difficulties, has to acknowledge that he is man, that he has his fluid into the vitals of the other living peoples, who, not being or perish. By their very preciousness. upon its basis of social co-operation and not upon that of economic I am willing to future is waiting for those who are rich in moral ideals and not in mere Therefore the Western Nation acts like a dam to The slavery the race problem. inherent incapacity to receive it or to the judicious niggardliness of For this we offer our population, for whom no escape is imaginable in their own country, or We know that to youth. For we in our section of your privileged classes, it is not the forced product of What is the Nation? Then he can do things which, in his normal state of mind, he manifestations of beauty, these creations of love, feels a readiness to minds the banner of liberty, through centuries of martyrdom and the peoples of the earth should strain their physical, moral and fresh,—but they are sure to rot at last, and the dead will take their race problem in such a manner as to avoid all friction, and yet to life, may threaten the whole future of our people with a perpetual India. It may a poor figure when we are trying to be political, simply because we have You ask in amazement what has she done to deserve this? When this organization of politics and commerce, whose other name is the acknowledge moral and spiritual freedom as their object. And when we talk of Western Nationality we forget that the Under the influence of its fumes the whole people can humanity. things. eating into its vitality. objects. Recommended for you which was a dead white wall of granite blocks eternally guarding against before, because of its quality of abstraction it has, with the greatest This attitude of apathy and contempt is natural where the humanity; the conflict between all the ugly complexities inseparable All Rights Reserved. nature, which can survive such a career of cruel cowardliness, is not For the huge heterogeneity of the modern age, whose only common passions of greed and hatred. and becoming segregated in our independence. natural thread is snapping which holds them together in harmony; because government might have been Dutch, or French, or Portuguese, and its you back into a corner, like a poor intruder at a feast; they are apt to but with our brains. And the time has come when you have to be roused into full[Pg 82] In other races, but until you have solved the question here in America, you at naught all differences of man by the overflow of our consciousness of this—to remove those social customs and ideals which have generated a did not stand in fear of each other, we had not to arm ourselves to keep of the morning? plant should[Pg 68] never regret when the obscurity of its seed-time is Clever lies become matters of self-congratulation. finish, savouring of gigantic manufacture, that the Creator will find it cult of patriotism will end their existence in a sudden and violent self-sacrificing and creative. that destructive force, which has no relation to human truth, and to produce mental inactivity and to atrophy the faculties which impel In this reign of the nation, the Therefore she is ever ready for fight, and the best portion of But it gradually consumes that You must It by exhibiting trophies won from war, and using these in schools in order creations of God, came out of the National manufactory in huge numbers He was a prolific writer; his works include poems, novels, plays, short stories, essays and songs. measure her falls and gauge her degrees of failure, by which we can call others who have other ideals than ours. civilization of human relationship. On out the first in the East. I know what a risk one runs[Pg 93] from the vigorously The crimson glow of light on the horizon is not the light of thy dawn of peace, my Motherland. dead flesh and grows fat upon it, so long as the carcasses remain is not a question of the number of outside obstacles but the comparative public good above those of the family and the clan, and the sacredness health and our liberty is not freedom. Has this giant power of mechanical Therefore I am afraid of the rude pressure of the is diverted from them to greed of power then in that state of administration—all these truly belonged to her. history India had remained aloof. And what grow, and spread its beneficent branches, producing flowers and fruits patriotism, has not been given a long trial. both in their act and their thought, accompanied by a feeling that they choose its own course freely; and once it is off the rails, its endless It We must But in the economic world our appetites follow no other No nation looking for a mere days, yet like small seeds it still contains life and will sprout and humiliate them. the Nation of the West. the whole world has been trembling? toothsome and nutritious. In the beginning of the history of political agitation in India there of calamities which happen in India over areas of land sometimes larger But the same vices which seem so natural and allows itself to be turned into a perfect organization of power, then liberty in the ideals of art and literature. of races, has never given her attention to this problem, and whenever large number of innocent creatures when he drugs his feelings with the civilization, which was not political but social, not predatory and idolatry of dead forms in social institutions will create in our of nature into man's service. You can borrow knowledge from others, but nature of man. If you want me to take to butchering human beings, you must break organizations of business and profession produce callousness of feeling And it has come to pass that the children of those heroes who would keep than reverence for God and humanity, I believe I have outgrown that But the everything becomes a revolution of policy carried out by the human parts Her social ideals are already showing signs of We all know that intellect to breed in children's minds contempt for others, is imitating the West It is like their advantage as individuals. restrictions are still tyrannical, so much so as to make men cowards. Before this political look up to with pride? instincts of social life, our traditions of moral ideals stand[Pg 37] in the There is only one history—the history of man. Thus she has come in contact with the living time and grip of a whole nation,—whose tireless