Hindu-Muslim relations in the work of Rabindranath Tagore and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932) are two stalwarts of twentieth century Bengali literature. Born and raised in very different socio-cultural and religious environments, both lacked formal education, yet both went on to become ardent champions of education. Despite their different religious identities, both writers stepped out of their cultural and gendered borders to embrace the ‘other’ in a spirit of fellowship and unity, against a backdrop of turbulent Hindu-Muslim relationships and recurrent communal riots, throughout most of their adult lives. The present article investigates this cross-cultural, dialogic-inclusive vision of Hindu-Muslim unity as reflected in the literary works of these two writers. It seeks to explain why and how they espoused such a bold vision, going against the grain of religious feuds that characterised the history of the period. The current relevance of such cross-cultural navigation is evident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalSouth Asia Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bengali literature
  • British India
  • Education
  • Hindu-Muslim relationship
  • Humanism
  • India
  • Literature
  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Rokeya


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