D.P. Mukerji : Tradition and Change

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D.P. Mukerji : Tradition and Change


 The name of Dhrujati Prasad Mookerjee (D.P.Mukherjee) is taken with special respect among Indian sociologists. In the early 20th century, his contribution was important in determining the independent nature of social governance. Not only in sociology but in teaching, his lectures on educational events and work done by him in public life got special fame. He was greatly influenced by Marxism.

A prominent sociologist who made invaluable contributions to Indian sociology is Dhurjati Prasad Mookerjee, who was affectionately called “D.P.”. was known as He was a contemporary of Radhakamal Mookerjee. Both lived together in Lucknow University for a long time. dp Mookerjee was a Marxist sociologist, he preferred to call himself a Marxist. He analyzed Indian history through dialectical process. According to him there is a dialectical relationship between tradition and modernity, colonialism and nationalism and collectivism. Tradition and modernity constantly influence each other.


He wrote many books in English and Bengali. Before sociology, he studied history and economics. His subjects of interest were literature, music, film, Western and Indian philosophy, Maversism, political economy and development planning.



D . P-Mookerjee was born on October 5, 1894 in a middle-class Bengali Brahmin family. His family had a long tradition of higher education. Elementary education took place in Bengal itself. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science. Then he got his master’s degree in history and economics from the University of Calcutta. In 1924, he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Economics and Sociology of Lucknow University. At that time Lucknow Department Radhakamal Mookerjee (Founder), D. P . Mookerjee and D. N. Majumdar was running. Although all three were well-known for their works, but D. P . Mookerjee was the most popular among them. Between 1938-41, in the Congress-formed government of the United Provinces of British India, he was appointed to the post of Director in the Ministry of Information. In 1947, he served as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Labor Inquiry Committee. In 1949, he was appointed to the post of Professor in Lucknow University. In 1953, he was appointed to the post of Professor in Aligarh Muslim University. Delivered the Presidential Address at the Indian Sociological Society in 1955. Throat cancer surgery was performed in Switzerland in 1956. He died on 5 December 1961.


Pro . D . P . Mookerjee taught economics and sociology at Lucknow University for 30 years (1922–1952). In 1951, he was decorated with the post of Acharya here. In 1953, a year after his retirement from Lucknow, he met the then Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh University, Dr. On the invitation of Zakir Hussain, he took the post of Head of the Department of Economics here. Here he stayed for five years. During this time he went to the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague as a guest professor of sociology. In the meantime he was invited by UNESCO to deliver a speech in Paris. Pro . dp Mookerjee was a founding member of the Sociological Council of India. He represented India in the International Sociological Council and was also its Vice-President. The first session of the Sociological Council of India was presided over by him. Emphasizing the value liberation in the social sciences, he said that sociologists should come out of the scope of description and analysis of events and offer normative solutions. Professor, great social thinker, novelist, critic of literature and art, connoisseur of music, human and skilled administrator was full of humanistic point of view. He believed in the unity of all knowledge and integration of experience. He had a dogmatic attitude, ‘ other tradition Although he used to tell his students where I have time to write books, yet he wrote many books, the main ones are the following




Compositions –


Diversities 1958

 Personality and the Social Sciences, 1924

 Basic Concepts and Sociology , 1932

 Modern Indian Culture, 1942

 Problems of Indian Youths, 1946.

Basic Concepts in Sociology 1932

Personality and the Social Sciences 1924 ( ( Personality and the Social Sciences )

 Modern Indian Culture 1942 ( Modern Indian Culture )

Tagore : A Study 1943 ( Tagore : A Study )

 On Indian History 1945 ( On Indian History )

 Introduction to Indian Music 1945 ( Introduction to Indian Music )

 Problems of Indian Youth

 Views and Counter Views 1946 ( Views and Counter Views )


 Sociology of Indian Culture 1942 ( Sociology of Indian Culture )

 Indian Tradition and Social Change 1955 ( Presidential Address ) ( Indian Tradition and Social Change ) ( Presidential Address )



Mookerjee believes that history, sociologist

Economics and economics are closely related to each other. Therefore, there should be exchange of study material of these sciences. You also believe that the holistic approach should be the basis for explaining the events of society. You have also presented the psycho-sociological method, on the basis of which personality should be understood. Personality is the perfect unity and knowledge is the basis of this unified perfect unity. Therefore, the subject matter of social sciences should be understood from holistic perspective rather than from different contexts. dp The major contributions made by Mookerjee to Indian sociology are as follows:


