Category Archives: Tagore and rural culture

“Santiniketan is in many ways a pioneering step in the field of education and rural reconstruction. Located in the heart of nature amongst Hindu, Muslim, and Santali villages which were in ‘serious decline’ despite a rich cultural heritage, the school, from almost its beginning aimed to combine education with a sense of obligation towards the larger civic community. […] While Tagore supported the idea of religious communities fostering educational research and revival of their cultures, his educational system at Santiniketan was based on plurality of cultures and religion.” – Santiniketan (UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Submitted by Archaeological Survey of India 20 January 2010)
https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5495/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4348

“Tagore—poet, internationalist, humanist […] advocated the importance of sowing the seed of humanism as early as possible, and fostering the individual’s enjoyment of education as well as their courage to challenge conventions.” – Rabindranath Tagore: adventure of ideas and innovative practices in education by Kumkum Bhattacharya (Springer, 2014)
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319008363
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21780

“It is well-known that Rabindranath Tagore harboured a special affection for the Santhals in the villages around Santiniketan. He saw in their life a special beauty. They combine the tilling of the earth as farmers with poetry, songs and dance. Through this blending of the practical work for food and livelihood with the fulfillment of one’s artistic needs, life receives a fullness which it otherwise would lack. The farmer’s life, by itself, is monotonous. But when it is mirrored, symbolised, and interpreted through poetry and dance, farming becomes a primeval activity of archetypal importance. Do we not see here in action Rabindranath’s concept of raising everyday life on to a higher, more meaningful level through the expressions of beauty? Hence, I believe, his special love of Santhals. He also felt a deep compassion for them on account of their poverty and the repression they suffer. Years ago, I translated Rabindranath’s poem Saoñtal Meye in which he describes the hard labour young Santhal girls have to perform working on construction sites and in brick kilns, sacrificing the flower of their youth and beauty for a paltry daily wage. […] It is important that students who leave their villages to seek a modern education, do not cut their village roots but find avenues to serve their community.” – Martin Kämpchen quoted by Prabir Chatterjee in “Santals and Santiniketan” (originally published by The Statesman)
https://www.mail-archive.com/jharkhand@yahoogroups.co.in/msg04356.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15026

“Gurudev Tagore’s approach to education, the ambience of the gurukul system, lack of rigidity in the curriculum, and the emphasis on holistic education made me realize the possibility of there being a lot of room for improvement in the prevailing system of education Santhal children were subjected to.” – Rina Mukherji in “Infusing the Santhali Element in Schooling”
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2603

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” – Rabindranath Tagore 1926 quoted in Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography by Uma Das Gupta (Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2004)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15448

“At Santiniketan, art was to be an integral part of an all-rounded education.” – Partha Mitter in The triumph of modernism: India’s artists and the avant-garde, 1922-1947 (New Delhi, Oxford Unitversity Press, 2007)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4343

“As a master of his craft, Tagore combined the purity of poetry with a purpose for living. He not only healed the sorrow and suffering which he had experienced due to death, depression and disappointment in his own life but he worked too to heal the wounds of injustice and inequality within Indian society. […] The worldview of Tagore is seeing the unity of reason and religion, spirit and matter and letting them dance together. This is the big vision where science complements spirituality, art complements ecology and freedom complements equality.” – Satish Kumar in “The Wisdom of Tagore” (Resurgence, Issue 266 May/June 2011)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2603

“If Tagore had done nothing else, what he did at Santiniketan and Sriniketan would be sufficient to rank him as one of India’s greatest nation-builders. […] Though outside India Tagore upheld and interpreted the Indian philosophy of life, in his own country he was the severest critic of its social institutions and religious practices which encouraged superstition and inequality and tolerated injustice.” – Krishna Kripalani in Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography (Oxford University Press 1962, reprint Santiniketan 1980)
https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.39366/2015.39366.Rabindranath-Tagore—A-Biography_djvu.txt
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4348

“Society as such has no ulterior purpose. It is an end in itself. It is a spontaneous self-expression of man as a social being. It is natural regulation of human relationships, so that men can develop ideals of life in cooperation with one another.” – Rabindranath Tagore quoted in Santiniketan: Birth of Another Cultural Space by Pulak Dutta (Santiniketan, 2015) p. 42 [from The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Vol. II, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2004, p. 421]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/zfx3vb2xulgkxa3/Pulak_Dutta_II_Santiniketan-Birth_of_Another_Cultural_Space.pdf/file
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35584

Tagore’s Santiniketan, “an Abode of Learning Unlike Any in the World” – West Bengal

Sanchari Pal, The Better India, August 31, 2016 | To read the full story and view more photos in high resolution, click here >> Located about 158 km northwest of Kolkata in Bengal’s rural hinterland, Santiniketan embodies Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of … Continue reading

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Adivasi profound influence on modern Indian art – The Triumph of Modernism by Partha Mitter

Primitivism in modern Indian art] drew on adibasis. […] At Santiniketan, art was to be an integral part of an all-rounded education; Tagore had long considered Abanindranath’s pupil Nandalal [Bose] the best person to give this shape. The triumph of modernism: India’s artists … Continue reading

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Video | Representing tribal peasants with grace and dignity: Ramkinkar Baij’s sculpture “Santhal Family” – West Bengal

One of India’s foremost modernist sculptors, Ramkinkar Baij is remembered as the ‘eccentric genius’ from Bankura who was ahead of his times. The pioneering artist experimented both with material and subjects to create works in multiple mediums and give India … Continue reading

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eBook | The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Human Rights Day (10 December): “India must ratify the International Convention against Torture”

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little … Continue reading

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Indian forests, rivers and mountains owe their survival to Adivasis: “the most civilised people” – Mahasweta Devi

Renowned writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi termed Adivasis as “the most civilised people” to whom Indian forests, rivers and mountains owe their survival. She praised their egalitarian social structure where nobody is greater than anybody, and where social evils … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Customs, Ecology and environment, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Tagore and rural culture | Comments Off on Indian forests, rivers and mountains owe their survival to Adivasis: “the most civilised people” – Mahasweta Devi