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Debmalya Das : The Visva-Bharati Quarterly

Bird Fantastic. Image courtesy - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Tagore’s Engagement with Visva-Bharati Quarterly

The aim of Visva-Bharati, as it is mentioned in the first issue of Visva-Bharati Quarterly (further referred to as VBQ) in 1923 was:

to provide at Santiniketan aforesaid a centre of culture where research into and    study of religion, literature, history, science and art of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, Sikh, Christian and other civilizations may be pursued along with the culture of the West, with that simplicity in the externals which is necessary for spiritual realization, in amity, good fellowship and co-operation between the thinkers and scholars of both Eastern and Western countries, free from all antagonism of race, nationality, creed or caste and in the name of One Supreme Being who is Shantam Shivam Advaitam.1

                                                            (“Memorandum of the Association”)

The first issue of VBQ came out in the year 1923, at a point of history when the nationalist sentiment was turning out to be a turbulent component in India’s socio-cultural and political scenario. Tagore, by this time, disillusioned with the violent face of the nationalist movement regarding the partition of Bengal, distanced himself from it. He stressed on the free interaction between the cultures of the West and the East in an apolitical space, which is a prevalent idea even in the writings of his earlier nationalist phase. The idea of Visva-Bharati embodied the urge of an internationalist: to be one with the world, without losing for a moment the indigenous identity. The publication of VBQ started in 1923, and it was discontinued after 1931 due to some unknown reasons. The publication was resumed again in 1935 and has been continued since then. In the bibliography of Tagore’s writings published in VBQ, compiled by Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee, this first phase of nine years (from 1923 to 1931) has been mentioned as the “Old Series.”2

In this paper I shall try to explore Tagore’s response to the contemporary socio-political and cultural scenario both in the “home” and in the “world”, through my analysis of three seminal texts published in the Old Series of the journal. Through my discussion, it would be my attempt to see VBQ as serving the need of a textual “contact zone”: an autonomous/intellectual space marked by hybridity, where the dialogic encounter between the Eastern and the Western civilization would take place. Simultaneously, the journal stands out to be the mouthpiece of the ideals of Visva-Bharati, the material realization of the Tagorean version of internationalism/ cosmopolitanism.

Modern Review, as a journal, can be considered as the closest equivalent of VBQ in terms of objectives. In this journal Tagore’s writings were published at a regular basis since 1910. But still Tagore had to conceive of a different journal to suit his purposes. It would be one of my nodal points of enquiry to trace the rationale behind Tagore’s conception of a unique journal, and also to historicize the ideology of the journal in the context of contemporary world.

A brief survey of the important historical events in both contemporary India and the world, and Tagore’s response to some of them would be useful here. In 1905, Tagore actively participated in the Swadeshi movement against the Partition of Bengal, composed patriotic songs, supported the formation of indigenous industries. In 1911, the annulment of the Partition developed in Tagore’s mind the idea of the benevolence of the West, which according to his perception was a positive gesture towards acknowledging the legitimate aspirations of the colonized. Just two years later, the poet was awarded the Nobel Prize, which was for him the confirmation of an optimistic outlook of the West to the Oriental culture. In 1914, World War I began. During this period of war, Tagore identified the concealed threat behind the apparently idealistic notion of various nationalisms and rejected it altogether emphasizing the need of expanding the individual self into the national ethos and gradually of turning it into a world-mind. In 1919 Jallianwallabagh massacre compelled Tagore to renounce the Knighthood earlier conferred on him by the British. Non-cooperation movements that started under Gandhian leadership, were ultimately withdrawn after Chaurichaura violence. During this period, Tagore formulated his unique response to Gandhi as a national/international figure and to Gandgian politics. His agreements and disagreements with Gandhi contributed towards the formation of Tagore’s quintessential notion of cosmopolitanism. Tagore established Visva-Bharati, a university truly cosmopolitan in spirit in 1921. In 1930, the Civil Disobedience movement began under Gandhi’s leadership and in 1931 it was withdrawn. It is within this volatile atmosphere, prevalent both in the national and international space, that Tagore’s conception of VBQ is located.;

