September 15, 2008

In what sense is India a persistent entity?

RESUME D.P.Chattopadhyaya, Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations
Introduction PublicationsCSCHomeAdministrationProgrammesLinksContact

D.P.CHATTOPADHYAYA, after obtaining his Ph.D. degrees from Calcutta University and London School of Economics, taught philosophy at Jadavpur University, Calcutta.He is the founder Chairman of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations, and General Editor of this Project.

Chattopadhyaya is one of the propounders of interdisciplinary studies in the country with his wide knowledge on philosophy, political theory, economics, history and science. His publications include Individuals and Societies: A Methodological Inquiry (1967); History, Individuals and World (1976); Rupa, Rasa O Sundara (in Bengali, 1980); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997).

Back For editorial information regarding published volumes and volumes in progress.
Dr. Bhagat Oinam Editor (Research and Publication) Tele.: 91-11-6076657/ Ext.37 6099541/ Ext.41

  • What is India?
  • In what sense is India a persistent entity?
  • What power lay concealed in the initial seeds of symbols, vision and experiences that impelled the sprouting and blossoming of intertwined branches of a complex culture?
  • What is Indian culture?
  • And how did it grow and shape multitudinous philosophical and scientific ideas?
  • Is there behind this development a living soul or spirit?
  • Can we somehow grasp it?
  • And can we, by understanding it, replenish ourselves for fresh creativity?

These and similar questions occupy the pioneers of the Indian renaissance, and there has been since a growing formulation of the discovery and rediscovery of India. Today we feel impelled to delve once again much deeper into our roots and their manifestations. This implies fresh study of Indian history, at its subtle and complex levels, - study of the growth of its science and philosophy, not in their isolated and compartmental limit, but in their interconnections as also in the context of a dynamic panorama of multi-dimensional currents of our civilization and culture...

The idea of undertaking a comprehensive research project of interdisciplinary study of history of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC), was initiated by Professor D.P Chattopadhyaya in 1981, when he was the Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). This idea was discussed informally with other members of the Council. Many eminent scholars of History, Science, Philosophy and Culture were also consulted. A warm support was received from various quarters. A major effort was accordingly considered necessary to undertake an interdisciplinary study so that interconnections between Science, Philosophy and Culture as they developed in the long history of Indian civilization could be understood.

Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya discussed the basic idea of the proposed project with the then Prime Minister Srimati Indira Gandhi. At her instance, the Project was also discussed with Professor Nurul Hassan, the then Vice-President of the Council of Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR). Initial lines of collaboration between ICPR and CSIR began to take shape.

In due course, the idea of the project matured further, and the Indian Council of Philosophical Research included this idea among the programmes for its 8th five year plan. The proposal of the project was discussed at various meetings of the ICPR as also the meetings held in the Department of Education , Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Planning Commission. The proposal was also discussed in the office of the Prime Minister, and there was also a discussion between Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya and the then Prime Minister, Shri V.P. Singh. With the approval of the Prime Minister's office and the Department of Education, a preparatory Committee was constituted in July 1990, under the Chairmanhip of Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya. The project has since been approved by the Planning Commission and was included in 8th Five Year Plan.

At a late stage, Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya discussed the project with the then Prime Minister Shri Chandra Shekhar and Shri Mohan Dharia, the then Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. As a result of these discussions, initial financial assistance was accorded to the project by the Government of India in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and in the Department of Science and Technology during 1990-91. Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya also discussed with the Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao who welcomed the project very warmly and promised to support it. While various research councils and agencies participated in the planning and execution of the project, the Indian Council of Philosophical Research worked as the nodal agency for the Project till March 1997.

From April 1, 1997, PHISPC was officially de-linked from Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) for a greater autonomy to complete the Project by the stipulated period, and is now affiliated to Centre for Studies in Civilizations . Government of India has recognized CSC as the nodal agency for the purposes of funding the ongoing research project, PHISPC.

SANDHAN Introduction Publications CSCHome Vol. I Number 1 From The Editorial Desk Contents Notes for Contributors Sandhan: General Information Contributors

From The Editorial Desk
Sandhan, closely associated with the Centre for studies in civilization, is now in its resurrected form. Mainly for two reasons the Centre was forced to suspend temporarily its publication. One, the Centre started thinking of bringing out a full-fledged journal instead of news bulletin. Two, the non-availability of sufficient material of good quality also forced our hands. Given goodwill and cooperation of our contributors and readers, it is hoped that it will be possible from now onwards to publish Sandhan in a regular manner.
Stricly speaking, it is not intended to be a research journal. Rather we would be primarily interested in the presentations which make analytical, critical and constructive use of the research materials already available. I must qualify the point. If any writer persuasively shows that his / her research may be a critical input for the Centre’s on-going activities, we will be naturally be interested in it.
It is not easy to draw a clear line of demarcation between civilization and culture. Yet one can justifiably say that while the former is primarily infrastructural and instrumental in character, the latter seems to be mainly located in the mid-structural, super-structural and ideational levels. Analysis reveals a continuous process of upward and downward causation bringing them continuously close.
From the articles and other items published in this new issue of Sandhan, I feel, one thing will clear to the readers. While our areas of interest will comprise both sciences and humanities, we would try to lend a South Asian orientation to our published materials. In our view of South Asia the whole world has an unmistakable place in its broad and catholic canvas. Our endeavor will ensure a civilizational dialogue between what we are thinking and doing in this part of the world with the thoughts and events elsewhere in the larger world.
D.P. Chattopadhyaya Editor

Contents I. Articles
The Emergence of the person: Some Indian Themes and Theories Sibajiban Bhattacharyya
Ravidas of the Sikh Tradition J.S. Grewal
Culture, Secularization and Religion G.C. Pande
Beyond the Clash of Civilizations Fred Dallmayr
The Concept of Dharma in Indian Tradition with Special Reference to Swami Vivekananda Krishna Kant
Towards the Idea of Civil Society Ruben G. Apressyan
Schism in the Colonized Soul: A philosophical View of India’s Transit from Raj to Swaraj D.P.Chattopadhyaya
II. Symposia Intellectual Traditions of India: Linguistic and Cultural
III.Comments On J.V. Nalikar’s ‘Four Questions that History might answer’
IV. Book Reviews V. News and Notes VI. Contributors

1 comment:

  1. very interesting question....I guess in a sense among countries India has been one of the most persistent entities even though it didnt exist as a country before the British.

    But in an absolute sense, perhaps India isnt a persistent entity. Every ten years or so it changes so much that it can almost be called a fluid entity.