ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nationalism - Boon or Curse?

I read Amartya Sen’s ‘Is Nationalism a Boon or a Curse?’ with as much interest as his writings deserve. But on a few points I tend to have a somewhat different view.

Firstly, the way he associates Subhash Chandra Bose with “the hugely appealing face of nationalism” or Gandhi with a “universalising potential in nationalism” or even Tagore on the role of nationalism to “overcome the worst form of bondage” to which India was subjected under British imperialism ignores three radically different concepts of nationalism during the independence movement. Tagore was in many respects prophetic in warning against the implications of turning a great civilisation like India into a nation. However, since he was not a political activist, he did not build a separate platform to propagate his view.

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