Saturday, May 7, 2011

A poet's unfulfilled dream


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
.

Thus wrote Tagore nearly a century ago. His dream and his vision for the country were so optimistic and full of hope!  But today ,when I  look at where we are  in the achievement of these ideals, I must confess, as an Indian, I am not so proud.
With violence being so much a part of our lives, fear rules this world we live in. I don’t think we can hold our heads high after the shameful acts that we as Indians have committed- whether it is the demolition of the Babri Masjid or the massacre of dalits and tribals across the country. Knowledge is today a privilege of a few. In fact, what constitutes knowledge in itself is debatable! A farmer’s traditional knowledge is not longer respected in the chemical intensive agriculture that we practice today. Scientists have used knowledge to create weapons of destruction. With intellectual property rights and patenting coming in knowledge is certainly not a free resource any more.

Society is by the day becoming more and more fragmented. Caste continues to rule our lives as feelings of communalism continue to define our existence. Our democratically elected representatives lie to us and the media presents in their own warped way what constitutes the “ truth” .

I think somewhere along the way the almighty has also washed his/ her hands off us..

Is there hope for us as a nation? On the 150th birth anniversary of the great poet I am haunted by these thoughts. It is difficult to come to terms with this because I work in what is called the “ change” business- the nonprofit sector that tries to live up to these ideals. But I don’t see much hope there either…!!!

I see a generation that is trying to run away from these problems rather than take them heads on and tackle them. I am tiered and dreary folks…..! I would rather sleep with Gurudev’s dreams in my eyes rather than wake up and tackle this grim reality!

7 comments:

cloud nine said...

So sad, Meera. NGOs and non profit orgns these days vie for so much media coverage and fame that they forget the very purpose of their existence. As you say, there is not much hope for us, as a nation...

KParthasarathi said...

True leaders
are hardly known to their followers.
Next after them are the leaders
the people know and admire;
after them,those they fear;
after them,those they despise.
Lao Tzu
We have today the last two categories.When the values go down in the inexorable march of time in Kali yuga, they are known only to worsen.I am not sanguine about great leaders coming up to clean the Augean stables.The system of elections is such the bad drives out the good.The quantum of freebies will go up in direct propotion to the scale of corruption with no real upliftment in the standard of living of the deprived classes in terms of education,health and employment.
I really wish things to change for the better but see no light at the end of tunnel.A thought provoking post

Saumya said...

I love Tagore and his poetry. There is always hope for our nation :)

Meera Sundararajan said...

Thanks folks for your comments. I am waiting for a young and enthusiastic person to comment and tell me that the heaven of freedom that the poet speaks about exists!! We are all part of the jaded middle aged lot I guess.....

Meera Sundararajan said...

Sorry just saw Saumya's comment. Thanks for sharing your hope

Bikramjit said...

Well one thing is true in our country that all these great people , none of them have had there dreams come true and we keep on saying we will do this and that..

if we make one of these people's dream come true India will be such a beautiful place .. for sure

Bikram's

kamalika said...

1.Boycott of traditional agri- really our yield of percapita/peracre is one among the top of the world. But how far our A/C room ,western styled Bureucrats Recognise it( rem what happened to HERBAL PETROL famed RAMAR PILLAI). he was treated like a criminal by IIT Professors.(for invntion).. later sentenced..(thats a diff story).we are funded(above the table and BELOW THE Table) by MAHYCO and likes for whic we have to oblige .
2.Almighty has nothing to do.. as we witnessed mass genocide /ethnic cleansing/Holocaust how ever u call at our neighbour country.
3.""I see a generation that is trying to run away from these problems"- Golden words..IN 1970s college students were MESSIAHS of COmmunism, IRC (red cross), Etc etc.. where as now???.Every one complete a course, get a job, Make an comfortable living ..*(BUT LEAVING BEHIND 30% of India 10yrs beyond them). but this puzzle is here to stay unresolved..

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