What I was about to say is this, take it in whatever spirit you like, here is India, of about fifty centuries at least, who tried to live peacefully and think deeply, the India devoid of all politics, the India of no nations, whose one ambition has been to know this world as of soul, to live here every moment of her life in the meek spirit of adoration, in the glad consciousness of an eternal and personal relationship with it. In your mediaeval age in Europe, the simple and the natural man, with all his violent passions and desires, was engaged in trying to find out a reconciliation in the conflict between the flesh and  47 the spirit. [8] Tagore, Rabindranath, “The Spirit of Japan”. [1] The Peripheral Thought Theory have been proposed in Chile by Eduardo Devés, from the beginning, as an academic parameter to study the Latin American thought throughout the 20th Century, but actually this theory is being used also to research about contemporary Asian and African thoughts, in order to achieve a global perspective and a best understanding about the non-Western thought. Because the idealism of selfishness must keep itself drunk with a continual dose of [39] self-laudation. It is not the numerousness of the outside obstacles but the comparative powerlessness of the individual to cope with them. When after its enormous toil it comes to offer us its boon of peace we can but murmur under our breath that “peace is good but not more so than life which is God’s own great boon.” On the other hand, our former governments were woefully lacking in many of the advantages of the modern government. And in the early days it had its separate place in society, restricted to the professionals. But will you never be called to answer for organizing the instincts of self-aggrandizement of whole peoples into perfection, and calling it good? He can do things in a shorter time and occupies a larger space with more thoroughness of advantage. Throughout the history of India, several Indian intellectuals, from Rammohan Roy until Hamid Dalway, including Syed Ahmad Khan, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, B.R. And they were irresistible to those who were chiefly engaged in the constructive work of social cooperation. The image of Bharat Mata acquired many different forms, as it circulated in popular prints, and was painted by different artists. Thanks to this understanding, it would have been possible re-light the torch of civilization in the East and put an end to humiliation. This government by the Nation is neither British nor anything else ; it is an applied science and therefore more or less similar in its principles wherever it is used. [7] Coloma, Claudio, “Disyuntiva y reivindicaciones periféricas ante el impacto de la Guerra Ruso-Japonesa”, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Chile, 2010. With the growth of power the cult of the self-worship of the Nation grows in ascendency ; and the individual willingly allows the nation to take donkey rides upon his back ; and there happens the anomaly which must have its disastrous effects, that the individual worships with all sacrifices a god which is morally much inferior to himself. "Nationalism in the West" is one of a series of lectures delivered throughout the United States during the winter of 1916-17. Man, the person, must protest for his very life against the heaping up of things where there should be the heart, and systems and policies where there should flow living human relationship. Many intellectuals thought after triumph that it was possible to be free from the Colonization and retake the self-government. Europe owes all her greatness in humanity to that period of discipline, [33]—the discipline of the man in his human integrity. According to Tagore, if in India people acquired these kinds of fanaticisms, the consequences could be devastating[9]. And we can still cherish the hope, that, when power becomes ashamed to occupy its throne and is ready to make way for love, when the morning comes for cleansing the bloodstained steps of the Nation along the highroad of humanity, we shall be called upon to bring our own vessel of sacred water the water of worship—to sweeten the history of man into purity, and with its sprinkling make the trampled dust of the centuries blessed with fruitfulness. Of this present disharmony in man’s nature the West seems to have been blissfully unconscious. Only because Japan had been able to resist the dominance of this Western Nation could she acquire the benefit of the Western Civilization in fullest measure. Therefore, when you produce your statistics to compare the number of gravels which our feet had to encounter in former days with the paucity in the present regime, they hardly touch the real points. Ambedkar, Rammanohar Lohia have written about the roots of problems of India, which in turn were firstly the caste system, religion struggles and gender injustices, and then were problems related with the independence from United Kingdom.[4]. When a father becomes a gambler and his obligations to his family take the secondary place in his mind, then he is no longer a man, but an automaton led by the power of greed. There were two Japanese organizations that had a key role in this achievement: Kokuryukay and Genyosha. But the same vices which seem so natural and innocuous in its own life make it surprised and angry at their unpleasantness when seen in other nations. But all the same moral law is the law of humanity, and the exclusive civilization which thrives upon others who are barred from its benefit carries its own death sentence in its moral limitations. When he finds the law, he is able to teach people how to master words. that machine must be pitted against machine, and nation against nation, in an endless bull-fight of politics? 