Tagore was uncomfortable with some aspects of the movement set in motion by Mahatma Gandhi, particularly his instrumentalists view of Satyagraha. Explain.
Tagore has been an ardent writer through out his life. One of his poems “Naba Barsha” is written in the context of celebrating Bengali New year. In this poem, he expressed his views his concerns about satyagraha and many other methods set up during our freedom struggle. Tagore maintains a theme stating everyone is losing grip over the reality.
He says that everyone is so occupied with the enemy and the ends of achieving independence that, reality is slipping away. Being a lover of nature, his beautiful description of nature is the best. In the poem, he describes that with losing reality, nature which is supposed to be the source of comfort and life has changed into a self-inflicted hazard. Air, water and the ecosystem of the country has turned into a danger in itself.
Tagore suggests that acquiring a collective identity like Hindu, Muslim, Indian, etc. leads to abstraction of one self. one loses his identity, beliefs, hopes, joys, sorrows, interests, etc. All these will be subsumed under tyranny of one collective identity. He says that nationalism is not always realism. Also, nationalism might create a distance from human realities.
He also talked about excessive instrumentalism in his poem. He says that ‘the real end of life is “to be” and not “to do”. He distinguished excessive instrumentalism as a scenario where everything an individual does is to be justified at some kind of a altar of material purpose. He says that instrumentalism brings out the worst in us and that it leads to forgetting the realities in life like contentment, peace, forgiveness, etc.
He concludes that one must seek solitude in life from the public gaze. Not everything one does has to be labelled under some societal material purpose and collective nouns or pronouns. A distinction between public and private is essential. He calls everyone to rescue themselves from the instrumental virtual world they have inhabited in the name of freedom struggle.
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