Rabindranath Tagore – pioneer in rural education

Read “Exploring Tagore’s Santiniketan, a Unique Abode of Learning”
by Sanchari Pal on The Better India >>

A most important truth, which we are apt to forget, is that a teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. – Rabindranath Tagore quoted in Santiniketan (1961, p. 28)

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India celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in 2010-11. Although Indians know him mainly as a poet, dramatist, composer, social reformer and philosopher of international repute, he also was a pioneer in rural education and village reconstruction on modern lines. Santiniketan, his world famous school, is now part of Viswa-Bharati University, an Institution of National Importance. An article by Amartya Sen outlines the poet-composer’s lifetime achievement in greater detail.

Tagore founded a centre for rural reconstruction to which the modern ecological movement owes so much. In the words of Satish Kumar, paying homage to Rabindranath Tagore in his capacity as Editor-in-Chief at Resurgence:

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.

The Wisdom of Tagore (Resurgence, Issue 266 May/June 2011)

More on Rabindranath Tagore and his projects for the development of rural education

  • Infusing the Santhali element in schooling
    “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.”
    Infusing the Santhali Element in Schooling by Rina Mukherji
    Charkha e-newsletter/Bimonthly issue, May & June 2006
  • The Religion of an Artist
    “Of all living creatures in the world, man has his vital and mental energy vastly in excess of his need, which urges him to work in various lines of creation for its own sake […] Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space.”
    The Religion of an Artist by Rabindranath Tagore (in The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore Vol 3 by Sisir Kumar Das (ed.), New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi 2006, pp. 687-8 and quoted by Pulak Dutta (p. 97) in:
    Santiniketan Birth of Another Cultural Space (free e-book)
  • Sriniketan
    A new type of school serving the special needs such as healthcare and economic welfare of Santal tribal communities and other neighbouring villages.
    Sriniketan | Institute of Rural Reconstruction founded in 1922
  • Visva-Bharati
    A central university and an institution of national importance
    “Visva-Bharati 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.”
    (Rabindranath Tagore in 1921)
    Viswa-Bharati | A central university and affiliated institutions
  • Dartington Trust
    An institution established to promote the Arts, Social Justice and Sustainability; founded by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst; inspired by Rabindranath Tagore who stayed at Dartington Hall during his European tour in 1930.
    Dartington Trust (Devon, England)

Articles by authorities on Tagore’s lifetime achievements

  • Forests and freedom
    “2011 is the year of the forest. It is also Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. Forests were central to Tagore’s works and institution building … Tagore encouraged his secretary, Leonard Elmhirst, to start a Santiniketan-like school in England. This is how The Dartington Hall Trust was established, from which grew Schumacher College, the first green college in the West. And back in India, Navdanya’s Bija Vidyapeeth was started by Satish Kumar and me as a sister institution of Schumacher College. All these institutions are thus connected, through the inspiration of Tagore, to the ancient culture of the forest.”
    Forests and freedom by Vandana Shiva
    Resurgence Magazine (Date Visited: 24 June 2011)
  • Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)
    An article by Narmadeshwar Jha.
    Originally published in PROSPECTS: the quarterly review of education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIV, no. 3/4, 1994, p. 603–19 (Date Visited: 24 June 2011)
  • Tagore and His India by Amartya Sen
    Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel awardee (Nobel Prize for Literature 1913); this article by another Nobel awardee from India and former student at Tagore’s school was first published in The New York Review on 28 August 2001.
    nobelprize.org (Date Visited: 24 June 2011)

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Museum of Santal Culture in Bishnubati village: Museum Day celebration 2019 – West Bengal

6th Museum Day Celebration

Photo © Boro Baski
Learn more about the
Museum of Santal Culture >>

Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust and the Museum of Santal Culture invites you to join us in the inauguration of the new annex of the museum

HAPRAM DANDER
Exhibition of photographs of one hundred years of old Santal life, stones and sculptures
(অৗরিচৗলি উৎসব)

