programme

Modern Indian Political Thought

Home/ Modern Indian Political Thought
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreNA4

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon semester 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Javed Iqbal Wani

Email of course coordinator: javed@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: Based on the study of individual thinkers, the course introduces a selection of thinkers and themes that define the modernity of Indian political thought. The objective is to study general themes that have been produced by thinkers from varied social, political, and temporal contexts.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of some of the main ideas of key thinkers in modern India.

2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the socio-political context in which the ideas emerged.

3. Participate and contribute through class discussions and research papers on themes around these thinkers in modern India and assess their impact on contemporary political thinking.

Brief description of modules/ main modules:

The course will comprise of four modules:

Module I (3 Weeks)

The module will engage with the reformation period in nineteenth century India and will examine the implications of reformist discourse in the face of colonialism.

Understanding Modern Indian Political Thought (Orientation lectures 1 week)

Rammohan Roy: Colonialism and the emergence of reformism in India (1 week)

Pandita Ramabai: The ‘women’ question in the age of ‘reform’ (1 week)

Readings:

Week 1

Orientation lectures: Understanding Modern Indian Political Thought

Readings:

  • Mehta, V.R. and Pantham, Thomas (eds.) (2006) ‘A Thematic Introduction to Political Ideas in Modern India: Thematic Explorations, History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian civilization’ Vol: 10, Part: 7, New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. xxvii-ixi.
  • Dalton, D., (1982) ‘Continuity of Innovation’, in Indian Idea of Freedom: Political Thought of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Academic Press: Gurgaon, pp. 1-28.

Week 2

  • Rammohan Roy: Colonialism and the emergence of reformism in India
  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp 26-48
  • Bayly, C. A. (2010) ‘Rammohan and the Advent of Constitutional Liberalism in India 1800-1830’, in Kapila, Shruti (ed.) An intellectual History for India. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, pp. 18- 34.
  • Pantham, Thomas (1986) ‘The Socio-Religious Thought of Rammohan Roy’, in Pantham, Thomas and Deutsch, Kenneth I. (eds.) Political Thought in Modern India. New Delhi: Sage, pp.32-52.

 

Further reading:

  • Sarkar, Sumit (1985) ‘Rammohan Roy and the break With the Past’, in A Critique on colonial India. Calcutta: Papyrus, pp. 1-17.

 

Week 3

  • Pandita Ramabai: The ‘women’ question in the age of ‘reform’
  • Ramabai, Pandita (1981) The High-Caste Hindu Woman, Bombay: Maharashtra State Board for Literature and Culture, Chapter VI and Chapter VII.
  • Kosambi, Meera (1988) ‘Women’s Emancipation and Equality: Pandita Ramabai’s Contribution to Women’s Cause’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 23, No. 44: Oct., pp. 38-49.

 

Further reading:

  • Omvedt, Gail (2008) ‘Ramabai: Women in the Kingdom of God’, in Seeking Begumpura: The Social Vision of Anti Caste Intellectuals. New Delhi: Navayana.pp. 205-224.
  • Chakravarti, Uma (2007) Pandita Ramabai - A Life and a Time. New Delhi: Critical Quest, pp. 1-40.

 

Module II (3 Weeks)

  • Nationalist discourse offered very compartmentalized notions of nation and nationalism. Gandhi and Tagore offered a critique of such approaches. This module will discuss those critiques or alternative visions.
  • Gandhi: Swaraj (02 weeks)
  • Tagore: Critique of Nationalism (01 week)

 

Readings:

Week 4 & 5

  • Gandhi: Swaraj
  • Gandhi, Mahatma. (2009) Swaraj, Rajpal Publishing, pages 84.
  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp 148-184; pp281-308
  • Gandhi, M. K. (1991) ‘Satyagraha: Transforming Unjust Relationships through the Power of the Soul’, Hay, S. (ed.) Sources of Indian Tradition. Vol. 2. Second Edition. N. Delhi: Penguin, pp. 265-270.
  • Parel, Anthony J. (ed.) (2002) ‘Introduction’, in Gandhi, freedom and Self Rule. Delhi: Vistaar Publication.
  • Dalton, Dennis (1982) Indian Idea of Freedom: Political Thought of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. Gurgaon: The Academic Press, pp. 154- 190.

 

Further reading:

  • Terchek, Ronald (2002) ‘Gandhian Autonomy in Late Modern World’, in Parel, Anthony J. (ed.) Gandhi, Freedom and Self Rule. Delhi: Sage.

 

Week 6

Tagore: Critique of Nationalism

  • Tagore, R.N. (1917) ‘Nationalism in India’ in Nationalism, San Francisco: The Book Club of California, pp 117-154.
  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp 185- 203
  • Tagore, R. (1994) ‘The Nation’, Das, S. K. (ed.) The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Vol. 3, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, pp. 548-551.
  • Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi. (1997) The Mahatma and the Poet: Letter and Debtaes between Gandhi and Tagore, NBT, pages 210.

