nationalism in west by tagore


[12], Tagore thought that “in the heart of Europe runs the purest stream of human love, of love of justice, of spirit of self-sacrifice for higher ideals (…) in Europe we have seen noble minds who have ever stood up for the rights of man irrespective of colour and creed”. His main concern was the thread to the freedom of downtrodden peoples across Asia. While depriving us of our opportunities- and reducing our education to a minimum required for conducting a foreign government, this Nation pacifies its conscience by calling us names, by sedulously giving currency to the arrogant cynicism that the East is east and the West is west and never the twain shall meet. 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. 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. Therefore what I say about the Nation has more to do with the history of Man than specially with that of India. But the chief part of this is done, not by moral sacrifice, but by intellectual power. We have seen in our country some brand of tinned food advertised as entirely made and packed without being touched by hand. The Nation has thriven long upon mutilated humanity. These Europe´ good features were countered with a contrary tendency—“supremely evil in her maleficent aspect where her face is turned only upon her own interest, using all her power”.[13]. This reign of law in our present Government in India has established order in this vast land inhabited by peoples different in their races and customs. Knowledge and efficiency are powerful in their outward effect, but they are the servants of man, not the man himself. It was upon this remote portion of humanity, childlike in its manner, with the wisdom of the old, that the Nation of the West burst in. The law meant the balance between power and freedom, because the British government established order (or at least more stability) and respect among castes, colours and religions. She has all along been starving the life of the personal man into that of the professional. Can it escape its nemesis forever? Because success is the object and justification of a machine, while goodness only is the end and purpose of man. It has made it possible for these peoples to come in closer touch with one another and cultivate a communion of aspiration. It is like the pack of predatory creatures that must have its victims. Our government might have been Dutch, or French, or Portuguese, and its essential features would have remained much the same as they are now. Turn a tree into a log and it will burn for you, but it will never bear living flowers and fruit. We must admit that during the personal government of the former days there have been instances of tyranny, injustice and extortion. The first way of the Peripheral Thought is called “Identitario” which means “be like us”, whereas the second way is called “Centralitario” which means “be like the Centre”. The third essay on India was written in the USA in late 1916. But we know that when we walk barefooted upon a ground strewn with gravel, gradually our feet come to adjust themselves to the caprices of the inhospitable earth ; while if the tiniest particle of a gravel finds its lodgment [sic] inside our shoes we can never forget and forgive its intrusion. It is a natural regulation of human relationships, so that men can develop ideals of life in cooperation with one another. But I am anticipating. It gives him freedom in the material world. For then it goads all its neighbouring societies with greed of material prosperity, and consequent mutual jealousy, and by the fear of each other’s growth into powerfulness. And the idea of the Nation is one of the most [42] powerful anaesthetics that man has invented. function() { This bartering of your higher aspirations of life for profit and power has been your own free choice, and I leave you there, at the wreckage of your soul, contemplating your protuberant prosperity. Their service is like the service in a hotel, where it is elaborate, but the host is absent; it is more convenient than hospitable. The only reason for this is that power has become too abstract—it is a scientific product made in the political laboratory of the Nation, through the dissolution of the personal humanity. Her mission has been like that of a hostess to provide proper accommodation to her numerous guests whose habits and requirements are different from one another. He is of the view that the real problem of this country is social and not political, as some thinkers feel. I know that these people love justice and freedom, and hate lies. It is like a hydraulic press, whose pressure is impersonal and on that account completely effective. Has this giant power of mechanical organization no limit in this world against which it may shatter itself all the more completely because of its terrible strength and velocity? It is owing to this that war has been declared between man and woman, because the natural thread is snapping which holds them together in harmony ; because man is driven to professionalism, producing wealth for himself and others, continually turning the wheel of power for his own sake or for the sake of the universal officialdom, leaving woman alone to wither and to die or to fight her own battle unaided. Trading upon [9] the greed and fear of man, it occupies more and more space in society, and at last becomes its ruling force. }, It has no fear of the chasm, which is opening wider every day, between man’s ever-growing storehouses and the emptiness of his hungry humanity. Nationalism by Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941; Book Club of California; Norwood Press; Berwick & Smith; J.S. Facultad de Estudios Generales, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Río Piedras. He can do things in a shorter time and occupies a larger space with more thoroughness of advantage. Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Our intellect is an ascetic who wears no clothes, takes no food, knows no sleep, has no wishes, feels no love or hatred or pity for human limitations, who only reasons, unmoved through the vicissitudes of life. To India has been given her problem from the beginning of history—it is the race problem. Every sound of footstep, every rustle of movement in the neighbourhood, sends a thrill of terror all around. Therefore, while making use of it, man has to be careful to protect himself from its tyranny”. [4] These priorities can be demonstrated in Ramachandra Guha´s book entitled “Makers of Modern India”, Penguin Books, India, 2010. Your email address will not be published. She has made grave errors in setting up the boundary walls too rigidly between races, in perpetuating the results of inferiority in her classifications ; often she has crippled her children’s minds and narrowed their lives in order to fit them into her social forms ; but for centuries new experiments have been made and adjustments carried out. As one adherent of Pan-Asianism´ ideas, Tagore thought that Asia has been a more successful society than Europe, but this situation changed because Asia stayed in the past without progress; to Tagore Asia “is like a rich mausoleum which displays all its magnificence in trying to immortalize the dead (…) For centuries we did hold torches of civilization in the East when the West slumbered in darkness (…) then fell the darkness of night upon all the lands of the East”.[3]. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of Tagore’s Nationalism written by Ram Guha. While the small feeding bottle of our education is [22] nearly dry, and sanitation sucks its own thumb in despair, the military organization, the magisterial offices, the police, the Criminal Investigation Department, the secret spy system, attain to an abnormal girth in their waists, occupying every inch of our country. Nationalism Book Information:. We are realizing through it that there is a universal standard of justice [18] to which all men irrespective of their caste and colour have their equal claim. Men, the fairest creations of God, came out of the National manufactory in huge numbers as war-making and money-making puppets, ludicrously vain of their pitiful perfection of mechanism. They passed over her head like clouds, now tinged with purple gorgeousness, now black with the threat of thunder. Of all things in Western civilization, those which this Western Nation has given us in a most generous measure are law and order. But the difference between them and the government by the Nation is like the difference between the hand loom and the power loom. And they were irresistible to those who were chiefly engaged in the constructive work of social cooperation. But you see signs of it everywhere. 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. It is the fifth act of the tragedy of the unreal. I know what your advice will be. In the products of the hand loom the magic of man’s living ringers finds its expression, and its hum harmonizes with the music of life. And this moral nature of man cannot be divided into [32] convenient compartments for its preservation. We had known the hordes of Moghals and Pathans who invaded India, but we had known them as human races, with their own religions and customs, likes and dislikes, we had never known them as a nation. 38 by Rabindranath Tagore; Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore. It has also a political side, but this is only for a special purpose. Then he can do things which, in his normal state of mind, he would be ashamed to do. [10] Rabindranath Tagore´s letter addressed to C.F. Society increasingly is now a marionette show of politicians, soldiers, manufacturers and bureaucrats. The protection of law is not only a boon, but it is a valuable lesson to us. You break it, and have in your hands the nomadic atoms fighting against one another, therefore unmeaning. In fact, Tagore became worried about the Japanese nationalism that strongly emerged after 1905, because nationalism was enemy of heterogeneity of Asia, especially in India. Its moral brake becomes slacker every day without its knowing it, and its slippery path of ease becomes its path of doom. Thus, the Tagorian thought was able to be “Centralitario” or “Identirario”. She is already carrying in her quivering flesh harpoons sent by the unerring aim of the Nation, the creature of science and selfishness. He explains that the kind of political nationalism of the west is farcical and India must not get into its trap. When after its enormous toil it comes to offer us its boon of peace we can but murmur under our breath that “peace is good but not more so than life which is God’s own great boon.” On the other hand, our former governments were woefully lacking in many of the advantages of the modern government. The nation has thrived for long upon mutilated humanity. Has not this truth already come home to you now, when this cruel war has driven its claws into the vitals of Europe? It is superficial enough to think that all to-morrows are merely to-days with the repeated additions of twenty-four hours. Download This … But can this go on indefinitely?  =  I felt they were right. Those who covet power try to get mastery of these aboriginal- fighting elements and through some narrow [34] channels force them into some violent service for some particular needs of man. There are other peoples in the world who have obstacles in their physical surroundings to overcome, or the menace of their powerful neighbours. The impact of the Russo-Japanese War crossed the East Asia borders and was able to achieve inspiration from leaders of West-Africa, black leaders in the USA, Muslims, Indian, and other peoples. And thus there where cooperation is natural has intruded competition. This government by the Nation is neither British nor anything else ; it is an applied science and therefore more or less similar in its principles wherever it is used. The book has three essays which talk about Nationalism in the West, Nationalism in Japan, Nationalism in India and ends with a poem called The Sunset of the Century. Whenever Power removes all checks from its path to make its career easy, it triumphantly rides into its ultimate crash of death. [6] Cemil Aydin, “The politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia”, Columbia University Press, USA, 2007, p.57. In respect of this, Tagore wrote “One morning the whole world looked up in surprise, when Japan broke through her walls of old habits in a night and came out triumphant”.[8]. I do not believe in an exclusive political interest. Cushing & Co. ... Contributor University of California Libraries Language English. Clever lies become matters of self-congratulation. It has evolved a perfect organization of power but not spiritual idealism. According to Cemil Aydin, both organizations fostered ties with many nationalists and intellectuals from Asia; one of them was Rabindranath Tagore[6]. To be a copy was like wearing the skeleton with another skin. Such wholesale and universal acts of fearful responsibility man can never perform, with such a degree of systematic unawareness, where he is an individual human being. Nationalism in India. But is not this order merely a negative good? Before the Nation came to rule over us we had other governments which were foreign, and these, like all governments, had some element of the machine in them. Her pitiful attempt to shake off her traditions of humanity, her social ideals, and spend her last exhausted resources to drill herself into modern efficiency, is thwarted at every step by the Nation. This is a condition not only prevailing in India, but among all nations. Tagore is very clear that a naturally-built human society is much more humane in essence than the so-called artificially created nationhood. Those who have any faith in Man cannot but [44] fervently hope that the tyranny of the Nation will not be restored to all its former teeth and claws, to its far-reaching iron arms and its immense inner cavity, all stomach and no heart; that man will have his new birth, in the freedom of his individuality, from the enveloping vagueness of abstraction. In the West the national machinery of commerce and politics turns out neatly compressed bales of humanity which have their use and high market value; but they are bound in iron hoops, labelled and separated off with scientific care and precision. It is just possible that you have lost through habit consciousness that the living bonds of society are breaking up, and giving place to merely mechanical organization. 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. when her hoard of wealth is bursting into smoke and her humanity is shattered into bits on her battlefields? But when with the help of science and the perfecting of organization this power begins to grow and brings in harvests of wealth, then it crosses its boundaries with amazing rapidity. This process of dehumanizing has been going on in commerce and politics. It was only the other day that Persia woke up from her age-long sleep at the call of the West to be instantly trampled into stillness by the Nation. FREE DOWNLOAD!THE ORIGINAL BOOKS COLLECTION. First two essays are based on lectures delivered in USA and Japan. But all the same moral law is the law of humanity, and the exclusive civilization which thrives upon others who are barred from its benefit carries its own death sentence in its moral limitations. When he finds the law, he is able to teach people how to master words. And when in India we shall be able to assimilate in our life what is permanent in Western civilization we shall be in the position to bring about a reconciliation of these two great worlds. Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore - book online and download in PDF, EPUB, MOBI, FB2 y AZW3 But will this federation of steam-boilers supply you with a soul, a soul which has her conscience and her God? 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. This state of things inevitably gives rise to eternal feuds among the elements freed from the wholeness and wholesomeness of human ideals, and interminable economic war is waged between capital and labour. 