Indian History Congress

HISTORY IN THE
NEW NCERT TEXT BOOKS
FOR CLASSES VI, IX AND XI
--- A Report and
an Index of Errors
IRFAN HABIB
SUVIRA JAlSWAL
ADITYA MUKHERJEE
Approved and Published by the Executive Committee
Indian History Congress
Kolkala, 2003
Published by Ramakrishna Chatterjee, Secretary,
Indian History Congress. Netaji Institute or Asian Studies,
Kolkata 700020
Olndian HislOry Congress. 2003
Price: Rs.50
Type-set by Aligarh Histolians and
by Ratan Gupta at the Litho-Colour Primers.
G.T. Road. Aligarh 2020() I.
Preface
Report
CONTENTS
Page
I ndCK 01 ElTors 6
I. Makkhnn Lal. ct al . /" di(l {/lid rhl! World, lor Class VI 6
2. Lal, Anc:ienf India, for Closs Xl 27
3. Mecnakshi Jain. Medieval India, for XI 58
4. H:l.I'j Om. el ai , COrlll!l!Ipormy India, for Clas," IX gg
Preface
The Indian History Congress has, ever sll1ce l is founding
s ixt y·eighl years ago. been constantly concerned with th..:
improvement of the syllabi and of textbooks in HlSlory' in our
school s. colleges and uni versities. It gave support to the effort of
the NCERT (National Council of Educat ional Research and
rraining) from the 19705 onwards to produce school textbooks of
high standard. books such as lei students have a taste of Hi story
as seen wi th the expanding vision and critical apparatus of modern
times. Eminent hi storians like Professurs Romila Thapar. R.S.
Sharma, Salish Chandra and Sipan Chandra were involved In the
writing of the textbooks on indian hislory. while Professol' ArJun
Dev of the NCERT wrote a very imaginatively planned history of
worl d c ivili zations. These books were regularl y updated , and
~ e r v e d not onl y as teKt books for schools of the CBSE system, but
also as models for textbooks in the schools of the Stale boards
and other examination boards
An outcry agai nst these books arose suddenly with the
t:hanged political atmosphere of the last few years. Controversies
were raked up over a few statemenlS made in Ihe textbooks. The
entire campai gn rrom the beginning lacked convicti on. But there
was obviously official determination from the beginning to 're place
tho. books wilh a different kind of lex-IS.
The first step taken was to c hange the "curril'ular
framework" in order to be able to say that new textbooks are in
any case needed. Already at liS Callc ut UniversilY sess ion <28-30
December 1999) the Indian History Congress expressed serious
reservat ions in thi s rega rd. When in 2000 the NCERT publi shed
its policy statement "National Curri culum Framework of School
Education", the Indian Hi story Congress meeting at Kolkata, 2-4
January 200 I t passed a detai led resolution questioning the way
History was now to be treated in the sc hool curriculum, and the
way '·values" were bei ng linked to "education in re li gion".
In the year 2002 four textbooks were published by the
vi Preface
NCERT, two for Classes VI and IX, which had units tlssigned to
Hislory, and two respectively on Ancient and Medieval Indiu. r<lr
Class Xl These are presumably designed to meet the
of the new "Curriculum Framework."
The textbooks caused much disquiet nmong will;
read them, and there was considerable discussion in the and
other media.
In view of the importance of the mailer. the l ouian HiHory
Congress at its session at Guru Dev University, Amrilsar.
28-30 December 2002, decided that the Executive Committee
should arrange for a scrutiny of the textbooks and iswe its repor(
t hereon. A committee was thereupon constituted. compris ing
Professor I ffan Habib Proft.'_ss or SUVInI lai .swal
( Hyderabad) and Professor Adit ya (New Delhi). 1<1
examine and report on the books.
As wi ll be seen from t he Committee' s report. till.!
Commiuee members weill through each of the books in a very
meticulous fas hi on, and, instead o f o nl y giving. a general
assessment, compiled an extensive Index of Errors. From this Index
all readers can form Iheiropinl0n of tile n:l.tureoflhe new NCERT
Hi slory textbooks.
I should like to express my deep sense of gl·.1t ituue to the
three members of the committee who have spent so much lime
and labour on the work. /
Atter Professor Dwijendra Tripathi , President of nur
Congress, approved the report , it was circu lated among memher'
of the Executive Committee. With their unanimous approval, il is
now being re leased as a of the Indian History Congress.
I am grateful for Professor Shireen Moos-vi, In-charge of
Publications, THC, for seeing this volume thro ugh rhe pre ... s.
lL IS hoped that the Report and its Index. of Errors will he
of much use 10 teachers and students of our schools as well <I!\ 1(1
general readers interested in a true depiction of Qur past ,
)0 June 2003
Ramaknshnu
Sec.:retary
Indian History
Report
In September-November 2002 the National Counci l of
Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Government of
India, New Delhi. released four textbooks dealing wholly or In
part with Hi story, in line with its new controvers ial Currku lam
Framework. These books are:
1. Makkhan Lal , el al.: Indian and thi' World, for Class VI
(Hi storical port ion: Uni t II)
2. Had Om, el al.: Contl!.mporary India. for Class IX
portion: Unit I)
3 . Makkhan Lal : India, for Class XI
4. Meenak"shi Jain: Me.dieval India. for Class XI
Though the textbooks nos. 1 and 2 are attributed 10 two
groups of writers, it turned oul from post-publicati on statements
in the press that the historical portions in Nos. t and 2 were
respectively authored by Professors Makkhan Lal and Hari Om.
who admitted their indi vidual re:>ponsibilit y for them.
Upon the release of the books, r.here was widesprcau
criticism on the score of their language, approach, bias, anu fuc ts.
Since these books are bound to be read by a very large numhcr
of sc hool st udents. notably those of schools in the CSSE system.
and so have an immense capacity to cause damage, much concc.rn
has been repeatedly expressed in the media about them.
In these circumstances the Indian History
meeting for its annua l session at the Guru Nanak Dev
University, Amrilsar, 28·30 December -2002, desired th<ll Ihe
Execulive·Commiltee should have the text books scrutinized and
issue a report giving an assessment of their content s.
A committee consisting of the three of us was accordingl y
const ituted by the General Secretary, Professor Ramakrishna
Chatterjee, in order to subject the textbooks to a detailed scrutiny
and submi t its concl usions to the Execut ive Committee.
We decided that the textbooks shoul d be read by each
of us and wherever errors and queslionab.le statements were
2
Report
found , tbese should be taken up for comment. For ,hi ...
lrfan Habib read and commented on Textbook!. Nos.] and 4;
Suvlra JaiswaJ did the same with Nu 3. and A.
Mukherjee with No.2. All the member s re ad each \l lhe l" ';
comments. and the resultant Index of Errors has .helr
e ndorsement. They wish to ac knowledge with gratitude omel;
and comments made available to them by many s..:; h o lllrs, IHll.lbly
Professor Arjun Dev, with hi s own vast experience of the'
e ffort al the NCERT al producing textbooks in HislOry and Ot her
Social Science subjects. We, however. shQuld like il 10 be
unders tood that we alone are responsible for the content s l)( the
rodex, as II is now presented.
