[Model Answer QP2023 GS1]What was the difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in their approach towards education and nationalism?

Mahatma GandhiRabindranath Tagore
Philosophy of EducationBasic Education or Nai Talim: Gandhi emphasized learning through doing. He proposed a system where students learn through productive work and crafts.Holistic Education: Tagore emphasized nurturing creativity, individuality, and the inner spirit. He believed in a comprehensive education system.
Medium of EducationVernacular Medium: Gandhi believed that education should be imparted in the mother tongue to be most effective.Universal: While Tagore too recognized the value of vernacular education, he also believed in the universality of knowledge and was open to learning and teaching in other languages.
Environment for EducationRural & Simple: Gandhi felt education should be rooted in the simplicity and realities of rural life.Natural Surroundings: Tagore founded Shantiniketan, where education was imparted in the lap of nature, fostering a close bond between nature and students
Purpose of EducationMoral & Ethical Development: For Gandhi, the ultimate aim was to produce morally upright individuals.Spiritual & Aesthetic Development: Tagore aimed to develop the spiritual and aesthetic sense of individuals, fostering a holistic growth
NationalismActive Resistance: Gandhi was a political activist who believed in active resistance (though non-violent) against the British rule. His nationalism was deeply rooted in the Indian masses.Spiritual Unity: Tagore’s idea of nationalism was based on the spiritual unity of humanity. He was wary of aggressive nationalism and was more universal in his outlook.
Response to British RuleBoycott & Non-cooperation: Gandhi advocated for boycotting British goods, services, and institutions.Critique from Within: Tagore believed in reforming institutions from within and was not in favor of outright boycotts. He did, however, return his knighthood in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre


While both leaders had their differences in approach, it’s important to note that both were deeply committed to India’s well-being and played pivotal roles in shaping its modern identity.

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