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Hello everyone.

My name is Priyank Jain, and my topic is Nationalism in


India, as developed by Gandhi and Nehru. Gandhi and Nehru both knew
that without a sense of nationalism, India wouldnt be able to overthrow
British Empire. And for the development of this sense, they took the help
of English, a common language. But they didnt promote English for
English sake, rather to unite people, and to access the western ideologies,
and use that against them.

Now why they did that? To answer, lets look at their definition of
Nationalism. In our essay, one of the works, one of the prominent works
by Gandhi, Hind Swaraj has been hailed by Sunil Khilnani as an iconic
work of Indian Nationalism, and a nationalist Classic. According to Gandhi,
in Hind Swaraj, a true nation was a multitude of true Indian. And these
true Indians were the ones who will be able to speak English, but will take
pride in their own civilization. They will not cower before the brute force,
and wont use it. If one searches the technical definition, it is the
multitude of people, united by a specific language or culture, both of the
aspects stands nullified in the case of India, as we are multilingual and
multicultural country. But the third aspect is the sense of collective history.
Now this was something they could work upon.

The task was taken by Nehru. In his work, the Discovery of India, written
as a statement of Indian Nationalism, Nehru tried to give his own
perspective of history. It is not a book of historical evidence by its very
nature; rather, it is the keen observations of a severely intelligent mortal
that delves into the philosophical and altruistic aspect of a nations history
and the groundwork it presents to build a strong future foothold.
According to Sunil Khilnani, The purpose of the Discovery was to cut away
from both Britishs history of India, as well as Indian history that
emphasized one single religion, region or identity above all others.
According to Craig Calhoun (Director of London school of Economics and
Political Science), in his book, Nation matter: Culture, history and the
cosmopolitan dream, the purpose of this work were ignite curiosity in a
nine year old girl to know about her motherland. At times the book seems
a little bit exaggerated, but it was written to make readers passionate
about India.

But, after independence, Nehru realized the demerits of Nationalism.


Writing in 1953, Nehru remarks that although nationalism can be a
rousing and unifying force, one of the problems with it is "the narrowness
of mind that it develops within a country, when a majority thinks itself as
the entire nation and in its attempt to absorb the minority actually
separates them even more". Objecting to the very name of the Backward
Classes Commission, he writes, "It is as if we are first branding them and
then, from our superior position, we shall try and uplift them".