You are on page 1of 3

6/1/2015

DharampalWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Dharampal
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Dharampal(Hindi:)(19222006),Gandhianthinker,[1]historianandpoliticalphilosopher[2]fromIndia.
HeauthoredTheBeautifulTree(1983),IndianScienceandTechnologyintheEighteenthCentury(1971)andCivil
DisobedienceandIndianTradition(1971),amongotherseminalworks,whichhaveledtoaradicalreappraisalof
conventionalviewsofthecultural,scientificandtechnologicalachievementsofIndiansocietyattheeveofthe
Britishconquest.[3]
Dharampalwasbornon19February1922inKandhala,asmalltownintheMuzaffarnagardistrictofUttarPradesh,
anddiedon24October2006atSevagram(MahatmaGandhi'sashram),nearWardha,Maharashtra,whichhadbeen
hismainabodesincetheearly1980s.HehasbeenassociatedinvariouswayswiththeregenerationofIndia'sdiverse
peopleandtherestorationoftheirdecentralisedsocial,politicalandeconomicorganisationmanifestedthroughtheir
localcommunities.[4]

Dharampal

DharampalleftwithRajivDixit.

Born
19February1922
InvolvementintheFreedomMovementDharampalwasinspiredbyMahatmaGandhithroughouthislifehe
receivedhisfirstglimpseofGandhijiattheageofseven,whenheaccompaniedhisfathertoattendthe1929Lahore
Muzaffarnagar,UttarPradesh,India
Congress.InMarch1931,whenSardarBhagatSinghandhiscolleaguesweresentencedtodeathandexecutedbythe Died
24October2006(aged84)
Britishcolonialauthorities,DharampalrecallsthatmanyofhisfriendstooktothestreetsofLahore,shoutingslogans
Nationality
India
inprotest.Yetremainingcriticalofthisrebelliousassertion,anddespitetheinfluenceofhissemiwesternized
educationatschoolandcollege,hewasdrawntowardsthemovementledbyMahatmaGandhi:soonhestarted
Religion
Hindu
wearingkhadi,apracticehefollowedallhislife.MahatmaGandhiscallforIndividualSatyagrahainOctober1940
markedthebeginningofhisinvolvementinnationalpoliticsandthesubsequentabandonmentofhisBScinPhysics.InAugust1942,hewaspresentasafervent
spectatorattheQuitIndiasessionoftheCongressinBombay,whereuponhejoinedthemovementandwasactiveasanundergroundmemberoftheAICCgrouprun
bySuchetaKriplaniuntilhisarrestinApril1943.After2monthsinpolicedetention,hewasreleased,butdebarredfromDelhi.AyearlaterinAugust1944,being
interestedinvillagecommunitywork,hewasintroducedtoMirabehn(theBritishborndiscipleofMahatmaGandhi)andjoinedhersoonafterattheKisanAshram,
situatedmidwaybetweenRoorkeeandHaridwar.

Contents

Shri Dharampal Agrawal Jee with his Best Student Shri Rajiv Dixit Jee.jpg

1Engagementinnationalreconstruction,post1947
2SocioPoliticalStatements
3Historicalresearchinto18thandearly19thcenturyIndiansociety
4Othersignificantpublications
5Activitiesandinfluenceinthepublicsphere
6Legacy
7PublishedWorks
8References
9Externallinks

