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Pragmatic and Paradoxical Philanthropy: Tatas’ Gift-Giving and Scientific Development in India

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JournalDevelopment and change
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Nov 2018
Issue number6
Volume49
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)1422-1446
Early online date16/04/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite the growing interest in organized philanthropy from India, scholarship on the subject has remained thin. Existing literature argues that Indian philanthropy has been shaped by three, sometimes overlapping, narratives of managerialism, modernization and nationalism. Departing from such smooth and singular narratives, this article contends that modern Indian philanthropy has been shaped by colonialism, imperialism, managerialism, modernity, nationalism, nation building, neoliberalism and secularism. The particular ways in which it has been shaped can be understood as both pragmatic and paradoxical. The article draws on the history of philanthropy of the house of Tatas, India's leading corporate group, geared toward scientific development in the 20th century.

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