Social Scientist. v 7, no. 79 (Feb 1979) p. 81.


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BOOK REVIEW

PRATAP CHANDRA, THE HINDU MIND, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla 1977, pp, 152, Rs. 27.50

IT IS true that every society forms certain relatively [static patterns of reaction in the course of its historical development. Known as 'tradition5, these reaction patterns play an important role in the future development of that society. These reaction patterns are ultimately based and shaped by the ^articulate and inarticulate metaphysical assumptions" inherent in the thinking of the dominant section of that society. The dominant section of society manages to steer the society in the direction chosen by it only through a skilful employment of the basic beliefs in the field of education^ Now, the basic beliefs not only safeguard the interests of the dominant section but also circumscribe it by imposing on it a particular type of value system. The recent upsurge of interest in India's past has been partly motivated by a desire to understand the Hindu reaction pattern.

There can be no denying the fact that some structural elements exert a peculiar kind of influence on the characteristic mode of thinking of a community, and the ethos of that community becomes fully intelligible only after making sure about the nature of these elements. Search for these elements in the thinking of Hindu community which have come down to it from its remote ancestors is, to some extent, inspired by a number of far reaching judgements. However, the one basic proposition implicit in the work of a large number of writers on the subject seems to be that the ancient Indian thought was ^spiritualistic end otherworldly". This proposition has clearly three parts: a) who were the ancient Indians? How did the ancient Indian society originate? What are the characteristics of this society's collective personality? b)



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