THE RELEVANCE OF HEGEL IN THE INDIA OF 2014-15
International Journal of Education & Applied Sciences Research
Georg Frederick Wilhelm Hegel (August 27, 1770-November 14, 1831) was arguably one of the greatest philosophers who walked the face of this earth. Immanuel Kant who divided the world into the real world and the metaphysical world preceded him and first spoke of the dialectic. Hegel gave the world the first circular logic, which he also called the dialectic. This dialectic (to Hegel) consisted of thesis (the original idea) the antithesis (opposition to the idea) and the synthesis (the conclusion
... of the idea). In time, synthesis became thesis and the cycle continued. Hegel was the precursor of Marx from whom the concept of dialectic was borrowed and along with Engels, Marx gave the world dialectical materialism. All four of them were Germans! Today in India, we seem to swear by the supremacy of the state that would have been anathema to Hegel. He was perfectionist, an idealist, a philosopher rolled in one, and who championed the cause of the modern republic. It is at a time when the supremacy of the Indian state is being questioned by some protagonists, there is alleged fraud and blatant corruption in high places and the fight between the Judiciary and the Legislative wings of government which comes to the fore in an ugly manner and that we need to take a fresh look at Hegel. Instruments of state have been increasingly used to trouble political opponents. Development and education have been replaced by the doctrines of pseudo secularism and appeasement. Contradiction is writ large and real development is illusive. A frustrated Indian populace has overwhelmingly voted Narendra Modi into power and a new dawn of nationalism and attendant social identity is on the horizon. The Second Republic has indeed been born in India and Hegel was one man who championed the cause of the republic more than any other in his time. It is under such conditions that this paper is penned. The paper argues that while Hegel is still relevant as a universal thought leader the social reality of our times has forced the author to look beyond the Hegelian dialectic It is here that the post 2005 works of Sadri, Sharma and Albuquerque clearly stand out. The Basics: Beginning with the dialectic for Hegel the thesis was man (read humankind) since man was made from the image of God. The antithesis was strife in the social community. The synthesis was the state, which he saw as the supreme perfection. Marx then took him on and stated that man was born in a state of nature so state was the thesis; social change (reform or revolution) provided the antithesis. The final liberation of MAN from all bonds (fetishes of society) was the synthesis. Hence, in his letter to his father Marx justifiably wrote-I found Hegel standing on his head and put him back on his feet‖. [This was a critique of the resultant ideological aftermath of the French Revolution. It has witnessed the making of the Social Contract a la Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau.]. Many Leftists even today use the word dialectic loosely, but here they err. The dialectic is a form of logic that consists of two parts: (a) Unity in opposites e.g., man marries a woman; the beautiful lotus grows in a dirty pond. (b) Realty in contradictions e.g. we read better when we write with a white chalk on a black board. Hence, if a political sociologist were to try to understand the world as we see it he has to use the twin tools of unity of opposites and reality in contradiction. Objective social reality has compelled us to go beyond this Hegel-Marx-Leftist theme and the paper shall speak of this imperative later.