History and Politics (Essays in Honour of Professor P. S. Bhati)
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History and Politics (Essays in Honour of Professor P. S. Bhati)

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Item Code: NAJ135
Author: Shankar Goyal
Publisher: Kusumanjali Book World, Jodhpur
Language: English
Edition: 2015
Pages: 313
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 550 gm
About the Book

History and Politics: Essays in Honour of Professor P. S. Bhati definitely owes a great deal to whom it seeks to felicitate. A gentleman to the core, Professor Bhati's reputation lies in his remarkable contributions to the study of politics and history. As a mark of respect and affection for this great man, who has just completed 65 years of his life, many scholars of both the disciplines, including Professors L.S. Rathore, S.R. Goyal, Sobhag Mathur, A. Chandrasekaran, N. Rajendran, B.K. Sharma, M.V. Singh, A.K. Sinha, S.K. Panda, F. K. Kapil, Kanta Kataria, Nagendra Singh Bhati and Meghna Vig, have come together in this volume to produce a work useful for teachers and students both. That history and politics are cognate disciplines is evident from their very nature and also from the contents of the problems these essays seek to elucidate. The intrinsic merit of these essays, the wide range of themes they encompass, the questions they raise and the facts they uncover make this a valuable collection in itself - of interest to any reader of history and politics. The work also contains an Introduction on Professor P. S. Bhati's own contributions to the study of politics and history, more particularly his studies on contemporary world. It is sincerely hoped that it will be received warmly by the academic world.


The Editor:

Dr. Shankar Goyal (b. 1959) is one of the well-known authorities on ancient Indian history and historiography. His major works include Recent Historiography of Ancient India, Marxist Interpretation of 'Ancient Indian History, Contemporary Interpreters of 'Ancient India, Ancient Indie : A Multidisciplinary Approach, Harsha : A Multidisciplinary Political Study and 175 Years of Vakataka History and Historiography. His books and many articles brought him recognition from scholars such as R. N. Dandekar, G. C. Pande, R. S. Sharma, Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, A. M. Shastri, Bardwell L. Smith (Minnesota, U.S.A.), Waiter M. Spink (Michigan, U.S.A.), Maurizio Taddei (Napoli, Italy), P. K. Mitra (Rajshahi, Bangladesh) and others. In 2009 he presided over the Cultural History Section of the XXIX Annual Session of the South Indian History Congress and in 2012 was elected General President of the xxxvii Annual Congress of the Epigraphically Society of India. He has also delivered some prestigious endowment lectures. In December, 2012 he visited China, the land of the famous Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chwang, which is close to his heart. Again, he has been to Australia in December, 2013 and to the United States of America and Canada in June, 2014. Recently, he has been invited by the Organising Committee of the 16th World Sanskrit Conference, 2015, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, to participate in the deliberations of their Epigraphy Section to promote Indian epigraphically studies on the world forum.

Dr. Goyal did his graduation from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, post- graduation from the prestigious Deccan College, Pune, Ph.D. on Msin Trends in Indian Historiography Since Independence and D.Litt. on Political History as an Integral Study of Political Life and Institutions : A Multi- disciplinary Approach to Harsha and His Times, both from the University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur, where he is presently working in the Department of History.



I am happy to learn that Dr. Shankar Goyal, Department of History, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, has prepared a festschrift entitled History and Politics in honour of Dr. P. S. Bhati, his guru and former Professor and Head, Department of Political Science, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur. Professor Bhati has rendered conspicious services towards the growth and development of the Department of Political Science. He is an eminent teacher and researcher in the field of politics and history; besides being an excellent human being. He has been the Emeritus Fellow in Political Science, a rare distinction conferred upon him by the University Grants Commission of India.

Since Professor Bhati's main field of interest is politics, history and political theory (classical), I thought that it would be relevant to write a Foreword on the theme 'Politics, History and Philosophy' for his festschrift.

At the outset let me state that politics, history and philosophy are closely related subjects. Politics in due course of time becomes history. For any meaningful research in political history, dimensions of past, present and future cannot be ignored. History is the guide of politics and philosophy is its durable base. It is only through the broad understanding of politics and philosophy that one can view history properly and in right perspective.



