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Serving the NationCultures of Service, Association and Citizenship$
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Carey Anthony Watt

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195668025

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195668025.001.0001

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The Relevance of Social Service in Indian History

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Serving the Nation

Carey Anthony Watt

Oxford University Press

The Introduction outlines the background for social service and philanthropy in colonial India during the 1910s. It mentions the four main groups under scrutiny in the book: the Arya Samaj, the Theosophical Society, the Seva Samiti, and the Servants of India. It also explores the broader social, political and cultural relevance of social service associations, including their implications for the nationalist movement as well as the shaping of India’s ‘civil society’. It also elaborates how traditional living traditions of dana, seva, karmayoga and brahmacharya combine with global developments in organized philanthropy meant for the larger public good. It describes the promotion of a vibrant ‘associational culture’ as linked to notions of active citizenship. It also points out that the emergence of an organized voluntary sector and vibrant public life occurred at the same time as developments in the field globally. An overview of the chapters included in this book ends the Introduction.

Keywords:   Indian social service, colonial north India, seva, dana, Indian civil society, Indian nationalist movement, Indian philanthropic associations

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