Engagementinnationalreconstruction,post1947
AtthetimeofPartition,hewasputinchargeoftheCongressSocialistPartycentrefortherehabilitationofrefugeesfromWestPakistan,andcameinclosecontact
withKamaladeviChattopadhyayaandRamManoharLohia,aswellaswithnumerousyoungerfriends,suchasL.C.Jain,inDelhi.Hewasalsoafoundingmemberof
theIndianCooperativeUnionsetupin1948.ThefollowingyearheintendedtovisitIsraelforthepurposeofstudyingitsruralandcommunityreconstruction
programmes,butduetotheclosureoftheSuezCanalhadtoreschedulehisrouteviaEnglandwherehemetandmarriedPhylliswhowasEnglish.Ontheirwaybackto
Indiabyland,theystayedinIsraeltostudythecommunitarianlifestyleinDeganiaAlif,theoldestkibbutz,setupbyRussianJews.In1950,Dharampalresumedhis
workwithMirabehn,andthecommunityvillageofBapugramnearRishikeshbegantobeformed.However,disillusionedbythefutilityofthisidealisticexperimentin
communitydevelopment,whichseemedtohavenoimpactontheNehruvianmainstream,heleftthevillagein1954tojoinhiswifeandtwosmallchildreninLondon
wherehespentthreeyears,mostlyworkingforPeaceNews,ajournalpublishedbytheWarResistersInternational,focusingonpeaceissuesandnonviolentsocial
change.DharampalreturnedtoDelhiinlate1957afteravisittoseveralBuddhistandHinduholyplacesinSriLankaandSouthIndia.From1958to1964hewas
electedGeneralSecretaryoftheAssociationofVoluntaryAgenciesforRuralDevelopment(AVARD),foundedin1958byKamaladeviChattopadhyayawho,ayear
later,passedonthecouchofPresidenttoJayaprakashNarayan(knownasJP),withwhomDharampaldevelopedaverycloserelationshipofmutualrespectand
appreciation.[5]

SocioPoliticalStatements
WhileatAVARD,DharampalmaderegularcontributionstotheAVARDNewsletter,oftentakingtotaskgovernmentalplanninganddevelopmentprojects.In1962,
hepublishedasmallmonographcontainingtheproceedingsoftheIndianConstituentAssemblyrelatingtothediscussiononthesubjectofPanchayatRajastheBasis
ofIndianPolitywhichhighlightedthefailureoftheConstitutiontoincorporateindigenousadministrativeandpoliticalstructures.InNovember1962,incensedbythe
debacleoftheIndoChinesewar,DharampalwroteanopenlettertothemembersoftheLokSabhaaskingforJawaharlalNehru'sresignationonmoralgrounds.For
thisactofprotest,Dharampal(alongwithtwofriends,NarendraDattaandRoopNarayan,whowerecosignatoriesoftheletter)wasarrestedandimprisonedinTihar
jail.Aftersomemonths,thethreesatyagrahiswerereleasedafterLalBahadurShastri,thethenHomeMinister,andJPhadintervened.Towardstheendof1963,
DharampalwasappointedDirectorofStudyandResearchoftheAllIndiaPanchayatParishadandspentmorethanayearinTamilNaducollectinghistoricalmaterial
thatwaslaterpublishedasTheMadrasPanchayatSystem:AGeneralAssessment(1971)inwhichnotonlythedestructionoftheindigenouspanchayatbasedpolity
duetothecoloniallandrevenuesystem,compoundedwithsystematicpoliticalandbureaucraticintervention,isunderscored,butalsoitsreplacementinthe19th
centurybyacolonialbureaucraticapparatuswhichhascontinuedevenafterIndependence,moreorlessunchanged,despiteitsdebilitatinginfluence.

Historicalresearchinto18thandearly19thcenturyIndiansociety
ConvincedabouttheurgentneedforanobjectiveunderstandingaboutIndiaspast,beforetheonslaughtofcolonialrule,Dharampal,fromthemid1960s,livingin
Londonforfamilyreasons,decidedtoembarkonanexplorationofBritishIndianarchivalmaterial,basedondocumentsemanatingfromcommissionedsurveysofthe
EastIndiaCompany,lodgedinvariousdepositoriesspreadovertheBritishIsles.[6]Hispioneeringhistoricalresearch,conductedintensivelyoveradecade,ledtothe
publicationofworksthathavesincebecomeclassicsinthefieldofIndianstudies.[7]ThefirstbookonIndianScienceandTechnologyintheEighteenthCentury
(1971),containingdetailedempiricaldataonsophisticatedIndianastronomy,medicalscienceandpractice,thetechnologiesofironandsteel,oficemaking,and
agriculturalimplements,createdquiteastirinacademicandpoliticalcircles,andwithsubsequentextensiveresearchanewperspectiveonthedevelopmentofIndian
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharampal

