Where The Mind Is Without Fear || Summary and Analysis

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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.

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 The Mind is Without Fear

Summary

      Where The Mind Is Without Fear turns from a religious to a patriotic theme. Tagore prays for the freedom of the country and that too an ideal freedom. He prays that his country become a place where man can go with his mind, free of any fear and where he can hold his head high with self respect and dignity. A country where everybody has free access to knowledge and where narrow boundaries set up between man due to caste, creed, region and religion, do not exist and the country is therefore not broken up into small pieces. A new and free India where people speak with the conviction of truth and man earnestly endeavours and endlessly tries to achieve perfection.

      A country where man's power of determining right and wrong is not forced to stagnate and die like a desert stream dies in the sand, where his power of reasoning would not be choked by old, orthodox and out dated customs, habits and traditions. Where man's mind is always inspired by God to go forward and progress and achieve better thought and action. Finally he prays to God that his country be changed from the darkness of ignorance and slavery into a heaven; "let our country awake a free country, a heaven, a paradise."

Analysis

      Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo (Bengali) is a distinctly political and patriotic poem amongst the religious lyrics that make the Gitanjali. Though the subject is patriotic and political, the form is still religious, it is Tagore's prayer to God for a country, a free India evolved with the qualities and characteristics to be idealised and cherished. And which he feels that all his countrymen would adopt. He in this poem prays for the spiritual emancipation of his country and therefore a country where man can move fearlessly and can conduct themselves in a national and truthful manner with nobility and generosity. Where every individual can be imparted knowledge freely, where there are no bounds nor are there any fragmentation of the country aue too the boundaries of cast, creed and religion. Where man can strive for perfection and his mind is not bound by outdated habits and customs.

      Tagore prays fervently for such a country and prays for "a heavenly freedom", this paradise would be a place full of spiritual freedom rather than material.

"Where the mind is without fear and 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."

      The lyric is inspiring and patriotic. These effective lines depicts the prayerful mood of the poet who asks God to led him and his people to a plane where the mind is fearless, knowledge is free, it is not narrow and binded in the shackles of orthodoxy and selfishness. Into that region where there is regard for truth, where there is yearning for perfection, and reason, is respected, he prays to God to awaken his country.

      Tagore here expresses his conception of his Ideal Country. He does not believe in mere political independence but wants to make an all round progress and also to inculcate the highest ethical qualities. The patriotic passage is the influential one. That Tagore is a great patriotic writer can be seen in the fact that his songs have shaped revolutions not only in India but also recently in Bangladesh as well.

"Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert or sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening through and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."

      The lines make it clear that the poem is in the form of the poet's ernest prayer to God to deliver his country out of the shackles of slavery, and to transform it into a heaven on earth. Citizens of new, independent, India should not be bound by dead customs and obsolete orthodoxies, since they stultify reason. 'The progress of India has always been impeded by the fact that many of its people have slavishly followed retrograde customs and rituals, and never given free play to their reasoning faculty. They should believe in God, so that He inspires them continually into ever increasing mental and physical efforts. A country cannot progress, in fact, it cannot even retain its independence, if its citizens do not always strive for progress. Tagore's dream of an independent and progressive India is very inspiring.

Annotation

      The head is held high: in a free country man live with their head held high with self-respect and dignity and are not democratized by slavery.

      Narrow domestic walls: the walls of caste, creed, religion, region etc.

     Tireless striving: unending, ceaseless struggle, to endeavour endlessly.

      Stream of reason: faculty of determining right and wrong.

      Dreary desert sand of dead habit: old and outdated customs and traditions that are like desert sand that absorbs water, bring man's reason to a halt.

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