1st Edition

Tagore, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism Perceptions, Contestations and Contemporary Relevance

Edited By Mohammad A. Quayum Copyright 2020
    300 Pages
    by Routledge India

    300 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book is a fresh examination of Rabindranath Tagore’s ideas on nationalism and his rhetoric of cosmopolitanism. It critically analyses the poetics and the politics of his works and specifically responds to Tagore’s three lectures on nationalism delivered during the early years of the twentieth century and later compiled in his book Nationalism (1917).

    This volume:

    • Discusses Tagore’s perception of nationalism – the many-sidedness of his engagement with nationalism, the root causes of his anathema against the ideology, ambiguities and limitations associated with his perception and his alternative vision of cosmopolitanism or global unity;

    • Cross-examines an alternative view of cosmopolitanism based on Tagore’s inclusivist ideology to “seek my compatriots all over the world”;

    • Explores how his ideas on nationalism and cosmopolitanism found myriad expressions across his works – in prose, fiction, poetry, travelogue, songs – as well as in the legacy of cinematic adaptations of his writings;

    • Investigates the relevance of Tagore’s thoughts on nationalism and cosmopolitanism in relation to the contemporary rise of religious, nationalist and sectarian violence in the twenty-first century.

    A key study on the relevance of Tagore’s political philosophy in the contemporary world with contributions from eminent Tagore scholars in South Asia as well as the West, this book will be of great interest to readers and researchers in the fields of literature, political science, cultural studies, philosophy and Asian studies.


    Mohammad A. Quayum

    Part I: Tagore, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Perceptions, Contestations, Ambiguities, Limitations and Contemporary Relevance

    1. Antinomies of Nationalism and Rabindranath Tagore

    Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

    2. Rabindranath Tagore’s Engagement with Nationalism

    Serajul Islam Chowdhury

    3. Imagining "One World": Rabindranath Tagore’s Critique of Nationalism

    Mohammad A. Quayum

    4. Visva-Bharati: Tagore’s Response to Aggressive Nationalism?

    Kathleen M. O’Connell

    5. Nationalism Then and Now: An Exploration of Tagore’s Relevance Today

    Christine Marsh

    6. Pilgrim Man: Rabindranath Tagore’s Cosmopolitanism and Cosmic Consciousness

    Narasingha P. Sil

    7. Tagore, Cosmopolitanism and Secular Ethic

    Satish C. Aikant

    8. For Love of Country: Debating Martha Nussbaum on Cosmopolitanism in Tagore

    Bindu Puri

    Part II: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Interrogating the Genres

    9. Rabindranath Tagore: Nationalism and Poetry – Message of Universal Humanism

    Shanta Acharya

    10. "Hungry Stone": Colonial Uncanny and the Return of the Repressed

    Dipankar Roy

    11. Narrating Nation, Society, Cosmopolitanism and Culture: A Study of Three Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

    Lalita Pandit Hogan

    12. Finding One’s Home Abroad: Tagore’s Thinking on Nation in the Travelogues to Japan and Persia

    Anindya Bhattacharya

    13. On Music and Memory: Rabindranath Tagore’s Songs of Nature in the Age of Nationalism

    Saurav Dasthakur

    14. Cinematic Representations of Rabindranath Tagore’s Views of Nationalism: The Figure of the "Patriot" in Ghare Baire and Elar Char Adhyay

    Srimati Mukherjee


    Mohammad A. Quayum is Professor of English at International Islamic University Malaysia and Adjunct Professor at Flinders University and the University of South Australia. His books on Tagore include Beyond Boundaries: Critical Essays on Rabindranath Tagore (2014), and Rabindranath Tagore: The Ruined Nest and Other Stories (trans.; 2014).