ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Regional Consciousness in 19th Century India-A Preliminary Note

A MAJOR, and very delicate, problom that confronts the historian of nationalism in India relates to its definition. Nationalism is seen, almost invariably, as being co-derminous with the boundaries of the Indian State. This kind of ex post facto procrusteantion of nationalism, within the Indian context, introduees extraneous factors in what ought to be an intellectual exercise: the understanding of a principle of cohesion that transcended, even as it derived from them, the traditional units of social cohesion. It negates, on political grounds, the possibility of nationalism in India being other than Indian nationalism.1 This is a problem by no means peculiar to the study of nationalism in India. Given the elusi- veness of the subjective factor that alone makes possible the transformation of a conjunction of objective factors into the phenomenon called nationalism, it has not been possible to evolve objectively valid criteria for defining nationalism. For, in its essence, nationalsim is but a subjective phenomenon produced by varying combinations of objective factors. Very often during its nascence, and at times even in its maturity, nationalism is pitted against a particular political dispensation; it is, indeed, so often produced by the very fact of a group of people beng so pitted. In such situations, particularly during the early stages of such a confrontation, the very existence of a given nationalism becomes a political issue; it is simultaneously asserted and denied by people depending upon how they are situated in or inclined towards this confrontation. Should the recognition or otherwise of specific manifestations of nationalism be dependent on political validation rather than on intellectually valid criteria?

Premchand: A Historiographic View

The work of Premchand is marked by a profound paradox. The clarity of his perception of the wretched lot of the Indian poorspecifically the kisans, contrasts with the lack of clarity in his prescription of the remedy for these iniquities. The portrayal of the conditions of the poor and the vague prescriptions for their amelioration in his early work are succeeded in his later writings by a realisation that to portray these conditions is itself to prescribe a remedy. Having, as a creative writer, portrayed reality, Premchand as the nationalist political commentator close to the Congress. though never of it, felt (especially in his journalistic writings) that he had to take into account, in suggesting remedies, the possible and the pragmatic which nay not always be the just. The revolutionary implications of his creative writings are thus tempered by an unwillingness to accept the upheaval and violence that any attempt to change the system would necessarily entail This paper traces some of these contradictory Pulls in Premchand's writings and suggests possible explanations for them.

Secular Potential of Early Indian Nationalism

Indian Nationalism Sudhir Chandra THE emergence of nationalism in India meant the introduction of a new kind of community orientation in a religion-bound traditional society organised on the basis of all-embracing social unities. By inducing group formations that cut across traditional solidarities, it tended to secularise aspects of Indian society. But its ideological rationalisations

Rationaliser of Contradictions

Rationaliser of Contradictions Sudhir Chandra Har Dayal Hindu Revolutionary and Rationalist by Emily C Brown; Manohar Book Service, New Delhi, 1975; pp 321; Rs 60.

Between Vision and Action

Sudhir Chandra "IF ever we return to our own countries, there is one thing we will have to recognise from the start: the struggle for Socialism means the struggle for democracy. If we Communists fail to be the most consistent of democrats, history will pass us by." This was Palmiro Togliatti talking to Ernst Fischer, within the Comintern premises during the Stalinist Terror. Driven out by the eruption of Fascism in their own countries, Italy and Austria respectively, they had taken refuge in their ideological homeland. But the 'horrible half-light' of the Soviet reality, confronting its new citizens with 'the ghastly caricature' rather than the true face of Communism', generated its own inexorable logic. Hence, eventually, the resolve

Relevance of Raja Rammohan Roy

Rammohan's approach to the question of freedom and authority may suggest interesting parallels and possibilities in a society characterised by the erosion of the democratic process and the persistence of the illusion of justice and welfare. Which of these parallels and possibilities one chooses will depend on one's frame of mind. That will influence one's understanding of and reactions to both Rammohan Roy and the contemporary situation. For present-oriented utilitarian history is essentially a creative subjective process. But it too has some essence of objectivity. To that extent, whatever one's particular choice, it would not be possible for those studying the relevance of Rammohan today to ignore the threat to human freedom and welfare. For it was these that he earnestly championed and fought for under the rule of an alien and ruthless trading corporation.

Enslavement and Pundit Pride

April 6, 1974 regular training programmes at the State Bank Staff College. The performance budgeting system introduced in the Bank completed the first full year of operation on a whole- bank basis. The experience has been very rewarding and we are convinced that we arc on the right path of' improving our methods of business planning and management control.