121-168. When we are fully human, we cannot fly at one another’s throats; our instincts of social life, our traditions of moral ideals stand [36] in the way. Wherever there is a dark corner, there is the suspicion of its secret malevolence ; and people live in a perpetual distrust of its back where it has no eyes. And we cannot but acknowledge this paradox, that while the spirit of the West marches under its banner of freedom, the Nation of the West forges its iron chains of organization which are [24] the most relentless and unbreakable that have ever been manufactured in the whole history of man. I shall not be permitted to us to say that we would rather remain aloof, inactive, irresponsive, unwilling to give and to take, and thus to make poorer the India that is to be”. [6] Cemil Aydin, “The politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia”, Columbia University Press, USA, 2007, p.57. Your email address will not be published. In India we are suffering from this conflict between the spirit of the West and the Nation of the West. But paradoxically, this humiliation was not produced by Europe´s dominion over Asia; the root of the humiliation was could be found into Asia. In our country records of these days have been despised and forgotten. What comes to us in the shape of a mere bloodless policy may pierce into the very core of our life, may threaten the whole future of our people with a perpetual helplessness of emasculation, and yet may never touch the chord of humanity on the other side, or touch it in the most inadequately feeble manner. It’s interesting to see how the South helps focus on the politics of knowledge in US academic circles. [11] Their modernization meant a deception because the main difference between Asia and West was the use of wisdom, work and love versus the use of violence. Therefore, while making use of it, man has to be careful to protect himself from its tyranny”. Logic does not know that, under the lowest bed of endless strata of wealth and comforts, earthquakes are being hatched to restore the balance of the moral world, and one day the gaping gulf of spiritual vacuity will draw into its bottom the store of things that have their eternal love for the dust. This chapter presents an excerpt from Rabindranath Tagore's 1917 essay “Nationalism in India,” in which he considers the specific challenges faced by India in developing a national self-consciousness as well as the need for that consciousness to be grounded in Indian cultural sensibilities. But will this federation of steam-boilers supply you with a soul, a soul which has her conscience and her God? This point is important if it is considered that Tagore is mainly known as a poet and mystic man, at least in Latin America, instead of as a non-fiction author who was able to state original points of view about the encounter between different civilizations. And this moral nature of man cannot be divided into [32] convenient compartments for its preservation. You will say, form yourselves into a nation, and resist this encroachment of the Nation. We, on our side, are individuals [13] with living sensibilities. They passed over her head like clouds, now tinged with purple gorgeousness, now black with the threat of thunder. This history has come to a stage when the moral man, the complete man, is more and more giving way, almost without knowing it, to make room for the political and the commercial man, the man of the limited purpose. The first way of the Peripheral Thought is called “Identitario” which means “be like us”, whereas the second way is called “Centralitario” which means “be like the Centre”. It is like a hydraulic press, whose pressure is impersonal and on that account completely effective. It has produced great-hearted men, thinkers of great thoughts, doers of great deeds. The Nation, with all its paraphernalia of power and prosperity, its flags and pious hymns, its blasphemous prayers in the churches, and the literary mock thunders of its patriotic bragging, cannot hide the fact that the Nation is the greatest evil for the Nation, that [29] all its precautions are against it, and any new birth of its fellow in the world is always followed in its mind by the dread of a new peril. What is to happen to that larger part of the world, where fear will have no hand in restraining you? But I am anticipating. In Europe, nationalism was a sentiment that was being promoted in order for a nation to become more powerful, especially commercially. In the West the national machinery of commerce and politics turns out neatly compressed bales of humanity which have their use and high market value; but they are bound in iron hoops, labelled and separated off with scientific care and precision. Thus, Tagore rejected the Japanese attitude, and by contrast to his first impressions, he stated: “I have given up Japan. There54  fore when you see the Japanese nation, created in your own image, launched in its career of national boastfulness you shake your head and say it is not good. Politics has always been the cementing force in … Yes, one cannot but acknowledge that these facts are the facts of the world of the Nation, and the only moral, of