Introduction: Rabindranath Tagore and an ‘Ambivalent’ Nationalism

  • K. L. Tuteja
  • Kaustav Chakraborty


The ‘Introduction’ is divided into three sections. The first section, outlining a brief trajectory of Tagore’s evolution as a philosopher contemplating upon the contemporary politics and sociocultural milieu, tries to unravel the ambivalence inherent in Tagore’s addressing of nationalism. The second part gives an overview of how each of the contributors has tried to engage with Tagore’s usage of nationalism. Seen from different perspectives, it seems to be equally ambivalent as to how one can place Tagore within the frameworks of vernacular nationalism, anti-imperialism, alternative modernism, post-nationalism or cosmopolitanism/internationalism. The final section underscores the relevance of Tagore’s critique of nationalism in today’s world.


Tagore Nationalism Dissidence Fairness of justice Humanitarian modernism 


  1. Ahmad, Aijaz. 1994. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Chatterjee, Partha. 1999. The Partha Chatterjee Omnibus. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Devi, Mahasweta. 1997. Mother of 1084. Translation by Samik Bandyopadhyay. Kolkata, SeagullGoogle Scholar
  4. Datta, Dipannita. 2013. In Search of Fairness of Justice: Contemporising Tagore and The Home and the World. In Contemporising Tagore and the World, eds. Imtiaz Ahmed, Muchkund Dubey and Veena Sikri. Dhaka: The University Press Limited.Google Scholar
  5. Datta, Dipannita. 2014. Nation and the Fairness of Justice: Tagore in Serbia. The Visva-Bharati Quarterly. Vol. 23(2 & 3), July–December, pp. 25–42.Google Scholar
  6. Datta, Dipannita. Forthcoming. Tagore’s Nationalism as the Search for the Fairness of Justice.Google Scholar
  7. Dutta, Krishna and Andrew Robinson (eds.). 1997. Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gibson, Mary Ellis. 2011. Indian Angles: English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Mahbubani, Kishore. 1998. Can Asians Think? Singapore: Times Books International.Google Scholar
  10. Nussbaum, Martha C. [1996] 2002. Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism. In For Love of Country? In a New Democracy Forum—On the Limits of Patriotism. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  11. Poddar, Arabinda. 2004. Tagore: The Political Personality. Kolkata: Indiana.Google Scholar
  12. Roy, Arundhati. 2015. Professor, P.O.W. Outlook.Google Scholar
  13. Tagore, Rabindranath. 1928. Letters to a Friend, ed. C.F. Andrews. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  14. Tagore, Rabindranath. 2004. Sadhana [1913]. New Delhi: Rupa.Google Scholar
  15. Tagore, Rabindranath. 2009. Nationalism, ed. Ramachandra Guha. Delhi: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Advanced StudyShimlaIndia
  2. 2.Kurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia
  3. 3.Department of EnglishSouthfield (Loreto) CollegeDarjeelingIndia

Personalised recommendations