August 14, 2007

For a 60th

For a country's 60th birthday, this poem from one of its great sons.


Where the mind is without fear

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.

Rabindranath Tagore


May your mind be without fear. Happy birthday my country.

11 comments:

Corporate Serf said...

Never read the translation very closely before:


Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;



The Bengali is:


jetha tuchchho acharer moru-balu-rashi
bicharer srotopath phyale nai grasi
pourushere kore ni shotodha





etc...

question, was that omission (indicated in bold, roughly translated: "(where the dead habit referred to above) hasn't shattered manliness / courage" ) in Tagore's translation? Or a later PC version. Never will know.

Uddhat said...

"May your mind be without fear."

On the eve of Independence, the Shiv Sainiks without any fear in their mind attacked the Outlook office in our own city.

artian said...

oh come on, stop these pretensions that all but flame up nationalistic fervours.

Happy birthday, Pakistan!

- this from an "indian"!

Dilip D'Souza said...

Artian, you're right of course. Happy birthday to Pakistan too, and may there be many many more. May that country, and indeed all countries, wake to that heaven of freedom.

Corporate Serf said...

Interesting point.

15th August is also South Korea's independence day (from Japan). Presumably North is still not independent. (No reports of anyone celebrating anything in that country)

That was 15th August, 1945.

Japan surrendered that day.

You know why, right? 6th August and 9th August.

Keep them in mind as well!

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love and squalor said...

I've always wondered if it was haven or heaven in the last line of this poem.
My father made me recite this poem for a silly competition in class five when the rest of the kids were doin poems like 'my ruby red shoes'. I think I traumatized a whole class of 10 year olds.

gulnaz said...

learnt this poem at school... sang it rather...great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Where the mind is full of fear and the head bowed in trepidation,
Where knowledge is worthless
Where the nation has been broken up into dar-ul-Islam and dar-ul-harb
by a fraudulent ideology called secularism
Where Islam muzzles the truth
Where tiresome drivel is elevated to philosophy
Where the clear stream of reason
Has been turned turned into a cesspool of mindless banality
Where the mind capitulates to the dead hand of an Arabian camel merchant
From that Hellhole of Islam, O Gurudev, let my country awake

With apologies to Gurudev

Dilip D'Souza said...

It would stand to reason, would it not, that the person who submitted the previous comment would possess a mind too frightened to put their name down.

Truly: where the mind is without fear, let my country awake.

hindu said...

mr. christian thug,
why don't you go away to pakistan?