Page:Heroes of the hour- Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak Maharaj, Sir Subramanya Iyer.djvu/18

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Heroes of the Hour

hero who appears to be a necessary instrument of progress in God's scheme, there would have been a stagnant stationary world.

However, a long time may elapse before heroes are found in any particular country; and then the evils of stagnation begin to oppress that land. Of course, past heroism is a great asset, but to be lost in admiration of it, incapable of heroism at the present hour is a sign of national decadence which all but leads to national extinction. No land is richer in past heroic deeds, both in times of war and peace than India. Nowhere is the spirit of renunciation so instinctive as in India, and nowhere is the yearning for freedom—absolute and not seeming but real—so haunting an ambition of the human mind as in India. But all these qualities which go to temper the steel edge of heroism have been allowed to escape in impotent chagrin, in fruitless sighs, in silent lamentations and in the philosophic gravitation to live and let live. The result has been India has remained the dumping ground of foreign administrators, legislators and law-givers; of foreign educationists, educational reformers and designers; of foreign architects, artists and