The practice foll owed in this Index is to 10 \:.H:h
case 3S extensive a quotation as possible under the relcvil nl p:lge
no. from the new NCERT textbooks. and the n !>I ubJ'::'!: 1
passage to concise analysis or comment Thi s m!;lhod the
advantage thai teachers and pupils can check with aUf Index as
they read the textbooks , and take into account the
that arc given here page-by-page.
In our Index we have taken nOle of the changes mude In
the 'second reprint ' editions of Textbooks nos. I and 2. brought
out in January 2003 and October 2002 respec ti ve ly. Where In
the statements quoted, changes ha ve been made in the reprmt
editions, these ha ve been indicated. Generally, the
from these two books are taken from the reprint e(hti om •. unle.,s
otherwise indi cated.
The arrangement o f the Index follows roug hly 11
chronological arrange ment. That is. Professor Makkhan La1's
lexts covering the Ancient World and Ancient Indi a. for Classes
V and XI are dealt with first, (allowed by Dr Meenakshi Jain's
text on Medieval India for Class Xl, and, Ihen. finall y ProfesSCl r
Hari Om's text on Modern and Contemporary India for
IX.
Lest readers be surprised at the number of
errors that have bee n nOled , il needs to be s tressed Ihal·
unfortunately the Index of Errors cannot still stilt be deemed to
be complete; and many slips and misstatements of varying degrees
of serious ness have had to be overlooked to keep our rndex within
manageable limits.
It is to be noted that all the four books Uniformly suffer
from similar defects. The language is poor. with many s pelling
u!ld grammati cal errors, infelicitous expressions and qbscurities .
Report
J
which are all pnmary lapses that any sChoOltCXlbook must avolli
If these books are to be translated into Hindi. one wonders how
the translators will be able to understand many of the statement ..
made in them. One also fears for st udents who might model thelL'
English prose after the texts of these books.
There is universally an absolutely poor grasp of hi",l oncnl
facts . Failure here is. of course. far more 'serious than poverty (I f
expression The Index of Errors shows that the depanures from
facts arc so considerable Ihal one sometImes begins (0 feel
whether a pupil reading these books wdr really learn much
History at all.
Often the errors are apparently mere product.s 0 1
ignorance; but as often they stem from an anx iet y 10 prt:",ent
History with a very strong chauvinistic and communal bi:I";. The
draw heavily on the kind of propaganda that the s(\-
called Sangh Parivar publicat ions have been prOJecling for quite
some time. The major features of the presentation of Indi un
history in the new NCERTbooks may be summed up as follows '·
I. India IS held 10 be the original home of !he Aryans. N,)
concern at all is shown with the origins of peoples
Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic languages.
2. The Indian civiliza t ion is supposed t o have liS S(,1e
fountainhead in the "Vedic Civilization" which i'i given much
greater antiquity than histOrians have been Willing 10 assign
10 It so far. The lalter is claimed to have embraced the Indus
Civilization. now to be ca lled the "Indus-Saraswati"'
civil ization. which is thus entirely credi 'led to the Aryan::..
3. All substanlive, scientific discoveries (from zero and decimal
placement of numerals 10 heliocentric ast ronomy) ure
supposed to have been made in the "Vedic Civilization."
4. The Hindu religion is held superior to other religions. The
Upanishads are proclajmed as "the mosL profound works 01
phil osophy in any religion". Both Buddhism and lainism are
held to have emerged oul of Chern. Hindus had no sense 01
constrai nts about chronology. unlike the Christians.
moreover, have been by their faith true pat rialS. In the modern
freedom struggle 100, they alone are held to have been
sincere, while the Muslims only dreamt of a Muslim empire
or a separate nation. Medi eval Mu s lims and mo'dero
Christians are also held to have been deeply influenced by
racism:
5 .. The caste sys tem was all right in the neginlo.ng; on ly
"rigidities" (not inequities or oppression of Dulits ) are seell
4 Rt'port
in its later stages and very lightly touched Upoll . The Dalits,
ill effect, are excluded from history,
6. A neutral or even admiring stallce is mllintained about
practi ces such as sat , 3nd jaulrar in ancient and medieval
Indi a. Abduct iollS of women are described as a legitimate
form of marriage (rahlwsa), not 3pparently wi th
women being he ld in honour.
7. Foreigne rs ha ve taught litt le or nothi ng to Indians, while
India has given so much to the world in all realms of culture.
8. Muslims brought linle new to India. e'!(cept oppression and
temple-destruction . All the dark corners are thoruughly
in the narrative of medieval Indlu. 11.\ regards
Muslims, while they .I re coolly overlooked in Ihal of ancient
India.
9. The rise of a composi te culture is ignored or downpJayed
Kllhir getS with difficulty a sentence in the Medieval Indi !!
textbook (where. on the other hand. Guru Gobind Singh
appears as II "devotee or Goddess Chandi ").
10. in modern India. "Muslim separat ism" is the grcat bughear,
whi le Hindu communalism is not even mcntiuncd, and the
Hindu Mahasabha leaders appear uniformly as great
II. The growt h of the great modern values of democracy. gende,'
secularism. welfare state, etc. is neglected.
over in silence.
12. Therc is litlle or nothing on Indian social reformerlo like Rilln
Mohan Roy, Keshav Chandra Sen, l ot iba Phul e and even
B.R. Ambedkar - since apparently traditional Hindu
is not thougbt to hrlVc been in need of. reform.
13. The mainstream secular :lnd democratic e lement:> in the
Nat ional Movement arc presented as unimportant or /11en.'
obstacles to the growth or (Hindu) "Cultural
Harsh words are used for the Moderates; there is a deliberate
effort to eit her ignore or present in unfavourable light
Jawaharlal Nehru. and also Ihe Left. es pecially the
CommunislS.
With such parochialism and prejudice as the dri ving force
behind these textbooks, illS clear that Ihese cannol be converted
into IIcceptable textbooks by a mere removal of the. linguisli<.·
and f,lclual errors pointed OUI in our index. In many cases lhe
basic arguments in the textbooks are built on these very error!.
or fact. and so the errors cannot be removed wit hout chunging
the main ideas behind the textbooks.
Report
5
These textbooks are therefore beyond the realm of
salvage, and they need to be withdrawn altogether.
Until such a withdrawal takes place, we hupe our Index
will help both teachers and students to rectify the more senous
errors in the books and so attain a more balanced view of our
past.
Trfan Habib
Suvira Jaiswal
Aditya Mukherjee
Postscri pt: As thi s Report goes to press, the NCERT has issued
three more textbooks containing materi al on Hi story, for Classes
VII, X and XII. These would need to be sc rutinlz.ed Will'; as mu!;h
care as the books eovered by Ihe present Report. Indeed, Ihis
Report should be trea ted as an advance warning thai the three
new book9 too cannot by any means be accepted on trust.
Ramakrishna Chatterjee
June 2003 Secretary, Indian Hhaory Congress
INDEX OF
ERRORS
1
Makkhan Lal, et. al., [ndw and the World
- Social Sciences Textbook for Class VI
FirSI edition. September 2002, reprint cd" Junuary 2003.
Unit II People and Society in the Ancient Period
7. Introduction
Page 50 (Page 51 in reprint cd.):
Songam literature arid Tripitakas".
The Tripitakas, being chronologically earlIer. shoulll
precede Sangam literature.
8. The Earl y Humans
Page 52
"Stone Age ,., is diVIded into three phases - Palaeolithic.
