Skip to main content

If Marxists and Islamists have been "hostile" to sociology, Hindu fundamentalists use it to ensure hold on power

By Bhaskar Sur*
Though Karl Marx was one of the founders of modern sociology, Marxists in general have been hostile to it. For ruling Marxists it was a bourgeois subject, decadent and subversive. It is only natural that a ruling elite which would like to perpetuate its rule to eternity in the name of 'historical necessity', find the critical method of sociology, casting doubts on such claims rather disturbing.
Sociology made a promising beginning in the imperial Russia. The Russian sociological society was founded in 1916 with Pitrim Sorokin as its secretary. The study of sociology was banned in 1922, under the eyes of the Lenin and it remained in obscurity until Stalin died and the suffocating reign of terror came to an end.
Sorokin emigated to United states where he found a more congenial, if not ideal, atmosphere to carry on his work. Of all East European countries Poland had a continuous and rich tradition of sociology. Under the communist rule it came under scanner.
Stanislav Ossoswski, one of the greatest sociologists, was the undisputed leader of the Polish school.In 1952, at the height of Stalinism his chair of sociology at the University of Warsaw was suddenly abolished and he was not reinstated until 1956. Ossoswski's "Class Structure in Social Consciousness" is a sociological classic. He made remark worth recalling: "The dominance of a single party in a socialist regime might be just as vicious( if not more) than the dominance of a single class in a capitalist dispensation".
Later, Zygmunt Bauman, another Polish sociologist of Jewish origin lost his university position and had to emigrate to Britain to continue the sociological pursuit..Along with Foucault and Pierre Bordeaux, Bauman is considered to be one of most original sociologists of late twentieth century.
In China sociology faced suppression after the communists came to power in 1949. In 30s and 40s of the last century, Chinese scholars developed a centre of sociological research at Yenching-Yunan station.They made investigation on a wide variety of subjects relating to Chinese society and used to bring out a quality bi-lingual research journal.
Most eminent of such researchers was Fei Xiaotung, a pioneer in rural studies. He had to disown his his earlier work on the Chinese village. During the Cultural Revolution, sociologists came under renewed repression.
In Islamic countries sociology suffers from a continuous censorship even far more repressive than under the communist regimes. They must not go beyond the "Islamic ethic" and must not do anything to 'dishonour' the hallowed tenets of Islam.
Under Hindu fundamentalists, Indian sociology is perhaps to going to suffer the same fate. Ideologial fanaticism is so often a guise of the traditional or the new power elite to control all sociological discourse to ensure their hold on power.
---
*From Bhaskar Sur's Facebook timeline 

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Faith leaders agree: All religious places should display ‘anti-child marriage’ messages

By Jitendra Parmar*  As many as 17 faith leaders, together for an interfaith dialogue on child marriage in New Delhi, unanimously have agreed that no faith allows or endorses child marriage. The faith leaders advocated that all religious places should display information on child marriage.

Why convert growing badminton popularity into an 'inclusive sports opportunity'

By Sudhansu R Das  Over the years badminton has become the second most popular game in the world after soccer.  Today, nearly 220 million people across the world play badminton.  The game has become very popular in urban India after India won medals in various international badminton tournaments.  One will come across a badminton court in every one kilometer radius of Hyderabad.  

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".