Rabindranath Tagoreâ€™s <i>The Home and the World</i>: Story of the Failure of the Nationalist Project
As an intense literary text, The Home and the World could be read in more than one way,Â and through different interpretations. This paper attempts to compare the novel withÂ early twentieth century Vietnamese novels. The Home and the World is a novel that readsÂ like an allegory on the failure of the Indian nationalist projects, circling around theÂ issues of â€œHomeâ€ versus â€œWorld,â€ tradition versus modernity, created by the activeÂ involvement of the colonisers in the cultural, economic and administrative life of theÂ colonised. It could be read as an allegory on the failure of Indian nationalism to acceptÂ tradition and modernity, home and the world, concurrently. In addition, the novelÂ offers an alternative nationalist project that could free India from its obsession with theÂ colonising powers: true freedom of the nationalist imagination will be gained by goingÂ beyond every form of ideological prejudice and separation, and by synthesising everyÂ conceivable value that could be useful for the development and maintenance of theÂ nation. And as a concrete example of his alternative nationalist project, Tagore foundedÂ Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan in 1921.
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