Language as an instrument of self-finding and development

Modern India is another striking example. Nothing has

stood more in the way of the rapid progress in India, nothing

has more successfully prevented her self-finding and development

under modern conditions than the long overshadowing

of the Indian tongues as cultural instruments by the English

language. It is significant that the one sub-nation in India which

from the first refused to undergo this yoke, devoted itself to

the development of its language, made that for long its principal

preoccupation, gave to it its most original minds and most living

energies, getting through everything else perfunctorily, neglecting

commerce, doing politics as an intellectual and oratorical

pastime,—that it is Bengal which first recovered its soul, re-spiritualised

itself, forced the whole world to hear of its great

spiritual personalities, gave it the first modern Indian poet and

Indian scientist of world-wide fame and achievement, restored

the moribund art of India to life and power, first made her

count again in the culture of the world, first, as a reward in the

outer life, arrived at a vital political consciousness and a living

political movement not imitative and derivative in its spirit and

its central ideal.3 For so much does language count in the life of

a nation; for so much does it count to the advantage of humanity

at large that its group-souls should preserve and develop and use

with a vigorous group-individuality their natural instrument of

expression.

VOLUME 25

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SRI AUROBINDO P518

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