• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In contrast to the existing literature on the subject, this book carries a context-driven conceptualization of the major strands of political thought that emerged in India in the past two centuries. It focuses on India's peculiar socio-political processes under colonialism that influenced the evolution of such thoughts. The distinguishing feature of this book is its linking of the text of Indian political thought with the context. In doing so, it challenges the ethno-centric interpretation of nationalism that despite its roots in western Enlightenment, evolved differently because of the context in which it was articulated. 

V.D. Savarkar
V.D. Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966) represented an unconventional strand of political thought in India in so far as he propounded a theory of cultural nationalism in contrast to the theory of territorial nationalism propounded by the leaders of the mainstream nationalist movement. The uniqueness of the personality and thinking of Savarkar may be gauged from the fact that while one school of thought calls him an ‘ardent nationalist, heroic revolutionary and terrorist … (who) won immortal fame by his daring political exploits in the early decades of the twentieth century’ (Varma 1964: 377), the other demonises him as ‘an angry, resentful, vengeful, violent and ...

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