But throughout his life, Tagore also had an important role in the area of non-fiction. In some parts of India it has been enjoined as an act of great piety for a widow to go without food and water on a particular day every fortnight. What was the reason to declare this? At the least turn of its screw, by the fraction of an inch, the grip is tightened to the point of suffocation around every man, woman and child of a vast population, for whom no escape is imaginable in their own country, or even in any country outside their own. that of a man to a man? Japan had been taught in a modern school the lesson how to become powerful. 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. For this the Nation has had and still has its richest pasture in Asia. However, Tagore was not antithetical to the idea of nation and nationalism from the beginning. For Tagore Nationalism is "organized selfishness" and the proof of it is the insane massacre known as World War I Following that tragedy Tagore wrote that "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." This narrowness of freedom is an evil which is more radical not because of its quantity but because of its nature. Take away man from his natural surroundings, from the fulness of his communal life, with all its living associations of beauty and love and social obligations, and you will be able to turn him into so many fragments of a machine for the production of wealth on a gigantic scale. And for all this [30] the Nation has been claiming the gratitude of history, and all eternity for its exploitation ; ordering its band of praise to be struck up from end to end of the world, declaring itself to be the salt of the earth, the flower of humanity, the blessing of God hurled with all his force upon the naked skulls of the world of No-Nations. Tagore compares the social inequality and crime of caste divisions in India to the crimes the West committed by nearly eradicating the native populations of the Americas and Australia, to the curse of racism in the United States, and to the anti-asiatic agitations in Western countries that look to deprive foreigners from earning a living in these lands. That Japanese people have some qualities which we lack we may admit, but that our intellect is naturally unproductive compared to theirs we cannot accept even from them whom it is dangerous for us to contradict. I ask you what disaster has there ever been in the history of man, in its darkest period, like this terrible disaster of the Nation fixing its fangs deep into the naked flesh of the world, taking permanent precautions against its natural relaxation? Over all this is a very good book and every one must read it to understand the true nature of Nationalism. 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. This point is important if it is considered that Tagore is mainly known as a poet and mystic man, at least in Latin America, instead of as a non-fiction author who was able to state original points of view about the encounter between different civilizations. They have organized their power till they are not only reasonably free from the tyranny of Nature and human neighbours, but have a surplus of it left in their hands to employ against others. 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. But we, who are governed, are not a mere abstraction. It profiles individuals and organisations that explore a southern perspective on a broad range of disciplines, including creative arts, humanities, professions, social and physical sciences. "Nationalism in the West" is one of a series of lectures delivered throughout the United States during the winter of 1916-17. Because this civilization is the civilization of power, therefore it is exclusive, [21] it is naturally unwilling to open its sources of power to those whom it has selected for its purposes of exploitation. We, on our side, are individuals [13] with living sensibilities. [8]. To be a copy was like wearing the skeleton with another skin. But must you say that it is not the soul, but the machine, which is of the utmost value to ourselves, and that man’s salvation depends upon his disciplining himself into a perfection of the dead rhythm of wheels and counterwheels? It was not a mere drift over her surface of life, drift of cavalry and foot soldiers, richly caparisoned elephants, white tents and canopies, strings of patient camels bearing the loads of royalty, bands of kettledrums and flutes, marble domes of mosques, palaces and tombs, like the bubbles of the foaming wine of extravagance ; stories of treachery and loyal devotion, of changes of fortune, of dramatic surprises of fate. The time comes when it can stop no longer, for the competition grows keener, organization grows vaster, and selfishness attains supremacy. [5] Understanding “Modernization” as a concept from the West. Ambedkar, Rammanohar Lohia have written about the roots of problems of India, which in turn were firstly the caste system, religion struggles and gender injustices, and then were problems related with the independence from United Kingdom.[4]. In addition, Tagore admired the European literature and art for its beauty, because both mean “fertilizing all countries and all time”. When this organization of politics and commerce, whose other name is the Nation, becomes all powerful at the cost of the harmony of the higher social life, then it is an evil day for humanity.  ×  [2] Devés Valdés, Eduardo, “Las disyuntivas del pensamiento latinoamericano y periférico”, Seminario de Investigación Interdisciplinaria. [8] Tagore, Rabindranath, “The Spirit of Japan”. .hide-if-no-js { setTimeout( Its one wish is to trade on the feebleness of the rest of the world, like some insects that are bred in the paralyzed flesh of victims kept just enough alive to make them toothsome and nutritious. I felt they were right. Then he can do things which, in his normal state of mind, he would be ashamed to do. I feel more and more sure it is not the country for me”.