DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 24 Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866—1915)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 24 Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866—1915)

Question 1.
Discuss the social, ideas of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. What type of political and economic organisation did he contemplate for Indian society ?
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born of the Indian soil at Kolhapur in the now Maharashtra State on 9th May, 1866. This family belonged to the Brahmin community of Chittpavan to which also belonged Lokmanya Tilak.

Liberal ideas. Gopal Krishna Gokhale belonged to the liberal school of thought in India and proved to be a brave son of India daring the English regime. He bore a prominent personality. He was one of the nationalist leader of the period and proved himself to be a respected Indian statesman throughout India and abroad. He possessed great remarkable qualities of head and heart and so he rose to the highest in life. While at Fergusson College, Poona, he met Lokmanya Tilak and Agarkar.

They held discussions over the political subjects about India and on the allied subjects. During those discussions, he avoided Lokmanya Tilak as he was an extremist in political affairs and regarded everything of the past heritage as good and noble in ancient Hindu culture. While on the other hand, Gokhale was a moderate and liberal person for his views and attitudes towards modernity.

Scientific temperament: striking a balance. Gokhale had a mind which was always full of the scientific tendencies and gave a balanced view of Indian and Western cultui es and civilizations. He neither discarded the Western culture and civilization thinking it to be bad nor he praised greatly the Indian culture and heritage to the utmost. About things and matter he held rationalized views after long thinking. Because of these views and opinions held by him. he was at cross-purposes tvith Lokmanya Tilak. Hence he found Agarkar to be a nicer person for company than Lokmanya Tilak. Besides Agarkar was of liberal views.

While at Fergusson College Gokhale had his familiarity with Mahadeo Govind Ranade who- had fame for the philosophy.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was elected Secretary of the Sarvajanik Sabha at Poona. During those days this Sabha was the only political association of the Maharashtrians. The Sabha took the functions in hand of any kind and even every issue of public importance was taken where it was found to convey some injustice to the people. As a secretary, he had to draft out petitions and requests for all such ail airs under the leadership of Ranade. Gokhale learnt from his preceptor Ranade, the art of keeping cool and expressing his ideas in a persuasive and moderate way. For many years, he performed the work of editor of the journal of the Sarvajanik Sabha.

Editor of Sudharak Magazine. Agarkar started a weekly magazine called ‘Sudharak’ and Gopal Krishna Gokhale contributed articles to it. These articles had their groundings on the necessity of certain urgent social reforms and opposed the opinions imparted by Tilak rendered through the mediums of Kesri and the Maratha papeis in which Tilak opposed the social reforms through law? passed by the English rulers.

At the age of twenty two, he became the member of the Bombay Legislative Council. His speeches in the Legislative Assembly were highly constructive, appealing and convincing. As far as Budget is concerned in the Legislative Council his speech fully depicted remarkable and original ideas.

Difference of opinion with Tilak. Difference of opinion betweer Gokhale and Tilak brought the existence of rival groups of politicians – one headed by Tilak and the other had their leaders as Agarkar and Gokhale. During the Congress Session of Poona in the year of 1895, the difference became quite vital. This caused heated debates among them and both resulted attacks and counterattacks. During the forthcoming year in 1896, the Sarvajanik Sabha was captured by Tilak and his group. Thereby resulted the resignation of Gokhale from the post of secretary of Sarvajanik Sabha.

Writing petition for social reforms. After this Gokhale started the Deccan Sabha as another political association which forwarded and prepared petitions and representations for the redresss of various public grievances. British Government accorded recognition to the Deccan Sabha while Sarvajanik Sabha was ignored for all purposes. With the great personality of Pheroze Shah Mehta he was also influenced greatly. At the age of thirty years, he became the President of the Indian National Congress. In the year of 1904, he was adorned with the title of C.T.E. For several times he visited England during the years 1897, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1912, 1913 and 1914.

At that time the British leaders were greatly influenced by his impressive and pleasing personality. He demonstrated his superior wisdom and scholarship in England daring his every visit. Among the patriots he was counted in the first grade personality. During his first visit to England in the year 1897, he was called to give evidence before Welby Commission which was constituted to look into the sharing of the. financial burdens before India and England and Indian finances. The evidence given by Gokhale proved his statesmanship without a doubt and he proved his profound knowledge of Indian Economics.

He proved before the commission that the expenses done for the upkeep of military in India was highest as compared to any other country. He put forward the question by Indianization of civil services to reduce the overall expenses. In the year of 1905, he was deputed as a delegate to the Commission sent to Britain by the Indian National Congress to represent the case against the separation of Bihar from Bengal.

Besides he was a scholar of History and Economics. He had studied deeply the British Classical Economists. In the year of 1900. he became a member of the Indian Legislative Council and continued as its member till his death.

During his first visit to England, Gokliale received news from India that while Plague spread in Bombay and Poona, Police and Military deputed to separate the patients did act atrociously and tourtured many and even tried to molest women for their chastity. So he informed the British Government of this act. While this was going on two European Officers were killed by the Indians at Poona on account of the resentment. British papers gave this in coloured pictures to punish the murderers.

After receiving the news from India by responsible newsmen, Gokhale told the correspondence of Manchester Guardian that it was due to the resentment caused by the suicide of the two women for molestation by the soldiers. Gokhale’s statement caused great controversy in the British papers. Questions were raised in the Parliament. Bombay Government informed the Home Government about- the concoction of the news as mischievous and malevolent. While Gokhale returned India, he came to know that the news had no ground. Gokhale apologized , the Government of Bombay for his wrong statement. This apology became the question of controversy. Some critics condemned Gokhale for this action. While other responsible and respectable persons of the political field in India praised him for his bold action i and moral courage in admitting his mistake.

Question 2.
What social reforms Gokhale wanted to achieve through servants of India society ? Explain.
During the year of 1905, Gokhale presented as gift to the Indian Nation “The Servants of India Society” which continues for ever. This institution was founded for the training of the public workers pledged to work for the Motherland on a pittance and subject to rules of rigid discipline as well as loyalty to the British ) Empire. In its preamble while constituting the society, Gokhale wrote as follows : “A sufficient number of oar countrymen must now come forward to devote themselves to the cause in the spirit in which religions work is undertaken. Public life must be spiritualized. Love of the country must so fill the heart that all else shall appear as of little moment by its side”.

Originally, this society had four members—Gokhale, Devadhar, Patvardhan and Dravid. As time passed by its membership was enhanced.

The society was established with a wise step and right direction. He was of the opinion that public service or politics required wholetimers. Those people who devoted fully to the public cause, would prove a good politicians. Others devoted to other occupations could not be proving a right type of public men. Anything more, public service required a special acuteness of mind, knowledge and education. Hence those who could not devote full time to the cause of public service, could never be successful politicians. So this society was established to train public who were ready to dedicate their lives for the service of the country with missionary zeal and use constitutional means for Indian interest.

Objects of the Servants of India Society

  1. To prepare a team of workers with missionary zeal of self-sacrifice and selfless service, who would create among the people by example and precept, a passionate and profound love for the Mother Country.
  2. To train and educate political workers in the att of careful study of public questions.
  3. To promote harmony and cordial relations between the different communities living in India.
  4. To promote industrial development of the country.
  5. To promote education in general and particularly for the depressed classes. Every member was to take pledge in this way that –
    • The interest of the nation shall be paramount in his actions and thoughts.
    • No self interest will be involved in the service of the nation.
    • All Indians will be regarded as brothers with no differentiation of case, creed, community, race or religion.
    • He will be satisfied with the living wages paid by the society to him.
    • He will lead a pure and simple life.

In the year of 1905 during his second visit to England, he represented for the Self Government for India with perfect ability so that the Indians be increased in the administrative services. To turn the British Public opinion towards India he was accompanied by Lala Lajpat Rai. During this time he spent seven weeks time in England and devoted full day. This time he held 45 meetings and wrote many articles. He visited British parliamentarians, statesmen, presss correspondents and made them know about India.

During the following year of 1906, he again visited England for four months period. In this visit he met Morley, the then Secretary of State for India, and had several meetings with him and by this he stressed for the introduction of definite reforms in Indian Administration as regards representation. Gokbale’s practical commonsense and political sagacity influenced Morley to the large extent. It was due to Gokhale’s efforts in England that Morley-Minto reforms of 1909 came into action.

In the year of 1907, during his budget speech in the Indian Legislative Council, he advocated in favour of the introduction of free primary education. In the year of 1908, he again went to England. This time he put forward himself as an evidence before the Hobhouse Decentralization Commission. During this visit he again stressed Morley the Secretary of State for India to make reforms in the Administrative set up of India.

Against Minto Morley Reforms. But the Indian aspirations were not satisfied by the Minto Morley Reforms Public opinion throughout India condemned the Reforms. During the year of 1909 while these reforms came in force Gokhale was depressed too much by its nature and shape. Hence every Indian politician protested to it. English authorities in India spread the terror throughout India.

Lala Laj pat Rai was deported from India. Tilak was given the sentence of imprisonment for six years. While other leaders were also jailed. Thus the Minto-Morley Reforms, 1909 became more retro-gressive practically beyond expectation. After these Reforms, Press Act was passed to suppress the Presses. Gokhale had sponsored the Elementary Education Bill that was also rejected by the Reforms Committee. This shocked Gokhale to much.

A Bill for Compulsory Education. During the year of 1911, he introduced a bill in the Legislative Council for compulsory education but due to the reason of strong opposition of the English people, the bill could not get success and it remained without being passed.

The main object of that Bill was seeing the public interest that the Municipal Committee should introduce compulsory elementary education throughout the country. Gopal Krishna Gokhale again visited England in 1912. He persuaded the English authorities to pass the Elementary Education Bill but his effort could not bear any fruit. During September 1912, he was appointed as a member of the Royal Commission on Public Services in India formed under the Chairmanship of Islington into the problems of working of the public services in India.

In Gokhale, Gandhiji found and regarded him as his political preceptor. During the years of 1910 and 1912, Gokhale took the cause of Indian indentured labour in Natal in Indian Legislative Council.

During the year of 1912 while returning to India from England he visited South Africa on the request of Gandhiji and so he became s a great helper to Gandhiji for solving the problems of Indians staying in that country. He tried to bring about reconciliation between the Indian resisters and the South African Government. By his efforts, the Black Act was repealed.

In the year of 1913, he collected the funds also so that the Satyagrah Movement in Africa got enough footing and so helped Gandhiji in assisting his cause.

Again he visited England in the years of 1914 and 1915 due to the work of Public Service Commission.

Question 3.
Explain the contribution of Gopal Krishna Gokhale to Indian social thought.
Gokliale believed in constructive programmes as a states-man. By the side of politics he gave consideration to economics. His political philosophy contained both idealism and realism. He can be called idealist because of his consideration given to the lofty ideals of nationalism and purity of life. He was realist because he never wandered about for abstract idealism. He used to be firm on every ground he gave to his approach and kept sentiments and wild emotions at a great distance.

Those practical things that can be achieved he tried to get possibly, while the impossibles were never insisted by him. He believed that attainment of self-government was only possible under the framework of the British Kingdom and so he believed in the policy of gradual development of self-government. This depicted his practical wisdom and political realism. His political philosophy based on these principles :

Gokhale as Moderate. He advocated for the British rule in India. He marked British as guardians of India and hence his policy was of loyal co-operation, To British rule he gave full support for the sake of patriotism and loyalty. He liked the British Liberalism, British conscience and hoped to get always justice and fair play from them. He trusted and advocated that we the people of India should accept the British rule frankly and loyally by which we hope to get countrywide peace and order by which necessarily a nation will be born out of the hetrogeneous elements prevailing in India to advance the country.

Gokhale retied on Constitutional methods for Reforms. -In political tactis he was moderate par excellence. For acquiring the Indian demands he advocated constitutional methods. Gokhale had faith in caution slow evolution and rational progress like Burke. He advocated Constitutional agitation and discarded extreme measures and theatrical outbursts of popular frenzy. As he said “Constitutional agitation is agitation by methods which we are entitled to adopt to bring about the changes we desired through the action of constituted authorities”. He discarded the indirect way. The only way to attain what we desire is to bring moral pressure on the ruler. He said again, “Redress must be obtained through the constituted authorities, the idea we should leave the authorities, severely alone and
seek to attain our goal independently of them is inadmissible and absurd”.

In fact Gokhale was the middleman between the government and the people. He interpreted popular aspirations to the Viceroy and the governments’ difficulties to the Congress. Hence at times he was not liked by both the wings and so led to unpopularity. His fellow-workers complained of him being mild. At times government held him to be a too radical. It still can be said that he was more outspoken and severe criticiser of Bureaucracy than Pheroze- shah Mehta or Dadabhai Naorozi. Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya spoke of him, “Gokhale had a knack of saying the harder things in the gentlest language”.

Gokhale used soft words for criticism with clear meaning. Being disappointed, he changed the words as seen for the repressive policies adopted by Lord Curzon. This shook him for British sincerity. In his unusual words he used to utter “Then, all I can say is, good bye to all hopes of co-operating in any way with the bureaucracy in the inteiest of the people”.

He spoke of the British rule for the benefit of India. It was a blessing to India. English rule has brought about law and order in India and all disturbances of the past have vanished. According to him, it was easy to disorder a thing but very difficult to have peace, order and progress. Britishers were quite reasonable persons. India would obtain a place of honour among nations and England will be glorified by the act done by them to India. He tried to get self-government through the framework of British Empire. Here he followed his political preceptors Ranade, Naorozi and Pherozeshah Mehta.

Emphasis on Local Self-government. Gokhale was admirer of British rule and found faith for the benefit of India through them, though disappointed at the end of his life he said “The bureaucracy was becoming frankly selfish and openly hostile to national aspirations”. Hence daring Congress Session of 1905 he avoided self-government goal and as a last resort, boycott was to be used. In the words of Pandit Moti Lai Nehru he was the great apostle of self-government. About the position of Bengal he said it to be bureaucracy’s gross irresponsibility and extreme indifference to the public will. Harshness and oppression of the bureaucracy was criticized by him. Bureaucracy should not satisfy itself with efficiency but to govern India in such a way so that Indians might govern themselves to the high western standards.

On the other hand Gokhale had faith in mutual cooperation of the both India and England. Hence he planned for the moral and material advance of the country. Hence it wanted to implement the policy of equal treatment in services as said in the Act of 1833. Indians should be given more places in the government. Though he criticized the bureaucratic way of power concentration still he had a faith in English statesmen ship. While Dadabhai Naorozi lost his faith, he was trusted by the British and so he supported the Indian Reforms Act, 1909.

Faith in Western Education. To free Indians of the old ideas based on blind faith, superstitions and dogmas, he considered and give importance to western education which gave rise to generate a greater responsiveness to the appreciation of freedom and value of free institutions.

Emphasis on Social Efficiency for National Growth. Gokhale had two impoitant propositions in his mind. Firstly, he gave importance to Ranade’s views that “British Empire in India was in the scheme of diviner dispensation and was meant to be of immense benefit to India”. Secondly, strong nationalism could be created through hard work and sacrifice. According to Gokhale nationalism.: was a kind of self-devotion to a higher cause. Nationalism could not become a living force without suffering and friendship and simplicity of life. For national growth, social efficiency and moral character should be increased.

Nationalism required devotion and dedication. Bespoke, ‘The real moral interest of a struggle, such as we are engaged in lies not so much in the particular readjustments of present institutions which we may succeed in securing as in the strength that the conflict brings to be a permanent part of ourselves. The whole life of a person, which is broader and deeper than what is touched by purely political institutions is enriched by failures, provided the effort has been all that it should be”.

Against Confrontationist approach. Through peaceful and constitutional means, self-government could be achieved. He had immense faith in the English statesmen for their wisdom and reasoning. Through solid arguments he liked to persuade them. He believed in honourable compromise with the government and tried all means to win to his side the authorities both in India and England. He had faith in caution, slow evolution and rational-progress. As far as extreme measures are concerned, he kept aloof. He was a peacemaker and hence clashes were avoided by him. Confrontation with government will bring chaos, and peace and order situation will be disturbed. Slow and gradual transfer of power to Indians was possible only through the preparation and so Dominion status will be achieved.

While Tilak criticised his idea of peaceful transfer of power through history, he said “It may be that the history of the world does not furnish an instance where a subject race had become free without violent agitation. If so, we shall supply that example for the first time. The history of the world had not yet come to an end, there are more chapters yet to be added”.

Gokhale held that self-government could not be achieved at once.

Primacy of Means Over Ends. In order to bring ends good, the means should also be good, He never believed that ends justify the means. This was also held by Mahatmaji. He believed that politics and morality should go together. Hence he spoke of self-government as end for all nationalists in India but means to achieve it must be noble. If unfair means were adopted for that end, the aim was to be no-where. If India was to become free by foul means, such freedom will not be a freedom at all. For Swarajya, we must deserve it.

Gokhale’s ideas about Swadeshi Movement. Gokhale was an advocate of Swadeshi Movement from patriotic angles. It was not an economic weapon to beat the foreign government. It was only a satisfaction to patriotic urge 10 the public. This use of Swadeshi would regularly remind us of our being Indian first. For boycott, howsoever, it should not be used. In Banaras Congress Session 1905, as President he said, “The true Swadeshi Movement is both a patriotic and an economic movement.

The idea of Swadeshi or one’s own country is one of the noblest conceptions that have ever stirred the heart of humanity The devotion to motherland, which is enshrined in the highest Swadeshi, is an influence so profound and so passionate that its very thought thrills and its actual touch lifts one out of itself. The Swadeshi Movement, as is ordinarily understood, presents one part of this gospel to the mass of our people, in a form which brings it within their comprehension.

