This book explores the life and times of the pioneering Indian sociologist Benoy Kumar Sarkar. It locates him simultaneously in the intellectual history of India and the political history of the world in the twentieth century. It focuses on the development and implications of Sarkar’s thinking on race, gender, governance and nationhood in a changing context.
A penetrating portrait of Sarkar and his age, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern Indian history, sociology, and politics.
Sen develops a sensitive and rich critique of a cosmopolitan, modernist right-wing nationalist whose nationalism incorporated Bengali, Indian, and anti-British layers, cohabiting with western nationalisms and the world. [He] disentangles each strand with admirable suppleness and precision. An excellent book. — Sumit Sarkar, former Professor of History, University of Delhi
A bold and stimulating piece of intellectual history. Sen restores one of the most fascinating, if neglected, figures of modern Indian history to current academic debates on Indian nationalism and its multifaceted global entanglements. — Harald Fischer-Tiné, Professor of Modern Global History, ETH Zürich
Satadru Sen succeeds brilliantly in explaining Sarkar’s complex views and in situating them in their historical and cultural contexts . . . a valuable effort to broaden and complicate the history of Indian nationalism. — Chandak Sengoopta, Professor of History, University of London
Sarkar emerges from Satadru Sen's engaging account not as a giant cardboard cut-out figure, but as a complex thinker of nevertheless gigantic proportions. — Benjamin Zachariah, University of Heidelberg
Introduction 1. An Indian Race 2. Wars of the Emasculated 3. A Romance of the State. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index
This series explores the intellectual history of South Asia through the lives and ideas of significant individuals within a historical context. These 'pathfinders' are seen to represent a break with existing traditions, canons and inherited histories. In fact, even the idea of South Asia with its constituent regions and linguistic and religious divisions maybe thrown into crisis as we explore the idea of territory as generated by thought. It is not cartographic limits that determine thinking but the imagining of elective affinities across space, time and borders. These thinkers are necessarily cosmopolitan and engage with a miscegenation of ideas that recasts existing notions of schools of thinking, of the archive for a history of ideas, and indeed of the very notion of national and regional limits to intellectual activity. The books in this series try to think beyond the limited frameworks of colonialism and nationalism for the modern period and more generally of histories of societies that are told through the prism of the state, its institutions and ideologies.
These slim volumes written by leading scholars are intended for the intelligent layperson and expert alike, and written in an accessible, lively and authoritative prose. Through telling the lives of celebrated names and lesser known ones in context, this series will expand the repertoire of ideas and individuals that have shaped the history and culture of South Asia.