Wednesday, 25 January 2017

'Civil Disobedience in Indian Tradition

Foreward by J.P. Narayan to Dharampal's classic must read 'Civil Disobedience in Indian Tradition'
The ancients held that the highest form of knowledge is selfknowledge
and that he who achieves that knowledge achieves
all. It seems to me that the value of self-knowledge holds good
for nations as well. No matter how one defines a nation—and it
has not been found easy to do so—its essence seems to lie not in
its outward attributes but in the mental world of those who
comprise it. Of the ingredients of this inner world, the most
important is self-image, that is, the image that the people
comprising a nation have of themselves and their forefathers.
During the British period, the needs of imperialist rule
dictated that Indians be pictured as an inferior people in respect
to material, moral and intellectual accomplishments. This
deliberate denigration of the Indian nation was furthered by the
incapacity of the foreigner to understand properly a civilisation
so different from his own. So, in course of time, as our political
subjugation became complete, we happened to accept as real the
distorted image of ourselves that we saw reflected in the mirror
the British held to us. ...

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