Global Concepts and the Semantics of Social Spaces: Fascism and National Socialism in the Political Language of Subhas Chandra Bose

Global Histories 4 (1):106-125 (2018)
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This paper examines the conceptual incorporation of ‘Fascism’ and ‘National Socialism’ into the political language of Indian nationalist icon Subhas Chandra Bose, who influentially cooperated with the Axis powers during the Second World War. The article thereby tries to situate this case study in a wider methodological context shedding light on the relationship(s) between globally circulating concepts and the semantics of the specific social spaces they were articulated in. By reconstructing Bose’s political language on the background of his political biography, it offers new insights into the entanglements between Indian political thought and European fascism. His framings of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism and fascist ideology were closely tied to his role in the Indian anticolonial struggle. The paper, thus, highlights the role that the ‘social field’ of Congress politics and the looser social formations of wartime politics played in structuring the reference semantics. Beyond the case study, it thereby proposes a heuristic framework to further analyse the practical functions that globally circulating concepts may obtain in specific social spaces.
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