Tuesday, 9 March 2010

For a revision of the teaching of Indian Philosophy

The curriculum of Indian Philosophy that we teach here in Divyadaan is largely what we have inherited from JDV, Pune, which means that it is largely Brahminical, even though the nastika darsanas such as Lokayata, Jainism and Buddhism are not absent. It is in Contemporary Indian Philosophy that people like Kabir, Tukaram, Phule and Ambedkar find a place.

This can be revised. The whole historical, cultural, social and economic context, for example, can be introduced. (This will certainly bring in the question - now so controverted by the efforts of revisionist historians - about the Aryans and Dravidians.) Chanakya Kautilya's Arthasastra and his politics will certainly have to be studied. Indian aesthetics. The non-written subaltern elements. A whole new endeavour. And of course the Laws of Manu and things. The puranas and the whole bhakti literature.

Perhaps also the strictly religious, which tends to be left out of 'Indian Philosophy', would need to be introduced. And by 'strictly religious' we should not assume 'Hindu' - keeping in mind the cauldron of religiosity that India used to be, with the Nandas and Guptas being Jains, Asoka clearly Buddhist, and so on. Away with monolithic history. Let the complexity be brought on.

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