The first text that I want to deal with is the editorial piece entitled “Visva-Bharati”, which was published in the first issue of the journal. The authorship of this editorial is contentious, because the content page of this issue of VBQ does not mention who authored it.3 Interestingly, this number is edited by Rabindranath himself, which makes the chance of the Tagorean authorship of this editorial more plausible. The text has not been included in the four-volume series of the English writings of Rabindranath Tagore, published by Sahitya Akademi. Although another prose piece “A Vision of India’s History” published in the same issue of VBQ, has been included in the Sahitya Akademi anthology.4

The text echoes Tagore’s idiosyncratic use of language and it also embodies Tagore’s unique way of seeing the world. The editorial foregrounds his ideal of a syncretic space created for the practice of multiculturalism/cosmopolitanism. It is a manifesto of what Visva-Bharati is, and what it can eventually turned out to be.

In this regard, we have to know what cosmopolitanism is and how different is the Tagorean notion of cosmopolitanism from those of the others. Tagore was not especially favoured by the contemporary anti-colonial nationalists for his rejection of nationalism. The nationalism that he strove to foreground through many of his writings was a new brand of cosmopolitanism, which subverted most nineteenth–and–twentieth–century assumptions of nationalist thoughts because it challenged the validity of nation-states with monolithic and essentialized pure cultural forms opposed to all others. This nationalist yearning for cultural authenticity is antithetically menacing to the multidimensional interaction among different cultures leading towards cultural hybridization: a corner stone of Tagore’s idea of cosmopolitanism. David Huddart observes that, according to Homi Bhabha, hybridity is a continuous process. Actually, hybrid forms are created not through the interaction of “pure” cultures. Rather, “cultures are the consequence of attempts to still the flux of cultural hybridities.”5 The actual “location” of culture is on the borderline – in the “liminal” space that exists in between accepted cultural forms or identities.

To give privilege to liminality is to undermine solid, authentic culture in favour of unexpected, hybrid, and fortuitous cultures.6

Tagore, as Martha Nussbaum observes, was able to see the synonymity of “nationalism” and “ethnocentric particularism.” These two, to give support to nationalist sentiments subverts, ultimately, even the values that hold nation together, because it substitutes a colourful idol for the substantive universal values of justice and right.7;

Tagore, in contrast to this homogenized idea of a nation state, preferred to keep a respectful attitude towards cultural diversity simultaneously preserving his identity of the Eastern man.

Critiquing the contemporary obsession with material/mechanical progress and the utilitarian approach towards life, the author of “Visva-Bharati” views:

In the history of every civilization there comes a period when the store of vitality, which it has accumulated in the distant ages, is exhausted at last.8;

The author optimistically views that modernization and developments in the sphere of science and technology have dissolved the “geographical barriers” that separated the different races of the world. But the barriers of habit persist. The age old structure of exclusive mentality creates impediments in the path of cultural osmosis and the author observes:

These new obstructions, being artificial, are a burden that crush the people under the weight of their dead material and create deformities in their moral nature.9

Against this prevalent, doctrinaire attitude the author proposes a new form of cosmopolitan education, which he attests to be the educational mission of Visva-Bharati: “to acknowledge the best ideal of the present age in the centre of her educational mission.”10 Tagore concludes:

The first thing which must occupy our attention is to concentrate in this institution the different cultures of the East and West, especially those that have taken birth in India or found shelter in her house. India must fully know herself in order to make herself known to others .11 (italics mine)

Nussbaum, in this regard, traces the origin of cosmopolitan education back to the Greek stoic Diogenes and his followers, who emphasized it because of its necessity in the formation of self identity:

We see ourselves more clearly when we see our ways in relation to those of other reasonable people.12

This “vivid imagining of the different” is a fundamental feature of this kind of education, which destabilizes the nationalist assumption of “national boundaries as morally salient.”13 This does not mean that the stoics and consequently Tagore were speaking for the dissolvment of the “local” cultural nuances, in favour of a generalized idea of world citizenship.The radicality of this approach is in the assumption that:

We should give our first allegiance to no mere form of government, no temporal power, but to the moral community made up by the humanity of all human beings.14

As Pratap Bhanu Mehta puts it, this new cosmopolitanism avoids “both the logic of assimilation that eroded difference” and “an enclavism that made dialogue impossible.”15 Instead of assuming the presence of a dichotomous element that resides between the two hemispheres, races, or nations and advocating the triumph of a superior one, Tagore insisted on the harmonious balance between the universal and the specific, the local and the global.