[10]. The hope of the unexpected was never absent, and a freer play of imagination, both on the part of the governor and the governed, had its effect in the making of history. But it is no consolation to us to know that the weakening of humanity from which the present age is suffering is not limited to the subject races, and that its ravages are even more radical because insidious and voluntary in peoples who are hypnotized into believing that they are free. He was aware of the admiration of the concept of nationalism and Therefore, when you produce your statistics to compare the number of gravels which our feet had to encounter in former days with the paucity in the present regime, they hardly touch the real points. There were two Japanese organizations that had a key role in this achievement: Kokuryukay and Genyosha. 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. 121-168. ‘Nationalism in the West’ Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Nationalism in the West’, in Nationalism (London: Macmillan, 1921), pp. But the apotheosis of selfishness can never make its interminable breed of hatred and greed, fear and hypocrisy, suspicion and tyranny, an end in themselves. 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. But this piety being a mere unreal abstraction completely deadens the moral sense of the individual, just as the man who would not hurt an animal unnecessarily, would cause horrible suffering to a large number of innocent creatures when he drugs his feelings with the abstract idea of “sport.” Because these ideas are the creations of our intellect, because they are logical classifications, therefore they can so easily hide in their mist the personal man. And yet I will persist in believing that there is such a thing as the harmony of completeness in humanity.. A compendium of lectures delivered by Tagore during the First World War and the Swadeshi movement in India, Nationalism emphasizes Tagore s political and philosophical views on human understanding and its weakness for power and material … In your mediaeval age in Europe, the simple and the natural man, with all his violent passions and desires, was engaged in trying to find out a reconciliation in the conflict between the flesh and  47 the spirit. We are complementary to each other because of our different outlooks upon life which have given us different aspects of truth. And thus there where cooperation is natural has intruded competition. Races ethnologically different have come in this country in close contact. It is like a hydraulic press, whose pressure is impersonal and on that account completely effective. 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. 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. In fact your instinct tells you that the advent of another people into the arena of nationality makes another addition to the evil which contradicts all that is highest in Man and proves by its success that unscrupulousness is the way to prosperity, and goodness is good [40] for the weak and God is the only remaining consolation of the defeated. Your email address will not be published. In the ancient [27] days Sparta paid all her attention to becoming powerful and she did become so by crippling her humanity, and she died of the amputation. This could never have been possible if the god had been as real as the individual. I just finished reading Nationalism by Tagore. Furthermore, after victory, Japan colonized Manchuria and Korea (1910). But can this go on indefinitely? Man in his fulness is not powerful, but perfect. Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Let me give an illustration of this in point. These have offered us problems and claimed their solutions from us, the penalty of non-fulfilment being death or degradation. when her hoard of wealth is bursting into smoke and her humanity is shattered into bits on her battlefields? 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. 1-46. Nationalism in India. It has made it possible for these peoples to come in closer touch with one another and cultivate a communion of aspiration. When we are fully human, we cannot fly at one another’s throats; our instincts of social life, our traditions of moral ideals stand [36] in the way. We were not confronted with a future which was a dead white wall of granite blocks eternally guarding against the expression and extension of our own powers, the hopelessness of which lies in the reason that these powers are becoming atrophied at their very roots by the scientific process of paralysis. In his book, Nationalism, Rabindranath Tagore says that nationalism is an invention of the west. MAN’S history is being shaped according to the difficulties it encounters. Please reload CAPTCHA. 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. For what are obstacles to the lower creatures are opportunities to the higher life of man. The benefit of the Western civilization is doled out to us in a miserly measure by the Nation trying to regulate the degree of nutrition as near the zero point of vitality as possible. For the elements which have lost their living bond of reality have lost the meaning of their existence. Mere administration is unproductive, it is not creative, not being a living thing. Nonetheless, according to Tagore, this instance would be mirror of the spirit of the West and not of the nation of the West.[16]. Reality is the harmony which gives to the component parts of a thing the equilibrium of the whole. Nationalism by Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941; Book Club of California; Norwood Press; Berwick & Smith; J.S. The third essay on India was written in the USA in late 1916. Free delivery on … It is the continual and stupendous dead pressure of this inhuman upon the living human under which the modern world is groaning. 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. The helplessness with which it weighs down its world of victims exerts its force of gravitation every moment upon the power that creates it. He says that politics has always dominated the western ideals. timeout It is superficial enough to think that all to-morrows are merely to-days with the repeated additions of twenty-four hours. It is merely the side of power, not of human ideals. The protection of law is not only a boon, but it is a valuable lesson to us. No, for the sake of your own salvation, I say, they shall live, and this is truth. Its perfection is the perfection of an egg-shell whose true value lies in the security it affords to the chick and its nourishment and not in the convenience it offers to the person at the breakfast table. Thus, the Tagorian thought was able to be “Centralitario” or “Identirario”. What, but that the wealth-producing mechanism is incessantly growing into vast stature, out of proportion to all other needs of society,—and the full reality of man is more and more crushed under its weight? Knowledge and efficiency are powerful in their outward effect, but they are the servants of man, not the man himself. To understand both the impact of European imperialism as the influence of the Western thought ways, it is necessary before to consider briefly the Peripheral Thought Theory[1]. 