Rabisarani Rabisarani

Before After
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Sukeshi Devi dies

2nd January, 1919
Sukeshi Devi, wife of the poet's nephew Kritindranath, dies of influenza in Santiniketan.
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Letter to Amal Home

4th January, 1919
Poet writes to Amal Home, mourning Ajitkumar's death.
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South India tour

6th January, 1919
There have been numerous invitations from different personalities and institutions in South India since his recent visit there. So accompanied by son-in-law Nagendranath and painter Surendranath Kar poet embarks on an extensive tour.
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Radhakrishnan writes about the tour

6th January, 1919
Prof. Radhakrishnan, Vice-chancellor of Mysore University has already written to him assuring him-"…and the visit may be arranged in such a manner as to suit your own convenience and inclination."
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Bangalore

11th January, 1919
Poet reaches Bangalore (now Bengaluru) via Madras (now Chennai), crowds of admirers getting him at almost each station.
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Exhibition

12th January, 1919
Fine Arts exhibition inaugurated.
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Felicitation by Bangalore Amateur Dramatic Association

12th January, 1919
Felicitated at a grand reception organised by Bangalore Amateur Dramatic Association, presented a fine silver casket containing the address.
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The Message of the Forest

12th January, 1919
Poet reads The Message of the Forest.
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The Centre of Indian Culture

13th January, 1919
At the same venue he reads The Centre of Indian Culture in which he for the first time expounds the ideal underpinning Viswa-Bharati.
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Felicitation by students of different colleges and schools

14th January, 1919
Organised by students of different colleges and schools. In merry humour Rabindranath addresses them-"There are men who are old, old not in the tenth century after Christ or tenth century before Christ, but in the 20th I mean; and some who are 57 like myself, but in reality not older than 27."
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Education in General

19th January, 1919
Speaks on Education in General at Rangacharlu Memorial Hall, Mysore.
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Felicitation by students of Maharaja College and others

20th January, 1919
Felicitated by students of Maharaja College and other institutions. They also donate Rs. 500/- for the Santiniketan vidyalaya.
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Visits Maharani College

20th January, 1919
Visits Maharani College in the evening and reads The Trial.
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Mysore University fails to impress the poet

1919
Mysore University fails to please or impress the poet who writes-"There is absolutely nothing of our own in it, it's an imitation-every inch of it."
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At Ooty

1919
Rabindranath at the hill resort.
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Reception

5th February, 1919
Given a civic reception in Coimbatore.
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Palakkad

7th February, 1919
Arrives in Palakkad to a great ovation.
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Civic reception at Pentland Gardens

7th February, 1919
Civic reception at Pentland Gardens in the evening. A sandalwood casket inlaid with ivory containing the address presented to the poet.
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Donation for Santiniketan

7th February, 1919
Citizens donate Rs. 1008/- for Santiniketan vidyalaya.
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Felicitation at Banol Mission Hall

8th February, 1919
Felicitated by students of Palakkad at Banol Mission Hall.
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At Salem

8th February, 1919
Arrives in Salem at night.
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Discuss with local elite

9th February, 1919
In conversation with the local elite, talks about litrature and politics informally. In his opinion the repressive Rowlatt Bill is no law at all. Reads the English translation of Gandharir Avedan.
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Big civic reception at the local Electric Theatre

9th February, 1919
Big civic reception at the local Electric Theatre in the afternoon. Poet reads The Centre of Indian Culture. Later at another function he reads an English translation of Karnakuntisamvad.
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Trichinapalli

10th February, 1919
Arrives at Trichi Fort station to a rousing reception.
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Civic reception at Laviey Hall

10th February, 1919
Civic reception at Laviey Hall in the evening. In his reply poet reads The Message of the Forest.
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Kumbhakonam

11th February, 1919
Arrives here the next day.
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The Spirituality in the Popular Religion of India

11th February, 1919
Welcomed at the local college. Reads The Spirituality in the Popular Religion of India.
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Tanjore

12th February, 1919
In Tanjore. Visits Union Club and Havlock Library; reads The message of the Forest at a local theatre. Sees a performance of Sakuntala staged by Sudarshan Sabha.
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Back in Trichinapalli

13th February, 1919
Back in Trichinapalli he reads The Centre of Indian Culture before the women members of the Hindu Religious Union and witnesses the performance of a play staged in aid of Santiniketan. Leaves for Madurai at night.
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Madurai

14th February, 1919
Reads The Message of the Forest before a mammoth audience at the local American Missionary College.
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Illness

14th February, 1919
Down with influenza.
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Rest

February, 1919
Takes a week's rest.
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The Spirit of Popular Religion

