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HematologiesThe Political Life of Blood in India$
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Jacob Copeman and Dwaipayan Banerjee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501745096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501745096.001.0001

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Sovereignty and Blood

Sovereignty and Blood

(p.46) 2 Sovereignty and Blood

Jacob Copeman

Dwaipayan Banerjee

Cornell University Press

This chapter enters a neglected corner of Gandhi's political thought—his preoccupation with blood. Here, blood indexed a past and present colonial violence, as well as the future possibility for an ascetic transcendence of both politics and the body. The chapter then goes on to discuss how past, present, and future bloodsheds are evoked simultaneously in the iconography of fallen freedom-fighter martyrs. In this genre, heroes of India's independence struggle who shed their blood for the nation are depicted in portraits composed of human blood in the present. This aimed to inspire others to willingness to shed their blood, and that of others, in the future for the nation.

Keywords:   Mahatma Gandhi, sovereignty, bloodshed, colonial violence, freedom-fighter martyrs, Indian independence

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