Tagore's poem,' Where the mind is without fear' is a prayer addressed to a father-figure, presumably God, for an awakening into a heaven of freedom where the mind will be fearless and the head held high, where men will get the freedom of knowledge, where all words issue out from the well of truth, where superstitious beliefs and dead old habits shall not impede the transparent flow of thought, where narrow parochial interests shall no longer separate nations or communities of people.
The poem was written when India was under the British rule and the Indians struggled for freedom. But, for Tagore, freedom was more than merely political; he dwelt on the theme of spritual freedom: freedom of mind, speech, thought, belief, practice & behaviour.
Theme or underlying meaning of a particular line of the poem may not be sufficient to understand the theme of the entire poem. The line referred to is the first line of the poem and the poem is named after this. ( The Bengali text of the line : " Chitta jetha bhoi sunnya, uchcha jetha shir").
In the poem, the poet prays to the allmighty to bring India (Bharat) in such a heavenly state, where mind is with out fear and our head stand high, where my knwledge is free enough and my world is not fragmented. Oh, allmighy ! you being the source of all our joy, bring the new awakening by removing all the odds, cruelly.
Tagore's poem, "Where the mind is without fear" is a pre-independence poem, where the poet earnestly prays to God to awake his countrymen (Indians) to the realization that they need to live in a free and united country. He wants his countrymen to enjoy being citizens of a free nation, where they can lead their lives with honour. He dreams of a nation where people would not be superstitious or believers of blind faith; rather they would be enlightened and knowledgeable. He wants the people to be honest and hard-working. Only then, the nation can hope of achieving success. Reason has to overpower blind faith. People must open-up themselves to accepting new thoughts and ideas and work upon them. Thus the nation would be successful.