Mesolithic and Neolithic",
The terms are not defined, nor even rendered mto Engli Sh
as Old, Middle and Ne' \' Slone Ages.
Pages S 4 ~ S 5
"The discovery of the wheel made a signific:mt difference. It
was used also to spin COLlon nnd wool and wcave cloth. Some
time aner it was lIsed In making transport v.chicles like bullock
caris and chariots."
The spinning wheel was not known 10 ancient India; and
its use (even in. ils country of origin. China) is much l:uer thun
the use of the cart-wheel. Wheel was not u ~ e d in weaving al all
(Hal> the aut hor never seen an old hand-loom being worked? j
Page 56
Exercises: Things to do:
Ancien' Illdia. Class VI 7
"CUI out the pictures of tools and other material remain!. from
old magazines and h,story books and pasleY
Curious "values" being Iaughl; mutilate history books.
9. Eal"ly Non-Jndinn Civilizations
Page 57
Map "Early Civilizations' shows the same frOn!ier s
(whi ch are largely those of Harappan Civilization) as Iho.')e of
' Harappan and Vedic Civilizations'. It IS wrong to Insist through
such a map that the terrjtory known to the t:omposers of the
Vedas was the same as mat of the Indus Civilization. See comment
under Page 88.
Page 58
.... Indian Civil ization \ .. Ihich has unbroken history of nbo!!t !WOO
years, Le. from Ihe neolithjc ttmes."
The Iudus Civilization, held to be Ine enrlle.<i t in India
Ceven by B.B. Lal) , LS dated 2500-2000 BC. How then I.":ou ld
India have had a "CIvilization" from 6000 Be?
I)age 58
"You may be surpri!>ed It) know lhat Indian and Chinese
civili zations are the only ones which have survived ... All other
I:arly civilizutions have disappea.red and the present people I
c ivilizations have 00 connection with the past ones."
The statement IS wrong and tendentious. HlS modern
Iran no link with its old civilization (cf. Firdausi's Slwhnama).
or Greece with the Greek Civilizalion'?
Page 59
" The Egyptian c ivili zation is one of the oldest one (.I'it"). It
developed around 7500 years ago [5500 BC) and lasted ahout
5000 years".
• The Egyptian civilization developed no earlier than
c.3200 BC. Makkhan Lal's dale is wrong by a mere 23,000 yea rs!
Page 63
"In this .region [Mesopotamial a Civilization developed
around 7000 years ago (ltbout 5000 Be)."
Eltcessivcly early dating: the Mesopotamian Civili"llltion.
8 Index of Errors
like- the Egypti an, cannOl be held to begin before c.3200 Be.
The author seems to have no sense of what Givi li zulion means.
the term being never properly defined.
Page 66
"Corinth", nOl' "Cornilh", is the correct spel ling.
Page 70
"Some (s ic !) of the important Roman kings were Julius Caesar
and Octavian Caesar."
Julius Caesar was not a king; and Augustus Caesar (\0
give the correct name for Octavian when he became Cuesar) came
on ly later to be regarded as the one with whose accession to
power the hi story of Rome us a republi c came to a close.
Characteristically, the textbook describes Roman polity as a
republic, but does not tell the reader when ;t lUrned into e mpire.
and what areas the Roman e mpire (and. therefore. the Roman
Ci vilization) covered.
The re is no information on Julius Caesar ot her than in
the senl ence quoted above, ye t in Exerci ses on p.72, tho pupil is
asked ( 0 answer the question: "Why is Julius Caesar famous'?"
Page 74
"Taoi sm and Confucianism were the popular reli gions ".
To describe the two ( pl aced in wrong seque nce) as
religions is erroneous. They were essentially eth ic al and
philosophical systems, though Taoi sm in time devel oped cert ai n
religious features.
Page 75
"The invention of paper and silk are the greatest contributions
of the Chinese 10 the world."
What of printing, spinning wheel, magnetic compass
gunpowder, etc., also invented by the Chinese? Were Ihey less
important ?
Page .77
" The (sic!) Zoroast ri anism was wi ped (J ut as a rnnjor re li gion of
that area [Iran] by the spread of Islam in the seventh nnd ei ght
(sic) cent uries A.D. and later" However, its traditi on continues
in the faith and pracl:ce of Parsecs who left Ir:m Hnd came In
Ancient India. Class VI 9
India to save their faith and religion."
Tendentious statement: Zoroastrian communities 'in Irtlrl
survive to the present day.
Page 78
"Temples of" Altura Mazda ... . "
The pupil is not told that Ahura Mazda means God.
10. Indian Civilization: Harappan Civilizat ion
Page 80
"Ghagghar IHakra (ancient Saraswati) "
There is no proof that the was ever known
as Sarasvati, si nce the small Saraswati stream is far small er Ihan
Ihe Ghaggar, of whi ch it is, In the ra iny season, a tri butary.
Page 80
"lndus-Saraswati Civi li zati on"
A tendentious name, from a desire to suggest, t.hrough
imposed nomenclatu re, an Aryan affiliati on of the I,ndu l;
Civili zation. Why not "Indus- Hakra Civilization"? In any case
Hakra belongs to the Indus basin, so that the name "Indus" covers
the bas in of that ri ver as well as that of the Ghaggar, whil,:h is the
name of the higher course of the same ri ver..
Page 80
" J[ [Harappan or Indus Civili zation] slarted developing Mound
4600 BC .... "
This date for the beginning of the Indus Civili z:lt ion is
fantast ic. Even the Pre-Indus cultures. li ke KOI-Diji or Sot hi-
Siswal cultures, cannot be dated to much beyond 3000 Be.
Page 80
"Its geographical area was almost 20 limes [that] of Egyptian
<: ivi li zation and 12 limes of the Egypt ian and Mesopotamian
Civili zations combi ned." (Emphasis as in ori ginal).
This is sheer fantasy. The area of the Indus Civjfil.3£ion
was about 700,000 to 800.000 square k.m. The area of the
Egyptian civi li zation was abou t 300,000 and oJ' the
Mesopotamian about 400,000 square km. Where is the question
of the I ndus Civi lization being 12 limes the wmhine.d uf
..
10 Index of
the other tWO in 3fi.'!a? Or of being 20 limes Ihe' tcrrllory of Ihe
EgYPli:1O civilization?
Page 80
"It [the Harappan Civilization1 developed in Pakistan, Sout hern
Afghanistan .. ....
There is I/() known Harappan. bite in southern
Afghanistan.
Page 81
The map shows totally wrong limits of the Harappan Civilization . .
making it include Kashmir. NWFP. much of western Rajasthan
and even Bombay! Alamgirpur is wrnngly located; Taxlla IS
shown as if it is an Indus site.
Page 82
" Even in the modern world this kind of town plunnmg onl y began
on ly ar\,lund the eighteenth century AD,"
Surprising ignorance i s only how one can cfltcgorise thi s.
Even in India lhe authors could have looked up Shahjahanabatl
(Walled city of Delhi) laid OUt under ShahJllhal\ ( 1628-58), and
earl ier ci ti es like Thghluqabad.
Page 83
"The presence of the horse is also indicated by lerracoua figurines
and bones."
A statement like this, which is disputcd by mOSl
zoologists. as far as bones are concerned, should nOI be made in
such a definite manner in a school text. No specifically
like features (to distinguish Ihe animal from onager or wild ass
or even neelgai) appear in the terracotta figurines .
