By Chaturvedi Badrinath
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Extra resources for Dharma, India, and the World Order
For that condemnation, most of it based on ignorance and prejudice, was not entirely without truth, and the spirited Indian defence, when it began to take pace, was not without its untruth. However, given the framework which existed then, and the English educated Indians becoming a part of it, both these were overlooked. And so were the underlying problems of Indian society which, in actual fact, were much deeper and far more serious than either the English or the Indian reformers ever saw. 58 There are, however, certain very special difficulties in understanding Indian society.
An understanding of the cultural presuppositions of a people is what is involved in understanding, their social context and the 61 individuals placed in it. What is further involved is an historical search for the precise manner in which the social and political structures reflected those presuppositions, and each limited the other in turn. It is only through grasping the inter-connections between them that a full understanding of a people is possible. It is an investigation into the kinds of questions that they have asked in their passage through history, into the uses to which they have put their language, into their social conflict and the outcome thereof, and so into the specific possibilities of their social context.
Those very presuppositions that were invoked to end oppression, and therefore revolt and conflict, such as the will of God, purpose in history, supremacy of reason, the ends of equality and justice, the pleasure principle, or the principle of utility, created much deeper conflicts than the ones they set out to resolve. This is true of Christianity, Marxism, and Islam. By what other means can self-conflict be resolved and self-division overcome? Is there a common ground where, free of presuppositions, we can find shared methods, not doctrines, of struggling with the problem of conflict?
Dharma, India, and the World Order by Chaturvedi Badrinath