Ethics, Distance, and Accountability: The Political Thought and intellectual context of Rammohun Roy (c. 1772-1833)

ISBN : 9780190129125

Shomik Dasgupta
246 Pages
148 x 221 mm
Pub date
Nov 2021
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Rammohun Roy (c.1772-1833) is counted amongst the most influential intellectuals of Modern India. But even after a century of debate and enquiry, scholars are still not quite sure whether he was a consistent and articulate political thinker, or a man of intellectual compromise and paradox. This book argues that Rammohun was a consistent thinker who creatively responded to the political challenges of the East India Company's government in India by reading deeply into Sanskritic and Indo-Persian intellectual traditions to develop a political thought of his own. Rammohun's political thought was concerned with three distinct but related themes: i) the restructuring of the East India Company's administration from a distant and invisible government at London to Calcutta; ii) the importance of ethical practice in Bengali society; and iii) the legal and ethical obligation of the Company to be accountable to its subjects. Rammohun consistently stressed the importance of societal ethics and highlighted the consequences of the distance between London and Bengal on governmental accountability. A unity of thought can thus be identified in his work.


Chapter One: Reading Exposition
Chapter Two: The East India Company and its native employees
Chapter Three: An ethical public
Chapter Four: Accountable governance
Chapter Five: Against Sati
Chapter Six: Ethics
Select Bibliography

About the author: 

Shomik Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor of History at the Indian Institute of Technology Indore.

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