However, Vivekananda also appears to have gone beyond this tendentious project, for he rejected pure political praxis and visualised freedom as much as a social concept as the political. In modern India, Vivekananda anticipates Gandhi in attempting to understand the nation not so much in terms of some ideology as developing a deep relationship with its people. This he performed not through some upper-class rhetoric, as had been pompously aired before him, but through genuine empathy and understanding, based upon close observations of Indian life. His ideals were the Buddha, who had no metaphysics but heartfelt compassion, and the contemporary philanthropist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who rediscovered human warmth and innocence among rustic Santhals, at some distance from the pretentious world of colonial Calcutta (now Kolkata).
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