It turns their thoughts to their country, accustoms them to the idea of voluntarily making some sacrifice for her sake, enables them to take an intelligent interest in her economic development and teaches them the important lesson of co-operating with one another for a national end… But the movement on its material side is an economic one, and though self-denying ordinance, extensively entered into, must serve a valuable economic purpose namely, to ensure a ready consumption of such articles as are produced in the country and to furnish a perpetual stimulus to production by keeping the demand for indigenous things largely in excess of the supply, the difficulties that surround the question economically are so great that they require the co-opeiation of every available agency to surmount them”.

At the same Benaras Congress Session Gokhale put nine demands –

  • Reforms in Legislative Councils by raising the -number of elected members to one half and budgets be passed by the councils.
  • Three indians be appointed to the Lidia Council.
  • Countrywide creation of District Advisory Boards and District Magistrate should compulsorily consult them in matters of administration.
  • Judicial branch should consist of legal professionists for Indian Civil Service.
  • Judicial executive administration should be separated.
  • Military expenses should be reduced.
  • Primary education should be expanded.
  • Industrial and Technical education should be extended, and
  • Rural indebtedness should be avoided.

Communal Harmony. He was a champion of Hindu-Muslim unity. About the controversy between the two communities, he avoided such occasions so that the relations may not become embittered. He told Hindus to protect Moslem minority and remove an inferiority complex in them. He tried to avoid the festivals held by Tilak during Ganeshotsava and Shivaji anniversary and thus avoided caste consciousness.

All problems were tackled by him on constructive basis. In Bombay Legislative Council, he was the leader of the opposition. But his opposition was so constructive operated that over his arguments official majority bowed down. While he opposed the bills, he also suggested the could be improvements therein. So at times he proved to be the leader of the House and not as only leader of the opposition.

Against Centralisation. He championed the cause from Decentralization of Poweis. By decentralization autocracy comes to power. He advocated checks on the bureaucracy. He advocated that legislatures in provinces should be given more powers to discuss the budget. Recommendation of Advisory Boards of district councils was his gift. While giving evidences before Habhouse Decentralisation Commission he advocated the necessity of—

  1. Village Panchayats at the village level.
  2. District Councils at the intermediate level, and
  3. Reformed Legislative Council at the top level.

Gokhake’s Efficient Government. With the spread of the Western education new problems sprang up. Thsi spread the response for liberty and free institutions. He aimed at forwarding some tests for judging the ability and the progressive policies of the Government. During the year of 1911 he said “I suggest four tests to judge whether the Government is progressive and further whether it is continuously progressive.

First test, I would apply is what measures it adopts for the moral and material improvement of the mass of the people and under these measures I do not include those applied in this country because they were appliances necessary for its very existence, though they have benefitted the people such as the construction of the Railways, the introduction of Posts and Telegraphs and the things of that kind. By measures for the moral and material improvement of the people, I mean what the Government does for education, what the Government does for sanitation, what the Government does for agricultural development and so forth. That is my first test.

The second test that I would apply is what steps the Government takes to give us large shares in the administration of local affairs that is in municipalities and local bodies. My third test is what voice the Government gives us in its councils in those deliberative assemblies where policies are considered. And lastly, we must consider how far Indians are admitted into the ranks of Public Services.”

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 23 Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856—1920)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 23 Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856—1920)

Question 1.
Discuss social thought of Gaogadbar Tiiak.
Lokinanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a leader of such qualities by which destiny, of India was changed. His heroic deeds made Indian National Congress a mass organisation. In the words of pattabhi Sitramayya in the book on the History of Congress who spoke Of him “Lokmanya was the first Rationalist who took the movement for freedom struggle to the common man.”

Before the entry of Tiiak to the Congress, the body was cornered by few moderate educated persons who were ignored by the Britishers. They were cautious in their actions. They only liked to have certain concessions to the educated class ‘ om the English rulers. While Tilak advocated a strong fight gainst the unjust foreign government. At the same time Gokhale 1 d constitutional ways to gain something.

. The economic condition of the country ’ as quite depress g. Economic resources were utilised for their own good. The credit of being the first mass leader goes to Tilak. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said to him “The early founders of Congress were great men. But they rather made the intellectual foundation in the early stages of the freedom movement. I don’t think that it is unfair to them to say that they were not mass leaders in the sense that some subsequent sta*e leaders became. I think the first great mass leader of this new state of our revolutionary movement was Lokmanya Tilak.

Tilak had to work under the unfavourable state as opposed by moderates. But he could emerge as a national leader.

He was of the opinion that keeping base on the constitutional methods of struggle was without foundation as India had not own constitution. Moderates gave importance to administration and its improvements. Moderates tried to win over the foreign government through love, goodwill and sympathy. While Tilak liked it through non-cooperation, obstruction and passive resistance. Politicians of Pre-Tilak period depended on alien government’s benevolence, sense of equity, justice and fairplay. Tilak trusted self-sacrifice, suffering and service of the people. Most leaders appealed to intelligent class while Tilak appealed to the masses in millions. The moderates wanted to voice their resentment and feelings through the Council Chambers.

Tilak used village Mandaps for voicing the feeling as platform. Leaders used English as their medium of expression. Tilak used Indian dialects. Other leaders wished to participate in the administration step by step. Tilak declared “Swaraj is my birthright and I will have it”. He thought of freedom to be never achieved by charity but was to be demanded as a right. Freedom was quite necessary for social, political and economic uplift of the public. Freedom was a political and spiritual necessity of the people for by that they can remove their misery, starvation and degradation. Tilak liked-Indian National Congress not to be a-body of general public for mass movement against the British Government. Congress s should be hold more frequently and not once in a year.

Its message should reach, everywhere.in India through towns, cities and villages. Because of these reasons English rulers called him the father of “Indian Unrest”

Influence .on Tilak. Tilak was influenced by his father. He was one of the persons born of an orthodox Brahmin family. This caused him influenced throughout his life. D.P, Karmakar wrote “Tilak inherited something more precious from his father a strong determination and will, a clean and healthy mind, a capacity of industry and achieving on a way of methodical work.” He was also influenced by Swami Dayanand, Swami Vivekanand, and Swami Ramkrisbna Paramhansa. He liked their philosophy much. At the same time the views and philosophy propagated by Mahadeo Govind Ranade were liked by Tilak. His idea of liberation proved much to Tilak.

Tilak wrote about him in the following words, “Mahadeo Raoji’s life was educative and important on account of his extraordinary intelligence, long and continued labour, genuine devotion to national cause, unquenchable thirst for knowledge and his rare imaginativeness. In fact that if Maharashtra later had showed greater life and greater public activities, it was all due to unremitting labours of Ranade for more than a quarter century”. Besides this Tilak was greatly influenced by Ancient Indian culture and civilization. Hence he was careful to revive the India’s past glory.

Glorification of Religious Festivals. Tilak found Indians to be more religious. He thought over that religious festivals can prove mass media to appeal the people against foreign government. Hence he arranged for the Shivaji and Ganeshotsava and gave long speeches to revive nationalism. He gave Shivaji a patriotic colour and national honour. He spoke “Our ancestors have created national opportunities in the form of these festivals for people to get together”.

Tilak’s Concept, Views and Philosophy of Swaraj. Tilak is said to be one of the movers of the Indian Nation. He talked of Swaraj from the year 1896. While most of the moderates praised the English rule, he gave the call of Swaraj. He gave the slogan for complete freedom. That slogan was no doubt too earlier but it paved the way for it, and it became reality of the future. He awakened the mass to national politics.

He gave the words “Swaraj is my birth right I shall have it”. Tilak gave it like a mantra at the Lucknow Congress Session in 1916. He meant ‘Home Rule’ for Indians. That means ruling power was to be handed over to Indians by the English people. He never meant the negatian of the British King Emperor. He only meant the replacement of the British rulers by the Indians.

By Swaraj, he meant a Dharma Rajya. It was not-only a transfer of political power but beyond that, as it was required to build a sperstructure on Indian culture and civilization. It was a Swaraj in which every Indian would get all the rights natural to man. He also revealed the federal structure of the country so that all races, languages, religion and culture could be accommodated. This all can be done under British Emperor and would lead to the end an independent existence.

Swaraj meant the operation and management of domestic affairs of India by Indians. According to his definition “Swarajya as possessing these rights which the native princes .had in the Indian States with this difference that instead of hereditary chiefs under Swarajya there would be an elected President”. Foreign policy was to remain in English hands. British King Emperor was not to be replaced. Further he put forward “The idea of Swarajya is an old one. Of course, when Swarajya is spoken of, there, is some kind rule opposed to swa (r’.e., our) and this idea arises at that time. This is a plan when such a condition arises it begins to thought that their should be Swarajya and even make efforts that purpose”.

“The question of Swarajya really means in whose hands should be vested
the control of our affairs. I have said that we do not wish to change the immutable government or the king but what we demand is that k the management of our affairs should not be, as it now is in the hands of invisible government, the bureaucracy, but should be transferred to our hands”.

According him Swarajya was the necessity. He meant by Swarajya a federal type of political set up. Like the American Congress, the Government of India should have similar powers and the same powers be used through the Imperical Council. He accepted the possibilities of linguistic provinces. As he said “India is big country”. Divide it, if you want according to languages.”

To attain Swarajya, many sufferings and sacrifices are required but not the prayers and petitions. We proposed some effective methods Swadeshi and Boycott movements prove for it, Karmakar spoke of him “Tilak attached a great importance to boycott as a ‘ means of exercising pressure on Britishers to compel them to grant Indian’s legitimate rights”. ‘ Tilak spoke : “We have neither the strength nor the desire to rise in arms against our rulers, but should it not be possible for us to stop the drain of crores of rupees which we are giving to the British merchants, labourers by purchasing British goods”. He told of the national education.

Children should be seat to such scools that would teach them of rationality and patriotism. For Swadeshi Movement he said once : “We send our boys to schools and completely aloof from the national movement. On the other hand our object is that they should get an education that will inspire them with patriotism”.

Other method was of Boycott or passive resistance. People should not obey those laws that go against justice and morality. “Passive resistance was the means to an end but was not the goal in itself.” “Public has to see its merits and demerits. More the demerits they should be fought but not by violence or anarchism for attaining Swarajya though he had no faith in constitutional methods. Constitutional agitation was out of question as there was no Constitution of India. He said “There is no constitution in India.

The Government in India is irresponsible and non-constitutional. Constituted authorities in India are irresponsible and we have to take our rights from them. The legality of our action may be illegal according to their point of view, but we” should not worry whether our agitation is legal or illegal. We must see whether justice, morality and historical traditions are in our favour or not and if our actions are correct according to these standards We should not care whether they come within the law or not because the power making of law is in hands of foreigners”.

Tilak gave birth to ‘Home Rule League’’ in 1916 with Mrs. Annie Besant’s collaboration. During April 1916, he started the movement which aimed Home Rule under British Empire. British Parliamentary Act can do this by introducing a Bill in Parliament to this effect and so propaganda and agitation was required to be started in England also.

Technique of struggle to reform the society and secure independence. Tilak condemned the method already adopted by the moderates who were dominating the Indian National Congress at that time. As their method depended completely on prayers, petitions and memoranda, Independence could not be got by these methods in charity. English people were selfish. They were bent upon unkind torture and economic exploitation of the Indians. They tried to suck the toils of Indians to the benefit of their home country. He had no faith for such people and justice from them. Hence he put forward his methods for conducting struggle. He put forth Swadeshi, boycott, national.education and passive .resistance. Swadeshi meant the use of Indian-made goods. Tis would stop the British goods’ consumption and their earnings would be reduced.

Secondly, he wanted to boycott the English made goods though their superiority was established due to machine-manufacture.

Thirdly, he supported the impartation of National Education instead of the British system of education prevalent at that time as it only produced clerks to work for the British administration in India. Hence National Education would bring the growth of patriotism and nationalism.

Fourthly, passive resistance was the effective method whereby public could resist bad laws and maladministration. He avoided constitutional methods of struggle as there was none of Indian Cons-titution. The Government of India was irresponsible and unconstitutional. Our legal actions were decided by an illegal government.

Lastly, the English bureaucracy in India was corrupt and misused the authority hence Tilak condemned the British officials engaged in India for mal-administration and spoke thus “To deport national leaders without trial, to prohibit peaceful meetings……to sentence editors newspapers like criminals to keep respectable people under trial for months together and such like actions being taken in India are similar to autocratic policy adopted by Czars of Russia. This repressive policy is likely to result in consequences similar to those of Russia”.

Major Social Ideas. He had before him the political freedom of India and it brought realism to his thoughts. He was understanding the Sanskrit Philosophy. So he brought forward the Indian thoughts of the heritage and coupled it with the nationalist and democratic ideas of the West.

He believed in the Indian philosophy of Vedanta regarding supremacy of the soul. Hence the soul was supreme and all human beings were same hence all were equal in all respects. Hence all were entitled to spiritual freedom. In Geeta Rahasya he recognised the concept of freedom such as : “Divine instinct of freedom never aged Freedom is the very life of the individual and which Vedanta declares to be not separate from God bat identical with him. Thus freedom was a principle that could never perish. Swaraj was not only a right bat a Dharma. Politically Swaraj meant home rale. Spiritually it meant realization of inner freedom. Morally Swaraj aimed at perfect self control so very essential for performance of one’s duties (Swadharma)”.

In this way Swaraj in Tilak’s opinion presented an essential ingredient of good life. He emphasized that without Swa- taj people would suffer in life on earth as well as in future life. Hence Advaitism taught the supremacy of the concept of freedom. He told “Freedom was the soul of the Home Rale movemeat. The divine instinct of freedom never aged, freedom is the very life of the individual sonl and which Vedanta declares to be not separate from God but identical with him. The freedom was a principle that coaid never perish”. Hence according to him freedom was a divine attribute.

Tiiak based his idea of nationalism on Western theories of national independence and self-determination. In his historical trial speech of 1905 he quoted J.S. Mill’s views about nationalism. In 1919 he accepted Wilson’s idea of self-determination and applied it to India. Hence his philosophy of nationalism has based on the mixture of Western and Eastern thoughts. This was given the word ‘Swarajya’ which was used by Shivaji also in his Maratha policy.

It was because of his spiritual approach and outlook that Tilak regarded it as right as well as Dharma. He gave Swarajya a moral as well as spiritual interpretation.

According to hint politically it meant Home Rule, morally it meant attainment of the perfection of self-control which was required for the performance, of Swadharma (one’s duty). Spiritually it meant the attainment of inner freedom and delight. He defined spiri- tually – “It is a life centred in self and dependent apaa self. There is Swaraj in this world as well as in the world thereafter. The Rishis who laid down the law of duty be took themselves to forests because the people were already enjoying Swarajya or people’s dominion which was administered mid defended in the first instance by Kshatriya Kings. It is my conviction; it is my the-is that Swaraj in the life to come cannot be the reward of the people who have not enjoyed in this world”.
Hence Tilak wished political and spiritual freedom.

Tilak’s ideas about Nationalism. Hence Tilak meant by Nationalism psychological and spiritual requirements. It was a tribal instinct that cannot be suppressed. Modern states were big in sizes. To, control the vast population in a single nation some conditions are required,, unity of race, religion, language and geography come under these. Common history and culture also promoted the cause of unity and India had it in the past.

(i) Revival of the past. He wanted to revive the past and hence we can say that it was revivalism. Hence he reminded the Vedic culture and caused to know the spiritual energy and moral enthusiasm by the people. He said “A true nationalist desires to build on old foundations. Reform based on utter disrespect for the old does not appeal to him as constructive work. We do not want to anglicise our institutions and so denationalize them in the name of social and political reforms”. Hence he revived the festivals of Ganapati and Shivah In terms these festivals made to look timely events and movements with historical traditions.

(ii) Recognition of Psychological and Spiritual Elements. According to him nationalism was a psychological and spiritual means. It is the modern version of old patriotism in tribal form. Now it covers the whole nation. Moreover nationalism flourished with common language, descent, religions, habitation and territory. All these lead to unity of nation. These factors are objective. At the same time subjective psychological factor is not present. It is required to be created by heritage of historical traditions. From immemorable past this had helped to build India. Economic grievances against-the foreign power existed though demand for independent existence of the soul of nationalism through the past culture.

(iii) Glorification of Religious Festivals. Spiritual side of nationalism was spread by the sages like Vivekananda, Tilak, Auro- bindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal and Mahatma Gandhi. Secularism was spread by Dada Bhai Naorozi, Ferozeshah and Gokhale. Tilak meant “Festivals are symbolical adjuncts of nationalism”. These festivals meant for unity of participators and can de utilized by leaders for national purposes. Ganapati and Shivaji festivals thus started by Tilak led to nationalism and unity. Ganapati festivals were celebrated from the past by the donations received from chiefs. Tilak gave it a public character and this helped to foster nationalism in the masses. Shivaji festivals were started through the initiative of English rulers in 1885. Grave of Shivaji was reconstructed at Rajgarh. Tilak called him ‘Vibhuti’ of Geeta. Vibhuti was said to have all creative powers of divine nature. After his release in 1900 grand celebration was held at Rajgarh. This festival spread upto Bengal and Japan in the 20th century beginning. He thought that the memories of Shivaji would foster the national sentiments among the public. Shivaji gave the symbol for resistance against the oppressors.

