad Rezaul Haque “Rabindranath is the Light House in the

national life”: The Honorable PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina” – New Age, Date 6-5-11 Sovereign Bangladesh (Divided or Undivided) had no place in the political philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath believed in Indian Nationalism. Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal in 1905 on the basis of religious ground and the Muslims of Bengal welcomed the partition while the Hindus opposed it and in 1906 Rabindranath wrote Amar Sonar Bangla as a cry against the partition of Bengal and as a result the partition had to be cancelled disheartening the Muslims. How can he (Rabindranath) be a Lighthouse for Bangladesh? He rather turned the light of a larger Bangladesh off through his movements at that time. No doubt Rabindranath enriched Bengali Language and own Nobel Prize for his works in Bengali. As regard, the political role of Bengali, he proposed to Gandhi in 1919 that Hindi should be the state language of Independent India (Including Bengal). Rabindranath even opposed the establishment of Dhaka University. On 31-3-1912 he presided over a meeting of the opponents of Dhaka University held at Garer Math, Calcutta. He felt that in view of the existence of the Calcutta University, no other university at Dhaka was necessary. Governor General of British India Lord Hardinge declared the intension of establishing the Dhaka University on 31-1-1912. Immediately after the announcement the Hindus of Calcutta started a movement against the proposed university. As a part of this movement they (Hindus of Calcutta) arranged a public meeting at Garer Math (Field of Gar) at Calcutta. The meeting was presided over by the poet Rabindranath. So in the dream of Rabinrdanath, Dhaka University had no place. We cannot be great by imitating Rabindranath. We will have to develop our own identity on the basis of our culture. In an essay titled “Literary Assessments of Tagore by Bengali Muslim Writers”, Mahmud Shah Quereshi said very rightly that in the world of Visva-Bharati of the world-poet Rabindranath, so many times has the joyous Mother come and departed, but never for a day in the sky of that world did the moon of Eid and Mohorram appear. To make that moon appear the task
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was left to Nazrul Islam. There is nothing to regret because it is natural. So it is the harsh truth. Rabindranath was opposed to the ethos that had led to the birth of Present day Bangladesh.

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