Not many people know about Dr. Dharam pal, who lead to disclose many controversial facts about Indian history during British Empire but he couldn’t get the platform to explore his experiences about Indian culture.
He authored The Beautiful Tree (1983), Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century (1971) and Civil Disobedience and Indian Tradition (1971), among other seminal works, which have led to a radical reappraisal of conventional views of the cultural, scientific and technological achievements of Indian society at the eve of the British conquest.
He has been associated in various ways with the regeneration of India’s diverse people and the restoration of their decentralized social, political and economic organization manifested through their local communities.
Dharampal was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi throughout his life; he received his first glimpse of Gandhiji at the age of seven, when he accompanied his father to attend the 1929 Lahore Congress. In March 1931, when Sardar Bhagat Singh and his colleagues were sentenced to death and executed by the British colonial authorities, Dharampal recalls that many of his friends took to the streets of Lahore, shouting slogans in protest. Yet remaining critical of this rebellious assertion, and despite the influence of his semi-westernized education at school and college, he was drawn towards the movement led by Mahatma Gandhi: soon he started wearing khadi, a practice he followed all his life.
Mahatma Gandhi’s call for Individual Satyagraha in October 1940 marked the beginning of his involvement in national politics and the subsequent abandonment of his B.Sc. in Physics. In August 1942, he was present as a fervent spectator at the Quit India session of the Congress in Bombay, whereupon he joined the movement and was active as an under-ground member of the AICC group run by Sucheta Kriplani until his arrest in April 1943. After 2 months in police detention, he was released, but debarred from Delhi. A year later in August 1944, being interested in village community work, he was introduced to Mirabehn (the British born disciple of Mahatma Gandhi) and joined her soon after at the Kisan Ashram, situated midway between Roorkee and Haridwar.
His significant publications which brought reality into lime light:
• An incisive understanding of the Indian cultural ethos, and the manner in which it differs from modern conceptions, is presented in a slim volume in Hindi entitled Bharatiya Chitta, Manas and Kala (1991, English translation: 1993).
• The British Origin of Cow-Slaughter in India (2002), besides providing historical evidence about the genesis of mass cow-slaughter under British auspices, presents extensive documentary material about one of the most significant resistance movements in India against kine-killing by the British during the years 1880-1894. By highlighting the support given by some prominent Muslims during phases of this mass protest as well as by emphasizing the crucial fact that it was the British and not the Muslims who were the main consumers of beef, Dharampal is able to dispel one of the deep-seated myths perpetuated in the interest of reinforcing divisive colonial strategies.
• Understanding Gandhi (2002) is a profoundly insightful portrayal of the unfolding of Mahatma Gandhi’s genius in leading the Indian struggle for Swaraj.
His must read publications:
· Dharampal, Panchayat Raj as the Basis of Indian Polity: An Exploration into the Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly (with a foreword by Jayaprakash Narayan), AVARD, New Delhi, 1962.
· Dharampal, Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century: Some Contemporary European Accounts.
· Dharampal, Civil Disobedience and Indian Tradition: with Some Early Nineteenth Century Documents
· Dharampal, The Madras Panchayat System, Vol II: A General Assessment, Impex India, Delhi 1972.
· Dharampal, The Beautiful Tree: Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century
· Dharampal, Some Aspects of Early Indian Society and Polity and their Relevance to the Present, Indian Association for Cultural Freedom
· Dharampal, Bharatiya Chitta, Manas va Kala (Hindi),
· Dharampal, Bharat ka Svadharma (Hindi
· Dharampal, Despoliation and Defaming of India: The Early Nineteenth Century British Crusade,
· Dharampal and T.M.Mukundan, The British Origin of Cow-Slaughter in India: with some British Documents on the Anti-Kine-Killing movement 1880-1894, Society for Integrated Development of Himalayas, Mussoorie 2002.
· Dharampal, Understanding Gandhi,
Dharampal, Rediscovering India: Collection of Essays and Speeches (1956–1998), Society for Integrated Development of Himalayas, Mussoorie 2003
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