Social Scientist. v 2, no. 20 (March 1974) p. 53.

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Kishan Singh on the Poetry of Warris Shah

IN the article on the eighteenth-century Punjabi poet Warris Shah {Social Scientist^ Number 12, July 1973) Kishan Singh makes an attempt to evolve a synthesis of Marxism with idealism. He launches a series of imaginary postulates to maintain a semblance of scientific assessment. In doing this, what shows through most clearly is Kishan Singh's own idealistic approach.

Kishan Singh asserts that the ishk of Warris Shah's hero Heer is humanized love and like Naam (the Divine Word), it can purify a mind defiled and dehumanized by the proverbial sins.1 He runs down Shankara's Advaita Vedanta and lauds the Bhakti movement and Sufism as revolutionary.2 His may a is not Cosmic Illusion, but an embodiment of selfishness and greed. Mayavad, a metaphysical brand of Shankara's idealism, denies evolution. Kishan Singh, however, imparts a different meaning to this concept in consonance with the Bhakti-Sufi-Sikh version of spiritualism.

Such a fallacious argumentation is interspersed with quotations from the Marxian classics Anti-Duhring and The German Ideology, and a couple of books on socialist humanism by Erich Fromm. Ostensibly to suit his subjective approach, these quotations arc inserted out of context and lack the coherence of Marxian reasoning.

Marxism has its own philosophy, the dialectical and historical materialism, which is opposed to idealism. It is by no means a speculative pseudo-science as some 'theoreticians' try to make out. It consistently combats whatever goes under the garb of idealism. No amount of dialectical reasoning can turn idealism into a progressive ideology. Marxists will never sacrifice dialectics at the altar of spiritualism which has always served the interests of the ruling classes. In order to blunt the weapons of class struggle the ruling classes are on the look-out for those ideologues who can twist reality and distort the truth with their essentially spiritualist contributions.

Religious Brand of Idealism

In the ideological struggle for men's minds, religion has always been used by the vested interests. Religion, to start with, is nothing but

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