21st February, 1919
Reads his second lecture The Spirit of Popular Religion at the assembly hall of American College.
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Visits Union Club

22nd February, 1919
Visits Union Club. In the evening he delivers his last lecture on Education in India. Proceeds from the lecture donated to Santiniketan.
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Madanapalli

23rd February, 1919
Leaves for Madanapalli.
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J.A. Cousins welcomes poet

23rd February, 1919
His friend J.A. Cousins, principal of Woods College, welcomes him and he stays at the college.
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Special lecture in aid of relief fund

28th February, 1919
Having learnt from Cousins that the students are organising a relief fund in aid of the disaster-hit people of the adjacent regions, he offers "to deliver a special lecture in Madanapalle, in aid of the relief fund." He also hands over a bank order he's just received from Japan.
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The Morning Song of India

28th February, 1919
It is most probably at this meeting that he sings Janaganamana and translates into English under the title The Morning Song of India.
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Bangalore

2nd March, 1919
Arrives in Bangalore.
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Postpones the Madras visit

March, 1919
Postpones the Madras visit (now Chennai) for the time being chiefly because the conservative Brahmins of the city are very vocal in their criticism of his advocacy of V.J.Patel's Bill on inter-caste marriage in his letter recently printed in the Modern Review.
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Write letter to The New India

4th March, 1919
Writes a long letter to The New India setting out his views.
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The Spirit of Popular Religion in India

8th March, 1919
Reads The Spirit of Popular Religion in India at the local Mythic Society.
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Madras

9th March, 1919
Arrives in Madras.
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The Centre of Indian Culture

10th March, 1919
Delivers his address The Centre of Indian Culture as the Chancellor of National University at Gokhale Hall in Armenian Street, Madras.
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The Message of the Forest

11th March, 1919
Lectures on The Message of the Forest.
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The Spirit of Popular Religion in India

12th March, 1919
Lectures on The Spirit of Popular Religion in India.
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Visits Presidncy College

13th March, 1919
Visits Presidncy College, is welcomed by principal Allan, female students of Queen Mary College and others. Reads The Autumn Festival.
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Visits Law College

14th March, 1919
Visits Law College with Andrews. Presented with an address by the students.
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Visit educational Institutes

14th March, 1919
Visits other educational istitutions,too.
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Sudden illness

15th March, 1919
Sudden illness. Doctors advise rest. Poet nevertheless leaves for Kolkata.
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Kolkata

17th March, 1919
Back in Kolkata.
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Vichitra Club

19th March, 1919
At this Vichitra session Rabindranath gives an account of his tour in south India.
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Empire Theatre

21st March, 1919
Before a massive and distinguished audience gathered at the theatre he reads The Centre of Indian Culture. The proceeds donated to the Vidyalaya.
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Santiketan

22nd March, 1919
Back in Santiniketan.
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See circus with students

23rd March, 1919
Goes to see a circus with the students of the school.
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Reads for the inmates

24th March, 1919
Reads The Centre of Indian Cultue to the inmates of the asram.
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The message of the Forest

26th March, 1919
Reads The message of the Forest to the inmates.
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Arrives at Kolkata

27th March, 1919
Arrives in the city accompanied by Dinenanath and Andrews on the way to Benaras.
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Lecture

28th March, 1919
Reads The Message of the Forest at Basu Vignyan Mandir at Jagadish Chandra's invitation.
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At Benaras

1919
Arrives in Benaras. He is now the guest of Ranu's father, Phanibhusan Adhikari from 29th March to 6th April, 1919. He'd promised Ranu that he'd stay with them when he would next come to Benaras. Thus a promise is kept.
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Agitation

1919
Agitation against the Rowlatt Act (Bill passed on 18th March) at its height in the country. At Gandhiji's call a countrywide hartal is observed on 6th April. He writes to the poet asking him to support the movement (5th April). The poet's declaration of support is conveyed in a letter writen to Gandhi and published in The Indian daily News (16th April). In this historic letter Rabindranath addresses Gandhi as "Mahatmaji" and also offers the salutary warning-"Power in all its forms is irrational--it is like the horse that drags the carriage blindfolded." Many lives were lost in police firing during clashes between the police and the agitators in Delhi, Amritsar, Lahore, Kolkata and the government unleashed brutal repression.
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Punjab crisis

1919
Things come to a crisis in Punjab. Alarmed by the unity of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus achieved in the struggle, the colonial government resorts to increasingly barbarous measures to quell the movement. The Jalianwallabagh massacre (379 killed, 1200 wonded) occurs on 13th April, 1919. Gujranwallah is bombed and people machinegunned. Martial law is imposed on Punjab, the press is gagged. News is scarce at first but continues to trickle out and soon the country is appalled.
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Reception

