GoldenTwine Informatics News — Homage to My Father
Death Anniversary — Dr Narendra Nath Pal
On the 63rd death anniversary of my revered father, Dr Narendra Nath Pal (October 9, 1902 – August 30, 1954), I bring to you an article, About Our Society, written by him. This article was published in the Amrita Bazar Patrika (English format in Calcutta) on January 4, 1937.
The article was written 80 years back in British India. It is for the esteem readers to decide whether they agree with his views that perhaps prevailed in that era, and whether those views still have any relevance in our society or not. Your feedback in the comments are warmly welcomed.
About Our Society — By Dr Narendra Nath Pal, MB
science is characterised not by the nature of facts with which it deals but by the method of its attack. This method consists in the collection of facts, the classification of these facts collected, and finally the construction of connections which serve to explain the facts.
The behaviour of living organisms has been attacked by several branches of science. We deal here with the social psychology that can establish its claim and rank among the scientific methods of approach to attempt an explanation of the phenomena to psychical conception: later on we can measure its success by the control over these phenomena through education of the social beings.
We have only three aspects of life to conceive of – firstly the individual of animal, secondly the social or pagan, and thirdly the universal or divine.
sthe essence of a person is not what he is for another but what he is for himself. It is there that his “principium” individuation is to be found.
Personality in on aspect is truly analogous to individual separatedness. It has another aspect too. It ever extendsitself amidst others through the increase of its knowledge of lovelier activities. One component part of life is the individuation, the other one is the adaptibility which is the same as finding association of self to the surroundings. Know we must as a social being what our society is for the betterment of our conditions. We have the sense of little self and its betterments; we should have the lovelier sense of the group and their total well-being. If not the curious sense of the whole – as an ever-lasting presence – intimate and alien, awful and inspiring, lovable and beautiful. In other words we are animals; we are to be social if not divine.
The western energy is always dynamic. Diseases or evils of life there have to reckon the struggle between microbe or other untoward movements and the vital force. Dynamic evils are known to havetheir dynamic agencies viz. moving microbes and altered balance of the mind for the productions of dynamic wrongs in us. We have to reckon the altered states of the mind that do pave the paths of infection. These dynamic ideas have the prospects of better possibilities and better adjustments of their lives everywhere.
The Eastern energy is static. The dignity of mere immobility is hardly an attribute of life although an attribute of the ever-still Soul in the never-still Universe. We can show how the habitual chaos of petty contentions in our group lives everyehere, on the society or in any other association for the matter of fact is the result of this immobile spirit. We make our ideas fixed but wrongs that arise therefrom make us depraved and destitute, and are dynamic and ever-increasing.
The West works and wares out: we brood over destiny, live on charity and chance developments and later on rust out. They enjoy life by bettering their adjustments; we try to solve all our problems by renunciation and non-co-operation. We shall now be interested in the scientific methods of approaching the problems and solving the same.
Our society is stagnant with all the moral codes established when our adjustments of life were altogether different from what we ought to have now. A scientific method of sociological analysis will serve the purpose inasmuch as psychological analysis does accomplish for the individual by unveiling the causes of conflicts and by making society conscious of its motives to adopt and ends to achieve.
the man who consistently as he fondly supposes logically, clings to an unchanging opinion is suspended from a hook which has ceased to exist.
