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Nationalist Ideologues, Ideas And Their Dissemination

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Chapter Summary

The discourse on nationhood woven around samaj developed in a specific socio-cultural climate and was conditioned by particular ideological and material contexts. A historicist perspective delving the social parameters underlying the discourse is used to explain its main terms and trajectories, linking social foundations and beliefs to practice, or to the world of everyday experiential realities (samaj-in-practice). The theoretical stance fuses methodologies of social and intellectual histories to trace finer interconnections at social and ideological levels to explain the roots of the literati's beliefs and ideas. This chapter endeavours to explore the social world and ideological moorings of the literati to trace why certain ideas about nationhood couched in the language of samaj emerged among them, address the issue of agency of the colonial intelligentsia and trace ideological rendezvous. Mainly drawn from the high-caste, professional, western-educated sections of Bengali society, the literati formed a select samaj in Bengal.

Keywords: Bengaliliterati; nationhood; samaj



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