Wednesday 16 December 2020

Where the Mind is Without Fear


Where the Mind is Without Fear

[This poem is an earnest prayer to God where the poet prays to God to bless his motherland with that awakening freedom which may drive away all fear, divisions among men, curbs on knowledge and truth. He wants that God may bless his countrymen with reason, desire for perfection and a freedom from dogma and inertia.]

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.


[Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861 in an aristocratic family of Bengal. Tagore had no formal education, yet he was a genius. In 1912, when he sailed to England, he translated some of his poems and plays for his English friends. The collection was published under the title of ‘The Gitanjali’ with an introduction by Yeats and won Tagore the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore is the most versatile genius. He wrote poetry, drama, novel, short stories, essays and literary criticism. He was an actor, an educationist and a social reformer. He is revered by every Indian.]





fragments – parts


tireless – having great energy


striving – making great efforts


perfection – completion


dreary – dull



Enjoying the Poem:


1. What is the central idea of the poem?

Ans. The poet wants his countrymen to be fearless and proud of being truthful, noble, reasonable and knowledgeable. They should live like brothers, and march on the road to progress, prosperity and perfection. This is the India of the poet’s dreams.


2. Write a summary of the poem.


3. What is the meaning of the line ‘where knowledge is free’?

Ans. Knowledge, according to the poet, should be freely available to everybody. In other words, everyone should have the right to free education. Nobody should be backward, ignorant or illiterate.


4. Why is the world broken by narrow domestic walls? What can we do about it?

Ans. The world is broken by narrow domestic walls of colour, caste and creed. We can pull down the narrow domestic walls through the spirit of love and sacrifice.


5. What does the poet desire for his country?

Ans. The poet desires his country to be a heaven of freedom on earth. This can be possible only if India becomes a country where people are fearless, truthful, reasonable, knowledgeable and self-respecting. So the poet prays to god to enable his countrymen to turn India into a heaven of freedom.


6. Read some other poems by R.N. Tagore. How do you find these?