Barring the political agenda, the vital forces associated with India’s nationalist movement were moral, literary and artistic. Many cultural protagonists were vocal in saying that the regeneration of our society could happen through the revival of our arts and culture, not by politics and economics alone. This impulse was quite visible in cultural thought-leaders like Ananda Coomaraswamy, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita, John Woodroffe, Syamaprasad Mookerjee, K.M. Munshi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Rabindranath Tagore made a strong case for developing a complete and moving orb of Indian culture.
This book delves deep into the vision of these thought-leaders in making India a culturally strong nation, and warns us in different ways against becoming insularly modern. These personalities remind us of our unique past and time-tested virtues and values, and the criticality of sustaining them while being “modern” in many ways. They exult in our past and call upon us to be the torch-bearers of this legacy.
This volume, while doing an in-depth study of these Indian cultural activists, laments on the lackadaisical attitude of the leaders of Independent India in maintaining and promoting our art forms and long-revered culture. A renewed effort in rejuvenating our culture is the need of the hour, especially when its moorings seem to be loosening and its symbols diluting. It is an irony to call for the recognition of Indian culture in India!