Nobel tribute to Tagore

Einstein and Tagore, together

Source: The Telegraph Calcutta, India

Stockholm to Calcutta, Sweden lines up centenary events
CHARU SUDAN KASTURI

New Delhi, Aug. 24: The Nobel Foundation has invited foreign minister Salman Khurshid to its December 10 award ceremony in Stockholm in an unprecedented tribute to Rabindranath Tagore exactly 100 years to the day he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Tagore was declared the awardee-designate on November 13, 1913, and the prize was officially conferred on him on December 10 that year.

The Foundation, which has administered the Nobel Prizes since they were first awarded in 1901, has never before invited individual governments or their ministers to the award ceremony the way it has invited India this time.

Traditionally, local missions represent their countries unless a serving government leader, such as US President Barack Obama in 2009, is the recipient of a Nobel.

But the centenary of Tagore’s award, senior Swedish and Indian diplomats have told The Telegraph, was picked for a rare celebration because he was the first non-European to win the Literature Nobel. Tagore was also the first Asian to win any Nobel.

“The Swedish government has endorsed this decision by the Nobel Foundation and we look forward to hosting foreign minister Khurshid in Stockholm this December,” Dag Sjoogren, the first secretary (political) at the Swedish embassy here, told this newspaper. “We are also hoping for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines.”

Sweden’s ambassador to India, Harald Sandberg, credited widely by Indian diplomats with helping strengthen bilateral ties during his now year-old tenure, is currently in Stockholm where he will be preparing for Khurshid’s visit.

But it isn’t only in Stockholm that Sweden is planning to celebrate the centenary of Tagore’s award.

The embassy here is also tying up with the Calcutta Metro to establish “Nobel Walls” — walls that will serve as tributes to India’s Nobel laureates — at three city stations that boast major footfall and are in neighbourhoods with a Tagore connect.

One of the three Nobel Walls will be made a permanent fixture. The embassy is also setting up similar Nobel Walls at Delhi Metro stations, the officials said.

Tagore, physicists C.V. Raman and Subramanyam Chandrasekhar, geneticist Hargobind Khorana, Mother Teresa, economist Amartya Sen and chemistry Nobel winner Venkatraman Ramakrishnan are the seven Indian Nobel laureates who will be featured on the walls — though some modern historians argue that Indian-origin British author V.S. Naipaul, and India-born British writer Rudyard Kipling and scientist Ronald Ross should also be considered “Indian”.

Read further, in The Telegraph, Calcutta

RabindraNath Tagore’s, The First Non-European Nobel Laureate in Literature, Homage to Islam and Rare Videos

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