9th December 2019 at 2:00 pm, at Museum of Santal Culture, Bishnubati, Birbhum

Guests of Honour
Dr. Doneshwar Manjhi, Head, Dept. of Santali, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan
Prof. Sanchayan Ghosh, Head, Dept. of Painting, Kala-Bhavana, Visva-Bharati

Highlights
• Seminar: ‘Museum of Santal Culture: Its future and the possibilities of attracting mainstream visitors.
• Inauguration of HAPRAM DANDER.
• Rarely performed Santali dance and Songs: Balaya sereng, Jawai/Bahu eger sereng, Gai jagao sereng by the elders of Bishnubati and Ashadullapur.
• Santali play by Gobinda Baski and his team from Ghosaldanga and Bishnubati.
• Childrens’ play in Santali by Parboti Murmu, Sushila Hansda and their students from Ghosaldanga.
• Gymnastics by German student volunteer Talina Brehm and the hostel students of Hihiri-Pipiri.
• Santali-Bengali play by village youth directed by Moupiya Banerjee and Sumanta Sarkar of Urotaar theatre group, Kolkata
• Chadar Badoni and Sarpa dance by Ramjit Mardi and junior youth leaders.

Contact
Ramjit Mardi-8670244810; Bimol Baski- 8116142104; Bhabini Baski-9932250251 and Boro Baski- 9002188716
Email – borobaski@gmail.com and bams.sec@gmail.com

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In search of a development that preserves the best parts of Adivasi culture and collectivity: Imagining an alternative “Discovery Of India”

Call us adivasis, please

Gail Omvedt, The Hindu [Folio], ADIVASI, Special issue with the Sunday Magazine, July 16, 2000 | Read the full issues and other articles here >>

If Adivasis were to start writing their own Discovery Of India, it would be something like this: There are those who talk of India’s “5000 year-old culture,” there are those who talk of its “timeless traditions.” If India has a timeless tradition, it is ours. The cultures running back for tens of thousands of years are the cultures of the many Adivasi communities in the subcontinent. We are Bhils, Gonds, Oraons, Mundas, Hos, Santals, Korkus and Irulas, the large and small groups of people who live today in the hilly areas of the country and are scattered across its central belt, we who have kept ourselves apart from feudal States and Brahmanic hierarchies for thousands of years, we who have resisted hierarchy and maintained our ancient collectivities and ways of life. […]

We were here before the Aryans came thundering in their chariots through the mountain passes; they could break the dams, flooding the plains and destroying the remnants of the Indus cities but they could not destroy us. They knew us as Nishada and Naga; they called us Rakshasa, they burned the forests to destroy us and free the land to fashion their agrarian society stamped with the hierarchy of caste. They were the ones who remembered us as their enemies. Ekalavya was one of our great archers, so skillful that the hero of the Aryans, Arjun, could not stand before him. But they assaulted him, cutting his thumb, destroying his ability to fight – and then fashioned a story in which he accepted Drona as his Guru and agreed to surrender his thumb!  […]

We were here before the founders of that Meluhha known to far-off Mesopotamia built their cities on the plains of the Indus. Before Mohenjo-daro and Harappa and Lothal, before drains were laid out, before seals began to be stamped and goods traded and granaries made, we lived off the forests, gathering the abundant food we found, sometimes burning down the trees for planting but always moving on to let the forest regenerate. We traded occasionally with the Indus cities, but we remained free; they never conquered us or tried to conquer us. […]

We want a development that will preserve the best parts of our culture, our sense of community and collectivity, our equalitarian life, our freedom. We do not believe that should be so difficult in the world today, but you seem to be following a different path. And finally, why not drop such senseless terms such as “Scheduled Tribe” and “anusuchit jamati” in the Constitution also and call us by our proper name, “Adivasis”?

The author is a consulting sociologist, based in Kasegaon.