VBQ was created to provide this Tagorean idea of the formation of a syncretic cultural hybridity, irrespective of the categorical/political obligations of various ethos.It was an attempt of Tagore to introduce both to the West and the East their varied aspects of cultures, and there by creating an “imagined community” of Santiniketan/Visva-Bharati, the unifying cultural signifier or the central code of which, would be nothing but the institution itself. The inclusion of Visva-Bharati News and Visva-Bharati Bulletin in VBQ contributed to Tagore’s attempt of creating in people, that is unfamiliar with the idea of Visva-Bharati, a kind of affinity about it. Modern Review, as a journal, lacked in this centre of gravitation (i.e., the ideal of Visva-Bharati), that Tagore wanted to situate at the core of the ideology of VBQ. He constantly sought to make his readers aware of this centre, and used it as a force that would attract the “world” towards the “home”. It was, as if, Tagore wanted them to travel the distance through the reading of the journal. Simultaneously, it was also one of Tagore’s contentions to initiate in the local mind a way of seeing and interpreting the multidimensional global, so that the local mind would be able to situate itself within the contemporary world view.

The author of this editorial consolidates his position by quoting from Sanskrit scriptures –“atithi devo bhava.”16 He considers the universally disseminated nature of reason and morality as a divine guest, which must receive its well deserved tribute from us, (interestingly in one of his addresses namely “The Guest House of India” Tagore uses the same quote to foreground his argument, which again increases the chance of Tagore being the author of this editorial piece.)17In this context, the author strategically reinterprets the myth of Dushyanta and Sakuntala in Kalidasa’s famous drama. He observes that, the curse fell on Sakuntala, because she was absorbed in her immediate personal desire, which seemed insignificant when compared to the call from the “divine representative of the larger world of men” she unintentionally ignored. This reinterpretation has a unique significance in its approach to history, and in its chalking out of the aspirations of Indian culture. Some critics claim that this abandonment of history altogether for the preference of ahistorical constructions of myth, is truly the indigenous understanding of the past, since it not only subverts the “master narratives authorized by imperialism”, but also has an authenticity because it is located in the domain of pre-colonial and pre-modern societies.18

Probably, the omission of the name of the author also fits into Tagore’s idea of cosmopolitanism. It can be said that Tagore did not want to impress his name in the editorial of a journal, which ideologically claims to be cosmopolitan in nature: a textual mouthpiece of the ideals of Visva-Bharati. Tagore, perhaps, did not want to constrain or codify the ideal of Visva-Bharati ontologically, using his name as the sole signifier for representing it to the larger world. In other words, instead of Rabindranath, it is Visva-Bharati, which stands for the cultural signification of cosmopolitanism. In his address “The Guest-House of India” we get a statement that goes in favour of my argument. In this address Tagore concludes:

I must be relieved even of Visva–Bharati. Visva-Bharati belongs to every one of you. It is open to any one to come and take up its burden. You are welcome, because you have the right; it belongs to you all, and it is only waiting to be owned by you.19

As far as the “content” of the journal is concerned, we find that a large body of writings by many scholars is directed towards the reservoir of the orientalist knowledge with comparatively small number of references to the “local”, or to the historical specificities. But despite the echo of elitism in the declaration of the objectives of the journal:

Disinterested pursuit of knowledge or creation or contemplation of beauty calculated to add to the cultural heritage of Man. No particular creed is therefore advocated in these pages; nor any responsibility undertaken for views that may find place therein, except such as is necessary to provide opportunity for free expression of ideas.20

we can easily locate the presence of the specific and the “political” in many of Tagore’s seminal writings published in VBQ during this period. Essays like “What Then”, “The Rule of the Giant”, addresses like “The Voice of Humanity”, and play like Red Oleanders, all replete with direct or tacit political/universal implication, had appeared in the Old Series. So, we can easily trace the deviation from the ideology of the journal, which did not remain purely “disinterested” in nature.

