P C JOSHI*
Homage to Gyan Chand
DR. GYAN CHAND, dedicated social scientist, patriot and socialist, passed away on the morning of April 6, 1983.
During a long and creative life extending over more than half a century, Dr Gyan Chand exercised a profound influence on India's life in diverse fields. His personality flowered in all its richness and splendour as a result of his life-long struggle to respond intellectually to all the burning social problems and challenges of his times. Above all, what shaped his character and personality was his complete identification with India's struggle to overthrow the colonial yoke and to overcome the massive economic, social and cultural backwardness created by colonialism and the semi-feudal socio-economic structures.
Rooted deeply in the values and ideals of the national movement, Dr Gyan Chand firmly believed that these values and ideals of economic S'warajya and emancipation of the Daridranarayan could be realised in their fullness only if India by-passed the capitalist stage of social evolution; only if it built up socialist consciousness and non-capitalist forms of economic and social organisation within the framework of multi-class mobilisation for national development.
Among the ardent nationalist economists, who were his contemporaries, Dr Gyan Chand was one of the very few who publicly committed himself to socialism very early in bis life. Indeed his entire approach to all the crucial questions of Indian economic and social development was permeated by his unreserved acceptance of socialism on the one band and his deep patriotic consciousness on the other. The former made him totally uncompromising in his commitment to the interests of the oppressed masses both in the realm of thought and practice. The latter, however, generated an intellectual catholicity which led Dr Gyan Chand to seek cooperation with diverse trends of thought and opinion in the pursuit of patriotic cause. Such a combination of fidelity to principle and flexibility of approach was rarely to be found in Indian public life. It is this rare quality which brought Dr Gyan Chand close to intellectuals of diverse orientations
^Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi