By Christopher A. Bayly

One of many world's prime historians examines the good Indian liberal culture, stretching from Rammohan Roy within the 1820s, via Dadabhai Naoroji within the Eighteen Eighties to G. okay. Gokhale within the 1900s.

This robust new examine indicates how the information of constitutional, and later 'communitarian' liberals motivated, yet have been additionally rejected by means of their rivals and successors, together with Nehru, Gandhi, Indian socialists, radical democrats and proponents of Hindu nationalism. both, Recovering Liberties contributes to the quickly constructing box of world highbrow historical past, demonstrating that the guidelines we go along with significant Western thinkers generators, Comte, Spencer and Marx have been obtained and reworked via Indian intellectuals within the mild in their personal traditions to call for justice, racial equality and political illustration.

In doing so, Christopher Bayly throws clean mild at the nature and barriers of eu political inspiration and re-examines the origins of Indian democracy.

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Extra info for Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire (Ideas in Context, Volume 100)

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This direct engagement between radical liberal theory and the everyday lives of specific Indians was very different from the ‘distant critique’ of Warren Hastings’s trampling of Indian rights mounted by Burke a generation earlier. Buckingham’s newspaper, the Oriental Herald, humorously denounced the idea, originally floated in 1801, of setting up ‘a kind of kennel . . 10 In the thought of radicals such as Buckingham, notions of freedom, rights and representation derived from quite specific economic and legal conflicts within Britain and the wider British world.

562. , iii. 320–8. ), ‘The Bhagavad Gita and modern thought’, Modern Intellectual History, 7:2 (2010), pp. 269–73. Muzaffar Alam, The language of political Islam in India, 1200–1800 (Chicago, 2004). Recessive traditions 21 the morally empowered householder or argue for the importance of Indian counsellors to advise the British rulers. More important yet was the apparent licence that these ancient authors gave to righteous rebellion in the face of wicked rulers – arguments that surreptitiously surfaced amongst Indian critics of the colonial government during the 1857 Rebellion or the Akali Sikh revolts of the 1920s.

64 A subtle conceptual transformation had occurred here, as the privileges of groups within the caste order had been adjusted to resemble something more like the universal individual rights of classic liberalism. Yet this process in itself was an aspect of the mutual transformation of liberalism and Indian political thought. The ambivalence of the ancient texts themselves suggests that such adjustments were not new. Just as European writers employed a large range of classical, biblical, early modern and modern texts in their political debates, so, too, Indian liberals drew on Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Islamic ones in addition.

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