153-57.Cesaire, Amy. It was education, and not adulation for the Charka (the spinning wheel) that Gandhi suggested, which could liberate India from the tyranny of the past and the towering misery of unreasoned, unbridled orthodoxy. The âjihadistsâ (by which I refer not only tothe radical Islamists but also the ferocious jingoists, who seem equally enthusiastic in violence and to kill innocent civilians with utter abandon like the âterroristsâ) have struck again and the world has suffered colossal disasters. He would not accept such thorny hedges of exclusion or the labels and divisions that stood on the way to the formation of a larger human community. I wish to thank Professor John Chaffee, the Director of Asian and Asian American Studies, for inviting me to the program. Let Tagore spin like the others. with all the great power of music which he has, that the East and West are ever in search of each other, and that they must meet not merely in the fullness of physical strength, but in fullness of truth; that the right hand, which wields the sword, has the need of the left, which holds the shield of safety." Benedict Anderson is best known for his work regarding Nationalism in his book Imagined Communities. Innocents were killed and democracy suffered and we are no saferâ (Alterman and Green 235); Americaâs âpre-emptive/preventiveâ war in Iraq, which Paul OâNeill painfully explains to Ron Suskind, America started hatching at the very first meeting of the current American president with the National Security Council, on âJanuary 30, ten days after his inaugurationâ (70)6âsuch destructive events, which have changed the world, leaving humanity peering into the abyss of the future, have all been undertaken in the name of national safety and national security, whether it is the pan-Islamic religious nationalism of the militants or secular nationalism of the West. . For the free conscience is only possible if the individual is not over determined, but free to decide. These nationalistic feelings create a vigor in unarmed people that makes them stand against the most powerful armies of world e.g. Why is this so or rather what is the purpose behind such an effort to silence the conscience has to be seen in terms what it entails. Tagore denounced patriotism that, like religious formalism, âbreeds sectarian arrogance, mutual misunderstanding and a spirit of persecutionâ (Letters to a Friend 85). What is not so amusing is that writers and thinkers should echo such remarkablesentiments that translate military swagger into spiritual bravados. The very fact that it is a social institution, a mechanical organisation, modelled on certain utilitarian objectives in mind, made it unpalatable to Tagore, who was a champion of creation over construction, imagination over reason and the natural over the artificial and the man-made: âConstruction is for a purpose, it expresses our wants; but creation is for itself, it expresses our very beingsâ (âConstruction versus Creation,â Soares 59). He wrote to C.F. John A. Kouwenhoven. Ernest Gellner, on the other hand, attributes the emergence of nationalism to the rise of industrial-capitalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Alterman and Green as well as Chomsky argue on similar lines in their respective works. 1961. In October 1962, during the height of the crisis, he explains, it was one Soviet submarine officer named Vasili Arkhipov who saved the world by blocking âan order to fire nuclear armed torpedoes on October 27. . Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)âs perception of the dual role, one positive, the spirit of the Westâ and the other negative, âthe nation of the Westâ is the starting point of his analysis of nationalism, as it developed in the West. Tagoreâs vision of a free Indiaâ free from the fetters of materialism, nationalism as well as religious and racial orthodoxyâactively seeking a common destiny with the rest of mankind, constantly evolving towards a global society, is most ardently and expressly expressed in the following poem in Gitanjali, written in the form of a supplication: 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 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 actionâInto that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Trans. In a letter to Yone Noguchi, a Japanese writer who had asked for Tagoreâs moral support for Japanâs invasion of China in 1937, in the name of âsaving China for Asiaâ (Dutta 192), Tagore roundly criticises Noguchi for his naive acceptance of the grotesque rhetoric meant to veil an adventure of greed:"I was amused to read the recent statement of a Tokyo politician that the military alliance of Japan with Italy and Germany was made for âhighly spiritual and moral reasonsâ and âhad no materialistic considerations behind it. In a letter to Foss Westcott, Tagore further wrote, âBelieve me, nothing would give me greater happiness than to see the people of the West and the East march in a common crusade against all that robs the human spirit of its significanceâ (Dutta 197). Thus, finally, Tagore withdrew from the movement, when a young Bengali radical, Khudiram Bose (widely regarded a hero in the annals of Bengal), hurled a bomb, killing two innocent British civilians, in 1908. The logic is simple but cruel, and is sustained by a privileging norm, that in order to have rich and powerful nations, some nations ought to be left poor and pregnable: âBecause this civilization is the civilization of power, therefore it is exclusive, it is naturally unwilling to open its sources of power to those whom it has selected for its purposes for exploitationâ (Nationalism 13). 