Social Scientist. v 10, no. 107 (April 1982) p. 52.

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Dialectical Materialism and Dialectical Materialism


DEBIPRASAD CHATTOPADHYAYA is known for his pioneering work in demolishing the fable that materialism is alien to Indian philosophical tradition. His well-known works like the Lokayata, What is Living and What is Dead in Indian Philosophy, Science and Society in Ancient India, and so on, have conclusively proved that the ancient philosophers and scientists in India, like their conterparts in ancient Greece, were materialists. It was the consolidation of class society in the form of Brahmin domination in later centuries that dealt a heavy blow to the materialist tradition of ancient Indian philosophers.

The task of Dialectical and Historical Materialism in India, therefore, Chattopadhyaya points out, is to restore the materialist tradition of ancient Indian philosophy and use it to fight the evil influence of Brahmin culture on Indian society. The "theory" of "Indian spiritualism" as opposed to the "Western materialism" is a weapon of class struggle in the ideological sphere forged by the Brahmin-dominated upper caste society.

Having done this pioneering work earlier, the author has undertaken in the book under review the preparation of "some kind of a guide or introduction" to the philosophical writings of Lenin. His effort here is "to lead the readers to the actual study of Lenin, providing them with some clarifications, annotations and summations that they may be useful only for the limited end of a preliminary acquaintance with Lenin's philosophical ideas". (Page 2).

Explaining why he undertook this work, Chattopadhyaya expresses the conviction "that in these grim and anxious days through which India today is passing, that which holds hope for our future is the growing awareness of our people of socialism being the only way out" and that "an essential pre-condition for moving forward

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