By Ananya Vajpeyi

What India's founders derived from Western political traditions as they struggled to unfastened their state from colonial rule is commonly understood. much less famous is how India's personal wealthy wisdom traditions of 2 and a part thousand years stimulated those males as they set approximately developing a country within the wake of the Raj. In Righteous Republic, Ananya Vajpeyi furnishes this lacking account, a ground-breaking review of contemporary Indian political thought.

Taking 5 of crucial founding figures-Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, and B. R. Ambedkar-Vajpeyi seems to be at how each one of them became to classical texts with a purpose to style an unique feel of Indian selfhood. the various assets during which those leaders and thinkers immersed themselves integrated Buddhist literature, the Bhagavad Gita, Sanskrit poetry, the edicts of Emperor Ashoka, and the inventive and architectural achievements of the Mughal Empire. India's founders went to those resources to not recover previous philosophical frameworks yet to invent new ones. In Righteous Republic, a portrait emerges of a bunch of leading edge, man made, and cosmopolitan thinkers who succeeded in braiding jointly Indian wisdom traditions, the only political and anxious with social questions, the opposite spiritual and orientated towards transcendence.

Within their big highbrow, aesthetic, and ethical inheritance, the founders looked for diverse facets of the self that might enable India to return into its personal as a contemporary geographical region. the recent republic they envisaged might embrace either India's fight for sovereignty and its quest for the self.

Reviews:

A completely unique, top of the range, and pathbreaking contribution to Indian highbrow background. (Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Centre for coverage Research)

'Swaraj,' the foremost time period in Indian nationalism, refers back to the self. yet what's this self that's the topic of Indian self-rule? Ananya Vajpeyi retraces the sphere of contemporary Indian political proposal to investigate the solutions provided by means of 5 canonical figures. Her paintings is unique, acute, delicate, often unconventional, and continually delightfully readable. (Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University)

In a sequence of subtle and unique readings, Ananya Vajpeyi paints an arresting photo of the ethical imaginary contained in the culture of recent Indian political idea. opposed to the grain of a lot contemporary interpretation, Vajpeyi argues that sleek Indian political suggestion can be learn no longer via Western different types like freedom, equality, and independence, yet via sophisticated, underlying Indian categories—swaraj, viraha, samvega, dharma, artha, and duhkha. Righteous Republic bargains an unique and refined re-reading of a well-known box, and persuades us to view it in a distinct gentle. (Sudipta Kaviraj, Columbia University)

Ananya Vajpeyi's Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of recent India considerably advances our figuring out of political traditions in an enormous non-western kingdom. (Pankaj Mishra The father or mother 2012-11-23)

[Vajpeyi] reads the hunt for the self via 5 founders of contemporary India: Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, and the Tagores, Rabindranath and his nephew Abanindranath...This is a ebook that needs to be learn, not only for its arguments, that are cutting edge, and never only for its language, that's evocative, yet for its singular fulfillment in making the typical strange, and for challenging the asking of recent questions. (Manu Bhagavan IBN reside 2012-10-29)

What emerges from Righteous Republic is a feeling of the highbrow ferment in India from the flip of the 20 th century as much as Independence; the experience of fellows, not only the 5 within the booklet, pondering up and imagining a rustic, instead of simply being passed one through the British. The booklet is as a lot literary and paintings feedback because it is historical past, requiring of Vajpeyi a few agile interpreting. She makes connections her 5 principals themselves would possibly not have made, rather in her very good bankruptcy of Abanindranath Tagore, making us ponder afresh males and concepts to which we appear to have turn into inured. (Shougat Dasgupta Tehelka 2012-12-15)

Swaraj: a note pervasive within the Indian philological lexicon, originating from the Sanskrit swa, which means 'of the self,' and rajya--rule. the problem of finding out its real that means from the mix of its root verbs will be basic and but, as Ananya Vajpeyi finds in her first booklet on sleek India's political foundations, all of it will depend on assorted perceptions of nationwide accountability. Vajpeyi's specific spin at the subject has her interpreting the classical assets of notion in the back of the lessons of 5 of India's most vital founding figures: Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, his nephew Abanindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, and BR Ambedkar. The 'righteous republic' in keeping with self-rule, lower than Vajpeyi's shut research, divulges its interwoven internet blending Sanskrit poetry, Buddhist teachings, the legacies of the Emperor Ashoka and Mughal dynasties of the prior, or even the Bhagavad Gita, each one having performed a key function in shaping the political visions of those icons. regardless of confessing to the self-perceived inadequacy of her accomplished paintings in her end, there's scarcely a fault concerning the author's zest for the topic, a plus element that proves powerful in rousing this reader's personal curiosity. (Noori Passela The nationwide 2012-11-24)

