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66 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. role on the Indian subcontinent too as is evident from the quote above is. less understood Aside from two descriptive monographs dating back to the. 1970s there has been relatively little scholarly engagement with this phenom. enon 3 In this article we would like to offer an overview of several distinct con. cepts of Asia and pan Asian designs which featured prominently in both. political and civil society debates in India during the struggle for Independence. Considering the abundance of initiatives for Asian unification and in a more. abstract sense discourses on Asian identity what follows here is necessarily a. selection of discourses three of which will be subjected to critical analysis. with the following questions in mind, What were the concrete motives of regional in this case Indian actors to appro. priate the concept of Asianism Is the popularity of supranational frames of reference. solely to be explained as an affirmation of a distinctive identity vis vis the imagined. powerful West or are there other motives to be found. What were the results of these processes of appropriation and how were these man. ifested politically and culturally, What tensions resulted from the simultaneous existence of various nationalisms in. Asia on the one hand and macro nationalistic pan Asianism on the other. An important theoretical tool in the engagement with Indian Asianisms is. provided by Prasenjit Duara who has analyzed the interrelations between the. expansion of anti colonial nationalism and the transformation of concepts of. civilization after the First World War 4 He argues that over the course of the. nineteenth century the only accepted criteria for being civilized and for re. cognition of national sovereignty as such had come to consist of the values. of Christianity and Enlightenment Civilization with a capital C was under. stood to be both singular and universal In the late 1900s the rhetoric of an. Koschmann Asianism s Ambivalent Legacy in P J Katzenstein und Takashi Shiraishi eds. Network Power Japan and Asia Ithaca Cornell University Press 1997 and Peter Duus Imperi. alism without Colonies The Vision of a Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere Diplomacy and. Statecraft 7 1 1996 54 72, Birendra Prasad Indian Nationalism and Asia 1900 1947 Delhi B R Publishing Corpor. ation 1979 and Stephen Hay Asian Ideas of East and West Tagore and His Critics in Japan. China and India Cambridge Mass Harvard University Press 1970 See also T A Keenleyside. Nationalist Indian Attitudes towards Asia A Troublesome Legacy for Post Independence Indian. Foreign Policy Pacific Affairs 55 2 1982 210 30 and Miroslav Kr sa The Idea of. Pan Asianism and the Nationalist Movement in India Archiv Orient lni 40 1972 38 60 For. the resurgence of Asianist discourses in India since the 1990s see Christophe Jaffrelot India s. Look East Policy An Asianist Strategy in Perspective Indian Review 2 2 2003 35 68 An. excellent recent contribution which unfortunately reached the authors too late for a thorough. response is Mark Frost That Great Ocean of Idealism Calcutta the Tagore Circle and the. Idea of Asia 1900 1920 in S Moorthy and A Jamal eds Indian Ocean Studies Cultural. Social and Political Perspectives New York and London Routledge 2010 251 79. Prasenjit Duara The Discourse of Civilization and Pan Asianism Journal of World History. 12 2001 99 130 and Sovereignty and Authenticity Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern. Boulder Rowman and Littlefield 2003 See also G W Gong The Standard of Civilization in. International Society Oxford Oxford University Press 1984. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 67, imperial civilizing mission of the West became the single most important. legitimation for colonial exploitation 5 However this changed after the. seminal catastrophe of the First World War and an alternative understanding. of civilization in a Spenglerian sense arose6 An alternative discourse of civi. lization as multiple spiritual and moral that had survived in the penumbra. of the singular Civilization received an important fillip towards the end of the. war Western Civilization had forfeited the right to represent the highest. goals of humanity and the new national movements sought to turn towards. their own civilizational traditions often reconstructed in the image of Civili. zation to found the ideals of the new nations and the right to sovereignty 7. Through these complex interrelations between the postulates of nationalism. and the transnational concept of civilization says Duara tensions and conflicts. of loyalty are inherent in these new civilizational concepts. In addition Sugata Bose has examined the role of extraterritorial identity. and universalist aspiration among the people of the Indian Ocean in the age of. global empire 8 He demonstrates that the dreams and goals of the colonized. were never fully constrained by the borders of colonial states Nationalism. and universalism far from being in an adversarial relationship were bound. in a strong symbiotic embrace 9 Anti colonialism as an ideology was both teth. ered to the idea of homeland and paradoxically strengthened by extraterritorial. affiliations This he maintains is a powerful political theme the importance of. which has not been grasped by political theorists and historians obsessed with. territorial nationalism 10 Using examples such as those of expatriate patriots. pilgrimage networks and Islamic universalism he demonstrates that there. were in fact many transterritorial aspects to the nation in formation This. view is supported by several other theorists of both internationalism and trans. nationalism who maintain that these phenomena do transgress but do not. See also J rgen Osterhammel The Great Work of Uplifting Mankind Zivilisierungsmission. und Moderne in B Barth and J Osterhammel eds Zivilisierungsmissionen Imperiale Weltver. besserung seit dem 18 Jahrhundert Konstanz UVK 2005 335 425 Duncan Bell The Idea of. Greater Britain Empire and the Future of World Order 1860 1900 Princeton Princeton Univer. sity Press 2007 202 6 Michael Mann Torchbearers upon the Path of Progress Britain s Ideol. ogy of Material and Moral Progress in India An Introductory Essay in H Fischer Tin und M. Mann eds Colonialism as Civilizing Mission Cultural Ideology in British India London. Anthem Press 2004 1 26 Andrew Sartori The Resonance of Culture Framing a Problem. in Global Concept History Comparative Studies in Society and History 47 4 2005 676 99. Oswald Spengler Der Untergang des Abendlandes Umrisse einer Morphologie der Welt. geschichte 2 Bde M nchen C H Beck 1923 See also John Farrenkopf Spengler s Historical. Pessimism and the Tragedy of Our Age Theory and Society 22 3 1993 391 412. Prasenjit Duara The Imperialism of Free Nations Japan Manchukuo and the History of the. Present in A L Stoler C McGranahan and P C Perdue eds Imperial Formations Santa Fe N. Mex School for Advanced Research Press 2007 214, S Bose A Hundred Horizons The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire Cambridge.
