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Rathindranath Tagore: "the most representative product of Rabindranath's educational ideal"

Rathindranath Tagore nicknamed Rathi, the eldest son and second child of Rabindranath Tagore was born on 27 November 1888. He was a multi talented person being an agriculturist, architect, writer, painter,carpenter, and also a genetics teacher at the renowned Visva-Bharati University. He also became the Vice Chancellor of the same University after it became a Central University.
Rathindranath, first lived in Kolkata, however in 1889, his dad Rabindranath took his family to Sholapur, as Rabindranath went ahead to Shelaidah for zamindari work. At first Rathi was educated by home tutors however in 1901, Rabindranath began a school in Santiniketan, where Rathindranath completed his further schhol studies. The Visva-Bharati website claims: “Rathindranath was not only one of the first five boys of the Santiniketan Brahmacharyasrama, he was also one of the reasons for its existence.”
In 1902, Rathindranath's mother passed away; just nine month later his sister Rani; and in 1907 his younger brother Samindranath also passed away. His teachers at Santiniketan helped Rathindranath to continue for his higher studies. Rabindranath wished to send Rathi abroad to study a technical subject, as he trusted that he would then teach this subject at Visva-Bharati. After he completed his matriculation in 1906, Rathi was sent to the University of Illinois to study Agriculture and where he was instrumental in beginning the now well known Cosmopolitan Club.  After Rathindranath got his Bachelor degree in agriculture, he headed out to Europe. He went to London and after that he went to study at Goettingen University, Germany.
On his return his dad took him to his estates in Shelaidah to make him the new Zamindar. Rathindranath attempted to show the new cultivating techniques he had learnt in America to the neighborhood laborers (e.g. experimential cultivating, new harvests, little lab) and furthermore attempted to present techniques for self-government as Rabindranath made it the principle assignment of his child to build up the monetary state of the oppressed of Indian society.
On 27th January 1910, Rathindranath (21) was married to Pratima Devi (16) who was married before at her eleven years of age, but she was widowed 2 months after her marriage. This was the first in the Tagore family supporting widow remarriage.
Rathindranath spent his 40years serving Shantiniketan and Visva-bharati. He taught genetics in Santiniketan and was praised for making the subject interesting among his students. He had huge contributions to Santiniketan and without his dynamic support; the Tagore archives and memorial would never been existed. He made huge financial contributions to Visva-Bharati and spent percentage of his income to Rabindra-Bharati.
At 65, Rathindranath resigned from his post as vice-chancellor and left his wife Pratima, adopted daughter Nandita and his home in Santiniketan to live in Dehradun. It was here that Rathindranath fabricated Mitali, a house that replicated his home in Santiniketan. Rathindranath tried to build something like Santiniketan in Dehradun. There he died at the age of 73 in June of 1961.
By: Purnajyoti Khanra


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