Dialogue April-June, 2012, Volume 13 No. 4
Indian Scholarship in Humanities and Social Sciences
Indians badly suffer due to Information-deficit. Educated Indians lack proper information about their country, society and the culture; they hardly know about their religion and belief-systems, and the past achievements of their forefathers in various fields. Our students are either not informed or mis-informed about the same, leading them to confusion. In fact, the entire nation is confused; has fragmented and borrowed vision; has loss of memory (smriti-bhransha). The education, which we impart to our children, to a large extent, de-nationalizes and acculturates. The reason is that the source of knowledge itself has got polluted. A large number of our intellectuals – the scholars in the field of social sciences and humanities – themselves are deficient in the knowledge about their country and society; they have developed vested interests in being collaborators and agents. They are alienated from the traditional source of knowledge as well as from their social and natural environment. Keeping career interest above the interests of the society and the nation leads them to multiple subserviences; subservience to ideology-linked political masters as well as to Euro-American scholars. Needless to say that subservience pays them personally; they get jobs and privileges through the former and international recognition as scholars through the latter. The Indian creative writers in English have no prick of conscience in in presenting distorted image of Indian Society so that to get a Booker or other award. While they gain by doing so, nation and the society suffer.
India suffered, and yet continues to suffer, due to colonization of mind. And it was not only the British colonization, which was responsible for the same. As Ram Swarup has ably written, "While India was fighting against British Imperialism, another Imperialist force was maturing. Its centre was Soviet Russia and its instrumentalities were the local communist parties. It used radical slogans but it was a great reactionary force. It used anti-imperialist language but it was a vehicle of a more cruel Imperialism. Unmindful of this new development, India devoted its full attention to British Imperialism and thought that after it had successfully fought it, there was no other danger." But the danger knocked as soon as the British left; the followers of Marx (Communists) tried to grab power through violence. It is yet the most dogmatic ideology; resists change. There were splits to resist change; the hard core formed CPI (Marxist) first and then CPI (Marxist-Leninist) i.e., Naxalites. Some of the greatest butchers in human history have been from among the followers of Marx. Any secessionist outfit or ideology in India may count on their support and Naxalites collaborate with and/or support most of them. It needs mention that Communist Party of India supported the creation of Pakistan; opposed "Quit India Movement.
In its very ideational structure, Marxism is hostile to Asia. For Marx, Asia belonged to pre-history; its mode of production was primitive. He offered the industrial model of Anglo-Saxon countries. Belonging to pre-history, as Marx believed, the Indian and other Asiatic models –industrial, cultural and others – were destined to give way to Anglo-Saxon model; and according to Marx, it was a historic necessity. As far as India is concerned, Marx fully borrowed the contempt of British colonial scholars like Mill for it. Dr. Lohia understood this. According to him, Marxism was the last weapon of the Europe against Asia. In India, the Marxists have captured vantage positions in media, academia and politics. And it is not easy to dislodge them from the same.
Lack of discriminative intelligence, alertness and critical appraisal; selective use of data/to fit in the borrowed frame of research are clearly visible in the works of our social scientists, irrespective of the fact whether they receive inspiration and direction from Euro-American scholars or from the Red ones. Both have dogmatic mindsets; are duragrahis. The Marxist scholars forget that delusive ideologies result in disjunction between society and scholarship. Deconstruction brigades of our social scientists and Humanities scholars often forget that Euro-American scholars do not go so far in their scholarly pursuits of deconstruction of their society and nation. Our scholars often close their eyes towards ground realities if it counters the colonial myths. They often emphasize superficial similarities; slur over important differences. All this results in loss of intellectual creativity and demands immediate change.
It is in this light that we invited some eminent thinkers and writers to address the state of our scholarly pursuits in post-independence period. Their writings clearly point out that while we achieved freedom in physical terms, the subtle pervasive colonial influence on our minds and scholarship continues to deprive us of access to our rich cultural and historical past and take pride in our ancient roots which influenced and enriched the entire humanity particularly the Asian Continent. The result is that alien influences on our education and scholarship are ensuring that the future generation of Indians will be without any roots or identity of their own and a poor imitative copy of western thought processes which revels in conflict and division, contrary to our own syncretic and synthesizing cultural heritage. Unless timely corrective steps are taken a few generations later we Indians will be confronting the central question of our identity and who are we, in public discourse? In the process the inheritors of one of the richest civilization and language (Sanskrit) in history will be rendered rootless entities.