Texts of Tagore and Tagore as Text: A Framework for Diversity and Inclusion in the Twenty-First Century
Keywords:Diversity, Inclusion, Tagore, Texts, India
Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) is primarily known worldwide as the first Asian poet to receive the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1913. He lived and died in colonial India as a British subject. However, any engagement with studies of Tagore would reveal that, despite his outstanding achievements in creative writing and music, he deserves to be remembered as the only poet of international standing who not only founded a self-funded university, but also designed a curriculum which radicalized traditional institutionalized education in colonial India. This essay endeavours to explore Tagore’s re-imagining of the process of institutionalized instruction and the objectives of education. Undoubtedly, the concepts and models of the teaching-learning process outlined by Tagore bear the stamp of a poet-philosopher who tried to distance himself from the public educational sector, epitomized in colonial times as the formidable University of Calcutta, under British administration. Historically, Tagore’s Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, obviously a private sector enterprise, is regarded as a unique experiment in inclusive education that debunks rote learning and fragmented knowledge, though its viability in the 21st century is open to debate.
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