Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo

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Chitto jetha bhayashunyo (Where the mind is without fear) is one of the most quoted poems in India and Bangladesh.

Written by Rabindranath Tagore before India's independence, it represents Tagore's dream of how the new, awakened India should be. The original Bengali language poem was published in 1910 and was included in the 1910 collection Gitanjali and, in Tagore's own translation, in the 1912 English edition of Gitanjali.

English text[edit]

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.[1]

Bengali text[edit]

চিত্ত যেথা ভয়শূন্য, উচ্চ যেথা শির,
জ্ঞান যেথা মুক্ত, যেথা গৃহের প্রাচীর
আপন প্রাঙ্গণতলে দিবসশর্বরী
বসুধারে রাখে নাই খণ্ড ক্ষুদ্র করি,
যেথা বাক্য হৃদয়ের উত্‍‌সমুখ হতে
উচ্ছ্বসিয়া উঠে, যেথা নির্বারিত স্রোতে
দেশে দেশে দিশে দিশে কর্মধারা ধায়
অজস্র সহস্রবিধ চরিতার্থতায়,
যেথা তুচ্ছ আচারের মরুবালুরাশি
বিচারের স্রোতঃপথ ফেলে নাই গ্রাসি--
পৌরুষেরে করে নি শতধা, নিত্য যেথা
তুমি সর্ব কর্ম চিন্তা আনন্দের নেতা,
নিজ হস্তে নির্দয় আঘাত করি, পিতঃ,
ভারতেরে সেই স্বর্গে করো জাগরিত॥[2]

History and translation[edit]

This poem was most likely composed in 1900; it appeared in the volume Naivedya (July 1901). The English translation was composed around 1911, when Tagore was translating some of his work into English after a request from William Rothenstein. It appeared as poem 35 in the English Gitanjali, published by the Indian Society, London, in 1912.[3] In 1917, Tagore read out the English version, (then titled 'Indian Prayer') at the Indian National Congress session in Calcutta.[4]

As in most of Tagore's translations for the English Gitanjali, almost every line of the English rendering has been considerably simplified. Line 6 in the English omits a reference to manliness (পৌরুষ, pouruSh), and the stern ending of the original, where the father is being enjoined to "strike {the sleeping} nation without mercy," has been softened.

This poem has inspired Indians with its image of a free-thinking, undivided, dynamic nation, and often appears in textbooks. "Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo" is also popular among liberals in Bangladesh.

President Barack Obama used the first two lines in his 2010 speech to the joint session of Indian Parliament in New Delhi.[5]

Popular Culture[edit]

A R Rahman composed an Indian Independence Day tribute song 'Jagao Mere Des Ko' in 2013 featuring the poem, with Suchi and Blaaze, along with an ensemble from KM Music Conservatory. The song was featured in MTV Coke Studio 2013.[6]

Aamir Khan recited the Hindi version of the poem in the last episode of television show Satyamev Jayate.[7]

John Abraham recited the English Version of the poem in the movie Madras Cafe

The poem is featured in the 2013 bengali movie Mishawr Rawhoshyo directed by Srijit Mukherji, based on the fictional character named Kakababu by Sunil Gangopadhyay.

The Progressive Rock band Sinister Symphony wrote their song 'Into That Heaven' based on this poem.

Imogen Heap and Vishal-Shekhar based "Minds Without Fear" on Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo. It was featured on the first episode of the first season of The Dewarists.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sisir Kumar Das, ed. (1994). The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, v.1: Poems. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-7201-547-X.  p. 53
  2. ^ rabIndra rachanAbalI (West Bengal govt centenary edition) v.1 p. 894 (রবীন্দ্র রচনাবলী (পশ্চিমবঙ্গ সরকার শতবার্ষিকী সং)
  3. ^ Sisir Kumar Das, ed. (1994). The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, v.1: Poems. Sahitya Akademi.  p. 9
  4. ^ Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, rabIndrajIbanIkathA, 1981, p.104
  5. ^ "Remarks by the President to the Joint Session of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi, India"[1]
  6. ^ http://www.dhakatribune.com/arts-amp-culture/2013/aug/15/r-rahman-recreates-tagore%E2%80%99s-song
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDYWvfv10aM

External links[edit]