a Welcome to India policy foundation

Philosophy of Social Revolution -Rakesh Sinha

Author: IPF      Date: 09 Jun 2017 14:07:10

 


The stream of ideas never stagnated in India. That is why, that despite all kinds of turmoil, ups and downs, the continuity of civilization has always been maintained in India, giving it a unique status among world civilizations. So much so that even during imperial times, when politics had primacy over everything else, there was positive debate, intellectual churning and strong initiatives taken on social, cultural and religious issues. There was neither political inspiration nor sentiment behind these initiatives. It was rather social and cultural movements that influenced politics at different levels and reformed and refined it. The socio-religious reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries faced the institutionalised evils and rituals embedded in the Hindu society. These had a rather deleterious impact on our society, culture and world-view. The practice of ‘purdah’, self immolation by women on the husband’s pyre (Sati), child marriage, widow remarriage, dowry and untouchability were several issues that stood between our golden past and a bright future.

 

 

During this period, thinkers and reformers played a revolutionary part in breaking ritualistic practices, ideas, social behavior and status quo-ism. It is interesting to note that there has never been a dividing line between thinkers and reformers in the Indian tradition. This underlines the fundamental difference between the intellectual stream of India and the West. The method of study in the West is critical and analytical. This intellectual tradition has its own uniqueness. Thinkers constitute separate and autonomous groups in the West. They join the intellectual stream bringing with them their knowledge, experience, ideas, prejudices and understanding of reality. Indian thinkers, on the other hand, look at socio-cultural life as their laboratory.