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Rescued from the NationAnagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World$
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Steven Kemper

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226199078

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226199108.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

Dharmapala, the British, and the Bengalis

Dharmapala, the British, and the Bengalis

(p.241) Chapter Four Dharmapala, the British, and the Bengalis
Rescued from the Nation

Steven Kemper

University of Chicago Press

Between 1891 when Dharmapala arrived at Bodh Gaya and 1910 when he lost the legal struggle to make Bodh Gaya a Buddhist place, Indian circumstances changed from day to night. The universalizing moment was swept away by an Indian nationalism that was Hindu in spirit. The struggle for Bodh Gaya was shaped not only by Bengali forces such as the British India Association but also by British colonial and international actors from Burma and Sri Lanka to Japan. Dharmapala found the British hugely favourable to Buddhism and the Buddhist claim to Bodh Gaya, as his Bengali friends grew less sympathetic to his cause. The struggle brought local British officials—Lord Curzon supporting one side and Henry and Evan Cotton defending the other—into conflict in a way that reinscribed the notion that Buddhism was foreign to India and Hinduism the heart of the Indian nation.

Keywords:   universalism, nationalism, Lord Curzon, British India Association, Hindu nationalism, Buddhism as foreign, partition of Bengal

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