Though Tagore was a poet and writer of the highest order. He had certain specific political ideas. His political ideas, of course, had no deep impact on the people of India.

A bitter critic of narrow nationalism:

Rabindranath Tagore was a nationalist out and out. He wanted to free nationalism from a narrow circumference. He had deep faith on the spiritual fellowship of man. He viewed that nationalism fosters separatism. In his words- “Separatist nationalism devoid of love for mankind is a great menace.” He rejected the idea of ‘Nation-State and believed in ‘ the great federation of man’. To quote him, “pride patriotism is not for me. I earnestly hope that I shall find my home anywhere in the world before I leave it.”

Citizenship of the Divine Kingdom:


He told that nationalism narrows the outlook and vision of the people. It snatches away the divine thought of a man confining him in narrowness. To him, the entire world is a state, the divine kingdom of God. With pride, breaking the narrow barrier of nationalism, one should be the citizen of this divine kingdom. Of course, this idea of Tagore was a utopian dream.

Abandonment of aggressive commercialism:

The poetic heart of Rabindranath had felt that the Britishers came to India with a Bible and a pistol inside. The aggressive commercialism had prompted them to capture more and more markets for themselves. This was not simply the case of the British people but other western countries had also resorted to this principle. Tagore wanted complete abandonment of such a heinous policy. This narrow-mindedness coupled with selfishness and prejudice was a potent threat to mankind. Thus, he advocated the complete abandonment of commercialism which curtails the liberty of mankind.

Genuine mingling of heart of all races:


As envisaged, Tagore was much above of a narrow nationalism. He had dreams of a divine kingdom. So, he advised the races of the world to iron out the differences among themselves and to mingle their heart with one another. This will, perhaps, be the greatest tribute to the creator of the world. This will fulfill the idea of a Divine Kingdom.

Breaking away of the closed barriers of nations:

Rabindranath warned the people that no nation should project itself in terms of mine and thane. This will create antagonism among them selves as had happened in the past (in case of two world wars). Keeping much above it, one should feel his existence in the world as a member of one divine nation.

In his words “From now onward, any nation which takes an isolated view of its own country will run counter to the spirit of the new Age, and know no peace. From now onward, the anxiety that each country has for its own safety must embrace the welfare ‘of the world.”


Spirit of charity and cooperation: Tagore gave a clarion call to do away with fear, suspicion, distrust, hatred, national egoism etc. On the other hand, he wanted to foster love, mutual understanding, and friendship. Brotherhood etc. among the people of the world. This will definitely create a better world for the living of human beings.

Theory of rights:

Rabindranath was an ardent champion of rights. He told to cultivate the strength of mind to eradicate fear. To him, weakness betrays the soul. So, he gave a call to the destitute mass of India to cultivate moral force within themselves for their regeneration and advised them not to bend before any colonial and imperialistic might.

Concept of freedom:


Tagore’s idea of freedom occupies a vital part in his political thought. He championed the cause of the liberty of thought, action and conscience. To him, freedom is a check to arbitrary and tyrannical laws, filthy social customs and priestly prejudices. He deeply longed for upliftment of moral and spiritual freedom of the human spirit. He told that the essence of freedom is to illuminate-the soul by a process of self-realization.

Champion of cosmopolitan universalism:

Tagore wanted to champion the cause of cosmopolitan universalism. Even he went on criticizing Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement, because it was confined to a local, parochial and limited outlook. He opposed the bonfire of foreign clothes during the Non-Cooperation movement (1920-22) because it was deliberate promotion of hatred and animosity among the Indians towards the British regime.

Thus, Rabindranath Tagore was not a conventional nationalist. His political ideas were much above the ideas offered by Indian leaders. However, Utopianism was reflected to a greater extent in his political ideas, (N.B. For Tagore’s Nationalism and Internationalism, snatch points from his political ideas and use separately to answer the questions)