AMU Faculty presents paper on Ethical Philosophy of Iqbal and Tagore


Aligarh : Prof Latif Hussain Shah Kazmi, Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) delineated poetic responses and philosophies of Allama Iqbal and Rabindra Nath Tagore to the peculiar scenario of their times.

He was presenting a paper on ‘Ethical Philosophy of Iqbal and Tagore: A Comparative Analysis’ in the international webinar of the Centre for Moral Development, Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

Prof Kazmi said the two equally gifted personages were imbued in their local as well as western culture, and had benefited from the philosophic and religious currents of their time.

Speaking on the common elements of Iqbal and Tagore, Prof Kazmi said that both were great poets, social reformers, political activists, religious constructors, humanists, spiritualists and ethical thinkers.

“Iqbal and Tagore had been influential figures of global literary and socio-political society. They were deeply rooted in their connections with spirituality, patriotism, humanity, internationalism or universalism, aesthetics of art and beauty”, he added.

Prof Kazmi pointed out that Tagore was a great philosopher and versatile teacher, who always showed moral courage in all aspects of human endeavours. He emerged as a great citizen and always spoke about what was right and good for all humankind.

“Tagore was convinced that a good community is the composition of good individuals. A man can realize all his hidden potentialities in the society in which he lives and exercise his normative science and ethics. He believed that ethical practices bring justice, freedom and happiness to society and the importance of developing social relationships, mutual understanding and fellow-feeling from the beginnings of one’s life from home, school to later engagements”, he emphasised.

Speaking on Iqbal’s ethical philosophy, Prof Kazmi said that for Iqbal Quran and the Prophet’s tradition were the main sources of all art and thought.

“In the preface of his Reconstruction, Iqbal writes that the Quran emphasizes ‘deed’ rather than ‘idea’ and the human ego possesses in its nature the attributes of wisdom, freedom and creativity”, he added.

Prof Kazmi elaborated that Iqbal emphasised that ‘action makes life either Paradise or Hell and the earthly creature is neither sacred nor profane in nature’.

“Iqbal also brings out that there is a close relationship between individual and society”, he said quoting Iqbal, ‘The nature of the Muslim through and through is loving-kindness; he strives to be a mercy in the world with both hand and tongue”.

Prof Kazmi further pointed out that both Iqbal and Tagore wrote anthems for the nation. Tagore’s ‘Jana Gana Mana’ became the Indian national anthem and Iqbal’s ‘Saray Jahan se Achcha Hinustan Hamara is the ‘Tarana-e-Hind’.

“Both the poets of colossal stature stressed on humanistic and value-oriented education with spirituality and their admirers still hold these values to their hearts. Iqbal and Tagore wrote, taught and preached what they thought fruitful and functional for humanity and India,” said Prof Kazmi.