Included in the volume called Naibedya, the original poem bears the title ' Prarthana' i.e. prayer. The poem is a prayer to a universal father-figure, presumably, God.
The poet wishes to be awakened to a heaven where the mind can work fearlessly and the spirit can hold its head high, where one can acquire knowledge in all freedom of choice, where the big world of man is not fragmented or restricted to small mutually exclusive compartments, where everybody speaks his/her heart clear, where actions flow in the form of various streams moving from success to success, where petty conventions do not stagnate the course of judgement, where manhood is not pieced, where God himself leads us in all acts, all thoughts, and all sources of delight. We need a strong motivating slap by God to be elevated to that heaven.
This poem in this selection has been taken from his English ‘Gitanjali’. Tagore had a very deep religious caste of mind and profound humanism. He was both a patriot and an internationalist. In the poem, ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’, Tagore sketches a moving picture of the nation he would like India to be. Where everyone within the fold of the brotherhood is free to hold up one’s head high and one’s voice to be heard without having any tension of fear of oppression or forced compulsion. Where the knowledge is not restricted by narrow ideas and loyalties. The British rule had robbed India of its pride and dignity by reducing it to a subject nation.
The India of Tagore’s dream is a country where her people hold their heads high with their pride in knowledge and strength born of that knowledge. Where all countrymen must come out the aged-old world of people who have lost the vision of one humanity by the narrow loyalties of caste creed and religion. Prejudice and superstitious which narrow the mind and divide people would be a thing of the past. Where the words of truth...