“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…

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father

let my country awake.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

The above are a few lines from Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem Gitanjali that were seared into my mind when I was a young girl. I guess I was at my Another brick in the Wall phase. The poem was written in the early 1900s when India was still under British rule. Naturally it was viewed as a chant for freedom. But Tagore was not just a freedom fighter, he was an intellectual. His goal was not just the freedom of the body, but freedom of the mind – freedom of the conscience and of expression. Most people miss that point.

Yesterday I was listening to a talk by one of the political satirists who I follow. While explaining what attracted him towards satire, he read a few articles written during the 70s and 80s, critical of the administration of the day. Ironically, most of those words apply just as well today. There are those who would say that while we have become more socially conscious, when it comes to political dogma, we may have even gotten worse.

Over a century later, we are still nowhere near Tagore’s Heaven of Freedom.

Written in response to this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday – where Linda gives us the word prompt “where”

One thought on “An elusive heaven

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