Q. 1

How did AnanthakrishnaIyer and Sarat Chandra Roy come to practice social anthropology?

Answer :

Both Ananthakrishna Iyer and Sarat Chandra Roy were true pioneers who began practicing the discipline which neither existed in India and nor had any institution to promote it.

L.K. Ananthakrishna Iyer was one of the earliest and best known pioneers of social anthropology in India.


• Initially he was a clerk and later on he became a college teacher in Cochin State.


• In 1902, Dewan of Cochin asked him to assist an ethnographic survey of the state.


• The British government wanted similar surveys done in all the princely states as well as the presidency areas directly under its control, which was done by Ananthakrishna purely on voluntary basis.


• Later, he worked for British government as unpaid superintendent of ethnography.


• His work was very much appreciated and he was invited to help with a similar ethnographic survey in Mysore state.


• He was the first self-taught anthropologist to receive national and international recognition both as a scholar and an academician.


Practice of Social Anthropology by Sarat Chandra Roy is stated below -


• Sarat Chandra Roy had his education in the field of Law and English.


• He gave up his law practice and became a school teacher in Ranchi, Bihar (now Jharkhand).


• Due to his professional needs he had to interpret tribal customs and laws to the court, and soon he developed interest in the tribal societies.


• He has published more than hundred articles in leading Indian and British academic journals regarding the tribal societies and their culture, in addition to his famous monographs on the Oraon, the Mundas and the Kharias.


• He was the founder of the journal "Man in India" in 1922, and at that time it was one of its kind in India.


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