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The Freedom to the Slave

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Renaissance is the result of the impact of British rule, their exploitation and expansion of empire. It is the awakening of national consciousness of people with new light and new thought. It is a kind of socio-cultural change which is the result of the union between two cultures – the east and the west. The light of Renaissance ignited nationalism and secular humanism in human minds, encouraged people to learn Western literature and philosophy for the rediscovery the world with new outlook, urged Indians to fight against all social diseases, inspired us to develop intellectual vision and to seek Truth, and above all, stirred up us to rediscover our cultural heritage, cultural treasures and to understand the glory of our ancient civilization. This reawakening for Renaissance spread the seeds of patriotism for national movement and prepared people for national interest. To create this national interest or to awake patriotism in national minds poets and writers had there significant role. Slowly they sow the seeds of patriotism in the young minds of India. In this paper I would like to throw some light on some of the Henry Derozio’s poems in English where we feel the spirits of patriotism.

Derozio had his burning passion for freedom and intoxicating urge for liberation from all kinds of bondages. He was a powerful catalytic agent of massive socio-cultural changes that took place under the influence of Renaissance. If we understand Derozio and his poems, we can understand that there is reflection of patriotism in his every poetic expression. He was really a moving spirit of patriotism. To awake patriotism and nationalism in young Indians Derozio sang the glory and grandeur of the golden past of history in his poems which fired patriotic passions in young minds. A noteworthy feature of Derozio’s poetry is its burning nationalistic zeal. Freedom to the slave stamps Derozio as an Indian English poet who in truly a son of the soil.”

The poem, ‘The Freedom to the Slave’ is also an echo of patriotic passion of fiercely freedom loving spirits. In this poem the poet pays attribute to all who are fighting for freedom. He writes – “And glory to the breast that bleeds

Bleeds nobly to be free !
Blest be the generous hand that breaks
The chain that a tyrant gave,
And feeling for degraded man
Gives freedom to the slave”

This poem is applicable not only to the slave but all the freedom loving people. Derozio was out and out an Indian patriot. Patriotism is the main inspiration in every vein of his poem. He is the first to sing of freedom that lights the altar of soul with everlasting flame. His poetic outburst in light of renaissance was most remarkable part of his patriotic feelings. He planted the seeds of patriotism in the minds of his pupils and his countrymen. His poems are really pregnant with patriotism and nationalism.

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