ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Combating Eurocentrism

I read with much interest the special article by Claude Alvares (“A Critique of Eurocentric Social Science and the Question of Alternatives”, EPW, 28 May 2011). I cannot agree more with the indictment of current state of teaching and research in social science and philosophy and the plea for immediate reform.

In this context, it may be of interest to recall that some of us have raised similar issues and called for remedies for a long time. Especially, since the release of the Pondicherry Manifesto at the beginning of the millennium signed by a group of several hundred psychologists, there has been a significant upsurge of interest in Indian psychology. Indian psychology is a distinct psychological tradition embedded in the insights contained in classical Indian thought. It is rooted in the Indian ethos and is manifest in the multitude of prevalent practices like Yoga. We now have several Indian universities offering courses in Indian psychology. Delhi University is a good example where there is an overwhelming response. A number of seminars and conferences on Indian psychology were held during the past decade. More importantly, a number of books were published, which makes it easy to offer courses on Indian psychology. These include the Handbook of Indian Psychology and the Foundations of Indian Psychology. A more in-depth study of Indian psychology may be found in my recent book Cognitive Anomalies, Consciousness and Yoga.

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