 

Further reading:

  • Chakravarty, Radharaman (1986) ‘Tagore, Politics and Beyond’, in Pantham, Thomas and Deutsch, Kenneth I. (eds.) Political Thought in Modern India. New Delhi: Sage, pp. 177- 191.
  • Radhakrishnan, Manju and Debasmita (2003) ‘Nationalism is a Great Menace: Tagore and Nationalism’ in Hogan, Patrick, Colm and Pandit, Lalita (eds.) Rabindranath Tagore: Universality and Tradition. London: Rosemont Publishing and Printing Corporation, pp. 29-39.
  • Nandy, Ashis (1994) ‘Rabindranath Tagore & Politics of Self’, in Illegitimacy of Nationalism. Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-50.

 

Module III (2 Weeks)

This module will offer a perspective on the theme of community and nation. Communalism remained one of the major challenges to the nationalist discourse. Communal discourse argued notions of inclusion and exclusion, which become quite evident in the political writings of Iqbal and Savarkar.

  • Iqbal: Community (01 week)
  • Savarkar: Hindutva (01 week)

 

Readings:

Week 7

Iqbal: Community

  • Iqbal, M. (1991) ‘Speeches and Statements’, Hay, S. (ed.) Sources of Indian Tradition. Vol. 2. Second Edition. N. Delhi: Penguin, pp. 218-222.
  • Engineer, Asghar Ali (1980) ‘Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’, Social Scientist, Vol.8, No.8, March, pp. 52-63.

 

Further reading:

  • Gordon-Polonskya, L. R. (1971) ‘Ideology of Muslim Nationalism’, in Malik, Hafiz (ed.) Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 108- 134.
  • Madani (2005) Composite Nationalism and Islam. New Delhi: Manohar, pp. 66-91.

 

Week 8

Savarkar: Hindutva

  • Savarkar, V.D. (2003) Hindutva, Hindi Sahitya Sadan, pages 141.
  • Sharma, Jyotirmaya (2003) Hindutva: Exploring the Idea of Hindu Nationalism. Delhi: Penguin, pp. 124-172.
  • Further reading:
  • Keer, Dhananjay (1966) Veer Savarkar. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, pp. 223-250.

 

Module IV

One of the significant outcomes of the nationalist discourse in modern India is that it resulted in a radical discussion around the notion of Democratic Socialism. Political thought of Nehru, Ambedkar and Lohia, engage with ideas of inclusion, secularism and social justice.

  • Nehru: Secularism (02 weeks)
  • Ambedkar: Social Justice (01 weeks)
  • Lohia: Socialism (1 week)

 

Readings:

Week 9 and 10

Nehru: Secularism

  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp326-369
  • Nehru, J. L. (1991) ‘Selected Works’, Hay, S. (ed.) Sources of Indian Tradition. Vol. 2. Second Edition. N. Delhi: Penguin, pp. 317-319.
  • Pillai, R.C. (1986) ‘Political thought of Jawaharlal Nehru’, in Pantham, Thomas and Deutsch Kenneth I. (eds.) Political Thought in Modem India. New Delhi: Sage, pp. 260- 274.
  • Zachariah, Benjamin (2004) Nehru. London: Routledge Historical Biographies, pp. 169-213.

 

Further reading:

  • Chatterjee, Partha (1986) ‘The Moment of Arrival: Nehru and the Passive Revolution’, in Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? London: Zed Books, pp. 131-166

 

Week 11

Ambedkar: Social Justice

  • Ambedkar, B.R. (2013) Annihilation of Caste, Samyak, Pages 101.
  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp 204-227.
  • Ambedkar, B. R. (1991) ‘Constituent Assembly Debates’, Hay, S. (ed.) Sources of Indian Tradition. Vol. 2. Second Edition. N. Delhi: Penguin, pp. 342-347.
  • Rodrigues, Valerian (2007) ‘Good society, Rights, Democracy Socialism’, in Thorat, Sukhdeo and Aryama (eds.) Ambedkar in Retrospect - Essays on Economics, Politics and Society. Jaipur: IIDS and Rawat Publications.

 

Further reading:

  • Chatterjee, Partha (2005) ‘Ambedkar and the Troubled times of Citizenship’, in Mehta, V. R. and Pantham, Thomas (eds.) Political ideas in modern India: Thematic Explorations. New Delhi: Sage, pp. 73-92.
  • Mungekar, Bhalachandra (2007) ‘Quest for Democratic Socialism’, in Thorat, Sukhdeo and Aryana (eds.) Ambedkar in Retrospect - Essays on Economics, Politics and Society. Jaipur: IIDS and Rawat Publications, pp. 121-142.

Week 12

Lohia: Socialism Essential readings

  • Guha Ramchandra(ed.) (2010), Makers of Modern India, Penguin India, pp385-403.
  • Sinha, Sachidananda, (2010) ‘Lohia’s Socialism: An underdog’s perspective’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No. 40, October 02 - October 08, pp. 51-55.
  • Kumar, Anand (2010) ‘Understanding Lohia’s Political Sociology: Intersectionality of Caste, Class, Gender and Language Issue’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No. 40, October 02 - October 08, pp. 64-70.

 

Further reading:

  • Anees, Mukhtar, Dixit, Vijayakant, (1984) (eds.) Lohia: Many Faceted Personality, Rammanohar Lohia Smarak Smiti.

 

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Take home assignment (or class tests): 20
  • Mid-term exam: 30
  • End-term exam:40
  • Class participation:10

 

Reading List:

Provided above with module descriptions