Rabindranath Tagore and His Contemporary Relevance

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Unfathomable progressions have happened on the planet in the seventy years since Tagore’s passing in 1941. Huge numbers of these progressions have been significant in their effect. On the positive side, there has been an unbelievable climb in earnings in Asia, especially in China and India. Financial development has been quick and maintained likewise in the West, joined by a surge in outside exchange after the reception of GATT and WTO arrangements. Western Europe remade quickly after the Second World War, and has now turned into a serene, borderless, and prosperous union. The world all in all has turned into an ‘even earth’ because of mechanical developments in correspondences and transport. On the negative side, several millions still live in amazing destitution in Africa and in pockets of Asia and Latin America. Investment development has scarcely arrived at them, and their advancement pointers of education, future and tyke mortality stay low. Variations around countries, and inside countries, keep on being extraordinary. The spread of majority rule government and human rights have been uneven. Ecological corruption, environmental change, and universal terrorism have risen as real concerns.

Rabindranath Tagore in 1925 Part 2

The current budgetary retreat and fiscal emergencies far and wide, and the proceeding issues of religious polarization, militarism and threats, have headed the heading nations to survey the building design of the world request. We may be at the edge of another world request which will administer the following hundred years. It may be fitting at this point to think once more at a percentage of the Modern Greats of the previous century and reconsider their messages of insight for their importance today.


This paper will endeavor to do so with Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) who was a heading representative for sympathetic humanism and society in Indiaand the world. Tagore existed in the period of science, as we likewise do. He was pleased with the time of science as we likewise may be. Yet we can’t say our lives are generally more secure or solid in these times of cutting edge science and engineering than that of our predecessors in the previous age. That leads us to inquire as to why this instability, why this dread, why our supposed-current pop culture has prompted continuously less congruity between the singular and the general public. Indeed while Tagore extraordinarily liked the profits of science, and made utilization of science for rustic change which we might talk about beneath, he comprehended that it is insufficient without anyone else’s input, and that our trusts and desires must be established on an universalist and popularity based structure. That brings us to his considerations on humanism, instruction and society, patriotism and internationalism, and their incredible significance today.
Humanism, nationalism, internationalism


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards each other in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948.

Much sooner than the League of Nations and the United Nations, Tagore was an internationalist who scrutinized the barely characterized ideas of patriotism and patriotism. He needed all people to be dealt with similarly paying little mind to the nation or country to which they had a place. He additionally did not need hindrances between individuals even inside the same country—the boundaries of standing, race, and religion.


Tagore existed and worked throughout a time of vital social and political change in India. He reacted to its extraordinary minutes in noteworthy words. A result of the nineteenth century, he was significantly impacted by its liberal humanistic thought and its trust and hopefulness. He helped generously to the making of a present day India. By his own particular induction his developmental impacts were from an intercection of three developments which were dynamic in the India of his time: the protestant religious development of Rammohan Roy (1772-1833), the scholarly development of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1838-94), and the national development. ‘It [the national movement] was not completely political yet it started to offer voice to the brain of our kin attempting to attest their identity’, he composed. The ‘national development’ restored the Indian pride in its past accomplishment in theory and religion, symbolization and building design, music and verse. Pride in his social customs did not however visually impaired Tagore to the ethical and social debasement of his nation which he straightforwardly accomplished. Indeed in his tributes of India he was momentously free from the talk of patriotism. He reacted to European writing with a sharp personality and extraordinary energy. The initial forty years of his life was obvious by his affectionate fascination for the Romantic and the Victorian artists, and Shakespeare, matched just as by his energetic adoration for Sanskrit writing by and large and for the traditional Sanskrit essayist Kalidasa specifically. This catholicity of taste gradually advanced into his profound and pervasive feeling of the “general” in thought and society.