(iv) Revivalism. Tilak was a revivalist. Some say him to be a Hindu nationalist as he loved Hindu culture but he never opposed Muslims. Zakarias in his book “India – a Restatement” spoke of him as an anti-Muslim-retaliation. Palme Dutt said of him as mixing Hindu revivalism and cut off from Muslim masses from National movement. ‘ Prominent Muslim personalities like Jinnah, Dr. M. A. Ansari and Hasan Imam had admired him. As for his advice Lucknow Pact was done in 1916. Shaukat AH and Hasrat Mohani regarded him as political Guru. Shaukat Ali said “1 would like to mention again for the hundred times that both Mohammed Ali and myself belonged and still belong to LokmanyaY political party”.

Hasrat Mohani wrote, “I even at that early age chose the Lokmanya as the ideal leader for me—during that period I had ample opportunties of appreciating the thought and abilities of almost all political leaders and basing my remarks on that, close personal study. lean state without the least fear of contradiction that I found the Lokmanya the greater and superior to every other leader in every respect when I declare that all through Tilak’s life 1 was both intellectually and practically a blind follower of his, any one can well judge thereby of that love that I cherished towards him”

Though Tilak advocated national movement through strong cultural and religious revival still he accepted the economic reasons of Darla Bhai Naorozi. In an article written by Tilak in June 1887, he said Indian art and industries were suffering and declining under the English reign. Foreign investment has created a setback to the Indians and poverty is the ultimate result. In 1907, interview with Newinson gave the economic drain of India. The same year, Allahabad speech of Tilak asked for protection of Indian trade and boycott of the English goods. He pleaded for Swadeshi, boycott and national education.

In his commentary to Gita he wrote of his love to Mother country. For him whole world was a one big family’ This proves his love of internationalism.

Question 2.
Discuss Tilak’s ideas about the political set up of the society.
Mont-Ford Reforms of 1919 gave a great controversy among the Indian political thinkers. Even the Moderates thought it unwise to act according to it and take part in legislative bodies. Though Tilak had no belief in representation to such bodies but still he thought it should^bf ls a check to the bad laws and hence elections should be fought to take initiative under the law-making of the nation.

Tilak did not believe in representation but still he sent a memorandum to Peace Conference, Paris in March, 1991 as he could not attend it due to cancellation of the passport. He asked the conference to extend the principle” of self-determination to India also for which English people had fought the war. He wanted right share in the family of nations. He said “It is necessary for me to doll upon the imperative importance of solving Indian question for the purpose of ensuring the future peace of the world and the progress of the people of India. India is self-contained, harbours no design against the integrity of other states, and had no ambition outside. With the vast area, enormous resources, prodigious population* she may well aspire to be a leading powers in Asia. She could, therefore, be a powerful Steward of the League of Nations in the East for maintaining the peace of the world and the stability of the British Empire against all aggressors and disturbees of peace whether in Asia or elsewhere”.

Indian problems could only be solved by Indians. Their fitness had been recognized by Notingham Conference of the Labour Party of England. He asked the Peace Conference to make two pronoun-cements :

1. India would be accorded all the rights of representation in the League of Nations which have been given to British self-governing colonies.

2. It should be declared that Indians are fit for carrying on their government and the principle of self-determination should be applied to India so that Indians could establish a democratic form of government. He said that such a pronouncement would generate sentiments of enthusiasm in the hearts of Indians,

Seeing the opposition stand of the moderate’Tilak founded Con-gress Democratic Party, to fight the elections to demand from within and struggle from outside. :

Concept of Rights. He meant that Indians should claim rights. Demand of rights was not an act of sedition.. It was a sacred duty of the citizens to claim it and those who fail to claim did disservice to the nation. According to him rights were essential for the healthy life of the nation, fie said “What do we ask for ? Do we say, Drive away the English Government, but I ask what is it to the Emperor ? Does the Emperor lose anything ? Whether the administration is carried on by the Civil Servants or by our Delhi Sahibs ? The rule still remains, the Emperor still remains. The difference will be that the white servants who were with them would here be placed by black servants. From whom does this opposition come ? This opposition comes from those people who are in power. It does not come from the Emperor. From the Emperor’s point of view there is neither anarchy nor want of loyalty nor sedition in this. What does sedition means, hatred of the king. Does king mean a police Sepoy”. Thus Tilak meant for the demand of rights and it should not dislocate the political set up.

Concept of Revolution. Historians of Indian National Movement were of different opinions about Tilak. Revolutionary is one who brings revolution in the socio-economic system in the country. But it is to remember that he was neither a socialist nor a communist. His aim was to/get the Home Rule. By Home Rule he meat attainment of Indianization to the existing civil and military administration under the British Emperor.

Japan’s victory over Russia and partition of Bengal were printed in his papers ‘Kesari’ and ‘Maratha’ but the unrest in India was the outcome of the political and social conditions mixed with economical circumstances which was all brought about by the foreign rule.

Chirol in his book, ‘Indian Unrest’ spoke “Tilak had been the first to create, the atmosphere which breeds murders”. John S. Hoyland spoke “Tilak had been conquetting with doctrine of physical force”. Branson, the Advocate General in 1908, while conducting the case spoke “Tilak’s articles contained a covert threat of mutiny and he was preaching Swaraj or Bombs”. Dr. P.S. Khankhoje, a prominent revolutionary of Nagpur said of Tilak being a revolutionary in the articles under Kesari during August 1953 and February 1954 he spoke him “a teacher and preceptor of the revolutionary youth of India”.

No doubt Tilak was an extremist in his views as compared to moderates of his time. He was fearless for his attacks on bureaucracy. He spoke of petitions and prayers as useless. Though he advocated passive resistance still he returned while the force was to be used. It was known that he had established an arms factory in Nepal in 1903. He was more advanced than the times. English control was to a great extent and only Tilak could dare to oppose the Government. He was not a believer of Ahimsa. *He was in touch with the revolutionaries of the calibre of Shyamji Krishna Verma and B.D. Savarkar. He spoke that todays extreme might be a moderate of tomorrow.

He never tried to murder anybody nor he incited anybody to murder. He adopted the legal methods of political organisation and agitation. He said once “from begging to open rebellion choose any one according to your ability and do it but remember the supremacy of Swadharma”. He accepted that Geeta gare the theory of righteous violence for the doing of an act. A revolution means a change fundamental in the socio-political field. He wanted only the management of ones own affairs by themselves favouring the retention of King Emperor. He only liked to replace British bureaucracy by Indian Civil Service.

Tilak said “I may say once for all that we were trying in India as the Irish Home Rulers have been doing in Ireland for the reforms of a system of administration and not for the overthrow of government and I have no hesitation in saying that the acts of violence which have been committed in different parts of India are not only repugnant to me but have, in my opinion, actually, unfortunately retarded to a great extent, the cause of our political progress”. His activity was mainly bound to Maharashtra. His only aim was emancipation of India from foreign domination. Through his paper ‘Kesari’ he preached political liberty, natural rights and justice. He was at best a political agitator and the Britishers regarded him as the leader of Indian Unrest.

Question 3.
Discuss Tilak’s ideas about Social Reforms. What methods did he suggest to remove the. social problems ?
The problem of social reforms was acute during the British and pre-British period. With the decline of the Mughals the Indian social life was neglected and with the arrival of Britishers it was quite destroyed. They thought their own culture to be superior. They rediculed the prevailing customs of Sati, caste, untouchability, child marriage, ban on widow marriage. Leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Rai took the British help to introduce social reforms. Lord Bentick abolished Sati system through law, So also were the views of Ranade and Gokhale. But Tilalc did not accept the idea of state intervention in social field and religious life.

Social Reforms. Tilak did. not favoured the idea of British intervention in the social and religious fields. The Brahma Samaj, Prarthna Samaj and the Arya Samaj Supported the English rulers in passing the Age of Consent Act, 1891 which raised the consent age from 10 to 12 years. So also Arya Samaj obtained the Sharada Act, Arya Samaj Act. But Tilak did not favour this.

On the whole, Tilak was not against the social reforms. He spoke that he was not the anti-social reformer. He was of the opinion that reforms should come from the people. He spoke of political liberty first. Earlier’ in Congress both these activities were mixed together. In 1885, Congress Session it was said “Authoritative record, after this has been carefully elicited, by the fullest discussion of the matured opinions of the educated classes in India on some of the more important and pressing of social questions of the day”

At the Calcutta Session of the Congress held under Dada Bhai Naorozi’s presidentship, it was held that “A National Congress must confine itself to questions in which the entire nation has a direct participation and it must leave the adjustment of social reforms and other class questions to the class Congress”

Tilak’s opinion about social reforms and political, liberty were quite apart as they were different. He wanted social reforms to be gradual by education. Before the political rights, social reforms were not valuable. He quoted Ireland, Ceylone and Burma where religious reforms were carried on and later they became independent.

Though he was against the Age of Consent Act, the followed the spirit and arranged his daughter’s marriages at the age of fifteen. He also allowed untouchables to participate in the festivals arranged by him. He also advocated widow marriage and went on to congratulate Dr. Karve when the latter married a widow after the death of his first wife.

No Interference from the Government. He was in favour of social reforms still he did not prefer the government interference. These prove that Tilak was not a social reactionary or a champion of Hindu orthodoxy. He was a full supporter of the social reforms but he wanted that we must have first political independence. He wanted that ancient Hindu culture should be preserved. He said “Once the political soul of India was free, the Indian councillors could decide the problem of social changes in atmosphere of free criticism”.

The people themselves would bring about the required change in social set up. After political reforms social changes will automatically follow. Government headed by Indian people would automatically be concerned with the social problems of the country and will thus take necessary steps for the improvement of social set up in the country. He, therefore, wanted that the Indians should first struggle for political freedom rather than hankering after social questions. Political freedom was primary and social reforms were secondary. Hence he was of the opinion that political reforms must precede the social reforms.

Stress on Evolutionary Approach to Social Reforms. According to Tilak social reforms shoud be evolutionary and not revolutionary. It should come from within the people and should not be imposed on them by the leaders. The leaders should regard themselves as members of the society and not above the society. In his own words, “The leaders are not the masters but the servants of the people, so long as the opinion of the leader is not much different from the people, they are receiptive. Bnt if a leader’s stand point is entirely different from the people, then on a particular issue at leat there has to be a divorce between the two”

He was against social reforms on Western lines. Hence he opposed the idea of a foreign Government interfering in that sphere- Progressive education was the first necessary in this field. Hence he liked the change in educational system. The educated mass will dis-card the prevailing social evils. The same we expect of the social leaders and they should act according to that. They should be persons of saintly minds like Nanak ,and Kabir.

He spoke, “There has been much talk about our social reforms but we bare to bear in mind that we have to reform the masses and if we dissociate ourselves from them, reforms would become impossible. The outstanding example of this is that the widow-remarriage is a desirable reform but most of the reformers do not practice it in tbeir family. I, therefore, chink that each one should begin reform with himself and convert others through practice rather than by theory. The reformers shonld live upto this preaching.”

Hence he asked the social reformers not to violate the public sentiment. Hence Tilak also accepted the punishment awarded to him by the society (award of Shankaracharya) for taking tea at the missionary’s house on 4th October 1890 at Poona with Gokhale and Ranade.

He believed in the social reforms but first he wanted political changes. Again he wanted these changes should come from within and not from outside. He opposed the Age of Consent Bill on this ground that it was done by Government. So he opposed untouch- ability. In Ganapati festivals lowest classes were permitted to attend the function. He addressed in Bombay in March, 1918, the First Depressed Classes Conference. He spoke of all Indian as children of the same parents. He said “If a God were to tolerate untouchability, I would not recognize him as god at all.” Hence Tilak was never opposed to social reforms.

Question 4.
Write briefly contribution of Tilak in the social reforms movement in India.
Tilak was one of the prominent leaders who destined India to the path of Swarajya. He ga ve it the movement of national freedom through the masses. He took the movement through the end of nineteenth century to the early years of twentieth century. He made Indians conscious of their rights to Swaraj. Velentine Chirol called him the “father of the Indian unrest”. His very name tells “Swaraj”. He was a realist. He believed in violent and vigorous struggle for independence. He was no believer of prayers, appeals and petitions, the method generally employed by the moderates.

He spread through the masses his message by means of ‘Kesari’ and ‘Maratha’. He was a perfect nationalist. C.Y. Chintamani said of him in his book “Indian politics since the mutiny”. “He was a born fighter and a typical Maratha”. The passion for freedom was the ruling motive of his life gifted with wonderful intelligence. Mr. Tilak brought to bear upon every task that he undertook an iron will and a resolution that nothing could break. He reduced for his opinions and activities more than any contemporary politician but in all circumstances, he unflinchingly upheld the penal of freedom for India.
He organized religious festivals like Shivaji and Ganapati for propagation of his political views.

He had a deep religious outlook and stood for the best of the Indian ancient culture. He was against Westernization of India. He was a good organizer and wise politician. His religious outlook did not dim his political realism. As said by G.N. Singh “He believed in the adage that the end justifies the means and considered all means fair for winning freedom of the country”. As such he was at the head of the radical Congress, C. Y. Chintamani said “According to Montague there was only one genuine extremist in India and that was Mr. Tilak”. Tilak never believed in petitions and prayers. He felt that determined struggle was necessary.

Like the moderates he was prepared to sacrifice. He was imprisoned thrice and “won for himself the crown of Martyrdom” as G.N. Singh said. Mahatma Gandhi said about him “Lokmanya was an implacable foe of Bureaucracy but that is not to say that he was a hater of English men of English Rule. I warn English men against making the mistake of thinking that he was their enemy”.

He was the ever first to declare that Swaraj was the birth right of all nations. He identified Swaraj with Dharma. He advocated the use of Swadeshi, Boycott of British goods and national education. Nationalism as said by him was spiritualism and psychological necessity. Although Tilak was against the Reforms Act of 1919 yet he wanted to patronize elections held under the Act.

He was not a revolutionary. He was one of the best extremists in politics and aimed at achievement of Home Rule under the suzerainty of British Emperor.

Tilak did not oppose the State Intervention in social life. He was opposed to the intervention at such a period of existence. The present state had no authority to interfere in the social traditions. As such Britishers were claiming their superiority in culture but at the same time Indian culture was no more inferior to theirs. He was proud of the past of Indian inheritance. He, hence, could not tolerate the government intervention. The government interference was to disturb the religious and social pattern of society. So he disliked the government sponsored changes. If government makes social changes, then it is their duty to see them executed and the olfenders should be punished. Again he spoke of the judges who would decide the cases will be foreign in morals.

He said of Hindus requesting the Britishers to formulate the rules for social affairs and it was a shameful act for them to do this, as they were unable to do it. If the government was composed of popular elected representatives, he would have adopted different attitude. To say in the end he was against the bureaucratic social legislation which was against his patriotic sentiments. Hence he opposed State intervention.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 22 Swami Vivekananda (1863—1902)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 22 Swami Vivekananda (1863—1902)

Question 1.
Discuss Vivekauanda’s ideas regarding religious, social and political reform in India ?
Vivekananda was a vigorous thinker and a staunch believer in the supremacy of Indian culture. He always spoke great of his motherland, opposed political agitation, thrased the idolaters, nourished Hinduism, challenged contemporary western education, glorified his motherland throughout his life.

Glorification of India in the World Parliament of Religions. Vivekananda tried earnestly to vindicate India before the world, and to solve the national problems. In 1893, he went to America and attended the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago. His address breathed the Spirit of India’s universality and broad-mindedness, and captivated the hearts of his audience. He told them “As different streams mingle their waters in the ocean, so different paths which men take all lead to the Lord”. The Newyork Herald reported in ‘”Vivekananda as undoubtedly, the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him, we felt-bow foolish it is to send missionaries to this, learned lesson’. Another journal describing its impressions wrote, “He is an orator by divine right and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those easiest words and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them”.

Attempts to Glorify Hinduism in America. After his participation in the World Parliament of Religion, he stayed in America. He established Vedanta Societies there and accepted a large number of disciples. In America, while vindicating the Hinduism, he asserted, “No religion on earth preaches the dignity of humanity in such a lofty stain as Hinduism”.

Humanitarian Views. His love for mankind as a whole was reflected when he visited England. “Although as an Indian patriot he deeply resented the rule of foreigners, as a lover of mankind he entertained no ill-wil towards the people of Great Britain. He said, “there is more among you – who loves toe English people more than I do now”’ He found in England “a nation of heroes, the true Kshtriyas”.

Spiritual pre-Eminence of Hinduism. Since Vivekananda was the first Indian to question the superiority of the West, when he returned after four years stay abroad, he was given grand welcome. He landed at Colombo on January 15, 1897 and his journey from Cape Camorin to Calcutta was a triumphant procession because instead of apologising for ‘his religion and defending it against the attacks of its critics, he boldly asserted its spiritual pre-eminence and incomparable qualities. He was the hero who had faced the critics and detractors in their own homeland and elicited from the admiration, even their homage. India felt greatly elated by the achievement and it helped in changing its mood from one of self-abasement to that of self-esteem’.

Social Welfare Programmes. Vivekananda organised rapid activity to organise the Mission, propagate his faith and to uplift the country. He established two principal centres, one at Belur near Calcutta, and the other at Mayawati near Almora, where young men who joined the Rama Krishna Mission were trained as Sanyasis (renouncers of worldly life) for religion and social welfare work. Thus an ancient and venerable institution came to be utilised for national service. The monks of the Mission like the Sadhus of your, lived a life of dedication and asceticism, but unlike them engaged in the active service of society, alleviating suffering, working among the famine stricken, providing medical aid to the sick and the victims of plague, cholera and leprosy, and looking after orphans. Schools were opened and philanthropic centres were established, as also monasteries.

Emphasis on the Role of Religion. Vivekananda was against political agitation and strongly favoured a in-built and homogeneously organised nation. He always tried to build India a strong, brave and dynamic nation. ‘Religion’ he regarded as the keynote of the music of national life. He desired, “in all fields of activity to awaken that austere devotion of the spirit which arouses heroism.” He thus combined, “a burning love of the absolute and the irresistible appeal of suffering humanity.”

