Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tagore's Sriniketan Experiment

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/columns/views/The-Sriniketan-Experiment-of-Tagore/articleshow/46507052.cms

In 1906, Tagore released his 15 point Village Reconstruction Charter in Pabna (now in Bangladesh). This document makes clear that making villages autonomous was chief among his concerns. It was necessary to use "indigenously made goods."

Further, all the village disputes had to be settled within through a process of village arbitration.

A community grain bank was necessary to guard against famines.

In a gesture towards the necessity of women's autonomy, the Charter asks that "housewives" be trained in a trade that could enhance the family's income.

While Tagore sought autonomy for villages, he did not wish that they remain isolated. In his view, it was necessary that "brotherhood" was cultivated between "hamlets, villages and districts."

A few of Tagore's concerns were generally shared by reform minded intellectuals and government officials: science and history had to be taught in village schools; and, demographic data had to be compiled meticulously for every village.

Many of his concerns were however unique. His Charter, for instance, stressed the need for building communal harmony and asked that the essence of all religions be taught in schools.



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