  1. Conflict of Traditions
  2. Development of Art and Literature
  3. Historical Dialectical Approach



Mookerjee has also mentioned the conflict between tradition and modernity. He has presented them in the form of arguments and arguments respectively. Modernization flourishes only from the struggle of both, which is also a combination of both. He believes that to understand modernization it is necessary to understand tradition because the study of the present can be done only in the context of the past. According to Mookerjee, three elements of change have been recognized in our traditions – Shruti, Smriti and Anubhav. Experience is especially considered as the most important element. The Upanishads are based on personal experiences only. The individual experience soon blossomed into the collective experience. Collective experience is the main principle of change. If we consider the origin of different sects or sects, then we will find that their saint-founders started them from their personal experience, they had nothing to do with rituals, temples and priests. Whatever Mookerjee said, he said in the local dialect or language and not in Sanskrit. He told the main things related to his sect to most of the castes and classes. He gave equal status to women and preached love, affection and spontaneity or naturalness. These saints had a huge impact on the people and they also left a great influence on the traditions. The higher traditions were mainly intellectual and centered in Smriti and Shruti where the principle of change was available through dialectical interpretation or interpretation. We see the same process in Muslims as well. They laid special emphasis on the love and experience of Sufios. Where dialectical ability has had a great influence in the development of traditions, there has also been an influence of experience. It would be wrong to assume or say here that intellect is historically more important as an agency of change in traditions than experience, love, affection etc.


Mookerjee pointed out that whenever a conflict situation arises between the higher and lower intellectual traditions, it is anticipated and with effort they are brought ideologically closer to each other. Indian society has been a caste based society. It is a society which has prevented the formation of classes and suppressed all kinds of class consciousness. Here, even in elections, class consciousness is included under caste consciousness or sentiment. Indian society is also changing like western society, but there has not been as much disintegration as western society. The study of Indian social system requires the Indian sociologist to adopt a different perspective in sociology as it has special traditions, its special symbols and special patterns of culture and social action. Thereafter, Indian traditions, culture and symbols are affected by economic and technological changes. Indian sociologists have to study all these. According to Mookerjee, the history of Indian culture is the history of cultural integration. The basic culture of India is based on the principles described in the Upanishads and that is why all the actions in it inspire a man to attain salvation. Mookerjee considered the mystic perspective as the fundamental perspective of Indian culture. According to his view, Buddhist culture made Indian culture flexible. India did not make any special progress during the Muslim rule. But during the British rule, many important changes took place in the economy of Indian society. New economy, western education and new occupations increased the dynamism in Indian society and ended the traditional middle class and created a new and clever middle class which did not play any special role in socio-economic development. This middle class (mainly the zamindars) helped in strengthening the roots of British rule in India and it also helped in the partition of the country. This class continued to exploit India like the British and did not pay any special attention to the reorganization and reconstruction of India. He emphasized that the British unified the Indian society through the artificial uniformity forced upon them, so it did not yield good results in the long term. He was of the view that India can be rebuilt only by the unity of the characteristics of regional cultures. It becomes clear from the above discussion that D.P.Mookerjee emphasized the development of original Indian thinking in place of Western thinking and emphasized on studying the syncretic perspective of Indian culture. He also gave cultural interpretation to history and gave importance to the past of India.

Considered good. He believed that the modernization of Indian society could be possible only by reinterpreting the traditions of the past in the present context. Thus, Mookerjee gave a new direction to Indian thought. Many scholars are of the view that ambiguity and inconsistency can be seen in Mookerji’s ideas. For example, he describes the creation of Indian society according to Gandhi’s ideas as the best way to escape the evils of the West. On the one hand, he expresses allegiance to the traditional values ​​of Indian culture and on the other hand he considers Marxist method to be proper in solving the problems. In any case, Mookerjee has an important place in the history of Indian thought.









study method

Mention the methods adopted by them:


(1) Dialectical Method:


This method has been adopted from Karl Marx. You have studied the struggle of Indian traditions on the basis of dialectical approach. Indian society is completely influenced by traditions. Because of this many times there is conflict or conflict between the larger traditions with smaller traditions. Major traditions are found in Sanskrit language while minor traditions are found in local or regional languages. Sometimes there is a conflict situation with Islam, Christianity and other external traditions also. Therefore, you have studied the social traditions of Indian society through dialectical method.


(2) Psycho-sociological method :- D.P. Mookerjee says that we should use the scientific method to know the reality of society. You have described personality as the main element of sociological concept, personality is complete unity and knowledge is the basis of this perfection. Personality cannot be developed without knowledge. That is why it is called psycho-sociological method.