Social Reforms and uplifting the Masses. He was against irrational idolatory, casteism and the exploitation of the poor and destitute. He condemned the domination of farcical religionity in matters relating to social organisation, and social affairs, and for this reason opposed caste, sectarianism, untouchability and all inequalities. In his eyes all men were the sons of same God and the bearers of the same divine nature. His cry was, “Come allye that one poor and destitute, fallen and downtrodden. We are one In the name of Rama Krishna”.

“In his sympathy for the poor he was prepared to go to the farthest lengths. He said ; ‘Let us throw away all this paraphernelia of worship—blowing the couch and ringing the bell, and waving the lights before the image— Let us throw away all-pride of learning and study of the Sastras and all Sadhanas for the attainment of personal Mukti, and going from village to the village devote our lives to service of the poor…, to serve the poor and the distressed”.

Vivekananda was deeply concerned for the improvement of the masses. He challenged the educated in these words : “So long as million live in hanger and ignorance, hold ever; man a traitor who having been educated at their expenses, pays not the least heed to them”. He emphasised, “The only hope of India is from the masses. The upper classes are physically and morally dead”.

He declared that, “if the Brahmin has more aptitude for learning on the ground of heredity than the Pariah, spent no money on the Brahmin’s education, bat spend all on the Pariah. Give to the weak, for there all the gift is needed”.

Arousing Individual Virtues. His passionate anger was roused by the weakness* cowardice and laziness among the people in India. He constantly taught “Above all be strong, be manly”. He said, “Anything that makes yon weak physically, intellectually and spiritually reject as poison, there is no life in it, it can not be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, this truth is all knowledge”.

Religious Reforms. Vivekananda believed in, “a religion which will gave us faith in ourselves, national self-respect, and the power to feed and educate the poor and relieve the misery around”. He wished that more contemplating idleness and mere passionity in religion to be abolished. He spoke : “Who comes for your Rama Krishna ? Who cares for your Bhakti and Mukti ? Who cares, what your scriptures say ? I will go into a thousand hills cheerfully. If I can rouse any countrymen immersed in Tamas (inertia), to stand on their own feet and he men inspired with the spirit of Karma Yoga, (worship through action)”. He desired, “in all fields of activity to awaken that austere elevation of spirit which arouses heroism”.

Champion of Liberty and Spirit of Patriotism. He spoke for liberty and tried through various channels to secure liberty. He asserted, ‘Liberty in thought and action is the only condition of life, growth and well-being. Where it does not exist, the man, the race and the nation must go down’.

Vivekananda had a passionate feeling for the motherland. He was a strong admirer of India. He spoke, “O Bharat, wilt thou rely upon this institution of the other, of this mimicry, this anxiety to win the others approbation, this embeicle slavishness this hateful, abominable bard-heartedness, to win high authority. Wilt thou with the aid of this shameful cowardice, achieve die independence, which only the heroes deserve ? Do not forget, your society is the varifest shadow of the great illusion, do not forget the lowly, the poor, the ignorant, the carrier, the sweeper, are your blood, are your bretheren, O, ye brave one, take courage, be proud that you are an Indian, proudly proclaim an Indian
every Indian is my brother…the soil of India is my highest heaven. India’s good is my good”.

Question 2.
Discuss the phiiosophicai foundations of Vivekananda’s socio-political thought.
Philosophical foundation of Vivekananda’s political thought.
Vivekananda’s philosophy was drawn for following those sources :

(i) Vedic and Vedantic Tradition.
(ii) His contact with Rama Krishna.
(iii) Vivekananda own experience.

(i) Vedic and Vedantic Tradition. Vivekananda was an intellectual of titantic abilities, he is said to have mastered the gigantic eleven volumes of the ‘encyclopaedia Britannica’. The Vedantic tradition and literature has greately inspired Shankracharya (accepted as one of the ‘greatest of the metaphysician of the world’) Ramanuja and Madhava. The thinkers like Vallabha and Nimharka have also drawn inspiration from that and later developed their ideas on the basis of these wrintings.

(ii) His contact with Rama Krishna (1836-1886). Vivekananda’s contact with Ramakrishna was a powerful source of former’s philosophy. Ramakrishna was one of the greatest saints and mystics of modern India whom Vivekananda had met in November 1880.

(iii) Vivekananda’s own experience. Vivekananda learnt from his own experience of the things, people and the world. ‘He traversed the wide world and to the interpretation of his experiences thus gained he brought a visit and keen intellect. Thus some of the truths that be preached were acquired by infections on his own experiences. Hence his philosophy has its roots in life’.

His Philosophical Writings. The study of following, strictly philosophical portions of Vivekananda’s writings is essential for understanding Vivekananda’s philosophy.

  • The Janana-Yoga
  • Vivekananda’s commentary on the aphorisms of Patanjali and
  • Various lectured delivered by Vivekananda on the Vedanta’s Philosophy, in India or in the west. Vivekananda’s political philosophy is continued in the Lecturers from Colombo to Almora, The East and the West and Modern India.

Major trends of Vivekananda’s philosophy is summarised below :

1. ‘The central concept of Vivekananda’s system is the Brahman…the highest reality, or the Sachidananda… purest existence, knowledge and bliss.

2. Vivekananda accepted the philosophy of Maya. He said, “the very question by the infinite became the finite is impossible one, for it is self contradictory ”.

3. ‘lsvara’ is the highest reality at the level of religious worship. He said, “In the Advaith philosophy, the whole Universe is one in the self which is called Brahman. ThatVself when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same self when it appears behind the little universe, the body, to the soul universal self which is beyond the universal unification of Prakriti is what is called Isvara, the Supreme Ruler, God”.

4. Vivekananda regarded Kaynia as the father of – Indian rationalistic philosophy and believed in the impact of Samakhya, on the growth of ancient Greek philosophy. He wrote, “But the dissolution of the atom into electromagnetic energy to only proves the Vedantic contention that not infinite physical atoms but subtle energy can be the ground work of the Cosmos. Here as in many things (as in monism), science proves the contention of Vedanta”.

Political Philosophy of Vivekananda. Vivekananda, followed, Hegel when he maintained that there is one “all-dominating principle manifesting itself in the life of each nation”. He wrote, “In each nation, as in music, there is a main note, a central theme, upon which all others truth. Each nation has a theme everything else is secondary. India’s theme is religion. Social reform and everything else are secondary”.

Question 3.
Discuss the feelings of Nationalism as Vivekananda’s thought ?
Swami Vivekananda was not interested in any kind of politics but he was one of the few Indians who interpreted the meaning of freedom which he held so high. In doing so he gave a new meaning viz., the freedom of the individual from all shackles. During the period of independence movement, the concept of freedom gave birth to a new concept of Nationalism. Swami Vivekananda gave sustained inspiration to Indian nationalism.

Swami Vivekananda’s. feelings of nationalism is clearly seen in the following words which he spoke in Colombo. ‘Before left India, I thought that this was Punya Bhumi, the land of Karma, Today I stand here, with- conviction that it is so that if there is any land on this earth that can lay claim above all others to be the blessed Punya. Bhumi, the land to which all must sooner or later, come, to account for their Karma, the land to Which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its perfection, the land where humanity has developed farthest towards gentleness, generosity, purity and calm the land above all of introspection and of spirituality, it is India.

Here, from most ancient times, have been the founders of religion, deluging the earth again with the pure and perennial waters of spiritual truth. Here have began those tidal waves of philosophy that have traversed Oceans, East and West, North and South, and now here again must rise that wave which is to spiritualise the material civilisation of the modern world. Here are the life-giving waters with which shall be quenched the burning fire of materialism that is consuming the hearts of millions in other lands. Believe me, my friends, this is yet to be.

So far I think I have seen ; so far those of you who are already students of the history of races are aware also. The debit which the world owes to this our motherland is immense. Taking country by country there is not one race on this earth to which the world owes so much as to that of the patient Hindu, the mild Hindu. “The mild Hindu” is a phrase sometimes used as an expression of reproach, but if ever such concealed a wonderful truth it is here. For the “mild Hindu” has been the blessed child of God always. Civilizations have arisen in other parts of the world. In ancient and modem times alike, great ideas have been carried forward from one race to another.

In ancient and modern times the seeds of truth and power have been cast abroad by the advancing tides of national life, but mark, my friends, it has been always with the blast of war trumpets, and with the march’ of embattled coherts. Eachideahadto .be soaked in a deluge of blood ; each idea had to advance on the blood of millions of our fellow beings, each word of power had to be followed by the groans of millions, by the walls of orphans, by the tears of widows. Such in the main has been the method of other nations. But India has existed for thousands of year. Here was activity when as yet Greece was not, when Rome had not been thought of when the fathers of modern Europeans themselves lived in the German forests and painted themselves blue. Even earlier, in a past of which history has no record, and into which tradition dares not peep, began the march of ideas out from India.

But every world from here, was spoken with blessings behind it, and peace before it. We of all the nations of the world nave never been conquerors, and because the blessings behind it, and peace before-it. We of all the nations of the world have never been conquerors, and because the blessings of this is upon us, do we live. There was a time when at the march of great Greek battalions the earth trembled. They, are vanished now from the face of the earth. \

There was a time when the Roman eagle floated over everything worth having in the world ; everywhere went Rome trampling on the head of humanity ; the earth trembled at the name of Rome. But the Capitoline Hill is a mass of ruins now, the spider weaves its web where Caesar’s ruled. Other nations equally glorious have come and gone seize a few hours of exultant and exuberant domination, and of boisterous national life, and then vanishing like ripples in the face of the ocean.

In such fashion have these others made their mark on the face of humanity. But you so live, that if Manu came back today, he would not be astonished would not find himself in a foreign land. The same laws rule us still, laws adjusted and thought out through thousands and thousands of -years, customs the outcome of the experience of centuries, they seem to be eternal and as the days have gone by the blows of misfortune that have been delivered upon them seen only to have served the purpose of making them stronger and more enduring.

And the centre of all this, the heart from which the blood flows, the mainspring of the national life lies, believe me, in one simple fact. To the other nations of the world religion is but one among the many interests of life. They have politics, they have the enjoyments of social life, they have politics, they have the enjoyments of social life, they have all that wealth can buy, and power can bring. They have all that the senses can enjoy, and among all these various phases and searching after more, to give a little more edge to the close appetites – among all this, there is also a little bit of religion. But here, in India, religion is the one and the only occupation of life. That there has been a Chino-Japanese War, how many of you know? Very few, if any.

That these are tremendous political movements and socialistic movements trying to transform Western society, how many of you know ? Very few, if any. But that there was a Parliament of Religious in America, that there was a Hindu Sanyasi sent over there, I am astonished to find even the coolie knows. That shows the way the wild blows, shows where the national life is. I have read many books written by globe-trotting travellers who wail at the ignorance of the Eastern masses, but I have found out that this is at once true and untrue.

You see a Western ploughman in England or America or Germany. A,sk him what party he belongs to, and he can tell you whether he is a Radical or a Conservative, and for whom he is going to vote. In America he knows whether he is Republican or Democrat, and even some thing about tire silver question. But ask him about his religion. That he goes to church is all he knows. That he goes to Church and perhaps that his father belonged to a certain denomination. No more.

Come to India, and take one of our ploughmen and ask : “Do you know anything about politics ?” “What is that” ? he says. Ke does not understand the socialistic movements, the relation between capital and labour. He never heard of such things in his life. He works hard, and earns his bread what more ? But “What is your religion ?” Why look, my friend ? I have marked it on my forehead? He can give me a good hint or two on question of devotion.

That has been my experience. This is our nation’s life. As individuals have each their won peculiarities, so has each his own method of growth, his own life marked out for him, as we Hindus would .say, by his infinite past life, by all his past Karma : because in this world, the infinite past ushers in the present, and the way which we use the present, will determine the future. Thus every one who is born has a bent, a direction in which he must go, a destiny through which he must live, and what is true of the individual is equally true of the race. Each race, similarly, has a peculiar bent, each race has a mission of its own to fulfill in the life of the world.

Each race has to work out its own result, to fulfill its own errand. Political greatness or military power; was never the mission of our race ; it never was, and mark my words never will be. But there has been the other mission given to us to conserve, to accumulate as it were in a dynamo, all the spiritual energy of humanity, and that concentrated energy is to pout forth in a deluge on the world whenever circumstances are prepitious.

Let the Persian and the Greek, the Rome and the Arab, or the modern Englishman march his battalions, conquer the world, and link different nations together, and the philosophy and spirituality of India will prove itself ready to flow along these new made channels into the veins of the nation of the world.

The calm Hindu’s brain must pour out its own quota to the sum total of human progress. India’s gifts to the world is high spiritual.

Thus, we read in the past history that whenever there arose a great conquering nation uniting the different races of the world, binding India with the ‘other races, taking her out, as it were, from her loneliness, from her aloofness from the rest of the world into which she again and again cast herself, wherever such a thing was brought about, the result was flooding of the world with Indian spiritual ideas. At the beginning of this century, Schopenhauer, the Great German philosopher, studying from a not very clear translation of the Vedas made from an old translation to Persian, and thence by a young French man into latin, says, “ There has been no study in the world, excepting in the original, so ennobling as that of Upanishads.

There have been the solace of my life ; these will be the solace of my death.” And that his great German sage forefold that “The world is about to see a revolution in thought more extensive and more powerful than that which was witnessed by the Renaissance of Greek literature, “and today his predications are coming to pass. Those who keep their, eyes open, those who understand the working in the mind of the different nations, of the west, who are thinkers and study in the different nations, will find the immense change that had been produced in the tone, the procedure, in the methods, and in the literature of the world by this slow, never-ceasing permetation of Indian thought.

But there is another peculiarity as I have already hinted to you. We never preached our thoughts with fire and sword. If there is one word in the English language to represent the gifts of India up to the world, if there is one word in the English language to style the effect which the literature of India produces upon mankind, it is this one word “fascination”. It is the opposite of anything that takes you suddenly, throws on you, as it were, a charm of all of a sudden. To many, Indian thought, Indian manners, Indian customs, India philosophy, Indian literature, are repulsive as the first sight, but let them preserve, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninetynine to one that the charm will be upon them fascination will be the result. Slowly and silently, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning unseen, unheaid, yet producing almost tremendous result, has been the work of this cahn, patient, all-suffering, spiritual race upon the world of thought.

Once more history is about to repeat itself, for today under the fierce light of modern science, when old, apparently strong and invulnerable beliefs have been shaken to their very foundations, when the special claims laid by different sects upon the allegiance of mankind have all been blown to atoms and vanished into air- when the sledge hammer blows of modern antiquaian researches are pulverising all sorts of a antiquated orthodoxies like masses of procelain- when religion in the west is only in the hands of the ignorant, and the intelligent look down .with scorn on anything belonging to it, here comes the philosophy of India, here comes the highest religious aspiration of the mind of India, where the grandest philosophical facts have been the practical spirituality of the people.

This is coming naturally to the resue, the oneness of all, the immense infinites the idea of the Impersonal, the wonderful idea of the eternal soul of man, of the unbroken continuity in the march of beings, the infinity of the universe. For .our old sects locked upon the world as a little mud puddle, and thought that time began but the other day. There and only there in our old books, and throughout our history was the grand idea governing all the search for religion, the infinite glory of the spirit of man.

When the modern tremendous theories of evolution and conservation of energy and soforth are dealing death blows to all sorts of crude theologies, what can hold and more the allegiance of cultured humanity but these most convincing, broadening and ennobling ideas, that, can only be found in that most marvellous product of the soul of man, the wonderful voice of God, the Vadanta.

At the same time I must remark that what I mean by our religion working upon the nations outside of India is only the principles, the background, the foundation upon which that religion is built. The detailed workings, the minute points which have been worked out through centuries of social necessity, little rationalisations about manners and customs and social necessity, little rationalisations about manner and customs and social well-being do not rightly find a place in the category of religion.

We know, at the same time, that what our books lay down in these respects is only for the time being, for we find there a dear distinction made between the two sets of truths, the one which abides for ever, and is built upon the very nature of man and the universe, as for example – the nature of God, perfection, or the principles of cosmology, of the infinitude of creation, how that it is no creation but the wonderful law of the cyclical procession and so on, things that are eternal principles founded upon facts which are universal in nature, while there is the other set of truth, the minor laws more properly belonging to the Puranas, to the smritis, and not to the srutis, guiding the working of our everyday life.

These have nothing to do with the other, the former set or things even in our own time these have been the changing. Customs of one age, of the yuga have not been the customs of another, and as yuga comes after yuga, they will still have to change. Great Rishis will appear and lead us into the new manners and customs that are suited to such new environment.

The great principles underlying all this wonderful, infinite, enabling, expansive view of man, and God, and the world, have been produced in India and in India alone man did not stand up” fight for a little tribal God. “My God is true and yours is not true, let us have a good fight over it”. It was only here that such ideas did not occur. These great underlying principles being based upon the eternal nature of man are as potent to day for the working out of the good of the human race as they were thousands of years ago, and they will remain so long as this earth remains, so long as the law of karma remains, so long as we are born as individuals and have to workout our own destiny by our individual power.

And above all, what India has to give to the world is this. If we watch the growth and development of religions in different races, we shall always find this that each tribe at the beginning has a God of its own. If the tribes are allied tO each other these gods will have a generic name, as that of all the Babylonian gods, for example. When the Babylonian were divided into, many tribes they had the generic name of Baal for their gods, just as the Jewish tribes had different gods with the common name of Moloch.

