Social Scientist. v 6, no. 70 (May 1978) p. 40.


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RADHAKA^TA BARIK

Gopabandhu and the National Movement in Orissa

GOPABANDHU now belongs to '^political mythology'51 in Orissa. Three myths that have been propagated about him with the aim of advancing certain personal and class interests are: (1) that he was a ^superman" an Utakalamani'^ (2) that he was a man of action, not intellect8 and (3) that he was an intellectual representing the caste elite—the Brahmins.4 Such is the intellectual bankruptcy of the myth-makers that they fail to note the facts to analyse the intellectual rigour of Gopabandhu. No doubt., like other liberal-radical nationalists, Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadcv Govind Ranade, and R C Dutt, Gopabandhu had his own social prejudices. But the social-political understanding of an individual cannot be equated with his social prejudices. The prejudices of these nationalists lay dormant., in., ^a state of inertia.958 Indeed., in India there was no intellectual development as in the Western world. There was not a single .intellectual with a purely national, secular, and agnostic outlook during the whole national movement.6 Hence, the crucial thing is to discover which tendency among the liberal-radical nationalists was dominant and then to study that dominant tendency in its intellectual development.

An intellectual is to be recognized or assessed, not in terms of his social origin, but in terms of his consciousness. We should find out how far his consciousness or world outlook is logical and historical.



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