(3) Philosophical method :- D.P. According to Mookerjee, the basic basis of philosophical tendency is logic and reason. Rationalism and practical reasoning are at the core of the philosophical method. According to them, the study of events should be done by logic and reason. This logic and reasoning are also the means of development of personality. In this way D.P. Mookerjee was a supporter of the holistic approach. They consider the mutual relations of economics, sociology and history and the exchange of knowledge necessary. So dp. Mookerjee has emphasized on understanding society on the basis of dialectical method, psychosociological and philosophical method.





DP Mookerjee’s thoughts on tradition and change

( Views of D.P.Mukerji on Tradition and Change )


 D . P . Mookerjee explained the tradition in the context of socialism. He believed that the decisive aspect in the Indian context is its social side. In his own words, “I would say that there is abundance of socialism in India, but very little of everything else. In fact, the abundance of socialism is the specialty of India. History of India, its economics, even its philosophy of social revolves around groups, at most it can also do that around socialized individuals, I feel.”




In India, many traditions developed on the basis of memories. The place of logic is not important in the traditions which are formed on the basis of Shruti and Smriti. That is why the change in such traditions is very slow. D . P-Mookerjee says that the last of these three experiences is the revolutionary principle. If we look at the cultural history from the ancient to the modern period, it is clear that due to the personal experiences of Buddha, Mahavir and others, a new tradition emerged here. In this way, through traditions, we can properly analyze the changes taking place in the society. So D. P . For Mookerjee, in the Indian context, intellect and thought are not the driving force for change, but historically experience is the best agent of change. D . P . Mookerjee says that in the Indian context, conflicts and rebellions work on the basis of collective experiences. But the flexibility of the tradition takes care of the pressure of struggle to bring about a change in the traditions without breaking them. How dominant conservatism is challenged by popular rebellions which, in turn, succeed in changing the orthodoxy, but these changes are eventually absorbed into the tradition. This cycle keeps repeating itself continuously.



Dialectical Forms of Traditions Prof. dp Mookerjee urged Indian sociologists to study the traditions of Indian society. The nature and struggle of traditions in different eras of Indian society should be understood. You have presented some forms of conflict of Indian traditions, which we will present here.

  1. Conflict between the Minor and the Great Traditions
  2. Renaissance Episodes
  3. Conflict between the High and Low Traditions
  4. Conflict between internal and external traditions, and
  5. Conflict between tradition and modernity. With a view to study the dialectical forms of traditions, Prof. Mukherjee has presented.


Conflict between minor and major traditions


 Pro . dp Mookerjee’ said that due to the internal pressures of Indian society, there is a conflict between the small and large traditions. Small traditions are those which are unwritten, whose

More about consider




Definitions of consider

Origin is present in local sources, they are not refined and the area of ​​their spread is very limited. In other words, we can say that minor traditions originate from villages, develop automatically among ordinary people living in rural communities. On the other hand, such traditions which are wide, their nature is written, which we find in ancient literature and texts. They originate from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vedas and Upanishads. These are refined, which are spread all over India. Pro . Mookerjee says that there is a conflict between these two traditions.

For example, the Brahmin traditions were opposed by many saints like Nanak, Namdev, Tukaram, Kabir, Chaitanya and Dadu Dayal, etc. He started the reformist sects, and started the reformist movement and strongly opposed the vast traditions. One can see the religious reform movements in India in the 19th century which were in opposition to the established larger traditions such as Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, Prarthana Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission, Theosophical Society etc.


In this way, there has been a constant conflict between the small and the big traditions in India. We should study them on site.



 high and new traditions

 Turner divided the traditions into two parts.

 (1) High traditions, and

(2) The following traditions.

Following these traditions, Prof. dp Mukherjee has done. You said that there is constant conflict between high and low traditions. Both these traditions should also be included in the study of Indian sociologists. Mainly they emphasize that sociologists must analyze the changes taking place in the social system, under this the related activities go upwards and some activities go from below i.e. from the surface to the top. In the traditions, this action can be considered going deep down and going upwards. Ascending and descending processes go on in these traditions, which is why there is mutual conflict, adaptation, harmony and coordination among them. Therefore, Indian sociologists should study all these traditions, only then we will be able to understand Indian society.




Conflict between external and internal traditions


There were many invasions on India since ancient times, people of many species came here as invaders and settled here, such as Shakas, Huns, Kushans, Mongols, Muslims and British. Coming on, the traditions of all these were different from the Indian traditions. For this reason these Indian traditions clashed with Indian traditions. Due to this change is visible in the Indian society, there has been a change in the traditions and adaptation and harmony with some external traditions also had to be established. If we look at the effects on Indian traditions, then we can say that Islam and western culture and traditions had an impact on Indian society.




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