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Aula 04 – Atividade prática com texto

http://vidyaonline.org/dl/cultddk.pdf
House 803 D. D. KOSAMBI.
Poona 4,
India, July 31, 1964
CHAPTER ONE
The Historical Perspective
The Indian Scene

1. A DISPASSIONATE observer who looks at India with detachment and penetration would be struck by
two mutually contradictory features: diversity and unity at the same time. The endless variety is
striking, often incongruous. Costume, speech, the physical appearance of the people, customs,
standards of living, food, climate, geographical features all offer the greatest possible differences.
Richer Indians may be dressed in full European style, or in costumes that show Muslim influence, or in
flowing and costly robes of many different colorful Indian types. At the lower end of the social scale are
other Indians in rags, almost naked but for a small loincloth. There is no national language or alphabet;
a dozen languages and scripts appear on the ten-rupee currency note. There is no Indian race. People
with white skins and blue eyes are as unmistakably Indian as others with black skins and dark eyes. In
between we find every other intermediate type, though the hair is generally black. There is no typical
Indian diet, but more rice, vegetables, and spices are eaten than in Europe. The north Indian finds
southern food unpalatable, and conversely. Some people will not touch meat, fish, or eggs; many
would and do starve to death rather than eat beef, while others observe no such restrictions. These
dietary conventions are not matters of taste but of religion. In climate also the country offers the full
range. Perpetual snows in the Himalayas, north European weather in Kasmir, hot deserts in Rajasthan,
basalt ridges and granite mountains on the peninsula, tropical heat at the southern tip, dense forests in
laterite soil along the western scarp. A 2,000-mile-long coastline, the great Gangetic river system in a
wide and fertile alluvial basin, other great rivers of lesser complexity, a few considerable lakes, the
swamps of Cutch and Orissa, complete the sub-continental picture.

2. Cultural differences between Indians even in the same province, district, or city are as wide as the
physical differences between the various parts of the country. Modern India produced an outstanding
figure of world literature in Tagore. Within easy reach of Tagore's final residence may be found Santals
and other illiterate primitive peoples still unaware of Tagore's existence. Some of them are hardly out
of the food-gathering stage. An imposing modern city building such as a bank, government office,
factory, or scientific institute may have been designed by some European architect or by his Indian
pupil. The wretched workmen who actually built it generally use the crudest tools. Their payment might
be made in a lump sum to a foreman who happens to be the chief of their small guild and the head of
their clan at the same time. Certainly these workmen can rarely grasp the nature of the work done by
the people for whom the structures were erected. Finance, bureaucratic administration, complicated
machine production in a factory, and die very idea of science are beyond the mental reach of human
beings who have lived in misery on the margin of over cultivated lands or in the forest. Most of them

Adapted from : The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline D. D. Kosambi Página 1
Aula 04 – Atividade prática com texto

have been driven by famine conditions in the jungle to become the cheapest form of drudge labour in
the city.

3. Yet in spite of this apparent diversity, there is a double unity. At die top there are certain common
features due to the ruling class. The class is the Indian bourgeoisie, divided by language, regional
history, and so on, but nevertheless grouped by similarity of interests into two sections. Finance and
mechanized factory production are in the hands of the real capitalist bourgeoisie. Distribution of the
product is dominated primarily by the petty-bourgeois class of shopkeepers, formidable by reason of
their large number. Food production is overwhelmingly on small plots. The necessity of paying cash for
taxes and factory goods forces the peasant into a reluctant and rather backward wing of the petty-
bourgeoisie. The normal agrarian surplus is also in the hands of middlemen and moneylenders who do
not generally rise into the big bourgeoisie. The division between the richest peasants and
moneylenders is not sharp. There are cash crops like tea, coffee, cotton, tobacco, jute, cashew,
peanuts, sugarcane, coconuts and others tied to the international market or to factory production.
These are sometimes cultivated by modern capitalist owners by mechanized techniques on large plots
of land. High finance, often foreign, determines their prices and skims off the main profit. On the other
hand, a considerable volume of consumer goods, especially utensils and textiles, is still produced by
handicraft methods and has survived competition with factory production. The political scene is
dominated entirely by these two sections of the bourgeoisie, with a class of professional (lawyers, etc.)
and clerical workers as the connecting link with the legislatures and the machinery of administration.

