This book presents a fascinating examination of modern Indian philosophical thought from the margins. It considers the subject from two perspectives – how it has been understood beyond India and how Indian thinkers have treated Western ideas in the context of Indian society. The book discusses the concepts of the self, the other and the border that underline various debates on modernity. In this framework, it proposes the notion of the other as an enabler in taking cue from the lives of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. It focusses on the nature and compulsions of the colonised self, and its response to the body of unfamiliar and sometimes oppressive ideas. The study traces these themes with allusion to the works of Edward Said, Frantz Fanon and Krishna Chandra Bhattacharyya and the Bhagavad Gita. The author exposes the limitations in existing theories of self, the incompatibility between the slavery of self and svaraj in ideas, how the premodern village intersects modern city and democracy, the radical challenges that confront society with its accumulated social evils, inequality, hierarchy and the need for reform and non-violence.
This engaging work will be of interest to scholars and researchers of Indian philosophy, social and political philosophy, Indian political theory, postcolonialism and South Asian studies.
Dedication. Preface. Acknowledgement. Introduction Part 1: Self and Other 1. Slavery of the Spirit and Svaraj in Krishna Chandra Bhattacharyya 2. Other in the relation between Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahansa 3. Other in the relation between Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagavad Gita 4. The Colonised Self’s climb towards Svaraj: Revisiting the debate between Mahatma Gandhi and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Part 2: Border 5. A Thin Border between Pre-Modern and the Modern in India 6. Modern Democracy and Pre-Modern People 7. Social Space and Time: Calibrating Radical Ideals in a Reformist Model Conclusion References. Index