Thoughts of Ravindranath Tagore

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Ravindra Nath Tagore born on May 7, 1861 in Jorsanko (Tagore's Residence) in Calcutta. He was 14th child of Devendranath Thakur and Sarla Devi. His father was a deeply religious man and was actively involved in Brahmo Samaj.
Tagore family was known for their riches and their patronage of art and learning, from where Ravindranath Tagore received his philosophical thoughts. He read several books like Sandhya Sangeet, Kori-O-Kamal, Prabhat Sangit and the most famous one Gitanjali.


Tagore based his concept of patriotism on the love of his mother land. But he rejected patriotism in geographical term of reference, instead he based his patriotism on the higher ideals of humanity. Through  all his writings he proclaimed his hatred for the national vanity. 
It is only in small minds, patriotism dissociate itself from higher ideals of Humanity. - Tagore
His ideas on patriotism for India be traced from his poems in 'India's prayers'
His love for the country was based on humanity and advocated the cause of the country on the basis of universal freedom.
He also believed that a nation which gives itself immoral aggrandisement ultimately destroy it's own ideals itself.
I love my India but my India is an idea and not a geographical expression. - Tagore

Ideals of Education

Tagore believed that educating children is the most important work in the process of building up of a Nation. He wanted to train human beings for freedom, peace and justice. These were his cardinal ideals of education. 
The modern education had become merely for gaining the technical efficiency and get on in life. This type of education, according to Tagore was incomplete and inadequate. Hence, he argued that an educational institution should inculcate higher ideals of individual development in it's pupils.
Tagore was a strong votary of education mother tongue at all levels, whether it is School level or Higher Education level. He thought that the English is an alien language whose theme and ideals are alien to us and not familiar to our thought process. Hence is in education in English is inadequate to our life.

He said that since English is a foreign language, most of the boyhood is wasted in foreign dictionaries which can be utilised in learning more productive and essential elements of human life. 

Tagore believed that education should be given in 'Open air classes' in form of Ashram', in peace of nature and with freedom of movement. He thought that open/moving mind can assimilate facts and gather knowledge much better than in the classrooms whose dead walls make the environment dull and gloomy which prevents openness and freedom of movement. Based on this thought, Tagore formed Shanti Niketan and Vishwabharti Vishwavidyalya.

Educational Institution should not exists in isolation, it should have close sync with nearby localities and their prevalent socio-economic conditions. On the basis of this ideal the Rural Welfare Section was established in the 'Vishwabharti' called as 'Sriniketan' to look after the welfare of it's nearby villages.

On Politics and British Rule In India

Tagore is generally misunderstood as 'docile' and people think that he did not criticize the Britishers as much as the damage done by the Britishers. Initially Tagore was fascinated with the liberality in the character of English but soon he was disillusioned with the cynical character of British Imperial rule on India.

He did want freedom for India but neither in the form, in which it shut itself up in isolation on or in which it lord over other nation. Instead he best gifts to the world and to accept any thing which is good from others.

He questioned English poets, they sung the sufferings of Greece, Hungry, Italy and Poland, but how many of them had thought about the misery of the Indians? The England treated India as it's 'Milch cow'.

Tagore done a great analyses of British Rule in India in his book 'Raja and Praja'. He pointed out the impersonal character of the English rule in India. He felt miserable, when he found that India's will was paralysed and it's sense of impotence corroded it's minds under the aegis of British rule.

Spiritual Humanism

Tagore was humanist par excellence. His vision of peace, love and humanism was based spiritual foundations and he believed the human should treated in perspective of eternal.

Realising the fact that the god can be found in broken homes as well as in grand temples, mosques and churches, hence he prophesied for the co-operation among different sections of the people on the basis of peace, freedom and humanism.

He wanted ot exalt the spirit of people by stressing on hte liberty of hte human spirit, he stood for the idealisation and perfection of the neglected  human spirit.
Tagore's spiritual humanism was poles a part from sensualism, hypocrisy, reality and pragmatic expediency.

On History And Culture

Tagore viewed human being as a social being rather than a political entitiy.He believed that the history of India is an expression of ever going 'process of racial and social synthesis'.

He had great appreciation for the catholicity and broadmindedness of Indian civilization.
He believed that dominant theme of the Indian history is it's idea of finding one among many and unity in diversity. Hence he wanted to restore India's Pristine culture and glory which favours multi ethnicity and diversity of thinking. But it did not mean any kind of religious tinct.

He prophesied that if India wanted to triumphantly move on the road of progress in future than it must eliminate internal differences and contradictions in its society and only then India would become eligible to fight for it's freedom.