Social Scientist. v 11, no. 126 (Nov 1983) p. 57.


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OBITUARY

A R Kamat

ONE MUST be proud of one's Marxist faith; this pride must however not be worn on one's sleeve. Anant Raoji Kamat was a most unusual scholar. The expanse he travelled, from pure mathematics to statistics, fiom statistics to education, from education to planning, from planning to political economy from which it takes it command, would be worth being commented on in any age and in any country. But Kamat's intellect was the receptacle of even wider curiosities. He was a lover of poetry and the languages: the cadence of words, the music they are capable of putting together, fascinated him. In the quiet of his little room at the Gokhale Institute, or as you would accompany him on a stroll down a lonely lane in the early morning or at dusk, he would casually, matter-of-factly, conduct you over the immese, rich territory of classical literature and philosophy. He would talk, in ^low diction, a mild smile on his lips, each of his narrations would have an impeccable logical structure, you would listen, spell-bound. This man had so much of scholarship tucked inside him, yet you took him for granted. You would keep admonishing yourself even as he would continue with his conversation piece; your sense of shame would distract you; he would however proceed in his own manner, not one logical step would be missed. His was no garden species of humility; its roots perhaps sprang from that self-assurance which integrity to a cause lielps to develop. The groves of academies are now a contaminated lot; braggarts and crooks abound in impressive numbers; those belonging to tlie 'come-lct-us-beat-our-own-drum' scliool have taken over; the raffle of instant awards defines the social coordinates. A man of A R Kamat's depth could afford to look amusingly on this scene; lie had the mooring of an intense personal philosophy; careerists and establishment lovers and swash-bucklers, he knew merely constitue the vulgar superstructure; they do not define social reality.

His social beliefs were his pride; and this pride was his strength. But this strength is your reservoir; you do not fritter it away during the day's rancorous episodes. That would be counter-productive. For you cannot ever persuade anyone to migrate to your ideological fold by exhibiting your haughtiness. Hautiness is a sign, not of prowess, but of frailty. A R Kamat would therefore always have a half-smile on his



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