Page 84
"These people also worshipped Siva (sic/) in the form of linca
which is done also today:'
There is no prool' that the stone cones found arc nOI
pes LIes but phaJlus stones: and no proof that they were
with Shiva-worship.
Allciem india, VI
"
Page 84
"One of such stori es paimed on a pot is the story of tht- thi rsty
cow we read in the story books even now. Another [pot]
has the painting of the cUl/ning fox."
This linking of the pictu,res on pots with any known later
stories is without foundation.
Puge 85
' 'The famous slone statut e of the YogL . ."
See also illustration with legend "Yogi figurine" on the
same page. To call the famous (so labelled by
modern writers) as Yogi is preposterous. The cut of beard and
the trefoil embroidery suggest . on the other hand. a strong
Mesopotamian connec ti on. The baseless "yogi" ascripti on seems
simpl y to force an Aryan mould on the Indus Civi li zation.
Page 85
"The most frequently portrayed animal on the seal is bull ".
Again. a piece of sheer mi srepresent ation. The uni corn,
a mythic animal , is ttJe most frequent ly portrayed (on 1, 150 seals)
as against humpless bull (95) and l,ebJI or humped bull (on ly
54).
Pages 85·86
"The seal of (sic!) a dei ty si tting in a yogic post ure and
surrounded by ani mals has been identified wi th god Pasllpari
(Si c!) which is another name of Siva (si c!)." See also Fi g. on
p.87 (':Seal depicting Siva·Pasupati').
This is a very disputable proposit ion: the system or yogic
postures cannot be traced beyond 200 BC, if, indeed, to even
that date. There is a bull ·deity found in simil ar posture in the
Proto·Elamite culture of Mesopotamia, and 'it is more reasonable
to link the Indus seal fi gure with that deity. On such doubtful
mailers school textbooks shou.ld (read most 'carefull y.
Page 87
Exercises: Things to do:
"Make a collage of some phOIOrnphs cut out rrom lin old Hi slory
book,"
,
The st udent is thul: l SllJ n encounged (0 practise book·
mutilation.
12
Indl'.f of E,-,ors
Page 88
"II. The Vedic Civilization"
The title "Vedk Civilizati on" is hardl y tennille. Si lh.' C Ill)
towns arc named o r described in the RiRlI l'(/rL The word
"Culture" should have bee n used instead of "Civi li zatIOn."
Page 88
"Vedic literature does nOI signify any indi vidual wW'k
like Koran or Biblc,"
By no stretch of imagination can the Billk he cutled an
" indi vi dual religious work." The writer does nOI 'Iccm HI IHl ve
any idea of the Old and New Tel- lament. It is not c kar wll n! th..:
pupil is being told here. Does it mean thai in the Vcclic literature
thel'c arc no "i ndi vidual reli gious" teltt s like the Rigl'l:'lW?
It is bettcr 10 use the spelling 'Quran' Ihan ' Kuran ",
Page 8S
" During Rig Vedic times. people we re settl ed in the sume :J !'cn
re pr ese nt ed by Harapptln Ci vili t, Olioll, i.e . Afg hunis i ll n.
Pakis tan. Punjab. Gujarat. Rajas than Haryana and Wcstl.'l"Il U.P."·
( Emphasis as in original).
There is no Harappan s ite in Afghani st an, cxt.:cpt
Shurtughai, an Isol ated outpost on the Oxus - a ri ver nOl al illI
mentio ned in the Rigveda. No o ne has c laimed 10 10e,lIe all y
reference to Gujarat in the Ri gvcda. It cun. t herefurc. he
Ihal the territories of the Ri gvedic peopl e and Indus Clvlli z:lli un
\ln ly part ly coincided.
Page 88
" You have already learnt thai Ithel largest number of Hanlppan
sett lements are found on Saraswali river."
Few Indus sites have been found on the SaraS\311 I' ivcr.
The hager number is found on or ncar PlIlhtli. Gh.lgg. ar.
Chuut ilng and Hakru rivers. The twu largt.:st t\l\vns Harappa UII\I
Mnhcnjo Daro are o n the Ra vi and Indus flvcrs.
Page 89
" The name of this country us Bharal is after the Rig Vedil' pl.'upk
Bharatn ...
This is by 1\11 means cstahlished. The PUrallll' .lII d 11th., .
Ancient India, Class VI 1;1
sources suggest more than one indi vidual after whose son,' the
count ry could be so named.
Page 89
"There were rules which governed the debate and behaviour \ )1
membe rs in Sabha and Samit; like (sic!) in'uur parli anlcnl.··
We'll be next told that a Speakcr also pruvllJed furt
We just do not know what rul es, if any, were made (by\ wholll'.'l
for proceedings of the Sabha and Sami t; . Di ce abH phlycll
there, which is not done as yet in "our parliament"!
Page 89
" Economic LIfe"
" Vedas prescribe punishmcnt for injuring or ki ll ing llhcl Cl'W hy
,
expulsion from the kil/gdom or by deaIh pellalty. the case
may be". [Emphasis as in the original].
The bold lellers in whi ch the words "expu lsIOn from the
kingdom" and "death penalty" are put show thut Makkhnn L:l1
wis hes to invite the pupil 's favourable anenll on to
Where preci sely these puni shment s are menti oned not 'HHed .
How does this reli gi ous prescription Clime unller
"'Economic Life"? There is no doubt that cattle were .\ I:t ughtered
wi dely In the Indus Civi li za ti on as well as in such lItter l' uluHl' '''
as were contemporaneous with the Rigveda. as is shown by ampk
re mai ns of ox-bones. This is not mentioned here.
Page 90
Social ' Lire
"'The Rig Vedic society mainl y compri sed four I 'Mllas .... The
teachers were called brahmal/(u; rule rs and
bharriyas; farmers. merchants and banhrs I'u;.ryw (sic!): and
artisans and labourers as sudras (sic!)."
There is' no proof that there was a separate profess ion of
" teachers"; Brahmans should be designated priests . THe te rm
bhutri)"Q does not occur In the Purusha-sll ktu; rajel.ll)"(1 is the..
term used: " Rulers and warriors". rathe r than " rulers and
admi Ol strators (a very modcrn- looki ng designation)," would he
a better description of the rajanY(ll kshatriya castc. There is no
proof that artisans and labourers were shuilros. The textbook
totall y omits to mention slaves (dasas). whereas they, inciUding
fe male slaves (dasis), are ment ioned frequentl y in the Rigve.da,
14
Index of Errors
wh-i le the four varna$ are only menti oned once.
Page 90
..... Child marriage was unknown. One cou ld marry the persnll
of hi s Ot her own choice ... Father's property was inherited hy
all hiS children .....
Such statemems are without basis and meant s imply 10
project the Vedic Period as an ideal age. There is no proof thUI
daughters Inherited their father's property along with the sons.
Page 90
Food and Drink
·'Howe-ver. drinking of soma and sura wert; lsic! I disuppruveJ
and discouraged because it caused ugly behaviour by people,"
There is no proof thai soma was disapproved of. It W:\i>
throughout highl y praised.
Page 90
:'The, yajnas were the most common rituals",
It is not explained what the yoj1lQS were : and it
from the reader that these in volved animalh::Iulc
sacrifi ces.