it is that all the peoples of the earth should strain their physical, moral and intellectual resources to the utmost to defeat one another in the wrestling match of powerfulness. Amazon.in - Buy Rabindranath Tagore (Set of 5 Books) - Gitanjali, My Boyhood Days, Nationalism, Kabuliwala and Other Stories, Gora book online at best prices in India on Amazon.in. To be fair, his estimation of European civilisation did not imply that there was only one alternative. Until we fulfil our mission all other benefits will be denied us. According to this theory, this dilemma is the main feature of the non-Western thought and it would be most important than another academic dilemmas such as Negro/White, Rich/Poor or Women/Men, because this kind of oppositions can be analyzed thanks to this two notions of Peripheral Thought Theory. Thus, the Tagorian thought was able to be “Centralitario” or “Identirario”. These have offered us problems and claimed their solutions from us, the penalty of non-fulfilment being death or degradation. Tagore’s lectures show the ties between nationalism, modernity and science. When it allows itself to be turned into a perfect organization of power, then there are few crimes which it is unable to perpetrate. It is tightening its financial ropes round her, trying to drag her up on the shore and cut her into pieces, and then go and offer public thanksgiving to God for supporting the one existing evil and shattering the possibility of a new one. Towards this realization have worked from the early time of the Upanishads up to the present moment, a series of great spiritual teachers, whose one [5] object has been to set at naught all differences of man by the overflow of our consciousness of God. Often they brought devastations in their wake, but they were like catastrophes of nature whose traces are soon forgotten. display: none !important; Certainly, the concept of freedom was the best aspect of Europe and this notion complemented Indian concerns with injustices related to caste system, the Untouchables´ situation, Muslim-Hindu disputes, and gender differences. The only reason for this is that power has become too abstract—it is a scientific product made in the political laboratory of the Nation, through the dissolution of the personal humanity. [4] These priorities can be demonstrated in Ramachandra Guha´s book entitled “Makers of Modern India”, Penguin Books, India, 2010. But the apotheosis of selfishness can never make its interminable breed of hatred and greed, fear and hypocrisy, suspicion and tyranny, an end in themselves. var notice = document.getElementById("cptch_time_limit_notice_15"); But this piety being a mere unreal abstraction completely deadens the moral sense of the individual, just as the man who would not hurt an animal unnecessarily, would cause horrible suffering to a large number of innocent creatures when he drugs his feelings with the abstract idea of “sport.” Because these ideas are the creations of our intellect, because they are logical classifications, therefore they can so easily hide in their mist the personal man. You, the people of the West, who have manufactured this abnormality, can you imagine the desolating despair of this haunted world of suffering man possessed by the ghastly abstraction of the organizing man? It is not unusual that even through [12] this apparatus the moral nature of man tries to assert itself, but the whole series of ropes and pulleys creak and cry, the forces of the human heart become entangled among the forces of the human automaton, and only with difficulty can the moral purpose transmit itself into some tortured shape of result. It has no fear of the chasm, which is opening wider every day, between man’s ever-growing storehouses and the emptiness of his hungry humanity. While the small feeding bottle of our education is [22] nearly dry, and sanitation sucks its own thumb in despair, the military organization, the magisterial offices, the police, the Criminal Investigation Department, the secret spy system, attain to an abnormal girth in their waists, occupying every inch of our country. Hence Tagore was able to “be like the Centre” or “to be like us”, demonstrating that he had an open mind to understand and to explain the complicated reality of Asia at the first half of past century. In this sense, reviewing the Japanese experience, this country was a failed instance: “unfortunately, all his armour is not living, some of it is made of steel, inert and mechanical. This digital platform intends to provide a conceptual mapping of key concepts, moments, thinkers, and issues for the field of Global South Studies and to serve as an online forum for an international and interdisciplinary scholarly community. And then there will come from her own children those who will break themselves free from the slavery of this illusion, this perversion of brotherhood founded upon self-seeking, those who will own themselves as God’s children and as no bond-slaves of machinery, which turns souls into commodities and life into compart- [45] ments, which, with its iron claws, scratches out the heart of the world and knows not what it has done. But it is no consolation to us to know that the weakening of humanity from which the present age is suffering is not limited to the subject races, and that its ravages are even more radical because insidious and voluntary in peoples who are hypnotized into believing that they are free. But this time it was different. ... been born this