Indian Sociologists

Indian Sociologists

Question

What was D.P. Mukerji’s view about traditions and modernity ?

Answer
I. D.P. Mukerji’s views about Traditions.

1. D.P. Mukerji says that tradition performs the act conserving. But it is not essential conservative.

2. D.P. Mukerji asserts that traditions do change. There principles of change are recognized in Indian tradition : (i) Sruti, (ii) Smriti, (iii) Anubhava. It is anubhava or personal experience, which is the revolutionary principle. certain Upanishads are totally based on it.

3. Personal experience of the saint founders of different sects or panths soon blossomed forth into collective experience producing change in the prevailing socio-religious order.

4. The experience of prem or love and sahaj or spontaneity of these saints and their followers was noticeable also in sufis among the Muslims.

5. The traditional system slowly accomodated the dissenting voices. Indian social action has given latitude to align rebel within the limits of the constitution. The resultt has been the caste society blunting the class consciousness of the disadvantaged.

6. The power of the Indian tradition lies in its crystalizaiton of values emerging from past happenings in the life-hapits and emotions of men and women. Thus, our country has deninitely preserved many values (some good and other bad also). The point, however, is 'that of utilizing the forces which are foreign to Indian traditions, e.g.(i) technology, (ii) democracy, (iii) urbanization, (iv) bureaucratic rule, etc.

II. D.P. Mukerji’s views about Modernity :

1. D.P. Mukerji claimed that adjustments will certainly take place. It is almost guaranteed that Indians will not vanish as primitive tribes have done, at the touch western culture. They have suffient flexibilty for that Indian culture had assimilated tribal culture and several of its endogenous dissents. It had developed upto Hindu-Muslim cultures and modern Indian culture is curious blending, varnasankara. Traditionally, therefore, living in adjustment is in India's blood, so to speak.

2. D.P. Mukerji does not worship tradition. His idea of “fullman” or “well-balanced perosnality” calls for a blend of (i) moral fervour and aesthetic and intellectual sensibility with (ii) the sense of history and rationality.

The qualities of the second category are stressed more by modernity, than by the Indian tradition. Hence, the dialectics between tradition and modernity, herein lies the need for understanding the tradition.

3. D.P. Mukerji observes that 'the knowledge of tradition shows the way to break them with the least social cost.'

4. The encounter of Indian tradition with that of the West has unleashed several forces of cultural contradiction. Also, it has given rise to a new middle class. The rise of these forces generates according to D.P. Mukerji, a dialectical process of conflict and synthesis, which must be given a push by the conserved energies of the class structure of Indian society.

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