What was the difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in their approach towards education and nationalism?

What was the difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in their approach towards education and nationalism? (Answer in 150 words) 10


Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, both notable figures in India’s fight for independence, offered distinct viewpoints in the realms of education and nationalism. Their individual methodologies left a deep imprint on the evolution of contemporary India.


Approach of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore to Education:

Mahatma Gandhi:

  • Practical education: Gandhi stressed the significance of practical skills, emphasizing training in areas directly beneficial to the masses, such as farming and handicrafts. His promotion of the Nai Talim, or Basic Education System, was a notable contribution to this cause.
  • Cultural values: He advocated for an education system rooted in Indian cultural and moral values, aiming to reconnect people with their rich heritage. Character-building was a central tenet of his educational philosophy.
  • Self-sufficiency: Gandhi viewed education as a tool for fostering self-reliance and self-sufficiency. He popularized the spinning wheel as a symbol of economic empowerment and self-sufficiency during the freedom struggle.

Rabindranath Tagore:

  • Global perspective: Tagore’s educational outlook was cosmopolitan, emphasizing the cultivation of a global mindset. He established Visva-Bharati University to blend Indian traditions with international values.
  • Holistic growth: Tagore encouraged self-expression, creativity, and individualism, creating an environment that celebrated freedom of thought and expression. His emphasis on exploring arts, literature, and nature was reflected in the schools and university he founded in Santiniketan, which aimed to foster holistic development and intercultural understanding.

Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore’s Perspectives on Nationalism:

Mahatma Gandhi:

  • Non-violence: Gandhi’s nationalism revolved around non-violence and satyagraha, advocating for India’s independence through peaceful means. He firmly believed in the effectiveness of non-violence as the path to Indian freedom, leading various mass movements such as the Non-Cooperation movement and the Quit India Movement.
  • Inclusivity: Gandhi stressed the importance of incorporating all segments of society, including marginalized communities, into the nationalist movement. Promoting Hindu-Muslim unity and the upliftment of Dalits through his constructive program were integral parts of his vision for a more inclusive nationalist struggle.

Rabindranath Tagore:

  • Humanitarian approach: Tagore’s approach to nationalism was more universal and humanitarian. He criticized narrow nationalism, warning against its potential to breed intolerance and chauvinism. His contribution to nationalism is evident in his compositions of national anthems for both India and Bangladesh.
  • Global outlook: He believed that nationalism should embrace inclusivity and honor the diversity of cultures and religions. Tagore’s internationalist perspective advocated for global cooperation and understanding.


Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore contributed distinct viewpoints on education and nationalism, enhancing India’s intellectual and cultural legacy. Their differing stances continue to shape the nation, showcasing the diverse ideological spectrum within the independence movement and its ongoing impact.

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