You are here

Tagore and China

Tagore and China

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Tan Chung - Professor of Chinese, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
  • Amiya Dev - formerly at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal
  • Wang Bangwei - Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Wei Liming - Peking University, Beijing, China
Critical Acclaim

May 2011 | 420 pages | SAGE India

Tagore and China presents a comprehensive account of the until now unexplored events leading to Rabindranath Tagore's visit to China in 1924 and explores the significance it had on the China–India relations, or what has come to be known as Chindian relations. This well-researched book also brings out new material from the Chinese sources on his friendship with Xu Zhimo and the details of Tagore's two short personal visits to Zhimo and Zhimo's visit to Santiniketan.

The book delves into the developments, cultural cum civilizational, that happened in the aftermath of Tagore's visit to China. The visit as such is taken up in detail; so also are the talks given by Tagore while in China as well as their effect on the Chinese audiences including the note of dissent from the radicals and their probable reasons or misunderstanding behind it.

Special emphasis is given to the establishment of the Cheena-Bhavana at Santiniketan with Tan Yun-shan. Tagore's poetry has been discussed in length with a view to understand the probable influence that Tagore might have had on Chinese poetry and vice versa.

That Tagore is not merely history but is relevant today, indeed a ray of hope for our much beleaguered times, is a theme that runs through the book.

Foreword to the Chinese Edition

Nirupama Rao


Wang Bangwei
Introduction I

Tan Chung
Introduction II

Amiya Dev
Tagore and China

Amartya Sen
Historical Significance of Tagore's 1924 China Visit

Wei Liming
In Search of a Forgotten Dialogue: Chinese and Indian Artists Since 1924

Amitava Bhattacharya
Sino-Indian Studies at Visva-Bharati University: Story of Cheena-Bhavana, 1921-1937

Uma Das Gupta
Looking East: China in Tagore's Cosmology of Thoughts

Swapan Majumdar
Tagore and China: A Brief Personal Note

Kalyan Kumar Sarkar
Telepathy between Rubidadda and Susima: A Geo-civilizational Perspective

Tan Chung
Sino-Indian Fraternity between Tagore and Tan Yun-shan

Huang I-shu
Tagore's Vision of the East

Amiya Dev
Towards an In-depth Understanding of Tagore, China and Asia

Tan Chung
Power of Tagore's Words

Amiya Dev
The Musical Journey of Rabindranath Tagore

Reba Som
A Clean Slate?

Rimli Bhattacharya
Tagore Our Contemporary

Mohit K Ray
Tagore's Influence on the Chinese Writer Bing Xin

Zeng Qiong
Influence of Classical Chinese Poetry on Tagore's Works: A Tentative Discourse

Tan Chung
Tagore and Classical Chinese Poetry

Amiya Dev
The Songster's a Mango-bird

Ipshita Chanda
Tagore and Bengal's Social Modernity: Bringing Women to the Cultural Mainstream

Sabaree Mitra
Civil Society, 'Civility' and Tagore

Rajasri Basu
Community, Nation and Sustainability: The Contemporary Relevance of Tagore

Prasenjit Duara


[The book] is an extraordinary, perhaps unique collection (perceptive and scholarly) that provides penetrating original insights into Tagore’s significant contributions towards “social obligations”…Erudite, lively, wide-ranging, this assemblage brings together a mosaic of forward-looking ideas as well as perspectives on china’s past “civilisational sagacity” and its intellectual circles’ sensitivity against “western cultural poison”, and offers precise and informative, if not critical, knowledge of Tagore’s cosmology of ideas…An extremely rich book, it is an essential reading for all who are interested in the history of Sino-Indian cultural concord or in the secular ideas of Tagore in regard to a deeper understanding of Indian and Chinese civilisations, and the educated public in general.

The Tribune

There are arcane discoveries of great value to academics, such as an inquiry into the origins of specific documents and inscriptions, leading to a reassessment of some of the chronology and understanding of Tagore’s time in China. There is also exceptional granular detail in some instances.


The well-researched and illuminating articles in this collection make Tagore and China an authoritative work on the very special relationship Rabindranath Tagore shared with China. It is a collection of illuminating articles by scholars from India and China on the very special relationship Tagore shared with China. Tagore and China is, indeed, a tribute to that vision.

The Hindu

Tagore was a visionary, always forward-looking. He sought to promote the cause of India-China understanding, envisioning the ascent of India and China to a higher platform of civilizational leadership and fraternal partnership.

Tagore was the first thinker of modern India to be invited by the thinking elite of China, along with the likes of John Dewey and Bertrand Russell, as the Chinese grappled with the question of China`s place in a modern world.

This collection of articles by eminent academics and a timely and significant addition to the existing literature on Tagore and will promote our understanding of Tagore, as we celebrate the universalism of his ideas and thoughts.

Nirupama Rao
Foreign Secretary,Government of India

Padma Bhushan Tan Chung

The author of this book, Tan Chung, is a typical “Chindian” in both metaphoric and real sense. Born in Malaysia in 1929, his nine decades long life can be divided according to the Indian ashrama life stages into the brahmacharya (celibate student) phase from 1930 to 1954 living in China, the grihastha (householder) phase from 1955 to 1999 living in India, and the sannyasa (wandering recluse) phase from 1999 to date living in the United States. His body chemicals were built by Chinese air, water, and food, and his brain cells were climatized by the environment of Chinese culture. He was a witness of the birth of a new China as well as... More About Author

Amiya Dev

Amiya Dev was Professor of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and has written widely in Bengali and English including biographies of two major Bengali poets after Tagore, and edited and co-edited a number of volumes, including Comparative Literature: Theory and Practice with Sisir Kumar Das, The Renewal of Song: Renovation in Lyric Conception and Practice with Earl Roy Miner, and Epic and Other Higher Narratives: Essays in Intercultural Studies with Steven Shankman for International Comparative Literature Association of which he is a former Vice-President. He retired as Vice-Chancellor of Vidyasagar University. More About Author

Wang Bangwei

Wang Bangwei, a disciple of Ji Xianlin the doyen of India studies in China, is China’s foremost scholar now in India and Buddhist studies. Professor, Institute of Oriental Studies, Research Centre of Eastern Literature, and Centre for India Studies, Peking University, he is also Director of all three and Dean of the Academy of Eastern Studies. He has published a number of books and articles, mostly in China, some in Germany, France, India, Sweden, Japan and Estonia, on the history of Chinese Buddhist pilgrimage and accounts of Xuanzang and Yijing, besides Sino-Indian cultural relations. He is also a member the Nalanda Mentor Group for the... More About Author

Wei Liming

Wei Liming is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Afro-Asian Languages in the Academy of Foreign Languages, Peking University, and a Fellow of the University’s Centre for Eastern Literature Studies which is a special research base for humanities funded by the Ministry of Education. She is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Eastern Literature Studies, and Deputy Secretary of the Association of Eastern Literatures within the Chinese Association of Foreign Literatures. She has published more than 30 research papers. She won award of educational technique innovation in Beijing city, award for character education, and first-grade... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9788132106371