Our Hierarchical Universities

Our Hierarchical Universities Sudhir Chandra DISCONTENT is mounting among lecturers, who constitute the majority of university teachers, against the existing three tier academic hierarchy. It is also shared by a number of people occupying the middle berth. Not all the causes of this discontent 'are strictly academic. But it derives chiefly from a frustratingly long experience of the systematic abuse of the existing structure for personal and group interests. It is no exaggeration to maintain that only in rare cases are appointments to higher posts made on merit. Various extraneous considerations play the key role in these appointments. This is an alarming situation. It fosters academic politics, and for purposes of professional advancement renders virtually irrelevant the acquisition of intellectual excellence. It induces the growth of camp-followers and time-servers, and inhibits scholars and thinkers And the irony is that this system is maintained ostensibly for encouraging teachers to take to reading and research; its abolition is resisted on the ground that but for its rewards and punishments teachers would not read and write. To this we shall return later. Let us meanwhile cast a quick glance at the academic class war that the academic hierarchy has deepened.

History and Nationalism A Personal Response to the Indian Situation

History and Nationalism: A Personal Response to the Indian Situation Sudhir Chandra HISTORY is a branch of knowledge. It is also the corporate memory of a society. The distinction between these causally related forms of history is elusive. As corporate memory history tends to acquire the character of myth. This happens not because society altogether fabricates the facts it remembers, Rather, it remembers what it wishes to remember. Depending on the character of a society, this wish operates more or less on both the conscious and the unconscious planes. It determines not only the choice of facts that are remembered but also the way in which they are remembered. Some facts are thus brought into limelight and the others are consigned to varying degrees of oblivion. In this manner corporate memory restricts the area of general historical awareness and enquiry. According as the requirements of a society change, a particular myth is modified or a new one created. If necessary even facts are imagined into being.

Indian Council of Historical Research

Indian Council of Historical Research Sudhir Chandra THE state of historical research in India has not been terribly satisfactory all these years. The quality of both writing and teaching has left a great deal to be desired. Little co-ordination of effort and purpose has been visible. Barring a couple of exceptions, historical journals in the country appear intermittently with a fare unlikely to cheer many. The annual tamasha at the Indian History Congress has to be seen to be believed for its banal academic proceedings and inverted perspective in which petty profiteering acquires the pride of people's attention. The Indian Historical Records Commission can scarcely boast of a more edifying performance. Sporadic seminars attract more or less the same set of" bigwigs most of whom, too busy to read, desperately try to say pompously the same trivial things over and over again. The freak work of quality has been the result of individual enterprise scarcely motivated and aided by organisations.

Towards a Cultural Policy A Minority Viewpoint

 Towards a Cultural Policy: A Minority Viewpoint UNDER the sponsorship of the ministry of education and the auspices of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, a seminar groped for a week 'towards a cultural policy for" India'. In spite of the initial doubts of many participants, the seminar was able to produce a statement that represented a substantial measure of consensus, a real achievement indeed. The discussions in the seminar, the draft of the statement and the final form of the statement, however, raised important issues which, it seems, admit of very difficult solutions, if at all they can be solved by pure human volition. The statement, at any rate, did not offer very sound solutions, and left many ends loose.

Modern Indian Historiography-Urgency and Risk of Micro Studies

 In its loan operations, the company could adopt the general principles of farm finance enunciated in the Crop Loan Manual Of the Reserve Bank of India, The crop loan system envisages the provision of credit on the basis of a rational assessment of the need of the agriculturist in relation to his agricultural activity, subject to his repaying capacity and with a view to minimising the possibility of the loan's misuse. It provides for the issue of a minimum amount of loan in cash, with the major requirements of the agriculturist being met in kind. The cash part of the loan is intended to meet the wage-bills and consumption requirements of the period during which the crop is still in the field. It may also include expenses incurred for inputs such as for additional weeding, additional watering, etc. The components of the loan would depend on the willingness of the farmers to take up farm practices recommended by the agricultural extension service. The capacity, of the agriculturist to repay his short-term loans and the annual instalments of his term-loans is roughly estimated to be 50 per cent of the total yield. The timings of the disbursements and the recoveries should be adjusted to the agricultural season. The advances should be synchronised with the various stages of cultivation, and the repayment schedules should be arranged such that they synchronise with the harvest after allowing some time for the agriculturist to market his produce.


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