The second text, that I seek to explore, consolidates this deviation from the motto. The lecture “International Relations” was delivered by Tagore in Japan in 1924.21 Tagore’s lecture refers to the anti-Japanese emigration laws in America. He severely critiques this attitude of exclusiveness on the part of “a Western country”(it is not worthy that Tagore does not name the country he is condemning), which has in it “no acknowledgement of moral law.”22 He wanted Japan not to respond to their national violation with the tool of violence. Tagore was afraid of the nationalist movements throughout Asia, and as a result, he thought that the whole world would eventually turn into an anarchy. He, therefore, cautions Japan:

If we find you indulging just now in vulgar boisterousness, we shall know that it is weakness, which you have borrowed through those importers of moral drugs from abroad.23

Tagore intensely disliked the fact that Japan had become “a mere reproduction of the West.” Tagore objected to this, not just because the idea of violence was a degenerate principle to him, but because it imitated the threatening characteristic of western imperialism– “the barbarous exercise of physical power to dominate others.” It is for this reason, that Tagore did not want independence if that also meant adopting the form of a nation-state. So, when we see Tagore participating in the active protest against the Partition of Bengal, he is actually doing so as a humanist, as an anti-imperialist, as an internationalist, and not as a nationalist.

In his address “Nationalism in Japan” the poet said:

Japan must have a firm faith in the moral law of existence to be able to assert to herself that the Western nations are following the path of suicide, where they are smothering their humanity under the immense weight of organization in order to keep themselves in power and hold others in subjection.24

Tagore was not in the habit of looking upon his own country as the sole representative of the East. The anxiety manifest in the above quote has a pan-Asiatic dimension. He views that the spirit of non-violence and flexibility has a long history in both Christianity and the Eastern religions. But in his contemporary age, Tagore believed that, this spirit had been overcome by the “spirit of the nation with its intense consciousness of self-interest concentrated in political organization.”25 This evil influence, according to Tagore, was causing Japan the loss of their arts and crafts, all the delicate idioms of expression in your life and surroundings, are fast losing their own living character and stiffening into the standardized convention made in the foreign world.26

The remedy that Tagore proposes to combat this fragmentation is the restoration of the best ideals, that reside in the collective past of Asia. He views:

In the olden times it was possible for India to find her home in the heart of China and Japan, and your administrators did not busy themselves to find out if some groups of idealists, freed from barriers of passport offices, were finding access to the heart of your country, instead of into its goals with police spies at their heels.27

This is an important statement showing Tagore’s quintessential vision of achieving unity in the world by first materializing the idea of an organized Asian consciousness. R. K. Dasgupta observes, in relation to this:

We must first have a notion of a unified Asian civilization before we can have a creative understanding of the West. And we must not claim any Indian leadership in our endeavour towards the cultural understanding amongst the nations of the East.28

Thus, we can see how through the journal of his institution, Tagore tries to disseminate his pan-Asiatic consciousness, thereby also creating his Asian self- identity: an identity that can be flexibly expanded into the realm of the larger world.

A key feature of Tagore’s ideal of cosmopolitanism is yet to be discussed. Tagore’s Brahmo upbringing enabled him to embrace in his life the concept of the Upanishadic God, who is, paradoxically, both transcendental and immanent: a presence who is universal in His oneness. He is a “Personality” who is manifest in every human heart, in every earthly matter. It is for this reason, that one man has the potential in him to embody the entire universe within his self: a self that can contain multitude. Tagore, in one of his short essays published in Vividha Prasanga views,

When a particular individual dies, we do not think that the whole world has extinguished.29

It is for this element of spiritualism, inherent in Tagore’s cosmopolitanism, that R. K. Dasgupta is reluctant to use terms like “internationalism” or “cosmopolitanism” as the apt expressions of Tagore’s ideal. Dasgupta holds that the idea of the “international” is purely political, whereas, as a “cosmopolitan” Tagore did not seem to reject his national identity to be the citizen of the world. Borrowing a phrase from the work of Nepal Majumdar, he defines Rabindranath’s internationalism as “adhyatmik visvajagatikatabad”: i.e.“spiritual internationalism”, although the translation seems to be inadequate.30