Mass Harvard University Press 2006, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 68 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. subvert the nation state 11 It is with considerable frequency for instance that. one encounters anti imperialists whose plans for India and the world included. transnational ingredients that were at least as important as nationalism and. indeed frequently overshadowed it The applicability of these observations. to our Indian case study is best illustrated by a chronological overview of. India s engagement with Asia We will then examine three Asianist discourses. in greater detail,IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA A CHRONOLOGICAL SKETCH. From the mid nineteenth century onward references to other Asian states and. regions surface in the emerging Indian public sphere 12 From the opening. decade of the twentieth century these transform into more tangible transna. tional networks and initiatives to promote Asian unity in various shapes and. forms Importantly these initiatives ranging from fairly unself conscious invo. cations of Asian identity to highly articulate pan Asian projects cut across the. full spectrum of religious and political currents on the subcontinent. Early Asianism The Unity of Asian Civilization, One of the first Indian thinkers to formulate a marked concept of Asia in the. sense of Prasenjit Duara s civilization was the Bengali Hindu reformer. Keshab Chandra Sen 1838 1884 13 In his 1883 speech with the programmatic. title Asia s Message to Europe he states We have indeed learnt a great deal. from the West but Europe too must learn of Asia Who can deny the deep. idealism and the lofty spirituality of the East The marvellous and almost. incredible ease with which Asiatic seers have always communed with the. Eternal Spirit gives the lie to the dictum that God is unknowable Wilt thou. Europe take away from us our soul substance Thou shalt not do it In this. sceptical age Asia must preach with thundering eloquence the Gospel of the. Living and Knowable God It is un Asiatic not to know God 14 The. See for example T Brennan Cosmopolitanism and Internationalism in D Archibugi ed. Debating Cosmopolitics London Verso 2003 40 50 Prasenjit Duara Transnationalism and the. Predicament of Sovereignty China 1900 1945 American Historical Review 102 4 Oct 1997. 1030 51 P Cheah Given Culture Rethinking Cosmopolitical Freedom in Transnationalism. Boundary 2 24 2 Summer 1997 157 97, See for instance the poetry of the renowned Bengali writer Hem Chandra Bannerjee from the. 1870s Prasad Indian Nationalism 26 27, Frans Damen Crisis and Religious Renewal in the Brahmo Samaj A Study of the New Dis.
pensation under Keshab Chandra Sen Leuven Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 1983 and David. Kopf The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind Princeton Princeton Uni. versity Press 1979 For a short discussion of Keshabs concept of Asia Birendra Prasad Keshab. Chandra Sen Prophet of Pan Asianism Quarterly Review of Historical Studies 15 2 1975. 1976 122 25, T E Slater Keshab Chandra Sen and the Brahma Samaj Being a Brief Review of Indian. Theism from 1830 to 1884 Together with Selections from Mr Sen s Works Madras Society for. the Promotion of Christian Knowledge 1884 135, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 69, discursive strategy which is often called self orientalization 15 is clearly. visible in Sen s phrasing In line with prevalent Orientalist stereotypes a peace. making and placid Asia is contrasted with a materialistic and menacing Europe. This leitmotiv would later permeate most but not all Indian concepts of Asia. An important platform for the global promulgation of East West stereo. types was the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893 in the. context of the World Exhibition 16 The Parliament offered a unique forum. for the representatives of Asian religions to reach a Western audience At the. same time it was a space for encounters and communication between Asian. actors themselves to be consolidated by future transnational cooperation P C. Majumdar representative of the Hindu reformist Brahmo Samaj 17 Gyanendra. nath Chakravarti from the Indian Theosophical Society and the self appointed. representative of orthodox Hinduism Swami Vivekananda 18 all enthusiasti. cally subscribed to the binary East West clich Vivekananda undoubtedly had. the greatest impact He identified Asia and especially India by its inherent spiri. tuality as the antithesis to the highly mechanized but soulless West He was one. of the first Indian intellectuals to build bridges between Asian neighbors on the. way to Chicago Vivekananda visited Japan and speculated openly about a. common future for Asian peoples 19 His model of division of labor whereby. the West would take care of the material development of the world and the. East of its spiritual edification had substantial influence on the Bengali Nobel. Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore 1861 1941 who will be treated below. Development of Asianism into a Pan Movement, The Japanese victory in the Russo Japanese War of 1904 1905 gave Asianist. thought a completely new direction The triumph of the Japanese army over a. Arif Dirlik Chinese History and the Question of Orientalism History and Theory 35 2. 1996 96 118, Dorothea L ddeckens Das Weltparlament der Religionen von 1893 Strukturen interreligi.
