2 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
difference between the two contexts is obvious, and substantial. While the penetration of capitalism mto the agrarian sector is not denied, the need to study the concrete manner of that penetration is underscored, so that appropriate slogans and taclics of class struggle can be worked out. The paper gives a brief outline of such slogans and tactics in the present context-
The debate among historians about whether the socio-economic formation in India at any stage may be characterised as feudalism^ may appear to outsiders as being concerned only with nomenclature, since no one has denied the differences between the Western European and the Indian formations, it is all perhaps a matter of how we define feudalism This however is an erroneous impression. The apparent debate about nomenclature is in fact a substantive debate over interpretations of what happened in Indian history: How "autonomous" peasant production was, why there was a seeming stability of the Indian formation, and so on The paper by R S Sharma not only gives a flavour of the debate, but also highlights in the process several aspects of the economy and society in earlv medieval India Sharma sees the essence of feudalism in the landlord-subject peasantry relationship, outlines the nature of this relationship in early medieval India, and attributes the so-called stability of the Indian system not to the peasant's independent control over the processes of production but to factors like caste ideology, the survival of kinship bonds etc. He also cites evidence for considerable expansion of agricultural production in this period.
Ajnalendu Guha's paper argues the existence of a dual national consciousness in India, a pan-India "we-consciousness" together with yet another relatively stable "we-consciousness" at the regional-linguistic level. Of course, the slow development of the economy and the segmentation of society along caste, religion and sect lines make for an immaturity of national consciousness at both the levels. This dual national consciousness for ever runs the risk of degenerating, on the one hand, into an aggressive Indian great nationalism and, on the other hand, into chauvinist and even secessionist regional little nationalism. But, for combating both these deviations, it is important, according to the author, that we recognise this two-stream national process. The author uses this general perspective to examine the national problem in the north-eastern region in particular—Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
M J K Thavaraj's paper has a different focus. In a broad canvas it outlines the Marxist approach to social sciences and presents the contrast between this approach and a variety of bourgeois approaches in each of ttic hc^ds constituting the social sciences.