4. We must note that, for historical reasons, the government is also the greatest single entrepreneur in
India. Its assets as a large capitalist equal those of all private Indian capitalists together, though
concentrated in particular types of investments. Railways, air services, posts and telegraphs, radio and
telephone, some banks, life insurance, and defense industries are entirely in the hands of the state, as
to some extent are the production of electricity and coal. Oil wells are state owned. The major oil
refineries are still in the hands of foreign companies, though state refineries will soon be in full
production. Steel was mostly in private ownership, but the state has begun its own large-scale iron and
steel production. On the other hand, the state does not produce food. When scarcities (often artificially
created by shopkeepers or middlemen) threaten to drive cheap labor out of the cities the state
distributes imported grain by rationing in the major industrial centers. This satisfies both the large and
the petty bourgeoisie without interfering with the profits of either. The obvious cure and stabilizer for
the uncertain food situation would be to collect agricultural taxes in kind, with storage and distribution
of food effectively in the hands of the government. Though suggested often enough--and indeed the
practice in ancient India nothing has been clone in this direction. The imported grain is neither
unloaded by efficient suction pumps nor stored in modern grain elevators, nor even mechanically
cleaned. The production of consumer goods is in private hands. State interference is necessary even
here for two reasons. First, without it the economy would be shattered by unrestricted greed and
uncontrolled production, particularly as many raw materials and almost all machinery have to be
imported against very scarce foreign exchange. Secondly, the bourgeoisie came to power with full
knowledge of the economics of scarcity, of restrained production and the black market, learned during

Adapted from : The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline D. D. Kosambi Página 2
Aula 04 – Atividade prática com texto

the shortages caused by the two great world wars; in fact, these wars and shortages were the cause of
capital accumulation and ultimately of the transfer of power from British to Indian hands. The state, for
example, is now being forced to become a large-scale monopolist producer of antibiotics and drugs, a
field where private enterprise showed its greed and contempt for human welfare in the deadliest
fashion. The government, by exercising its regulating functions and by planning future development,
seems to stand above all classes. The administration and top bureaucracy inherited from British rule
always behaved and regarded itself as above anything Indian. Of course, the government in the final
analysis is manned exclusively by members of one class. Thus, what and how the government controls
depends also upon who controls the government. Recent border incidents with China enabled the
central state authority to assume extraordinary dictatorial powers, which could bring socialism or any
other goal rapidly within sight. If, then, the country finds itself as far away as ever from socialism, there
may be some ground for the sarcasm that the road is not being travelled in the right direction.
Nevertheless, the most carping of critics must admit that there has been progress since independence,
no matter how much more could and should have been achieved. The needless man-made famines,
which killed millions in Bengal and Orissa during the last years of British rule seem as unreal now as any
other evil nightmare of colonial misrule.

Responda : Questões Interpretativas  PARÁGRAFO 1

1. O que lhe dizem os aspectos extra textuais (que envolvem o texto em si) ? Quais inferências
sugerem ?
2. O parágrafo [1] fala de dois aspectos contraditórios da história da India. Quais são eles ?
3. Segundo o autor, em quais aspectos concentram-se as maiores diferenças ?
4. Qual característica é mencionada em relação as línguas ?
5. Como são descritos, de modo geral, os indianos em relação à aparência física – raça ?
6. Como comportam-se os indianos em relação à ingesta de carne (bovina)?
7. Em relação aos aspectos climáticos exemplificados no texto, extraia as seguintes informações :

Local Clima
Himalayas
Kasmir
Rajasthan
Sul

Questões sintáticas  PARÁGRAFO 2

Observe as palavras em grifo e analise-as do ponto de vista linguístico e semântico

physical differences –
generally
rarely
Certainly

Adapted from : The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline D. D. Kosambi Página 3
Aula 04 – Atividade prática com texto

Destaque os afixos, refira suas funções (classe da palavra) e traduza os vocábulos


outstanding
actually
Government
Illiterate
unaware
erected
bureaucratic

PARÁGRAFOS 3 e 4

As palavras em negrito são conectores. Que relação estabelecem entre as ideias do período ou entre
sentenças ?

Yet in spite of this apparent diversity, there is a double unity. At die top there are certain common
features due to the ruling class.

The class is the Indian bourgeoisie, divided by language, regional history, and so on, but nevertheless
grouped by similarity of interests into two sections.

On the other hand, a considerable volume of consumer goods, especially utensils and textiles, is still
produced by handicraft methods

First, without it the economy would be shattered by unrestricted greed and uncontrolled production

Secondly, the bourgeoisie came to power with full knowledge of the economics of scarcity, of
restrained production

The state, for example, is now being forced to become a large-scale monopolist producer of antibiotics
and drugs

Thus, what and how the government controls depends also upon who controls the government.

Adapted from : The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline D. D. Kosambi Página 4