S Chatterjee schatterjee2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 17 13:36:33 MDT 2001

In sharp contrast to prophecies of the coming cataclysm, species extinction,
doom and gloom, which are being made by Marxists, it behooves us as human
beings not to lose faith in the future and in ourselves, and in the masses. The
great Indian poet, novelist, short story writer, philosopher, painter,
Rabindranath Tagore, while bitterly condemning the effect of British
imperialism on India, concluded in his essay "Crisis in Civilization" (written
in 1941 when Tagore was 80):

"I look back on the stretch of past years and see the crumbling ruins of a
proud civilization lying heaped as garbage out of history! And yet I shall not
commit the grievous sin of losing faith in Man, accepting his present defeat as
final. I shall look forward to a turning in history after the cataclysm is over
and the sky is again unburdened and passionless.

Perhaps the new dawn will come from this horizon, from the East where the sun
rises; and then, unvanquished Man will retrace his path of conquest, despite
all barriers, to win back his lost heritage.

The hour is near when it will be revealed that the insolence of might is
fraught with great peril; that hour will bear out in full the truth of what the
ancient sages have proclaimed:

'Adharmenaidhate tahat tato bhadrani pasyati
Tatah sapatnan jayati samulastu binasyati'

'By unrighteousness man prospers, gains what seems desirable, defeats enemies,
but persihes at the root'"

Tagore closed the essay with this poem:

"The Great One comes,
Sending shivers across the dust of the earth.
In the heavens sound the trumpeter,
In the world of man drums of victory are heard,
The hour has arrived of the Great Birth.
The gates of Night's fortress
Crumble into the dust-
On the crest of awakening dawn
Assurance of a new life
proclaims "Fear Not."
The great sky resounds with hallelujahs of victory
To the Coming of Man."

Again, in striking contrast to the frenzied jingoism, hatred of the 'alien',
war hysteria, flag waving, narrow mindedness, fanatical chauvnism, 'Deutschland
Uber Alles', and rousing the baser instincts of the masses by the bourgeois and
its paid pipers (academics, journalists, scribes), let us listen to Tagore in
an extract from his poem "Indian Pilgrimage" ('Bharat Tirtha' - the original
name of the country which currently goes by the name India was Bharat):

"Awaken, my heart, gently upon this blessed pilgrimage
By the shore of the sea of Bharata's Great Humanity!
Standing here, stretching my arms, I salute the Divine in Man
In a rhythm all-embracing, with joy unbounded I sing His Glory.
Mountains mute in meditation deep, vales strewn with woods and streams,
Timeless, behold here spread, the hallowed earth
By the shore of the sea of Bharata's Great Humanity!

None can tell, at whose beckoning, vast waves of humanity
In currents unstoppable, from the unknown here arrived,
To merge into the Great Sea!
Here Aryans, non-Aryans, Dravidians, Chinese
Sakas, Hunas, Pathans, Moguls in one body, lo, were united.
The doors today have opened in the West, bearing gifts, behold, they arrive-
All shall give and take, mingle and be mingled in, none shall depart dejected
>From the shore of the sea of Bharata's Great Humanity!

Come, O Aryans, come, non-Aryans, Hindus and Mussulmans-
Come today, O Englishmen, come, oh come, Christians!
Come, O Brahmin, cleansing your mind
Join hands with all-
Come, O Downtrodden, let the burden
Of every insult be forever dispelled.
Make haste and come to Mother's coronation, the vessel auspicious
Is yet to be filled
With the sacred water sanctified by the touch of all
By the shore of the sea of Bharata's Great Humanity!"

---- Rabindranath Tagore (from 'Indian Pilgrimage')


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