President Kovind pays tribute to Rabindranath Tagore in Prague

By ANI | Prague

Updated: Sep 10, 2018, 20:50 IST

Following the visit, President Kovind departed for India after completing a three-nation visit to the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Cyprus

President Ram Nath Kovind in Prague

President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tributes to India's first Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, at the Thakurova Park here on Sunday. The President and his wife, Savita Kovind, bowed in front of Tagore's bust and stood for a minute to pay their respects.

The Thakurova Park was named in honour of Tagore, who is well-revered by many people in the Czech Republic. The Nobel laureate had visited Prague twice in the 1920s to deliver public speeches, where he had shown solidarity towards the people of erstwhile Czechoslovakia in the pre-World War II era.

Following the visit, President Kovind departed for India after completing a three-nation visit to the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Cyprus.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "Floral tributes paid to the bust of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore by #PresidentKovind in #Prague #Czech Republic before the conclusion of his three-country visit to Europe."

While addressing a gathering of students, Indologists and faculty members of Charles University in Prague on Saturday, President Kovind recalled Tagore's "thought-provoking speech" at the institution.

"As I speak here, I feel proud to be at such a great seat of knowledge. It delights me that Rabindranath Tagore, our national poet and one of the greatest sons of India, once came to this very campus and delivered a thought-provoking speech, captivating many. He is the one who called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 'Mahatma' or 'the Great Soul', first. I have just had the honour to illuminate the life and legacy of our Father of the Nation and pay my respects," he continued.

Reminiscing Tagore's visit to erstwhile Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, President Kovind further said, "Professor Lesny was one of the founding fathers of the Czech school of Indology and a friend of Rabindranath Tagore. He was the first European Indologist who translated Tagore's poetry directly from Bengali instead of using English translations. On the invitation of Professor Lesny, Tagore visited erst-while Czechoslovakia in 1921 and 1926. Tagore's interaction with the scholars in Czechoslovakia left a deep impact on them."

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