You will find at the same time that as one of these tribes becomes superior to the rest and lays a claim to its own king being the King over all, it naturally wants also to preserve its own god as the god of the tribes. Baal Mevodaoch, said the Babylonians, was the greatest god, all the other were inferior, Moloeh-Yavch was the superior to all other Molochs, and these advances had to be decided by the fortunes ol battle.

The same struggle was here in India also the same competing gods have been struggling with one another for supremacy, but the great good fortune of this country and of the world was that there came out in the midst of the din and confusion, a voice which declared “ekamsat vipra bahudha Vadanti”. (“He, whom we sages have called by various, names, is one”). It is not that Siva is superior to Vishnu, not that Vishnu is everything and Siva is nothing but it is the same one whom you call either Siva or Vishnu, or by a hundred other names.

The names are different but it is the .same one. The whole history of India you may read in these few words. The whole history has been a repetition in emphatic language, with tremendous power of that one central doctrine. It was repeated in the land till it entered into the blood of the nation, till it began to tingle with every drop of blood that flowed in the nation’s veins till it became one with life, part and parcel of the material of which it was composed, till the land was transmitted into the land of most wonderful toleration, giving it the right to welcome all religions as well as all sects ihto here all-absorbing compass.

And herein is the explanation of a remarkable phenomenon witnessed only in India, which is that of sects apparently hopelessly contradictory, living in such harmony together. You may be a dualist, and I may be monist. You may believe that you are the eternal servant of God, and another may declare that he is one with God Himself, yet both of them are good Hindus. How is that possible ? Read then ‘ekam sat vipra bahudda vadanti’. Above all others, my countrymen, this is the one “rand truth that we have to teach to the world. Even the most highly educated of the other countries turn up their noses at an angle of forty live degrees and cal! religion idolatry.

They never stopped to think what a mass of this tremendous sectarianism this lowness and narrowness of the mind. The thing which a man has is the only thing worth having the only life worth living is his own little life possession worth having is his own, and nothing else. If he can manufacture a little clay nonsense or invent a machine, that is to be admired beyond the greast possessions. That is the case over the whole world inspite of education and learn: ing. But education has yet to begin in this world, and civilisation – civilization has begin nowhere yet ninety-nine percent of the human race are. more or less savages still.

We may read of these thing in different books, we hear of toleration in religion and all that, but every little of, it is there yet in the world take my experience for that, ninety-nine percent do not even think of it. There is tremendous religious persecution yei, in every country in which I have been and the same old objections are raised against learning anything new. Just the little symapthy that may be in the world yet for religious thought, is practically here only in the land of the Aryas, and no where else. It is here that Hindus build temples for Mohammedans and Christians, nowhere else. If you go. to other countries and ask Mohammedans, or people of other religions to build temple for you, see how they will help.

They will instead try 10 break down your temple and you too, if they can. This is therefore, is the one great lesson that the world has yet to learn from India, the idea, not only of toleration, but of sympathy as has found it expression in the Siva Mahima Stotra – “Different rivers, taking their start from different mountains, running straight or cooked, at last come into the ocean, so Oh Siva, all men are coming unto Thee.” Though they may take various Roads all are on Thy way. Some may run a little cooked, while others run straight, but at last oh, lord hey will all come upto Thee,” Then and then alone is your Bhartti and realisation of Siva complete, when you not only see Him in the Lingam, but in everything and everywhere as has been said in the Srimad Bhagvat, “He is the sage, he the lover of Hari, who sees Hari in everything and in every one”. Thus, if you are a real lover of Hari you must see Him in everything and in everyone.

You must see that every worship is given into Him whatever may be the name or the form, you must see that all knees bending towards the Kaaba, or kneeling in a Chiristian Church, or a Buddhist temple, are kneeling unto Him whether they know it or not, whether they are conscious of it or not – that in whatever name or form they are offered, all altar are laid at His Feet, for he is the one Lord of all, the one soul of all souls. He knows infinitely better what this world wants than you or I. It is impossible that all difference can cease, they must exist without variation life must cease. It is this clash, this differentiation of thought, that makes for light, for motion for progress.

Differentiation infinitely contradictory, must remain, but it is not necessary that we should hate each other therefore. It is not necessary, therefore, that we should fight each other. Thus, we have to learn, the one central truth again that was experienced only here, in our own motherland, and that has once more as in the past, to be preached from India why ? Because not only was it in our books, but it runs through every phase of out national literature, and is in the national life.

Here and here alone is it practised every day, and any man whose eyes are open can see that it is so here alone. So we are the fit people to teach religion. There are other and higher lessons that India can teach but they are only for the learned. But this one lesson of mildness, gentleness, forbearance, toleration, sympathy, and brotherhood, their great truth – “They call Thee by various names, but Thouart One” – every one – man, woman and child,learned or unlearned – without respect of race or creed, or caste must learn from India.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 21 Dayananda Saraswati (1824—1883)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 21 Dayananda Saraswati (1824—1883)

Question 1.
Examine various social ideas of Dayananda Saraswati.
Dayananda Saraswati was a religious and social reformer. His major social and political ideas are as follows.
It was the feeling of Dayananda that self-government or national government was the best government. He said that even the best foreign government was worse than the worst national government. He, therefore, for the first time raised a voice and inspired a feeling among Indian multitudes that they struggle neither for dominion status nor for remaining in British Empire but in trying to get their Own national government. He opposed the ideas of the liberals who preached that. British rule in India was beneficiary both to the Indians and the Britishers. Whereas he argued it to be in favour of the rulers only.

Religion and Politics—closely related. Dayananda found a class relationship between politics artd religion and believed that all religious institutions experience close working relationship with political institutions, and they were expected to go together. He agreed with persons like Gopal Krishan Gokhale, M.G. Ranade and Dadabhai Naoroji, and believed that politics devoid of religion was farce.

His views about Monarchy. He favoured enlightened monarchy believing it to be the only institution which could lead the nation towards development and progress and prosperity. He maintained that the King is the person accepted by the society as a superior being and all must willingly give their obedience to him. He argued that only be when the King should be elected by the assembly of wise people considering him the most enlightened person. Dayananda wanted that a monarch should always be well informed and ready to provide the benefits of his ability to the people. Monarch, responsibility was to ensure peace but be regularly controlled by the spiritual -leaders with whom the King must remain in close co-peration. The spiritual leaders, on their behalf must ensure that monarch possessed high moral character, wisdom and intelligence.

Champion of Swadeshi goods. Swam! Dayananda strongly advocated‘Swadeshi’which was later preached by Mahatma Gandi. He differed with Surendra Nath Banerjee, for whom ‘Swadeshi meant adopting foreign goods to suit our national convenience’. Whereas Swami Dayanand pleaded that ‘Swadeshi’ meant using what was produced within the country and to make the nation struggle for self-sufficiency in the field of the forced scarcity.

His ideas about democratic set up. Democracy was the oldest institution of rule according to Dayananda. This he found from his studies of the Vedas and Manusmriti. Democracy prevailed in ancient India when she was at the height of glory. Democratic set up was the most suitable institution for India according to Dayananda. He, therefore, maintained that democratic institutions should be brought into our social and political set-up. He was less theoretical and more practical in this regard. We find that Arya Samaj, founded by him, was based on democratic principles in so much as all its office-bearers were supposed to be elected. He wrote in his Satyartha Prakash, “It means that no single individual should be invested with absolute power. The King who is President of the Assembly, and the Assembly itself should be interdependent on each other.”

High priority to education. For Swami Dayananda, the problem of education was not a social but political because without proper literacy, political institutions could not be developed in the right way, so he argued that there should be free but compulsory primary education arranged by the Government. He was not opposed to the idea if voluntary associations and institutions also came forward. But, he put it fixed to be mainly the responsibility of the Government and not of voluntary institutions. He argued that education should aim at building good citizens useful to the nation. In other words, he wanted education to have ‘ national in character. His system of education was based on the Gurukul system of education with the arrangement for educating the boys as well as girls.

Ideas about Government Authority and Its role in social reforms. Dayananda had very clear views about the control over the governmental and other related authorities. “He wanted that the Government and the authorities be controlled by three organs, these were Rajya Sabha, Dharma Sabha and Vidya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha was to act as the legislature consisting of persons having high degree of character. It was responsible for improving the living as well as moral standard of the people. This Sabha was also to enact laws and also ensure that decisions were properly implemented.

His concept of Brahmans applied on those who led a life of ‘real renunciation’ and ‘followed’ and understood Dharma in its pure sense. The Vidya Sabha was responsible for promoting education and to ensure that in educational field there was no double standard. The system of education was to see that students think in same term of mutual love and both the teachers and the pupils promote a spirit of nationalism and ‘brotherhood’. For attainment of this objective he believed in the concept of neighbourhood schools and was opposed to public schools.

‘Chakravarty’ Ruler and ‘World Empire’. Swami Dayananda had frequently referred to India’s being a ‘Chakravarty ruler’. Many people have interpreted him as an imperialist who believed in expansion. But this view is not a correct interpretation of Dayananda’s concept of‘Chakravarty ruler’. For him Chakravarity rule stood for a world Governmental system based on vedic teachings. He wanted that there should be a world empire based on spiritualism engaged in the promotion of moral development of the peeple. He believed in universal brotherhood and often clearified it through his writings and speeches. He also wished that there should be Vedic universalism ‘and no corner of the world should remain in darkness without the light of the teachings of Vedas’.

In conclusion it may be said that Swami Dayananda initiated renaissance in India and was responsible for bringing new face to Indian social and political philosophy. He opposed the idea that India’s fallen conditions could be upgraded by Britishers in India. It has been commented that, “The Sanyasi Dayanand gave freedom to the soul of the Hindus, as Luther did to the Europeans.”

According to Romain Rolland, “…how great an uplifter of the people he was in fact the most vigorous force of the immediate and present action in India at the moment of the rebirth and rewakening of the National consciousness. His Arya Samaj, whether he wished it or no, prepared the way in 1905 for the revolt of Bengal. He was one of the most ardent prophets of reconstruction and of national organisation. In field that it was he who kept the rigid.”

Question 2.
‘Dayananda was a bold prophet and a social reformer of very high order’. Discuss.
Examine Dayanand’s ideas of social reforms.
Swami Dayananda a social reformer and a religious thinker had unrivalled love for ancient Indian cutlure, civilization and glory. He had acquired a lot from the vedas and for him Vedic religion was the best in the world. Contrary to many other contemporary, liberals he was not under the influence of western culture. In fact, he had never been a student of English literature. He had his own personal experiences about the British way of living, thinking and behaving. if we discuss the Gandhi’s attitude towards the British, the things were different and besides this we find that Gandhiji was primary a politician and not a religious thinker, the level of Daynanda.

Gandhiji came forward to secure independence for India from the British yoke and abolish British imperialism. In fact, Gandhiji was a political thinker whereas Dayanand was religious reformer. For Gandhi politics was of primary consideration while for Dayananda it was religion. However, Mahatma Gandhi himself confessed that Swami Dayananda was his teacher in the sense that he had learnt much from his sayings and writings.

(1) Opposed to caste system. Swami Dayananda was against thet caste system that prevailed in India at that time. He clearly laid down that caste system in its present form was the creation of only a few selfish and vested custodians of society. Swami Dayananda suggested Varan Vibhajan based on the qualities of an individual rather than birth. This idea of anti-casteism was later propagated by Mahatma Gandhi in his drive against untouchability.

(2) Pride in India’s heritage. Swami Dayananda had felt that India’s past heritage was the richest and any nation could feel proud of that Gandhiji borrowed from Dayananda the idea that Indian people must realise what was best in them. He said temporary fall of India was only a passing phase of our times.

(3) Religions tolerance. Swrami Dayananda was a predominantly religious, man and a strong social reformer but not a politician at all. His emphasis on the study of the Vedas was deep-rooted. Gaddhiji borrowed from Swami this very idea which became integral part of his political activities. Gandhian theory of Ahimsa was based essentially on this principle.

(4) Basic social reforms. Swami Dayananda was a social reformer of high order. He touched each notorious evil of our Hindu society. In his attempt to cleanse the society he raised voice against child marriage and supported widow re-marriage. Mahatma Gandhi is indebted to Dayananda as he also devoted time to reforme our society. Gandhiji also wanted equal status for women and an evil free society.

Swami Dayananda put emphasis on necessity of educated citizens in nation-building. He wanted to make education system realistic enough to create a sense of equality among all. He laid it the responsibility of our educational institutions to produce young men who had the feeling of patriotism. He assigned supremacy to love for nation. In like manner, Gandhiji also wanted education to be widespread. He also sought that our pattern of education must suit our country and should promote equality and oneness. The educational system should be capable of taking a way from us a false sense of prestige which was introduced by the English system of education. Due to this reason, Gandhiji introduced at Wardha the basic system of education.

Swami Dayananda had an ambitious programme of commenting upon the philosophy of Vedas, Upanishads and Manusmriti. He wanted to inform the world, the ways the Vedas were original words of God, though this remained unfulfilled because of his early death. But whenever he got time from his other activities he write Satyartha Prakasha, the famous book on Hindusim and Vedic studies and the Hindus in general the Arya Samajists in particular draw inspiration from Satyarth Prakash.

Opposed to untouchability. Swami Dayananda was deadly against the evil system of casteism and untouchability. He never agreed with this system in any way. He openly condemned the practice of the system saying that it had no religious sanction but was an arrangement chalked out by certain selfish people to suit their ends. He suggested that caste system should be based on the functions of an individual rather than on birth as was the practice of that time. He, appreciated if caste system was based on psychological considerations and occupation. He said that it was the inherent right of every individual, to choose his profession but was disgusted to see that it was not the profession but birth which came to the forefront in the system.

Favoured widow re-marriage and opposed exploitation. Swami Dayananda favoured widow-re marriage. He was against the unnecessary bar on widow re-marriage. The views against widow remarriage had made the life of lakhs of widow quite miserable. He maintained that this institution was promoting moral degeneration as a consequence of which society was rapidly degenerating. Swami Dayananda, therefore, pleaded that there should be widow re-marriage and woman became widow not because of her fault but because God took away the life of her husband.

It was his firm belief of that Indian women were brave, intelligent and wise. According to him, it was a maker of historical record passed him. He as an impressive speaker and a keen and ready, wilted debator, who could overwhelm his opponents with a wealth of subtle arguments. At the same time, he was a man of strong, unflinching, almost dour character, a born leader, determined and self-assured to the extent of overbearingness. ‘

He had a clear and precise mind in which there ‘was nothing shadowy, vague or mystical. With Calvinistic explicitness, he defined the articles of his faith which admitted of no compromise. He possessed the rugged individuality of Martin Luther and made individual reason arbiter in the solution of all religious problems. His selection cf the author of divine scripture was from among the multitude of Hindu which sacred books was based upon his personal conviction. Again his choice of the dogmas and doctrines concerning the unity of God, the rejection of the plurality of the Hindu gods and the doctrines of metapsychosis and law of action (Karma), the relations of men, nature and God, were the result of a process of his own analysis and rationalisation, in which he was not guided by tradition or history.

He believed that the Hindu religion and the Vedas on which, it was based were eternal, unalterable, infalliable, divine. The vedic religion alone was true and universal. He held that the Aryans were the chosen people, the Vedas, the chosen gospel, and India the chosen land. All other religions were imperfect and it was the duty of the Arya Samaj to convert the followers of other religion to the Hindu faith. He provided the ‘Arya Samaj’ with a code of Social conduct and put the life blood in its activities.

Dayapanda, while discussing his political ideas had said, “It means that no single individual should be invested with absolute power. The king, who is the president of the Assembly, and the Assembly itself should be interdependent on each other. Both should be controlled by the people, who in their turn should be governed by the Assembly…When people become wicked and unjust, they are absolutely ruined. Let a nation, therefore, effect the most learned men as the member of Educational Assembly, the most devout men as members of Religious Assembly arid men of most praiseworthy character, as members of the Legislature (Political) Assembly and let their great men in it who possess most excellent qualities, is highly accomplished and become most honourable character, be made the Head or President of the Political Assembly. Let the three Assemblies harmoniously work together and make good laws, and let all abide by those laws. Let then all be of one mind in affairs that promotes the happiness of all. All men should subordinate themselves to the laws that are calculated to promote general well being: they should be free in matters relating to individual well-being”.

Dayananda Saraswati came into the scene, when Indian society had completely gone down and evils had complete control over our social set-up. Those, being treated as the custodians of our society were miserably orthodox and their ideas further brought degeneration.

The evils like that of casteism was in its worst form and it was the birth and not the worth which was the deciding factor for the social status of a man. Child marriage was frequent and widow re-marriage through legally permitted was practically taboo even the rational people in the society had surrendered before these evil systems. No social respect was shown to women and they were given a low social status. Majority of the people treated women as commodities and a creature fit to be subordinated and subjugated and this practice was prevalent mainly in the Hindu Society. Women were confined to live within the four walls of their homes. There was practically no provision for women education with the result that there existed illiteracy among women.

It was a period when Christian missionaries had came to this country with the objective of spreading Christianity. The rulers gave support to these missions and their programmes. Their way of describing their doctrines and explaining their religion was attractive and appealing to the common man. This had a particular effect on those who had been overlooked by our Hindu Society. These Christian missionaries laboured hard to justify superiority of their culture over Hinduism. Being scolded by Hinduism many of down-trodden and outcaste Indian were impressed by Christianity which very now had got its foundation well laid on the Indian soil.