ser Begegnung im 19 Jahrhundert Berlin New York De Gruyter 2002 and Richard Hughes. Seager The World s Parliament of Religions The East West Encounter Chicago 1893 Bloomington. Indiana University Press 1995, See Pratapchandra Majumdar The World s Religious Debt to Asia Being the Substance of an. Address Delivered at the Parliament of Religions Chicago Lahore Punjab Brahmo Samaj 1894. The speeches of Vivekananda at this forum are printed in The Complete Works of Swami Vive. kananda Almora 1955 vol I 1 22 and Rev John Henry Barrows ed The World s Parliament. of Religions An Interesting and Popular Story of the World s First Parliament of Religions Held in. Chicago in Connection with the Columbian Exhibition of 1893 Chicago Parliament Publishing. Co 1893 vol I 102 and vol II 968 78 A good analysis is found in Brian A Hatcher Eclecti. cism and Modern Hindu Discourse Oxford Oxford University Press 1999 47 70 and Indira. Chowdhury Sengupta Reconstructing Hinduism on a World Platform The World s First Parlia. ment of Religions Chicago 1893 in William Radice ed Swami Vivekananda and the Modern. isation of Hinduism New Delhi Oxford University Press 1998 17 35. Vivekananda The Abroad and the Problems at Home in The Complete Works of Swami. Vivekananda Calcutta Advaita Ashram 1979 vol V 209 10. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 70 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. European opponent crushed not only the widely held belief of the natural. superiority of the white race it also demonstrated to Asia the formidable. achievements in modernization by Meiji Japan For many Indian nationalists. Japan became the forerunner of an alternative Asian modernity 20 Thus. between 1906 and 1914 a growing number of patriotic young Indians. decided to spend their education abroad in Tokyo instead of at a prestigious. European or American university 21 At the same time a series of radical. Indian nationalists found their way to this city where they tried mostly by. appealing to pan Asian solidarity to win Japanese support for the Indian. freedom struggle 22 However Indian students were frequently discriminated. against by the Japanese public23 and not least because of Japan s ties with. Great Britain 24 official response to such appeals for support was lukewarm. Nevertheless the Indian press already speculated about the formation of an. Asian association of states under Japanese leadership 25 Prominent leaders of. the Indian National Congress INC took up an Asianist agenda including. the wish to turn the perceived fundamental unity of India China and. Japan into the basis of a successful struggle against the cultural hegemony. of the West 26 A group of radical Indian revolutionaries in exile in Paris had. still further reaching visions In 1909 they published a call to establish a. pan Asian parliament in the French capital to promote political and military. T R Sareen India and the War in Rotem Kowner ed The Impact of the Russo Japanese. War London Routledge 2007 239 50 Gita Dharampal Frick Der Russisch Japanische Krieg. und die indische Nationalbewegung in M H Sprotte W Seifert and H D L we eds Der. Russisch Japanische Krieg 1904 05 Anbruch einer neuen Zeit Wiesbaden Harrassowitz. Verlag 2007 259 76 and R P Dua The Impact of the Russo Japanese 1905 War on Indian. Politics Delhi S Chand 1966, Their numbers rose from fifty four in 1906 to well over a hundred in 1910 Harald Fischer. Tin Indian Nationalism and the World Forces Transnational and Diasporic Dimensions of the. Indian Freedom Movement on the Eve of the First World War Journal of Global History 2 3. 2007 325 44 here 336, Fischer Tin Indian Nationalism 341 43 Yukiko Sumi Barnett India in Asia Okawa. Sh mei s Pan Asian Thought and His Idea of India in Early Twentieth Century Japan Journal. of the Oxford University History Society 1 2004 1 23 here 6 9 and Aydin Politics of Anti. Westernism 113 21 See also Arun Coomer Bose Indian Revolutionaries Abroad 1905 1922. In the Background of International Developments Patna Bharati Bhawan 1971 67 81 and. T R Sareen Indian Revolutionaries Japan and British Imperialism New Delhi Anmol 1993. British Library Asia Africa and Pacific Collection India Office Records henceforth APAC. IOR Pos 8959 Government of India Home Department Political Proceedings B 24 July 1907. Sept 1908 Prog 145 Weekly Report of the Director of Criminal Intelligence for the Week. Ending July 27th 1907 The Report quotes the letter sent by an Indian student in Japan The. writer complains that the thirty five Indian students in Tokyo have to face great difficulties. not least because Japanese do not hesitate to treat them with contempt. See also Antony Best India Pan Asianism and the Anglo Japanese Alliance in P O Brien. ed The Anglo Japanese Alliance 1902 1922 London Routledge 2004 236 48. Prasad Indian Nationalism 47, Irving S Friedman Indian Nationalism and the Far East Pacific Affairs 13 1 1940 17. 29 here 18 See also Lala Lajpat Rai Young India An Interpretation and a History of the Nation. alist Movement from Within London Home Rule for India League 1917. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 71, Asian unity against the domination of the European imperial powers There.
