This article is dealing with the most important issue of the new era in India viz. the position of the backwards communities in the tide of modernization. Today India is among of the 5 largest economies all over the world. The economic development in India increases its graph in every sphere through worldwide. As a developing country, India proves her identity and potentiality by her growth in the field of economic empowerment. But simultaneously the coin has it’s another face. We cannot ignore the turmoil conditions of our society in the name of racism and casteism. Though Indian Education system provides lots of scopes but it is not enough to deroot the malicious thoughts from the ‘mind’ of the society. Tagore, the poet laureate, having his future vision towards these malpractices, moulds a character beyond era named Prakriti who actually becomes the face of the unprivileged communities. Tagore’s one of the greatest dance-drama ‘Chandalika’ has a very powerful message against these corruptions of minds which has utter significance even in modern era also. There are so many Prakritis are still alive in negligence of our so called ‘developed’ society. She is still in search of her Ananda or the torch bearer of the ray of hope who can kindle the candle of her life.

As a developing country, India finally gained momentum in the field of economic development. It has already become the fastest-growing major economy in the world and India still has so many unutilized potentials which are lying in her reservoirs. India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information Technology Industry. India increases its growth in the field of Global Startup Ecosystem with more than 4200 startups. In Science and Technology, India is the country with her nuclear power, possesses an esteemed rank among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transaction in the world. India has developed her own navigation system. India’s pharmaceutical market is the fourth largest in the world in terms of volume and India is the largest provider of Genetic drugs. India is one of the largest exporters of gems and jewellery in the world. India is fast becoming the hub of the medical tourism. India shines in Real Estate sectors, Automobile sectors, Cement Industries (which is the second largest), Biotechnology, Aviation, Banking and Insurance, Film industry, Media Sectors, Textile industries and so on. India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of the spices and spice products, delicious mangoes, pulses and basmati rice. India is growing her infrastructure too fast with the boost of the economic development to regain her position in the economic empowerment through the worldwide. But the glittering moon also has her dark side. Still, there is a huge spectrum where the spark of education gets hindrances by the mental corruption. The casteism and the concept of ‘untuochability’ still exist in the mind of 21st centurion’s people in India. Untouchability is the barbaric system inherited from India's divisive past, in which "lowly people" were kept at a physical distance. In this utter malady Tagore’s ‘Chandalika’ got birth and she became the face of the unprivileged community. She gave words in the choked throats of the untouchables. There are so many ‘chandalika’ are still exist in the downstream of our society. What does today’s ‘chandalika’ say? Does anyone care for her shattered voice? Above all, it’s a question why I am mentioning about ‘chandalika’ in course of this particular talk regarding the above-mentioned topic. If we want to get the answer we have to go through the story of the ‘Chandalika’ which has been presented in the form of dance-drama written by the poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1938.

The antecedent story of the ‘Chandalika’ is derived from the Jataka story, ‘Shardulakarnavadan’ but the impact of the Jataka story on Tagore’s ‘Chandalika’ is less than the impact of the book titled “The Sanskrit Buddhist Literature Of Nepal” edited by Rajendralal Mitra (1882). Yet “Shardulakarnavadan” has not played a significant role for the upheaving of the sociological condition of the then as well as the modern society but Tagore’s ‘Chandalika’ just nailed it. In 1932, Tagore wrote a poetry named ‘Jolpatro’ which was the first venture, followed by the second one, the drama, ‘Chandalika’ in 1933 to fabricate the dance-drama ‘Chandalika’ in its ultimate transformation in 1938. Though Tagore did not mention the names of the characters in the poetry ‘Jolpatro’, but we can easily recognise who they are.

“Prabhu, tumi pujoniyo. Amar ki
jaat, jano taha he jibononath. tobuo

sobar dwar thele kano ele kon

Shuniya amar mukhe tulile noyon bishwajoyi...
Hasiya kohile, “He mrinmoyi,
Punyo jotha mrittikar ae bosundhora
Shyamol kantite bhora sei moto tumi

Shotodol ponkojer jaat nei kono.
Jar majhe prokashilo swarger nirmol obhiruchi Seo
ki oshuchi.
Bidhata prosonno jetha apon haater sristite
Nityo taar obhishek nikhiler aashis brishtite

