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Indian Republic Day – “Where the Mind is Without Fear”

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Time to retrospect; during my school days, we had our daily prayers and we used to recite this poem by Tagore every day. At that time, we did not realize the real significance of this piece of Nobel winning literature. Now, after 7 years, I feel nostalgic and saddened. I understand it was not only a poem, but a thought, an attitude which our freedom fighters had and wanted the same to be inculcated in the future generations. His poems and thoughts are still alive between us, children recite them daily in schools, but why does that ideology die when we grow up? Where does the feeling of “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high” go? Forget the world, why is India is still breaking up into fragments by narrow domestic walls? Because, we were never taught the true meaning of these lines, they were just a routine activity for us. Our class teacher used to punish us if we did not attend the daily assembly, but were we ever told, why do we need to attend the assembly in the first place?! Not really. At least not in school.

No body made me truly realize the importance of India’s freedom, its glory, except my Grandfather. When I was a child, I used to wake up early in the morning on 26th Jan to watch the Republic Day Parade, but as I grew older, my interest faded in the Republic Day. I was no more enthralled by the Indian Army’s might, by the President’s salute or by the colors of India, “the Jhanki“. It was just another holiday for me.

Anyway here is the poem (now when I read this, I feel inspired):

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

~Rabindranath Tagore (From Geetanjali, 1910)

The last two lines of original Bengali version are harsher. They state:

“Lord Father, strike {the sleeping} Bharat (India) without mercy,so that it may awaken into such a heaven.”

While Tagore was not a politician, his poem has continued to inspire Indians to create a free-thinking, united and dynamic nation. The poem is also very popular among the liberals in Bangladesh. – Source

I wish we start thinking about our nation first, respect it,  unite together and destroy all the evil powers which try to harm us. This message goes out to all those young guns out there, respect your nation, it will respect you. The present state of India is not what our revolutionaries envisaged, we need much more that just a blog post or a Facebook/Twitter share. We need a revolution, a revolution in our thought and a revolution in the way we perceive things. Be the change you want to seek!

As Tagore said:

I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.

I am very optimistic about India’s future, lets make it the Golden Bird of the 21st Century.

Update:

By a revolution I do not mean fight, kill others etc. What I meant was eradicate poverty, educate people, stop (and I really mean stop) discriminating people on basis of color, race, religion or cast. Divide and conquer might be a good approach in algorithms, but not in case of countries or people. Respect your country and each other.

Happy Republic Day!

You can watch the Indian Republic Day Parade, 2010 here Live!

Written by Utkarsh

January 25th, 2010 at 10:08 am

Posted in India

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  1. Indian Republic Day – "Where the Mind is Without Fear" http://bit.ly/79HIdK

    Utkarsh Sengar

    25 Jan 10 at 10:10 am

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