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. This abstract being, the Nation, is ruling India. ... been born this fully developed apparatus of magnificent power and surprising appetite which has been christened in the West … And India has been trying to accomplish her task through social regulation of differences, on the one hand, and the spiritual recognition of unity, on the other. It is social. The personal experience which I have had of their literary men has roused my admiration not merely for their power of thought or expression but for their chivalrous humanity. setTimeout( But her thrones were not her concern. This description applies to the governing of India, which is as little touched by the human hand as possible. It confers on him the benefit of a greater range of time and space. Note. 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. This history has come to a stage when the moral man, the complete man, is more and more giving way, almost without knowing it, to make room for the political and the commercial man, the man of the limited purpose. [6]. timeout Politics has always been the cementing force in … This satisfaction of man’s needs is a great thing. And we can still cherish the hope, that, when power becomes ashamed to occupy its throne and is ready to make way for love, when the morning comes for cleansing the bloodstained steps of the Nation along the highroad of humanity, we shall be called upon to bring our own vessel of sacred water the water of worship—to sweeten the history of man into purity, and with its sprinkling make the trampled dust of the centuries blessed with fruitfulness. Frequently, Rabindranath Tagore is known by his artistic work, especially in Latin America. Reality is the harmony which gives to the component parts of a thing the equilibrium of the whole. It was not new say that the West was not guilty, or at least, that West was not the prime culprit for Asian humiliation. It is possible that the Western influence on Tagore’s thought came from two ways. In addition, Tagore admired the European literature and art for its beauty, because both mean “fertilizing all countries and all time”. Read Rabindranath Tagore (Set of 5 Books) - Gitanjali, My Boyhood Days, Nationalism, Kabuliwala and Other Stories, Gora book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. In quantity it is great, but it springs from the surface and spreads over the surface. If we must believe our schoolmaster in his taunt that after nearly two centuries of his [20] tutelage, India not only remains unfit for self-government but unable to display originality in her intellectual attainments, must we ascribe it to something in the nature of Western culture and our inherent incapacity to receive it or to the judicious niggardliness of the Nation that has taken upon itself the white man’s burden of civilizing the East? I have seen in Japan the voluntary submission of the whole people to the trimming of their minds and clipping of their freedom by their government, which through various educational agencies regulates their thoughts, manufactures their feelings, becomes suspiciously watchful when they show signs of inclining toward the spiritual, leading them through a narrow path not toward what is true but what is necessary for the complete welding of them into one uniform mass according to its own recipe. In this sense, Tagore admired some Western ideas related to freedom and, in consequence, he was motivated to achieve a better Indian society. [12] Rabindranath Tagore, essay includes in Ramachandra Guha´s book entitled “Makers of Modern India”, Penguin Books, India, 2010, p. 189. Rabindranath Tagore provides a unique perspective in our understanding of the idea of nationalism which stems from a belief in Asian values of spiritual unity and ethical social setup. The people accept this all-pervading mental slavery [26] with cheerfulness and pride because of their nervous desire to turn themselves into a machine of power, called the Nation, and emulate other machines in their collective worldliness. Please reload CAPTCHA. In this war, the death-throes of the Nation have commenced. It is giving rise to infinite complexities whose solution depends not merely upon tactfulness but sympathy and true realization of the unity of man. For this dust is fertile of life, and of beauty and worship. And this terror is the parent of all that is base in man’s nature. You cannot secure it for your home consumption with protective tariff walls, while in foreign parts making it enormously accommodating in its free trade of license. The very psychology of men and women about their mutual relation is changing and becoming the psychology of the primitive fighting elements rather than of humanity seeking its completeness through the union based upon mutual self-surrender. And what is their secret service but the nation’s underground trade in kidnapping, murder and treachery and all the ugly crimes bred in the depth of rottenness? notice.style.display = "block"; In fact, these nations are fighting among themselves for the extension of their victims and their reserve forests. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and … This European war of Nations is the war of retribution. 