Social Scientist. v 11, no. 117 (Feb 1983) p. 1.


Graphics file for this page
Editorial Note

IN ESTABLISHING Marxism as a major intellectual current in the country, the contribution of a select band of scholars and academics can hardly be exaggerated. Professor Susobhan Chandra Sarkar, who passed away on August 26, 1982, was an outstanding member of this band. Professor Sarkar was no armchair Marxist. His commitment to Marxism led him logically to a life-long association with the communist movement in the country. His commitment to Marxism moreover was an integral part of his commitment to scholarship. He was a dedicated teacher and influenced generations of students not by any narrow-minded preaching of Marxism but by inculcating in them a profound regard for scrupulous and meticulous scholarship. One cannot be a good Marxist intellectual without being a good scholar, because Marxism is not a set of religious beliefs or catchwords but a scientific endeavour to explain the movement of society in its entirety, for which even thoroughly anti-Marxist views and apparently contradicting facts constitute not uncomfortable objects to be swept under the carpet, but phenomena to be analysed and explained with integrity and objectivity. Professor Sarkar's commitment was to this endeavour; therin lay the strength of his impact as a Maxist intellectual.

Today when, in the name of Marxism, a disdain, on the one hand, for the live communist movement, and, on the other hand, an equally marked disdain for scholarship, for a thorough acquaintance with ideas, including those contrary to one's own, are by no means uncommon, the life and outlook of a man like Susobhan Sarkar deserve, more than ever, close attention and study. We are glad to be able to publish as the lead article of this issue a very personal tribute to the memory of Professor Sarkar by one of his distinguished students. Professor Barun De, the eminent historian.

Kapil Kumar's piece on Gandhi and the peasant movement in Oudh in the early 1920s is an attempt to find a solution to the perennial puzzle: how does one account for the undoubtedly enormous popularity that Gandhi acquired within the peasantry when he indicated in no uncertain terms his opposition not only to



Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page