53-106.Seton-Watson, Hugh. Both of these limitations reduced nationalism to an incomplete, monolithic and unipolar ideologyâessentially inadequate for human beings given to an inherent multiplicity and seeming contraries, that needed to be unified and synthesised, through a process of soulful negotiation and striking of an axial line between opposites, to create the whole and wholesome person. West had its own axe to grind; in spite of their âsuperior force of characterâ (Dutta 128), they were not interested in the ânest-building of truthâ (Dutta 214) but in money, machine and matter. But this did not imply that he was devoid of all attachment to his homeland. His vision is given to a âmagnificent harmonyâ that he believes is the ultimate destiny of humankind: the enlightened individuals and nations coming together to form an enlightened global society. "âRabindranath Tagore. The truth is that the spirit of conflict and conquest is at the origin and in the centre of Western nationalism; its basis is not social co-operation. Timothy Brennan examines the role of literature, especially the novel, in the formation of national consciousness during its early period: âthe end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuriesâ (173). This essay will discuss definitions and forms of nationalism in an attempt to define nationalism phenomenon. This is evident in the many patriotic songs and poems he wrote. It forgets the end of goodness, which is the aim of man. Critics concur that nation is a necessity, it has laboured on behalf of modernity, and it helps to bolster the present civilization; as a political organisation it befits the social and intellectual milieu of present-day society, but they hardly claim itsmoral authority or its beneficial role in the reinforcement of human virtue. London: Routledge, 1998.The Bhagavad Gita. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Tagore took the view that since nationalism emerged in the post-religious laboratory of industrial-capitalism, it was only an âorganisation of politics and commerceâ (Nationalism 7), that brings âharvests of wealthâ (Nationalism 5), or âcarnivals of materialismâ (Soares 113), by spreading tentacles of greed, selfishness, power and prosperity, or churning up the baser instincts of mankind, and sacrificing in the process âthe moral man, the complete man . in Chomsky 48). Rev. Especially at the height of economic crisis in Europe the recourse to Nationalism evokes thoughts about Nationalism of the past, that is when the nation state was being created in the nineteenth century. One might think that Tagoreâs critique of nationalism is a little lofty and far-fetchedââtoo piousâ as Pound might have said; his arguments are layered in atavistic spiritualism and romantic idealism. I found this essay in English on Tagoreweb, which contains all his writings. Hugh Seton-Watson maintains, âno âscientific definitionâ of the nation can be devisedâ (5). His foremost objection came from its very nature and purpose as an institution. This remains as valid today, as it was when Tagore wrote. In their present state of mind, my countrymen will have no patience with me, who believes God to be higher than my countryâ (Letters to a Friend 98). . âIndiaâs Hindu-Muslim Relations.â
.Sen, Amartya. ed. He would not have anything to do with a movement that was hijacked by the Bengali Bhadroloks (elites) for their vested interest, and that saw the individual through the prism of a giant Cause. Moreover, he took exception to Kiplingâs remark that the Eastand the West were too divergent and ââNever the twain shall meetâ by affirming, much like in Emersonâs spirit in his essay âCompensation,â that the realisation of a unitary and stable world was contingent upon the meeting of these two opposing halves, which compensated one another:"Earnestly I ask the poet of the western world to realize and sing . The epochal shift of human society from pre-industrial to industrial economies, he argues, set up the conditions required for the creation of larger social units and economies that would be culturally âhomogenousâ and cooperative as workforce, thus paving the way for the formation of the more complex and intricate social organisation of the nation-state. Although apolitical by temperament, Tagore at first was drawn to the movement and started giving lectures and writing patriotic songs with such fervour that Ezra Pound quipped,âTagore has sung Bengal into a nationâ (qtd. Kalika, ayoung wife and a nationalist dogmatist, who badgers her husband, a moderate but sensitive person, for not being fervent enough, refuses to come to the aid of an old municipal sweeper, who is being assaulted by a group of orthodox Hindus for accidentally touching someone in the crowd, just because he is an untouchable. 