Rabindranath Tagore - The face of modernity


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Rabindranath Tagore - The face of modernity

  2. 2. WHY IS TAGORE MODERN ? • Max Mueller’s theory of Culture Language sophistication interlinked with thought sophistication produces High Culture e.g. Sanskrit & Upanishadic philosophy creates High Culture • Tagore’s creating and building the Bengali language interlinked with sophistication of ideas produced High Culture which we still cling to today.
  3. 3. MODERNITY FOR TAGORE • Defining what is “Freedom” • Freedom of the Mind over • Political Freedom
  4. 4. TAGORE’S THOUGHTS “I have come to accept the inevitable limitation of ideas when solidified in an institution” – to Elmhirst (1930)
  5. 5. TAGORE’S THOUGHTS "In Santiniketan some of my thoughts have become clogged by accumulation of dead matter …. I do not believe in lecturing or in compelling fellow workers in coercion; for all true ideas must work themselves out through freedom… there are men who make idols of their ideas, and sacrifice humanity before their altar. But in my worship of the idea I am not a worshipper of a Kali. So the only course left open to me, when my fellow workers fall in love with the form and cease to have complete faith in the idea, is to go away and give my idea a new birth and create new possibilities for it. This may not be a practical method, but possibly it is the right one." – to William Pearson (1915)
  6. 6. CONTINUOUS FORWARD MOVEMENT • A restless mind in search of ideas • Even “ideals” not immutable for him • Ceaseless move towards perfection • His life – an example of “protean changes in ideas and action”
  7. 7. GREATEST ELEMENT IN MODERNITY Freedom of choice – creating alternative spaces to choose from • Unique niche for literary creativity • Social activities pertaining to:      Education Anti-communalism Nationalism Religion Rural reconstruction
  8. 8. SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE MODELS Creating “identity” through • His dress • His writings • His music
  9. 9. MUSIC RABINDRASANGEET Bengali songs rooted in the soil and born out of an essentially Bengali ambience. • • • • Hindusthani Classical Music Carnatic Music Maithili dialect Western tunes
  10. 10. NEGOTIATIONS WITH MODERNITY Experiments with • Education • Rural reconstruction • Creating environmental awareness • Innovative festivities Through • Santiniketan • Sriniketan
  11. 11. INSTITUTION BUILDING • Build an alternative model of education • Distinct from that of the colonizers. As a means to qualify to stand in equal terms with them. • “Swadeshi Samaj” through education
  12. 12. INSTITUTION BUILDING 3 stages of education – divided in 3 tiers (Bhavanas) • Reading – Patha (the School) • Learning – Siksha (the College) • Knowledge – Vidya (the Research)
  13. 13. TAGORE’S SANTINIKETAN EXPERIMENT Gradual shift of the education model • From Upanishadic Brahmoism • To secular, self reliant, artistic, comprehensive education; awakening of the mind • Festivities: secular events; fair for rural artisans & students
  14. 14. IDEALS OF EDUCATION • Creating an awakening of the mind • An awareness of belonging to a social setting through an understanding of the spirit of togetherness • To bring out the latent potential in every student
  15. 15. FESTIVITIES Silpotsava Varshamangala Sarodotsava Navavarsha Vasantotsava Vriksharopana Halakarshana Maghotsava
  16. 16. RURAL RECONSTRUCTION PHASE 1 1899 TO 1906 – SILAIDAHA a) Experimented with new crops : American corn, Nainital potatoes, Patna peas, sugarcane, cauliflower and silk – funding was done with his own money. He called this effort “Quixotic” ! b) Establishment of Krishi Bank c) Training centre for handloom weaving d) Sent son Rathindranath and son-in-law Nagendranath Gangopadhyay to Illinois Univ USA to study agriculture and animal husbandry
  17. 17. RURAL RECONSTRUCTION PHASE 2 1908 TO 1909 – SILAIDAHA a) Created Self Help Groups for village uplift PHASE 3 1915 TO 1940 – SILAIDAHA & SRINIKETAN a) With help from Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, introduced tractors for ploughing hard land for second crop where only single crop monsoon planting was done earlier. b) On Padma riverbed in dry season grew kankur and watermelon c) Part of zamindari revenue utilized for creating farmer insurances for difficult times and starting schools and madrasas. d) Funded student hostels and scholarships e) Built granaries f) Introduced village panchayats for arbitrating and solving local problems
  18. 18. RURAL RECONSTRUCTION PHASE 2 1908 to 1909 – SILAIDAHA CONTD g) Advocated building a model village with ideal parameters of plantation, health and education h) Encouraged utilization of aals for growing dates, bananas and pineapple i) Infrastructure development e.g. roads, wells, ponds. j) Created democratic representation from both Hindu & Muslim communities of panchapradhan with 1 representative from the zamindar k) Advocated building a model village with ideal parameters of plantation, health and education l) Built primary schools and dispensaries m) Revived lost handicrafts n) Created a separate team of professionals in social service for village uplift
  19. 19. TAGORE’S SRINIKETAN EXPERIMENT • Catered to the needs of villages • Training in vocational arts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Carpentry Weaving Animal husbandry Harvesting Village health & hygiene Installed observatory with the help of Dr Meghnad Saha Used technology for rural
  20. 20. INDIA INC. VS BHARAT (OUR GREATEST CONFLICT IN 2010) Urban elite vs Rural poor Tagore foresaw this and worked to bridge the gap