We are a collective of Tagore enthusiasts based in Toronto. During 2010-11, we worked as the Tagore Anniversary Celebrations Committee Toronto (TACCT) to create and present public events to commemorate Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. In 2013, we are working again to celebrate the centenary of Tagore’s Nobel award. The core members of our collective are:
Manasi Adhikari, Founding-Director, Gitanjali School of Music: Manasi Adhikari was born, raised and educated in Santinekatan, where Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore founded the Viswa Bharati University. Since her childhood, she learned Rabindra Sangeet under the tutelage of great exponents in this field. Manasi Adhikari was the recipient of a gold medal in bachelor of Music degree from Calcutta University. She also received the prestigious All India President’s Scholarship for two years from the Government of India for post graduate work in music. Manasi was a regular artist of All India Radio and the HMV Recording Company. As a Scholarship holder, she completed the M.Ed. degree and Special Education Specialist qualification from the University of Manitoba and served in different school boards in Canada for 35 years. Manasi founded the Geetanjali Music School in Toronto and Waterloo in 1989. Over the years, she has performed and continues to perform across Canada and the United States.
Dipak Adhikari, Gitanjali School of Music: Dipak Ranjan Adhikari is a Jute Technologist from India and did his accounting from Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada. In Manitoba, he worked as General Manager for Mars Leisure Products, oe of the largest recreational vehicle companies in Western Canada. Since 1987 to his retirement, he worked for Siemens Canada as a corporate controller in manufacturing divisions in Ontario. Dipak served in different community organizations in various capacities. He was a standing member of the Lions Club, Manitoba chapter and was actively involved in many charitable community projects. Dipak brought in many communities together as a chairperson of the Canada Day Celebration Committee for three years in the city of Brandon, Manitoba. He also served as president of Indo Canadian Friendship Association and the Prairie Film Club for several years. Dipak played a key role in reviving the Calcutta branch of TCF (Toronto Calcutta Foundation) and in 2003, he founded and chaired the Toronto Sanskriti Sanstha. Since 1989, Dipak has been the president of Geetanjali Music and Dance Group of Ontario.
Professor Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, York University: Ananya’s teaching and research focus primarily on the theme of human development, broadly defined. She is also the Founding-Director of the International Secretariat for Human Development (ISHD) at York University. ISHD’s main objective is to stimulate new forms of knowledge for human development where disciplinary barriers are dissolved, the divide between scholar and practitioner is overcome, and academic outcomes of research are accompanied by concrete social outcomes. Under her direction, ISHD has worked with major international organizations like the UNDP, ILO, UNOPS as well as community organizations from Latin America and India. Her most recent book Human Development and Social Power: Perspectives from South Asia, (Routledge, London and New York 2008; distributed by Cambridge University Press in South Asia) is inspired by Tagore’s vision of social equality and human dignity. She also appears frequently in the media. Since 2010, she has been writing and presenting widely on Tagore in print and electronic media.
Joseph T. O’Connell, Professor Emeritus, Study of Religion, University of Toronto and Honorary Professor of World Religions and Culture, University of Dhaka: Professor O’Connell teaches about religious traditions in South Asia and does research on religion and society in the Bengal region of India and Bangladesh. He is joint editor (with R. Thakkar, N. Chaki and P.K. Basu) of Presenting Tagore’s Heritage in Canada (Toronto: Rabindranath Tagore Lectureship Foundation, 1989) and (with K. O’Connell) of Rabindranath Tagore: Reclaiming a Cultural Icon (Kolkata:Visva-Bharati,2009). He expects to speak on “Tracing Vaisnava Strains in Tagore” at the London Tagore Society’s 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Rabindranath.
Kathleen M. O’Connell, Lecturer, University of Toronto: Kathleen has an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, 1965), and Ph.D. in Indian Cultural History (Toronto, 1995). She teaches courses on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray at New College, University of Toronto. Her publications include: Rabindranath Tagore: The Poet as Educator (Calcutta:Visva-Bharati, 2002); Bravo Professor Shonku. Translation (Bengali to English) of stories by Satyajit Ray (New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 1985); Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Cultural Icon Issue, special issue of University of Toronto Quarterly (edited jointly with Joseph O’Connell), Vol. 77, No. 4, Fall 200
Dipak Mazumdar, Professor, University of Toronto: Dipak Mazumdar is an academic who has had a long career in teaching at several Universities, including the LSE in London and U of T. He spent a number years in the research Department of the World Bank, and has published widely in Development and Labour Economics. He has a life long inertest in the Arts and specially in Poetry. He has a volume of translations of Tagore’s late poems from Bengali into English (A Poet`s Death, Rupa, 2004) and of selected poems of Baudelaire from French into Bengali (Nandimukh, Kolkata, 2nd Edition, 2004).
Pauline Mazumdar, Professor Emeritus, History of Medicine, University of Toronto: Pauline earned her M.B.,B.S., (London, 1958), M.Tech.,Immunology (Brunel, 1974) and Ph.D. in the History of Medicine (Johns Hopkins, 1976). She is the author of books and papers on the history of immunology, eugenics and human genetics, and on the history of standardisation. She is a Member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the European Academy for Standardisation and the Riverdale Farm Advisory Council, City of Toronto. Her hobbies include painting, photography and history of art.
Uttam Chakrabarti, Director, Toronto-Calcutta Foundation: Uttam Chakrabarti is one of the founding members of The Toronto-Calcutta Foundation (TCF), a registered charity both in Canada and India. He has been a member of the International Board since 1988 and holding various positions and is currently Director of the Foundation. With the help of many he has made TCF a recognizable name in Canada. He also served on the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Business Management Administration, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. During his tenure Mr. Chakrabarti contributed his time and energy to the Co-Op programs of Business Management by hiring and coaching students. For the past two years he has been a member of the Funding Committee for the Toronto United Way. Along with other members Mr. Chakrabarti evaluates the funding requests from various NGOs for its effectiveness and the delivery of worthwhile programs. Recently he was part of the core group for launching the Toronto Chapter of the Global Organization of people of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
- Jibanjit Tripathy, Panorama India
- Ambassador Kant K Bhargava, (Retd.)
- Minu Ganguli, Gitanjali School of Music