Education at Crossroads

Towards a New System of Education

India has had in modern times five greatest educationists. Significantly, all of them were stirred by the teacher-pupil relationship that flourished in the ancient Indian system of education, and all of them renewed for us the ideal and practice of education that the gurukulas or the ashrams nourished in the days of Vasishtha and Vishwamitra, of Aruni and Yajnavalkya.

Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati visualised clusters of teachers spread over the entire breadth and length of the country nestled in groves of woods and trees where pupils could be trained in the ancient knowledge contained in the Veda as also in rational modes of thought so as to be equipped with invincible knowledge and robust character that is forged by constant practice of truth, self control and fearlessness.

Swami Vivekananda, inspired by the Upanishads and their message of divine perfection inherent in every individual, strove to give to the youth of modern India the lessons of man-making education so as to cast them in the image of heroic builders of new India and new world.

Mahatma Gandhi conceived, even when he was in South Africa, a scheme of ashram education and developed it further in India at Sabarmati Ashram and at Wardha into what came to be called "Nai Talim" that would reflect the ancient spirit of blending head, heart and hand so as to create new types of human beings that would be self-reliant, chaste, truthful, non-violent and devoted servants of the country and the world.

Rabindranath Tagore established in Shanti Niketan a school and a Brahmacharyashram where, like the ancient Upanishadic Guru, he lived and taught as a companion of the children who

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