The poem The Gift of India is one of the widely celebrated poems of Sarojini Naidu where she has portrayed her feelings in a natural and yet patriotic way. In this article we are going to talk about the various themes in the poem The Gift of India and how a reader can elaborate on these themes. The themes which we are going to discuss here include Patriotism and There is no Glory in War.
Themes in The Gift of India- ‘Patriotism’
The theme of patriotism is the most evident theme in the poem. This theme of patriotism for the motherland runs in a lot of other poems by Sarojini Naidu. This poem is a tribute to the martyred Indian soldiers who gave up their lives in wars fought by the British during the first world war. Since the very beginning of the poem, this theme of patriotism is predominant. Mother India reminds the world of the priceless treasures that she has gifted the world. She has sent her sons to foreign lands to fight foreign wars. The Indian soldiers have fought in the battlefield with full vigour and enthusiasm. They have shed their blood and sweat to fight someone else’s war, to protect the honour of their motherland. This poem brings forward the contributions of the brave soldiers of India in embodying the spirit of a brave country like India. Them evokes a sense of grief at the loss of the Indian soldiers who fought valiantly in the FIrst World War. However, a sense of pride overcomes the sense of despair as Mother India realizes the achievements of the soldiers. Sarojini Naidu tries to depict the pain of a mother whose son has been torn away from her bosom and buried in alien lands.
The poetess also presents a picture of the dead soldiers lying scattered in foreign soil with broken limbs and disfigured bodies. The ruthless manner in which they had been killed in the war in portrayed through a number of images. Their lifeless bodies lying like blossoms on blood-tainted battlefields brings a picture of the pain and suffering of the soldiers who gave their lives for their beloved motherland.
In the end, a note of optimism and hope overpowers the mood of the poem. The poetess anticipates a time when man would be free from the shackles of dominance and cruelty and live in a world where hatred will be overpowered by love. She urges the world to pay respect and homage to the martyred soldiers for their heroism so that their names can be immortalized in the history as the brave men who died to protect the honor of the country. This poem glorifies the sacrifices of the soldiers for their motherland and raises a sense of respect and appreciation in the readers for the bold and patriotic Indian soldiers.
Themes in The Gift of India- ‘There is no Glory in War’
Literature has glorified wars and war-heroes since a very long time. Many writers and poets have justified wars by praising and romanticizing the war heroes. For several years, people regarded war as a manly endeavour. This notion was, however, shattered in the beginning of the 20th century when the horrors of the First World War left its mark on the human civilization. The innumerable death, the damage and destruction of life and property, the brutality with which men killed each other and the new weapons and chemicals that were exposed to humanity, turned the gift of nature into a ‘Wasteland’ where ashes were found in place of flowers and blood in place of holy water.
In this poem, too, the horrors of war are depicted vividly. The image of the dead soldiers lying motionless “gathered like pearls in their alien graves”, with broken hands and severed limbs add a sad and pathetic note to the soldiers involved in wars. They are denied the proper respect of a burial as well as they lie in “alien graves”. Some lie dead by the Persian sea while others lie scattered like shells on the Egyptian sands. Their families do not get to see them for the last time. They lie colorless and lifeless, covered in blood, in the blood-tainted battlefields where nobody knows them. Thus, it will be right to say that although Sarojini Naidu urges people to pay a tribute to the dead soldiers, she also successfully brings forward the ruthlessness, savagery, and inhumaneness of wars. Hope you enjoyed going through the theme of the poem The Gift of India by Sarojini Naidu.