Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Panel 5 – isec

Panel 5

Panel 5

Association of Academic for Social Justice

Conference on

Intergroup Inequality in Indian Society: Magnitude, Nature, Sources, Policies, and the Movement

Organized by

Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru

Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), Delhi

Association of Academic for Social Justice (AASJ), Delhi

Dates of conference:
August 23-25, 2023
ISEC, Bengaluru
Panel 5: Philosophical traditions and history of movement for equality since ancient to present time
This session on Philosophy and History is intended to invite scholars of philosophy and historians to provide inputs from the discipline of philosophy and history in the discourse of struggle between two philosophical traditions -the one which favoured a society based on inequality and hierarchy, and the other which opposed it and supported and propagated the ideology of a society based on equality, liberty, and fraternity in ancient India and thereafter. Religion and social historians have used different approaches to interpret the historical development in India. Some historians, among whom Ambedkar finds a prominent place, look at Indian history as a struggle between two traditions, namely the Vedic Brahminical tradition which upholds a particular religious and social ideology that supported a society based on the principle of graded inequality. The other was Sramanic ideology that opposed the principle of graded hierarchy and supported a society based on the principle of equality and freedom. Buddha and his followers continuously opposed the Vedic Brahminical social structure. Indian history, according to Ambedkar, is mainly a history of struggle between the two cultures–one in support of inequality and the other in favour of equality. In Ambedkar’s terminology the Indian history has been a process of revolution and counter revolution. While revolution refers to a philosophy and religious and social movement for equality and freedom, counter revolution refers to a philosophy and a socio-religious movement for an unequal society– unfreedom)
The panel discussions under this theme will therefore focus on the struggle between the Vedic Brahminical philosophical tradition supportive of inequality and the Sramanic and Buddhist philosophical tradition supportive of equality, liberty and fraternity. In this session, the papers will first analyse the social ideology of these two philosophical schools with a focus on caste and untouchability, and women. Secondly, the papers will trace the social movements supportive of revolution and that opposed to it — counter-revolution. The papers on counter revolution will cover the ancient, medieval, and colonial periods, coming down to the contemporary times that Ambedkar had described as “counter revolution in its most aggressive form.”
This theme will also run for all the three days of the conference through parallel sessions. About 12 parallel sessions are expected to be held along with presentation of three Keynote addresses and special lectures on this theme.

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