Examining Regality and Grand Politics in the Indian Vision: A Lesser Explored Dimension of Tagore’s Rajarshi


  • Nisarga Bhattacharjee Research Scholar, Department of English Literature, The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  • Ananya Chatterjee Assistant Professor, Department of English, Balurghat College, Dakshin Dinajpur, West Bengal


Keywords: Grand politics, noble morality, herd morality, divinity, statehood


The novel Rajarshi by Rabindranath Tagore provides one of his most sustained meditation on statehood, the political role of religion and the normative within the social order. One may interpret the novel in terms of oppositions between the state and the temple, or nature and culture, or individual and society. But, Tagore’s holistic vision very likely cannot be comprehended in terms of such dialectic oppositions. The dynamics of this novel can be understood when we observe how Tagore places every individual incident and individual polity in the context of a ‘grand politics’, a context in which nature and culture play equal roles, drawing from each other, conflicting with each other as well as asserting each other. In following the development of the protagonist, Raja Gobindamanikya, the readers become connected with this vision of grand politics.The paper intends to demonstrate how the holistic political understanding of Gobindamanikya provides us with a progressive vision of society, a vision that asserts humanity above the forces of oppression and discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or economic status. As we know, Friedrich Nietzsche criticized the dominant morality for imposing an artificial sense of righteousness, an artificiality that curbs liveliness in society. As opposed to this, he proposes nobility in spirit, the kind of nobility that respects our natural life and builds up an organic vision of society. Gobindamanikya demonstrates such sense of connection with both the pristine in nature and the best sensibilities of human society, thus providing us with a version of Nietzschean noble morality that is fitting to the Indian context. The paper shall portray how Tagore’s noble morality, however, reinstates the concept of divinity that Nietzsche dismissed, thus achieving a moral vision that is more assertive rather than transgressive in nature.



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