This book analyses the political thought and practice of Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866–1915), preeminent liberal leader of the Indian National Congress who was able to give a ‘global voice’ to the Indian cause. Using liberalism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism and citizenship as the four main thematic foci, the book illuminates the entanglement of Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s political ideas and action with broader social, political and cultural developments within and beyond the Indian national frame. The author analyses Gokhale’s thinking on a range of issues such as nationhood, education, citizenship, modernity, caste, social service, cosmopolitanism and the ‘women’s question,’ which historians have either overlooked or inserted in a rigid nation-bounded historical narrative. The book provides new enriching dimensions to the understanding of Gokhale, whose ideas remain relevant in contemporary India. A new biography of Gokhale that brings into consideration current questions within historiographical debates, this book is a timely and welcome addition to the fields of intellectual history, the history of political thought, Colonial history and Indian and South Asian history.
"The volume also considers such issues as mapping of space, setting of administrative boundaries, definition of languages, policies towards representation and popular education, and the onset of decolonization. Tracing deeper connections across apparent subject boundaries, this book, like its companion Peasants, Political Economy, and Law, revisits the debate on the impact of empire on both Britain and India. It also offers a further reflection on the questions raised in Robb's earlier works." "On account of its engagement with topical themes, interesting details, and arguments, this collection will be of enormous interest to historians, sociologists, economists, political scientists, and the informed general reader."--Jacket.
This book explores the history and agendas of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) through its activities in South Asia. Focusing on interactions between American 'Y' workers and the local population, representatives of the British colonial state, and a host of international actors, it assesses their impact on the making of modern India. In turn, it shows how the knowledge and experience acquired by the Y in South Asia had a significant impact on US foreign policy, diplomacy and development programs in the region from the mid-1940s. Exploring the 'secular' projects launched by the YMCA such as new forms of sport, philanthropic efforts and educational endeavours, The YMCA in Late Colonial India addresses broader issues about the persistent role of religion in global modernization processes, the accumulation of American soft power in Asia, and the entanglement of American imperialism with other colonial empires. It provides an unusually rich case study to explore how 'global civil society' emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, how it related to the prevailing imperial world order, and how cultural specificities affected the ways in which it unfolded. Offering fresh perspectives on the historical trajectories of America's 'moral empire', Christian internationalism and the history of international organizations more broadly, this book also gives an insight into the history of South Asia during an age of colonial reformism and decolonization. It shows how international actors contributed to the shaping of South Asia's modernity at this crucial point, and left a lasting legacy in the region.
"Reflects on the significance of the Bhagavad Gita for political and ethical thinking in modern India and beyond and contributes new perspectives to historical, contemporary and global political ideas"--
Compared to how it looked 150 years ago at the eve of the colonial conquest, today’s India is almost completely unrecognizable. A sovereign nation, with a teeming, industrious population, it is an economic powerhouse and the world’s largest democracy. It can boast of robust legal institutions and a dizzying plurality of cultures, in addition to a lively and unrestricted print and electronic media. The question is how did it get to where it is now? Covering the period from 1800 to 1950, this study of about a dozen makers of modern India is a valuable addition to India’s cultural and intellectual history. More specifically, it shows how through the very act of writing, often in English, these thought leaders reconfigured Indian society. The very act of writing itself became endowed with almost a charismatic authority, which continued to influence generations that came after the exit of the authors from the national stage. By examining the lives and works of key players in the making of contemporary India, this study assesses their relationships with British colonialism and Indian traditions. Moreover, it analyzes how their use of the English language helped shape Indian modernity, thus giving rise to a uniquely Indian version of liberalism. The period was the fiery crucible from which an almost impossibly diverse and pluralistic new nation emerged through debate, dialogue, conflict, confrontation, and reconciliation. The author shows how the struggle for India was not only with British colonialism and imperialism, but also with itself and its past. He traces the religious and social reforms that laid the groundwork for the modern sub-continental state, proposed and advocated in English by the native voices that influenced the formation India’s society. Merging culture, politics, language, and literature, this is a path breaking volume that adds much to our understanding of a nation that looks set to achieve much in the coming century.
