“Where the mind is fearless and the head is high
Where knowledge is free. “
~ Gitanjali 35.
On January 10 in “Fire Drill Fridays”, a weekly protest organized by actor Jane Fonda against climate change, veteran actor Martin Sheen recited a well-known poem by the poet Rabindranath Tagore. According to reports, 147 people were arrested at the protest, which included Sheen and Joaquin Phoenix. The arrested were accused of obstruction, overcrowding and discomfort.
In the videos that have gone viral, Sheen can be seen climbing on the Fonda stage and begins his speech by saying: “Clearly, the world will be saved by women. Thank God, men outnumber us. “Then recite an Irish parable, which is quite relevant to the circumstances.
Then, Sheen goes on to say that it is the responsibility of human beings to defend what they believe and “raise the nation to that point where the heart is without fear and the head is raised.”
This brings us back to Tagore’s famous poem, “Where is the mind without fear,” a verse from his Gitanjali. The poem, which translates as “Chitto Jetha Bhoyshunno” In Bengali, it was written by Tagore in 1910 before the independence of India. The poem essentially speaks of the poet’s vision of a new, awake and improved nation, a poem that gives voice to his revolutionary spirit.
Sheen, however, does not cite Tagore as a source when he recites the poem. However, social media users are proud, and several say this is proof of the relevance of Tagore even today.
What a different but powerful representation of Tagore’s poem that we all know by heart. Thanks Martin Sheen! https://t.co/ov03kiNKAE
– g.arunima (@ anuarunima1) January 11, 2020
Tagore became more relevant today https://t.co/wDpP6Rp12h – Shyam Bohare (@bohare_shyam) January 11, 2020
And this is how Tagore lives and will continue to live for generations … #GurudevRabindranathTagore #KobiGuru https://t.co/Zc4Ccaiu30
– Nayanima Basu (@NayanimaBasu) January 11, 2020
Martin Sheen channeling Rabindranath Tagore is a sight to behold. #India https://t.co/smiZGMEJPt – Malav Parekh (@Malavtweets) January 11, 2020
Where the clear flow of reason has not lost its way
In the sad desert sand of dead custom.
Where the mind is carried forward by you
in broader thought and action.
In that sky of freedom, my father,
LET ME AWAKEN MY COUNTRY! #Tagore #Poetry_Planet #peace. https://t.co/AvzYb032FW
– Sanjay Bishnoi (@ sanjaybishnoi07) January 11, 2020
In fact, it must be saved by women! Martin Sheen talks about fighting the good fight and paying attention to Tagore’s words https://t.co/tOHuiVFYt7 – Mini Kapoor (@mini_kapoor) January 11, 2020
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