“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world is not broken up into fragments,
By narrow domestic walls,
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”
A man wrote these words more than 30 years before we became a free nation; he knew what was coming. After more than 60 years of freedom, we are yet to achieve what this legend predicted years ago. He knew only freedom from the powerful was not enough; freedom of humanity would be still struggling in the shackles of vice.
Whether Tagore has influenced modern writers? Yes, he has influenced the ‘modern thinking’. He had dreamt of a ‘modern age’ which still seems far ahead.
Tagore had revolutionized Indian literature in a time, India was still under foreign rule, the woman had secondary class status and education was yet to clear off societal superstitions. He wrote for the common, subservient as well as the mass. In the 19th century, he wrote something which was way ahead of his times. His characters depicted Bengal in every way.
In the genre of love, Tagore’s depiction of the emotional turmoil in Noukadubi or Shesher Kobita was commendable during those times. The envisage of modern love stories might have changed, but they still deal with the passion, the love, the differences, the age old Indian mentality or the couple’s struggle to keep their love alive. The love between a man and a woman in a society with changing values is still a favorite topic for modern writers.
Coming to women empowerment, Charulata depicted the free spirit of a woman while The Postmaster brought out the innocence. He could visualize the soft, nurturing side of a woman and also the strong-willed, determined protagonists. The power of womanhood and their realization to fight for their rights have come up again and again in these works which was an inspiration for many to take that step ahead. Times have moved on, the backdrop has changed, but the essence is still lingering. Modern writers find this subject quite intriguing with the so-called modern woman still struggling to find equal rights in the society. In books like Nirbhaya.. and others who dared by Kkushun Chopra or Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera bring up the same plight of women in the Indian society and the world at large. And there are others who have portrayed the stronger and ambitious woman as well.
Finally, coming to patriotism, I believe, Tagore has inspired an entire generation. Every Indian will remember him every time we sing ‘Jana Gana Mana’. Nothing more needs to be said. He has touched every facet starting from love, lust, greed, patriotism, mystery, ghost, humor and satire too. Probably the area of detective intelligence or mystery was still untapped by Tagore which appeals to modern writers.
Tagore is a modern visionary, born in the past. He has influenced writers to think about how their words can bring about a change.
Pic Courtesy: http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee140/anirbansaha/tagorelightpainting2.jpg
Please do share your thoughts in comments.
This post is for the Marathon Blogging Content of #KLF2015 in association with #KolkataBloggers.