It is the ambition of this disquisition to propound dispassionately the theme that it is only through the reliance on history that the genuine foundation of a vigorous political science can be laid. It is almost indubitable to asseverate the necessity of historical study as a basis and ground work for an understanding of political institutions. History provides political theorists in a great measure the fulgent rawish materials and adorable data for comparison and induction, regarding the development of political institutions and the extent to which they fulfil the purposes of their existence. To fully comprehend political science in its fundamental relations, one must study it historically, and to interpret history in its true significance one must study that politically. As studies they are therefore mutually contributory and supplementary.

"Politics is vulgar", said Professor John Seeley, "when not liberalized by history; and history fades into mere literature when it loses sight of its relation to politics." "History without political science" , he said, "has no fruit; and political science without history has no root." This root-and-fruit aphorism contains more truth than most of us have been in a position to discover. Separate them, says Professor Burgess, and the one becomes a cripple, if not a corpse, the other a will-o ' -the wisp. And more recently, a contemporary political theorist, Michael Oakeshott, has brilliantly expounded the theme that politics uprooted from history becomes "a second rate form of human activity, neither an art nor a science, at once corrupting the soul and fatiguing to the mind," Political science thus is drivel, dun and meaningless unless it is supported by the dignity and transcendence of historical experiences. Estranged and amputated from history, political studies would be ephemeral and routine, offering meagre personal satisfactions. History and political science as such should be regarded as working partners in the achievement of what is, in large measure, a common reflective task in the building of a 'decent society' or a just order, in which 'our unhappy consciousness' as referred to by Hegel could be effaced and obliterated?

History is often confused with the record of the past and likened to a futile effort of transferring dead bones from one graveyard to another. Croce's dictum that "all history is contemporary", and Will Durant's famous observation that "the present is the past rolled up for action and the past is the present unrolled for understanding" ,are worth bearing in mind by a student of political science. It is through history that politics can be used to exhilarate life, to understand assiduously the political phenomenon, to demonstrate the creative manifestations and unbosom the movements of political life. To neglect the study of history is to neglect the real source of knowledge relevant to the study of political ideas and institutions. History is industry; history is art; and history is philosophy. It is industry in so far as it ferrets out facts; it is an art in so far as it reconstructs and interprets past events, ideas and institutions; and if is philosophy in so far as it provides a perspective and an enlightenment. To reassert I would say that history is a study of the "multiple situation forever on the move" and a political science, draped and adorned in history, is bound to be delightful. It is through the historical adjunct that the fructification of political ideas is possible, for it provides an enduring anchorage to political science. History is to political life what humus is to the plant, and it is only through the postulatory, critical and interpretative norms laid down by history that one can look into the mysteries of political society with confidence. History sharpens political science, enlivens political wits, and refines political thinking and thus helps us to reach more coherent definitions and sounder moral appraisals. Conjoined with history, political science can serve as a reliable guide towards the search for political concepts, such as Justice, Liberty, Equality, Change, Progress, Reason and Freedom. Disparate and unrelated with history, politics would be a cheerless, gloomy and a dismal science. Rooted in historical perception and acumen, politics would be a qualitative science, suffused with humanism and nobleness. In the temple of political science history is, therefore, the adytum and it is only through historical penetration that political science is made exultant and dirigible.

In our cataleptic and disintegrating society of today, the need for historical perspective is even greater. Amidst massive intrusion of criminal violence and volcanic outbursts of fear and terror, what is needed is not the lustreless quest for techniques, or the metallic quantitative note, but the soft, the viable, and the odoriferous human traditions enshrined in history. The sociological invasion of political science or ersatz sociology, and technique-oriented social scientists have rocked the discipline, and have made commanding attempts to cramp and crumble the relationship between history and political science. Its adherents have been unerringly critical of historical traditions, language and values, and in their attempts to construct scientific models, have characterized history based political science as fragile and transient. They have even created a considerable discomposure and jumble about the adequacy and productiveness of historical method, dismissing it 'as peripheral to the study of real political world'. Their offensive escalade against the historical approach on a close examination appears shallow and superficial, half-backed and unscholarly, for one must remember that the durable base of political science is not to be traced in the blurred behavioural ideology, replete with fustian jargon, barren of intellectual insights and scholarly profundity, but in the inner dynamism and inherent potentiality as contained in the historical perspective. It is time that we should put a halt to the growing parochialism in political science and the unsatiated factual hunger of the contemporary breed of social scientists, which is sweeping political science to moral nihilism. It is through history that we can minimize the dehumanizing impact of behavioural ism and restore the dynamic buoyancy and malleable character of political science. Political science disjoined from history, and based on extensive technical vocabulary and tortured polemics is bound to be deleterious in the long run. It would reduce the whole dimension of scholarly perception and introduce a strange myopic illiteracy in political science. The omission and ostracism of values from contemporary political science in the name of objectivity, clinical detachment and dispassionate neutrality amounts to the loss of tuberous choices, copious values and measuring rods offered by history. The choice before us is between a content less technical fantasy and the moral development and angelic excellence of man. The answer is obvious. It is only through history that the parameters of political science can be resurrected and the classical virility of the discipline retained. It is only through history that political science can properly understand the skins of mankind, and help improve the substance of politics, and bring about a new liberation, by emerging into the realms of the possible, and making the art of politics' a voyage of ethical discovery'. It is only through history that political science can be tamed towards the political betterment and the dawn of a new free society or a worthy civilization. It is only through history that political science can better expose political prejudices and social intolerances, and can unchain an individual from the trammels of social control. It is only through history that the visions of Condorcet and Rousseau, based on reason and compassion, can be visualised. It is only through the unity of history and political science that the vapidity of the present day civilization can evaporate and a whole-souled and virtuous individual can emerge. History alone fills; it illumines, it vibrates the multiple strings of political science, and thereby an inner fullness can dawn among individuals like the coming of light in dark caves ..