The approach of influential section towards these social problems was disheartening. Most of the liberals affecting political life were under the influence of Western culture and civilization. These ‘outsiders’ preached that Indian culture and civilization stood best for their past, but for today the Indians ought to learn from the Western rules of life as well as thought

From the.political aspect also the country was passing through crucial time and the people enjoyed practically no rights. The British rule in India was praised by our liberal leaders and for them this rule was a blessing in disguise. These leaders vindicated the Britishers stay in India as rulers. Reacting to these maladies Dayanand had said, “Though I was born in Aryavrata (India.) and still live in it yet just as I do not depend the falsehood of religious prevailing in this country, but expose them fully……in like manner I deal with the religions of the other countries and their supporters. I treat the foreigners in the same way as my own countrymen so far as the elevation of the human race is concerned. It behaves all men to act likewise”.

Western system of education had no applied influence on Dayananda and he was not a student of English literature ; he had never gone to England and so he did not know about the Western style of life and thought. On him the most notable influence was those of the Vedas, about which he maintained that they were the original words of God. Moreover, it was after the study of the Vedas that he discovered solution to many of our social, economic and political problems. “Dayananda was a prophet of perfect Vedas. He proclaimed the revolutionary character of the four Vedic Samhitas and wanted to solve the problems of life in accordance with Vedic canons. He said that, Vedas contained external, pure and positive knowledge given to humanity at the primordial hour of creation. He claimed to find in the ancient code of Vedic wisdom the words of God himself and justified his rock like faith in the Vedas”. It was after the Vedic period that superficial outlook and artificiality took place in religion.

In addition to the influence of the Vedas, the Manusmriti written by Manu had also influenced him. He came to know through these books about Aryan religion. In addition to Vedas, Manusmriti Dayananda was influenced by his Guru Swami Virjananda.

In fact, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati’s soal thought and religious beliefs are nothing but the combination of social thought and religious thoughts. According to him, sod t. is guided by religion and religious thoughts have to be the basis of social thought.

The social thoughts are founded on this very concept.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 20 Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772—1833)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 20 Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772—1833)

Question 1.
Write a note on Brahmo Samaj. What social reforms were sought to be achieved through it ?
Raja Ram Mohan Roy is held as the father of renaissance which laid the foundation of Indian nationalism and other social reform movements during the British Rule in India. The Brahmo Samaj, established in 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) who can be correctly described as the Father of India Nationalism was the first movement of this kind. In like religio-philosophical and social out look, he was deeply influenced by the monotheism and anti-idolatory of Islam, Dersism and Sufism, teaching of Christianity and the liberal and nationalist doctrines of the west.” According to M. A. Buch “He tried to interpret and assimilate into himself the highest elements of Islam, Christianity and modern Rationalism or Humanism, transferred the ethical them into a single creed which he found in the ancient Upanishadi philosophy of his own community.”

The Brahmo Satnaj attacked “polytheistic degeneration of ancient Hindu Monotheism.” Raja Ram Mohan Roy attacked, “the ideal worships of the Hindus as degrading and expounded the conception of one God of all religions and humanity”.

National and social ethical considerations and the philosophical •onvictions motivated his attack on polytheism and idolatory. He said, “by constant reflections on the ……injurious rites introduced by the peculiar practice of Hindu idolatory which more than any pogon-worship destroys the texture of society together with compassion for many expelled me to use every possible effort to enable them to contemplate – the unity and omnipresence of Natures’ God”.

Brahmo Samaj under the leadership of Raja Ram Mohan Roy preached for the rational approach to religion. It propagated that, ‘the individuals should study the scriptures directly without the priest as intermediary, and assess the national character of a religious doctrine. He must subject religious principles to the test of his own ethical reason and reject those which contradict the test.’

Brahmo Samaj vehemently opposed the evil practice of castism. To quote A. R. Desai, “Brahmo Samaj, under the leadership of Raja, launched offensive against the caste system, branding it as undemocratic, inhuman and anti-national, crusaded against Sati and child marriage. In third for the freedom for provision to remarry and equal rights of man and woman.”

Brahmo Samaj works for the nourishment of the democratic, culture of the west, since Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an admirer of the western liberal democratic culture. ‘The Samaj valued the modern western culture and organised educational institutions in the country for its spread among the people.’

According to Rajan Palm Dutt, “In the earlier period of British Rule, in the first half of the sixteenth century, the British rulers – in the midst of, and actually through all the misery and industrial devastation – were performing and actively progressive role, were in many spheres actively combating the conservative and feudal forces of Indian society This was the period of courageous reforms, of such measures as the abolition of sati (carried out with the wholehearted to operation of the progressive elements of Indian society), the abolition of slavery (a more formal measure in practice), the war or infanticide and thuggism, the introduction of western education and the freeing of the press.

Rigid in their outlook, unsymphathetic to all that was backward in Indian traditions, convinced that the nineteenth century bourgeois and Christian conception was the normal for humanity, these early administrators nevertheless carried on a powerful work of innovation representing the spirit of the early ascendant bourgeoisie of the period and the best of them like Sir Henry Lawrence, won the respect and affection of those with whom they had to deal, The deepest enemies of the British were the old reactionary rulers who saw in them their supplanters. The most progressive elements in Indian Society, at that time, represented by Ram Mohan Roy and the reform movement of the Brahmo Samaj looked with an unconceal.d admiration to the British as the champions of progress, gave unhesistating suppose of their reforms, and saw in them the vanguard of a new civilization”.

Commenting upon the role of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ravindra Nath Tagore wrote, “Raja Ram Mohan Roy inaugurated the Modern Age in India.”

In conclusion it may be said that “since the Brahmo Samaj was not merely a religious movement but also included in its programme items of social and political reform, it was the precurser of the subsequent social reform movement initiated by the early Indian National Congress. The religious reform movement thus prepared for purely secular social and political reform movement in the country. That is the historical significance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj he started”.

After Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the leadership of Brahmo Samaj came into the hands of Debendra Nath Tagore (1817-1905).

Keshab Chandra Sen (1883-84) was the next leader of the Brahmo Samaj. Under him, the doctrine of Brahmo Samaj was more and more adopted to the doctrine of pure Christianity. In the later stages, he propounded the doctrine of Adesha, according to which God inspires knowledge the some individuals whose words must therefore be considered infallible and true. A section of Brahmo did not accept this doctrine, left the Samaj, and started the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.’

‘The Brahmo Samaj’ was the pioneer of the nationalist movement, which by the working of the history, began as a religious reform movement arising at liberating the individual from the dead weight of an authoritarian religion which strangulated their initiative and stultified both the individual and corrective mind.

The Brahmo Samaj inaugurated a new era for the Indian people by proclaiming the principles of individual freedom, national unity, solidarity and collaboration and the demarcratization of all social institutions andsocial relations. It was the first organised expression of their national awakening.

Question 2.
“Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a modern man and he more than anybody else symbolised the renascent spirit of new India.” Comment on this statement.
Discuss the efforts towards modernity by Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Raja Ram Mohan Ray sought to remove ‘spoils’ in the society and very aptly recognised that religion was being maligned. In every field there was injustice with the woman and the poor. He therefore, stood out as an apostle of a religious revival. He urged a return to the original principles of Vedantism and for a total rejection of the religious and social impurities that had crept in Hinduism. He also advocated an all-round re-generation of the social and national life and the acceptance of all that is useful and beneficial in the modern life of Europe.

He fought tooth and nail to remove the Sati Practice and very much succeeded in his mission. Besides this he preached for equal status to women.

He felt that the illiteracy was the main cause of backwardness. He pressed for learning English. He started school to give free education to children. He distributed free of cost the translated volumes of Upanishads.

He realised that the judiciary and executive must be separate to ensure prompt justice.
Besides above he championed the cause of democracy.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy touched all those points of social reforms which needed elimination. He also stressed for the separation of judiciary and executive and also the removal of illiteracy. His dream could not fulfilled in his life time but the need for fulfilment was realised by both Government and people and all the reforms dreamt by Raja Ram Mohan Roy have been done by Government.
As such Raja Ram Mohan Roy symbolised the renascent spirit of new India.

Question 3.
Write an essay on the humanism of Raja Ram Moban Roy relating with his ideas on freedom and reforms of judiciary.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a very kind hearted man. He could not tolerate any injustice with anyone. He studied the working of Hindu Samaj and noticed that many impurities had crept in the society which were not only causing hardship and atrocities to so many but also bringing a bad name to the Hindu religion. He, therefore, with perfect determination raised his voice for the abolition of Sati practice. He started powerful propoganda against Sati practice and even he went to the burning grounds in Calcutta and tried his best to avert the Sati sacrifies by persuasion. He went far and wide to propagate it. He moved the Government to prohibit the Sati practice.

He emphasised the right of women to freedom and propagated for the stoppage of the atrocities committed by men on women folk. He also laid stress on the necessity of western education and establishment of classless society. He started the compaign for the march of Hindu people on the road of liberal transformation.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy may be called the father of Hindu Reformation. For this purpose he founded the Brahmo Samaj. The Brahmo Samaj was a synthesis of the doctrines of European Enlightenment with the philosophical view of upanishads. His real aim was to purge Hinduism from the customs and superstitions with which it was overlaid and his object was to raise the status of women to bridge the yarning gulf between popular and higher Hinduism. He fought against injustice, social taboos, castes, polygamy and well entranched abuses.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy embodies the new spirit, its freedom of enquiry, its thirst for science, its large human sympathy, along with its reverent but not uncritical regard for the past and present disinclination towards the revolt.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy stood out as an apostle of a religious revival. He emphasised for the return to Vedantism and total rejection of all the religious and social impurities that have crept into Hinduism.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy also advocated for the acceptance of all that was good in western civilisation. He is rightly called the prophet of the new age. He stands as a tribune and prophet of new India. He was not only the founder of Brahmo Samaj but was also the father of constitutional agitation in India.

Question 4.
Discuss the contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy to the Indian Social Thought.
Major contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy are given below :
1. Free Press and Expression of Social Ideas. One of the founders of modern press, he emphasised that freedom of thought and expression thereof without any fear is most vital for the governors and the governed and for democratic rule in the country. His views could best be known and understood by a minute study of his writings such as (a) Petition against the Press Regulations to the Supreme Court and to the king – in Council (b) Letter to Lord Amberest on English education.

“Raja Ram Moban Roy was the founder of the nationalist Press in India. Though a few papers had been started by other before him, his Safnbad-Kaumudi in Bengali published in 1821, and Mirat-ul- Akbar in Persian published in 1822, were the first publication in India with a distinct nationalist and democratic progressive orientation. These papers were mainly the organs of the propaganda of social reform, and a critical discussion of religion and philosophical problems”.

2. Efforts to abolish Caste-system. The Brahmo Samaj formed by Raja Ram Mohan Roy provided the lead to the later programmes against the practice of .caste system. To quote D. R. Dean, “the pioneering of toe anti-caste movement first started by Brahmo Samaj later was continued by other organisations which were subsequently formed in the country. The Brahmo Samaj, under the armed democratic cultural influence of the west, denounced the caste as an institution itself.”

However, ‘there were different angles from which caste was attacked by different social reform groups. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of the Brahmo Samaj, invoked the authority of Mahanir- vana Tantra, an old religio-sociological work of Hinduism, to support his view that caste should no longer continue. The Brahmo Samaj opposed the rigid social divisions, which caste implied, thus “When will those pernicious distinctions which are swaying the very eye blood of our nation be at an end, and India emerges in a strong united nation to fit, fulfill the high destiny which providence has ordained for her. There cannot be a surer truth than this that high destiny cannot be fulfilled without the utter distinction of the supreme root of all our social evils, the caste system”.

3. Efforts for the abolition of untouchability. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was against the practice of untouchability. The Brahmo Samaj “strove by propaganda education and practical measures, to restore equal social, religious and cultural right to the untouchables”.

4. Steps against the practice of ‘Sati’. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the champion who fought for the removal of disabilities of Indian women and their freedom from various forms of opposition, especially the evil and inhuman practice of ‘Sati’. He strove by propaganda “to put an end to the practice of Sati and finally Lord Bentek was pursuaded to abolish it. With his efforts, infanticide was also subsequently declared a crime. ”

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the most distinguished person of his time rightly deserves to be honoured with the title of “Prophet of New India”. He was a true patriot advocate of the poor and oppressed. Wanted honour to women in society, a great social and religious reformer, remover of the corrupt and improper customs crept into religions, advocate of English education to Indian, a noted writer and journalist, founder of the Brahmo Samaj, lover of liberty of free press and free expression of thought by one and all, rightly championed the separation of judiciary from executive and wisest man of literature.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 19 Shukracharya

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 19 Shukracharya

Question 1.
Discuss the organisation of society and state discussed by Shukracharya in Nitisara.
Though the historians admit that the Shukra Niti was written by Shukracharya but, there is a different opinion about who was Shukracharya and when this book was written, the following lines will throw light in this regard :

“Widely divergent views are held about the date of Sbukracharya’s Niti. Some placed its even in the pre-Christian period. Dr. U.N. Ghoseal thinks that the book was written between 1200 to 1600 A.D. and the view of R.L. Mehra was similar. The fact is that this work is a composition and was traced down to the fourteenth century, but its later part is to be ascribed to the eleventh or the twelfth century A.D.”.

There is a great unanimity of voice that the work of writing Shukra Niti commenced in the eleventh or twelfth century A.D. This is evident from the following lines :

defend himself shall seek the protection of another whoever thinks that help is necessary to work out an end shall make peace with one and wage war with another. Such are the aspects of the six forms of policy. A king desirous of expanding his own power shall make use of the sixfold policy.

14. The Concept of Mandala. Kautilya formulated that ‘A king might represent that in the neighbouring circle of states a particular sovereign was growing too powerful, that he might destroy them all and that all should march against him. They are treated from the point of view of vijigisu, the world conqueror placed in a circle of states. The circle consisted of four sovereigns – the vijigisu or he would be conqueror, the Art of enemy, Kadhyama or potential powerful friend or enemy and Udasina or neutral’. In addition to these four Manu added eight other constituents and the total came to twelve.

Thus Kautilya wanted a strict discipline in social as well as individual life and sought to establish a stable social life through well organised state machinery.

“The statement that the Mlechhas resided in the north-west of India, the reference to the samantas as both feudatories and officials, the information that the price of gold was sixteen times of silver as stated by Shukracharya, the inclusion of Deshbhasat (vernaculars) as topics of study, the reference to the Advoita Vedani doctrine of Shankar that peace should even be made with Anarya, because otherwise he may uproot the kingdom, the enumeration of the principles that the treasury should have reserve equal to twenty years revenue, which was obviously followed by Hindu King’s of the eleventh century as shown by the coins of plunderers obtained from their, treasuries by Muslim conquerors. At these tend show that the book belongs to the period between 900 to 1200 A.D. The verses dealing with fire arms and gun powder may have bt en added by the end of fourteenth century when gun powder is know to have been used by the Army of Vijai Nagar.”

It is increasingly clear that Shukra Niti was not written at a stretch, or written in a period of years, but it was continued to be written for a very long period. It appears that additions were continued to be made as considered necessary but the bulk of the book must have been written at a time. According to ancient Indian thinkers, Shukracharya was not an individual. It was a seat of learn¬; ing which was occupied by bis disciples. This view is corborated by the fact that Shukracharya has been mentioned in Rigveda, Athrva ‘ Veda and also in Ushna, Kavya, Bhargava, Kavi, Dataya guru etc.

There is also mention in Mahabharata, so we can safely assume that it was the head of the educational institutions since the age of Mahabharata.

Main subjects dealt with in a Shukra Niti. Shukra Niti deals with monarchical system of Government. It has also dealt with different aspects of society. The subjects are as under :

Origin of the State. He believes in divine origin as well as organic theory of Sate. Here, there is some contradiction. On the one hand he says state is divine origin and has on the other hand compared it to living organism. He has compared it to body saying king is the head, the ministers eyes, friends of king ears, etc. He has . also compared with tree calling root of the tree as king, the ministers as trunk, Army chief branches etc. He has also stated that king is the representative of various gods such as Vayu, Surya, Agni, Varun, Chander, and Yama, He has emphasised that king has element of divinity in him.

He has in detail described the functions of Kings, Ministers, Officials and Judiciary, Treasury, Army and Law, and how Civil and Military administration should function.

He has emphasised that it should be the Welfare State which should remove the sufferings of people. He has also laid .emphasis on awarding suitable punishment to evil-doers, law breakers and enemies of the State. The nature of punishment for each sort of crime is also mentioned in the book.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 18 Kautilya (Chanakya)

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 18 Kautilya (Chanakya)

Question 1.
Give a brief description of Arthashastra and discuss the nature of social organisation provided in it.
1. The Arthashastra of Kautilya gives description of the different aspects of administration and Hindu polity. It deals with the branches of knowledge which were in existence in those times. The human knowledge was divided into four branches (i) Anvikashki (philosophy) (ii) Tryi (theology) (iii) Varta (economies) and (iv) Dandaniti (polity). It all shows that Hindus showed equitable regard to the sciences making material progress and those conducive to spiritual culture.

2. It is a manual of administration. It lays down certain practical suggestions for the functioning of administration. In the words of an eminent scholar, “The Arthashastra is more a manual for the administration than a theoretical work on polity discussing the philosophy and fundamental principles of administration or the political sciences. It is mainly concerned with the practical problems of government and describes its machinery and functions, both in peace and war, with an exhaustiveness not seen in and later work, with the possible exception of Shukra Niti”.

3. The book superseded the works of all the predecessors. In this book references have been made to Manusmriti and Yainaval- smriti. This will be clear from the folowing :

“The conclusion is supported by the data of Arthashastra of Kautilya, for innumerous places it refers to and discusses the views of Vishalakha, lndra, Manu, Parsara, Bhardwaj, Gaurasivas and other scholars of sciences of polity that are referred to in Arthashastra”.

