|The first session of Indian National Congress, 1885|
It is extremely interesting to watch the birth and growth of a new ideal among a people. O! the enthusiasm it inspires and the force with which it attracts all the energies of a people to one common centre. The modern Hindu is quite a phenomenon. To me his behaviour is more of a psychological than a political study. It seems that the ideal of political freedom which is an absolutely new experience to him has seized his entire soul, turning the various streams of his energy from their wonted channels and bringing them to pour forth their whole force into this new channel of activity. When he has passed through this experience he will realise his loss. He will be transformed into an absolutely new people – new in the sense that he will no longer find himself dominated by the ethical ideals of his ancestors whose sublime fancies have been a source of perpetual consolation to many a distressed mind. Nations are mothers of ideals; but ideals, in course of time, become pregnant and give birth to new nations.
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