April , 2019
Tagore and Indian nationalism
16:00 pm

Ellora De

Looking at the current political climate of polarisation in India, it is time for Indians to rise above communalism and embrace humanism. This ideal is reflected in numerous literary works of Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath built Visva Bharati University at Shantiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal, India, with the ideology of oneness and inclusiveness – where students are inspired to put humanity before everything else.

He believed that India needs secular nationalism rather than an ideology of nationalism sectioned by different religious communities.

Currently in India, the concept of Hindutva (not Hinduism) nationalism is gaining prominence. It does not actually follow the history and traditions of India. This propaganda in many ways facilitates violence against the various minority communities – othering them and posing them as a threat against a concocted Hindu nation.

India is a country of diversified culture and many religious beliefs. If the people of this nation do not possess a feeling of oneness and acceptance for other religions and practices, the true sense of nationalism cannot be developed in India. With a population of hundreds of billions and with diversified religions, India cannot grow optimally if nationalism is shrouded in religiosity. The upcoming 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore points out the need of a pioneer like Tagore who could unite the nation with lines such as ―“Thousands minds are tied with a single thread. Thousand lives are dedicated for a single aspiration.”

A nation with diverse religious beliefs cannot be united with a single aspiration if secularism does not prevail. Secularism cannot be achieved by highlighting and imposing one single religion politically. If a single sense of oneness does not work in a country, then definitely the situation is alarming. In this sense, the current situation is alarming for India and Indians.



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