From the Jacket
This new edition of The Structure of Hindu Society comes at a time when there is considerable debate on the subject. In this book, the author attempts to identify the organizing principle of Hindu society, the factors which have ensured its continuity over the centuries, and the forces responsible for its subsequent weakening. This revised edition includes an essay on the Hindu method of tribal absorption. The uniquencess of this work lies in is design. It brings together, within a single framework, the approach of the ethnographer, indologist and social historian.
The lucid and scholarly translation from the original Bangla, Hindu Smajer Garan has been done by Andre Beteille. Prof. Beteille's Introduction which analyses the qualities of Bose's mind and work especially as illustrated in this book, and his preface to this revised, edition, enrich this valuable study.
Nirmal Kumar Born (1901-1972) taught Anthropology and Human Geography at Calcutta University. He was director of the Anthropological Survey of India, and later Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He participated in the independence movement, went to jail for nationalist activities, and was A Mahatma Gandhi's secretary and close companion. His writing cover an equally wide canvas- the Paleolithic culture of Mayurbhanj, the material culture of the tribal peoples, Gandhi's work and philosophy, the whole range of Indian society from the simple Juang tribe of Orissa to the complex metropolis of Calcutta. His death marked the end of an epoch in the history of social sciences in India.
Andre Beteille (Born 1934), a former pupil of N. K. Bose, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Delhi.
In the social sciences, students and teachers as well as research workers in India have relied almost entirely on works produced originally in one of the European languages, principally English but occasionally also French and German, or English translations of the latter. This literature is now also being made available to a limited extent in translations into one or another Indian language.
So far as scholarly works go, the effort at Translation has been almost entirely one-sided: the translations are invariably from the European to the Indian language, Unless what is being translated is to be used as data or raw material for research. What is overlooked, often enough by Indians themselves, is that there are works in the Indian languages, few though these may be, to which we might turn not merely for data but also for concepts, methods and theories.
The present volume, essentially a pupil's tribute to a scholar, is a fine example of something that has been accessible so far only to the Bengali reader. In being associated with its publication for a wider audience, we are hopeful that many other such works will follow.
The original Bengali work, entitled Hindu Smajer Garan was first published as a book in 1949. this revised edition includes the essay "The Hindu method of tribal absorption".
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