The book has been studied by critics very minutely. They have held the book monumental work. This will be clear from the following :

“This monument work has been for some years before the scholars for critical study. It is no longer correct to assert that Hindu mind did not couduct to the development of political theories. It is no longer correct to affirm that Indians never freed their politics from theological and metaphysical environment, and never set up its science or art as an independent branch of knowledge. The very first chapter of Kautilya enlightens us on the subject. It deals with Vidyas (branches of knowledge) whicn were prevalent in his time. All human knowledge known to India in the time of Kautilya, was divided into four branches. They were Anvikaski (philosophy), Tryi (Theology), Varta (economics) and Dandaniti (Polity). It is not clear that Hindu mind showed equitable regard to the sciences making material progress and those conducive to spiritual culture.

There was no encroachment of either philosophy or theology on the doctrine of polity or economies as no doubt was the base is later times. On the contrary, we have every reason to suspect that there was encroachment the other way that is the encroachment of polity on theology or philosophy-—it is absurd to affirm that Indian had for ever subordinated the study of the science of politics to that of theology and philosophy and had never developed it as an independent branch of knowledge”.

4. It is a practical book of administration in which upto date knowledge of the requirement of administration is vividly described. It is in several volumes Book I deals with the various problem connected with kingship, it gives an exhaustive picture of the civil administration in Book II. The next two books deal with the civil, criminal and personal law. The Book deals with the duties and responsibilities of the courtiers of the king. Book VI lessons the nature of Prakrities of the State.

Then the work devotes it is last books contain exhaustive discussion of problems connected- with foreign policy, the circles of king and the policy to be followed in connection with the different members, the ways and means by which to establish one’s ascendancy among them, the occasion suitable for war and peace. The manners in which warfare was to be carried out on or dissensions “were to be sword among the enemies”.

It deals with the function of King, Council of Ministers, Ambassadors, Spy system and the administration of the villages and cities.

Relation with other countries. Kautilya has laid down the rules to be followed about interstate relations. He has laid down the Mandal number and divided the State into four categories according to the number as given below :

(a) Allies (friendly states)
(b) opponents (enemy state)
(c) ordinary states
(d) Indifferent states.

It has been suggested that the speed of. dissension should be shown in other states so that they may never become powerful.

Kautilya has given an important place to doot (ambassador). Doot is expected to be the mouth piece of King. It is through him that dialogue take place in different states. He has also suggested that doot should travel in the State to which appointed to the having clear picture of state. He should offer presents to the King of the country in which appointed, to promote friendly relations on suitable occasions.

The functions of doot are stated to be as under :

  1. to carry the message of King to some other King.
  2. to see the observance of the principles of treaty.
  3. to collect friends and make friends.
  4. to sow the seeds of dissensions amongst the friends of the enemy country.
  5. to have thorough knowledge of spy or esponage system.

Spy System. Kautilya has laid great stress on esponage. The object is to get through spy system a correct report about the internal conditions of the kingdom as well as the conditions prevailing in other countries.

Administration of village and cities. Kautilya regarded the village and city as the smallest unit of administration. He has given a detailed description about the administration of villages and cities. The suggestions made by him are very valuable and workable.

Question 2.
What type of rule was laid down by Kautilya for the social stability.
Kautilya wrote Arthashastra as a practical manual of statecraft and administration not only for the Mauryan times but for all times and-for any kingdom. He has dealt with the minutest details of statecraft.

Introduction. Kautilya openly rejected ideals in his Arthashastra and presented a plain statement of practice of kings aided by Brahmin ministers in the fourth century B.C., as Machiavelli did of the immoral rulers and Christian in the statesmen in the 15lh century in his Prince. Kautilya’s greatness consists in giving to the countin’ a strong and centralised government which was perhaps unknown before him. Kautilya emphasised on law and order and strict discipline which is the root of all success. To him justice is the bedrock of society for this he advocated just and equitable taxation. The state must meet all natural challenges, §uch as floods, famine and misfortunes of the people. He says that in the interest of the state the royal blood must flow like water.

Given below is the description of Kautilya’s statecraft :

1. Departments and their organisation. The precise grouping of the departments is not mentioned in the Arthashastra. But from the general survey of the activities of the state it is possible to get some idea of some of the departments, as of the goldsmith storehouse, commerce, forest-produce, weighter and measurers, tolls, weaving, agriculture pasture lands, cow slaughter houses, ships, passport and liquor’. On the national defence side, the chief departments were ‘armoury, elephants, horses, chariots and infantry’.

2. Elements of the State. Kautilya in his Arthshastra mentions seven elements of the state. They are ‘1. Swami, 2. Amatya, 3 Janapada, 4. Kosha, 5. Danda and 6. Mitra’. According to Kautilya king is the most important element of state. Kautilya, included wise- men besides the ministers.

3. The Council of Ministers. With the growing complexity of the social organisation, and the vast extension of state activity, the council has been raised to the highest position in the state. Kautilya laid down that the council could be of as many members as it is desirable. The council was generally presided over by the King. The council discussed peace, defence and alliance, finance and pensions, and other important affairs. The final decision was with the king alone, but was expected to accept the view of the majority. Nothing was considered more important than to maintain secrecy about the proceedings of the council. Kautilya had cautioned that the discussion should be so carried on that even birds wouldn’t see them. For this, Kautilya provided for a kind of informal inner council, having three or four ministers whom the king could consult, particularly in emergencies.

4. Selection Criteria for Ministers. Kautilya prescribed “an excellent intellectual grounding, a high sense of duty, a blameless private life, and a sound judgement” as their primary qualifications whereas popularity of an individual was wisely deemed an additional qualification for the post of a ministership. In his attempt, ‘Bharad-waja advised the king to select ministers from among his old fellow students, but Visalaksha condemned it as it finally leads to destroy action of the royal prestige. Parasara prescribed faithfulness or loyalty as the first qualification whereas Pisuna recommended intellectual and administrative capacity as the most important qualification. Kautilya recognised the force of all these arguments but he himself held, capacity to be the highest qualification.

5. Administrative Set-up and Revenue. Those who had essential ministerial qualifications may be recruited as superintendents of government departments. These superintendents shall carry on their respective work in collaboration with accountants, writers, coin examiners the treasurers and military officers. Those military officers who are honest and enjoy good conduct, “shall be spies to watch the conduct of accountants and other clerks”.

6. Punishment to Corrupt Official. Kautilya while commenting upon the corruption of the public servants, says, “Just as fish moving under water cannot possibly be found out either as drinking or not drinking water, so government servants employed in the government work cannot be found out while taking money for themselves”. For
corrupt officials, he recommends that their ill-earned wealth should be confiscated by the government. They should also be transferred from one work to another so .that they can be prevented from misappropriating government’s funds and are made to vomit what they have eaten up. Those loyally devoted to it shall be made permanent in service.

7. Units of Administration. The kingdom was divided into a number of provinces governed by Viceroys. Each province was paritioned into circles of eight hundred, four hundred, two hundred, one hundred and ten villages administered by officers in an hieiarchy. Kautilya almost ignored the village institutions perhaps because he believed in centralisation.

8. Organisation of Bureaucracy. Kautilya laid down certain qualifications for those appointed as high officers known as Amatyas, Sama-harta, Sannihata and Dharmastha. The highest functionaries such as the Mantrin, Puiohita, Senapathi and Yuvaraja were paid generously as much as 48,000 Panas. According to R.P. Kangle ‘pana’ is .a silver coin with a silver content equal to of a tola. In contrast the lowest officials were lowly paid and the gap was quite enormous between the highest and the lowest government servants. The entire governmental machinery was pyramid like in structure and highly centralised with bureaucratic nature.

9. Rural Administrative set up. Kautilya outlined rural administration only for raising finance to meet the need of revenue administration. The Samaharta, head of the Janapada was primarily made responsible for making assessment of revenue. In this assignment, he was aided by the Sthanika and Gopa who carried out detailed census for the purpose. These officials, besides assessing and collecting revenues, enforced law and order, also as per rules of the state.

10. Defence. ‘Kautilya speculated that the military force was bound to cause some anxiety to the civilpower. In order to maintain control over the armies, he was systematically broken its homogeneity.
The army was only occasionally used to put down the internal revolts. If we rely on the Arthasashtra of Kautilya the Maury as developed the first efficient system of police and criminal administration buttressed by an elaborate system of espionage.

11. Judiciary and Judicial System. The judicial system suggested by Kautilya is quite scientific and very well planned. He laid down rules and regulations about the procedure for holding the court, acquiring evidence, listening to the witness, appointment of judges, their control and punishment etc

Kautilya designed two types of courts : called Dharmasthiya (civil court), Kantakasodhana (criminal court). The courts were also to hold their sessions in the big towns. There were also village tribunals. In certain important cities justice was administered by three ministers and three other judges well acquainted with sacred law. The whole judicial administration was presided over by the Chief Justice. Above him there was the King assisted by his ministers and lawyer (vipras). It is laid down that equity prevailed over the letter of the law. The punishments for various offences were often severe.

12. Spy System. Kautilya’s statecraft was based on an well organised spy system. He regarded spies as eyes and ears of the king. The spy system was used for

  1. gathering information on foreign countries,
  2. about the officers and ministers.

Spies never knew each other. Kautilya provided for women spies and spies on spices who had to undertake very strenuous duties and obligations. Kautilya classified spies into 9 types :

  1. fraudulent disciple or ‘Kdatik-Kshatra’ (a person who reads the mind of others),
  2. ‘Udasthika’ or reclause,
  3. ‘Grihapathik’ or householder,
  4. ‘Vaidehaka’ or a merchant,
  5. ‘Tapas’ or ascetic,
  6. ‘Satri’ or a classmate, a colleague,
  7. ‘Takshana’ or a fare brand,
  8. ‘Rasad’ or a poisoner, and
  9. lastly Bhikshuki or a mendicant woman.

13. Foreign Policy. Kautilya suggested six forms of foreign policy. These were :

  • agreement with pledges is peace,
  • offensive operation is war,
  • indifference is neutrality,
  • making preparation is marching,
  • seeking the protection of another is alliance, and
  • making peace with and waging war with another is termed As double policy.

Kautilya laid down the principle as :

Whoever is inferior to another shall make peace with him : whoever is superior in power shall wage war; whoever thinks “no enemy can hurt nor am I strong enough to destroy my enemy” shall observe neutrality ; whoever is possessed of necessary strength to defead himself shall seek the protection of another whoever thinks that help is necessary to work out an end shall make peace with one and wage war with another. Such are the aspects of the six forms of policy. A king desirous of expanding his own power shall make use of the sixfold policy.

14. The Concept of Mandala. Kautilya formulated that ‘A king might represent that in the neighbouring circle of states a particular sovereign was growing tpo powerful, that he might destroy them all and that all should march against him. They are treated from the point of view of vijigisu, the world conqueror placed in a circle of states. The circle consisted of four sovereigns – the vijigisu or he would be conqueror, the Art of enemy, Kadhyama or potential powerful friend or enemy and Udasina or neutral’. In addition to these four Manu added eight other constituents and the total came to twelve.

Thus Kautilya wanted a strict discipline in social as well as individual life and sought to establish a stable social life through well organised state machinery.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 17 Manu

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 17 Manu

Question 1.
Discuss chief characteristics of Manusmriti and point out social ideas mentioned in it.
Manusmriti form an important part of the knowledge of ancient India. It is a comprehensive treatise of about the conduct of Hindu Society and Hindu way of life in those days. It is called by various names is Manusmriti, Manu Samhita, Manu Dharma Smriti etc. After Vedas this is the most important book on the Hindu way of life. It is said that it was written between 200 B.C. to 300 B.C.

It contains 12 chapters in which autor has beautifully depicted about the coordinated growth of society, religion and polity or political science. It touches all the aspects of life, administration, King and his duties, levy of taxes, running of Government, establishment and functioning of Courts, division of society into Vamas and the various customs during life and after death.

Chief Characteristics of Manosmriti

(1) Manu has described the natural state as state of anarchy in which might is right and there is no king.

(2) According to Manu the institution of kingship came into being in this country as a result of the creation of God. He believes in the theory of divine origin. It has been stated that as the people were facing anarchy, God created King to save them from the trouble and sufferings.

According to Manu King was the sovereign authority and vested with all powers. King could crush all those along with their families who act against the established law of the land. According to Manu, King is the supreme authority and sovereign as well—King was to ensure peace and prosperity of his people and to act according to the time and to give an honest and commendable administration satisfying all people. King also symbolised punishment or force.

(3) According to Manu, State came into being as a result of creation to God. According to Manu, there are seven organs of the State – (i) King, (ii) the Minister or Amatya, (iii) Friend or Suhrida, (iv) City, (v) State or Rashtra, (vi) Treasury of Kosha (vi) Force or punishment or dand. These organs, have also divine orgin and these influence each other.

(4) Requirement of King. King must perform his duties in a way to make him respectable and worth respecting for. all. King should act as a friend of his subjects. He should have control over his sense organs, should be modest and courteous, should be free from evil habits, specially anger which is said to be the root cause of all the evil habits. King must be true to Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Manu has warned king not to indulge too much in Kama. The chief aim of the king is to provide welfare to the people. If King is unable to discharge his duties he should quit his post It has been emphasised that King should be a man of ideal character, capable, learned and able to discharge his duties as King efficiently.

King must bound about two things namely—(i) Dharma or duty, (ii) force of punishment Manu has said that without the knowledge of these two things no King could maintain his prestige and personality. The main job of the King was to observe the value of Dharma or duty and to punish those suitably who disturbed the values of Dharma or duty. It is laid down in Manusmriti that before the creation of King God gave birth to force or punishment in order to help the king to discharge his duties. Manu had laid stress the power of force should be used with discreation and sparingly after properly satisfying that the punishment is given only to the guilty person with a view to make him good and to create fear in the mind to others not to do wrong things as in discreet use of force will spoil the entire structure of society.

(5) Respect to learned men. It was the duty of King to accord respect to the learned people and listen to their advice. King should also listen to Vedas everyday.

(6) Connell of Ministers and its assistants. King must have a Council of Ministers who should be pious, learned, capable and well- tested. Ministers must be aware of the different aspects of life, have deep knowledge of Vedas and loyal to the King. The number of Ministers should be 8 to 10 and each made responsible for separate portfolios.

(7) Principles underlying the Council of Ministers. Following principles are laid down by Manu

  •  The principle of traditions.
  • Principle of ability of qualification
  • The test of valour or bravery.
  • The principle of test or examination.
  • The principle of fulfilment of objectives or aims.

(8) Division of power and distribution of functions. There should be division of power and distribution function amongst ministers. The efficiency of the job should be th& criteria of distribu tion of the functions.
King should discharge all his duties in consultation with the ministers.

(9) Appointment of Ambassador. The qualification of the ambassadors are laid down in smriti for the appointment. The relation of maintaining cordial relations with other countries has been stressed upon.

(10) Putting up of forts. Manu has laid great stress on the construction of forts. He has stated that fort should be situated at a place where from forest, grass, water and grain should be nearby. It should be situated at a place where enemy may not be able to attack easily.

(11) Boundry of the village should be properly delimited. It should be marked by trees.

(12) Judicial administration. Manu was a great thinker. He has suggested various ways and means for the integrated development of society. He has laid stress that there are 18 ways of the behaviour of life. There should be assembly for administration of justice called Dharma Sabha. Justice was to be administered according to religion or principles of way of life. Manu has laid down qualification for judges. A judge should be capable of shifting the right from the wrong.

Manu has classified evidence into -(i) written evidence, (ii) divine evidence and (iii) oral or thorough evidence. He has debarred lawyers, slaves, enemies medicants, lepers etc. from giving evidence.

Manu has stated that even King was considered to be subservient to judiciary and King if found guilty should be given punishment much more than to be given to ordinary person.

Taxation and treasury. No Government can run without finance. He has stated that taxes should be levied and described the following types of taxes :

(i) Land Revenue, (ii) Fees, (iii) Fine, (iv) Use of river water, (v) Flying of boats, (vi) Taxes on animals, (vii) Taxes on artisans and people of other profession, (viii) Sales Tax.

Manu has touched all aspects of life and administration and suggested various ways and means for improving the lot of people and the norms to be observed in administering the country.

Manu was the ancient law giver. He divided the society into Varna Ashram system which means division of work into various classes on the basis of functions and motives. Manu has recognised the importance of woman but he has not pleaded for their economic and political rights.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 16 Dr Radha Kamal Mukherjee

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 16 Dr Radha Kamal Mukherjee

Question 1.
Discuss idea of Dr. Radha Kamal Mukerjee on Sociology of value.
Radha Kamal Mukerjee on sociology of value. According to Dr. Mukerjee, values represent goals of society and are outcome of socialisation process. These are socially approved desires for maintaining social peace and harmony. These give solid footings to ideas and occupy an important position not only in the life of individual but also that of the society. These get transferred from one individual to the other and help in social reconstruction.

According to him, there are several ways through which values are reflected in social life. These control immoral desires and unhealthy feelings even in emotion ridden situations. These check unhealthy economic interest group clashes and express themselves in the forms of quality and justice. These are great instruments responsible for social reconstruction and social improvement. These create higher standard of consciousness among individual members.

Mukerjee believes that values are important for social life because these are useful in organising individual and social life. These help in organising individual personality on the one hand and the whole social set up on the other. These also bring about qualitative as well as quantitative changes in the life of individual. He has said that in the absence of values the people can become delinquent and being to violate even well established social norms. Even social codes are kept aside. For him, therefore, social values are of great significance.

