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NATIONALISM(Unity) BY TAGORE(Published in 1917) Must Read

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Rabindranath Tagore’s Nationalism.

Rabindranath Tagore Introduction

where Rabindranath tagore was bornTagore popularly called Kabiguru, was born on 7 May 1861. His name is written Rabindranath Thakur in many other languages of India. He was a poet, Philosopher and artist. He also wrote many stories like, novels, poems and dramas. And he is very well known as for composing music. His writings is also greatly influenced Bengali culture during the late 19th century and the early century. In 1913, he also become the first Asian to win the ‘Noble Prize’.

His major works include Gitanjali (Song 0ffering), a world famous poetry book; Gora (Fair-Faced); Ghare-Baire (The home and the world); and many other works of literature and art. He also made it possible to make the art using different forms and in styles.

He died on August 7, 1941, Calcutta. where the world was accept as a single nest. In this way, Tagore was also striving to dissociate himself from the general belief of an nationalism and also trying to associate it with ideas like peace, harmony and welfare.

How does Tagore view nationalism in West?

Tagore points out that Europe as a nation has exhausted into the battlefields because the west has terrified her moral nature to lay a foundation of her efficiency. He does things in shorter time and overtake the world of slower time.

Because with its liability for the material and the rational, it walk over the human soul and human emotion; it upset man’s moral balance by defeat his essential goodness and godhead to a soul-less organisation.

What is Nationalism?

He wrote this under conditions of world war I, where the nationalists or nationalistic feeling prevailed. In his view, nationalism enslaved. Honest people into blindly robbing others of their human rights. He wrote this under the conditions of World War.

It is not only the organizing selfishness of the nationalism in the west Tagore criticises, but the replication of this concept by the nationalists in India. He says that, “India never had a sense of nationalism” and that India is re-creating itself through nationalist politics.


Both Tagore and Gandhi believe in freedom, despite some unreal difference in the sphere of political praxis. It is worth nothing that Tagore’s post anti-nationalist essay somewhat distributed Gandhi, although both shared a great deal of philosophical affinity.

According to Tagore, Gandhi’s political conception of ‘swaraj’ and ‘satyagraha’ would naturally produce violent and dark forces. These would not ultimately lead to liberation for the individual soul.

Which made him a target of criticism, not only in India, but also in Russia, Germany, Spain, the USA, Poland, Turkey and Japan and the growing number of people have come to reject Tagore’s ideas.

Learn more about it from here Rabindranath Tagore’s perception of Indian Nationalism.

it’s an map of where is Nationalism.

Tagore defined nationalism as “political and economic union of a people, is that formation which a whole population assumes when organized for a mechanical purpose” from the first chapter itself.

Nationalism in India

OUR REAL PROBLEM in India is not political. It is social. This is a condition not only get in India, but among all nations. I do not believe in an complete political interest. Politics in the West have control Western ideals, and we in India are trying to imitate you. We have to remember that in Europe. Also where are natural resources were insufficient for the plundered.

On the one hand they really had no internal complications, and on the other hand they also had to deal with neighbors. Who were strong and greedy. To have perfect combination among themselves and a watchful attitude of friction against others was taken as the solution of their problems. And they also organize and exploit the whole world.

Each and every nation must be aware of this mission and we, in India, almost realize that we all are cut a poor figure when we are trying to be political, simply because we have not yet been finally able to fulfil what was set before us by our destiny.

Nationalism in the West

If his nature were not as complex as it is, if it were as simple as that of a pack of hungry wolf, then, by this time, those hordes of rover would have overrun the whole earth. He has to be acknowledge that he is man, that he has his responsibilities to the higher faculties of his nature, by ignoring which he may achieve success that is immediate, maybe, but that will become a death trap to him.

To India has also been given them problem from the beginning of the history – it is also the race of problem. Races national different have come in this country in close contact.

Nationalism is all about humanity and co-operation

He suffered from deep discontent with his former judgement in the release power of the European Enlightenment, but he never lost faith in humanity.

As a result of this faith, a colonized subjects like him could aspire to the transcendental idea of universalistic modernism/humanism. This stemmed from Indian philosophical traditions. He thus avoided the burning effects of colonization and could imagine a future. A ‘pedagogy of decolonization’ through the establishment of the Visva Bharati.

So, we can say that Tagore’s perception of nationalism has mainly relied on ancient Indian philosophy, where the world was accept as a single nest.

In this way, Tagore was striving to separate himself from the general belief of nationalism and trying to associate it with ideas such as peace, harmony, and welfare.


Humanity, the world over does not require a narrow but broad sense of nationalism. Therefore, it should be formulate through various means of life. It is to be note that Tagore’s idea of humanism goes beyond any boundaries or walls and seeks at large a common place. He adds further that the saints such as Nanak, Kabir, and Chaitanya catch the flame of humanism in Indian minds.

But unfortunately, it was fade over time with an aggressive rise of intolerance and caste-based disintegration of our society.  The ideas like purity and impurity of race have killing millions over centuries. Even two World Wars and other racial conflicts were cause based on false notions of superiority. Nothing as such has really exist in this world where men and women can be straightway divide and breakup.

Therefore, his belief: ‘Only those peoples have survived and achieved civilization that has this spirit of co-operation strong. In them’ receives a cardinal significance. At large, human beings all over the world should glance. Only through the mirror of cooperation and humanity.   

Tagore’s Fear

Tagore’s biggest fear was that humans were suffering to the force of Nationalism unconsciously through the mere copying of the West.

He called Nationalism the source of aggressive foreign policy, making a country feel threatened if another Nation comes into being. It is the source of all death, destruction of the human mind and diversity practiced by modern countries. At the same time, he reminded us to not confuse him with the rest of the followers of Nationalism in India who, out of anger against the British Government, practiced nothing short of xenophobia (like burning foreign clothes).

West Contribution

He talk of the West’s contribution in Arts and Literature and the ideas of liberty of the mind, thought, and action to be respect. This, he termed as the inner core of the West for which he feels proud. However, he reminds us that the Nation of the West clads its inner core and, for its selfish needs, devastation against non-Nations of the East.

For him, the Nation was the political side and the scientific, logical side of profit maximize, but he never wanted it to be the end and the highest purpose of humanity.

You have constantly felt and complained of its disadvantages when you compared your wandering restlessness with the settled traditions of Europe – the Europe which can show her picture of greatness.

But in this present age of transition, when a new era of civilization is sending its declare call to all peoples of the world across an unlimited future, this very freedom of distance will enable you to accept its invitation and to achieve the goal for which Europe began her journey but lost herself midway. For she was tempt out of her path by her pride of power and greed of possession.

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Tagore considered that apart from political freedom, freedom of mind is more important. Blind faith is also in Europe will instead increase our greed for possession.

Hence, we should give up this thickness and be more comprehensive in our inward and outward expressions. That extend freedom of mind. Ultimately, this freedom of mind finds balance. That is the history of man and other histories are mere chapters in the larger one. 

To conclude we can say that Nations with spiritual integration, love, and sympathy for others. May find a permanent place in any age. Thus, Nationalism of any kind is nothing but a mixture of integrated ideals of humanity and human welfare. It should be a tenable development that start within.


  Tagore considered that apart from political freedom, freedom of mind is more important. Blind faith in Europe will instead increase our greed for ownership. Hence, we should give up this thinness and be more comprehensive.

In our inward and outward expressions that expand freedom of mind. Ultimately, the freedom of mind also finds harmony with the human soul at large human life. He also believed that there is only one history that is the history of man.

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