The last text of the Old Series of VBQ that I want to analyse is an address titled “Meeting of the East and West”, delivered by Tagore at a reception in Carnegi Hall, New York in 1931.31 In this address, Tagore, as a “counter–modernist critic of the imperial West” (to borrow the phrase coined by Ashis Nandy)32 held that in the nineteenth century, the West believed in “freedom of personality.”33 At that time there was a possibility of cultural dialogue between the East and the West. But the modern West seemed to be engrossed in the “fetish of nationalism”, bringing with it “dehumanization, de-spiritualization, deformity and doom.”34 This has led to a separation between the two hemispheres, as Tagore sarcastically holds:

We in the East believe in Personality. In the West you have your admiration for power.35

Tagore had faith in the Enlightened West, which, he thought, would redeem the East from its dark dungeons of superstitions. But this belief was thwarted when Tagore observed:

But how short was that twilight of a vanishing age, of chivalry, of idealism higher and greater than one’s own nationality…you do not realize what terrible menace you have become to man. We are afraid of you.36

It is noteworthy that unlike so many other anti-colonial nationalists, Tagore did not seem to glorify the past of his own country blindly, in a wholesome manner. Tagore sought the help of the West, because, as he observed:

We had formerly our own system of education: that has vanished. We had our industries to help to eke out the income of those dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood, but all these industries have vanished like autumn leaves.37

Most of the nationalists adopted the binary of the “self” and the “other” and merely reversed or inverted it. Similar to the attitude of the Negritudinists, they agreed with the West about the assumption that the East can be equated with spiritualism, which is fundamentally distinct from the rational/material West. Paradoxically, they attached to this spiritual essence a value of superiority, and rejected the negative value that the West had bestowed upon it. The nationalists failed to see that this attitude was nothing but a twisted appropriation of the idea of teleological progress which primarily generated in the meta-narratives of Western Enlightenment. The consequence of this imitation was that the postcolonial states were ultimately modelled according to the extremist, Eurocentric oppressiveness of the Western nation-states.

When Tagore opposes Eastern faith in “personality” to the Western worship of power, it apparently seems to echo the nationalist assumption mentioned above. But that is not the case here. According to Louise Blakeney Williams, Tagore believed in the “cyclic” theory of history which rejected all kinds of teleologies and periodization. Stressing Tagore’s fascination with diversity, and his assumption that all ages manifesting “the values of a superior tradition were equivalent and interchangeable”38, Williams holds that in this outlook of history,

the key distinction was between superior and inferior traditions of values, rather than that which occurred earlier or later in time, or that which was from the West or the East. Because of this, and because history would not witness the triumph of one dichotomy over another, a nation did not have to exclude any part of its past, any group of people, or any features of other nations from its identity. Tagore and Yeats, therefore, did not need to follow other nationalists in choosing between traditionalism or modernity, peripheral or metropolitan culture, as the direction their nation should follow. In fact they did not need to define their national identity in opposition to an “other” group of people at all.39

It is in this way that Tagore’s perception of history contributed to the development of his ideal of cosmopolitanism. Measuring the latent threat in the wholesome mimicry of Western forms, he espoused the selective adoption of Western technology, which would then be reshaped and transmuted in the indigenous soil.

In the address, we get an interesting portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, that Tagore sought to etch out before a Western audience. We all might remember that Tagore had disagreed and debated with Gandhi on multiple issues. Tagore was specifically critical about Gandhi’s conservative attitude towards technological modernity, his extremist idealization of spirituality and his reactionary movement back to the ancient village-life in India, revealed through his utopian conception of pre-modern/anti-modern village community.

In his novel The Home and the World, Tagore tacitly expressed his anxiety about the Gandian notion of Hind Swaraj, because he thought that it would put into question the acceptability of Muslims in the nation. The emerging Hindu essentialists would “suppress…them altogether”, and this eventually would lead to communal riots.40

Despite their different stance in many spheres against each other, Tagore found a concrete revelation of humanity in Mahatma Gandhi. Tagore identified in him the presence of the immanent “personality.” Posing Gandhi’s personality paradoxically against the collective European mind, Tagore viewed:

He has neither physical nor spiritual power, but through his great influence people who have been in subjection to all kinds of tyrannical power have stood up; and he is the strongest spiritual power in this world today. Not because of his political prudence, but for his spiritual influence the people believe in him, and they are ready to die for their faith…they suffer and through suffering conquer. (italics mine)41

