Gitanjali and Beyond Issue 6: Samaj/Society and Freedom(s); The Relevance of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi’s Ideas Today

In February 2019 the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs) at Edinburgh Napier University collaborated with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and held an International Conference on ‘Samaj and Freedom(s): The relevance of Gandhi and Tagore’s Ideas Today’. We had thought provoking and insightful reflections on the subject from several established academics, educationists and social workers in the field, presenting on the subject.

The ensuing debates and discussions proved to be both educational and enriching. That was when Dr Padma Rani, Director of the School of Communication and Prof. Varadesh Hiregange, Director of the Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies, my co-convenors at Manipal University and I, decided that we needed to invite some of the key speakers to edit their papers and contribute to a special issue on the subject. At that point in time, the pandemic had not struck and COP26 had not brought the reality of the climate crisis to our immediate attention.

Yet the issues that were discussed in relation to the value of our freedoms in society, raising questions about basic human rights, the liberation of the mind that enables creativity, the necessity of communication through dialogue to create understanding and ensure respect for all communities, the social foundations laid by holistic education, the urgency to bridge the urban rural divide for effective economic development in a world where the local and the global are interdependent, still remain intrinsic to human development, progress and to nation building and transnational transactions.

Yet added to that realization is the knowledge that planetary degradation on the scale we have witnessed recently through relentless deforestation, industrial farming, the continued burning of fossil fuels, the dominance of corporates and manmade wars and devastation, can jeopardise not just our samaj, but human life itself on earth, threatening the very continuity of human society, which we must collectively stall.

 

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Title Page, Editorial Board, Advisory Board

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Contents

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Foreword   

Bashabi Fraser – Samaj and Freedom(s): The relevance of Gandhi and Tagore’s Ideas Today i – iv

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Section I: Academic (page – 1)

 

1.Kamalika Mitra – Moments of Truth: Otherness and Wavering in Rabindranath Tagore’s Gora. (page 2 – 19)

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2. N. T. Bhat – Literature as a handmaid of social activism in Heinrich Böll. (page 20 – 31).

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3. Blanka Knotková-Čapková – A Close Reading of Two Selected Rabindranath Tagore’s Poems Through Gender and Intersectional Lens. (page 32 – 44)

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4. Krishnapriya T. K, Manjula Venkataraghavan, Padma Rani – Examining Motherhood and Son-preference in Colonial Bengal: A Textual Analysis of Tagore’s Chokher Bali and Jogajog. (page 45 – 61)

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5. Sahara Ahmed – Muses on the ‘Cult of the Charkha’. (page 62 – 75)

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6. Sayantan Ghosh – Rabindranath Tagore’s Idea of Social Change: An Interpretation of his Selected Plays. (page 76 – 98)

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7. Dipannita Datta – Tagore’s Heaven of Freedom and the Realms Beyond: Certain Perspectives in Time and Social Life. (page 99 – 132)

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Section II: Creative (page 133)

Prose (page 134)

8. Reba Som – My grandfather, Atul Chandra Sen: Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘birputra’ (Braveheart). (page 135 – 159)

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9. Somnath Batabyal – Lucky. (page 160 – 183)

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10. Sanjoy K. Roy – I Believe # Art Matters. (page 184 – 193)

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11. Tom Hubbard – The Red and the Black: America’s ‘Despised Races’. (page 194 – 200)

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12. Koushik Goswami – My Father’s Face: Koushik Goswami in Conversation with Chandra Gurung. (page 201 – 206)

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13. Priya Sarukkai Chabria in conversation with Malashri Lal – Sing of Life: Revisioning Tagore’s Gitanjali. (page 207 – 214)

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Poetry (page 215)

14. Richard ‘Spike’ Munro –Thistle, Geeta Devi. (page 216 – 220)

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15. Beth Junor – On the Day Kabul Fell. (page 221 – 222)

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16. A C Clarke – To Lou Strauss-Ernst aka Rosa Bonheur. (page 223 – 225)

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17. Simon Fletcher – Ring. (page 226 – 228)

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18. Stewart Sanderson – Unicorn, The Old Couple. (page 229 – 231)

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19. John Eliot – The Angel of St Clémentin. (page 232 – 234)

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20. Stuart Paterson – Fash, Worry. (page 235 – 239)

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21. Hugh McMillan – Long View. (page 240 – 242)

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22. Utpal Mitra – A Dream. (page 243 – 244)

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23. Lakshmi Arya Thathachar – Unfinished Poem. (page 245 – 247)

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24. John Purser – Maccowan. (page 248 – 250)

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Art (page 251)

25. Anupa Lewis – Late Summer Sands. (page 252 – 253)

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26. Praseed Nair – Distant Houses, Spark. (page 254 – 256)

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27. Dattatreya Paul – Untitled, The Fire Song, Spring. (page 257 – 260)

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Section III: Book Reviews (page 261)

28. Jayati Gupta –Review of translations by Somdatta Mandal of Bengali Women’s Travel Texts. (page 262 – 265)

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29. Averi Saha – Across and Beyondedited by Nishi Pulugurtha and A Bengali Lady in England by Krishnabhabini Das translated by Nabanita Sengupta. (page 266 – 270)

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30. Olga Wojtas – Dundee Street Songs, Rhymes and Games. The William Montgomerie Collection, 1952 -Margaret Bennett and Illustrated by Les McConnell. (page 271 – 273)

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31. Mario Relich – Scottish Writers: ‘standing on their own ground’. Walter Perrie in Conversation with Scottish Writers.  (page 274 – 281)

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32. Jameela Muneer – Letting Go by Gerda Stevenson. (page 282 – 284)

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33. Tom Hubbard – The Meadows and the Maidan. Patient Dignity – Poems by Bashabi Fraser, Paintings by Vibha Pankaj. (page 285 – 289)

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34. Sue Pepper – The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line by Ruth Thomas. (page 290 – 292)

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35. Tania Chakravertty – In Memoriam: Smaran and Palataka – english translation by Sanjukta Dasgupta of Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in Bengali, Smaran (1902) and Palataka (1918). (page 293 – 297)

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36. Debapriti Sengupta – A Lasting Transience. Transient by Tapati Gupta. (page 298 – 305)

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37. Swarnava Chaudhuri – Quietly flows the Hooghly: A Review.Hooghly: The Global History of a River by Robert Ivermee. (page 306 – 311)

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38. Anasua Bagchi – A Poet’s Experiment in Rebuilding Samaj And Nation: Sriniketan’s Rural Reconstruction Work, 1922-1960 by Dikshit Sinha. (page 312 – 315)

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39. Jolly Das – Frames of Memory. This Life at Play: Memoirs translated from the Kannada by Girish Karnad and Srinath Perur. (page 316 – 322)

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40. Anindya Raychaudhuri – Rabindranath Tagore’s Śāntiniketan Essays: Religion, Spirituality and Philosophy by Medha Bhattacharya. (page 323 – 326)

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41. Debapriti Sengupta – People Fall Apart: A Review. Ethnic Tapestry: Bengali Short Stories on Indigenous People translated by Jolly Das et al. (page 327 – 332)

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