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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 1, December 22, 2012 [Annual 2012]

Tagore for Today

Thursday 3 January 2013, by Nikhil Chakravartty

The following appeared under Editor’s Notebook in the first Mainstream issue to come out after the proclamation of Emergency (June 25, 1975).

Somewhere in the excitement of National Emergency, the editor has lost his notebook. However, Rabindranath Tagore has, in the abundance of his generosity, lent him his own notebook:

Freedom from fear is the freedom I claim for you, my Motherland!—fear, the phantom demon, shaped by your own distorted dreams;

Freedom from the burden of ages, bending your head, breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning call of the future;

Freedom from shackles of slumber wherewith you fasten yourself to night’s stillness, mistrusting the star that speaks of truth’s adventurous path;

Freedom from the anarchy of a destiny, whose sails are weakly yielded to blind uncertain winds, and the helm to a hand ever rigid and cold as Death;

Freedom from the insult of the dwelling in a puppet’s world, where movements are started through brainless wires, repeated through mindless habits; where figures wait with patient obedience for a master of show to be stirred into a moment’s mimicry of life.

June 27 N.C.

(June 28, 1975)

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