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

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Nation, Reason and Religion-India s Independence in International Perspective

Nation, Reason and Religion India's Independence in International Perspective Sugata Bose Throughout the entire course of the history of Indian anti-colonialism, religion as faith within the limits of morality, if not the limits of reason, had rarely impeded the cause of national unity and may in fact have assisted its realisation at key moments of struggle. The variegated symbols of religion as culture had enthused nationalists of many hues and colours but had seldom embittered relations between religious communities until they were flaunted to boast the power of majoritarian triumphalism. The conceits of unitary nationalism may well have caused a deeper sense of alienation among those defined as minorities than the attachment to diverse religions. The territorial claims of a minority-turned-nation heaped further confusion on the furious contest over sovereignty in the dying days of the raj. Having failed to share sovereignty in the manner of their pre-colonial forbears, late-colonial nationalist worshippers of the centralised state ended up dividing the land. Surely godless nationalism linked to the colonial categories of religious majorities and minorities has much to answer for.

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