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. [6] Cemil Aydin, “The politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia”, Columbia University Press, USA, 2007, p.57. 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. It is possible that the Western influence on Tagore’s thought came from two ways. ... been born this fully developed apparatus of magnificent power and surprising appetite which has been christened in the West … Nationalism by Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941. [9] Sen, Amartya, “Tagore y la India”, Fractal nº10, julio-septiembre, 1998, año 3, volumen III, pp. Nationalism Book Information:. [4] These priorities can be demonstrated in Ramachandra Guha´s book entitled “Makers of Modern India”, Penguin Books, India, 2010. Under the influence of its fumes the whole people can carry out its systematic programme of the most virulent self-seeking without being in the least aware of its moral perversion, in fact feeling dangerously resentful if it is pointed out. And they were irresistible to those who were chiefly engaged in the constructive work of social cooperation. This fact has been and still continues to be the most important one in our history. To have born and lived in a downtrodden people had to be a hard experience when a man, as Tagore, had knowledge about the historic greatness of India as well as of Asia. }, Therefore he can easily outstrip those who live in a world of a slower time and of space less fully occupied. But the power loom is relentlessly lifeless and accurate and monotonous in its production. This description applies to the governing of India, which is as little touched by the human hand as possible. Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary contains over one hundred essays on transformative initiatives and alternatives to the currently dominant processes of globalized development, including its structural roots in modernity, capitalism, state domination, and masculinist values. It is the same thing with society. The grammarian walks straight through all poetry and goes to the root of words without obstruction. Therefore, I say to you, it is we who are called as witnesses to give evidence as to what the Nation has been to humanity. Generally, nationalism is inextricably linked with patriotism. Tagore was continuously warning people about the perils of nationalism, and in his visits to the United States in the early part of the twentieth century, to gather funds for his university, ‘Vishvabharati’, he advises the US not to follow the footsteps of European nation states, who had placed the nation on the pedestal of divinity and ultimate being. Despite the deception, the Japanese experience and the contact with West were not always unfortunate facts, because it was possible to understand that the world needed the values of India and of the rest Asian peoples. Wherever there is a dark corner, there is the suspicion of its secret malevolence ; and people live in a perpetual distrust of its back where it has no eyes. Our life is one with us, also our heart, but our mind can be detached from the personal man and then only can it freely move in its world of thoughts. 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. 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]. Can it escape its nemesis forever? Tagore’s lectures show the ties between nationalism, modernity and science. This is a power,—the power which fulfils some special usefulness, some particular need of man. Trading upon [9] the greed and fear of man, it occupies more and more space in society, and at last becomes its ruling force. When it allows itself to be turned into a perfect organization of power, then there are few crimes which it is unable to perpetrate. 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. if ( notice ) It is teaching us the discipline which is necessary for the stability of civilization and continuity of progress. 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. Politics has always been the cementing force in … First, Tagore, the Indian man, had to suffer with the European imperialism in Asia, and specifically in India. Ciclo de conferencias Octubre-Diciembre 2006. p.1. Turn a tree into a log and it will burn for you, but it will never bear living flowers and fruit. But we delude ourselves into thinking that humanity in the modern days is more to the front than ever before. I am quite sure in those days we had things that were extremely distasteful to us. Logic does not know that, under the lowest bed of endless strata of wealth and comforts, earthquakes are being hatched to restore the balance of the moral world, and one day the gaping gulf of spiritual vacuity will draw into its bottom the store of things that have their eternal love for the dust. Neither the colourless vagueness of cosmopolitanism, nor the fierce self-idolatry of nation-worship is the goal of human history. 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? But the same vices which seem so natural and innocuous in its own life make it surprised and angry at their unpleasantness when seen in other nations. Beyond Mythification: Constituting a Southern Identity, CALAMEGS SYMPOSIUM // Approaches to the Global South: Archives, Futurities, and Mediation, Researching South-South Development Cooperation | The Politics of Knowledge Production |, Institute for Intercultural and Comparative Research, Austria. The Impact of the European Imperialism . 