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From Region To Nation: The Idea Of India

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Chapter Summary

This chapter locates late nineteenth century applications of the idea of samaj to the notion of a pan-Indian unity within a historical context. It connects late colonial India and Bengal within an explanatory grid of antecedents of samajik unities forged by medieval samajs and their interactions with colonial influences. The chapter would show how the deployment of samaj to approximate the nation implied that India was imagined through history. It illuminates ideological links between the region and the nation through the deployment of samajik values apprehended the idea of India in an emotive framework. The arrival of Aryans in India and in Bengal was given special importance in tracts on history, articles in periodicals, and even in history textbooks in late nineteenth century Bengal. The conceptual framework outlining an eastern Indian unity was an intermediate step in the conceptualisation of India.

Keywords: Aryans; colonial Bengal; Indian history; samajik unity



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