11th March 2015: Rabindranath’s Rammohun Roy and the Complexities of Bengali Identity by Prof Amrit Sen

When he was asked, “who is your hero or heroine in life?” Rabindranath wrote in a confession book – “Rammohun Roy”. The term Rabindranath recurrently used for him was Bhratpathik  (The Traveller of India). Why was Tagore fascinated with Rammohun?

Prof Amrit Sen
Prof Amrit Sen

To what extent was Rammohun responsible for shaping the horizon of Rabindranath’s ideas? How did Rabindranath imagine Rammohun in the process of the formation of the Bengali identity vis-a-vis India and the globe?

This paper will seek to address these questions to explore Rabindranath’s construct of Rammohun by reading closely his body of writings on him. I argue that Rammohun was a major inspiration in locating Rabindranath’s negotiation between the various identities – the Bengali, the Indian and the cosmopolitan.

Professor Amrit Sen, Professor of English at Visva-Bharati (Tagore’s University) who is on a lecture tour at Scottish Universities, organised by the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs). Prof Sen is a visiting scholar on the UKIERI Knowledge Exchange project, which is a research collaboration between  ScoTs and Visva-Bharati.

11 March 2015, 2-4 pm, University of Glasgow