[My Lord, you are the idolatry/worshipful, what the cast of mine
You know it ohh the idol of my life,
Then why have you move across to other’s doors to mine Leading by the misery......
Listening to these you put your eyes above to my face ohh lord of the universe....
Smiled and said, “oh the earthen lady,
The earthen world with its beauty of the greenery is as sacred as you are..............
The lotus is beyond any cast though it blooms in mud Its heart reveals the taste of heaven Can it bear profanity! ....
Where the God is pleased by his own creation
It has been sanctify by the eternal shower of blessings of the absolute one. ]

It is a conversation between an untouchable lady and a Buddhist monk. We can easily portray a picture of the then sociological condition which was biased by the casteism. The history behind the creation of the ‘Chandalika’ was not a coincident. The turbulent socio-economic condition perturbed Tagore a lot and he picked his pen against all these mental corruptions.

Tagore also founded the ‘Sanskar-Samiti’ in 1932 to support the Mahatma Gandhi’s antiuntouchability fast (20th September 1932) for the demand of Communal Award of separate electorates and separate reservation of seats for depressed class. 21st September 1932, Tagore organised and supervised a communal harmony programme at Sinhasadan in Shantiniketan where he invites all the backwards communities or the ‘untouchables’, the villagers and the ashramiks of Visva-Bharati. After Gurudev’s speech, all invitees and delegates took water from the backwards communities and removed the barrier of ‘untouchability’ from their locality as well as from their mind.

Though it was a great step towards the regaining of humanity but in the perspective of the large spectrum of the sociological condition all over India, that step was not enough to fulfil the particular motto. A huge area was still under arrest of those turmoil conditions. The discriminations in the name of casteism were breaking the equilibrium of the symmetrical condition of the society. These maladies reproduced ‘backwardness’ in socio-economic condition; marked a group of people as ‘backward community’ and cursed them with ‘untouchability’. From the primordial era, these asymmetrical conditions of the society spread these mental maladies in the name of casteism which still exist in this modern era also. Still, there is a group of people who are not welcome for inclusion with the mainstream or so called progressive society. They rather bear the humiliation, exploitation, untouchability and incongruity from the frontier part of the society. It is the prior stigma which actually stigmatises the path of ultimate development of our modern society. Today’s ‘chandalika’ cries for her rights, for her respect, for her reputation. In such penetration she may raise question about her nativity just like Tagore’s ‘Chandalika’ did-

‘Ke amare pathalo ae opomaner ondhokare,
Pujibo na pujibo na pujibo na se debota-re........’

[Who sent me in this darkness of the stigmatic humiliation?

I will not, I will not, I should not worship that divine Lord....] (Translated)

She was a human; she also had a beautiful name, ‘Prakriti’. But it is painful that society forgot her identity as a human and marked Prakriti by her caste, by her family- profession and named her ‘chandalika’. It snatched her dignity and threw her to the graveyard of untouchability. It screamed at her presence-

“Oke chchunyo na chchunyo na chchi , o j Chandalinir jhi”

[Oh Good lord! you should not touch her, as she is the lass of an Untouchable] (Translated)

Only Ananda, the Buddhist monk offers her ‘humanity’. He took water from her hand and enchanted the tune of humanity in the inner-ear of Prakriti-

‘Je Manobo ami , sei Manobo tumi kanya......’

[Lady you belong to the same race which I belong to and it is Human.] (Translated)

It generates the rebirth of Prakriti as a human from the prison of her given name ‘chandalika’. She falls in love with Ananda as he was the first man ever who gave her the respect what she deserved. But as the time goes, Prakriti realised Ananda’s responsibilities towards mankind and Ananda’s free-spirit. The insight of Prakriti got purified by the ray of true love which is platonic. At last Ananda came to her and gave his blessings.