fully developed apparatus of magnificent power and surprising appetite which has been christened in the West … You break it, and have in your hands the nomadic atoms fighting against one another, therefore unmeaning. In the other side, there have been intellectuals who have yielded ideas with the purpose to imitate aspects from West into fields such as policy, economy, or culture. Nationalism by Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941; Book Club of California; Norwood Press; Berwick & Smith; J.S. If his nature were not as complex as it is, if it were as simple as that of a [3] pack of hungry wolves, then, by this time, those hordes of marauders would have overrun the whole earth. Japan had been taught in a modern school the lesson how to become powerful. But, the worth of Tagore´s ideas, compared with his countrymen, was his interest on Asia and not only on India, for this reason is important his intention to establish the Pan-Asian movement. It has evolved a perfect organization of power but not spiritual idealism. function() { Those who covet power try to get mastery of these aboriginal- fighting elements and through some narrow [34] channels force them into some violent service for some particular needs of man. Japan protests that she has her bushido, that she can never be treacherous to America to whom she owes her gratitude. Over all this is a very good book and every one must read it to understand the true nature of Nationalism. But we know that when we walk barefooted upon a ground strewn with gravel, gradually our feet come to adjust themselves to the caprices of the inhospitable earth ; while if the tiniest particle of a gravel finds its lodgment [sic] inside our shoes we can never forget and forgive its intrusion. Neither the colourless vagueness of cosmopolitanism, nor the fierce self-idolatry of nation-worship is the goal of human history. The personal experience which I have had of their literary men has roused my admiration not merely for their power of thought or expression but for their chivalrous humanity. The answer is, that the West has been systematically petrifying her moral nature in order to lay a solid foundation for her gigantic abstractions of efficiency. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of Tagore’s Nationalism written by Ram Guha. Has this giant power of mechanical organization no limit in this world against which it may shatter itself all the more completely because of its terrible strength and velocity? [8]. It is an end in itself. In this sense, India had to learn from West. Six years before that Tagore wrote “The Spirit of Japan”, where he warned on Japanese menace. This satisfaction of man’s needs is a great thing. Is it not for giving people’s life greater opportunities for the freedom of development? I am quite sure in those days we had things that were extremely distasteful to us. First, Tagore, the Indian man, had to suffer with the European imperialism in Asia, and specifically in India. Tagore is very clear that a naturally-built human society is much more humane in essence than the so-called artificially created nationhood. [6]. The Scythians of the earlier period of Asiatic history had to struggle with the scarcity of their natural resources. But man, when confronted with difficulties, has to acknowledge that he is man, that he has his responsibilities to the higher faculties of his nature, by ignoring -which he may achieve success that is immediate, perhaps, but that will become a death trap to him. For the only brotherhood possible in the modern world is the brotherhood of hooliganism.” The recognition of the fraternal bond of love between Japan and Russia, which has lately been celebrated with an immense display of rejoicing in Japan, was not owing to any sudden recrudescence of the spirit of Christianity or of Buddhism, but it was a bond established according to the modern faith in a surer relationship of mutual menace of bloodshedding. This narrowness of freedom is an evil which is more radical not because of its quantity but because of its nature. But fortunately for man the easiest path is not his truest path. }. Thanks to its success, Japan became a new magnet to many peripheral intellectuals. Turn a tree into a log and it will burn for you, but it will never bear living flowers and fruit. Such wholesale and universal acts of fearful responsibility man can never perform, with such a degree of systematic unawareness, where he is an individual human being. [12], Tagore thought that “in the heart of Europe runs the purest stream of human love, of love of justice, of spirit of self-sacrifice for higher ideals (…) in Europe we have seen noble minds who have ever stood up for the rights of man irrespective of colour and creed”. I know that these people love justice and freedom, and hate lies. In fact your instinct tells you that the advent of another people into the arena of nationality makes another addition to the evil which contradicts all that is highest in Man and proves by its success that unscrupulousness is the way to prosperity, and goodness is good [40] for the weak and God is the only remaining consolation of the defeated. The peripheral intellectual thought has swung between two mainstreams like a pendulum: in one side, there have been intellectuals who have rejected the intellectual and cultural influence from West and at the same time have valued their own social and cultural roots. 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