As Great Britain and other Western nations built empires--both formal and informal--writers on economic and social questions developed theories to explain why and how advanced industrial states exercised control over colonial regions. Different schools of thought emerged: some anticipated the growth of a cosmopolitaneconomic order, others believed in a brutal imperialism necessary for an expanding capitalism, still others saw evil precapitalist forces at work. In The Liberal Ideal and the Demons of Empire, noted historian Bernard Semmel traces the evolution of the ideas about imperialism and discusses four major schools of thought: the classical economists, the social theorists, the national economists, and the Marxists. From Adam Smith to Lenin, the subject of colonialism--and then imperialism--remained controversial. Although classical economists offered visions of a prosperous world economy based on free trade, and liberal idealists argued that rational self-interest would eliminate aggressive mercantilism and wars of conquest, such "utopian" ideals proved elusive. Even defenders of capitalism noted contradictions between the harsh realities of the emerging industrial system and the optimistic economic theories that attempted to describe it. In the end the critics--including liberal sociologists, national economists, and Marxists--would win the day by defining imperialism in terms of historic demons: feudal aristocrats, medieval usurers, and evil empires. These ideas, Semmel concludes, became props of the liberal, socialist, and fascist ideologies of our time. "A generation ago, Richard Koebner traced the changing meanings of the word imperialism from its rather surprisingNapoleonic beginnings. Now, building on a succession of books with which he has enriched the literature, Bernard Semmel addresses the wider question of the evolution in thought to which the evolution of the word was, so to speak, an index. Semmel's book will beunquestionably useful to historians--particularly those outside the confines of European expansion--and will be valuable as supplemental reading in college courses. One wonders if it will have the effect one would most like to see--on politicians, publicists, and praters who continue to use the word imperialism so inappropriately."--Robert K. Webb, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Bernard Semmel is Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. His studies of imperialism include Imperialism and Social Reform, Jamaican Blood and Victorian Conscience, and The Rise of Free Trade Imperialism. He has also written on Methodism, John Stuart Mill, and naval strategy.
Since the American and French Revolutions, the nation-state has come to be considered the normal form of political organization. National self-determination was a key to the programs of the liberals who campaigned for constitutional government in the first half of the nineteenth century. Statesmen and political philosophers of the previous century championed the idea that a Europe constituted by sovereign nation-states was to become a nucleus of world peace. In 1945 the United Nations was established upon these principles. By and large, we still act upon them in international affairs. However, the older position which associated the national idea with a liberal political system based upon self-determination was gradually pushed into the background. Instead, almost from the start the various national groups tried to extend their sphere of control, and the boundaries of their nation-state, as far as possible; the liberal principle of respecting the legitimate interests of other ethnicities or national groups, fell into disregard. The popular enthusiasm for national self-determination was not so much concerned with the desire to create the essential political conditions for a free and unhindered enfolding of one's own national culture, but rather with the desire to be part of a strong national state capable of imposing the national will, if need be, upon other peoples. It was the hope of many that, since 1945, a metamorphosis of the nation-state was underway, with a return to a more modest, democratic notion of nation and nationality which has nothing in common with the aggressive varieties of the previous decades. Indeed, the export of the Western democratic notion of the nation-state was long considered an essential to modernization which Western social scientists and politicians recommended to the peoples in the Third World. Today many doubt whether the Western idea of nationality by the non-Western world was well-suited to the politics of these regions of the world; in many cases the older multinational politics might have done much better. Certainly, the new non-Western nations were not spared any of the distortions of nationalism. The reemergence of national conflicts in many parts of the world indicates that nationalism has not lost any of its explosive power, and in some regions, notably in the territories of the former USSR or in the Balkans, it flared up again with unabated vigor. The bloody civil war in Yugoslavia and the splitting-up of Czechoslovakia into two national units are examples of the present trend which points to a fragmentation of large parts of Eastern Europe along national lines, with most undesirable consequences. These developments may threaten the fabric of Western liberal societies, if they continue unabated. This book examines the relationship of nationalism and liberalism in the modern world. Sometimes nationalism assists the growth of liberal democracy and sometimes it is a most potent foe. This struggle is one of the significant features of modern political life. Wolfgang J. Mommsen, one of the leading scholars on the subject of nationalism, was the force behind the treatment of nationalism in this book. Contributors were carefully selected by Professor Mommsen, Edward Shils, and Roger Michener. Included are: John Breuilly, whose Nationalism and the State is in its second edition; Steven Grosby, who examines the creation of the United States, Peter Alter, who discusses modern German history; and Eugene Kamenka, who looks at Australia. In the analysis beyond Western culture, Ian Nish shows how national unity contributed to creating a modern liberal state in Japan. Serif Mardin discusses how nationalism contributed to constitutional movements in the emergence of modern Turkey from the Ottoman Empire; Andrzej Ajnenkiel emphasizes the importance of nationalism in fostering the re-growth of liberal institutions in Poland after communism; and Megnad Desai explains the challenge of establishing liberal democracy in multi-ethnic India. This book should be of value to anyone seeking to understand problems of nationalism, patriotism and nationality in the modern world.
