Education As Freedom: Tagore’s Paradigm

Publisher : Niyogi Books
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Tagore literature with all its cornucopian variety has always been a rich quarry for translators for well over a century, ever since Sister Nivedita and Jagadish Chandra Bose produced the earliest translations of Rabindranath’s short stories. And his translators are legion. Yet so much remains to be translated. Education as Freedom—Tagore’s Paradigm brings together in translation a number of Rabindranath’s major essays, speeches and letters spread over five decades—a period when he came into his own not only as a world poet but also as a notable exponent of an alternative paradigm to colonial education in British India—an exponent who had his own syncretic vision and spoke with formidable original authority to intervene in the contemporary Eurocentric colonial discourse in education. Of course this unique Tagorean vision is epitomised in Visva- Bharati University and the Visva-Bharati saga is an integral part of the history of the emergence of modern India. Celebrating the sesquicentenary of Rabindranath Tagore’s birth, this comprehensive anthology presents in a chronological sequence memorable essays and speeches which chart the complicated growth and development of his missionary vision and its product—an alternative approach which is by no means an essentialist or revivalist enterprise but indeed an alternative paradigm—often problematic and multi-layered, superbly inclusive as well as liberating in scope and far-reaching in its singular insights that oftener than not anticipate issues and problems with which the country finds itself grappling even today. The letters selected offer a fascinating lowdown on how this philosophy translated into practice on the applied side in the day-to-day life of the students and teachers at Visva-Bharati who—Rabindranath believed— should seize every opportunity to acquire hands-on experience in doing everything that shaped their life in Santiniketan.