“The problem of India is more complicated, but what I say to the British Government is that they should leave us alone, to our destiny, and let us solve our own problems in the light of experiment and efforts and necessary suffering. We need the wisdom born of experience and initiative and must face reality in our own way so that we may exploit the full potentialities of our people.
When others talk of our communal conflicts, linguistic differences and various social disharmonies, they conveniently forget that Europe also, even a short time ago, was in no better plight and yet she did not unmanfully accept her limitations as inevitable; she struggled through her dark periods at the cost of immense suffering and sacrifice which have been worthily rewarded by access to a people’s eternal right to self-rule.
Spanish inquisitions, witch-burning, Catholic and Protestant warfare, anti-scientific campaigns and fanaticism – you can go on adding to such unenviable activities of Europe till you come to the Great War when science and modernism only helped to intensify the savagery of fratricidal combat.
Let the people of Asia profit by the lessons which their brothers in the West have to each us. Truth and freedom are for all, and we shall be proud to accept the gifts of modern Western science, adapting them to the needs of our national genius and our special traditions and circumstances.
India is on her path to self-realization. She cannot afford to waste her priceless spiritual and intellectual resources in enforced emulation of ready-made ideals from outside. She must evolve her own civilization unhampered by her dead past or her modern political slavery.
My visit to Persia has given me faith in the power of the Eastern people to assert themselves and to quickly find their way to a united realization of their undying heritage, in spite of conflicts and difficult economic circumstances.”
~ Rabindra Nath Tagore