What is the poet’s concept of true freedom in ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore? or, What is the ‘heaven of freedom’ according to the poet?
The ‘Heaven of freedom’ which the poet refers to in this poem, is the heaven he visualizes his country as, after it attains freedom. a country united under one banner not broken up into smaller sections by prejudices and superstitions that were prevalent at that time. He visualizes the a country which is not divided by cast, creed, gender, religion or language, a country which is not suppressed and everyone has the right to voice their opinion, he visualizes a Utopian world where he and his countrymen could experience the true meaning of freedom. He prays for a country where free education is imparted to everyone, and not just those who could afford it. This ‘Heaven’ would have an education system which wouldn’t curtail free thinking and only encourage learning which included learning texts. He wishes for a country whose countrymen were not lethargic but instead they were continuously trying to strive for perfection and achieve their goals.
By ‘Heaven of Freedom’ Tagore wanted to mean the realization of freedom at its best. Mere political freedom was not enough to Tagore. He realized the need for the feeling of freedom to be felt, and the consequences to be reflected in the production and progress of the nation.
According to the poet, to make our country a heaven of freedom, the people should be fearless, knowledgeable, truthful, rational, hard-working and broad-minded. They should possess the good human virtues to avoid any harm done to themselves and to other. Moreover, people often get stuck by the superstitious beliefs or the class and caste divisions among themselves. These irrational elements in the society limit our thoughts and actions, thus curbing the possibility of any advancement of the nation. In such a situation, the poet’s beliefs and realizations were really effective to set a movement in the right direction.
Poet wants that the people should not be narrow minded, have progressive thinking so that they can make our country a heaven on the Earth. They should achieve perfection and for this they should do a lot of hard work. They should wake from slumber and help India become a heaven of freedom.