The work of P.S. Bhati is divided into ten chapters: (I) The Normative Tradition in Political Theory; (II) The Decline of Normative Political Theory and Its Revival; (III) The Behavioural Revolution: Its Utility and Its Limitations; (IV) Post-Behavioural Revolution in Contemporary Political Theory; (V) The Continuity of Normative Tradition in Political Theory; (VI) The Neo-Normative Thought of Michael Oakeshott; (VII) Hannah Arendt as a Neo-Normative Political Thinker; (VIII) Neo-Normative Ideas of Leo Strauss; (IX) The Old and the New in Contemporary Political Theory; and (X)The Relevance and Utility of Normative Political Theory. His principal contentions can be broadly summarised thus: (i) The central distortions and confusions in modern political theory result from the attempt to undermine the importance of normative theory by the behaviouralists. (ii) That this dichotomizing of political theory into two halves is dangerous and even fatal to the development of the discipline of political science. (iii) That the classical political tradition, effulgent in ideals and values, and capable of arousing impassion, should be resurrected. (iv) And that the real task in political theory lies in determining the existing and perceptive connections between the things human beings value most such as, moral autonomy, and the quest for a rational and philosophical order.

While discussing the relevance and utility of normative political theory in the last chapter of his work which, in a way, summarizes his thesis, Bhati points out that several old guards have discussed this point in detail though sometimes differently. For example, William T. Bluhm in his book Theories of the Political System (1971) discussed the relevance of normative political theory. His argument proceeds from the premise that modern political studies are already informed and sophisticated by the classics. The classical theories furnish the foundations of nearly all the work which is being done today in the field of politics. What is now required is synthesis, the building of bridges from theory to theory. He hopes that a comparative review of the classical theories in the context of this problem, and of the modern studies which build on them, may bring us some way on the road to such a goal. The famous political theorist Eugene J. Meehan in his work The Foundations of Political Analysis: Empirical and Normative (1971) starts with the idea of systematic inquiry as an operation which requires the use of various tools or instruments. These tools can be tested only in use. Explanations are such tools which provide people with the means of control over their environment. Another distinguished authority Andrew Hacker in his book Politics! Theory: Philosophy, Ideology, Science (1968) pleads for a close cooperation between the normative and empirical political theories. He enumerates the utility of both the traditional and contemporary concepts of political theory and says that there are few bridges between the two concepts of political theory. The views of Fred M. Frohock are also of great concern. In his book The Nature of Political Inquiry ( 1967), he discloses the tacit dimensions of political theory and weighs the stakes involved in choosing between the positivist and metaphysical epistemologies. A similar defence has been taken by Bernard Crick in Political Theory and Practice (1974), a worthwhile work on political theory. The provocative insights offered by Crick are philosophical and traditional. All these political thinkers, Bhati writes, are impressive because they see, or choose to see, that the task of reintegration, or the creation of a new political synthesis, is the main riddle confronting political theory today.

