Carey Anthony Watt

in Serving the Nation

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195668025
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081905 | DOI:

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This chapter illustrates how the development of an associational culture relates to the shaping of Indian society and the conceptualization of the Indian ‘nation.’ The author discusses the views of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Annie Besant, and Madan Mohan Malviya regarding the importance of social service organizations in the consolidation of Indian civil society, and the raising of political awareness among the young. The author emphasizes that the patriotism inherent in social service contributed to Indian nation building. He describes how, because of these associations, M.K. Gandhi was able to mobilize vast numbers of patriotic students and youth in protests against British rule. How institutionally disparate Hindu and Muslim volunteer organizations often worked together is also described. The author concludes by stating that the proliferation of social service institutions in early twentieth century India assumed greater and greater control over national life, and ‘hollowed out’ the colonial state from within, thus diminishing its authority and legitimacy.

Keywords: Gopal Krishna Gokhale; Indian nation-building; Annie Besant; Madan Mohan Malviya; Indian civil society; Arya Samaj; colonial demise

Chapter.  13501 words. 

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