Jan 07, 08
Read in January, 2008
a fictional account of a few different aspects of the social movement in bengal in the early 1900s called swadeshi, which focuses on using locally manufactured items instead of importing foreign items. narrated by the three main characters, Nikhil-the owner of the estates on which the story takes place, Sandip-a revolutionary who lives with Nikhil and foments revolution on his estates, and Bimala-Nikhils wife who falls in love with Sandip.
i like the way Tagore uses the three different voices of the characters to express the different aspects of this particular revolution(Nikhil-passive and patient, but still desiring social justice, Sandip-impassioned, greedy, impatient, desiring glory most of all, and Bimala- caught between the two), and also i think they are relevant to any revolution. for example, he raises the questions, using the contrasting opinions of Nikhil and Sandip: should the revolutionaries or those desiring change take it by force and decide to get what they want at all costs, even if that means hurting the people that most need the change and that they are claiming to be fighting for or is patience key in revolution, is it better to always let the people choose for themselves? should the people never be forced or coerced into anything, even if it seems like the best thing for them in the future? even if it seems they are choosing the wrong thing because they are uninformed or ill-informed or they must choose that way just to survive? could a revolution ever happen while waiting for everyone to choose revolution? is forcing a population into a new political situation or new system of living any better than letting them choose to live in an older failing system?