New Delhi | Rabindranath Tagore’s music can be of great help in science education – in schools as well as in research, says a new book which also talks of searching for imprints of science in Rabindrasangeet and analysing certain songs of the Bard in the light of modern scientific thoughts.
“A Random Walk in Santiniketan Ashram” showcases the overarching ideals of Tagore that formed the foundation of Visva-Bharati in Santniketan and dwells on the uniqueness of the Visva-Bharati model of education and questions the efficacy of giving it the status of a university.
Written by former Visva-Bharati VC Sushanta Dattagupta and published by Niyogi Books, it showcases the exclusive merits of the university, which is based on Tagore’s idea of what ideal, holistic education should constitute.
According to Dattagupta, there was a connection among science, creation and Rabindrasangeet.
“It was apparent that the Bard was in tune with Quantum Theory, which addresses the notion of ‘reality’ in both its particle and wave senses… The concept of symmetry and symmetry-breaking, ensconced in the recently-discovered Higgs Boson, is also a recurring theme in Tagore’s songs,” he writes.
According to the author, the present educational scenario of the world sees a lot of emphasis on school education that provides the right platform for learning such subjects as mathematics and languages and so “Tagore’s idea of organically bonding basic education with research under the unitary umbrella of the same university was a unique concept.”
“To search for imprints of science in Rabindrasangeet and analyse certain songs of Tagore in the light of modern scientific thoughts, we wanted to see if we could use his music in science education – in school curriculum as well as in research. This is what we endeavoured to carry out in our newly-developed Rabindrasangeet Gabeshana Kendra,” he says.
The monograph is a reflection on various Tagore-related topics, some of which are rewritten versions of lectures Dattagupta has given in different forums, including Visva-Bharati, or translations from Bengali writings.