are educated Indians Osmanlis Egyptians Japanese Chinese Arabs Arme. nians Parsis Persians Siamese and others to be found at Paris A pan Asian. Parliament could be easily organized which would co ordinate the ambition. and polity of an Emancipated East a few keen brains on the Seine. could marshal in array the swords of Eight Hundred Millions Asia has sat. too long in darkness and in the shadow of death Let Asia arise in Unity and. Unity will bring Might 27 Japan s ascent to intra Asian colonial power soon. dampened pan Asianist aspirations in India The annexation of Korea and. the imposition of the 21 demands on China in 1915 particularly led to dis. illusionment with Japan and resulted in a partial transfer of attention to India s. direct neighbor China 28 After the Japanese aggression in Manchuria and its. attack on China this transfer reached its zenith in the 1930s 29. However there was no clear break in India s engagement with Japan. nor a complete reorientation towards China While Japanese imperialism was. generally condemned and solidarity with the Chinese professed 30 there. were some notable exceptions Japan remained Asia s strongest power and. still served as an influential model of modernity Japanese good will missions. continued to seek and find audiences in India 31 and their views on Asia. did find their way to the Indian press 32 often through the mediation of the. Indian born but naturalized Japanese revolutionary Rashbehari Bose who. published his own monthly journal New Asia 33 The Indian community in. Japan formed an important bridge in this respect and its most prominent. members attended the inauguration of the Great Asia Association in Kobe. in 1938 34, A Suggestion for a Pan Asian Union in Paris Indian Sociologist 5 4 1909 16. Prasad Indian Nationalism 94 and S R Mehrotra The Development of the Indian Outlook. on World Affairs before 1947 Journal of Development Studies 1 3 1965 269 94 here 280. Madhavi Thampi Indians in China 1800 1949 New Delhi Manohar 2005 200 See also. Prasad Indian Nationalism 151 74, Among other things this solidarity found expression in the sending of a medical mission to. China received by one Hengchi Tao with the following words These Angels of Mercy have in. their hands not only the cure for the wounded but also love to bind together the hearts of these. two great nations Harijan 22 Oct 1938 296, For instance T Kurose who enlisted the support of many Bengali youths in Calcutta APAC. IOR L PJ 12 158 Weekly Intelligence Report 3 Dec 1938. The Indo Japanese Society in Calcutta co funded a monthly review to highlight the Asiatic. and anti European side of Japan s policy Other examples include A Japanese Visitor Harijan. 24 Dec 1938 404 Japanese Professor T Kurose in the Singh Observer Dec 1938 n p and the. Tagore Noguchi correspondence published in both Amrita Bazar Patrika and Visva Bharati Quar. terly in September 1938, At the subscription rate of 1 yen a price probably aimed at both a wide circulation and a. student readership APAC IOR L PJ 12 163 on Rash Behari Bose British Embassy Tokyo 31. IOR L PJ 12 158 British Consulate General at Kobe 30 Sept 1938. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 72 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. Imagining India in Central and Western Asia, In spite of the increasingly ambiguous relationship with Japan the conception.
of Asia in accordance with the principle of self determination as formulated by. both Lenin and Wilson found further impetus on the Indian subcontinent after. the First World War 35 As early as 1918 Aga Khan III the politically influential. religious leader of the Ismaili Muslims proposed the creation of a south and. west Asian union 36 The case of the Aga Khan demonstrates the versatility. of the concept of Asianism He vehemently rejected any suggestion of. tension between his multiple identities as a Muslim an Indian and an Asian. Both as India s chief delegate to the League of Nations and president of the. Muslim League in the 1930s he was able to express his views on a wide. array of Asian concerns As a delegate he propagated mediation between. China and Japan in the early 1930s repeatedly confirming India s ancient. ties with both countries invoking both Buddhism and Islam as unifying. factors China is our good neighbour and with her province of Turkestan. we have had since time immemorial friendly cultural and economic. relations Just as the Indian Buddha has influenced Chinese and Japanese. thought so the great Confucius has left his living and eternal mark on. India 37 His appropriation of the topos of ancient bonds so often used for. countries to the east of India enabled him to form a more inclusive concept. of Asia The whole world knows the long and intimate spiritual cultural. and economic relations between India and the lands that to day form the. Kingdom of Iraq 38 When Afghanistan was admitted into the League he pro. claimed no representative of India no Muslim no Asiatic could play his part. in this historic occasion unmoved 39 In this way he synthesized India s. For a general account see Erez Manela The Wilsonian Moment Self Determination and the. International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism New York Oxford University Press 2007 and. Erez Manela Imagining Woodrow Wilson in Asia Dreams of East West Harmony and the Revolt. against Empire in 1919 American Historical Review 111 6 2006 1327 52. Keenleyside Nationalist Indian Attitudes 217 As Cemil Aydin has recently demonstrated. this was emphatically not the only attempt to combine pan Islamism and pan Asianism Aydin. Politics of Anti Westernism passim See also Sel uk Esenbel Japan s Global Claim to Asia and. the World of Islam Transnational Nationalism and World Power 1900 1945 American Historical. Review 109 4 2004 1140 70, Speech at the Special Session of the League of Nations Geneva 8 March 1932 in K K. Aziz ed Aga Khan III Selected Speeches and Writings of Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Vol II. 1928 1955 London Routledge 1997 900 1, Speech in the General Assembly of the League of Nations Geneva 3 October 1932 in. idem 911 This sentiment is echoed in both Kalidas Nag s writings on Aryan civilization in. Central Asia and Tagore s sojourn in Persia and Iraq 1932 where he too emphasized the. ancient linkages of both these countries to India See Rabindranath Tagore Journey to Persia. and Iraq Santiniketan Visva Bharati 1994, Speech General Assembly of the League of Nations Geneva 27 September 1934 in K K. Aziz ed Aga Khan III Selected Speeches and Writings of Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Vol II. 1928 1955 London Routledge 1997 1039, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 73, religious and cultural variety and redirected it into one single occasion for joy.
