A bust of Rabindranath Tagore has been unveiled at the Humboldt University where the Nobel laureate delivered his much-acclaimed lectures in 1921 and 1930.
The bust, presented by the government of India, was unveiled by Indian ambassador Meera Shankar.
The unveiling function was attended by Christoph Markschies, president of the Humboldt University, Vincent Houben, director of the Institute for Asian and African Studies and Joachim Oesterheld, professor in the South Asia Department.
Thanking the university for accepting the bust, Shankar said that Tagore attached a lot of importance to the university, which was evident from the fact that he visited the institution twice in his three visits to Germany.
She noted that Tagore´s genius influenced everyday life in India and Bangladesh - two nations whose national anthems were written and composed by Tagore. Tagore´s works have been extensively translated into German and one school in Berlin has named itself after Tagore.
Shankar also spoke about Tagore´s unrestrained creativity in prose, poetry, songs, music, theatre, paintings and sculpture and about his unique ability to gain respect from both the intellectual class and the farmers in the fields.
Recalling that the Humboldt University had produced several Indian scholars, some of whom like former president Zakir Hussain went on to occupy high positions in India, she expressed the hope that the university would continue to attract students from around the world and would flourish as a center of academic excellence. She concluded her speech by reciting one of her favourite poems of Tagore.
Markschies, in his speech, pointed out that Tagore was not only a poet and a philosopher but also a great humanist. He mentioned that Tagore´s visit to the Humboldt University was highly successful and much appreciated. He emphasized on Tagore´s contribution in establishing a durable partnership and exchange between Indian and German universities.
An extract of Tagore´s original speech at Humboldt University in 1921 was played at the end of the programme.