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

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Identity and Destiny

I myself have learnt a lot from his many occasional insights and valuable historical research. An example is the insight into the originality and daring of the intellectual adventures of Akbar. But even the “argumentative Indian”, no less than the derided “spiritual east”, is a construction. And the construction, as with much post-modern discourse, appears to be oblivious of the contradictory process of history.

At the very beginning of his challenging book Sen refers to the primal type of argument: that between Krishna and Arjuna. According to Sen the argument is one between two concepts or perceptions of duty, one insisting on what duty ordains, regardless of the consequences, and the human agent devastated by the thought of consequences. This reading is an abstraction from history. What Arjuna perceives is the emotional pull of kinship of primitive society, and what the incarnate god shows is the transcendent call of caste duty.

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