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Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History$
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Darrin M. McMahon and Samuel Moyn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769230

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769230.001.0001

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Global Intellectual History and the Indian Political

Global Intellectual History and the Indian Political

Chapter:
(p.253) 13 Global Intellectual History and the Indian Political
Source:
Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History
Author(s):

Shruti Kapila

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769230.003.0013

In specifying the global as a historical and philosophical condition of the twentieth century, this essay situates India as methodologically instructive for the study of major political concepts ranging from liberalism to democracy. The centrality of conflict and rupture as productive for political projects of the twentieth century is emphasized in relation to current metaphors and methods of global history, be they circulation and exchange or dialogue and dissent. The primacy of the political, in the Indian context, is elaborated in relation to the ethical and the social encompassing issues of violence and nonviolence. The parting with history conditioned the ideological innovation of twentieth-century India that radically reappraised, as it rejected, inherited political vocabularies of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Precisely because it was without precedent, this essay argues, agonism appeared as the enduring form of the world’s largest democracy.

Keywords:   agonism, B.R. Ambedkar, Alain Badiou, Bhagavad Gita, democracy, event, fraternity, Mohandas Gandhi, global intellectual history, India, national, Jawaharlal Nehru, nonviolence, sacrifice, subject, B.G. Tilak, violence, war

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