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Rabindranath Tagore's role in the innovation of educational ideas has been eclipsed by his fame as a poet. He was a pioneer in the field of education. For the last forty years of his life he was content to be a schoolmaster in humble rural surroundings, even when he had achieved fame such as no Indian had known before. He was one of the first, in India, to think out for himself and put in practice principles of education which have now become commonplace of educational theory, if not yet of practice.

Today we all know that what the child imbibes at home and in school is far more important than what he studies at college, that the teaching is more easily and naturally communicated through the child's mother-tongue than through an alien medium, that learning through activity is more real than through the written word, that wholesome education consists in training of all the senses along with the mind instead of cramming the brain with memorized knowledge, that culture is something much more than academic knowledge. But few of Rabindranath's countrymen took notice of him when he made his first experiments in education in 1901 with less than half a dozen pupils. A poet's whim, thought most of them. Even today few of his countrymen understand the significance of these principles in their national life. The schoolmaster is still the most neglected member of our community, despite the fact that Rabindranath attached more merit to what he taught to children in his school than to the Hibbert lectures he delivered before the distinguished audience at Oxfoard.

Mahatma Gandhi adopted the scheme of teaching through crafts many years after Rabindranath had worked it out at Santiniketan. In fact the Mahatma imported his first teachers for his basic School from Santiniketan.

If Rabindranath had done nothing else, what he did at Santiniketan and Sriniketan would be sufficient to rank him as one of the India's greatest nation-builders.

With the years, Rabindranath had won the world and the world in turn had won him. He sought his home everywhere in the world and would bring the world to his home. And so the little school for children at Santiniketan became a world university, Visva-Bharati, a centre for Indian Culture, a seminary for Eastern Studies and a meeting-place of the East and West. The poet selected for its motto an ancient Sanskrit verse, Yatra visvam bhavatieka nidam, which means, "Where the whole world meets in a single nest."

"Visva-Bharati", he declared, " represents India where she has her wealth of mind which is for all. Visva-Bharati acknowledges India's obligation to offer to others the hospitality of her best culture and India's right to accept from others their best."

In 1940 a year before he died, he put a letter in Gandhi's hand,

"Visva-Bharati is like a vessel which is carrying the cargo of my life's best treasure , and I hope it may claim special care from my countrymen for its preservation."

From India, Indore


Music, like all other arts in India, had stereotyped patterns. There was and is the classical tradition, whether of the north of the south, which has behind it centuries of devoted discipline, and which has within its limits, attained near perfection. It is music, pure and abstract, and like all abstract art its appeal is limited to those who have taken pains to understand what may be called its mathematics. For them it can be very beautiful, hauntingly so, in the hands of a master, but ordinarily its appeal is limited. Its counterpart for the popular taste was the traditional religious and folk music, now rivaled by film music. The position was not dissimilar in literature where, before the nineteenth century, there was either the great storehouse of Sanskrit classics or the popular religious lyric and ballad.

What Rabindranath was doing in literature he also tried to do in music. While caring for both the traditions, classical and folk, he respected the inviolable sanctity of neither and freely took from each what suited his purpose. He was not even averse to borrowing from western melodies, although he did very little of that and made his own whatever he took from other sources. If his creative contribution in music has not received the same recognition as his contribution in literature, it is because, in the first place, the classical tradition of music in India, unlike that of literature, is still very alive and vital and there was no vacuum to be filled.

In fact Rabindranath did not attempt creation of new forms in abstract music. What he did was to bring it down from its heights and make it keep pace with the popular idiom of musical expression. In the second place, his own music is so inextricably blended with the poetry of words that it is almost impossible to separate the mood from the words and the words from the tune. Each expresses and reinforces the other. Hence his songs have not the same appeal outside the Bengali- speaking zone as they have in his native Bengal.

In Bengal, however, each change of season, each aspect of his country's rich landscape, every undulation of human heart, in sorrow or in joy has found its voice in some song of his. They are sung in religious gatherings no less than in concert halls. Patriots have mounted the gallows with his song on their lips; and young lovers unable to express the depth of their feelings sing his songs and feel the weight of their dumbness relieved.

Rabindranath had said, "Whatever fate may be in store in the judgment of the future for my poems, my stories and my plays, I know for certain that the Bengali race must needs accept my songs, they must all sing my songs in every Bengali home, in the fields and by the rivers... I feel as if music wells up from within some unconscious depth of my mind, that is why it has certain completeness."

From India, Indore
Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 by the Nobel Committee "because of his profoundly sensitive fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, apart of the literature of the West."

From India, Indore
This is for information purpose and not intended to hurt anybody's feelings.

In 1905, when Bengal was divided, after that there was chaos everywhere in and around Calcatta. To bring the things normal, Britishers planned to call John/Jorge 5th, the then ruler in UK. For welcoming him in Bharat, Britishers approached R.Tagore. Those days he used to be in good books of Britishers. Then in appreciation notes, he wrote "Jan Gan Man". If you focus on the words of Jan Gan Man, you will find it's written for praising british ruler only. Mahatma Gandhi also would rebuke R.Tagore as he wanted him to realize that Britishers were against Bharat progress. But Tagore did not pay any attention on this.

When UK ruler read Tagore's Jan Gan Man, he was overwhelmed with joy and decided to give nobel prize to him for this. Tagore knew that if he accept it from Britishers in this way, Mahatma Gandhi would be very upset. To avoid this, he request British ruler to give this prize based on his book named Geetanjali wherein mention of Jan Gan Man was also there. And then his request was accepted and was given nobel prize. But in 1919, Raulet Act came and in riots Britishers showed cruelty, then Tagore realized the fact presented by Mahatma Gandhi and returned Nobel prize to britishers.

Furthermore, would like to tell you about the truth behind National song.

There was confusion on making a national song either Jan Gan Man or Vande Matram. Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru discussed a lot on this. But could not reach to conclusion since people was favoring Vande Matram as to be National song. Mahatma Gandhi suggested "Sare Jahan se accha Hindustan Humara". But from innerself, Nehru was not favoring Vande Matram. and Sare Jahan se accha. So, this matter was kept aside till Mahatma Gandhi died. After that, Nehru finalized National Song to be Jan Gan Man. And since he was to calm people also, he made Vande Mataram as National anthem. Why Nehru favored Jan Gan Man, not Vande Mataram/Sare Jahan se accha? Because only Jan Gan Man can be performed/played on orchestra, not others.

So, this was the story behind this so called Jan Gan Man.

In Schools, students are forced to stand still and sing. Incredible India.

From India, Delhi
Controversy shadowed Jana Gana Mana from the day of its first rendition in 1911 at the Congress session in Calcutta. King George V was scheduled to arrive in the city on 30 December and a section of the Anglo-Indian English press in Calcutta thought – and duly reported – that Tagore's anthem was a homage to the emperor.

The poet rebutted such claims in a letter written in 1939: "I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity."

Tagore's own statement however refutes the belief that the song was written in praise of George V: In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore later wrote, "A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."


From India, Calcutta
fyi Vishal, Rabindranath Tagore renounced the Knighthood title in 1919 in protest of Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
From India, Calcutta
Aparajita, Thanx for telling me. even that thing came in my mind, but was a bit confused. Yes, you are right. He took that step after jaliawala bagh incident. Thank You once again.
From India, Delhi
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