The Partha Chatterjee Omnibus

The Partha Chatterjee Omnibus

Product ID: 2580

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Author: Partha Chatterjee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 301
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195651561


This omnibus comprises three of Partha Chatterjee's finest works and marks a significant phase in the intellectual journey of one of India's foremost political scientists.

The common thread that unites the three books is the principal object of study which is the existing nation-state. The first 'Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World' traces the 'ideological history' of the Indian nation-state from its conception to its fruition. To the author, the 'end of the story', I.e. the birth of the nation-state, was what was known and needed to be problematized. The second work, 'The Nation and Its Fragments, through a series of interventions in different disciplinary fields, converged upon the same object - the Indian nation-state as it had developed after four decades of its post-colonial career. The last, 'A Possible India' is a more strategic and contingent, and hence more actively political, engagement with the object of analysis - namely, the present career and crisis of the Indian nation-state.

'Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World' first published in 1986, has attained the status of a classic. In this significant book, the author criticizes Western theories of Third World nationalism - both liberal and Marxist, demonstrating how Western concepts of nationalism have imposed themselves on non-Western peoples. He shows, in the context of India, how nationalism remained dominated by the very structure of power it sought to repudiate.

Carrying his argument further in 'The Nation and Its Fragments' ,m Chatterjee points out that scholars have been mistaken in looking for nationalism only in the political domain of the state. He shows how the nationalists sought to create a new 'nationalist' modernity around the institution of language, religion, literature, art, education and the family.

In 'A Possible India, using a variety of stylistic genres - essays, commentaries, book reviews, journal entries - a panoptic view of long term changes in the overall system as well as close and detailed observations of fifty years of Indian politics since independence is offered. The book's concern is to develop a perspective on democracy in India, not in the clichT-ridden sense of government of, by and for the people, but as the politics of the governed.

Taken together, all three books investigate the relation between rulers and peoples within the imagined-into-reality framework of the Indian nation. Written in an engaging and original style, this collection is invaluable for all those interested in the ideas and politics of colonialism and postcolonialism.


'Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World'

Brilliant, globally learned, uncompromising, lucid. Required reading for any one interested in the history, theory, and politics of nationalism. - - Gayatri Spivak

An important book, lucidly written from a critical Marxist perspective. - - Economic and Political Weekly

'The Nation and Its Fragments'

It is a work of magisterial erudition, the product of a mind working at the fullest command of its critical powers . . It is written with deft authority, in a prose that is as elegant as it is passionate. - - Amitav Ghosh in The Telegraph

Lay readers with a taste for relevant, lucidly argued social theory will find it a treat, while academics will surely recognize it as a significant event in contemporary cultural criticism. - - The Hindu

'A Possible India'

A rather unusual collection of very different kinds of writings by Chatterjee written over twenty-one years. - - Biblio

Is informed by a sense of optimism, of not only patriotic faith in the Indian people but also a realistic assessment of the weaknesses and strengths of India as a nation. - - The Pioneer




Nationalism as a Problem in the History of Political Ideas

The Thematic and the Problematic

The Moment of Departure: Culture and Power in the thought of Bankimchandra

The Moment of Manoeuvre: Gandhi and the Critique of Civil Society

The Moment of Arrival: Nehru and the Passive Revolution

The Cunning of Reason




Preface and Acknowledgments

Whose Imagined Community?

The Colonial State

The Nationalist Elite

The Nation and Its Pasts

Histories and Nations

The Nation and Its Women

Women and the Nation

The Nation and Its Peasants

The Nation and Its Outcasts

The National State

Communities and the Nation





The Indian Big Bourgeoisie:
Comprador or National?

The Nehru Era

Indian Democracy and Bourgeois Reaction

Nineteen Seventy Seven

Charan Singh’s Politics

Some New elements in India’s Parliamentary Democracy

Indira Gandhi: The Final Year

The Writing on the Wall

Rajiv’s Regime: The Rise

The Politics of Appropriation

Rajiv’s Regime: The Fall

The National Front and After

The Centre Crumbles

Secularism and Toleration

Talking about Our Modernity in Two Languages