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

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Home in the World 

A Gentle Correction of Tagore by Amartya Sen

What are the implications when one takes the individual as the basic unit of analysis? Specifically, how does such an analysis relate to notions such as caste and race? If human beings are assumed to be equal in value by virtue of the very fact that they are humans, then it is the individual that must be taken as the unit of analysis, and not blanket concepts such as civilisations or religions. An analysis based on civilisations, for example, fails to acknowledge humans as equals and potential agents of change, by default.

The author is thankful to Naresh Kumar Sharma, Mark Lindley and Sajai Jose for their support in the academic work.

This article tries to demonstrate that the obvious correspondence bet­w­een the titles of Rabindranath Tagore’s novel Home and the World (1916) and Amartya Sen’s Home in the World: A Memoir (2021) is not accidental. Although written in two different historical contexts, both Tagore and Sen address larger concerns of humanity such as identity, violence, justice and so on. While it is true that Sen developed his views partially by engaging with Tagore’s own concerns on matters such as freedom and the importance of reasoning, the conclusions he draws are dia­metrically opposite to that of the poet. To demonstrate how Sen’s views vary from and often contradict those of Tagore, concepts and categories that ­recur in their works have been used in this article. As an aside, it also briefly dwells on the differing ways in which they approach names and naming. In essence, the article is a comparative study of the views of these two towering figures on vitally important and interrelated topics such as freedom, justice, equa­lity and peace, in the context of Sen’s ­recently published memoir. 

Factual, Not Emotional

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Updated On : 7th Nov, 2022
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