Chapter

Swami and Mahatma Paradigms: State and Civil Society

A. Raghuramaraju

in Debates in Indian Philosophy

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780195693027
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080359 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195693027.003.0002
Swami and Mahatma Paradigms: State and Civil Society

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The impact of colonialism on the Indian mind may be confined to mere ‘surface deterioration’ and it may be ‘potentially what it was’. The relation between Mahatma Gandhi and the pre-modern societies and the critique of modernity, in the process making the necessary route assumed by Partha Chatterjee between nationalism and Gandhi contingent, is described. The Gandhian defence of the pre-modern as well as his critique of modernity, and Swami Vivekananda's limited fascination for modernity can become an important starting point to analyse this tension that would help in better understanding the dynamics of contemporary Indian society. In addition, the differences between Vivekananda and Gandhi are noted. It particularly covers Swami paradigm and Mahatma paradigm. The celebration of India's past and the evils in Indian society are discussed. In general, the two contrasting paradigms would throw better light on the understanding of the tension that underlies the nationalist programme.

Keywords: Swami Vivekananda; Mahatma Gandhi; colonialism; Partha Chatterjee; pre-modern; modernity; nationalism

Chapter.  14854 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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