Pllge 91
-Upanishads are the works of most profound phi ll)s\lphy In .my
religion."
This is a characteri stic way of instilling In the mHld of
the pupil the superi or it y of the Hindu religion abov<; (llht'r
re ligions. There was no need to insen " in any religion" ufte r Ihe
word " philosophy".
Page 91
"Sciences"
The first paragraph is wrong in sialing thut " Vcd:ls.
Brahmanas and Upanishads" di s (ingubh the sci..::ncl':; (If
"Geometry (rekha gOIl; Ia), Algebra (bija gal/iw) and
and Astrology ljyotisllO)." The Vedas do nOI even me ntion
sciences by the Sanskrit names given or by any other.
Ancien! Ilidia, ela$.\ VI
L'
91
"The ;:ero was known ... Also the positional value or each number
with its absolute was known."
The claim thai the Vedic people knew of lero and the
method of representmg numbers by giving pogilional value.' tu
digits (accordi ng to the decimal syslcm'!) IS absurd. When the
an of writing was not employed, positional values r..:ou ld Just
nOl have been given to the digits. Even later on, In the Brahmi
script u/1tilthe 6th century AD, higher numbers were represented
by different symbol s. such as for len twenty, hundred. etc" and
there was no symbol for zero,
Page 91
" In the Vedic period. astronomy was well developed ... It helped
them in accurately preparing their calendars and predh.:ting the
time of solar and lunar edipses ."
l'here is no proof of either the use. of e rus or
predic ti on uf eclipse§ in Vedic times.
Page 91
';They also knew that the earth moved on i/S (/wn (.ui.)' Wid
aroulld the sun." (Emphasis as in original) .
This is ent irely baseless, Aryabhatta W(lS the f irst
astronomer in tndi.a to present the hypothesis of the ehrth moving
on Its own axis. as this textbook ltself notes on page 117. This
too was not accepted by other Indi an astronomers. No one
claImed thaI the earth moves uound the sun.
Page 91
"These calculations lor movements of hea ven ly arc
almost the same 85 calculated by the modern scientifIC methods,"
This is an absurd mis represenlaljon of the facts. No such
calculations survi ve from the Vedic period.
Page 91
"The Vedic Civilization appears to have been fairly advanced.
People li ved in cities ( nagar). fortified cities (pura) and vi Jiages."
That urban life had developed in the Vedic period is a
most dubious proposition. aod is not accepted by most scholars.
16
Index of Errors
Page 91
Some General Conclusions
"Sc.: ience was studi ed and vari ous branches of science were we ll
developed. They. made accurate calendars and could predict thc
li'TIC of ecli pses. Even today us ing their method we can predict
the time of eclipse with 3. margin of only one to two hours."
Sec comment made above on a si mil ar statement made
earl ier on this page. Mere repetition of a claim does not make i t
mote acceptable.
Page 91
" Many scho la rs thin k that Rigvedi c Cult ure and Harappa n
Culture arc the same. However, some scholars do not agree wit h
t hi s. "
The actual position is the reverse. Nearly all , except for
',,\ few r e ~ e n l converts to the opposire view, reject the identity of
the Vedic cultu re with the [ ndull (Harappan) Civilization and
would place the Rigveda much later than the Indus Civilization.
Page 92
Exercises
In the exercises the importance given to unhi storical claims is
funher underl ined, such as the Vedi c people's knowledge of zero,
earLh's revolution a round the sun. and exact prediction or
eclipses, The de ath penalt y for killing or inj uring a cow is also
not allowed to be forgotten .
12. Indian History (600 to 100 BC)
The Age of Janapadas and Mabajanapadas
Pa ge 93
"Here [in the "Ganasanghas, i.e. republics" ] the ru lers were
chosen by the people of the kingdom (sic!) like (sic!) Wl! choose
Our government today."
Were they c hosen by universal adult surrragc? Such
Inis represent ation is inexcusable, The republi cs were clearly
tribal aris tocracies. the chiefdoms being largely hereditary.
Page 95
"They also raised three crops in the year."
'Ihey coul d have on ly raised two main harvests. One does
AII(:ielH India. Clau VI 17
not know how the author gets hi s three crops.
Page 96
" Buddha was very critical of thi s jali system and preached simpl.:
li vi ng."
Read in context. the sente nce implies that thc Buddha
approved of the va rna system. b)n not of jali.\·. The term jm;
meant 10 Ihe Buddha an endogamous tribe like thc Shakyas. while
the main discriminations in law (as in puni shments) werc on the
basis of llama, n01 jari (as in the Arthashastrll and M(JIIIl.I'lIIrili) .
The Buddha was certainl y opposed to the 'va rna sys te m. and
thi s should have been clearl y menti uned.
The Age of the Mauryas
Page 98
" He [Chandragupta MauryaJ ovenhrew Nandas with the help 0 1
his teacher Ko",if)'a. also known as Clumakya". The credil of
thi s unifi cation (Chandragupta's conquests l is ri ghtl y given Ic)
Chanakya ......
Since all references to Kautil ya's advice or aid he long
10 much later tradition. a statement about hi s aid to Chllndraguptil
can hardl y be made in positive or unqualified terms. lei ill une
assigning to him the credit for creating the Mauryan emflire.
Page 98
.•. .. Greek General So!ljjcus" .
The standard spelling is Seleueus. Moreovl! r. Sclcucus
was a Macedonian. like Alexander. and not 'a Greek.
Page 98
" At (he lime of Alexander ' s att ac k. lndian kings behaved
cowardl y (s ic!) and indifferently. This hUft Chanakya deepl y and
fi ll ed him with anger. To defend the country .. . and to get rid nf
the weak rul ers . Chanakya encouraged his st udents 10 rai!\e an
army under the leadership of Chandragupta Maurya."
Such patrioti c sentiments lhat arc att ributed 10 ChanakY;1
do nOI occur even in the traditional lore (e.g. in the DivyavidwI(J
or Mlldrarakshasa) and are apparentl y laken from a TV serial.
Page 98
" He (Chanakya) was a teache r of Ar thashashtra (J'ic
C
) in
18
Index of Errol's
Takshashila Un iversit y."
A sheer fant asy. In any case, Mukkhan La] should ha ve
spell "Arthashastru" correctl y.
Page 98
"Megasthenes" is the correct spelling, n OI "Megasthenc.se."
Page 99
Map: The Mauryan Empire.
"Taksasila" (Taxjla) is shown as situated well to the wesl
of the Indus. not , as it stands, [0 its east near l slarn abad.
Kapilavast u is similarl y wrongly plolte d a littl e nOrth 0 1
Allahabad; and there is no spot fOr 'Sravasti ' .
Page 101
"In no other period of [odian history do we find so many
of officers as in the Mauryan period."
There is no basis for thi s statement. No such comparison
been made anywhere. ft is in any case a primalacie
assertion: The Mughal Empire is likel y to have maintained a much
larger bureaucracy than the Mauryan Empire.
Page 101
"KuUl ilyu's Arthashashtra is one of the greatest books on
pol it y" .
But can we get its spelling ri ght! Read: Arthal'II(lSf ra ,
Page 101
"[Under the Mauryas] Because of very strict admi ni stration and
the people obeying the law, life was peaceful and prosperous."
