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Tagore, Nationalism and Imperialism

  • Sukanta Chaudhuri
Chapter

Abstract

Tagore’s 1900 poem ‘Shatabdir shesh surjya’ (‘The century’s last sun’) is an early example of a reflective critique of international conflict and imperialism, whose distinctive features are violence and greed. Its driving ideology is nationalism. While trying to define ‘nation’, Tagore notes that there is no Bengali or indeed Indian equivalent. For him, this becomes an occasion to define a civilizational distinction. Explaining how militant nationalism is essentially destructive, he envisages this global nightmare in Crisis in Civilization. At the same time, the harmonizing principle he finds in Indian history is also analysed critically in terms of a greater, more absolute humanity.

Keywords

Nationalism Colonialism Imperialism Civilization studies Nationhood 

References

  1. Crisis. 1941. Rabindranath Tagore, Crisis in Civilization. Santiniketan: Santiniketan Press.Google Scholar
  2. EW. 1994–2007. The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, ed. Sisir Kumar Das, vol. 1–3 and Nityapriya Ghosh, vol. 4. Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.Google Scholar
  3. Hay, Stephen N. 1970. Asian Ideals of East and West: Tagore and His Critics in Japan, China and India. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. SP. 2004. Rabindranath Tagore, Selected Poems, ed. Sukanta Chaudhuri. Oxford Tagore Translations, Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Twain, Mark. 1901. To the Person Sitting in Darkness. North American Review, February 1901.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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