The essays collected here have been contributed in honour of Soumyen
Mukherjee, for many years a member of the History Department and
later the School of Asian Studies at the University of Sydney. In their
range and variety they represent something of the range and variety of
Soumyen Mukherjee's vision is of the ideal coming together of
the concerned intelligence, of the committed intellectual. It is a vision
that will always attract institutional opposition, but it will always exist.
This volume testifies to the endurance of that tradition. It is not an
oppositional tradition at all. It is the true idea of the university,
preserving its ground in the face of the ignorance of the entrenched
establishment. This may seem a far cry from the blatant aberrance of
today's university. But universities have always fallen into disrepute
and discredit. That is their nature, today no less than in the last century
or the centuries before.