Social Scientist. v 11, no. 121 (June 1983) p. 1.


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THE LITERATURE of a people ofite» icrves obo^^/a-am^oi* <$IF Teality and (rf (the ^nictures;of tbinking. that wmtttirte the w^ ww^w^th^^i ttey liv^iin. Analya^al ^lutinei dp tlwwwe tC^n tb^r^jf^ft &eme toitluixixnatie oa^iimdeTsfcat»di®^irfs©oielN4lat^a--sbiizs in &oy ^iv-on period of iiittwy. Ih tbn element. XfAiftg a nurcrber of wrtters 4ii Hindi Qtid Oi^xi^ti, istftrUng wiib Bharaitendu HsnishchandrQ, he(8be\whow their wf^ngs ar/e perm^^ted botb,by a "faith hi the colofii^^o^ffeotion^^s^ell^ ^a^^der^tanding that iM vTry^xuAence was^»o^iye -of ffi^ "good of the colonised". This faith, which of course was inculcated^^hfe rulers, was accepted by the ruled as a means of rationalising their acceptance of the reality of subjection. Glorification of Pax Britannica falfilled "the need for escape from the oppressiveness of acceptance of subjection". But the acceptance of this myth also necessitated the quest for a counter-myth for psychological succour and this meant a glorification of the remote past. This dual myth—one glorifying the remote past and the other glorifying Pax Britannica—entailed the postulation of an interregnum of anarchy, which was seen mainly in terms of the tyranny of the Muslim rulers. Not that Muslim rule was uniformly compared unfavourably to British rule; given the contradictory attitude to British rule, there was a corresponding contradictory attitude to its comparison with Muslim rule. The counterpart of this dual myth of course was the dual intellectual constituent of the modern Hindu's consciousness, one traditional, the other an import from the West, the weight of the former tending to decline as the demand for political freedom became more assertive. Chandra's analysis is exceedingly stimulating; the fact that it is not located explicitly within class coordinates should both encourage debate as well as further productive efforts at integration within the unfolding dynamic of class contradictions.



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