For India however much she may seek from the West her political institutions. remains a true daughter of the East proud of her Eastern blood her Eastern. languages her Eastern cultures These she shares with Afghanistan and. seventy million of her peoples share as I share with Afghanistan in the glor. ious brotherhood of Islam 40, While a detailed description of this specific variety of Asianism would. exceed the scope of this article it must be noted that several South Asian dis. courses are generally overlooked in this context The Khilafat movement41. should be mentioned in this respect It brought forth a variety of bulletins in. Urdu and English with sizeable circulations 42 The English language Khilafat. Bulletin for instance used the presses of the Bombay Chronicle to call for. Asian unity under the banner of Islam 43 Nor was the Khilafat movement. restricted to South Asian Muslims It was Gandhi who first voiced Congress. support to the movement partly in an effort to incorporate the Indian. Muslims into All India nationalism 44 Carved up Turkey became a symbol. for the imperialist dismemberment of Asia and M A Ansari firmly put the. Khilafat movement into the realm of pan Asianism when he said It is there. fore not only a question of India s honour and freedom but of a great struggle. for the emancipation of all the enslaved Asiatic peoples from the thraldom of. the West 45,Building Institutions, In the INC explicit Asianist tendencies can be found early on In 1921 the. possible foundation of an Asian Federation was discussed at the annual. meeting of the Indian National Congress 46 INC President Chittaranjan Das. was convinced that such a bond of friendship and love of sympathy and. cooperation between India and the rest of Asia is destined to bring about. For accounts of the Khilafat movement in India and its ties to Pan Islamism in a wider sense. see Gail Minault The Khilafat Movement Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India. Delhi Oxford University Press 1982 Mushirul Hasan and Margrit Pernau eds Regionalizing. Pan Islamism Documents on the Khilafat Movement Delhi Manohar 2005 M Naeem. Qureshi Pan Islam in British Indian Politics A Study of the Khilafat Movement 1918 1924. Leiden Brill 1999 M Hasan Pan Islam versus Indian Nationalism A Reappraisal New. Delhi Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 1995 A zcan Pan Islamism Indian Muslims. the Ottomans and Britain 1877 1924 Leiden Brill 1997. Examples of these bulletins are the Urdu language Khilafat I Usmaniyya a weekly later. continued as a daily under the name Khilafat or the English weekly Khilafat Bulletin. Editorial Khilafat Bulletin published by the Central Khilafat Committee of India Bombay. 11 Aug 1922 2, For an excellent account of the Khilafat movement and Congress see M Naeem Qureshi. Pan Islam in British Indian Politics,M Hasan Pan Islamism XXVI Sept 1985 10. Kr sa The Idea of Pan Asianism 246, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core.
terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 74 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. world peace 47 Both the delegates and the general press welcomed his idea. but concrete steps towards its execution failed to materialize This is not. entirely surprising given that even Jawarlahal Nehru as the Congress most. enthusiastic proponent of Asian relations had his doubts When the proposal. was tabled again he wrote to his friend and revolutionary in exile Virendranath. Chattopadyaya48 The Congress passed a resolution about summoning a. Pan Asiatic conference in India in 1930 Nobody quite understands what this. means I doubt if it is at all possible to hold any such gathering in India 49. Although Nehru proved to be right at least for the moment tangible. impulses for regional cooperation did manifest themselves at the World Con. gress of Oppressed Peoples held in 1927 in Brussels which founded the. League Against Imperialism and in which Nehru participated as representative. of the INC 50 Like the World Parliament of Religions thirty five years before. the Congress offered a platform for the creation of international contacts This. time however the participants were not religious dignitaries but political. leaders who mingled and forged alliances A separate meeting of several. Asian delegates was held at which the founding of a pan Asian organization. was discussed once more 51 and the meeting resolved to undertake all necess. ary action to free Asia from Imperialism and Colonial Oppression 52. In this particular case international communism provided a particularly. salient framework for linking anti imperial forces in Asia and several of the. League s organizers were in touch with the Communist International Comin. tern Other avenues for Asian cooperation were the Pan Pacific Trade Union. Secretariat founded by Profintern the Asian wing of the Comintern and its. Bureau of Transport Workers of the Pacific The Communist section of the. All India Trade Union Congress was in touch with the former and had a seat. on the latter 53 At the other end of the political spectrum the 1930s opened. Ibid See also Banerji Asianism and other Essays, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya was a revolutionary in exile who succeeded M N Roy to the. Indian leadership of the Comintern At the time Chattopadhyaya was the League Against Imperi. alism s secretary in Germany For biographical details see Nirode K Barooah The Life and Times. of an Indian Anti Imperialist in Europe New Delhi Oxford University Press 2004. Nehru to Chattopadhyaya 16 Jan 1929 P C Joshi Archives Jawaharlal Nehru University. New Delhi LAI file 7, Bakar Ali Mirza The Congress against Imperialism Modern Review 11 5 May 1927. Michael Brecher Nehru A Political Biography London Oxford University Press 1959. Joint Resolution by the Asian Delegations International Institute for Social History League. Against Imperialism Archives file 28, Membership of the former was blocked by moderate sections in the All India Trade Union. Congress but India received a seat on the latter X J Eudin and R C North Soviet Russia and. the East 1920 1927 A Documentary Survey Stanford Stanford University Press 1957 268. See also J Fowler From East to West and West to East Ties of Solidarity in the Pan Pacific Revo. lutionary Trade Union Movement 1923 1934 International Labour and Working Class History. 66 2004 99 117, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 75, avenues for Asian collaboration within the context of fascism This develop.