Vajpeyi's quest for the resources of India's freedom fight components methods with conventional historiography at the topic in ways in which renders her paintings distinct and groundbreaking...For Vajpeyi, India's quest for freedom was once as a lot an ethical fight for selfhood as for political freedom...Righteous Republic is a riveting tale of 5 men's trips of India's wealthy previous via their 'readings' of texts and artifacts to find these different types that might flesh out for them the weighted down ambiguities of 'swaraj.' Vajpeyi pulls the reader into uncharted territory, as those 5 males seek after which locate what they have been searching for now not within the dominant western discursive different types they'd been uncovered to, yet in a pre-modern lexicon...Outstanding scholarship, imbued with modest ardour and easy originality. (Ashoak Upadhyay enterprise Line 2012-11-20)

[Vajpeyi] weaves the strands of self and sovereignty jointly to argue that Indian nationalism was once an ethical undertaking to create a righteous republic exotic through its 'solid plinth of ethical selfhood and moral sovereignty,' with out which India will be simply one other kingdom. (Kranti Saran enterprise commonplace 2012-12-14)

This is a publication that's unique, insightful and quirky. (Swapan Dasgupta Outlook 2013-01-21)

[An] terribly formidable and memorable book...Vajpeyi's engagement with those seminal figures for contemporary Indian political suggestion is scaffolded on a collection of unequivocally said foundational claims that problem a few of the loved ideas governing the learn of South Asia within the Indian and Anglo-American academies... Vajpeyi reads every one founding father's deeply felt engagement with culture, instantly cerebral and visceral, in the course of the lens of key suggestions which are, importantly, not only political yet aesthetic, moral, ethical, and spiritual...Each analyzing, to which a bankruptcy is dedicated, is a masterpiece, combining cautious philological and ancient paintings, deft shut studying, and incisive political research and brimming with fabulous, frequently counter-intuitive insights...Provocative, awesome, and erudite, an impressive analyzing of readings, Righteous Republic itself stands as a foundational paintings of scholarship. (Rohit Chopra Sunday father or mother 2012-12-29)

This is a vital booklet since it takes the discourse on Indian background past the area of politics and sociology and dips into principles, specifically, the humanities. (Salil Tripathi Mint 2013-01-26)

Ananya Vajpeyi's Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of contemporary India is a booklet that everybody drawn to the evolution of the guidelines that formed the fashionable Indian country should still learn. (Manjula Narayan Hindustan occasions 2013-01-26)

This is a needs to learn for these drawn to India's sleek highbrow background. (Gitanjali Surendran Indian exhibit 2013-02-02)

The Righteous Republic creates a flooring from which the ethical in smooth Indian conceptions of selfhood and the founding second of the sovereign Republic can in all probability be inspiration anew. (Tridip Suhrud Seminar 2013-02-01)

Most historians credits liberal principles from Britain, absorbed by way of the Western-oriented Indian elite, with giving start to fashionable India. (The Congress celebration of Gandhi and Nehru was once based on the advice of A.O. Hume, a British civil servant, in 1885.) Few are conscious of the level to which nationalist leaders grew to become to Indic texts to restore Indians' experience of collective selfhood, and the way widely those formed their very own political perform and the country's post-independence social compact. (Sudha Koul Wall road magazine 2013-02-25)

Ananya Vajpeyi's Righteous Republic is sort of easily crucial interpretation of the evolution of India's modern nationhood on the grounds that Sunil Khilnani's the assumption of India, and an invaluable antidote to the revisionist Imperialism of emerging British star-historians like Andrew Roberts and Niall Ferguson...Fluently written, cogent in argument, studded with penetrating insights, telling aphorisms, with whole mastery of her fabric, always fabulous expression and exposition, this younger philosopher-historian takes her definitive position as a commentator and synthesizer of the customarily different and contradictory techniques to the belief of India. (Mani Shankar Aiyar monetary convey 2013-02-24)

Ananya Vajpeyi's Righteous Republic is a special addition to the discourse round the subject matters of India's negotiation with its colonial previous and its current political framework...Vajpeyi excels at what she does within the current quantity, although, and the booklet is educated with excessive criteria of highbrow rigour, analytical acuity and--last yet not at all the least--an eminently readable, approximately jargon-free prose. (Suparna Banerjee The Hindu 2013-04-09)

In this inspiring and impressive paintings, Ananya Vajpeyi charts out an cutting edge and

fresh route to procedure the assumption of contemporary India, one who particularly shines simply because of

its ingenuity and simplicity...The venture is mainly distinct simply because there was no culture of considering the proposal of the self, in particular in a political experience, in India...Vajpeyi has given us a compelling argument to reconsider the political foundations of contemporary India. certainly, Vajpeyi's paintings convincingly illustrates that India's precolonial earlier concerns up to its colonial history.

