Tagore family, with a history of over 3000 years, has been one of the most leading cultured families of Kolkata. They also played a significant role in Bengal Renaissance. Born on 4th May 1849, almost exactly 12 years before Rabindranath Tagore, Jyotirindra Nath was a versatile genius who excelled as a playwright, a musician, a composer, an editor, a scholar and a painter. However, his artistic genius was, to an extent, eclipsed by his legendary younger brother, Rabindranath Tagore. Jyotirindranath Tagore himself was a versatile genius
In spite of that, his contribution as a playwright, as a painter and as a composer was invaluable and he was indeed one of the most brightly shining stars of the Tagore family. He had an uncanny ability to spot and recognize talent in others, for instance, the most glaring example of this was Rabindranath Tagore himself, whose unconventional genius was first spotted by him. Thus, Jyotirindranath Tagore was a versatile genius
CONTRIBUTION OF JYOTIRINDRA NATH TAGORE IN THE FIELD OF DRAMA
Historical Plays of Jyotirindra Nath Tagore:
Ashrumati (Woman in tears, 1879)
Swapnomayi (Lady of dream, 1882)
Satirical Plays of Jyotirindra Nath Tagore:
Kinchit jalajog (Some refreshments, 1873)
Emon karma ar korbo na (I will never do such a thing again, 1877)
Hathat Nabab (Suddenly a ruler 1884)
Alik babu (Strange man, 1900)
Musical Dramas of Jyotirindra Nath Tagore:
Likewise, most of his dramas were written in the backdrop of Indian history, with a streak of patriotism or nationalism. The musical dramas written by him included:
Besides his musical dramas, he did few translations like Kalidas’s Abhijyanasakuntalam and Malati Madhava, Sudrak’s Mrichhatika, Marcus Aurelin’s Meditations, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Gita Rahasya. Besides writing, he acted in the dramas and even essayed female characters, when necessary. He acted on the family stage with his brothers, cousins, nephews and later nieces and even his wife.
Also, the Jorasanko Theatre is the ancestral home of Tagore family. He was also serious about making his plays convincing on his family stage. For instance, for a forest scene he had half the garden torn up and got it stuck on the sets, with live glow-worms! For Valmiki Pratibha, he wanted two egrets and on failing to shoot them, bought them from a bird-seller. Therefore, these beginnings evolved into more modernistic stage sets of his successors Rabindra Nath and Abanindra Nath. Therefore, Jyotirindranath Tagore is the versatile genius who contributed substantially to Bengali theatre in its nascent stage
HIS ACHIEVEMENTS IN OTHER FIELDS :
In addition to drama, this multitalented elder brother of Rabindranath Tagore was proficient in music, too. Not only was he skilled both in vocal and instrumental music, but also good at composing, recording and musical notation. He also played the sitar, the piano, the violin and the harmonium with elan. Besides, he was very good at the art of drawing, too. The human images drawn by him had an extraordinary finesse and quiet expressiveness.
Being inspired by patriotism and spirit of nationalism, he founded several organizations one by one:
Brahmadharmabodhini Sabha (1872), Saraswat Samaj (1872), Adi Brahma Samaj Sangeet Vidyalay (1875), Bharat Sangeet Samaj, Sanjibani Sabha and others.
He was also the founder of the journal ” Bharati:. Similarly, he was instrumental in organizing the Hindu Mela in Kolkata. He also wrote the opening song for it and was later elected its Secretary.