Like all the heading scholarly people of his time, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)  and Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) specifically, Tagore additionally was obliged to address the inquiry of the connection between India and the West. Like his countrymen he started by having faith in a fundamental dichotomy between the two societies and, for a certain time of time, he talked of an otherworldly East and the materialistic West. In any case there was an advancement in his comprehension when he uncovered for himself a deep sense of being in Western civilisation as well. He found this otherworldly existence in the West’s dynamism and experimentation and its consistent quest for truth. Just as, he watched and investigated the West’s presumptuous showcase of force yet accepted that it conflicted with her ‘inward perfect’. This feedback prompted his disputable addresses on Nationalism in 1916 where he contended that the West’s colossal achievement in science and innovation had prompted dehumanization and an expanding eagerness for force.


Regardless of such blistering reactions Tagore remained a pioneer of the scholarly union of East and West. There again he put his confidence in individuals and not in governments. He accepted that notwithstanding the West’s merciless legislative issues, there was no nonattendance of saints in the West who relinquished their lives for the wrongs done by their administrations.  That is the manner by which he looked to turn our brains towards the perfect of the otherworldly solidarity of man. He composed, ‘In India what is required more than else other possibilities is the wide personality which, simply because it is aware of its own fiery distinction, is not anxious about tolerating truth from all sources’.


It is not phenomenal for an individual to have confidence in the correspondence of all men, but to respect his or her nation in an exclusionist sense. Then again, Tagore’s solid confidence in man headed him to a comprehensive methodology. He could shake off all shackles of conventional Hinduism, and land at a non-parochial and comprehensive idea of India. This was as it were a rediscovery of the idea initially displayed by Rammohan Roy in 1823, however Tagore created it, established it in Indian history, and engendered it all around the nation. The history ofindia had an unique message for Tagore. He saw it more like an union, as is for the most part said, however as a ‘mixture of thoughts’ and an ‘interpenetration of alternate extremes’. To him it was not the historical backdrop of Aryans and non-Aryans, not the historical backdrop of Hindus, nor a history of Hindus and Muslims taken together. He didn’t see the happening to the British as an unintentional interruption. His papers composed throughout 1898 and 1904 pass on a natural feeling of history. He separated himself to the extent that the colonialist historiography as he did from a Hindu patriot perspective of the past. His nation’s social development, he composed, was established on ‘an alteration of races, to recognize true contrasts between them, but to look for a few premise of solidarity … ” His comprehensive patriotism and non-parochial elucidation of India’s history turned into an influential executor of plans for the opportunity development that Gandhi and Nehru headed between the two world wars.


The thought of India communicated so expressively by Nehru in 1947, was in similarity with Tagore’s concept of India, which the Indian country has loved since the time that. To quote from Nehru’s celebrated discourse on August 14, 1


“…what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman……………….All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.”


A few components helped Tagore’s comprehensive methodology, which was so firmly championed by Nehru. To start with, his father was a heading reformer of the Hindu public opinion and religion, embracing the monotheistic Vedic variant presented by Rammohan Roy at the start of the nineteenth century. In this manner Tagore experienced childhood in a family unit in which the soul of examination, innovativeness, and changes commanded. Second, his introduction starting in 1892, to the incredible neediness and indignities endured by the Muslim lower class in his family’s farming domains, and also his kinship with Christians like Sister Nivedita (1867-1911), Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya (1861-1907), Rewachand (1868-1945), additionally a few years after the fact Charles Andrews (1871-1940) and William Pearson (1881-1923), persuaded him that they legitimately have a place with the same fellowship of man. He composed, ‘On us today is tossed the obligation of developing a more stupendous India in which Hindu and Muslim and Christian will discover their spot’. This thinking discovered representation in his well-known lyric in 1911, starting with the lines,


He mor chitta, punya tirthe jagore dhire

                                          ei bharater maha-manaber sagoro-tire.

                          ‘On the sacred shores of the ocean of humanity of thisIndia,

Awaken, my heart!’


Tagore’s tune ‘jana gana mana adhinayaka’ (1911) conjuring the same objective of a bigger humankind was picked as our national song of praise by Gandhi and Nehru, and remains an image of present day India’s legacy of widespread mankind. The Constitution of India maintains that legacy.





“To accept the truth of our own age it will be necessary to establish a new education on the basis, not of nationalism, but of a wider relationship of humanity”.


