Rethinking resistance
Spencer, Krishnavarma, and The Indian Sociologist
in Colonial exchanges
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This chapter aims to contribute to the efforts by excavating a philosophically distinctive line of anti-colonial political thought developed by Shyamji Krishnavarma between 1905 and 1913. It begins by briefly sketching out the unusual heterodoxy of Krishnavarma's early intellectual development, shaped by the confluence of Eastern and Western influences. The chapter situates him in relation to the moderate, extremist and terrorist factions of the early Indian nationalist movement and Indian National Congress (INC). It focuses on two distinctive features of Krishnavarma's nationalism: its explicitly political rather than romantic, providentialist, spiritualist, or nativist orientation, and its cosmopolitanism. The chapter delves into the philosophical foundations of Krishnavarma's political thought, as elaborated in the pages of the Indian Sociologist (IS), and on its intellectual debts to Herbert Spencer. It suggests that Krishnavarma's distinctive strand of anti-colonialism is worth recovering for both historical and philosophical reasons.

Colonial exchanges

Political theory and the agency of the colonized



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