This kind of ' Golden-Age' are p'a rlicul arly
te ndentious when one knows from the Arthashasrra (whose
testimony is obviously used to describe Maurya a admini stratiOn
in thi s book) that the lower cl asses were severely repressed.
Page 101
"Forests. mines, wild animals and other nalural resources were
considered as publi c propert y and protected by law."
Not ' public property', but 'royal property', sure ly. The
formul a ' by law' is still more misleading; kings' edicts, not laws.
a re more rel evant here. And the King 's e di cts reServed the
Ancien( India, Clan VI

animals, mines , etc. , for the king' s use rather than 'prOte"clclr
them. Tbe claims as made here for environmental protection in
Mauryan times are sheer fantasy, not history.
Page: 101-2
"Ashoka in his rock-edict XII advised people to maintain
harmony in the (sic!) society by respect for each other and not
critici sing each other. He said Ibat one musllearn and appreciate
the other's point of view. He further said that disputes must bl!
sett led by talks among the elders of the communi! ies." '
Thi s is a gross misrepresentation of Ashoka's Rock Edict
XII. which warns against members of religious
exalting their own and condemning other religions. The fact that
such warning was needed mi ght suggest thai there in fact existed
religious or sectarian tensions in societ y" Thi s Impression tht!
author seemi ngly wishes to avoid\ and so reduces Ashoka's call
for reli gious toleration to a mere advice fOr apprec.iati On of ead":
olher's "point of view", unconnected with rel igion. There is,
finally, nothing in the edict about '·dis putes .... [being}
by talks among e lders of the communities" -Ihis is an invention
pure and si mple.
P3;ge 102
"It is said that Ashoka dedicated all hi s energies and resources
to bu"ild a moral society and welfare state. ·This weakened the
ar my and administrative machinery. Due to thi s, neighbouring
Indo-Greeks invaded and conquered many parts (If n9rthern
India. "
All this is baseless speculation. There is no proof thaI
Ashoka weakened the army. and very slight one that the"l ndo-
Greeks invaded and seized any parts of India during the time 0\
the Mauryan empi re. But suc h .criticisms. o f Ashob occur
frequently in Parivar writings.
Page 102
"The Army Chief Pusliyamilrll Sung" (sic!) killed him LIas!
Mauryan ruler, Bri hadratha] in 187 Be. This is the only incident
in the history of India till twelfth century AD when a k.ing wal>
kill ed and replaced."
The aUemp! here is to show Ihat the crime of regicide
was brought in by Mus lims. However, ancient Indian political
20
Index of error.f
history is replete with similar instances.
In tbe Buddha's own life-lime Prasenajit . the King of
Kosala, was dethroned and kill ed by hi s son Vidudabha; and
Bimbisara. the King of Magadha, was killed by hi s son ,
Ajatashatru. The Nanda dynasty of Magadha was fou nded by its
founder after murdering the last rul er of the Sishunaga dynasty.
A strong tradition developed that Chandragupt 3.I1 (c.38 1-414
AD) killed his cider brother Ramagupt3 and married :he lalle r 's
widow (vide DevichandragupUlm), showing that such an act wu:-.
by no means cons idered eit her unthinkabl e or necessarily
immoral. For the murders of kings, there is evidence enough i n
Kalhll.fla's Rajafarangilli as well: Unmatthavanti (937-39) kilktl
his father Partha (931-35). Parvagupta (949-50) slew the l:hild*
king Sangramadeva (948-49) to install himself on "the throne.
Putling king Bhimagupta (9'15-8 1) to death, Queen Didda (98 1-
1003) herself ascended the thronc. Uc hd<f la (reigned. I lOl -
l I ) overthrew and killed king Harsha ( 1089-1 10 1), Ii! he himselr
slain by Radda. who then crowned himse lf ( 1111,.
Much can be added in thi s vein. The above is sulTit.:ient
to show the utter lack of hist oricity in the claim made in the
textbook about the rareness of the occurrence or regicide in
ancient India.
Page 105
"13. Megalithic Culture of Deccan and South India"
Instead of "CUlture", it should be "Cult ures" , since there was
no single megalithic c'J lture.
Page lOS
"00 you know that it (iron) bega n to be used in lndia about
1600 BC."
The dale is excess i ve ly carly: the undi sputable usc of
iron is no earlier than 1000 Be. There is no consens us behind
"tl. ny earlier date.
Note: The short chapter (pp.1 05-6) on Deccan and South
[ndian megalithic cultures contains no mention of the origins of
the Dravidian languages, a very important aspect of not only
south Indian hi story. but Indian hi story in general ,
Early History or the Deccan and South India
Page 107
"The Sa[:lvahanas had a large fleet or ships."
Ancient Illdia, Class VI
2 1
There 'is no proof available for this statemenl.
Page 107
"The Satavahanas were succeeded by in
Maharashtra .... ,. (emphas is as in original).
A gross blunder: The Vakatakas (who arc II Ot mentioned)
have been obviously confounded wit h the Rashtrnkutas.
Page 109
"Sanskrit language, Indian names and religIOn also spread' widely
lin Southeast Asia]."
W .. s there only one Indian religion '! What about Ih..:
spread of Buddhism In south·east Asia along wilh BrahmllnKIll'!
"14. North India after Mauryas and Sungas"
Page 111
"The Kushnnas came from Chinese part of Taklamakan de!'en."
The whole of Taklamakan D<!sert is in China, n04 jU!'t
any part of it
Page HZ
"Within Buddhism two sects developed. namely, Huwwlllu and
Mahayana . In Ihe Mahayana the images of Buddha arc
worshipped".
There is no difference in respect of images between
"Hi nay ana" and "Mahayana." Moreover, "Hinayana" is the term
MahayanislS use for the rival sect. "Theravada" should better be
used instead of "Hinayana".
Page 112
Not ·'Oharmashas htras." but "Ohan.n3shastras". is the
correct spelling.
Page 112
••... most of the invaders who came to India during lhis period
accepted one Indian religion or the Olher. They absorbed the
(sic!) Indian cuhure and became part of the ('\'ic!) Indian society."
The s upplementary statcmcnI that they (especially the
Greeks) influenced Indian culture, science and art i!' nOI made-_
though this aspect is equally important.
22
The. Gupta Empire
Page 114
Index of Erron'
' This piJlar inscriptIOn of Samudragupta is also known as Prel,m,lt
P, (JShashri."
Read "Prashasti."
Page 117
"The Guptas Cont ributed signi fi cantly tow3rds the development
of science and technology by gIving patronage to great
No such act of patronage is kno ..... n to us.
Page 117
"He (Aryabhatta) rearfinned thaI the earth revolvc1> anjun,1 the
sun and rolates on its own axis. which IS accepted even ·h)Jay.··
The word "reaffirmed" is used in ... iew of the faci thai
the two discoveries are already attributed to the Ved,c. times !
Aryabhatta did not say lhal the earth revolves around the sun:
on ly Ihat it revolves on it s own axis .
T ht' Era or Harsha
Page 120
" Harsha was a devOlee of Siva He supported other sec.!!. I
reli gions also."
The purpose here seems to be to sidestep H:.trshu·s uwn
personal attachment to Buddhism, well descnhed by Yuan
Chwang. and corroborated by Dana.
Page 121
Heading of Map: "The (sic!) Harsha's empire."
What kind of EngliSh will chi ldren learn from such
Ignorant use of the art icl e "the"?
