From the perspective of contemporary India where poverty and fear stalk the marginalised and poor, is Tagore’s poem, “Where the Mind is Without Fear” desire or dirge, hope or lament?
Tagore’s Desire or Dirge?
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