Life is a compromise with actuality and is always to be held as such by genuine thinkers of evry age. We miserably lack in the latter class amongst us firstly because those whom fortune has favoured to pass their lives in some emminent and conspicuous degree find practically no scope for their public actions – their brains are in a way so bought by the prized posts of the government; secoondly those on whom fortune never smiled but employed in baser affairs of life are more interested in the scandals of society than inthe tragedies therein; thirdly those whom she has made in a way able to organize the society, speak of themselves to create interests in their ownacquaintances of knowledge only, without the least inspiring and ennobling truths oof life as Swami Vivekananda and a few others had. The abiding cause of our miseries lies in the obscurity of the significant fact that the artful methods are reigning everywhere. We shall see it more the longer we look for it. We are economically depraved because trade is out of our control. We ran after services because the prized posts were won by us richly endowed as we were with intelligence; we are deceived, now because the artful representations are the weapons of the men on power. As areaction thereof we grow out more and more artful in dealings with our brethren. We put no faith on each other. We cannot work together inspite of the consciousness of the fact that mutual good-will is the basis of our activities. Our moral sense needs regeneration. We have to collect, classify, and conceive of all the details of evils that have rooted in the soil of our society. Haziness of such knowledge in any aspect will fail to arouse the conscious principle of unity with us – the united feeling of wish, and will to work and wear out than to divide and accuse ourselves so as ultimately to rust out. The cardinal point of enquiry will be what makes us wear the garbs of actuality when we always intend to pass as counterfeits everywhere?
The basis lies in our religious and social laws which bore and still bears with unflinching tenacity the law of untouchability. The hipnotizing system is organized in a most subtle and complex wayat all time and on all occasions by men of power. So it was in the past. The mass were actually made ignorant of the Shastras by our men on power in days gone by, to attract most of the infatuations from them so that the hypnotizers could again display their grandieur most. The channels of one-sided gains for the rank and position, were artfully canalized in the fountain-head of religion through superstitious codes. Customs that suited occasions and conditions of powerful men, were in vogue. Leniencies were allowed to the ‘Kulin’ or the aristocratic class; eightages were given to their favourites who were really shunts or makeshifts of their conveniences. Hypnotization is everywhere complete by solemner performances to stupefy the brains. Here also priestly class and village ‘mondols’ were the types of such celebrities who could frown upon the mass at the least frailties in their private lives. The self adjusting relationship of the group-life was almost impossible. What division amongst society had its caste-system originally, with the idea to have divisions of function and yet an intimate unit of kinship was poisoned by the communal spirit and by a sense of inferiority and hatred between themselves.
Next comes the cardinal fact of life – the attraction for sex, the prime mover of progress always and everywhere. Repression of sex – the attempted routine procedure for the maintenance of chastity was nothing but a biological failure in our Society and elsewhere as in China. The libido hunted out to break through weak places both of body and mind. This was the prime cause of our being counterfeits in the core of their hearts. The forced isolation of such biological fact from us under the artful garb of religion, set the task to consume all our energies to play hide and seek or the part of hypocrites in our lives. Social sentiments and heredity were influenced to a great extent to produce mass-hysterics and expert counterfeits. The reactionary of such sex today, move in the wornout ideas of the West and dance to ‘the blithe ballad of death;” but if we adjust our society, today and control the romances of our private lives – the central theme round which the song of life echoes and re-echoes – the reformed social institutions and sentiments will be the necessary adjuncts again to our normal health and home.
We must have a purpose larger than one’s self. We must be grouped round the peaceful family and ideally perfect society. Regulations of the romances of our lives shall be the cardinal fact there. Good-will, trust and honest dependence upon each other shall be the basis of the moral principle; moral codes will follow thence to regulate our private lives, in our marriages, births, and deaths. There will be no exception amongst such abiding elements of the society. It will be our own society to control all the facts and figures of our social crimes, wherefrom shall emanate the spirit of finding kinship amongst ourselves. High or low, rich or poor, superior or inferior, however we may be different one from the other, we must have the feeling of one entityand a share in the whole. United we shall have the only possibilities to stand; otherwise rules of division as artfully managed by the existent laws of the country, will crush us in no time.
Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy’s Recommendation Letter
My father, Dr Narendra Nath Pal (October 9, 1902 – August 30, 1954), was a student of Dr BC Roy at Carmichael Medical College. He graduated in 1930 and worked as Dr BC Roy’s assistant for 4 years. Dr BC Roy wrote one letter to my father on January 23, 1942, besides the following Recommendation Letter given to him in 1934. They are my pride possessions.