Understanding Marx Sir, ~
I refer to the letter of Debasis Sen (9 April) regarding my article on Marx (29-30 March). It is not possible to understand Marx using Anglo-American interpretation, which gives a very narrow view of the philosopher, but one needs to apply the Hindu philosophy to understand him. Marx’s basic inquiry was to find out ways to solve the problem of human alienation from its soul. According to Marx, the capitalistic production relationship system creates this alienation and it can be removed only under scientific socialism when a human being can rediscover himself and achieve full freedom from the bondage of class dominated state. That was the essence of Marxism as he has narrated in his writings (The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844).
Marxian materialism is related to the Sankhya system of philosophy. Sri Krishna says: “Ignorant man, but not the wise, say that Sankhya and Yoga are different paths; but he who gives all his soul to one reaches the end of the two” (Bhagvad Gita, ch 5, verse 4). Marx was one of those few wise men. According to him, all actions in social, economic and political spheres are interlinked and can be explained by a general theory. This is the echo of what Sri Krishna said: “All actions take place in time by the interweaving of the forces of nature” (Bhagvad Gita, ch 3, verse 27). “Those who ever follow my doctrine... find through pure work their freedom” (Bhagvad Gita, ch 3, verse 31).
Marx has analysed what kind of work and production relationship would free man from bondage of alienation from his inner soul and according to him only under scientific socialism that can be achieved. Thus, Marx has used the principles of Hindu philosophy, without realising it, to “discover the inner harmony of a man to shape his own life in the light of that harmony” (Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity).
After all, although they had never visited India, Marx and Engels gave us a correct explanation of the 1857 uprising. Rejecting the beef-pork theory of the British and their Indian followers, Marx-Engels explained that revolt in terms of extreme torture and humiliation the Indian sepoys witnessed the British were inflicting on fellow Indians, which resulted in the revolt.
The majority of the Indians who stood up against the British were not sepoys but “the unorganised peasants of India who fought the most powerful empire of the world to near defeat with limited resources and even more limited training. If there is a lesson to be learnt from this, it is that a people, once pushed into a corner, will fight for their basic right to live in freedom”. (Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels, The First Indian War of Independence 1857-1859).
One cannot find a better explanation of Indian history than that given by Marx-Engels. ~ Yours, etc., Dipak Basu, Nagasaki (Japan), 9 April.