ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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North Indian Intelligentsia and Hindu-Muslim Question

Conventional interpretations of the nationalist intelligentsia's attitudes to communalismfail to take account of the idiom and the cultural context in which this intelligentsia perforce had to think, an idiom and a context that were permeated by religion fin a broad, non-fanatic sense of the term). While this did not involve any automatic or inevitable 'slide-back from secular ideals, what was crucial was the manner in which the question was perceived, the very understanding of what 'communities' meant This paper seeks to illustrate this complex pattern through a study of Premchand's writings. It shows that though Premchand's was a consistently principled support to communal unity, his reactions to specific situations or issues at times deviated from this stance. It argues that a body of inherited assumptions, deeply rooted in his mind, militated against the secular nationalist values to which he was attached, andproduced an ambivalence in his responses to the Hindu-Muslim question.

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