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Religion, Community And Nation: Hindu Consciousness And Nationalism In Colonial Punjab

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Item Code: HAN960
Author: K.L.Tuteja
Publisher: Primus Books, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789390737857
Pages: 385
Other Details 9.5x6.5 inch
Weight 644 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Religion, Community and Nation: Hindu Consciousness and Nationalism in Colonial Punjab examines the emergence and growth of a Hindu communitarian identity in Punjab and its interface with the nationalist discourse and the anti-colonial struggle from the late nineteenth century to the closing years of the 1920s. An attempt has been made to understand and explain how different sections of the new Hindu elite, having developed a distinct communitarian identity, negotiated with the ideology of inclusive nationalism and the anti-imperialist struggle represented by the Congress. However, the Hindu consciousness that emerged and evolved in colonial Punjab was far from monolithic and represented divergent perceptions. One of the trends that dominated the Hindu discourse and polity, described in this study as the 'nationalist-communitarian' perspective, was led by Lala Lajpat Rai. This volume also takes a fresh look at the position of Lala Lajpat Rai in the context of the shifts taking place in Hindu identity politics as well as in the nationalist movement.

About the Author

K.L. Tuteja is former Professor of modern Indian history, Kurukshetra University. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago (2002-4); El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City (2012); and the Central University of Hyderabad (2013). He has been a Senior Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi (2009-11) and a Tagore Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2014-16).


THIS STUDY SEEKS to examine the emergence and growth of Hindu communitarian identity in colonial Punjab from the 1870s to the late 1920s. It looks closely at the nature of Hindu identity that was redefined or constructed under the new conditions that emerged after the establishment of colonial rule in Punjab and also focuses on the shifts that took place in the Hindu consciousness at different times and stages in colonial Punjab in particular and the country as a whole. The historical processes by which this consciousness was structured and restructured and the discourse that was evolved for this purpose are the major concerns of this exploration. In fact, the study of Hindu consciousness in colonial Punjab is significant not only because it grew in a powerful manner in this region but also because some specificities of its nature and growth were sharply revealed here.

Second, the present study explores the dynamics of interaction between the Hindu communitarian identity and the national movement spearheaded by the Indian National Congress from the late nineteenth century. Further, it attempts to understand how and in what way Hindu consciousness at different stages impacted the nationalist movement and its discourse of inclusive nationalism. Conversely, it strives to understand how the precise nature of Hindu consciousness and its different trends were influenced by the growth of Indian nationalism in Punjab and the country.

The period of this study, starting from the rise of the Arya Samaj to the passing away of Lala Lajpat Rai in 1928, is significant in the sense that a large number of urban Hindus, deeply conscious of their communitarian identity, were also actively involved in the national movement.

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