Opinion: D. C. Nath (President, Patriot’s Forum) – Tagore Again

DC Nath SmallPresident of Patriots Forum, D.C. Nath was superannuated in January, 1995, as the Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, D.C. Nath (IPS-1960) was associated with the International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM), headquartered in New Delhi, for over 14 years, first as the Executive President & CEO and then as the President & Director General, between February, 1997 and March, 2011. The author of a highly acclaimed book, Intelligence Imperatives for India, Mr. Nath earned high plaudits from all around for two of his very significant presentations on: “Revisiting the Future of India” (2005, London) and “Lessons from India for the War On Terrorism” (2007, USA). He is the only one in the field, combining the experiences of a police officer with specialization in intelligence and strategic analysis and an industrial security expert par excellence. More Bio on D. C. Nath…



July 16, 2015

Dear Friends,


Subject: Tagore Again.


‘Bothering you again!

While we had closed the issue, a friend has so kindly shared with us a mail: that spells out five reasons why what Tagore had said is correct. And, we follow the age-old adage “Hit The Nail Hard When The Iron Is Hot”.


Quote (.)


Here are 5 pointers that incline towards the latter view and seem more plausible too:


1. Tagore’s letter of correction
First and foremost, Tagore himself, aware of the squabble, wrote not one, but two letters to his friend Pulin Bihari Sen on the issue.

A certain high official in His Majesty’s service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata (God of Destiny) of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India’s chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved.

That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense.


“I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity as to sing in praise of George the Fourth or George the Fifth as the Eternal Charioteer leading the pilgrims on their journey through countless ages of the timeless history of mankind.”

This in itself speaks on his behalf.

2. Tagore’s ambivalent political view

Tagore never voiced his unswerving devotion to either imperialism or nationalism. He was known to approve of ideas generally, irrespective of which side they came from, as long as they were good for the country.

He in fact believed the rulers to be a “political symptom of our social disease”, urging Indians to acknowledge that “there can be no question of blind revolution, but of steady and purposeful education”.

Highly unlikely that such a man would sing praises of any single ruler in his works, whether Indian or foreign, right?


3. Rebellion against the British educational system

Tagore simple hated rote learning that the British propounded. He wrote a short story titled, “The Parrot’s Training”, in which a bird which dies is force-fed books by tutors in order to revive it.

In fact he eulogized the Gurukula system of teaching, which he believed was more creative and engaging. Such a man would hardly call the British by the names ‘adhinayaka’ or‘bhagyavidhata’, don’t you think?


4. Tiff with Mahatma Gandhi

Tagore never refrained from expressing his honest opinions, irrespective of who he was dealing with. Heck, he didn’t even hesitate from giving the Mahatma a piece of his mind when he disagreed with his methods.

Tagore strongly opposed the Swadeshi movement, calling it ‘The Cult of the Charka’ in one of his essays and thought it ‘antiquated’. Though he admired Gandhi as a leader, he was one of the few intellectuals of the time who wasn’t afraid to stand up to him.

Would a man who condemned the father of the nation write words of praise for rulers he did not support?


5. The other song

On the same day and at the same event at which the national anthem was sung, another song was also sung, which was in praise of the King. Since the Anthem was sung right before it, many newspapers took both the songs to be in favor of the king, when in fact one was in protest of the regime.

When Tagore, then a well-known litterateur, was asked to sing in praise of George V who was visiting, he wrote this in protest of being asked to do so, thus for the same reason making it an ode to his own country.

All these reasons do point more markedly to the legend’s ambivalent view of politics and his advocacy of universal brotherhood, instead of praise affected by divisions of race and religion.

With his school Shantinikatan also promoting universal brotherhood, it seems highly unlikely that the anthem was meant to flatter the rulers.

Unquote (.)


The significant points have been highlighted. If you would care to notice, the author of the mail “explains why the National Anthem may have been been written in protest against the British”.


Well, Friends, we had in our earlier mails referred to British records and the proceedings of our own Constituent Assembly debates. We have nothing more to add, except to point out the new angle that the anthem might as well had been written IN PROTEST against the British. The choice is now yours.



Your sevak,

D.C. Nath

(Former Spl. Director, IB)

(President, Patriots’ Forum)


Source: Patriot Forum

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