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Passage 1

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1. 
Please answer each question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the corresponding passage.

In a letter written in January 1885 to his friend Pramatha Chaudhuri, Tagore spoke of the tension in his own mind between the contending forces of East and West. ‘I sometimes detect in myself,’ he remarked, ‘a background where two opposing forces are constantly in action, one beckoning me to peace and cessation of all strife, the other egging me on to battle. is as though the restless energy and the will to action of the West were perpetually assaulting the citadel of my Indian placidity. Hence this swing of the pendulum between passionate pain and calm detachment, between lyrical abandon and philosophising between love of my country and mockery of patriotism, between an itch to enter the lists and a longing to remain wrapped in thought.’

Tagore’s mission to synthesise East and West was part personal, part civilizational. In time also became political. In the early years of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia of Bengal was engulfed by the swadeshi movement, where protests against British rule were expressed by the burning of foreign cloth and the rejection of all things western. After an initial enthusiasm for the movement, Tagore turned against it. His ambivalence was expressed in his novel Ghare Baire (Home and the World) and, more succinctly, in a letter written to a friend in November 1908, which insisted that ‘patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter’. ‘I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds’, wrote Tagore, ‘and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. I took a few steps down that road and stopped: for when I cannot retain my faith in universal humanity over and above my country, when patriotic prejudices overshadow my God, I feel inwardly starved’.

1 Which of the following best describes the two opposing forces that Tagore said he detected in himself?

2. 
What does the phrase ‘enter the lists’ as used in the passage mean?

In a letter written in January 1885 to his friend Pramatha Chaudhuri, Tagore spoke of the tension in his own mind between the contending forces of East and West. ‘I sometimes detect in myself,’ he remarked, ‘a background where two opposing forces are constantly in action, one beckoning me to peace and cessation of all strife, the other egging me on to battle. is as though the restless energy and the will to action of the West were perpetually assaulting the citadel of my Indian placidity. Hence this swing of the pendulum between passionate pain and calm detachment, between lyrical abandon and philosophising between love of my country and mockery of patriotism, between an itch to enter the lists and a longing to remain wrapped in thought.’

Tagore’s mission to synthesise East and West was part personal, part civilizational. In time also became political. In the early years of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia of Bengal was engulfed by the swadeshi movement, where protests against British rule were expressed by the burning of foreign cloth and the rejection of all things western. After an initial enthusiasm for the movement, Tagore turned against it. His ambivalence was expressed in his novel Ghare Baire (Home and the World) and, more succinctly, in a letter written to a friend in November 1908, which insisted that ‘patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter’. ‘I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds’, wrote Tagore, ‘and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. I took a few steps down that road and stopped: for when I cannot retain my faith in universal humanity over and above my country, when patriotic prejudices overshadow my God, I feel inwardly starved’.

3. 
Which of the following would be consistent with the author’s description of the swadeshi movement in the passage above?

In a letter written in January 1885 to his friend Pramatha Chaudhuri, Tagore spoke of the tension in his own mind between the contending forces of East and West. ‘I sometimes detect in myself,’ he remarked, ‘a background where two opposing forces are constantly in action, one beckoning me to peace and cessation of all strife, the other egging me on to battle. is as though the restless energy and the will to action of the West were perpetually assaulting the citadel of my Indian placidity. Hence this swing of the pendulum between passionate pain and calm detachment, between lyrical abandon and philosophising between love of my country and mockery of patriotism, between an itch to enter the lists and a longing to remain wrapped in thought.’

Tagore’s mission to synthesise East and West was part personal, part civilizational. In time also became political. In the early years of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia of Bengal was engulfed by the swadeshi movement, where protests against British rule were expressed by the burning of foreign cloth and the rejection of all things western. After an initial enthusiasm for the movement, Tagore turned against it. His ambivalence was expressed in his novel Ghare Baire (Home and the World) and, more succinctly, in a letter written to a friend in November 1908, which insisted that ‘patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter’. ‘I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds’, wrote Tagore, ‘and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. I took a few steps down that road and stopped: for when I cannot retain my faith in universal humanity over and above my country, when patriotic prejudices overshadow my God, I feel inwardly starved’.

4. 
Which of the following best describes Tagore’s reasons for not letting patriotism triumph over humanity?

In a letter written in January 1885 to his friend Pramatha Chaudhuri, Tagore spoke of the tension in his own mind between the contending forces of East and West. ‘I sometimes detect in myself,’ he remarked, ‘a background where two opposing forces are constantly in action, one beckoning me to peace and cessation of all strife, the other egging me on to battle. is as though the restless energy and the will to action of the West were perpetually assaulting the citadel of my Indian placidity. Hence this swing of the pendulum between passionate pain and calm detachment, between lyrical abandon and philosophising between love of my country and mockery of patriotism, between an itch to enter the lists and a longing to remain wrapped in thought.’

Tagore’s mission to synthesise East and West was part personal, part civilizational. In time also became political. In the early years of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia of Bengal was engulfed by the swadeshi movement, where protests against British rule were expressed by the burning of foreign cloth and the rejection of all things western. After an initial enthusiasm for the movement, Tagore turned against it. His ambivalence was expressed in his novel Ghare Baire (Home and the World) and, more succinctly, in a letter written to a friend in November 1908, which insisted that ‘patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter’. ‘I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds’, wrote Tagore, ‘and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. I took a few steps down that road and stopped: for when I cannot retain my faith in universal humanity over and above my country, when patriotic prejudices overshadow my God, I feel inwardly starved’.

5. 
The author describes Tagore’s attitude towards patriotism as an example of:

In a letter written in January 1885 to his friend Pramatha Chaudhuri, Tagore spoke of the tension in his own mind between the contending forces of East and West. ‘I sometimes detect in myself,’ he remarked, ‘a background where two opposing forces are constantly in action, one beckoning me to peace and cessation of all strife, the other egging me on to battle. is as though the restless energy and the will to action of the West were perpetually assaulting the citadel of my Indian placidity. Hence this swing of the pendulum between passionate pain and calm detachment, between lyrical abandon and philosophising between love of my country and mockery of patriotism, between an itch to enter the lists and a longing to remain wrapped in thought.’

Tagore’s mission to synthesise East and West was part personal, part civilizational. In time also became political. In the early years of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia of Bengal was engulfed by the swadeshi movement, where protests against British rule were expressed by the burning of foreign cloth and the rejection of all things western. After an initial enthusiasm for the movement, Tagore turned against it. His ambivalence was expressed in his novel Ghare Baire (Home and the World) and, more succinctly, in a letter written to a friend in November 1908, which insisted that ‘patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter’. ‘I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds’, wrote Tagore, ‘and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. I took a few steps down that road and stopped: for when I cannot retain my faith in universal humanity over and above my country, when patriotic prejudices overshadow my God, I feel inwardly starved’.

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