Keshab Chandra Sen (1838-84) was one of the most powerful and controversial figures in nineteenth-century Bengal. A religious leader and social reformer, his universalist interpretation of Hinduism found mass appeal in India, and generated considerable interest in Britain. His ideas on British imperial rule, religion and spirituality, global history, universalism and modernity were all influential, and his visit to England made him a celebrity. Many Britons regarded him as a prophet of world-historical significance. Keshab was the subject of extreme adulation and vehement criticism. Accounts tell of large crowds prostrating themselves before him, believing him to be an avatar. Yet he died with relatively few followers, his reputation in both India and Britain largely ruined. As a representative of India, Keshab became emblematic of broad concerns regarding Hinduism and Christianity, science and faith, India and the British Empire. This innovative study explores the transnational historical forces that shaped Keshab's life and work. It offers an alternative religious history of empire, characterized by intercultural dialogue and religious syncretism. A fascinating and often tragic portrait of Keshab's experience of the imperial world, and the ways in which he carried meaning for his contemporaries.
From the acclaimed author of Britain's War Machine and The Shock of the Old, a bold reassessment of Britain's twentieth century. Itis usual to see the United Kingdom as an island of continuity in an otherwiseconvulsed and unstable Europe; its political history a smooth sequence ofadministrations, from building a welfare state to coping with decline. Nobodywould dream of writing the history of Germany, say, or the Soviet Union in thisway. David Edgerton's major new history breaks out of the confines of traditionalBritish national history to redefine what it was to British, and to reveal anunfamiliar place, subject to huge disruptions. This was not simply because ofthe world wars and global economic transformations, but in its very nature. Until the 1940s the United Kingdom was, Edgerton argues, an exceptionalplace: liberal, capitalist and anti-nationalist, at the heart of a European andglobal web of trade and influence. Then, as its global position collapsed, itbecame, for the first time and only briefly, a real, successful nation, with shared goals, horizons andindustry, before reinventing itself again in the 1970s as part of the EuropeanUnion and as the host for international capital, no longer capable of being anation. Packed with surprising examples and arguments, The Rise and Fall of theBritish Nation gives usa grown-up, unsentimental history which takes business and warfare seriously,and which is crucial at a moment of serious reconsideration for the country andits future.
Bringing together leading international writers on cricket and society, this important new book places cricket in the postcolonial life of the major Test-playing countries. Exploring the culture, politics, governance and economics of cricket in the twenty-first century, this book dispels the age-old idea of a gentle game played on England's village greens. This is an original political and historical study of the game's development in a range of countries and covers: * cricket in the new Commonwealth: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Caribbean and India * the cricket cultures of Australia, New Zealand and post-apartheid South Africa * cricket in England since the 1950s. This new book is ideal for students of sport, politics, history and postcolonialism as it provides stimulating and comprehensive discussions of the major issues including race, migration, gobalization, neoliberal economics, the media, religion and sectarianism.
“A true translation whose literary qualities make it stand out from the rest.” –Daniel Gold, Cornell University “Here’s a chance to rediscover The Bhagavad Gita in a translation that blends true scholarship with artistry.” –Library Journal The Bhagavad Gita, the “Song of the Lord,” is an ancient Hindu scripture about virtue presented as a dialogue between Krishna, an incarnation of God, and the warrior Arjuna on the eve of a great battle over succession to the throne. This new verse translation of the classic Sanskrit text combines the skills of leading Hinduist Gavin Flood with the stylistic verve of award-winning poet and translator Charles Martin. The result is a living text that remains true to the extraordinarily influential original. A devotional, literary, and philosophical work of unsurpassed beauty and relevance, The Bhagavad Gita has inspired, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley. Its universal themes—life and death, war and peace, and sacrifice—resonate in a West increasingly interested in Eastern religious experiences and the Hindu diaspora. The text is accompanied by a full introduction and by explanatory annotations. The volume presents seminal analogues and commentaries on The Bhagavad Gita, including central passages from The Shvetashvatara Upanishad as well as commentary spanning eleven centuries by Shankara and Ramanuja (in new translations by Gavin Flood) in addition to the writings of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Sri Aurobindo. Five essays by leading Hinduists discuss a wide range of issues related to The Bhagavad Gita from its roots as a religious text to its influence on the practices of yoga and transcendentalism through it ongoing global impact. Contributors include John L. Brockington, Arvind Sharma, Rudolf Otto, Eric J. Sharpe, and C. A. Bayly. A selected bibliography is included.