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. This digital platform intends to provide a conceptual mapping of key concepts, moments, thinkers, and issues for the field of Global South Studies and to serve as an online forum for an international and interdisciplinary scholarly community. What I was about to say is this, take it in whatever spirit you like, here is India, of about fifty centuries at least, who tried to live peacefully and think deeply, the India devoid of all politics, the India of no nations, whose one ambition has been to know this world as of soul, to live here every moment of her life in the meek spirit of adoration, in the glad consciousness of an eternal and personal relationship with it. You, the people of the West, who have manufactured this abnormality, can you imagine the desolating despair of this haunted world of suffering man possessed by the ghastly abstraction of the organizing man? It gives him freedom in the material world. 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. Society as such has no ulterior purpose. It offers critical essays on mainstream solutions that ‘greenwash’ development and presents radically different worldviews and practices from around the world that point to an ecologically wise and socially just world. 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. var notice = document.getElementById("cptch_time_limit_notice_15"); The truth is that the spirit of conflict and conquest is at the origin and in the centre of the Western nationalism ; its basis is not social cooperation. function() { I do not believe in an exclusive political interest. Therefore the Western Nation acts like a dam to check the free flow of the Western civilization into the country of the No-Nation. There are other peoples in the world who have obstacles in their physical surroundings to overcome, or the menace of their powerful neighbours. It is social. And now that it has come into existence, why do you not feel in your heart of hearts a pure feeling of gladness and say that it is good? 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. [3] Tagore, Rabindranath, “Nationalism”, Norwood Press, USA, 1917, p.65-66. Because success is the object and justification of a machine, while goodness only is the end and purpose of man. This is demonstrated most obviously in his Nobel Prize in literature. These difficulties have been different in different peoples of the earth, and in the manner of our overcoming them lies our distinction. The world-flood has swept over our country, new elements have been introduced, and wider adjustments are waiting to be made. The West in the voice of her thundering cannon had said at the door of Japan, Let there be a nation—and there was a Nation. For this dust is fertile of life, and of beauty and worship. }. It is the fifth act of the tragedy of the unreal. It will go on in its ring-dance of moral corruption, linking steel unto steel, and machine unto machine ; trampling under its tread all the sweet flowers of simple faith and the living ideals of man. With all its heart it cannot bear to see its hunting grounds converted into cultivated fields. Eduardo Devés Valdés, “El Pensamiento Latinoamericano en el siglo XX”, 3 volúmenes, Editorial Biblos, Buenos Aires, 2000-2004. And we of no nations of the world, whose heads have been bowed to the dust, will know that this dust is more sacred than the bricks which build the pride of power. Tagore was a believer in an interactive, dialogic world, given to a deep sense of sympathy, generosity and mutuality, and in which nations would not be parochial, xenophobic and centripetal, or guided by mere selfishness and self-aggrandisement, but poised towards a morally and politically enlightened community of nations through the espousal of a centrifugal outlook, multilateral … The aim of this site is to promote a south-south dialogue of ideas. For every single individual in the country of the No-Nation is completely in the grip of a whole nation,—whose tireless vigilance, being the vigilance of a machine, has not the human power to overlook or to discriminate. 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. Like gaseous particles forced into a too narrow space, they come [10] in continual conflict with each other till they burst the very arrangement which holds them in bondage. Whenever Power removes all checks from its path to make its career easy, it triumphantly rides into its ultimate crash of death. In this sense, India had to learn from West. 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. Do you believe that evil can be permanently kept in check by competition with evil, and that conference of prudence can keep the devil chained in its makeshift cage of mutual agreement? The portion of education allotted to us is so raggedly insufficient that it ought to outrage the sense of decency of a Western humanity. And this terror is the parent of all that is base in man’s nature. The slavery that it gives rise to unconsciously drains its own love of freedom dry. We have seen in these countries how the people are encouraged and trained and given every facility to fit themselves for the great movements of commerce and industry spreading over the world, while in India the only assistance we get is merely to be jeered at by the Nation for lagging behind. Yes, this is the logic of the Nation. This abstract being, the Nation, is ruling India. This theory is used systematically to study the non-Western thought formulated especially in the last two hundred years. What Tagore said in 'Nationalism' and how it applies today. When this engine of organization begins to attain a vast size, and those who are mechanics are made into parts of the machine, then the personal man is eliminated to a phantom, everything becomes a revolution of policy carried out by the human parts of the machine, requiring no twinge of pity or moral responsibility. 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. It has also a political side, but this is only for a special purpose. Required fields are marked *, (function( timeout ) { Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore - book online and download in PDF, EPUB, MOBI, FB2 y AZW3 First published in the year 1917, this book is a compendium of lectures on Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore. 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. [16] Rabindranath Tagore, essay includes in Ramachandra Guha´s book entitled “Makers of Modern India”, Penguin Books, India, 2010, p. 198-199.
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