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History and the Social Sciences

remarkably in organising the Bardoli Satyagraha which gave him the title of Sardar, He eliminated dissent from within the Gujarat Congress and established himself as the Sarvochcha Neta, i e, the supreme leader. Besides the existing social structure, local idiom and dominant socio- religious ideology which perpetuated unjust social relationships among the classes and between the sexes were used by Patel in mobilising the masses for political objectives. It should be mentioned here that his total command in dealing with intra-party factional fights was confined to only two or three states. More important, can the same strategy work now, and if so, with what consequences? Many of the strategies of Patel in winning elections have been used in post- Independence India. The results are there for all of us to experience. The author raises the question: What could a Patel do to renovate or lubricate social and other institutions that had worked in the colonial framework but HISTORY is today probably the most dynamic discipline in the academic world occupying a position in intellectual life which it has never known before. The dynamism of the subject lies in its ability to draw with equal ease from all the social sciences. No longer hesitantly claiming social science status as it was doing some years ago, history is now dominating the social sciences. Its attraction is reflected in the capacity of several young scholars in the city of Delhi to resist the temptation of a secure career in the administrative services and face the prospect of long years of insecurity, working in temporary positions in outlying colleges. Some young scholars have even chosen to go off to work in the small towns of India to experiment with integrating the new trends in history into the teaching of the subject at the earliest school level.

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