Rabindranath Tagore,  Visva-Bharati, 1919, pp. 9-10. (Translated by UDG).                                        



At the point when first defining his plans for another Indian instruction, Tagore was plainly reacting to the ‘social disengagement’ of a colonized nation. His psyche was loaded with what he composed in his exposition Tapoban in 1909 (in English interpretation ‘The Message of the Forest’, 1919):  ‘The woods, not at all like the desert or rock or ocean, is existing; it gives asylum and food to life. In such surroundings the old woods-inhabitants of India understood the soul of concordance with the universe and underscored in their personalities the monistic parts of truth. They looked for the acknowledgment of their spirit through union with all’. He composed wonderfully of how ‘the voice in the Vedic tongue’ guided him to the thought of a Brahmacharya Ashram or a seclusion when beginning his school in Santiniketan.


However he was soon to choose that a Brahmacharya Ashram was not his thought of another and current instruction. He esteemed some of its characteristics, for example, emulating a life of effortlessness for the learners and instructors of the school indistinguishable. He likewise extraordinarily esteemed the requirement for a woodland, or a tapoban- like spot, which, in his arrangement for the Santiniketan school, was to be a calm provincial environment encompassed by nature and far from the bounds a city. He realized that was the closest he could get to creating a cozy group of instructors and learners as in the seclusions of the past. Yet his perfect school must be substantially more than that, particularly concerning opening up the learners’ psyches to an association with the world. Practically when the Brahmacharya Ashram started to capacity he spoke out his dissatisfaction with the organization in the accompanying words, ‘I have no desire to magically resurrect some ancient dead thing. It is not my business to bring back the past. I want to work for something which though implicit is yet strongly current, that which is not dead and which is natural to India. The projects we start fail because we blindly try to get along without acknowledging it … to say that it is possible to resurrect India’s past but not possible to integrate another country’s historical time with India’s, and to attempt to implement this, is vain and leads to destruction, not to new life’.



He opened up his Santiniketan school to the individuals who trusted in East and West apparently equivalent, in peace and goodwill, without qualification of standing and ideology and far from patriot governmental issues. Tagore was a solid pundit of the British Empirebut he didn’t need that to impede his mission to break out of the detachment that pioneer tenet and activist patriotism forced. He contended that the lessons of the First World War demonstrated that ‘tomorrow’s history’ must start with a section on “internationalism” and that training must be in amicability with the times. In his 1919 paper A Center of Indian Culture, he raised the significant inquiry of what must be the religious showing given at such an inside? He brought up how “India” or “national” had a tendency to be related to “Hindu” which he contended was constrained to stand out authentic part of India. He hated the way that India was isolated by religious and social hindrances and asked, ‘Can there be no wide gathering spot where all organizations may assemble and overlook their disparities’? This central inquiry got much more earnest with the astringent lessons of the First World War when he started to continue step by step to change Santiniketan into a world college to which researchers from the East and West might be welcome to meet and study one another’s societies. He named this college ‘Visva-Bharati’ and picked a passage from a Vedic content as its maxim when introducing the establishment in 1921:

Yatra visvam bhavati ekanidam

‘where the whole world forms its one single nest’


Amidst a remarkable political distress and fervor, and against the entire energy of the famous supposition for the Non-participation Movement, he expressed his perspectives with enthusiasm in two expositions, ‘Satyer Abahan'(1921, The Call of Truth) and ‘Sikshar Milan’ (1921, The Union of Cultures). Those expositions expressed his objective of bringing the West on terms of uniformity to the India of his yearning – which for him must be an India of different societies, an India where the ruined town is given training and poise of life, an India building its quality and nationhood by uniting stations and groups under an illuminated initiative. He perceived that the frontier instruction framework was distant with Indian life. This was the reason he pressed for a training to first comprehend this shortcoming, and afterward try to cross over any barrier by working for town redesign as a crucial some piece of “another” instruction focused around independence and human poise. He needed this instruction to join together nearby or indigenous learning with cutting edge investigative ability from which both segments of Indian culture could learn and make advance. Visva-Bharati’s ‘mission of provincial development’, he composed, was to “retard” the procedure of ‘racial suicide’. He held solidly that arranging the towns might be the right approach to spread ‘national awareness’. He contended that ‘national solidarity’ could turn into an actuality just when the masses get a premonition about it, and that could happen if the informed classes and the masses unite in a typical project of work. Such was the “reparation” required, he composed, to make the nation ‘our own’. He condemned the Indian National Congress for looking to our outsider government to do the work that must be carried out ‘by us’ for the nation that was ‘our own’.


