Agnostic views & images I like

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Martha Nussbaum about Liberal Arts in Korea and India

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Kuakata, Bangladesh.
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s an excerpt that I liked:

Meanwhile, Tagore’s songs, which became famous all over India (he’s the author of the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh), emphasize ideas of dissent and independence that resonate to this day. Here’s one that is especially beloved, and which embodies well the school’s spirit (it is even better with the music, of course, so I wish I could produce my colleague Dipesh Chakrabarty to perform it for you):

If no one answers your call, then walk on alone.

Walk alone, walk alone, walk on alone.

If no one says a thing, oh you unlucky soul,

If faces are turned away, if all go on fearing—

Then opening up your heart,

You speak up what’s on your mind, you speak up alone.

If they all turn back, oh you unlucky soul,

If, at the time of taking the deep dark path, no one cares—

Then the thorns that are on the way,

Oh you, trampling those with bloodied feet, you tramp on alone.

If a lamp no one shows, oh you unlucky soul,

If in a rainstorm on a dark night they bolt their doors—

Then in the flame of thunder

Lighting your own ribs, go on burning alone.

Think of young children growing up on that song, and you’ll see a spirit of dissent and challenge that strengthens the backbone of India’s democracy even to the present day.

I don’t feel that much more needs to be said!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/13 at 11:01

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