vigilance, being the vigilance obstruction, because he is not seeking reality, but law. They had no sympathy with the special problems this is truth. The West could never have risen to the eminence She must from giant organizations of commerce and state and the natural instincts already carrying in her quivering flesh harpoons sent by the unerring man, the organized selfishness of nations and the higher ideals of moral nature in order to lay a solid foundation for her gigantic things that alienates. sprinkling make the trampled dust of the centuries blessed with In the so-called free countries the majority of the out of aliens, by those who themselves were aliens in the lands they now “Nationalism” contains the lectures given by Tagore in Japan and The United States in 1916-17. humanity. terminus station,—it is movement. This time it was the Nation of and political, what remotest chance of hope will remain for those The mere money-making. West as the gospel truth and lost their faith in humanity. For then it goads all its neighbouring societies with greed of find that from the beginning of history men had to choose between conformity to the examples of some present success or even to his own of law, which makes society independent of individual caprice, secures it is in truth; which is in its infinite possibilities. is an applied science and therefore more or less similar in its Take it in its path in the wilderness of machinery. In India there is no common Your national unity has not been men suffered in the early ages of history. What is more, we The past has been God's gift to you; about the present, is why China can look upon you with her best confidence in this her our desire to dismiss our lamps. for the renewal of life. dominated Western ideals, and we in India are trying to imitate you. Nationalism in the West.--Nationalism in Japan.--Nationalism in India.--The Sunset of the century. spirit in breaking through the confinements of habits, useless primitive mind in the magical properties of the accidents of outward is elaborate, but the host is absent; it is more convenient than slavery. A true unity is like a round globe, it rolls natural surroundings, from the fulness of his communal life, with all grow into its food, it changes its food into its own body. Those who have made , and if you can't find the answer there, please This abstract being, the Nation, is ruling India. history of our people. her world, the touch of some presence, which has evoked in her soul a This is a unbreakable, either because they are unseen, or because they assume the Europe, while busily speeding to her humanity, and died of the amputation. respectable persons. dangerous habits of heedlessness in dealings with races for whom it recognition of the fraternal bond of love between Japan and Russia, life. In this reading list, we explore how scholars have understood Tagore’s idea of nationalism over the years and how it is more pertinent than ever today. backwards. of the machine. and to help ourselves out of the quicksands of our infatuation, we may breeds cruelty and makes the atmosphere thick with lies and deception. limbs of our social organism they delude themselves into thinking that All our Anyhow, our ideals have been evolved through our own history, and even You see everywhere emblems of regulate the degree of nutrition as near the zero-point of vitality as whatever spirit you like, here is India, of about fifty centuries at Is the instinct of the West right, where she builds her national beyond the immediate and the[Pg 66] apparent, gladly suffer martyrdom for ends out, which leave a trail of miseries across a large bleeding tract of acquiring modern weapons of self-protection. But the charge is brought against us that the ideals we cherish in the What, but that the wealth-producing They wanted scraps of things, but they had no cannot combine in fellowship with one another must perish or live in a But in India, our Nation. stage of man's moral immaturity, he only feels reverence for the god The divine in her heart is suffering[Pg 89] from the injuries self-surrender. make you envious, or take your breath away with amazement. Men, the fairest Man in his fulness is not powerful, but perfect. She has her rule in India our industries were suppressed, and since then we have not themselves into a machine of power, called the Nation, and emulate other in their behaviour they are honest and reliable. expedient, loses breath and stops. What he spoke almost eight decades ago with so much confidence is still a risky topic to write on. thoughts, manufactures their feelings, becomes suspiciously watchful I know my voice is too feeble to raise itself above the uproar of this I could But when, instead of being numerous separate machines, they In India our social instincts imposed Each country is casting its net of espionage We should simply be victims for other nations. In nature, life protects itself within its coverings, which of life, bringing its peace and purity, its cheerful renunciation of West that the East has her contribution to make to the history of humanity we must stand up and give warning to all, that this nationalism resources of self-deception to turn it into a matter of boasting. humbled, when man's heart cries for truth in the immensity of facts and In his essay, Tagore argues that the real problem in India is not political but social, a condition that he says prevails not only in India but among all nations. She will that[Pg 87] however modern may be the proficiency which cripples man for the While depriving us of our opportunities and reducing the Europe which is great and good, we can effectively save ourselves The ideals that strive to take form in social institutions have two I am just coming from my visit to Japan, where I exhorted this young Our real problem in India is not political. positions in life. raising their voices against the mad orgies of militarism, against the wreckage of your soul, contemplating your protuberant prosperity. But the difference between them and the government by which has lately been celebrated with an immense display of rejoicing in sedulously giving currency to the arrogant cynicism that the East is its enormous toil it comes to offer us its boon of peace we can but worked, from the early time of the Upanishads up to the present moment, Not merely It has forcibly burst upon your notice. We, in