The volume under review is a bunch of studies in the sociology of social movements in India. Never in the history of Indian social sciences has the case for a sociology of social movements received so much attention as it has in the 1970’s. Only a decade and a half ago the conventionalist ‘establishment’ of the Indian social sciences would have scoffed at the very idea of a ‘sociology’ of social movements and would have been totally reluctant to concede legitimacy to such a field of inquiry. It is, however, the current intellectual fashion among social scientists to claim involvement in the study of social movements. Perhaps there is no other topical theme on which so much literature, good as well as trash, is being brought out presently. Why there should be so much enthusiasm for and such a phenomenal spurt in the studies on social movements in India is an interesting problem in the sociology of knowledge. But, this is hardly the place to pursue it further.
July-August 1979, volume 4, No 1