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

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WEST GERMANY-Assuring the Allies

leader was a mediator. Partha Chat- terjee expanded on this latter point by asking Chakravarty what, in his view, would constitute change. Was not the worker-trade union leader relationship an essentially new one? The trade union leader had, in fact, a bourgeois understanding of his role as a political representative of the people. Dipesh Chakravarty replied that although there were obvious empirical differences between rural zamindar-dominated society and urban industrial society, relationships of power and authority continued to be similar. He accepted that his analysis was pessimistic, but in India there were few grounds for optimism. It was one thing to believe in the possibility of a change for the better, another to argue that it was coming in the near future. He accepted the possibility of change, but: not the immediate likelihood, and this essay was an attempt to understand why this was so. He felt that Marxists who analysed all problems in terms of structure and superstructure tended to be blind to the critical problem of culture, and he argued that there is a great need for a theory of culture in Marxist writing. In conclusion, we may say that the papers presented at this conference showed a greater awareness of the need to analyse the relationship of collaboration between subaltern and elite classes as well as that of conflict. Other elements which came out in the whole discussion were the need to combat narrow economistic explanations for subaltern actions, the need to focus strongly on political relationships, the relative autonomy which exists between the thought and actions of elite and subaltern classes, and the need to understand better the nature of the tenacious hold of culture within the Indian social formation. The study of subaltern consciousness and culture, it was brought out, was central to the whole project. In this, the authors of these papers accepted the need to approach popular beliefs and understandings through a more sophisticated analysis of texts. This is, perhaps, one of the directions in which we may expect the subaltern studies project to move in the future.

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