New Login   

Dev N. Pathak

Edited by T.N. Madan
Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2013, pp. 396, Rs. 1100.00


Sociology in India is not synonymous with sociology at Lucknow University. The latter however happens to be a significant bloc in the whole of the historical edifice. In an exciting neatness, and meatiness, this book offers a nuanced peek at the four legendary figures from the posterity of Lucknow University. Radhakamal Mukerjee, Dhurjati Prasad Mukerji, Dhirendra Nath Majumdar, and Awadh Kishor Sharan were the doyens accredited to have set the tone for ‘doing sociology’ in the Indian context. It also aids in understanding the intellectual lineage of T.N. Madan, his proximity and intellectual engagement with ‘the Lucknow Quartet’, and thus his own stature in this intellectual history. A common characteristic of the quartet, and the inheritors of the legacy was: they aspired, dreamt, idealized, philosophized, moralized, their academic pursuits with an eye to the future. They were participating in demands of the historical condition of India. They were also shaping up an intellectual trajectory of a discipline. They were, to be precise, toying with ideologies and utopias of their time. It is safe to suggest that they were midnight’s children, as it were, saddled with intellectual responsibility toward not only the discipline of sociology, but also society, nation, culture, and economy. They were the torchbearers of visions of modern India.   The book presents select original writings of the Lucknow Quartet in four sections, each with an insightful introduction by Madan. The book is flanked by an elaborate introduction in the opening and a fascinating epilogue as a rapprochement. The first section presents the works of Radhakamal Mukerjee (RKM). As Madan highlights, the sociology of RKM arose from a rootedness in the Indian classical tradition, reading of economics through the lens of social customs, and thereby understanding of society, culture, issues of development and planning. To quote Mukerjee, Social customs and traditions are the outcome of various particular groups of impulses or instincts, which are more or less dominant, and exercise an abiding and cumulative influence in any particular scheme of social values or in particular regions of cultural stocks. Among such social customs or social categories which operate in the economic sphere, one of the most significant is competition, which is but the custom of economic life and or organization in certain stages or strata of economic evolution (pp. 76-77).   With an interdisciplinary thrust, Mukerjee engaged with the questions of caste, social change, social institutions, ecology, science and ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.