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Another AsiaRabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin$
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Rustom Bharucha

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195682854

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195682854.001.0001

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(p.51) 2 Nationalism
Another Asia

Rustom Bharucha

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with nationalism in a confrontationist mode. It raises some critical questions around Rabindranath Tagore's silence in relation to Okakura Tenshin's representation of Asia. It considers Tagore's envisioning of swadeshi through one of his most powerful essays, ‘Swadeshi Samaj’, and Bharatbarsha, another motif in Tagore's rhetoric that is drawn from the larger archetypes of the swadeshi movement. Tagore's anti-nationalism continues to bewilder, if not outrage, his most respectful critics, in addition to his more sceptical devotees. From a philosophical reflection, Tagore's views on the nation gradually hardened from the idealization of samaj in the swadeshi period, through the failure of the swadeshi movement, into his withdrawal from the ethos of nationalism.

Keywords:   Rabindranath Tagore, Okakura Tenshin, Asia, Swadeshi Samaj, Bharatbarsha, anti-nationalism

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