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Science and Civilisation

 most ordinary happenings around us are as much relevant to physical science as experiments conducted in a laboratory (filled with gleaming steel and glass cages of sophisticated equipment: to be able to view the world around us scientifically; these are challenges to our gifted and excellently trained scientists.

A Certain Anarchy

THE current series of elections in the country may prove a disappointment to the ruling party, or they may not. But whatever the results of the poll, the gnawing questions facing the polity will remain. The energy crisis has only dramatised the basic precariousness of the country's external accounts; and the crisis overpowering the economy would have developed even without the oil crisis. Indeed, it would then have drawn pointed attention to the political factors effectively choking economic growth for nearly a decade now.

History and Nationalism A Personal Response to the Indian Situation

History and Nationalism: A Personal Response to the Indian Situation Sudhir Chandra HISTORY is a branch of knowledge. It is also the corporate memory of a society. The distinction between these causally related forms of history is elusive. As corporate memory history tends to acquire the character of myth. This happens not because society altogether fabricates the facts it remembers, Rather, it remembers what it wishes to remember. Depending on the character of a society, this wish operates more or less on both the conscious and the unconscious planes. It determines not only the choice of facts that are remembered but also the way in which they are remembered. Some facts are thus brought into limelight and the others are consigned to varying degrees of oblivion. In this manner corporate memory restricts the area of general historical awareness and enquiry. According as the requirements of a society change, a particular myth is modified or a new one created. If necessary even facts are imagined into being.

Suzerainty by Default

THIS can be, and is, a debilitating process. All around there is a transparent attempt to shift the onus for the current crisis on to somebody else, or on to near-supernatural elements the responsibility for which invariably attaches to others and not to present company. The Prime Minister, harassed, mauled, dazed by the quality of the debacle overtaking the economy, is showing signs that, somehow, history has slid back to the nervous months of 1966. She has lost her touch, she has almost lost her bearings. Confidence, one would have thought, is an irreversible process: once you come to acquire it, there is no way of reverting to an inchoate state of the mind. The Prime Minister is disproving that notion.

Medieval Barbarism in West Bengal Countryside

Medieval Barbarism in West Bengal Countryside Ashok Rudra PRIME MINISTER Indira Gandhi made quite a stir about a year back- when she gave the verdict that the GNP could not be treated as an index of economic development for all purposes; there were aspects of economic' welfare which were not reflected in that national accounting measure. Even though this is one of the ele mentary lessons one has to teach in any undergraduate course in national income accounting, it acquired a new halo on being pronounced by our wise Prime Minister. It was discussed a lot at that time in the Delhi economic circles, as if the foundation of a few school of developmental economics had been announced, and there was much speculation as to who among the Prime Minister's admirers could have orginated this most unoriginal idea.

Kashmir A Conspiracy of Silence

Kashmir: A Conspiracy of Silence Ashok Rudra T N Srinivasan IT is now more than nine months since the historic events that altered the political map of the Indian subcontinent. In these nine months, the euphoria that followed the establishment of Bangladesh has largely evaporated. Indo-Bangladesh relations are entering a phase in which each country has to face its economic and political realities. Hopefully, now that the romantic dreams have been laid to rest, an era of co-operation based on hard-headed appreciation of each other's interests both where they conflict and where they coincide, will emerge.

Ceiling on Land

October 7, 1972 weak units, market conditions, etc. Banks should then take into account growth potential, future revival of market conditions, etc.

Approach to the Fifth Plan

Approaches to Pakistan Romesh Thapar INDIRA GANDHI'S warnings to Pakistan about being manipulated by foreign powers give the impression to the lay observer that the way to sanity on the subcontinent is merely a matter of snubbing the mischief- makers in Peking and Washington. This simplistic approach may be effective when 'meeting the people', but it is unfortunate that the mass media tom-tom the thesis at every opportunity. The Pakistan problem is made up of more complex and critical stuff.

Economics of Opportunism

Economics of Opportunism (By a Special Correspondent) THE Prime Minister is at the moment at the crest of her political career. The uncertain fumbling beginnings of 1966 are now a distant memory; she has since travelled a lot. There can be no' question that it has been an astounding performance. The once tottering Congress party is now moulded in her own pattern and firmly rehabilitated. With the Jan Sangh at one end and the CPI (M) at the other trying hard to protect their flanks, the opposition in all its hues is in total disarray. Nobody, just nobody, can dare assert any more that the Centre cannot hold : even in his climactic days, Jawaharlal Nehru did not have, and could not therefore wield, as much authority over the entire spectrum of the polity as his daughter now has and does. The DMK is struggling hard to maintain a precarious toehold in Tamil Nadu; minor curiosities, such as Goa and Manipur, can be ignored; otherwise the states have once more been reduced to the role of acquiescent lambs. Recalcitrant West Bengal, too, has capitulated. Just as the Morarji Desais and the Nijalingappas have been despatched to oblivion, the Namboodiri- pads and the Jyoti Basus too find themselves played into an irrelevant corner. The consequences of Indira Gandhi have been ruinous for all those who took her to be a lightweight. Rammanohar Lohia's dumb doll has fooled all.

Bread or Circuses

 pleted. Quite the contrary; the theory that the modernisation process goes hand in hand with national integration is exploded in the Canadian case. By generally accepted notions of modernisation, there is no doubt that Canada is very high on the world pecking order. Its social welfare services" are among the best; its educational system is generally admired; literacy is virtually total; the media technology is highly sophisticated; and so on. For all this 'progress', Canada remains an uneasy and unequal partnership of French-Canadians (six million), Canadians of British extraction (eight million), and the so-called ethnic groups

Indian Council of Historical Research

Indian Council of Historical Research Sudhir Chandra THE state of historical research in India has not been terribly satisfactory all these years. The quality of both writing and teaching has left a great deal to be desired. Little co-ordination of effort and purpose has been visible. Barring a couple of exceptions, historical journals in the country appear intermittently with a fare unlikely to cheer many. The annual tamasha at the Indian History Congress has to be seen to be believed for its banal academic proceedings and inverted perspective in which petty profiteering acquires the pride of people's attention. The Indian Historical Records Commission can scarcely boast of a more edifying performance. Sporadic seminars attract more or less the same set of" bigwigs most of whom, too busy to read, desperately try to say pompously the same trivial things over and over again. The freak work of quality has been the result of individual enterprise scarcely motivated and aided by organisations.


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