The Legacy of Rabindranath Tagore and conflict of caste-class

Rabindranath Tagore is known for the legacy that he created in the 19th and 20th centuries as a philosopher, humanist, painter, poet, novelist, and storyteller. He is famous and preached for his work and his father’s prominently known academy, Shantiniketan which he was the patron of and where ancient and traditional education was combined with modern education. Tagore came from educational family background, with his father known for his work in the academic while his eldest brother and sister were known as a poet and novelists respectively.

 Even though Tagore came from educational family background, he was least interested in getting his education from school since it was not apt and left him unsatisfied although his father wanted to pursue law and become a barrister, Tagore had other plans. Tagore received his education prominently at his home and when he was sent to pursue law abroad to fulfill his father’s wishes, he came back home midway. His interests majorly lie in humanitarian work and pursuing literature. 

Prominent Work of Rabindranath Tagore 

Rabindranath is famously known and is celebrated for the masterpiece he gave to the nation in the name of the National anthem. His other well-appreciated work is Gitanjali which also won the Nobel prize in 1913 and is currently preserved in the UNESCO collection of representative works. Tagore is known for his works as a philosopher and also for putting forth academic reforms that positively transformed the educational norms in India by truly and righteously combining the two distinguished educational norms of Indian and western traditions. 

Not just academics, but Tagore was also celebrated for his loving and devoting Bengali songs and 2000+ paintings that he painted and are preserved and exhibited on multiple occasions. However, with numerous works that he had done, his most beloved and passionate interest lay in literature, he wrote many novels and poems with some of his best works including Shesher Kobita, Char Odhya and Gore, and many more. He was the first person from Asia to receive a Nobel Prize. He also shared a distinct friendship with Albert Einstein as both had similar interests in music and admired each other humbleness and human nature.

Conflict of caste-class

Tagore’s view on caste class was different than most. He believed “Our real problem in India is not political. It is social. This is a condition not only prevailing in India but among all nations. Therefore, political freedom does not give us freedom when our mind is not free.”  Although Tagore wasn’t ostracized for his caste his family faced ostracism. 

Rabindranath Tagore expressed his views on caste and class through his literature work, his views on caste class was that he viewed nationalism and even the swadeshi movement as a way of oppressing the minorities largely Muslims and people from a lower caste, for this many have criticized him as they perceived his perspective as anti-nationalization sentiments. Tagore unlike his counterparts or peers who were against the British colonizing India didn’t perceive the British regime like many nationalists and believed in acceptance of the British civilization instead of the resistance, he emphasised putting freedom of mind and freedom above society above nationalism. 

He believed that human compassion, love, logic, and rationality are universal and lie internationally while nationalism, differences, and divisiveness against fellow citizens based on different nationalities are pointless. Although his perspective may be different than others and his philosophy may not be acceptable to all, his work and geniuses are admired universally and will always be remembered for good.

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