Accommodation and Negotiation in a Culture of Exclusivism: Some Early Indian Perspectives

B.D. Chattopadhyaya

This essay begins with two preliminary observations on the notion of ‘composite’ culture in the specific context of its application to early Indian society. ‘Composite culture’1 is an expression conceived in retrospect, in the context of a fast-paced growth of nationalist ideology. In such a context, it would have been particularly suitable to gloss over fundamental differences and to explain how Indian society remained a continuum through millennia. ‘Composite culture’, however, is not what Tagore would call ‘striving to forge relationships with others and to establish equilibrium between amazing divisions and contradictions within ...

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