Tagore greatly valued the idea of non-violence preached by Gandhi. Probably, Tagore was able to identify Gandhi as a practical embodiment of the ideas of non-violence preached by Jesus Christ in the West, and by Lord Buddha in the East. Both Tagore and Gandhi considered village to be the heart of Indian culture and society and engaged themselves in the work of rural reconstruction in their own ways. The idea of inner reformation of every individual foregrounded by Gandhi was particularly admired by Tagore. In this regard Tagore held:

He attacks the enemies that are within us. Not like the political machinery which you have that attacks from the outside and that tries to work through the external.42

Tagore thus finds in Gandhi the messiah of the East, who, with his employment of “the strongest spiritual power” can rescue the world from “mind-forged-manacles.” We can easily identify in this perception, Tagore’s idea of an Asiatic redeemer: a vision that would culminate in the abstract conception of “the Saviour” in his Crisis in Civilization.43

Interestingly, just after the end of his take on Gandhi, Tagore mentions Christ. The last line of his address almost echoes the simplicity of the language of The Bible:

I have seen, I have known it within me, in the depths of my feeling. And I know that only when you come to Him will there be peace.44

The adaptability of Tagore’s vision could discover the parity between Christian Neo-platonism (the theory that all goodness, truth, and beauty in the sensible world are emanations from the One or Absolute, who is the source of all being and value) and Upanishadic monotheism.

In this manner we can see that VBQ acted as a means of vocalizing Tagore’s multilateral response to his contemporary world, a sphere where the formation, evolution and modification of many of his ideas shared ground with each other. Tagore employed this journal for the sake of an entirely new cultural reformation both in the oriental and in the occidental realm—a reformation, which establishes the fact that the uniqueness of the varied can be held in “a perfect symmetry.” Starting initially as the journal of an institution, its ideological horizon expands into the dialogic sphere of intersecting textualities and in a way VBQ becomes the textual extension of Tagore’s cosmopolitan self.


1. “Memorandum of the Association”, Visva-Bharati Quarterly 1.1 (May, 1923), p.
back cover. The journal will be further referred to as VBQ.
2. Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee, “List of Tagore’s Writings in the Visva-Bharati Quarterly”,
VBQ 7.2 (May, 1941), p.324.
3. VBQ 1.1 (May, 1923), p.iv.
4. Rabindranath Tagore, “A Vision of India’s History”, in Sisir Kumar Das, ed. The
English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore
, vol.3 (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1996),
5. David Huddart, Homi K.Bhabha (New York: Routledge, 2006), p.7.
6. Ibid., p.7.
7. Martha Nussbaum, “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism”, in Joshua Cohen, ed. For Love
of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism (Boston, Mass., 1996), p.2.
8. “Visva-Bharati”, VBQ 1.1 (May 1923):1-4, p.1.
9. Ibid., p.2.
10. Ibid., p.3.
11. Ibid., p.3.
12. Nussbaum, p.4.
13. Ibid., p.5.
14. Ibid., p.3.
15. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, “Cosmopolitanism and the Circle of Reason”, Political Theory
28.5 (October, 2000), p.620.
16. “Visva-Bharati”, p.3.
17. Rabindranath Tagore, “The Guest- House of India”, VBQ 2.1 (May, 1924), p.2.
18. Gyan Prakash, “Postcolonial Criticism and Indian Historiography”, Social Text 31/32
(1992), p.15.
19. Tagore, “The Guest-House of India”, p.4.
20. VBQ 14.1 (May,1948), p. back of the front cover.
21. Rabindranath Tagore, “Internationl Relations”, VBQ 2.4 (February, 1924): 307-316.
22. Ibid., p.308.
23. Ibid., p.309.
24. Rabindranath Tagore, Nationalism (London: Macmillan, 1937), p.29-30.
25.Tagore, “International Relations”, p.310.
26. Ibid., p.315.
27. Ibid., p.312.
28. R. K. Dasgupta, Rabindranath Tagore’s Ideal of Internationalism (Kolkata: Tagore
Research Institute, 2008), p.29.
29. As quoted in Dasgupta, p.11.
30. Ibid., p.9.
31. Rabindranath Tagore, “Meeting of the East and West”, VBQ 8.3 (June, 1931): 236-
32. Ashis Nandy, The Illegitimacy of Nationalism:Rabindranath Tagore and the Politics
of Self (New Delhi: OUP, 1994), p.3
33. Tagore, “Meeting of the East and West”, p.237.
34.Mohammad A. Quayum,“Paradisiacal Imagination:Rabindranath Tagore’s Visvovod
or Vision of Non-National Neo-Universalism”, Quodlibet 1.(February,2005), p.3.
35. Tagore, “Meeting of The East and West”, p.238.
36. Ibid., p.239.
37. Ibid., p.241.
38. Louise Blakeney Williams, “Overcoming the ‘Contagion of Mimicry’: The
Cosmopolitan Nationalism and Modernist History of Rabindranath Tagore and
W.B.Yeats”, American Historical Review (February, 2007), p.88.
39. Ibid., p.94.
40. Rabindranath Tagore, The Home and the World (1915). Tr.Surendranath Tagore.
(London: Penguin, 1957), p.120.
41. Tagore, “Meeting of the East and West”, p.242.
42. Ibid., p.242.
43. Rabindranath Tagore, Crisis in Civilization (Kolkata: Visva-Bharati, 1941), p.22.
44. Tagore,“Meeting of the East and West”, p.243.