15 Deccan and South India
Page 124
"A painting in an Ajanta cave shows PtJlkes llln II [rl!ct.
Pulakeshin II] receiving the ambassador or Iran".
Thi s interpretation of two panels in Ajanla Cave I is
now generally doubted, and ought not to be repented wi thout
much qualification.
Ancient India, Class VI 23
Corre,ct also the exercise 3(ii i) on page 127, accordingly.
16. lndia's Cultural Contacts with the Outside WOI'ld
Pages 128-129
.... , t here were t rading a nd culfural con tac t s the
Harappa n Civili zation and the Egyptian and Mesopotamian
Civi lizations .. ."
There is no evidence of any contact between the
Harappan Civil ization and Egypt.
Page 129
.. ... As hoka sent his missionaries to five western countries on
dhammavij ayayatra" (emphas is in original):
While dhammal'ijaya is a genuine Ashokan term,
dhammavijayayatra (3 hybrid Sanskrit-Prakrit combi nation) is
a purely manufactured one; and its use here, as if i t was an
Ashokan te rm. is uncalled for.
Page 130
'·Ashoka senl his missionaries to Central Asia."
A baseless statement.
Page 130
"Larges t statues of Buddha at Bamiyan were a landmark in Ihis
region since 151 century AD."
The Buddha fi gures in Bamyan were cut in ro(:1;; no carlier
than the 6 (11 century and they are first described in the 7th century
by Yuan Chwang. There is no sanction for the date of l SI century
given here. See D. Klimburg-Saller, The Kingdom (1/ Bom(wH/ ,
Naples, 1989.
Page 130
·From the days of Ramayall(l India had close li nks with Sri
L.anka." (Emphasis as in original)
Does the author mean that our "close" relations with
Sri Lanka began with Lord Rama's overthrow of Ihe Sri Lankan
ruler land demon) Ravana? Nice way 10 win friends in Sri
The incident of Rama's invasion of Sri Lanka and the killing vI'
Ravana fi gures in no history of Sri Lanka·, nor. I'or that maHer.
Ihe story recognised historical even in the leltlbook under
24 Index of Errors
review. How can. then, Indian-Sri Lankan relati ons have begun
with the R4mayalla .
Page 131
" . .. the Indians learnt the art of growing sil k and making papel'
from China,"
Neither seri culture nor paper- manufacture apPCilrcd in
India before the 13th century, and bot h came here Ilia Muslims.
As the sent e nce s la nds it suggests misl ead ingly t hat the.
technologic al adopt ions belonged to lhe anc ient period.
17. Major Retlgions
Hinduis m
Page 133
" Hi ndui sm ... js also known as Sal/ aWfUl Dharma, i.c. the Et e rnal
Spiritual Tradit ion of Indi a." (Emphasis asin original)
Sana rana mea ns eterna l , ancient. One can render
SlHwtallo Dharma as eternal faith or 3m:ient cuslOm or tradi ti on.
The j,ddilion "of Indi:1" is unwarranted, apparentl y dOne to
ins inuate that Hi ndUism as the S(/I/i/wna Dharma is the only
s piri tual tradition of India (not eve n Buddhi sm or hlini.sm).
Page 134
" Hills and mountains are also given sanctity by Hindui sm. MOlillt
Kaila,w (sic!) Ilnd Vaikuntha (the abodes of Siva lind Vis hnu )
and ri vcrs such as Ganga, Saraswati and Kaveri are considert!d
holy." (Emphas is as in original),
One needs to go to China to revere Kailash , but huw
docs One go to Mount Vaikunrha (paradise)?
Page 134
"Hi nduism laid great stress on varnashrum dlwrmtL, These four
stages o f li fe were meant ~ o be foll owed by all ind ividuals
irrespect ive of their caste, creed and belief."
And also irrespective of§ex, if they wereJuSI individual s '
BUI 10 say that women and persons ot her than the. ·twice-horn '
(dvija,. s uch as chandalas and sh udras , cou ld I' o ll ow
vamushram dhurma is absurd. It is st range that neither the c:\ste
(vl/ m a(jati) sys tem nor the dhamwsJlllsfrll texts llrt' mentioned
;n the chapter on Hi ndui sm.
Ancient Illdia, Clan VI 25
Page 134
"Upanishads are the greatest works of philosophy ill the hi stOry
of humankind."
For the Upanishads. the adjective 'great ' could of course
have passed; but "greatest" implies a kind of comparison of whi ch
none is capable. It gives away the author 's own anxiety to
es tabli sh Hindui sm's superiority over all oIlier re ligu:ins and
philosoph,cal traditi ons.
Page 134
Since Kabir expressly critIcised bpth Hinduism uml
Islam;-hi s name cannot figure among those who accepled Hindu
bllllk,i Ui; is done in the last but onc paragraph on thi s page.
Page 135
·· It (Hinduism) does not believe that there is only one Way of
achieVing salvation like other monothei stic religions:'
Here 100 the compari son is uncalled for, Almost every
monotheistic embraces several paths to sulvation, liS IS
seen In Islam, with differe nl pe rceptions'of salvation and 0 1
different ways to salva ti on in .,u fhm as well as theological Islam.
Page 135
"Fol lowing the philosophical traditi on of Upanbhad!> and six
philosophies in Hinduism, quest for salvatiOn through knowledge
continued. This gave rise to 1ainism and Buddhism."
The obv ious anxiety is 10 show thil l Jaill1sm unJ
Buddhism arose out of Hinduis m and nol in opposit ion 10 It.
Thi s is unhisloricaJ; ilnd there was no nced 10 make II
, ided .suu..:menl.
Judaism
137
.••..• UIIC of the Israelis called Moses .. .'·
Read ·· Israeli te" for ·· Israeli:· ··Israeli·· m C;lIUi 11 dlil.Cll
uf the modern state of hrael.
Zoroastrianism
Page 138
··Zuru<lstrianism was the rcligiOll IIf Iran unit! Its oy
26 Index of Errors
the Arabs when most of its people were convened to Is lam."
The wording suggests to t he reader .t hat the I rani an
people were immediately converted (0 Islam upOn Arab
conquest of Iran in t he 7t h cenwTy. On the contra ry. the
conversion was a long-drawn oul process. Tn fact, [he Umayyad
regime (660-750) strongly ,discouraged conversions for fiscal
reasons.
Chris tia nity
Page 138
"He (Jes us emphasized on (sic!) one God. "
"Other sects also emerged who (sic!) call themselves Free
Churches."
The lingui stic errors here are just illustrative of what
the whole textbook IS li ke.
Pages 137 · 138
Neither in the account of Judais m, nor in that of Christianity, is
the re any reference made to the spread of the rel igion concerned
to lndia, though both Jewis h and Christian communi ties have
ell.isted in India since ancien! times . The coming of these fa iths
to Indi a is also not ment ioned in Chapter 16 (Ind ia's Cult ural
Contacts with the Outside Worl d), where the spread of Hinduism
and Buddhism 10 other countries much commented on.
Page- 138
"The Holy Book of Chris ti ans is known as the Bible."
Surely, the New Tc:stament should have been especially
mentioned he re, as the tell.t containing t he core of Christ's
teachings. The author is obviously unawa re of the degree of
influence the New TeStament exercised in the formation of the:
thought of lhe Father of our Nation.
