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Swami Vivekananda and The Indian Quest for Socialism (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: HAV889
Author: Arun Kumar Biswas
Publisher: Firma KLM Private Limited, Calcutta
Language: English
Edition: 1986
Pages: 315
Other Details 9.00x6.00 inch
Weight 410 gm
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Book Description
About The Author

Dr. ARUN KUMAR BISWAS (1934-) is a Professor of Mineral Engineering in the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, since 1963. Founder-President of the Indian Languages Society, Kanpur, and author of more than sixty original scientific publications, Dr. Biswas has also written several books e.g., Science in India, Buddha, and Bodhisattva-A Hindu View, A Pilgrimage to Khetri and Sarasvati Valley, and edited a multi-authored and widely acclaimed publication: Profiles in Indian Languages and Literatures. He has involvement with the Ramakrishna-Vive- kananda Movement, and broad interest in religion, socialism and history of science.


There are many books on Swami Vivekananda (1863- 1902), popularly known as 'Swamiji', and on Socialism, but very few on Swamiji's contribution to the Indian quest for Socialism. Most authors who have written on Socialist Vivekananda gave little prominence to the Indian quest for Samya or Socialism as the background, without which profuse quotations from Swamiji's speeches and writings appear as bereft of contemporary and transcendental significance.

Swamiji's kaleidoscopic mind focussed the socialist thoughts which had been formulated in India from the Rigvedic era upto the century of Rammohun and Bankimchandra, and also assimilated the theories of utopian and scientific Socialists (chapter 1 in this book). His mind could rapidly synthesize the idea of Spiritual Socialism based upon the great teachings of his Master, Sri Ramakrishna (chapter II).

I have summarised Swamiji's views on the problem of Indian caste and social inequality in chapter III, and on class- exploitation and the Vedantic theory of socio-spiritual struggle for equality in chapter IV of this book. Swamiji's concept of caste-class struggle reminds one of the darstellung or vision of Marxist class-struggle.

A discussion on Swamiji's views about liberty, socialism, democracy, de-centralisation, self-reliance, socio-spiritual struggle against special privileges, and the house-holder's duty to resist the evil, with force if necessary, brings us close to the basic similarities and dissimilarities between his world-view and the Marxist approach (chapter V).

I have drawn heavily upon the vast literature in Bengali related to Swamiji, much of which is yet to be translated into English. A substantial part of Swamiji's original writings is in Bengali. I had to point out several omissions and distortions which have crept in the official translations of Swamiji's original writings, both in Bengali and English.

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