Thus, suggests Bhati, it could be prognosticated that the bases of a sound political theory cannot lie in the insipid tastes, indorous models and gibberish language. Normative theory properly serves to challenge the existing reality-organising principles. None being wholly acceptable, they constitute problems. Our problems, it should be clear, are posed not by an intractable reality, but rather by our constructs, definitions, and methods. Our organising principles pose a problem precisely to the extent that they fail to make reality yield. Therefore, "the futurity of political theory will presumably lie in the study of values in its un defiled and virgin form. The ghosts of Plato, Hobbes, Hegel and Marx would continue to haunt the panquets that toast the future. The decorous normative tradition and chaste political values are central to the understanding of politics, and through it alone, one could hope to restrain the 'idiot masses' who have made over to the power elites and their 'crackpot realism' the final destiny of mankind. With the restoration of vestal and prude political values alone, the blessed moments would supervene and the heavenly days befall political theory", Bhati concludes.



P.S. Bhati, along with Professor Mrs. Anand Mathur, has also been associated in writing a well-informative and useful text-book entitled Political Theory and Organisation with Professors L. S. Rathore and S.A.H. Haqqi, much earlier. Published from Lucknow in the year 1989, it has been written in accordance with the contents of courses for the first year law students of five-year degree course. The book is unique on several grounds. Firstly, in it the political theories and principles of political organisation have been outlined in a clear and lucid style. Secondly, the topics like liberalism in India, the Hindu and Islamic conceptions of the State, and the Marxist thought in India, have been discussed quite explicitly and intelligently. The succulent presentation of the ideologies that have developed in modern India is an added attraction of this book. The work is undertaken from an objective perspective, presenting the various aspects of each ideology and concept, enabling a student to derive his own conclusions.

The contribution of Bhati in the preparation of the work is indeed immense. As Professor Rathore in his 'Preface' candidly acknowledges, "most of the chapters relating to political theory were initially written by Professor Bhati who has done a commendable job and without whose coperation it was wellnigh impossible for us to complete the present project in time."



The year 1980 saw the publication of P.S. Bhati's research article entitled 'Political Ideas of Michael Oakeshott' jointly with Professor L.S. Rathore (lJPS, Vo!. 3, No. 2 and Vol. 4, No. 1, January, 1980, pp. 254-64). One of the foremost and a leading political thinker of our times who not only continues to support the traditional-philosophical political theory but is sincere and impressive in his criticism of the empirical-analytical approaches is Michael Oakeshott. He stands out in the history of modern normative philosophy as the creator of a system. He has come to exert a great influence in recent political theory. Appealing to individual's aesthetic sense, Oakeshott has been able to build an original, stirring, and convincing case for the renewed study of the works of political philosophy. His major contribution has been to recover political theory as a tradition of enquiry and regain for political science the possibility of a critical, theoretical analysis. He treats philosophy and science as basically two different kinds of activities and believes that it would not be correct to transfer the methods and concerns of the one to the other.

Oakeshott's Rationalism in Politics is a wonderful work that rejects the idea that political philosophy is dead. A collection of ten seminal essays, first published in 1962, it has become a sort of 'underground classic", for it embodies the mature reflections on diverse themes of a brilliant, highly sensitive, and genuinely philosophical mind.

Another important work by Michael Oakeshott in the field of political philosophy is on Human Conduct (Oxford, 1975) It gives a sustained reflection on the nature of political activity in general, and on the major concepts that have been generated in the western tradition for the purpose of such reflection. It provides to a general reader the benefit of Oakeshott’s suggestions on Plato, Aristotle, Montesquieu and Hegel, and their specific relation to his own ideas in a fashion more direct than is to be found in any of his earlier writings.





  Editorial xvii
  Introduction xxiii
1 History and controversies in political theory 1
2 the development of Political theory 13
3 Kingship and community in Early India 35
4 On the nature of Aristoelian and kautiliyan State 49
5 State and State Capitalism in Kautiliya Arthasastra 62
6 Politics and ethics in kautilya and Machiavelli 74
7 The Magadhan War machine 82
8 Nature of Gupta Conquests and of the resultant polity 119
9 Feudalization of Polity in the Age of harsha 143
10 Medieval Odishan Polity: A Study of the Relation Between Gajapati Kingship and Lord Jagannath 168
11 Pudukkottai Polity: A Study of the Princely State in the Tamil Country 175
12 Congress, Labour and Freedom Struggle 216
13 Gandhian Leadership, Ideology and Poltical Strategy 229
14 Gandhi's Attitude Towards Indian States 239
15 The Concept of a Great Man in History 245
16 Contemporary opinions on B.R. Ambedkar 249
  Contributors 262


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