170-75.Gandhi, Leela. The naked passion of the self-love of Nations, in its drunken delirium of greed, is dancing to the clash of steel and howling verses of vengeance. He was a composer (or rather arranger), an actor, a play write, a philosopher, a painter, and many other things. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. Tagore understood the perils that the development of nationalism in such a predicament posed to what he called the Indian samaj. Leaves of Grass and Selected Prose. . By its very nature as an organisation, Tagore argued, nationalism could ill afford any altruism in this regard. . . Juan Mascaro. by putting the country in its placeâ (224). God will take care of the morrowâ (qtd. Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. The moment we spurn national narcissism or chauvinism, and rise above the dichotomous reasoning of self/other, we become part of the Tagoresque âone world,â through a recurrent dialogic process.But to attain that stage, a more fundamental change is required. (qtd. This paper will attempt to do so with Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) who was a leading spokesman for compassionate humanism and culture inIndia and the world. Tagore describes them as aggressive people essentially driven by greed; who âgo out of their way and spread their coat-tails in other peoplesâ thoroughfares, claiming indemnity when these are trodden uponâ (Dutta 255). This strong denunciation of nationalism was hastened by the First World War, which was caused by the European scramble for colonies. Tagoreâs prediction that joining the bandwagon of nationalism would make India a beggar of the West has also come true. when the submarines were under attack by US destroyersâ (Chomsky 74). London: Penguin, 1985. A Critique on Rabindranath Tagoreâs âNationalismâ The dictionary definition of the word ânationalismâ is âidentification with oneâs own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.â . Yet his transcendent thought provides a testament to his noble and beautiful mind, and strikes a cord in the moral person in each of us. in Desai 8). The Home and the World. in Kripalani 227) as a poetâshared not an iota of positive sentiment towards the ideology. He maintains:"It was the novel that historically accompanied the rise of nations by objectifying the âone, yet manyâ of national life, and by mimicking the structures of the nation. (Dutta 192-93) Thomas Jeffersonâs observation on the world situation of his day sums up the hypocrisy behind such use of exalted language in war, most tellingly:"We believe no more in Bonaparteâs fighting for the liberties of the seas, than in Great Britainâs fighting for the liberties of mankind. (Soares 106), Tagore was born in 1861, a period during which the nationalist movement in India against the British rule was crystallising and gaining momentum. Untouchables are the fifth caste in the hierarchy of Hindu society and are often treated as pariahs or social outcasts. Nationalism is defensive, protective. Nationalism in all its forms strives to glorify force and violence when seeking to free the nation from any self doubt. In a letter to an American lawyer Myron H. Phelps, he rhetorically stated, âMust we not have that greater vision of humanity which will impel us to shake offthe fetters that shackle our individual life before we begin to dream of national freedom?â (Dutta 240). However, we are not done yet, security of the homeland has not been achieved, as President Bush has thoughtfully declared, âThere is no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homelandâ (Chomsky 207). Tagore urged the West to overcome its âlogic of egoismâ (Dutta 211), ignoble triumphalism, âforcible parasitismâ (Dutta 210) and intentional ignorance, and seek to understand the East in a true spirit of creativity, fellowship and welfare of humanity. The first section will focus on presenting contemporary and historical definitions. It calls for a humanitarian intervention into present self-seeking and belligerent nationalism, through the introduction of a moral and spiritual dimension in the institution. In his short story, âPurification,â he exposes the absurdity of Gandhiâs Satyagraha movement and the hypocrisy of the Indian nationalists by showing how selfish and superficial the nationalists were in their quest for freedom; they were fervently opposed to the British oppression, but oppressed the poor as well as the untouchables themselves; they wanted dignity and respect but wouldnât allow the same to their less fortunate brethren. affirm that in spite of âall its contentiousness, and the difficulty of theorising it adequately, [nation/nationalism] remains the most implacably powerful force in twentieth century politicsâ (151). in Kripalani 358), and Ezra Pound deemed âgreater than any of usâ (qtd. He was always opposed to the nationalism of Realpolitik and hyper-nationalism that breathed meaning into Thucydidesâs ancient maxim that âlarge nations do what they wish, while small nations accept what they mustâ (qtd. 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