Focus – "Reading Across Time": Tagore Today

  Amrit Sen : Editorial

Lead Article
  Udaya Narayana Singh : Redrawing the Boundaries

Critical Essays

  Nation, History, Cultural Exchange
    Avijit Banerjee : Tagore’s Visit to China
    Bijoy Mukherjee : Rabindranath and Indian History
    Biswanath Banerjee : Tagore and Acharya PC Ray
    Sagarika Chakraborty : Tagore the Diplomat
    Soumitra Roy : Tagore’s Ghare Baire

  Responses to Caste and Gender
    Dhriti Ray Dalai/ Panchanan Dalai : Tagore’s ‘Chandalika’
    Dipankar Roy : Women in Tagore’s ‘Domestic Novels’
    Sanjukta Dasgupta : “Streer Patra” - A Feminist Text?
    Swati Ganguly : Gender, Sexuality and Conjugality in Samapti

  Translation and Reception
    Anindya Sen : Tagore’s Self-Translations
    Jayati Gupta : Whose Gitanjali is it Anyway?
    Sushobhan Adhikary : Cartoons on Tagore
    Usha Kishore : The Auto-translations of Rabindranath

  Rural Reconstruction and Ecopoetic
    Bipasha Raha : Experiments with Village Welfare
    Debotosh Sinha : Tagore and Rural Reconstruction
    Falguni Piyush Desai : Floriography in Tagore’s Poetry
    Marie Josephine Aruna : ‘Letters’ and Ecopoetics

  Aesthetics, Paintings and Dance Dramas
    Aju Mukhopadhyay : The Poet of Sublime Love
    Raghupathi K V : Aesthetics of Tagore and Sri Aurobindo
    Sudeshna Majumdar : Paintings of Tagore
    Sutapa Chaudhuri : Dance Dramas of Tagore

  Tagore and the Short Story
    Dominic K V : Tagore’s Short Stories
    Mausumi Sen Bhattacharjee : ‘The Hunger of Stones’

  Tagore and Visva-Bharati
    Anindita Chongdar : Anecdotes of Santiniketan
    Debmalya Das : The Visva-Bharati Quarterly
    Subodh Gopal Nandi : The Visva-Bharati Library

Creative Responses

    Sanjukta Dasgupta : Remembering Rabindranath

    Frank Joussen : Tagore and Walt Whitman
    Nuggehalli Pankaja : The Voice of Tagore
    Sanjukta Dasgupta : To Rabindranath
    Shambhobi Ghosh : Yet

  Ahmed A H S : Birthday and other poems
  Anup Maharatna : From ‘The Last Writings’
  Ashoka Sen : Africa
  Barnali Saha : The Vacation (Fiction)
  Naina Dey : Chance Meeting
  Parantap Chakraborty : The Son of Man
  Suranjima Saha : Preamble to a Journey
  Swapna Dutta : The Editor

  Amrit Sen:Behind the Veil & Tagore and Modernity
  Kumaran S : Pathos in the Short Stories of Tagore

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