ment reached its zenith in December 1933 when the Italian Institute for the. Middle and Far East organized an Asiatic Congress in Rome 54 A sizeable. Indian delegation attended this conference of which Pramatha Nath Roy for. merly a lecturer in Italian at Calcutta University and Subhas Chandra Bose of. later Indian National Army INA fame took an especially active part 55 Out of. this conference emerged an Oriental Students Confederation but this organiz. ation was short lived However Subhas Chandra Bose s European connections. proved useful when he made his way to Germany and Italy in1941 before con. tinuing on to Japanese occupied Southeast Asia recruiting Indian war prison. ers and laborers into the INA with the intent to fight alongside the Japanese and. liberate India from the British 56, Eventually this spirit of Asianism having swept the continent during the. interwar period found expression after the Second World War in a series of. Asian Conferences that were replete with the rhetoric of pan Asianism and. confirmed the existence of an Asian identity and the need to jointly fight. imperialism anywhere in Asia India aspired to take a leading part in this as. evidenced by dailies headlines such as India s Emergence as Leader of. Asia 57 and Nehru Leads Asia against Foreign Aggression 58 The first con. ference in New Delhi in March and April 1947 according to G H Jansen. marked the apex of Asianism for never again was there such a gushing. outflow of the Asian spirit 59 Asian conferences followed in rapid succession. culminating in the Bandung Conference of 1955,COMPETING DISCOURSES OF ASIA. Having presented this short outline of the development of pan Asianist enthu. siasm in India we now turn to three examples of pan Asianist rhetoric to. explore the discursive strategies in more detail We selected these discourses. on the basis of shared features that allow for a more in depth treatment all. For details see Mario Prayer Italian Fascist Regime and Nationalist India 1921 45 Inter. national Studies 28 3 1991 249 71 Valdo Ferretti Politica e cultura origini e attivit dell Is. Meo durante il regime fascista Storia contemporanea 17 5 1986 779 819. Memorandum on the Asiatic Congress in Rome 22 27 Dec 1933 APAC IOR P J 12 475. Several prominent Indian pan Asianists living in Japan were also part of the INA such as. A M Sahay and R B Bose and as a movement it had its pedigree in pan Asian thought. However extensive treatment of the INA falls outside of our chronological and thematic scope. here For details see S K Bose A Beacon across Asia A Biography of Subhas Chandra Bose. Bombay Orient Longman 1973 S S Gupta Our Struggle and Rash Behari Bose Calcutta. Books of the World 1951 J G Oshawa Two Great Indians in Japan Shri Rash Behari Bose. and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Calcutta Kusa Publications 1954 P S Ramu Rash Behari. Bose A Revolutionary Unwept Unhonoured and Unsung New Delhi The Freedom Movement. Memorial Committee 1998,Bombay Chronicle 12 Mar 1947. Bombay Chronicle 21 Jan 1949, G H Jansen Afro Asia and Non Alignment London Faber 1966 51. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 76 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. were developed on the subcontinent in the tumultuous years between 1905 and. 1930 and all had their origins in Bengal 60 Despite these regional foundations. all three soon developed into pan Indian partly even global movements for. Asia as the Spiritual Antithesis of Europe The Message of. Rabindranath Tagore, Conjuring up Asian spirituality not only has a long history it is also a topos that.
