Sanskrit for the nation


Journal Article

This essay raises the language question in its relationship to the wider problematic of the nationalization of pasts by focusing on the curious and puzzling status accorded to Sanskrit in the nationalization of the Indian past in this century. I use the words 'curious' and 'puzzling' deliberately, for the Sanskrit issue unsettles many well-entrenched assumptions about language and nationalism that circulate in scholarly circles and popular imagination. Just as crucially, Sankrist's (mis)adventures in the past century or so, draw our attention to the troubling linguistic turns taken by the nationalization process in India with its disquieting complicity with colonial categories and certitudes. The concerns of this paper have thus been shaped by three related issues pertaining to language, nationalism, and modernity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ramaswamy, S

Published Date

  • May 1, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 339 - 381

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0026-749X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0026749X99003273

Citation Source

  • Scopus