1/3

6/1/2015

DharampalWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

scienceandtechnologycouldhaveemerged,ifsubstantialinstitutionalbackinghadbeenforthcoming.Dharampal'ssecondbookonCivilDisobedienceandIndian
Tradition(1971)foregroundstheIndianrootsofGandhiansatyagrahabyfocusingonBritishadministrativereportsofamajorprotestagainsttheimpositionofa
housetaxinVaranasiandneighbouringregionswhichtookplacebetween18101811.Thedocumentationexemplifies,firstly,howsociopoliticalpopularassertions,
governedbydeeplyrootedconceptionsofjustice,explicitlyaimingtosafeguardtheinterestsofthegoverned,weresimultaneouslyattemptingtoredressthebalanceof
powerbetweentherulersandtheruled.Secondly,itunderscoresthatcolonialinterventionchangedthehithertopractised"rulesofthegame"withregardtonegotiating
politicalasymmetriesofpower.Thiswasachieved,ontheonehand,byillegalisingsuchtraditionallyexercised"trialsofstrength",andontheother,byredefining
relationshipsbetweensocialgroups.Consequently,thestarklyrigidasymmetrybetweencolonialauthorityandthecolonisedbecamethehallmarkofthesociopolitical
arena.Dharampal'sthirdmajorworkentitledTheBeautifulTree:IndigenousIndianEducationintheEighteenthCentury(1983)providesevidencefromextensive
earlyBritishadministratorsreportsofthewidespreadprevalenceofeducationalinstitutionsintheBengalandMadrasPresidenciesaswellasinthePunjab,teachinga
sophisticatedcurriculum,withdailyschoolattendancebyabout30%ofchildrenaged615,wherethosebelongingtocommunitieswhowereclassedasShudrasor
evenlowerconstitutedthemajorityofstudents,andinsomeareas,forinstanceinKerala,whereMuslimgirlswerequitewellrepresented.
TheimpressivepictureofearlycolonialIndiathatemergesfromthispioneeringhistoricalresearchissupplementedbyanextensivecollectionofessaysinwhich
Dharampalstressestheneedforfurtherinvestigation,firstly,intothesophisticatedsocietal,economic,andculturalmechanismsthathadfacilitatedthese
accomplishments,andsecondly,intounderstandingtheprocessesbywhichtheseinstitutionsdeclinedandgraduallyfellintooblivion,andthirdly,intohowknowledge
generatedinIndiahadbeenappropriated,refinedandintegratedintoearlymodernBritishandEuropeanscientificandculturalinstitutions,andfourthly,arigorous
studyofthemechanismsbywhichIndiansocietyhadbeenshatteredandcognitivelycolonisedundertheimpactofBritishrule.

Othersignificantpublications
AnincisiveunderstandingoftheIndianculturalethos,andthemannerinwhichitdiffersfrommodernconceptions,ispresentedinaslimvolumeinHindientitled
BharatiyaChitta,ManasandKala(1991,Englishtranslation:1993).
TheBritishOriginofCowSlaughterinIndia(2002),besidesprovidinghistoricalevidenceaboutthegenesisofmasscowslaughterunderBritishauspices,
presentsextensivedocumentarymaterialaboutoneofthemostsignificantresistancemovementsinIndiaagainstkinekillingbytheBritishduringtheyears1880
1894.ByhighlightingthesupportgivenbysomeprominentMuslimsduringphasesofthismassprotestaswellasbyemphasisingthecrucialfactthatitwastheBritish
andnottheMuslimswhowerethemainconsumersofbeef,Dharampalisabletodispeloneofthedeepseatedmythsperpetuatedintheinterestofreinforcingdivisive
colonialstrategies.
UnderstandingGandhi(2002)isaprofoundlyinsightfulportrayaloftheunfoldingofMahatmaGandhisgeniusinleadingtheIndianstruggleforSwaraj.
Acompletelistingofhispublishedworksiscompiledbelow.[8]

