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

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Reconsidering Ramkrishna Mukherjee

Social Change in India

With Ramkrishna Mukherjee's study of social change in India, a scholar of his standing deserves to be read seriously, not ignored or praised without an engagement with his writings. An exposition of his formulations is followed by their critical examination, including his concept of "soft spots."

Ramkrishna Mukherjee provides many narratives of social change in India. It is useful to recognise them. Four such narratives are identified here. Two of these narratives belong to his early writings, and each of the remaining two narratives belongs to his later writings and his last writings, respectively. Together, they cover a working life of more than 50 years, from 1948–2006. They cover a long span of time in Indian society, from the appearance of the East India Company (henceforth, the Company) in 1608, to 2008, the year when the land issue in West Bengal became important and the partial implementation of the Mandal Commission report in India took place. This article presents briefly these narratives, followed by comments towards their critical evaluation.

East India Company

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