Getting a head start to the festivities, Kolkata organised a three day festival highlighting the works of the artist. This marked the beginning of the year-long celebrations constituting of academic sessions, seminars, exhibitions, cultural performances and display of Tagore fashion in India and abroad.
“The 150th year of birth of Gurudev is an important occasion for us. Apart from Mahatma Gandhi, if there is any other person who enjoys such great admiration on the basis of his intellectual strength, it is Tagore," Virendra Gupta, Director General of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) said.
Marking 2011 as the 150th year of Tagore's birth, India would showcase the multi-faceted genius as an icon across the world, Mr Gupta added.
ICCR is consulting Tagore experts and is in the process of chalking out a programme.
Born in May 1861, Tagore was one of the greatest social reformer India saw. As a poet, a novelist, a musician, and a playwright, Tagore reshaped Bengali literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature for Gitanjali in 1913.