Where The Mind is Without Fear Summary : ICSE Class 10

Summary of the Poem : Where the Mind is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

About the Poet

Rabindranath Tagore (7 May, 1861 – 7 August, 1941) was born in Kolkata. He was a polymath who wrote on various subjects and reshaped Bengali Literature. Translations of his works were published diversely.

Tagore’s writings were highly imagistic, deeply religious and imbued with his love of nature and his homeland. He was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1913.

His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India’s Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangal. He is the author of the famous work Gitanjali which was written in Bengali.

Outline of the Poem

‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’ was included in the volume called Naibedya. The poem is a prayer to God to protect the nation from evil effects.

The poem was written by Tagore during the time when India was under the British Rule and people were eagerly waiting to get their freedom. It is a prayer to the Almighty for a nation free from any kind of manipulative or corrupt powers. This poem is a reflection of the poet’s good and ideal nature.

He has utmost faith in God. He prays to God with all his heart that he should guide the countrymen to work hard, speak the truth, be forward and logical in approach. Rabindranath Tagore aspires to see his country and people in peace and prosper. He loves his country a lot and wishes for its welfare.

Line by Line Explanation of the Poem

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;

In this poem, the poet is praying to God to grant his country such freedom of thoughts and expressions, freedom from the shackles of superstitions and bondage of social evils which leads towards perfection.

The poet prays to God saying that his country should be free from the fear of oppression and each person should be able to hold his head high.

There should be an atmosphere of fearlessness. The country should be a place where knowledge is available to everyone equally and free of cost without any discrimination on the basis of caste, gender or religion.

He wishes for a country which is not ‘broken up into fragments’ by prejudices and superstitions and where people stand united.

He wants a nation where people are truthful and words come out from the depth of their hearts. He wishes for a nation where everyone is free to toil and work hard for anything they desire for their own or for the good of the nation.

Everyone is encouraged is strive tirelessly till they attain full satisfaction in reaching their goals and 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.

The poet prays to God that Indians should be logical and progressive in thoughts and actions. He wants the power of reason to dominate the minds of his countrymen. He does not want the ‘stream of reason’ to be lost among outdated customs and traditions.

It should be a nation where blind superstitious habits of thought and action have not put out the light of reason. Where people’s mind should not dwell in the mistakes of the past nor be possessed by it. On the other hand, they should be led by the power of reasoning to be focussed on the future by applying logical thought and action.

He wants the country to be led forward by God into the freedom of broadened attitude and mindset. He requests ‘The Father’ to awaken his country into such a ‘heaven of freedom’. It is only by the universality of outlook and an abiding passion for the realisation of great human ideals that India will achieve her true freedom. This way alone will she realise her destiny.