He knew unequivocally we were confronted with two fantastic issues: first and foremost, the neediness of our scholarly life and, second, the destitution of our material life. The Santiniketan-Sriniketan foundation or Visva-Bharati – a world college in rustic Bengal – turned into his deep rooted movement to manufacture a focal point of societies which might not just be a middle of learned life in India additionally a core of her financial life. He wrote, ‘Our education should be in full touch with our complete life, economic, intellectual, aesthetic, social, and spiritual; and our educational institutions should be the very heart of our society. It must cultivate land, breed cattle, weave cloth, and produce the necessities of life, calling science to its aid, and uniting teachers and students in productive activities on cooperative principles whose motive force is not the greed of profit’. At the begin this system was constrained to three towns in the south-west of Santiniketan where his school for urban young men and young ladies was created in 1901. With the issues of in excess of three hundred million individuals gazing him at the face, Tagore could just have trusted that his exertions might touch the hearts of his town neighbors at Santiniketan and might help them reassert themselves in a bolder social request. ‘I alone cannot take responsibility for the whole of India’, he wrote. ‘But even if two or three villages can be freed from the shackles of helplessness and ignorance, an ideal for the whole of India would be established. These two or three villages must be liberated fully; all must have education; there must be joy in these villages with songs and readings as in the past’.


These thoughts of another instruction were established upon a urge and a nature to make another sort of mankind whose exploratory-innovative advancement and financial improvement might develop through dialog and admiration for qualities. That was the tireless premise of Tagore’s level headed discussion on India and the world in his effective and vivacious compositions on instruction, society, science, patriotism, internationalism. These offer intending to his stand against pioneerism, segregation and dehumanization. They offer rationality to his confidence in the relationship between individuals and nature’s domain.  All of his contentions were drawn specifically from his background of the social and common environment in which he carried on a hundred fifty years prior, regardless we do today. His 1919 paper City and Village says everything.


National Policy, Society and Values



“Nehru’s pan-Asianism and his determination to stay ‘non-aligned’ in the Cold War

…………bear the mark of Tagore’s thought.”


Ramachandra Guha, The Hindu, November 23, 2008




ory after Independence is a complex story with sweeping repercussions over all parts of its general public. At the same time the two most unmistakable characteristics of its identity in the early years were its outside approach and its approach to investment advancement.


Nehru’s popular outside approach of ‘non-arrangement’ tried to abstain from taking sides vulnerable War. This gave India opportunity to pick, and to reason things out before making responsibilities on the premise of fleeting-practicality alone.india had likewise planned to achieve more stupendous congruity and control in world issues, and to extend a picture that suited the reemergence of an empathetic and astute human advancement. This was truly in accordance with Tagore’s logic and understanding of history. On the off chance that Nehru or Krishna Menon sounded excessively noble now and again, it was a reverberation of what Tagore’s crowds must have felt throughout his addresses on patriotism in USA and Japanin 1916.


