REVIEW ARTICLE / E.M.S. NAMBOODIRIPAD*
The Class Character of the 19th Century Renaissance in India
Professor K.N. Panikkar is a distinguished historian, teaching Modem History at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has contributed many articles, essays and papers on the problems of modern Indian History. His publications include: British Diplomacy in North India; Against Lord and State;
Religion and Peasant Uprisings in Malabar; and Culture and Consciousness in Modern India. He has also edited John Malcolm's Political History of India; National and Left Movements in India; and Communalism in India; History, Politics and Culture. He has also compiled two Source Volumes: Peasant Protests and Revolts in Malabar and Press Freedom.
The eight essays he has written on various occasions and read at various seminars have now been brought together in a volume entitled:
Culture, Ideology, Hegemony: Intellectuals and Social Consciousness in Colonial India. He documents the rise and development of the renaissance movement in 19th Century India. Covering as the book does the development of renaissance in Bengal from the days of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, it also deals with the origin and growth of renaissance in the author's home State, Kerala.
Sree Narayana Guru vvas the originator of the most widespread mass movement in Kerala which developed into the spiritual-political (anti-caste) movements and organisations led by the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam. Apart from the reference to the Guru and his contribution to renaissance in Kerala, the author explains the role played by the great visionary P.S. Warrier who founded the Arya Vaidyasal^ at Kottakkal. The marriage reform movement in the Malabar part of Kerala too has found special mention in the volume.
The author's work therefore has the merit of describing Indian renaissance in general and particularly the renaissance in Kerala. The
^Member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Social Scientist, Vol. 24, Nos. 9-10 September-October 1996