Time 11:00 AM, Date 27/06/2017
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An exercise in dogma
Political Sociology, Economic Sociology & Sociology of Religion A book titled “The Burning Forest: India’s War In Bastar” has stirred a controversy in the academic circles in Delhi. The subject is stated to fall in the genre of “political sociology”. However, it can’t be studied in isolation and out of the context. Born in the west, political sociology has grown from Christianity, Marxism, Socialism, Atheism, Secularism and Modernism. The rich Indian legacy on political power is not covered in these studies. Can any study in political sociology be of any relevance to India without understanding the economic sociology as practiced in the organisation of caste and sociology of Varna structure and power guided by Dharma only? Picking up a short study of Bastar and superimposing some foreign ideas or conclusions on it is an exercise in dogma and cult to serve a specific purpose. Actually, we urgently need “A Social History of India” (in addition to the work of Sadasivan). So far, India was importing only political ideology; of late it has also started attracting “verbal FDI”. A combo of politicians, journalists & academics has overtaken all the intellectual space in the country. So, mediocrity easily passes off for great scholarship. But monopoly and control of the academic field in the name of progressive ideas is political academics only. If the progressive forces seek to prescribe one kind of books to students, the university must also prescribe all relevant books by Karl Marx, Max Weber and several other scholars. Students are entitled to learn the fundamentals of every subject without prejudiced mind in the most objective manner and dispassionately. Books meant to arouse passions or incite social tensions are scripts for stoking political upheavals so that resulting violence ending in heavy casualties can be harvested for many years. Hope the M/o HRD is alert so that facts don’t get distorted sullying the image of the country as Bastar is a predominantly tribal area.
M L Gupta
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