1-46. In these essays Tagore wrote about expectations that India could achieve thanks to its encounter with the West: “On us to-day is thrown the responsibility of building up this greater India, and for that purpose our immediate duty is to justify our meeting with the Englishman. It is not unusual that even through [12] this apparatus the moral nature of man tries to assert itself, but the whole series of ropes and pulleys creak and cry, the forces of the human heart become entangled among the forces of the human automaton, and only with difficulty can the moral purpose transmit itself into some tortured shape of result. It is a spontaneous self-expression of man as a social being. This narrowness of freedom is an evil which is more radical not because of its quantity but because of its nature. Japan had been taught in a modern school the lesson how to become powerful. The book as … But in India, our difficulties [4] being internal, our history has been the history of continual social adjustment and not that of organized power for defence and aggression. His critique of the West's modern technocratic society - that "machine" whose inputs are men and nature and which allows for only "neatly compressed bales of humanity" are incredibly eloquent and impassioned. The world-flood has swept over our country, new elements have been introduced, and wider adjustments are waiting to be made. But will you never be called to answer for organizing the instincts of self-aggrandizement of whole peoples into perfection, and calling it good? 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. But when, instead of being numerous separate machines, they become riveted into one organized gregariousness of gluttony, commercial and political, what remotest chance of hope will remain for those others, who have lived and suffered, have loved and worshipped, have thought deeply and worked with meekness, but whose only crime has been that they have not organized? In this sense, reviewing the Japanese experience, this country was a failed instance: “unfortunately, all his armour is not living, some of it is made of steel, inert and mechanical. Second, in spite of European imperialism, Tagore was able to discriminate between the European domination in Asia (specifically in India) and the virtues of the Western modern thought. Wherever in Asia the people have received the true lesson of the West it is in spite of the Western Nation. The governors need not know our language, need not come into personal touch with us except as officials ; they can aid or hinder our aspirations from a disdainful distance, they can lead us on a certain path of policy and then pull us back again with the manipulation of office red tape; the newspapers of England, in whose columns London street accidents are recorded with some decency of pathos, need but take the scantiest notice of calamities happening in India over areas of land sometimes larger than the British Isles. [8]. MAN’S history is being shaped according to the difficulties it encounters. When the humanity of India was not under the government of the Organization, the elasticity of change was great enough to encourage men of power and spirit to feel that they had their destinies in their own hands. According to Tagore, Europe had increased its power over Asia. Races ethnologically different have come in this country in close contact. But this desire for a common bond of comradeship among the different races of India has been the work of the spirit of the West, not that of the Nation of the West. And it will never heed the voice of truth and goodness. Only perhaps, in some cases, the organization might not have [17] been so densely perfect, and, therefore, some shreds of the human might still have been clinging to the wreck, allowing us to deal with something which resembles our own throbbing heart. Man in his fulness is not powerful, but perfect. For they in no way represent the true history of our people. 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. Stop no longer, for the stability of civilization in the neighbourhood, sends a thrill of terror around! Bond of reality have lost the meaning of their powerful neighbours not the man himself have given us a! Another and cultivate a communion of aspiration has diverted all its attention toward self-congratulation on bulk. Half of the rise and fall of kingdoms, of fights for political supremacy opportunities... Physical surroundings to overcome, or the menace of their natural resources living flowers and fruit, 1917, is. Thoroughness of advantage and true realization of the most [ 42 ] powerful anaesthetics man! Tagore, Europe had increased its power over Asia by moral sacrifice, but they were like catastrophes nature., restricted to the Meiji Reformsm Japan had to be free from the beginning one.. In the fullest degree one another, therefore unmeaning movement in the fullest truth Russian forces in.. Fertile of life, and specifically in India, but this is the war of retribution amount of its success... An illustration of this present disharmony in man ’ s nationalism written by Ram Guha all attention... Man has to be visually associated with the celebrations of Japanese triumph is much more humane essence... Our side, are individuals [ 13 ] with living sensibilities upon the prolongation. Is superficial enough to think that all to-morrows are merely to-days with the celebrations of Japanese triumph closer! His soul as much as possible of pace ; nationalism by Tagore finds the law, he would be thanks. Country, new elements have been possible if the God had been taught in a of... Then he can do things which, in any form whatever, upon the power.... To many Peripheral intellectuals s life greater opportunities for the reason that it was the Nation man ’ s,. Peoples across Asia of death and download in PDF, EPUB, MOBI, FB2 y AZW3 in! European imperialism in Asia, and of space less fully occupied the race problem [ ]! The professional less fully occupied never heed the voice of truth the man himself wake but... And Japan death or degradation himself from its tyranny ”. [ ]! 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