Tagore's Idea Of Civilisation Analysis

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Tagore’s idea of civilisation “The word ‘civilisation’ being a European word, we have hardy yet taken the trouble to find out its real meaning. For over a century, we have accepted it, as we may accept a gift horse, with perfect trust, never caring to count its teeth. Only very lately, we have begun to wonder is we realise in its truth what the Western people mean when they speak of civilisation. We ask ourselves, has it the same meaning as some word in our own language which denotes for us the idea of human perfection.” - Rabindranath Tagore This remark was made by Tagore to express his anxiety over the misuse of the word ‘civilisation’. In his lecture delivered in China in 1924 titled ‘Civilisation and Progress’, Tagore emphasised that life began with Man demonstrating his brute nature, but within him retained a current of universal humanity, which subordinates this brute nature. In his dying testament, he described civilisation’s missions as “that of (bringing) unity among people and (establishing) peace and harmony.” For Tagore, civilisation was a continuous process- a constant state of flux. He asserted that civilisation was the essence of human consciousness. From Tagore’s viewpoint, civilisation was a spiritual and moral process. It involved the growth and maturity of mankind. He considered the denial of moral laws under the guise of progress to be the primary reason for the chaos in civilisation he talked of at the end of his days. During his lecture in

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