Daily Recco, May 7: A message from Tagore

We bring you Rabindranath Tagore's most famous poem, Chitto Jetha Bhay Shunyo, on the day that is also his birthday, but not a day Bengal celebrates.

 |  3-minute read |   07-05-2021
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Let us make it clear at the onset — today is NOT Rabindra Jayanti. Bengal celebrates it on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh. That day falls on May 9 this year. However, since the whole world — from MEA Dr S Jaishankar, the Nobel Foundation and even the Ministry of Education — is celebrating it today, and they are not wrong, by the way, we thought why not join the party and share some gyaan by Gurudev with you. You can get some more gyaan on why the confusion between May 7 and May 9 here.

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One of his most famous poems is Chitto Jetha Bhay Shunyo, first published in 1910. It is the 35th poem of Gitanjali — a collection of his poems. Tagore himself translated it, and published it in 1912 in Gitanjali and titled it: Where the mind is without fear. Ring a bell? It should, if you have had even the remotest inclination towards literature — this is considered to be one of Tagore's most anthologised verses.

A simple prayer for his country and countrymen, Tagore wrote the poem long before India's Independence. However, it defies the boundaries of time and age, and is still relevant today. We bring you, both — the original and the translated versions. Read on:

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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.

Amidst the turbulent times we live in — the Covid crisis, failing governments, an age of communalism and one where humanity has become scarce — we offer the same prayer. Into the heaven of freedom from all malice, my Father, let my country awake.

Also Read | India at 70: Tagore rejected 'nationalism' — and his worst fears have come true

Writer

Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

Assistant Editor, DailyO

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