ISBN 9780674417328,Righteous Republic

Righteous Republic



Harvard Universal Press

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9780674417328

ISBN-10 0674417321

Paper Back

Language (English)


What Indias founders derived from Western political traditions as theystruggled to free their country from colonial rule is widely understood.Less well-known is how Indias own rich knowledge traditions of twoand a half thousand years influenced these men as they set aboutconstructing a nation in the wake of the Raj. In Righteous Republic,Ananya Vajpeyi furnishes this missing account, a ground-breakingassessment of modern Indian political thought. Taking five of the mostimportant founding figures-Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore,Abanindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, and B.R. Ambedkar-Vajpeyi looks at how each of them turned to classical texts in order tofashion an original sense of Indian selfhood. The diverse sources inwhich these leaders and thinkers immersed themselves includedBuddhist literature, the Bhagavad Gita, Sanskrit poetry, the edicts ofEmperor Ashoka, and the artistic and architectural achievements of theMughal Empire. Indias founders went to these sources not torecuperate old philosophical frameworks but to invent new ones. InRighteous Republic, a portrait emerges of a group of innovative,synthetic, and cosmopolitan thinkers who succeeded in braidingtogether two Indian knowledge traditions, the one political andconcerned with social questions, the other religious and oriented towardtranscendence.
Within their vast intellectual, aesthetic, and moral inheritance, thefounders searched for different aspects of the self that would allowIndia to come into its own as a modern nation-state. The new republicthey envisaged would embody both Indias struggle for sovereignty andits quest for the self.
About the Author: Ananya Vajpeyi
Ananya Vajpeyi is AssociateFellow with the Centre for theStudy of Developing Societies,New Delhi