As children we were made to memorise a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, and especially so in the Calcutta I grew up in. At that age, we did not understand what it meant, and many of us in adulthood have now forgotten this ode. But for me, personally, the great man’s words embody a dream that has survived the transition to adulthood.
….and for all the cynicism that people of my age accumulate, I was delighted to find that all my daughter’s school books have this poem prominently displayed on the back covers.
May Tagore’s dream never die!
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, from Gitanjali, 1910