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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 28, July 8, 2023

The D.D. Kosambi Research Foundation: Goals and Strategies | Kobad Ghandy

Friday 7 July 2023, by Kobad Ghandy


The D.D. Kosambi Research Foundation and Library is a Society being set up to do basic and in-depth studies into the vexed problems and questions facing our country and the world’s people. It will only have one criterion — a burning desire to seek the truth, irrespective of the ideology one holds. Pre-conceived ideas will not be encouraged as we have recently found many left/liberal narratives seriously flawed. Today much of the truth lies below layers of obfuscation, and confusion abounds on most issues — be it the pandemic, Ukraine/Wagner etc internationally, and issues of underdevelopment/swadeshi, Brahminism, and numerous forms of social retrogression linked to it in India. The DDKRF will seek to cut through the cobwebs of lies/deceit and fake news that inundate us daily, nay hourly, lift the clouds of darkness that envelope us, to allow the light through.
The Foundation is being set up to research/study the varied socio-economic aspects of our society - both at the India-level and at the international plane. Its focus will be to study varied narratives to try and discover the root causes for the ills of our society to create a more humane world.

While trying to promote a scientific temper it will seek to publish research papers, in-depth articles, books and periodicals, based on the findings and information gathered through - research, surveys, in-depth investigations, interviews, etc. While the topics can cover a wide arch, ranging from issues like science for the people, mathematics, engineering, etc its focus will be more on the socio-economic life of the country. All this will be done in the context of the world situation and the worsening crisis of the imperialist system. Debates on controversial issues will be encouraged in order to avoid dogma and further investigate ethos.

It shall, in addition, seek to study climate change and destruction of the environment worldwide and in India and its impact on the flora and fauna of India and the world.

 It shall also seek to understand man and his environment in the context of his/her increasing alienation, commodification, resulting in epic levels of insecurities, isolation, depression and social retrogression - through studies/critiques in the latest in philosophy, psychology, and bio-technology.

Today, movements for social change, both in India and abroad, have reached a dead end. There is need for some fresh thinking as to how one can change society in a direction which is more humane and just. If steps are not taken now, we are headed for a dystopian future as outlined by Klaus Schwab, founder and head of the World Economic Forum, in his book on The Great Reset. This chief agent of the billionaire club says in his book “at least 4 billion ‘useless eaters’ will be eliminated by the year 2050 through limited wars, organised epidemics, through fatal fast-acting diseases and starvation. Energy, food and water shall be kept at subsistence levels for the non-elite......... until the world’s population reaches a manageable level of 1 billion.......... From the time there shall be artificially contrived food, and water shortages and medical care to remind the masses that their very existence depends on the Committee of the 300.” This amounts to a defacto call for their gradual extermination.

With the severe and persisting crisis in the capitalist/imperialist system which followed a decade of stagnation post the 2009 Great Recession, the situation is fraught with dangers, aggravated ten-fold by the rising big-power conflicts engulfing the world.

So, one has to act, and act fast, to first discover the truth then act in a way effective to reversing this trend towards the precipice. The proposal to set up the D.D.Kosambi Research Foundation and Library is only one such project of the numerous new initiatives necessary in the current situation to find solutions that can understand current phenomenon better to help stem the rot. Aptly this Research Foundation is being established in the month that Kosambi was born (July 31, 1907) and died (June 29 1966).

This Foundation derives its name from the great polymath and progressive thinker of the 1950s and 1960s. This Foundation dedicates itself to this great scholar and seeks to use the same spirit in the search for truth and justice. For some 20 years, Kosambi’s main work lay in tensor analysis and ‘path-geometry’ (a term he coined). While engaged primarily in mathematics, he wrote a paper on genetics which was very successful. What became known as ‘the Kosambi formula for chromosome mapping’, it was widely used by professional geneticists. The formula was an advance over the existing chromosome theory of heredity, comprising the arrangements of genes and their recombination through the phenomenon of crossing over. Besides, his investigative mind did not rest with science and he drifted into archaeology and history. He did archaeological studies in caves around Pune and wrote his famous historical treaties on ancient Indian history. Kosambi’s first book on ancient Indian history, the path-breaking An Introduction to the Study of Indian History (1956), became so highly influential that, within five years of its publication, it was considered mandatory reading for professors and students of Indian history all over the world. The book, together with two more that followed — Myth and Reality (1962) and TheCulture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline (1965) — has been translated into many languages within and outside India. Though a Marxist he did not wield it as a dogma — as is the norm in India — but creatively even questioning Marx’s thesis on the Asiatic Mode of Production. Kosambi’s entire life was his stiving in search of truth deeply entrenched in the oppressed peoples’ ethos.

This Research Foundation will carry forward his legacy and tap talent from all fields of academics/researchers/activists and seek donations to be able to accomplish these tasks ignored by mainstream scholars and institutions. It welcomes students, teachers/academics, research scholars and social activists throughout India and even internationally — in fact, anyone/anywhere seriously interested in getting to the truth behind all phenomena - to either join the foundation and/or send in papers. It will give scholarships/stipends to young academics for specific projects as and when the funds become available.

It will start a web page and invites all to send their proposals there. In the immediate, it invites all to write in at the following email address: research. kosambi[at] and suggest which topics they are interested in researching. Donations to the Foundation can be given in cash or sent online once the Foundation is registered as a Society and a bank account opened. We look forward to tapping the serious intellectual talent of our country and even worldwide.

 July 6, 2023

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