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Indian Philosophy in EnglishFrom Renaissance to Independence$
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Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769261

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199769261.001.0001

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A. K. Coomaraswamy, “Indian Nationality” (1909)

A. K. Coomaraswamy, “Indian Nationality” (1909)

(p.67) 4 A. K. Coomaraswamy, “Indian Nationality” (1909)
Indian Philosophy in English

Nalini Bhushan

Jay L. Garfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an excerpt from Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy's 1909 essay, “Indian Nationality,” in which he argues for an Indian national identity grounded not on race but on geography and culture. Coomaraswamy was born in Sri Lanka to a Sri Lankan father and an English mother. Most of his life was spent in Boston, where he was curator of Asian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He was a noted art historian and aesthetician but also addressed Indian national identity and was active in the independence movement. In his essay, Coomaraswamy explores geographical unity and a common historic evolution or culture as the two essentials of nationality—both of which India possesses superabundantly. He also talks about Hindus and Hindu culture as well as the role played by Muhammadans and Persi-Arabian culture in the historic evolution of India.

Keywords:   culture, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, India, nationality, national identity, race, geography, geographical unity, Hindus, Muhammadans

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