While speaking at the celebration, Consul General of Houston Aseem Mahajan highlighted the significance of Tagore’s travels, writings, and visions of international brotherhood in the world of today and of the city of Houston, which in particular is a melting pot of varied cultures.
A two-day event was organized by the Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to Houston in February 1921. Amidst teeth-chattering weather, the celebrations were held at the Tagore Grove Memorial in Ray Miller Park on Saturday followed by a virtual concert with presentations of Tagore’s music and recitation on the next day.
Consul General of Houston Aseem Mahajan along with some guests and TSH members attended the event. TSH President Gopendu Chakrabarti led the event, welcomed the guests, and outlined Tagore’s message of universalism and world peace.
While speaking at the celebration, Mahajan highlighted the significance of Tagore’s travels, writings, and visions of international brotherhood in the world of today and of the city of Houston, which in particular is a melting pot of varied cultures. He said: “It’s great to celebrate the momentous occasion of Tagore’s visit to Houston a century ago, to deliver a lecture at Rice University as part of his second transcontinental lecture tour in America. And this evoked considerable interest in his literary and other works across the United States.” He also added that the Consulate is eager to work towards deepening the cultural ties and people-to-people contacts between the United States and India while noting Tagore’s idea of a borderless world.
A life-size bronze statue of Tagore stands in the Tagore Grove Memorial. It was unveiled in 2013 and is the first statue of the poet to be erected in the United States and the sixth outside of his birthplace, Kolkata, India. The Tagore Grove is a symbol of universal peace and love and is dedicated to all the communities in the city.
A TSH supporter and adviser, Pradeep Anand outlined the details of Tagore’s visit to Houston and Surajit Dasgupta spoke about the plans for Tagore Memorial Wall around the statue by the end of the year.
Renowned Tagore exponent Shreya Guhathakurta and elocutionist Bratati Bandyopadhyay performed during the online concert on Sunday. Guhathakurta presented a Tagore song accompanied by English recitation by Partha Sen and Bandyopadhyay performed a fabulous duet. Former TSH President Debleena Banerji recited the famous poem “Where the mind is without fear” by Tagore.