India Features

‘Freedom From The Insult Of Dwelling In A Puppet’s World’: Tagore’s Poem For His Motherland

Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore born on this day in 1861 was a polymath who wrote, painted as well as composed.

Read this poem on freedom which rings just as true for our times as it did for his.


Freedom from fear is the freedom I claim for you my Motherland!—fear, the phantom demon shaped by your own distorted dreams;

Freedom from the burden of the ages, bending your head, breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning call of the future;


Freedom from the shackles of slumber wherewith you fasten yourself in night’s stillness, mistrusting the star that speaks of truth’s adventurous path;

Freedom from the anarchy of destiny whose sails are weakly yielded to the blind uncertain winds, and the helm to a hand ever rigid and cold as Death;

Freedom from the insult of dwelling in a puppet’s world, where movements are started through brainless wires, repeated through mindless habits; where figures wait with patience obedience for a master of show, to be stirred into a moment’s mimicry of life.