[Marxism] Query from an old friend about India

Saswat Pattanayak saswatblog at gmail.com
Sun Mar 26 10:05:12 MST 2006

Hello Louis:
Time proved a constraint in writing to you so far about some texts that I
think maybe useful in this regard. I shall dig up some more materials for
you too. (many of them are not available online and thats the biggest
hindrance...and my book pages are turning yellow!)
The ones that are at least available are here:
1. Essays in Indian History: by *Irfan Habib*-- Its a nearly 400 pages of
painstaking research by a marxist historian of repute. He examines the role
of peasantry and caste, class struggles during Mughal India as well as
British India. This is published by Tulika.
2. Progress and Conservatism in Ancient India: by *S. G. Sardesai* --A 350
page critique on historical materialistic explanation of Indian economy,
politics, social and religious life. from the Vedic age to 1200 AD--till
arrival of Afghans and Turks. Published by Peoples Publishing House
3. India Today: by *R. Palme Dutt*-- A 660 page authoritative text
concerning a much-needed marxist analysis of political economy of British
India. Deals extensively about agrarian issues in India with elaborate
statistics and explanations. Published by Manisha Granthalaya.
4. What is Living and What is Dead in Indian Philosophy: by *Debiprasad
Chattopadhyaya*-- a 650 page incisively critical readings on Indian
materialism--covers class analysis of societial conditions. Published by
People's Publishing House.

If these help, or you already have them, please let me know. I will be very
glad to conduct more research for you.

Laal Salaam!

On 3/26/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> i was going to ask you about India.  Last Friday I saw the first 3 of
> Louis
> Malle's 6-part film aired on French TV in 1968, but made and financed by
> him over 3-mo period traveling around India with tiny crew shooting
> whatever interested them.  A 25-yr old article from film journal found on
> internet said he considered himself a Marxist (not about this film per
> se).  But, as his commentary says, he makes not attempt to rationally
> explain what he encounters, but regards life and rituals as enchanting and
> incomprehensible to Westerner.  I was left with a hunger for a historical
> materialist explanation of village life, economy, and caste
> system.  Consulted Perry Anderson's Linegaes of the Absolutist
> State.  Appendix on Oriental Despotism touches on this in passing, but
> mainly puts Marx and Engels' often referenced brief comments (terminology
> and evidence) in context of previous European attempts to evaluate
> economic
> and political foundations of Chinese and Indian society. Any suggestions?
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Saswat Pattanayak
Intergroup Dialogue Specialist
Office of Human Relations Programs
301.405.8190 (O) 240.938.0535 (C)
blog at saswat.com
"I am too erratic and explosive to be institutionalized"
-- Har Dayal,1912

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