Sharing the Dream: The Remarkable Women of Santiniketan- Edited by Tapati Mukhopadhyay & Amrit Sen

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This volume brings together an account of several remarkable women who shared Rabindranath Tagore’s dream of creating an ecologically conscious, and culturally enriched cosmopolitan

community, that was sensitive to its local realities at Visva-Bharati. Using reminiscences and critical analysis, it reveals the extent to which women contributed to the vision and development of Santiniketan and Sriniketan.This book is an account of the contribution of the remarkable
women who participated in the fruition of the poet’s dream.Histories of Santiniketan have generally given us accounts of the men around the poet. But one must not forget the fact that
women too contributed, silently at first and more actively later on, to shape the ethos of the Santiniketan experiment. They wrote little, often played supportive roles and gradually rooted faculty
and students alike to this place. In 1908, the poet had initiated a project to start a girl’s school at Santiniketan but the experiment was discontinued. However the children of the faculty were
educated here and gradually the poet could incorporate girl students as part of the broader Santiniketan community.
Rabindranath was a firm believer in evolution rather than revolutionary zeal and he slowly extended the process of
incorporating women in the decision- making of the institution.Because there are very few written accounts, creating a definitive history of the women of Santiniketan is a difficult task.There are a few memoirs, but one has to largely depend upon the reminiscences of descendants to identify by the different roles by these remarkable women in the evolution of Santiniketan.This volume accordingly uses both reminiscence and critical analysis to give the reader an idea of the precise contribution made by these remarkable women. This book does not claim to be a complete record of the contribution of the women of Santiniketan. We are aware of some glaring omissions. We are also aware that the volume uses two sets of methodologies,personal reminiscence and critical analysis. This hybridity is
critical to forgrounding the scarcity of our awareness of such contributions. Hopefully this is the first of the several volumes that will explore the role played by other such women.This project was initiated by a group of senior asramites who felt it imperative to inform posterity about the contribution of these figures. Professor Tirthankar Bose from Canada initially coordinated it and the present editors gratefully acknowledge his inputs and encouragement.

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