In the wake of India’s struggle for independence, Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s greatest poets, wrote about the image he sought for India in his poem “Where the mind is without fear.” In the aftermath of the attacks in Mumbai, these are bittersweet words for India but still words worth remembering. For so many of us, Tagore’s poem is our plea. We plead that “narrow domestic walls” of religion and politics do not fragment us and that “the clear stream of reason” guides our reactions.
In honor of all those who have died, let us, as a student body, dedicate ourselves to Tagore’s pledge:
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.