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The President was speaking at an international seminar on ‘Vibrations between Tagore and the World: Culture and Literature with special reference to China’.
Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 for his collection, Geetanjali (“The Song Offerings”).
He wrote more than 1,000 poems and 2,000 songs and his work has been translated into all the major languages of the world.
In his speech, The Indian President urged India to follow Tagore’s vision of a world, which has “not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls”.
He said: “India and China stand on the threshold of a leap into an exciting phase of global exchange, where harnessing of ideas and resources for global welfare can serve as a major fulcrum for world peace and welfare.”
The seminar was organised jointly by India’s Visva-Bharati and the Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi.
Tagore had sought to revitalise the historical bond of spirituality, non-violence and tolerance between India and China, Mukherjee said.
He said the key note of Tagore’s ‘Talk in China’ in 1924 emphasised the necessity of the two Asian neighbours to strengthen bonds across culture and together strive for the welfare of its citizens rather than look for material greed or power.
“What did Tagore seek within China? He had noted from 1881 onwards, the oppression suffered under imperial rule by the both nations.
“But he had also carefully noted the movements of the ideas of spirituality, non-violence and tolerance across the borders especially through the message of Buddhism.
“It was this historical bond that he sought to revitalise,” Mukherjee said.
He said Tagore’s attempt to build bridges was however not a mere utopian dream.
Tagore initiated the study of world cultures and started the programme for Chinese studies in 1921.