Folio Special issue 2000

For recent reports on India’s tribal cultural heritage, search select periodicals in the above search window; a list of Indian periodicals included in your present custom search is found here. | To also search Indian magazines and web portals, click here >>

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For recent reports on India’s tribal cultural heritage, search select periodicals in the above search window; a list of Indian periodicals included in your present custom search is found here. | To also search Indian magazines and web portals, click here >>

Posted in Adivasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Commentary, Customs, Democracy, Eastern region, Ecology and environment, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya) & EMR schools, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Northern region, Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Western region | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In search of a development that preserves the best parts of Adivasi culture and collectivity: Imagining an alternative “Discovery Of India”

Why is the Sky so High? (Dehwali) – A story from Gujarat

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Source: Adivasi Stories from Gujarat © Bhasha Research and Publication Centre Vadodara 2017 | For more details, free download link and a map presenting language regions of Gujarat, click here >> 

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Video | Tribal culture and natural resources: The Chota Nagpur plateau of eastern India – Jharkhand

Chota Nagpur plateau is in eastern India, in Jharkhand state. The plateau is composed of Precambrian rocks (more than 540,000,000 years old). Chota Nagpur is the collective name for the Ranchi, Hazaribagh, and Kodarma plateaus, which have an area of 25,293 sq m (65,509 sq km). Its largest division is the Ranchi Plateau, which has an average elevation of 2,300 ft (700 m). The Chota Nagpur plateau in its entirety lies between the basins of the Ganges and Son rivers to the north and the Mahanadi River to the south; through its centre, from west to east, runs the coal-bearing, faulted Damodar Valley. Numerous streams have dissected the uplands into a peneplain (an area reduced almost to a plain by erosion) with isolated hills.

Centuries of heavy cultivation have depleted the plateau of much of its natural vegetation, though some valuable forests still remain. Forest products, such as tussah silk and lac, are economically important. The Chota Nagpur area has the most valuable concentration of mineral resources in India. The Damodar Valley has vast coal reserves, and Hazaribagh district is one of the main sources of mica in the world. Other minerals are copper, limestone, bauxite, iron ore, asbestos, and apatite (useful in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers). A huge thermal plant for generating electricity and a large steel mill are located at Bokaro. Railroads cross the plateau, connecting Calcutta to the southeast with Patna to the north, and also link other cities in the south and west.

Source: Geography
Address : http://www.tribalzone.net/geography/geography.htm
Date Visited: Sun Jul 27 2014 12:34:34 GMT+0200 (CEST)

We are the Indigenous People Of Chotanagpur, the Adivasis mostly comprising of Santal, HO, Kharia, Munda and Oraon Population. Due to various developmental activities we are loosing our identity. WE ARE BECOMING EXTINCT.

The song describes the present day exploitation of tribal land and forests in the name of development.

Source: ▶ gaon chodab nahi (we will not leave our village) – YouTube
Address : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M5aeMpzOLU
Date Visited: Sun Jul 27 2014 12:38:28 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[…] Originally, Chota Nagpur was mostly forest-clad and was ruled by chiefs of various aboriginal tribes. Though British authority was only gradually established in the plains to the north during the second half of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, occasional revolts against them took place in Chota Nagpur, the most important being the Ho revolt of 1820 to 1827 and the Munda uprising of 1831 to 1832. Later, Bihar was an important centre of the Indian mutiny and revolt of 1857 to 1859 against British political authority. Bihar formed a part of the Bengal Presidency until 1912, when the province of Bihar and Orissa was formed; in 1936 the two became separate provinces. […]

Source: History & Culture
Address : http://www.tribalzone.net/history/history.htm
Date Visited: Sun Jul 27 2014 12:55:59 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

For recent reports on India’s tribal cultural heritage, search select periodicals in the above search window; a list of Indian periodicals included in your present custom search is found here. | To also search Indian magazines and web portals, click here >>

Publications on the above issues may be found here (title descriptions and libraries):

Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>
Photo: Birsa Munda
Outlook Magazine 18 February 2016

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Posted in Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, Eastern region, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Globalization, History, Maps, Media portrayal, Music and dance, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Storytelling, Video resources - external, Websites by tribal communities | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Video | Tribal culture and natural resources: The Chota Nagpur plateau of eastern India – Jharkhand