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A Freethinking Cultural NationalistA Life History of Rahul Sankrityayan$
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Alaka Atreya Chudal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466870.001.0001

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Rahul Sankrityayan in the Context of His Age

Rahul Sankrityayan in the Context of His Age

(p.1) Introduction Rahul Sankrityayan in the Context of His Age
A Freethinking Cultural Nationalist

Alaka Atreya Chudal

Oxford University Press

This chapter locates Rahul Sankrityayan in the age of nationalism and shows that the space Sankrityayan occupied within that discourse still needs to be more fully investigated. Within the historical context of the first half of 20th-century India, Sankrityayan stands out as a sui generis Indian nationalist. Each of the major stages of his life represents a link in the process of his struggle to fulfil his nationalist ideals. The chapter outlines the background to Sankrityayan’s major social and political turnings—from sadhu to Arya Samajist to Buddhist to secularist to Marxist socialist, all while being a prolific writer and avid traveller—presenting them as being in tandem with the development of his nationalist sentiment.

Keywords:   Rahul Sankrityayan, cultural nationalism, 20th-century India, Indian history, nationalism

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