But will this federation of steam-boilers supply you with a soul, a soul which has her conscience and her God? The Impact of the European Imperialism . The reason of this self-delusion is because man is served with the necessaries of life in greater profusion and his physical ills are being alleviated with more efficacy. This greedy head, with its huge dental organization, has been munching all the topmost foliage of the world, but the nourishment is too late in reaching his digestive organs, [35] and his heart is suffering from want of blood. They must go on breeding [11] jealousy and suspicion to the end — the end which only comes through some sudden catastrophe or a spiritual re-birth. When it allows itself to be turned into a perfect organization of power, then there are few crimes which it is unable to perpetrate. [15] Rabindranath Tagore, “The Spirit of Japan”, ManyBooks.net, 1916, p.5. Because her homes, her fields, her temples of worship, her schools, where her teachers ‘ and students lived together in the atmosphere of simplicity and devotion and learning, her village self-government with its simple laws and peaceful administration all these truly belonged to her. And, for the reason that it is a detached part of man, it soon outruns the complete humanity. This, aided by the wonderful progress in science, is assuming gigantic proportion and power, causing the upset of man’s moral balance, obscuring his human side under the shadow of soul-less organization. Understanding Tagore’s Nationalism, An Interpretation by Ram Guha — An Excerpt. Some of the newspapers praised my utterances for their poetical qualities while adding with a leer that it was the poetry of a defeated people. Towards this realization have worked from the early time of the Upanishads up to the present moment, a series of great spiritual teachers, whose one [5] object has been to set at naught all differences of man by the overflow of our consciousness of God. Over all this is a very good book and every one must read it to understand the true nature of Nationalism. Therefore, to turn him into mere power, you have to curtail his soul as much as possible. If his nature were not as complex as it is, if it were as simple as that of a [3] pack of hungry wolves, then, by this time, those hordes of marauders would have overrun the whole earth. Obviously God made man to be human ; but this modern product has such marvellous square-cut finish, savouring of gigantic manufacture, that the Creator will find it difficult to recognize it as a thing of spirit and a creature made in his own divine image. The third essay on India was written in the USA in late 1916. Sisir Kumar Das editor, “The English writings of Rabindranath Tagore, volume three, a Miscellany”, Sahitya Akademy Edition, New Delhi, 1996. This narrowness of freedom is an evil which is more radical not because of its quantity but because of its nature. I could well believe you, if you had said, Be more good, more just, more true in your relation to man, control your greed, make your life wholesome in its simplicity and let your consciousness of the divine in humanity be more perfect in its expression. This time it was the Nation of the West driving its tentacles of machinery deep down into the soil. When questioned as to the wisdom of its course the newly converted fanatic of nationalism answers that “so long as nations are rampant in this world we have not the option freely to develop our higher humanity. However, Tagore was not antithetical to the idea of nation and nationalism from the beginning. Tagore was a prolific and accomplished poet, novelist, and playwright and is … Your email address will not be published. Rabindranath Tagore has his own view on the Indian nationalism. And the greater part of the world which- is being denuded of its self-sustaining life by the Nation will one day become the most terrible of all its burdens ready to drag it down into the bottom of destruction. In this reign of the nation, the governed are pursued by suspicions ; and these are the suspicions of a tremendous mass of organized brain and muscle. [2] Devés Valdés, Eduardo, “Las disyuntivas del pensamiento latinoamericano y periférico”, Seminario de Investigación Interdisciplinaria. The time has come when, for the sake of the whole outraged world, Europe should fully know in her own person the terrible absurdity of the thing called the Nation. The nation’s bagpipe of righteous indignation has so often changed its tune according to the variation of time and to the altered groupings of the alliances of diplomacy, that it can be enjoyed with amusement as the variety performance of the political music hall. Whenever Power removes all checks from its path to make its career easy, it triumphantly rides into its ultimate crash of death. In Europe, nationalism was a sentiment that was being promoted in order for a nation to become more powerful, especially commercially. In fact, these nations are fighting among themselves for the extension of their victims and their reserve forests. According to Tagore, Europe had increased its power over Asia. Now let us from our own experience answer I the question, What is this Nation? We loved and hated them as occasions arose ; we fought for them and against them, talked with them in a language which was theirs as well as our own, and guided the destiny of the Empire in which we had our active share. And we cannot but acknowledge this paradox, that while the spirit of the West marches under its banner of freedom, the Nation of the West forges its iron chains of organization which are [24] the most relentless and unbreakable that have ever been manufactured in the whole history of man. And thus there where cooperation is natural has intruded competition. Whatever safety they now enjoy, those countries of no nation, from the unbridled license of forge and hammer and turn-screw, results from the mutual jealousy of the powers. Suddenly, all its mechanism going mad, it has begun the dance of the furies, shattering its own limbs, scattering them into the dust. And then there will come from her own children those who will break themselves free from the slavery of this illusion, this perversion of brotherhood founded upon self-seeking, those who will own themselves as God’s children and as no bond-slaves of machinery, which turns souls into commodities and life into compart- [45] ments, which, with its iron claws, scratches out the heart of the world and knows not what it has done. In addition, Tagore admired the European literature and art for its beauty, because both mean “fertilizing all countries and all time”. With the growth of power the cult of the self-worship of the Nation grows in ascendency ; and the individual willingly allows the nation to take donkey rides upon his back ; and there happens the anomaly which must have its disastrous effects, that the individual worships with all sacrifices a god which is morally much inferior to himself. Man in his fulness is not powerful, but perfect. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. It is a steam-roller, formidable in its weight and power, having its uses, but it does not help the soil to become fertile. Then he can do things which, in his normal state of mind, he would be ashamed to do. Have you not seen, since the commencement of the existence of the Nation, that the dread of it has been the one goblin-dread with which the whole world has been trembling? Society increasingly is now a marionette show of politicians, soldiers, manufacturers and bureaucrats. Therefore if it be true that the spirit of the West has come upon our fields in the guise of a storm it is all the same scattering living seeds that are immortal. Great China, rich with her ancient wisdom and social ethics, her discipline of industry and self-control, is like a whale awakening the lust of spoil in the heart of the Nation. 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