5th April, 1919
At a reception the Bengali students of Benaras Hindu University present an address to him.
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Bangiya Sahitya Parishad

6th April, 1919
Felicitated at the Benaras branch of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad.
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Santiniketan

8th April, 1919
Returns to Santiniketan.
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Prayers

14th April, 1919
Prayers held in the temple at Santiniketan on the first day of the Bengali new year. Rabindanath speaks on the occasion.
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Santiniketan--

April, 1919
A monthly magazine for people connected with the Santiniketan asram begins publication in April.
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Andrews goes to Delhi to gather news

1919
Andrews was in Delhi to gather news, writes to Rabindranath, returns to Santiniketan for consultations, goes back to Delhi, travels to Bombay to meet Gandhi and accompanies the latter to Ahmedabad. But the British authorities do not permit him to visit Punjab. Frustrated, he returns to Santiniketan.
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Knighthood

1919
By now enough horrifying details of British bestiality, sadistic violence and racist arrogance have reached him and filled him with unbearable agony which is rendered all the more unbearable by the craven silence of the political class and its failure to protest.
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Batayaniker Patra

17th May, 1919
Starts writing this series of socio-political commentary.
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Letter to Ranu

22nd May, 1919
A letter written to Ranu who's holidaying in Simla with her family at this time gives a glimpse of his agony--"Now that you are in Punjab, perhaps you get some news of Punjab's misery. The heat of this misery has burnt the ribs in my breast…"
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Proposal for Gandhiji

May, 1919
Sends Andrews to Gandhiji with a proposal that both of them would go to Delhi and try to enter Punjab, court arrest while doing so and thus register their protest. Andews comes back carrying Gandhi's reply that he does not want to embarrass the government now. Poet also consults Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das but draws a blank. This is briefly the chain of events which forms the background of and inevitably culminates in his decision to renounce his knighthood in protest against the unspeakable brutalities perpetrated by the government in Punjab.
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Resigning knighthood in protest against Punjab atrocities

30th May, 1919
Sits up all night to write his very famous letter resigning the knighthood in protest against the Punjab atrocities. It states--"The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation…" It is dated 31st May, 1919 and addressed to the Viceroy.
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Reaction

1919
It creates a sensation even beyond the shores of India and the Anglo-Indian press is up in arms against him. By this time poet has started penning the poems later collected in Lipika.
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Ramendrasundar is ailing

1st June, 1919
Goes to see the ailing Ramendrasundar.
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Bose's letter to Tagore

2nd June, 1919
Jagadish Chandra Bose writes a three word letter to Rabindranath after hearing the news of renouncing the Knighthood by the poet in protest against Jallianwala Bagh killings.
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Ramendrasundar dies

6th June, 1919
Ramendrasundar passes away in Kolkata at the age of fifty-five.
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Gandhiji

6th June, 1919
Gandhiji considers the step taken by the poet "premature" and says so in a letter written to S.Shastri.
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Vichitra

11th June, 1919
A session of the club held. Poet reads poems.
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Song

June, 1919
Writes the song-- Ami jwalba na more.
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Santiniketan

18th June, 1919
Back in Santiniketan.
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Lipika

June, 1919
He's busy writing the pieces later collected in Lipika.
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Romain Rolland invites Tagore

June, 1919
His long association with Rolland (1868-1944, Fench writer, Nobel laureate) now begins. Ideologically they have a great deal in common and these deep affinities bring them close to each other in the post-War situation. Romain Rolland invites him to lend his support to and join an international movement against the horrors of war and aggression. Rolland, Henri Barbusse and others are striving to organise a global peace movement to prevent war and bloodshed and have circulated worldwide a manifesto 'Declaration of Independence of the Spirit' which has been signed by many famous personalities from different countries. They've sent the manifesto to the poet, too.
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Reply from Tagore

24th June, 1919
In his reply to Rolland, Rabindranath lends unstinted support. Rolland will write back in August, 1919.
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Visva-Bharati starts functioning

3rd July, 1919
Visva-Bharati starts functioning in real earnest.
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Poet delivers an address

3rd July, 1919
Poet delivers an address on the occasion briefly mentioning the basic tenets of the vision underlying the new University.
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Melbourne University

July, 1919
Melbourne University writes to him extending an invitation; invitations from other Australian universities also arrive, poet keen to go, but later he will shelve his plans for a visit to Australia for various reasons.
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Vidyar Jachai