Ananda was a worshipper of truth and wisdom. Here the spirit of Ananda and the supreme power of education, knowledge and wisdom are intermingled. Ananda bestowed upon Prakriti and she found the path of elevation. Today’s ‘chandalika’ is also searching her Ananda, the torch bearer of the ray of the hope who may kindle the candle of her life. In modern era Education is the only usher who escorts the backwards communities as well as the whole society to enlighten with the spark of sagacity. The Chapter 37 of 1st Five Year Plan says- “The country has now passed the stage of discussing the problem of the origin or sanctity of the institution of untouchability. That the stigma of untouchability should be totally and unreservedly eradicated has now been accepted by the whole country. According to Article 17 of Part III of the Constitution- "untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden ". But untouchability, being an age-old institution, has taken roots in the psychology and social structure of certain communities. Its eradication is incomplete so long as it receives a mental recognition and persists indirectly in some form in the social structure. A fourfold programme is, therefore, necessary, viz., (i) removal of untouchability by law; (2) removal by persuasive and educative processes through social education ; (3) the practice of democratic behaviour in social and recreational life ; and (4) opportunities afforded by the State and private agencies for self-development and expression and for the betterment of health, education, economic life, and living conditions. Improved living conditions, education, and participation in a society with extensive economic interdependence and facilities for communication, movement, and contact will in due course of time lead to a total integration of these groups with the rest of the country.” In order to facilitate these hypothesises the re-modification and association of the Indian Constitutional laws offer ‘Education’ for all backwards communities as well as each and every people of our nation. The Indian Education system provides Compulsory-Free-Education for all the destitute people up to a certain age. Education for All Movement or the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhijan’ expedites the ‘abolishing of illiteracy’ mission in every sphere of our society. Constitution provides reservations and scholarships for the education and the social recognition of the backwards communities. Constitution also offers various schemes for the backwards community viz. Midday Meal System, Inclusive Education, Vocational Training, Environmental Studies, Lifestyle Education and so on.

Unfortunately, the definition of education has been changing as the psychology also changes its shades. Today we cannot deny that education is getting judged by bookish knowledge, syllabus orientation and the degree with qualification in some examinations. But we forget that the greatest teacher or the Mahaguru of our life is the ‘Environment’ who nurtures our moral ethics. Learning environment actually improve our senses, invite curiosity and discovery and cultivate strong as well as a respectful relationship. Margie Carter, a teacher educator of U.S. says in her essay titled ‘Making Your Environment “The Third Teacher”’- “If we want our environments to be teachers in this way, it’s time we do some careful re-examination to see how our standards and rating scales have begun to limit our thinking, and how commercial and political interests are shaping more and more of what we do...... if we are to embrace the idea of the environment as a significant educator in our early childhood programs, we must expand our thinking beyond the notion of room arrangements and rating scales.” (Carter, 2007)

There are masses of backwards communities live in the lap of Mother Nature. They extract education from their environment. Most of them may not have so-called educational qualifications or degrees but what they have is purity of knowledge, rich culture and science.

In the dance-drama ‘Chandalika’, when the queen’s bird got to escape from its cage, the royalinformer came to Prakriti’s mother, Maya, who can spell the black-magic and with the help of black forces, she could be able to get back the queen’s bird. Though it sounds superstitious but it portrayed a clear picture that even the Royal court also had faith on an untouchable’s

knowledge. In the film of Satyajit Ray named ‘Agantuk’ has also spread this message towards the civilised society where so-called civilisation chokes the voice of humanity but so-called uncivilised ‘backward’ communities enrich the tune of consonance as they are the children of Nature; disciples of Environment. Today’s ‘chandalika’ is also a child of the Mother Nature and she also may sing as Tagore’s Prakriti-

“Ami tomar-e matiro kanya janani basundhara
Tobe Amaro manobojonmo kano bonchito kora Pobitro jani je tumi pobitro jonmobhumi
Manobokanya ami j dhonya praner punye bhora......”

[I am the daughter of your soil, Mother Nature Then why my birth as a human is getting deprived?
I know You are the pure as pure as the earth of my birth
As a Human child I am glad to overfill my life with the divine bliss.] (Translated)

It is true that they don’t gather enough progressive education which can de-root the superstitions from their mind as well as society, the condition of their living and lifestyles are also raising questions about their dignity but it is not their fault. The casteism and racism are responsible for these situations. They have been depriving of many more years and still, it has not been eradicating completely. But these human beings have also their cultures, lifestyles, passions that are interflowing with the nature from the primitive era. As an educative and developing mass we have to give respect to all; we have to welcome each and every community with their cultures for an inclusion in the society; we have to give the society a symmetrical shape where one complements the other without any barrier; then and only then the word

‘Development’ will justify its truest meaning at the fullest. Not today’s ‘chandalika’ but

Tagore’s as well as our ‘Prakriti’ is requesting to us, please listen-

Jonmo niyechchi dhulite doya kore dao bhulite Nai dhuli mor ontore... nai nai dhule mor ontore....
Phul bole dhonyo ami dhonyo ami matir pore.........”

I got birth at dust please help me to forget my humble ancestry
I don’t have dust in my heart..................
The flower feels blessed to have birth on this earth....] (Translated)

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