An Introduction to the Study of Indian History by D.D. Kosambi

By D.D. Kosambi

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The mode of production of the material means of existence conditions the whole process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, it is their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of their development the material productive forces of society come into contradiction with the existing productive relationships, or, what is but a legal expression for these, with the property relationships within which they had moved before.

It is rather curious to read today that R. Palme Dutt, Edgell Rickward, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sajjad Zaheer, P. C. Joshi and Z. A. Ahmad helped the editor. Messrs. Subhas Chandra Bose, Narendra Deva, Jayaprakash Narayan, M. R. Masani, Rammanohar Lohia were foundation members of the club. None of them saw fit to warn the reader that the work is incomplete without addition of later studies by Marx and Engels on primitive society. This lack of depth may explain the later political vicissitudes of this strange company, of almost every one of whom may be said, quantum matatus ab illo.

Now a dead body is tabu for the tribe. If anyone dies in a settlement, the body is abandoned in situ whenever possible ; the whole group of tented families decamps in hasty flight. Hence no one can execute a great offender directly ; at most, his hands and feet are hacked off, and he is left to die in the jungle. e. tribal custom) is no longer being followed. There never was any question of racial purity, for strangers used to be adopted into a clan on payment of a fee. The real basic reason for their new willingness to abandon tribal life is its impossibility : game has almost vanished, while none of them can afford a hunting licence.

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An Introduction to the Study of Indian History by D.D. Kosambi
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