Shri A.K. Saran in ‘Recent Trends in Sociology’ has rightly pointed, “The basis of Dr. Mukerjee’s synthesis of traditional and modern thought are concepts of rebels, hierarchy and theory of symbo-lism; also the methods of re-interpretation and adaptation. The concept and the methods are traditional. In both Economics and Sociology, he had made a big effort to meet the challenge of the west.”

As a mature sociologist he made a clear distinction between ideals, norms and values. Ideals animal maintaining values of society. These are not perfect in the beginning but become so only with the passage of time. Norms help in completing incomplete ideals and organising individual behaviour.

Dr. Mukerjee is of the view that every individual must pass through three stages of behaviour and each stage reflects’ his behaviour pattern. During the first stage each one tries to improve social relations and moral life. During the second stage, he prepares himself for social life and tries to cooperate .with others in the society. It is at this stage that he tries to develop collective behaviour.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 15 Talcott Parsons

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes Chapter 15 Talcott Parsons

Question 1.
Examine Parsons’ theory of social action.
The theory of social action is an excellent contribution of Talcott Parsons. He writes, “The society may be defined as the total complex of relationships in so far as they grow out of actions in terms of -leans and relationship, intrinsic and symbolic.” Society is considered as an element in the whole human life and it is affected by various internal as well as external factors such as by environments, heredity and culture on the one hand and religious, metaphysical and political systems on the other. Every social relationship is part of society thus it is a society. He characterised sum total of all human relationship. Here we find the influence of Pareto, Max Weber and many other social thinkers on Persons social thought.

What is Social Action ? Parsons began with book ‘Structure of Social Action’ where he tried to analyse the nature and implications of social action and further explained his ideas in “The Social System” (1951) Parsons has defined social action as, “It is a process in the actor-situation system which has motivational significance to the individual actor or in the case of collectivity, its component individuals”. Thus all social actions proceed from mechanism. Social actions are concerned ‘with organism actor’s relations with other persons and social institutions’. It is a dynamic element.

Elements and Systems of Social Action. Parsons mentions four elements:

  1. Actor, who is the medium of action and through him all actions are executed.
  2. The End or the Object with which that action is performed. It is believed that each action must have some end to achieve.
  3. Situation, each action is performed under certain situations.
  4. The last element is selection of Alternative Means.

Systems has also been called as aspects of social action.

About social system Parsons writes, “A Social System consists in a plurity of individual actors interaction with each other in a situation which has at least a physical or environmental aspect, actors are motivated in terms of tendency to be optimization of gratification and whose relations to the situation including each other, is defined and motivated in terms of system of culturally structured and shaped symbols”. All the three systems act as three units are complementary rather than contradictory to each other.

1. The Social System. According to Talcott Parsons all social systems irrespective of their size and area of functioning are involved so in the solution of following four fundamental function problems :

(a) Pattern .maintenance
(b) Goal attainment
(c) Adaptation
(d) Integration.

To his functional theory, Parsons added the concepts of role, collectivity, value and norms as the needed one for social system. “Societies exist on total collectivities if they have a common institutionalised value system, a set of legal norms that are ultimately ben-ding and if They can hope successfully with their external relations. However, complex societies must also specialize behaviour into sub-systems and values into norms”.

Parsons mentions three distinct central points of sociological analysis. These are :

  • The structure of complex systems.
  • The dynamics of social equilibrium.
  • The problem of structural change.

2. The Cultural System. In the beginning of his analysis, Parsons treated culture is a system of ‘eternal objects’. But later on depicted as a system of action. According to Rossides, “His master category for analysing culture, is meaning, and his major frame of reference distinguishes between cultural form concerned with the meaning of objects oriented to’ and the meanings of orientation by actors. The first pair of cultural dimension, cognitive and athectic, is engaged in solving the functional problems of adaptation and goal attainment, and the second pair, evaluative and cultivate grounding of meanings is involved in solving the functional problems of integration and pattern maintenance”.

Parsons describes these four cultural dimensions on level of generality or abstractions and these are interrelated. Though earlier view of Parsons was that, “that cognitive and the athletic dimensions of culture came under the general control of the evaluative dimension, he now identifies a fourth dimension, nithnacy of the grounds of mean-ings. The highest level of generality with in the ‘nithnacy’ dimension, religio-philosophical conceptions of nltimate reality, because they are all somehow modes of differeutiatioa firms a common matrix”.

Talcott Parsons assigns importance to the evaluation and the need for industrialisation of values; to him ‘general analysis of cultural systems provides foundation for the view that principle of cmnnuia- tive development is inherent m the nature of culture system® as a whole and not only of their empirically cognitive components and subsystems”.

3. The Personality System. On the basis of his ‘psychological’ theory Parsons, postulates personality system, in which he maintains organism and personality as two distinct system. According to Parson organism is facility which includes the following :

  1. Motivational energy.
  2. Perceptual or cognitive capacity.
  3. The mechanism integrating the facilities.
  4. Performance or response capacity.

Following are the four outputs of personality :

  1. Motive for instrumental performance.
  2. Directional output.
  3. Exceptional component.
  4. Organic security.

Question 2.
Critically discuss Parson’s Theory of Social Control.
Parson’s Theory of social control follows his theory of social action. Parson starts by interpreting the human nature and says that every human being is a social animal and that be preserves his interests than the interests of any other persons. In other words his best interests lie in himself. If no control is exercised in achieving his personal interests, he is so selfish that he may disturb the whole social system. Social controls make it possible to check individual so that he does not become too selfish and does not disturb social order.

Stability and social equilibrium is maintained through some mechanisms, which the society evolves and which suit best to his conditions. These controls and mechanism most go together. Social stability can be possible only when selfish interests are fully checked. Parsons writes, “The most fundamental mechanisms of social control are to be found in the normal process of interactions in an institutional integrated social system”.

Elements of Social Control

1. Institutions. Institutions are the soul of social control mechanism: as they help in integration and without that there will be no coherence. Activities of various individuals are corelated through institutions. These also help in restricting conflicts at social level.

2. Forms of Order. Social equilibrium and stability is maintained through following two orders: (i) Time Schedule and (ii) Institutional Priorities. According to the former order for completing an activity some schedule is fixed. Thus, if there are different activities these are to be enacted at different times and to be completed according to different time schedules. ‘In this way no activity or group interfere with the other and social stability and equilibrium is maintained. But in every society there are certain actions which are given priority over other actions.” This facilitates in checking conflicts. Parsons writes that if there is priority scale then “in cbosing one obligation above the ‘other the individual can in general be backed by the sentiments of common value system”.

3. Institutionalised System of Priorities. Fixation of priorities may depend upon the urgency of needs but it is always desirable that priorities should be institutionalised, otherwise the individuals may get involved into conflicting demands and might not be in a position to show systematised or ordered conduct. Since institutionalised priorities determine the behaviour of a person therefore these are helpful in maintaining social control. Parsons believed that the process of social control is a continuous one and mechanisms are used only when under certain pressures normal system either completely breaks down or tends to break down. He has also said that mecha-‘ nisms of social control have their own limitations. Each mechanism is responsive to certain system and does not break down under certain situations and to some extent.

When excessive pressure is exerted, the mechanism may break down.

4. Fundamental Mechanism. As the individual is being interacted by various means and also by various groups, persons and situations it is not possible to exercise full social control merely with the help of time schedule and institutionalised priorities. This paves way for other mechanisms such as rituals, secondary institutions, isolation etc. It is true that rituals can break down under social pressure, but as long as these functions perform very useful social control. In addition to rituals, there are secondary institutions which help in maintaining social control and through these individual is motivated to conform to social standards and values accepted by the society. Parsons holds that insulation and isolation are two more means of social control. Parsons has interpreted insulation mechanism “as haying the function of preventing potential conflicting elements in the culture and social structure from coming into the kind of conflict which would be likely to lead to open conflict”.

Thus mechanism helps in checking powerful conflicting forces from coming into open conflict with each other. Isolation mechanism tries to keep the cultural pattern separate from other aspects of social structure and helps in preserving cultural patterns on the one hand and maintains harmonious social structure on the other. Thus both institution and insulation play great roles.

According to Parsons, rewards, punishment are also the fundamental mechanisms for those who help maintaining social order or in violating well established social systems and controls. Parsons classifies other unplanned mechanism (that help in social control) as under :

(a) those Which tend to nip in the bud tendencies to the deve-lopment of compulsively deviant motivation before they reach the vicious circle stages ;

(b) those which insolate the bearer of such motivation from influence on others  and

(c) secondary defences which are able to varying degrees, to the worse ambitious process.
Parsons in his theory of social control aptly opines that without controls there will be social disharmony and disorder, and that in maintaining social control institutions play a very big and important role. His idea of allotment of priorities and their institutionalisation is a remarkable piece of social idea.

Question 3.
Examine important structural aspects of social systems as developed by Parsons.
Parsons in his social system evolved the theory of social systems wherein he pointed out five elements of social system, namely individual actors, interaction of actors, motivation of the inter-actions ; situations and’ environments connected with interactions and cultural relations. These elements are closely connected and interrelated with each other.

Talcott Parsons pointed out that social systems have both negative and positive aspects. Social systems develop as a result of situations and interaction between various individuals. When actors are motivated to do certain things with the result that a particular system develops, is known as positive aspect of social system. Whereas activities which people wish to avoid, which usually are as a result of some sort of interaction is known as negative aspect. It is conceived by Parsons that no society is complete enough to meet each and every requirement of the people. Therefore every society is expected to meet basic needs of its members. No social problem arises so long as these basic needs are fulfilled otherwise negative aspects of social system are used.

Place of Institutions. The best way to exercise control is to check the establishing tendencies and thereby enabling maintenance of equilibrium for this it is essential that certain institutional priorities should be fixed—an institution being understood as a well established norm of behaviour. The institutions can be Rational, Regulative, Cultural and Rational Regulative. Rational institutions come to stay when because of certain situations and inter-actions certain relations emerge, which give birth to certain institutions.

It is for the Regulative Institutions to regulate the guide the actions of individuals. Otherwise, there is every possibility that social structure might come under heavy strains and interests of weaker sections of society might be ignored. Cultural institutions are responsible for our cultural pattern and help promoting as well as expediting our cultutal behaviour, thereby maintaining our values and behaviour. Whereas Relational-Regulative institutions perform the functions of establishing relationship and regulating behaviours. All these have great roles to play in the social system.

Structural Components of Social System. Parsons names kinship, stratification, power system, religion and value integration as the structural components of social system. Parsons acknowledged the role of kinship in a social system as it makes the task of socialisation easy, keeps sex relationship under control and introduces many taboos. Kinship also helps in regulating some of our social behaviours and puts certain institutions like marriage, family system etc. on sound footing, helps us in knowing the inter-relationships of individuals and also the status.

Stratification facilitates one to get the idea as to what is the place of each individual in the social heirarchv, which in turn helps in knowing the job of each and every individual in the society. Stratification also helps us in knowing who is performing what quality of job and to what extent the job needs rewards and incentives.

The power system (excluding physical power) enables the society to check and control the behaviour of both the individuals as well as groups, check social disorganisation, which otherwise would create many social problems. In social system, it is religion which helps preserving social values and norms and upholds such moral values which keep the people closer and together. In addition to this religion and values even govern internal attitudes and make the whole system dynamic. This discussion leads to the conclusion that Parsons has studied the social system, concisely and his suggestions of mechanisms for social control are valuable contributions to social thought.

Question 4.
Write a note on contribution of Parsons to the history of social thought.
Talcott Parsons is one of the leading exponents of the concept of social system. Despite the fact that this concept had been * widely used in the past by leading sociologists, the way it has been handled and interpreted by Parsons is unrivalled. The application of this concept to a vide range of human interaction has led to many sociologists to develop vast literature. This process in consequence has provided a wide convass for the use of the terms, in terms of integrative and adaptive features of social system as a functional first hand requirement.

It has been said that, perhaps one of the most complex theories of social change is presented by Talcott Parsons. Parsons emphasises social structure and ideology in a theory of “adaptive upgrading.” He contends that societies have an ‘adaptive capacity’ to develop within themselves, or borrow from other societies, ideas and materials which better serve their populations. The ‘enhancement of adaptive capacity’ is most important to the process of social change because it depends upon an ever widening base for the social structure. Therefore, advancement of society from a mere band or tribe to that of a city, state, nation, or empire is dependent upon comu- lative effects of adaptive capocity.’

There is the obvious implication in Parsons theory that ‘social evolution differs from physical evolution in that cultural diffusion is possible. Some societies have made considerable advances along one socialised line or another but have left no apparent heiis.’ When these organisational capacities are combined with scientific technology, the modern phase of human development is reached. However, Abrahamon feels that the ideas of Parsons reveal ‘superficial’ air of originality. “In dealing with ‘society’ inspite of many conceptual innovations which gave his discussion a superficial air of originality Parsons is following an identical line of thought which began with Comte and ended with Durkheim”.

Despite these criticisms, Parsons has made valuable contribution in the field of knowledge about religion, social change and social control, social system and many other related means of study.

Parson’s book, ‘The Structure of Social Action (1937)’ is accepted as the ‘watershed in the development of American sociology in general and sociological theory in particular. It was a landmark in that it set a new course of functional analysis”.

According to Lewis, “This book widened the virtues of American sociologists, making them receiptive to the rich heritage of the European sociological tradition”.

Talcott Parsons, another book Social System emphasised the “importance of institutionalised values and norms and differentiated social roles corresponding to different status position. Talcott Parsons’ views had strong impact on the American sociology”.

Parsons’ works were subjected to multiple criticisms, In the man, his critics complained of a built in bias toward conformity, an absence of concern with social conflict, an inability to preceive the central place of material interests in human affairs, a persistent Panglossian optimism, and a disproportionate concern with integration and concensus at the example of concern with radical change and instability. Although these persistent critical onslaughts were important, they were not wholly responsible for the eclipse of Parsonian thought in the last ten years or so. Rather, that eclipse was due more to a general shift in concern away from macrosociological and structural features of Parsonian theory in particular and of structural-functional analysis in general.

Talcott Parsons two major pioneering contributions, are everlasting. These are :

  1. Action Frame of Reference and its components.
  2. The Unified Functional Approach to Society, Culture and Personality.

1. Action Frame of Reference and its components. According to Talcott Parsons, action frame of reference, ‘‘postulates that no relation between an actor and a situation is determined because an actor is always confronted by choice between alternatives”. Social science, postulates- three basic elements of action :

  • An actor, (may be an. individual or collectively)
  • A social situation or an object and
  • Cultural objects (especially of normative order).

Parsons mentions three categories of responses to situation and problems, after analysing the relationship among the above three components of action. These are—cognitive, asthectic and evaluative.

According to Talcott Parsons, following are the three major systems of action :

  1. Personality
  2. Society and
  3. Culture.

These three systems are separate yet related aspects of reality.
The Pattern Variables and the Social System Types. The concept of pattern variables was derived by Parsons, from the action frame of reference. This derivation is an attempt to supply a logically exhaustive list of action diseases on the highest possible level of abstraction.

There are five basic pattern variables according to Parsons :

  1. Affectively-Affective mentality (The Gratification-Discipline Dilemma).
  2. Self-orientation-collectivity Orientation (The Private Vs. collective interest Dilemma).
  3. Universalism-Particularism (The Choice between types of value orientation standard).
  4. Ascription-Achievement (The choice between ‘Modalities of social object’).
  5. Specificity-Diffuseness (The definition of scope of interest in the subject).

The first concerns the problem of whether or not evaluation is to take place in a given situation. The second concen the primacy of moral standards in an evaluative procedure. The third concerns the relative primacy of cognitive and asthectic standai us. The fourth concerns the seeing of objects on quality “or performance complexes. The fifth concerns the scope of significance of the objects”.

Using two of the pattern variables, universalism-particularism and ascription-achievement, Parsons derived a set of four social . system types :

  1. Universalistic-Achievement (Modern Western Industrial societies).
  2. Universalistic-Ascription (Imperial and Nazi Germany and to some extent Soviet Russia).
  3. Particularistic-Ascriptive (Primitive kin-locality Societies Spanish-American Societies).

From an overall perspective, the pattern variables synthesis enabled Parsons to deal conceptually with behaviour from the smallest units to total social structures. However, it still left him with a plurality of theoretical types, and true to his commitment to systematic theory, he reformulated the pattern variables in an attempt to achieve a more general, unitar statement about human behaviour. The key to this organisation came when he realised that the three systems of action could be reformulated in terms of the logic of
functional analysis.

“This conceptual scheme, on the structure of social Action shows an instructive detail, was derived from the synthesis, among other things, of the Durkheimian emphasis on structural determi- , nants and collective consciousness, the Weberian stress on the determining functioning of sets of ideas and values and the Paretian notion of moving social equalism resulting from the inter play of actors possessed in varying degrees of a set of fundamental ‘residues’ or ‘prepotent drives’.

2. The Unified Functional Approach to Society, Culture and Personality. The concept of action occupies a significant place in the geological theory of Parsons. ‘Action was dealt with by Parsons in his book “The Structure of Social Action”. Lewis defines function as those observed consequences that make for adaptation or adjustment of given structures : dysfunctions are those observed consequences that lesson adaptation or adjustment. Functional analysis, moreover focusses attention on the casual crop through consequences which of given courses of action act back on the item under observation, the briflgng about, as the case may be, its persistence or modification.

Parsons emphasised the significant role of norms and values and as differentiated social role in relation to differentiated status positions. The central values and norms of the system are upheld when properly socialized are motivated to live upto die role requirements and when they are impelled to uphold and defend these institutionalized requirements in their interaction with other factors. The primacy of values and norms in Parsons system makes it appropriate to all this system normative functionalism.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of Social Thought Notes