“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” These are one the finest thoughts of India’s eminent poet and educationist, Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore was an institution himself. As a distinguished scholar, poet, political thinker and educationist, Rabindranath Tagore was a personality with ideas of nationalism, democracy, freedom and rationalism. His contribution to the field of Indian education is not only great but also relevant to the present.
Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 9, 1961 as the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj. He did most of his education from Calcutta and at the age of seventeen was sent to England for formal schooling. He did his college education from University of Calcutta and University College, London. Apart from literary activities, he managed the family estates and business. These activities which brought him in close touch with humanity. Tagore’s family donated huge amount of money to popularise western education. This shaped his attitude towards education and life.
The Ashram school or Brahmaacharyashram was inaugurated on 22nd December 1901 at Shanthiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education.
Tagore and Leonard Elmhirst, an agricultural economist from Britain, set up the "Institute for Rural Reconstruction", later renamed as ‘Shriniketan’ or ‘Abode of Welfare’, in Surul, a village near the ashram school.
Tagore was knighted by the George V during the British rule in India in the year 1915. But he renounced his knight ship following the Jallianwala Massacre in 1919. He also participated in the Indian nationalist movement and Gandhi was his devoted friend.
Tagore was a successful writer and poet in all literary genres. Some of his famous poetry are Manasi (1890) Sonar Tari (1894) and Gitimalya (1914 . The Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1910) is the most acclaimed of which made him bag the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. According to (Foundation. N, 2013), the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to him "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, a part of the literature of the West". His famous plays are Raja (1910, Dakghar (1912), Achalayatan (1912), Muktadhara (1922and Raktakaravi (1926) [Red Oleanders]. He is the author of many short stories and novels. Some of the well-known ones are Gora (1910), Ghare-Baire (1916) [The Home and the World], and Yogayog (1929) [Crosscurrents].
Rabindranath Tagore died on August 7, 1941 after being on coma for three years.
Contributions to the field of Education
Rabindranath Tagore envisioned an education that was deeply connected to one’s surroundings but also connected to the wider world. He popularised pleasurable learning and an...