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13.1 . Illtroduction
13.2 Theory of Fseedotn and Self-Realisatiotl
13.3 Emphasis on Human Reason
13.4 Critique of Nationalism
13.5 Differences with Gandlii
'13.6 A ~ ~ a l y sof Bolshevism is 13.7 Summary
Rabindranath 'Tagorc (1861-1941) was an outstanding litcrnry figure of India who exerted consiclerable inf uence on human thinking in the contcml>oraryworld. T l ~ i s influence extcnded to the political arena as well by his lilcid elucidation of inlpartant conccpts like nationalis~m, freedom, human ratiollality and l ~ i s many dil'fcsences with Mahatma Gnntlhi's (1 869-1948) philosopl~y strategies. ancl Wliile Gatidhi was a political and social activist and Tagore was a poet, there was renlarkable consistency in tile enunciation of their ~ilgjorpolitical tlietnes, which they developed and refined reflecting on major cvents OF their time. I~urthermot-c,in Tagore there was a quest of (z poet for hitrnat~perfection and conlplcteness and 1101merely a pragmatic analysis of a particular probleln or a sitnatian, His expression was an elocll~cntappcal of his faith i11 the human spirit and the opti~nislnby which the entire humankind could tliinlicl-~ wanted to be based both he on reason and a concern fbr the masses, He criticised Gandlli whenever he felt that the Mahatma was deviating from these planks. He not only criticised but also provided an alternative perception to that of Gandhi. He acknowledges his greatness and lauded his role in fighting casteism, untouchability and colnllli~nalislnbut was equally forthright in pointing out the lilnitatiolls of the Gandhian schemes. For instance he criticised Mahatma's basic education sclielne of 1937 popularly known as the Wardha Scheme on two grounds. First, he questioned the desirability of tlie precedence of material utility over developtnent of personality. Sccond, the scheme of a special type of education for the rural poor would limit that the choice of their vocation and that it is 'cunfort~~i~ateeven in our ideal sclieme education should be doled out in insufi'icicnt rations to the poor". He identified the lack of basic education as the fundatnental cause of ~nany India's social and economic afflictions and of desired lively and enjoyable scliools. Tagare had the courage of conviction to point out tlie i~~adequacies Mahatma's vision. of Since some of his criticisms are well founded, it is time to work out a synthesis with tlie experience of last five decades particularly in the major areas of our shortcomings like rural reconstruction, education and provide the requisite incentive for the rural poor to lead a decent and dignified life.
13.6 ANALYSIS OF BOLSHEVISM
Tagore visited Europe and the United States several tiines but he went to the USSR only once when lie was seventy years old and considered ille trip a pilgrimage and felt that had he not gone his life would have remained incomplete. The trip was for two weeks only and he could not go anywl~ere else except to be in Moscow. Thc Lettersfrom Xz~ssiaexpressed his recollections of the Soviet Union. It is not a travelogue but a reflective account of what he saw and what he liked and disliked. Most of the letters were written after he left the
Soviet Union. Before going there, a11 interesting incident took place io Tokyo, where a yo~lt~ng man fiom Icorea entered into a conversati011 with Tagore which the latter recorded Bin~self. .Ihe questions and answers revolved around tlie eniergellce of the new Soviet society. I 1 this 1 conversation, the Korean emphasised on the question of the aniinosity between the rich and tile poor and the inevitability of the revolution. After a few montlls of this conversation, Tagore went to the Soviet Union. He was not as over\vhellned as the Korean you~lgman as he had serious doubts about the new culture being propagated by the new socialist regi~ne. He praised tlie Soviet efforts of creating a new society giving rights to...
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