Activitiesandinfluenceinthepublicsphere
FounderGeneralSecretaryoftheIndianCooperativeUnion(ICU)ofwhichSmt.KamladeviChattopadhyaywastheFounderChairpersontheICU,establishedinthe
early1950sbyagroupoffreedomfighters,playedavitalroleinthepostIndependenceperiod
AtthebehestofJayaprakashNarayan,DharampalwasappointedaFellowoftheA.N.SinhaInstitute,Patnaduring197273.
Fromthemid1970sonwardsDharampalarticulatedhisviewsmostforcefullyinpublicvenues,academicconferencesandIndiannationalpapers.
Inthe1980s,DharampalshistoricalresearchandunderstandingofIndiansocietyservedasaninspirationforagroupofyoungscientistscalledthePatrioticand
PeopleorientedScienceandTechnology(PPST)Grouptoengageinseriousresearchintoindigenousscientificandtechnologicaltraditionswithaviewto
underpinningtheircivilisationalanchorage,technicalsophisticationandcontemporaryrelevance.
During19902006,hewasEmeritusFellowoftheCentreforPolicyStudies,Chennai
Inearly1990s,hewaselectedMemberoftheIndianCouncilofHistoricalResearchfortwotermsandforathirdtermduring19992001.
In2001,hewasappointedChairmanoftheNationalCommissiononCattlesetupbytheGovernmentofIndia

Legacy
WhereasDharampalspublishedoeuvre,indispellingcolonialmythsaboutIndiasrecentpast,servesasaseminalandpowerfulinspirationforengagingincrucial
reinterpretationsaboutthenatureofIndiansociety,theenormousportentofhisresearch(muchofwhichintheformofextensivenotesandtypedextractsofdocuments
fromBritishandIndianarchivesstillremainsinmanuscriptform)hasyettoimpactmoreextensivelyonradicallytransformingconventionalhistoriographyofmodern
India.CopiesofDharampalsextensivearchivalcollectionarelodgedinthelibraryoftheGandhiSevaSangh,Sevagram,WardhaandattheCentreforPolicyStudies,
Chennai.

PublishedWorks
1.Dharampal,PanchayatRajastheBasisofIndianPolity:AnExplorationintotheProceedingsoftheConstituentAssembly(withaforewordby
JayaprakashNarayan),AVARD,NewDelhi,1962.
2.Dharampal,IndianScienceandTechnologyintheEighteenthCentury:SomeContemporaryEuropeanAccounts(withaforewordbyDr.D.S..Kothari
andIntroductionbyDr.WilliamA.Blanpeid),ImpexIndia,Delhi,1971reprintedbyAcademyofGandhianStudies,Hyderabad1983.
3.Dharampal,CivilDisobedienceandIndianTradition:withSomeEarlyNineteenthCenturyDocuments(withaforewordbySriJayaprakashNarayan),
SarvaSevaSanghPrakashan,Varanasi,1971.
4.Dharampal,TheMadrasPanchayatSystem,VolII:AGeneralAssessment,ImpexIndia,Delhi1972.
5.Dharampal,TheBeautifulTree:IndigenousIndianEducationintheEighteenthCentury,BibliaImpexPrivateLimited,NewDelhi1983reprintedby
KeerthiPublishingHousePvtLtd.,Coimbatore1995.
6.Dharampal,SomeAspectsofEarlyIndianSocietyandPolityandtheirRelevancetothePresent,IndianAssociationforCulturalFreedom,Pune1988
HinditranslationpublishedasAngrazonsePehalekaBharatShatabdiPrakashan,Vidisha1988TamilTranslation,byK.Ramasubramanian,publishedas
MundeyaIndiaSamudayam,Arasamaippu,SilaAmsanga:AvattrinInreyaPoruttam,CreA,Chennai1992.
7.Dharampal,BharatiyaChitta,ManasvaKala(Hindi),PushpaPrakashan,PatnaandCentreforPolicyStudies,Chennai1991Englishtranslation(witha
PrefaceandGlossary)byJitendraBajaj,publishedasBharatiyaChitta,ManasandKala,CentreforPolicyStudies,Madras1993Kannadatranslation,byS.R.
Ramaswamy,publishedasBharatiyaChitta,Manasikate,Kala,RashtrotthanaSahitya,Bangalore1996.
8.Dharampal,BharatkaSvadharma(Hindi),VagdeviPrakashan,Bikaner1994.
9.Dharampal,DespoliationandDefamingofIndia:TheEarlyNineteenthCenturyBritishCrusade,BharatPeetham,Wardha,1999.
10.DharampalandT.M.Mukundan,TheBritishOriginofCowSlaughterinIndia:withsomeBritishDocumentsontheAntiKineKillingmovement
18801894,SocietyforIntegratedDevelopmentofHimalayas,Mussoorie2002.
11.Dharampal,UnderstandingGandhi,OtherIndiaPress,Mapusa2003Tamiltranslation,byJanakipriyan,publishedasGandhiyaiaridal,Kalachuvadu
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharampal

2/3

6/1/2015

DharampalWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Pathippagam,Nagercoil2010.
12.Dharampal,RediscoveringIndia:CollectionofEssaysandSpeeches(19561998),SocietyforIntegratedDevelopmentofHimalayas,Mussoorie2003.
Nos.17above,alongwithafewotherarticlesbyDharampal,publishedasDharampal:CollectedWritings,5Volumes,OtherIndiaPress,Mapusa2000reissuedin
2003and2007.Gujaratitranslationof112above,alongwithafewotherarticlesbyDharampal,publishedasDharampalSamagraLekhan,11volumes,editedby
IndumatiKatdare,PunarutthanTrust,Ahmedabad2005.Hinditranslationof112above,includingotherarticlesbyDharampal,in10volumes,DharampalSamagra
Lekhan,EditedbyIndumatiKatdare,PunarutthanTrust,Ahmedabad2007.

References
1. Agrawal,D.P."http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_dharampal_frameset.htm"
(http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_dharampal_frameset.htm).infinityfoundation.Retrieved25September2014.
2. Prasad,CS."ENGAGINGWITHINDIANCIVILIZATIONSeminarinremembranceofhistorian&philosopherDharampal"
(http://el.doccentre.info/eldoc1/KICS/10feb07csd1.doc).Retrieved25September2014.
3. archive,books."DharampalCollectedWritingsin5Volumes"(https://archive.org/details/DharampalCollectedWritingsIn5Volumes).Retrieved25September2014.
4. "Alifesketch"(http://www.samanvaya.com/dharampal/).Retrieved25September2014.|first1=missing|last1=inAuthorslist(help)
5. "Dr.DharamPal:TheForbiddenGandhianThinker"(http://www.polyeyes.com/Article/DrDharamPalTheForbiddenGandhianThinker).Retrieved25September2014.|first1=
missing|last1=inAuthorslist(help)
6. "DHARAMPALARCHIVALCOLLECTION"(http://cpsindia.org/index.php/dharchive).centerforpolicystudies.Retrieved25September2014.|first1=missing|last1=in
Authorslist(help)
7. GandhiSevaSangh."Excerptedfrom:Dharampal.IndiaBeforeBritishRuleandtheBasisforIndia'sResurgence."(http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/resources_dharampal.html).
sewagramwardha.Retrieved25September2014.
8. "BooksonMahatmaGandhi"(http://www.gandhifoundation.net/english_books.htm?page=9).gandhifoundation.Retrieved25September2014.|first1=missing|last1=in
Authorslist(help)

Externallinks
[1](http://multiworldindia.org/multiversity/multiversitylibrary/):MultiversityLibrary,hasseveralpublishedworksofDharampalasfreedownload
[2](http://www.otherindiabookstore.com/):OtherIndiaBookstore
[3](http://www.sidhsri.info/Welcome.html):SIDH,Mussoorie
[4](http://cpsindia.org)CentreforPolicyStudies
DharampalpagefromtheInfinityFoundation(http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_dharampal_frameset.htm)
[5](http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/cwmg.html):CollectedWritingsofMahatmaGandhi
[6](http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion/asia/india/indiaofficerecords/indiaofficehub.html):IndiaOfficeRecordsandPrivatePapers
[7](http://nationalarchives.nic.in/WebContent.aspx?id=4&type=homemore):NationalArchivesofIndia
[8](http://www.tn.gov.in/citizen/archives.htm):TamilNaduStateArchives
Retrievedfrom"http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dharampal&oldid=663237017"
Categories: NewImperialism HistoryofAsia Indianhistorians 1922births 2006deaths Indianindependenceactivists
Thispagewaslastmodifiedon20May2015,at09:38.
TextisavailableundertheCreativeCommonsAttributionShareAlikeLicenseadditionaltermsmayapply.Byusingthissite,youagreetotheTermsofUseand
PrivacyPolicy.WikipediaisaregisteredtrademarkoftheWikimediaFoundation,Inc.,anonprofitorganization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharampal

3/3