had its origins in the West European travelers missionaries Orientalists phi. losophers and poets had constructed Asia since the late seventeenth century as. the spiritual counterpart of Europe 61 While we cannot provide here an in depth. treatment of European images of Asia it should be noted that even before the. century s turn the Theosophical Society popularized this topos through its inter. national network of branches and its various publications not only within India. but also globally The Society s veneration of the allegedly spiritual East as. opposed to the materialist West was informed by the textualized approach to. Asia of romantic Orientalists such as William Jones and the earlier German. romantic tradition 62 While Eur American members of the Society used the. East West clich for an inner civilizational critique Asian affiliates such as. the theosophical delegate to the World Parliament of Religions Gyanendranath. Chakravarti later employed it for their own specific agendas as did Gandhi 63. The cases of Chakravarti and Gandhi exemplify how successfully the Theoso. phical Society as a globally recognized platform mediated this clich between. Eur America and Asia, Hindu reformers like Keshab Chandra Sen and Vivekananda also fell back. on this well established myth In the case of Tagore too Western mediation was. involved he corresponded intensively with the Irish devotee to Hinduism. All three discourses have wielded considerable influence but it is not argued here that they. were the only or main architects of Indian pan Asianism other strong influences besides the devel. opments traced above include the substantial interaction between South India and Southeast Asia. North India and Central Asia Buddhist revivalism networks of lascars revolutionaries and many. See J rgen Osterhammel Die Entzauberung Asiens Europa und die asiatischen Reiche im. 18 Jahrhundert M nchen C H Beck Verlag 1998 Kate Teltscher India Inscribed European. and British Writing on India 1600 1800 New Delhi Oxford University Press 1995. Richard King Orientalism and Religion Postcolonial Theory India and the Mystic East. London Routledge 1999 141 42 and Mark Bevir The West Turns Eastward Madame Bla. vatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition Journal of the American Academy of Reli. gion 62 3 1994 747 67 On the political engagement of the Theosophical Society in India by the. same author see Theosophy as a Political Movement in Antony Copley ed Gurus and Their. Followers New Religious Reform Movements in Colonial India New Delhi Oxford University. Press 2000, For Gandhi s involvement with theosophical ideas see Michael Bergunder Gandhi Esoterik. und das Christentum in Michael Bergunder and Daniel Cyranka eds Esoterik und das Christen. tum Religionsgeschichtliche und theologische Perspektiven Leipzig Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. 2005 129 48, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 77, Margaret Noble who was also in touch with Japan s prophet of pan Asianism. Okakura Tenshin 1863 1916 64 Okakura visited India in 1901 and 1902 on. which voyage he met both Vivekananda and the celebrated man of letters. Rabindranath Tagore 65 One year later he published a book entitled Ideals of. the East the first sentence of which drove his point home so poignantly that. it would later become a sort of mantra for Asianists of various persuasions. Asia is one 66, Like many other English educated intellectuals Tagore was highly recep.
tive to such a message which heralded the spiritual greatness and unity of Asia. All the more so when the harbinger of this imagined Asian interconnectedness. came from soaring and uncolonized Japan The Bengali poet stayed in touch. with Okakura until the latter s death in 1913 and made Japan the focal point. of his attempts to establish a collective Asian identity He visited the country. thrice between 1916 and 1929 After he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Lit. erature in 1913 Tagore s fame allowed him to act as the mouthpiece of the. intellectual and political elites of his country In The Message of India to. Japan a speech delivered during his first visit to the Imperial University of. Tokyo 67 he succinctly explained his vision of Asia He argued that at a. time when the West was still barbaric a blossoming civilization had existed. which united the whole of Asia from India to Japan and which was not pol. itical but social not predatory and mechanically efficient but spiritual 68 Sec. ondly he portrayed the soulless materialistic West as an existential threat to. Asian peoples the appropriation of European modernity should occur only. highly selectively and under permanent consideration of one s own cultural. heritage Finally he supported the view that the secularized West could not. reform itself from the inside This world historical role was reserved for. Asia and especially for its emerging leading power Japan to re spiritualize. the shallow and self destructive Western civilization and in so doing to. finally save the world itself from destruction The continuity with Vivekanan. da s concept of a division of labor between East and West is clearly visible. here 69 He appealed to the Japanese elites to distinguish themselves clearly. from the West and to refuse those acquisitions of European modernity that. Rustom Bharucha Another Asia Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin New Delhi. Oxford University Press 2006, The best biography still is Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson s Rabindranath Tagore The. Myriad Minded Man London Bloomsbury 1995, Okakura Kakuzo The Ideals of the East With Special Reference to the Art of Japan London. John Murray 1904, A reworked version was soon published in English Rabindranath Tagore Nationalism. London Macmillan 1917,Cited in Hay Asian Ideas 64, Harald Fischer Tin Deep Occidentalism Europa und der Westen in der Wahrnehmung. hinduistischer Intellektueller und Reformer ca 1890 1930 Journal of Modern European. History 4 2 2006 189 94, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core.
terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. 78 C A R O L I E N S T O LT E A N D H A R A L D F I S C H E R T I N. might have a dubious impact70 Of all countries in Asia here in Japan. you have the freedom to use the materials you have gathered from the West. according to your genius and to your need Therefore your responsibility is. all the greater for in your voice Asia shall answer the questions that Europe. has submitted to the conference of Man In your land the experiments will. be carried on by which the East will change the aspects of modern civilization. infusing life in it where it is a machine substituting the human heart for cold. expediency not caring so much for power and success but for harmonious. This skepticism vis vis the modern which was a central part of Tagore s. Asianism was received as reluctantly in self conscious Taish Japan as were. his universalist fantasies of an Asia whose raison d tre it was to save the. world Especially criticized in the Japanese public sphere was Tagore s simul. taneous critique of Japanese nationalism and imperialism he viewed both as. satanic excesses of the West with no roots in Asia 72 His unrealistic anti. modernism and na ve pacifism showed according to his critics that he rep. resented a subjected humiliated nation 73 On his later visits to Japan too the. response was mixed During his second in 1924 he trashed the Japanese aspira. tions to become a great power in scarcely concealed words I have come to. warn you in Japan the country where I wrote my first lectures against Nation. alism at a time when people laughed my ideas to scorn Let Japan find her. own true mind which will not merely accept lessons from others but will. create a world of her own which will be generous in its gift to all humanity. Make all other people of Asia proud in their acknowledgement of your great. ness which is not based on the enslavement of victims and upon the accumu. lation of material wealth 74, The reactions of his Japanese hosts were as cool this time as they had been. eight years earlier He fared even worse during his short tour of China that same. year especially with the younger generation and was booed off the stage by. It must be noted that for all his essentializing of Asia and the Asian mentality Tagore. remained a cosmopolitan to the end cautioning repeatedly against full denial of the West which. he also recognized to have spiritual traditions See Louise B Williams Overcoming the Contagion. of Mimicry The Cosmopolitan Nationalism and Modernist History of Rabindranath Tagore and. W B Yeats American Historical Review 112 1 2007 69 100 and Bharucha Another Asia. Tagore Nationalism 59, The Bengali Nobel Prize laureate was convinced that Japan after it had overcome the sick. ness of westernization would come into its own true Asian Self and rediscover spirituality and. non violence Only after the Japanese invasion of China did Tagore find himself forced to. rethink his optimism See Rabindranath Tagore A Letter to an Indian Friend in Japan Modern. Review 63 6 1938 622 26 here 623 24,Hay Asian Ideas 116 18. Rabindranath Tagore International Relations A Lecture Delivered in Japan The. Visva Bharati Quarterly 2 4 1925 307 16 316, Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594. IMAGINING ASIA IN INDIA 79, Chinese students 75 Nevertheless Tagore did redirect some of the hopes he had.
held for Japan to China and he felt that China would soon wake up to her great. responsibilities to other countries 76 In Penang he said that his visit to China. had made him feel like one of the great makers of history in Asia who. loom large in the domain of Indo Chinese culture of a synthesis of cultures. of India and China 77, Although there certainly was overlap here with concerns held by individ. ual Japanese and Chinese intellectuals 78 the vision of an Asian civilization as. a spiritual Anti Europe and world redeemer so widely spread in Hindu refor. mist circles had very limited export potential This at least can be gathered. from Tagore s reception in East Asia But in the India of the 1920s and. 1930s too marked by a growing impact of the nationalist movement and. especially by Gandhi s campaigns for mass mobilization few shared. Tagore s rigorous condemnation of nationalism It is here that the tensions. between nationalism and internationalism manifest themselves most obviously. It was not so much Tagore s message of Asianism as his rather elitist cosmopo. litanism and intellectual anti nationalism that were being rejected. Nevertheless there would always be an audience for Tagore s vision for. Asia even if relatively small Visva Bharati at Santiniketan continued to be a. venue for Asian activities through the Centre for Chinese Studies founded. as the China House Cheen Bhavan in 1937 Their activities were further. made public through the Visva Bharati Quarterly which devoted much space. to Tagore s intentions for the new Centre Cheen Bhavan it was explained. had been built to maintain and nourish the distinctive merit of our respective. cultures and not to be misled into believing that what is ancient is necessarily. outworn And can anything be more worthy of being cherished than the. beautiful spirit of the Chinese culture that has made the people love material. things without the stain of greed 79, But neither did Tagore ever abandon his hopes for Japan He continued to. correspond publicly with Yone Noguchi on Asian issues as late 1938 and. speculated that the country would abstain from aggression and find its true. Described in greater detail in Dominic Sachsenmaier Searching for Alternatives to Western. Modernity Cross Cultural Approaches in the Aftermath of the Great War Journal of Modern. European History 4 2 2006 241 59 here 250 52 Dutta and Robinson Rabindranath Tagore. Speech to the Children of the Confucian School Kuala Lumpur on 6th August 1927 in. S Das Gupta Tagore s Asian Outlook Calcutta Nava Bharati 1961 66. Tagore s address to the Chinese community at Penang 24 July 1927 quoted in idem 66. See for example the writings of contemporary East Asian intellectuals close to Tagore s own. position Liang Chi Chao China s Debt to India Visva Bharati Quarterly 2 3 1924 251 61. Matosada Zumoto Japan and the Pan Asiatic Movement News Bulletin of the Institute of Pacific. Relations Feb 1927 8 15 and Masaharu Anahaki Western Pressure and Eastern Resistance. Modern Review 61 6 1937 617 18, India and China Visva Bharati Quarterly May 1937 29 34 here 32. Downloaded from https www cambridge org core University of Basel Library on 30 May 2017 at 13 53 38 subject to the Cambridge Core. terms of use available at https www cambridge org core terms https doi org 10 1017 S0010417511000594.


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