1919
In Vidyar Jachai (Santiniketan, June-July issue) he echoes his familiar critique of the prevailing education system--"Now the question is increasingly arising as to why we have not yet been able to express original views powerfully on any subject in spite of our very long apprenticeship in the English school. The reason is: we have borrowed our intelligence too, from the same place from where we borrowed our learning in the first place."
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Visva-Bharati starts developing

1919
A variety of developmental, infrastructural activities in progress in Santiniketan for the University.
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Meeting in memory of Ramendrasundar Trivedi

3rd August, 1919
Meeting held in the memory of Ramendrasundar Trivedi at University Institute hall. Poet attends, but doesn't speak due to indisposition.
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Santiniketan

7th August, 1919
Back in Santiniketan.
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Nandalal Basu arrives at Santiniketan

1919
Nandalal Basu arrives in Santiniketan as teacher of painting after summer vacation. Surendranath kar has already joined. Thus a small beginning is made for Kalabhaban.
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Sangeetbhaban

1919
Similarly a small beginning is made for Sangeetbhaban, also.
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Sarodotsav

23rd September, 1919
The play is performed by the students and teachers of Santiniketan,as usual. Rabindranath plays the role of the Sannyasi.
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Puja vacation

25th September, 1919
Puja vacation commences in Santiniketan.
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Letter to Ranu

30th September, 1919
Writes to Ranu from Santiniketan that he's going to Shillong.
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Leaves for Shillong

9th October, 1919
Accompanied by son and daughter-in-law, poet leaves Kolkata for Shillong.
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Brookside, Shillong

30th October, 1919
Stays at Brookside.
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Guahati

31st October, 1919
In Guahati, enjoys his host Gyanabhiram Barua's hospitality.
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Vidyasamabaya

1919
In Vidyasamabaya (Santiniketan, Sept-Nov issue) he analyses the imperative of combining the best of east and west in educaton--an imperative he's already pursuing at his University--"Therefore, in our schools of knowledge we will have to make room for European learning as an integral part alongside Vedic, Puranic, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim and Persian streams of learning in our combined scheme of study."
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Jubilee Park

1st November, 1919
Civic reception at Jubilee Park.
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Curzon Hall

2nd November, 1919
Reception at Curzon Hall.
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Syllet

4th November, 1919
Goes to Syllet via Lumding, arrives.
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Bangalir Sadhana

6th November, 1919
Almost 5000 men and women gather at Town Hallfor the civic reception given to the poet. In reply Rabindranath delivers a lecture later printed in the Prabashi (Poush issue) under the title Bangalir Sadhana.
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Felicitated by 4000 students

7th November, 1919
Felicitated by 4000 students at Srihatta Colege Hostel.
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Witneses Manipuri dance

7th November, 1919
Witneses Manipuri dance performed by Manipuri children. Fascinated, he will soon introduce it in Santiniketan.
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Tripura

9th November, 1919
Arrives in Agartala--his sixth visit here.
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Umakanta Academy School

10th November, 1919
Visits Umakanta Academy School.
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Maharaja Virendrakishore Manikya

10th November, 1919
Meets Maharaja Virendrakishore Manikya who secretly donates Rs 5000/- for the proposed hospital at Santiniketan.
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Experts for Santiniketan to teach Manipuri dance

10th November, 1919
The maharaja also agrees to send two experts to Santiniketan to teach Manipuri dance. Kumar Buddhimanta Singh will before long come down to Santiniketan in this connection.
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Kolkata

12th November, 1919
Returns to Kolkata.
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Santiniketan

13th November, 1919
Arrives in Santiniketan.
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Nandalal Basu leaves Santiniketan

November, 1919
Nandalal Basu suddenly leaves Santiniketan for The Indian Society of Oriental Art, Kolkata. Rabindranath is rather bitter about it.
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Uttarayan

November, 1919
Poet shifts to his new residence called Uttarayan.
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Busy with the school

November, 1919
Busy with work at Vidyalaya--taking classes, planning lessons.
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Asitkumar Haldar

1919
Asitkumar Haldar soon fills the gap created by Nandalal's departure.
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Poush festival

22nd December, 1919
Poush festival is celebrated with flourish. Rabindranath delivers four lectures today.
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Annual meeting of Brahmacharyasram

24th December, 1919
Annual meeting of Brahmacharyasram and Visva-Bharati. Dr. Chunilal Basu presides.
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Congress

27th December, 1919
35th annual session in Amritsar. Motilal Nehru presides. Poet composes three English hymns or prayers for the session.
  • Light thy signal father, for us…
  • Yet I can never believe that you are lost to us…
  • If it is thy will let us rush…
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