India’s methodology to financial improvement started with arranging. At its least complex, arranging is basically an instrument for comprehension the conceivable outcomes and prospects of the economy. It was seen as a helpful method for arranging detail on the economy, about which the new pioneers had minimal sorted out information. Yet the legislature additionally received a profoundly interventionist strategy, portrayed by broad controls at all levels (this administration of controls got to be prominently known as the “Control Raj”). Alongside that, the administration received an ‘internal-looking’ or separate approach behind high levy obstructions and shares. It was just after 1991, that India began to direct or opposite these arrangements


The far reaching controls and state proprietorship that went with isolated strategies, particularly throughout the 1960s and 1970s, would absolutely have been condemned by Tagore. They might not have spoke to his feeling of flexibility nor survived his inclination for thinking. This is clear from his perceptions on the Soviet Union in 1930, despite the fact that he did acknowledge Soviet accomplishments in the field of training. A business-arranged standpoint, as opposed to the “Control Raj”, is likewise anticipated from a man of his experience. Since the beginning of his predecessor Nilmoni (d.1793), the fortunes of the Tagores were interfaced to exchange-related organizations with the British. Tagore’s granddad, Dwarkanath Tagore (1794-1846), was a colossally effective business visionary and the first free vendor of the British Raj.


As an internationalist, Tagore doubtlessly would have favored open exchange strategies. For instance, he generally contradicted blacklists of outside merchandise at whatever point such suggestions came up, whether from Gandhi or from others. He might have likewise contradicted hindrances to social coordination. He might have invited globalization around distinctive societies and dialects, and he might have been careful about securing national societies by avoiding outside societies.


Gandhi’s promotion of the family turning wheel, or Charka, did not bode well for him whatsoever, as he felt it might not be financial. This was later affirmed to be so by Amartya Sen in his Ph.d. proposition. At the end of the day, Tagore’s position uncovered his natural doubt of specially appointed admonishments for political increase.


As a result of that sense and on account of his solid emotions about secularism, he likewise might have been worried about the impromptu presentation of parochial individual laws which vitiate the Indian Constitution. He might have addressed the Directives on extraordinary medicines for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, which upgrade segregation around Hindus, and additionally around Hindus and non-Hindus. These approaches were intended to be fleeting-expedients, however they have gotten lasting aberrances in Indian political and social life.


Tagore was an early tree hugger with a solid feeling of feel, who worshipped boundless expanses-and the riverine ranges of Bengal. He loathed smoke-stacked industry and other monstrous and boisterous parts of urban life. He felt that automation and sequential construction system-preparation might strip away flexibility and respect from people; this was the topic of his influential play, Rakta Karabi (1923).


All around his life he was an enthusiastic champion of ladies’ rights and strengthening, in the same way as Rammohan Roy and Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-91) preceding him. The principal story he ever composed, Bhikharini, was about the setbacks and ill-uses that a mother and her little girl needed to endure. He was just 16 when he composed this. His school in Santiniketan was coeducational, which was a real break from acknowledged social standards. What’s more the characters of ladies heroes he created in one novel after an alternate were an early articulation of the strengthening of ladies we see in our national life today.    


The things that might have most baffled Tagore about the advancements after Independence are in the first place, the disappointment to give fundamental training and human services to the underprivileged. Tagore might have acknowledged the lead of the legislature around there, as in China, Vietnam and different nations which have quickly arrived at high reading proficiency levels. The disposal of social backwardness and destitution might have been high on his plan were he alive today. The second region which might have aggravated him incredibly would have been the ascent of sectarianism and the legislative issues behind enmities to, and incidental threats against, religious minorities. Thirdly, he might not have supported modes of political difference which sidestep the Constitution and lead to disorder.  Methods of restriction which might apparently have been satisfactory under the frontier standard of Britainwould not have been worthy to him under the law based system after Independence.

Like Tagore we likewise live in the time of science and internationalism. Today we call it globalization, and our instruction is still like Western-style colonialist training. Given how grieved our reality is getting to be, there is a developing familiarity with the need to accommodate the qualities of “widespread” and ‘differences’, a conviction that Tagore spearheaded in thought as well as throughout his life of activity. There was not an incredible arrangement he or any one singular could do to bring change to an unequal and crooked world. Be that as it may he was never apathetic regarding the need, and he made a decent attempt to have any kind of effect with whatever useful work was feasible for him. We can attempt to make that his legacy in our distinctive lives.

Dibyendu Paul

Dibyendu Paul is the Developer and owner of Rhododendron.in, he is working with Nokia Networks. Besides his hectic schedule he likes writing about Cinema, Photography, Travel and art; mostly finer aspects of life.

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