(Arvind Elangovan magazine of Asian reports 2013-05-01)

Righteous Republic is compelling studying approximately India and its ideological moorings within the making of, in the course of and during the independence movement... Righteous Republic is a publication of its personal type, written through a historian; it circumambulates a number of disciplinary terrains: artwork background, cultural feedback, literary idea, non secular reviews, and political and cultural background. It additionally makes use of poetry, work, work of art, non secular texts and archaeological unearths for narrative and research. And but, in protecting a number of canvasses in drawing up a fancy photograph, Vajpeyi doesn't lose the focal point of her learn layout. a posh topic, handled in a multidisciplinary viewpoint, defined with unique and evocative arguments, but written in lucid and imaginitive language, the booklet is key examining not just for pro social scientists, but in addition for somebody attracted to comprehending India's ideological moorings in a clean perspective.
(Ajay ok. Mehra India foreign Centre Quarterly 2013-07-01)

Righteous Republic makes an enormous contribution to the present literature and will be learn via those that really are looking to comprehend extra concerning the earlier and found in Indian political notion. This rigorously crafted and lucidly written e-book strikes past exploring the modern essence of Indian suggestion via taking a look right into a enormous array of principles on democracy, tradition, faith, ethnic traditions, nationalist aspirations and identities. it's in all a superb piece of literary scholarship that offers readers a chance to interact in sustained and in-depth exploration of a subject matter that has acquired scant therapy through scholars.
(Vidhu Verma The publication assessment 2013-02-01)

Vajpeyi is an in depth and interpretative reader of texts and of work. She strives consistently to be unique and writes evocatively. Readers trying to find definitive solutions can be disillusioned. Vajpeyi calls for that her readers subscribe to her within the trip in the direction of the darkish cave of meaning.
(Rudrangshu Mukherjee The Telegraph 2013-09-13)

What Vajpeyi's research does so admirably is to deepen our clutch of the way the class of the Indian self, which serves because the foundation for what's Indian approximately 'the people,' got here to be imagined by way of the makers of recent India. simply as American connotations of phrases like 'freedom' and 'equality' are deeply embedded within the American historical past of slavery, empire, and capitalism, Vajpeyi's research offers us with an process for greedy the conceptual vocabulary formed via India's historical past of colonialism and nationalism.
(Vivek Bhandari Democratic international 2013-03-01)

Brilliant and intensely engaging...Through a effective blend of shut literary interpreting and ideal sociopolitical and methodological research, Vajpeyi places ahead a coherent narrative, that's the tale of the formula of the Indian highbrow self...[A] lucid and unique argument.
(Angshukanta Chakraborty Millennium put up 2013-09-08)

Magisterial. (Mani Shankar Aiyar Outlook India 2014-01-13)

An enticing highbrow background that is helping us greater comprehend 21st-century India. Vajpeyi examines 5 giants occupied with the founding of the republic in 1950--Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Bhimrao Ambedkar--who all drew suggestion from indigenous traditions as they strove to craft a postcolonial Indian id. (Jeff Kingston Japan instances 2014-01-11)

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Extra info for Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India

Sample text

Using “Indic” instead of “Indian” allows us to displace the nation from the center of our understanding of the political tradition in which we are locating India’s founders, while at the same time differentiating this political tradition from a Western political tradition (especially in its liberal, socialist, and Marxist strands), which also had a deep impact upon Indian political modernity. “Indic” has the advantage of capturing the fluctuating geospatial unit we intend, in the longue durée, with a broad array of languages, religions, and cultures, without restricting our reference to the most recent phase of Indian history, defined by the colonization of the subcontinent, followed by the creation of the modern nation-states of India and Pakistan upon the end of British rule.

I am especially interested in a number of poetic symbols that Tagore evolves over the course of his literary career to signify classical India, ancient Indian history, and the disjuncture and pathos that characterize the relationship between India’s present and her past. I also look at a set of paintings by Rabindranath’s nephew Abanindranath, that show Shah Jahan contemplating his most famous architectural legacy, the Taj Mahal, at different stages of its construction. I examine these paintings in close connection with a poem by Rabindranath that also frames the Mughal emperor and his monument to love, again to reflect on the gulf that separates us from our history, fracturing and dispersing the self, and on the inconsolable yearning of the human imagination for an integration between time present and time past.

I am especially interested in a number of poetic symbols that Tagore evolves over the course of his literary career to signify classical India, ancient Indian history, and the disjuncture and pathos that characterize the relationship between India’s present and her past. I also look at a set of paintings by Rabindranath’s nephew Abanindranath, that show Shah Jahan contemplating his most famous architectural legacy, the Taj Mahal, at different stages of its construction. I examine these paintings in close connection with a poem by Rabindranath that also frames the Mughal emperor and his monument to love, again to reflect on the gulf that separates us from our history, fracturing and dispersing the self, and on the inconsolable yearning of the human imagination for an integration between time present and time past.

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