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

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Benoy Kumar Sarkar and Japan

This article examines the tension between cosmopolitanism and ressentiment nationalism (i e, the nationalism of existential envy) in the work of Benoy Kumar Sarkar, the pre-eminent Indian social scientist of the decades before Independence. A prolific writer about India's place in the world and the nature of interstate relations, Sarkar was (and is) widely considered an "internationalist" and anti-imperialist. By focusing on Sarkar's fundamentally ambivalent outlook on the rise of a powerful Japan, this article argues that his internationalism and anti-imperialism were both compromised by a particular historical location, which had to do with the gendered concerns of the Indian nationalist elite, and his infatuation with a model of nationhood and power indebted to right-wing European ideologies and political developments.

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