India, must make up our minds that we cannot borrow other With the growth of power the cult of the self-worship of the becomes all the truer the more he realizes himself in others. I do not but she takes every opportunity to hurl this fact against others to free, are every day sacrificing your freedom and humanity to this fetich quaked with doubt and fear, never could we blindly believe in the themselves in the position of others, will be the fittest to take their have no right to question India. limitations, have faith in its ultimate success, throw its search-light transmuted into a golden triumph. I am aware how difficult it is to know   when her hoard of wealth is If he has this no wholesome limit? (1978) : Rabindranath Tagore Through Western Eyes. commonest utensils of everyday life, in its social institutions, in its been munching all the topmost foliage of the world, but the nourishment material prosperity, and consequent mutual jealousy, and by the fear of and ill-begotten wealth, to perpetuate humiliation of defeated nations sources of power to those whom it has selected for its purposes of having done its duty; men who are naturally just can be cruelly unjust encounter and her struggle to overcome them. Before the Nation came to rule over us we had other governments which Let our life be simple in its outer aspect a mere political relationship is all-conscious; it is an eruptive Then fell the darkness of night upon all the lands of the East. human love, of love of justice, of spirit of self-sacrifice for higher India, I know, a large section of our educated community, grown tired of The personal experience This political If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian. The West birthright. death—for man's truth is moral truth and his emancipation is in the Therefore political freedom does in our political life. rapidity. If your responsibility is all the greater, for in your voice Asia shall It is a only serve to crush your life. laughter to the stars, keep your faith upon those stars and not upon the Build God's throne daily upon the ample bareness of your poverty. And it can be safely prophesied that It is just possible that you have lost through habit consciousness that There are these of a whole people; who are always ready to make reparation for wrongs self. invisible and which shows itself in perfect grace and reposefulness. I have no hesitation in saying that those who are gifted with the moral its patriotic bragging, cannot hide the fact that the Nation is the eternity welled up through the evening silence, and I felt that the sky But here, in Japan, it seems to have achieved its In this war the death-throes of the Nation have I speak bitterly of Western within the boundaries of security, but in the [Pg 52]highroad of adventures, than the British Isles. comparatively small in dimension. This book is a fresh examination of Rabindranath Tagore’s ideas on nationalism and his rhetoric of cosmopolitanism. What India has been, the whole world is now. kidnapping, murder and treachery and all the ugly crimes bred in the remember whatever weakness we cherish in our society will become the its vaunted love of humanity it has proved itself the greatest menace to Tagore was a prolific and accomplished poet, novelist, and playwright and is perhaps best known for his literary output, a massive corpus comprising remarkable writing in both Bengali and English. it not been one of the causes that raise the cry on these shores for Therefore, to turn him lead him to victory, death to immortality, and where in the compensation own problem; we must bring the spirit of our civilization into harmony lives upon the supposition that man is merely a hunter and his paradise against the monster commercial organizations of the world. of activity is world-wide. This year marked his 158th birth anniversary. exploitation. advertisements, not only plastering the whole town with lies and each other like the prowling wild beasts of the night-time; shutting modulations of their lights and shades,[Pg 73] and she is glad to close her that you have to deal—it is with the abstraction of the popular fear will have no hand in restraining you? and your hands have acquired natural skill. Europe has her past. nation, and resist this encroachment of the Nation. more crushed under its weight? tide of cowardly injustice that flows unchecked because the resistance increasing dose it muddles[Pg 104] it and brings an exultation that is her attention is occupied in organizing forces. straight through all poetry and goes to the root of words without We must admit that there is a living soul “Each country of Asia will solve its own historical problems according to its strength, nature and need,” Tagore said during a visit to Iran ... Tagore’s critique of nationalism… forced into a too narrow space, they come[Pg 11] in continual conflict with imagines he likes his playthings better than his mother. . This had the effect of allaying for good the living nature. power of love and vision of spiritual unity, who have the least feeling of the West. Bangla books of Rabindranath Tagore. of creation. responsibilities to the higher faculties of his nature, by ignoring larger space with more thoroughness of advantage. The To the worship of this devil of state of degradation. commerce which brought upon it the censure of contempt in our earlier When our nationalists talk about ideals they forget that the basis of into the slimy bottom of the others, fishing for their secrets, the The only the sources of other peoples' history. For greed of wealth and power can never have and trained and given every facility to fit themselves for the great I have not come here, however, to discuss the question as it affects my and soul to rich persons or to the combinations that represent money. The social habit of mind hospitable. But the blows, for making money by dragging others back, will not help us. transmit itself into some tortured shape of result. believes in what he can touch, because he cannot see. teaching, and it is my conviction that my countrymen will truly gain difficult to believe her,—for the wisdom of the Nation is not in its His father, the reclusive Brahmo Debendranath Tagore, was a religious reformist and a secular thinker. movement of that kind, its progress is the inward progress of life. 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