Page 3
2
Makkhan Lal, Allcient Inclia
(Textbook for Class Xl)
Puhlished: bClobeJ" 2002
"Ashoka, in his Rock Edict XII , insisted nn . ... SCI1 "C of unity (If
all religions ... [mectln,gl of exponents of dilTerent
and ... learning [he lex Is of other rdigitlo".:'
These delails. viz., unity of religions. IOIc=r- religiom
assemblies and learning of ather religions' texts. are the f1utho,j" 's
own inve nti ons. These are not at all to be found in Ashokan
edicts. including R. E. XII, which last is essentially concerned
with religious tol erance and removal of sectarian discord.
Page 5
in all the Purallos royal genealogies are <kat! Wllh Iwith1
the reign of Parikshi t. the grandson of ArJulI, 3S a
All the earlier dynasties and kings have been mentioned in pa,t
te nse. While .the lalter (sic) kings and dynasties have been
narrated in wture tense. This may be because of the f:lct that the
coronation ot Parikshit marks the beginning of Kali Age. Many
sc holars think that this also points to the fact that perhar!' Ihe
Puranos were completed during the re ign ·of Parikshit , .
. As no comment IS made by him on the vi.lidit y of th' l-
view (of the Puranas being compiled in the reign 01" Parikshil). il
will be assumed thaI the author agrees with such un absurd vie w.
Arc students required to believe that the authors of the Puruntls
were omnisciem and could see into the future. nhl c to
predi ct who Parikshit's successors woul d be for two thousand
years? And then why djd they s top where they do, e.g. most·ty in
the 9th century? Could they nOI foresee the future any further '!
Also to be noted lire the punctuation anll spe ll ing
mi stakes in the passage quoted above.
Pages 5·6
On page 5 th1: student is told: "t he knowledge of history
28 Indu of Errors
gIven a very high place in ancient Indi a. It was :1.I.: cordcd sancti ty
e qu al to a Veda : ' On page 6, however, he Ih:u
" Kathana's RajaIongini . . . is indeed a solitary example of
kind," The date of Rajararangini (c. 1 1 50) is concealed from
hi m. nor. its subject matlcr; and he is never told why, d' hi story
was such a respected branch of knowledge, Itlis work remnincd
"8 solitary eumplc",
Page 6
Pargiter is spelt "Pargilar", The s pell ing of Megast hanes is
Incorrectly given throughout the book. here as we ll as elsewhere.
as "Megasthenese".
Page 6
"The Greek a mbassador Megasthenese (sic) in the court of
Chandragupt a Maurya (c.314·300 S .C:) tes tifi es (si c) the
existence of a list of 153 kings whose reigns had covered a pe ri od
of about 6051 (or 6015) years ... This fr o lTI
Megasthenese's (sic) Indica is in conformity with the
Mahabharata war royal genealogy preserved in the
. This wou ld place the Mahabharata war somewhere
around 6377 B.C.! No hi storian. not even Proressor B.B. Lal,
who excavated the "Mahabharata" sites in order to the '
historicity of the Mahabharata story, gives such an earl y dale.
The present author, Makkhltn La!, writes in Ihis
connect ion that H.C. Raychaudhuri (misspelt as
here and elsewhere) attempted "to write hi story on the basis of
genealogies of various dynasties given in Purana:;," BUI he .
not tell hi s readers thai Raychaudhuri the' dale of
Mahabhara(a war and accession of Parikshit in Ihe ninth
B.C. Further, Raychaudhuri ex.pressed agreement wi th
Davids that Megasthenes possessed very liule crit ical judgcmcnt
and was often misled by hi s informants.
See also our comment on a similar slatement rcgard;n!!!
Megaslhenes made on page 116 by MaHlum Lal.
Page 6
" (After Megaslhenes] nex.t important phase of historiography
begins with Alberuni .. . "
All this comes under the heading "Early Foreigners".
and Makkhan Lal clearly confuses foreign !\l:counts 1I$
AncielH India (Class XI)
'"
of history with historical works, when he s peak s here o f
"h istoriography." In any case he omit s altogether the verv
important Chi nese accounts, especiall y, those of Fahien, Yuan
Chwang and I-Ising whi ch are such imponanl histori cal sources.
Page 7
"Some of t he: leading Intellectuals of {he nineteenth centu ry
trading (sic) of (sic) thi s path William Jones ... Kurt Mar}!.
"
Whatever might be said of Karl Marx., it is absurd to say,
as is here implied, that he shared wilh others any "i nterest in
enl arging the European for economic exp lt)i lalion ,"
Makkhan Lal seems unaware that Marx was a trenchant critic of
colonial exploitati on of India: Thus the statement also on page
14 that "Marx was a great votary of India being ens laved by
Briti s h" .. a nd th a t " he was not really fr ee from rac;' a l
cons ideniti ons," belongs equally to the realm of fantasy.
Pages 8-10
" Imperiali st Historiography"
The larger part of the text of thi s secti on is taken up nOI
by how imperialist historians shaned their view at Indian history,
but by how. as Chri stians, tbey tri ed to understress the an.ti.quit y
of Hindu culture because of their belief in the Bible and the
dating of Creation, on its bas is, to 4004 BC. Statemenls such a!>
the foll owing (p.1 0) show an unaq::eptabl y biased attitude
towards Chri stianity; "Such effort s on the part of Europel1n .
scholars, c hiefl y Briti sh brought some relief (to Christian!;?]
and thi s approach safe for Chri stianity al;ld its followers."
Page 9
" .. . Therefore ... a ll he IMa}!. Mull e r] had was [ Us her's
of) 6000 years, i. e. upto 4000 Be. wi thin which the
entire history of uni verse had to be fitt ed. It was under this gui di ng
principle [that) William Jones, Max Mulle r, Vincent Smith and
OIhers wrote Indian history."
ft is sill y to suppose that if someone was a Christian and
believed in the truth of the Bible (including the Genesis), he
must have dated the creat ion of the Unive rse to c.40UO B,C.
Makkhan Lal forgets that those who had worked out the sequence
of geological ages and their long-t ime-span were also Christia·ns.
'Ii
flJdex oj Errors
not Hindus. How false are Makkhan Lal's allegations one
10 read only the follo wing lines from Vincent A. Smllh. O.if"rd
HisTOry of India. Chapter I: "Man has existed o n the earth till';J
time bc,Yond computation, but certainly to be estimatell In
hundreds of thousands rat her than in thousands of ... certain
pariS of India were occupied by human beings at <l time
remote ... " These lines and Olher statement s in the sa me
paragraph show bow absurd it is 10 attribute to V A. Smith "and
others" the kind of belief in the lime of creati on that Makkhllil '
Lal assigns 10 them.
Page 13
' -The cont ributions of all these gretH lindianl scholur .. helped III
dearing the mi st built (.ric) by the miSSIOnaries amlth(, impcriniisl
hislurians."
No "mi ss\onar y" hi storian has hcen . mcnt1(lnci.l Int'
creating the undefinci.l " mist. " The reference i .. Just a pan of the
ilnli-Christ ian position Mukkh:tn Lal wishes 10 pn1d:um. NUl 1\
hi s assert ion a fa ir comment on the many Indlall hi "lurwo, Ill'
. names, who wished to unravel Indill' s pa!>\ 10 :I crHlcal lind
ubject i ve ma nner. rather th iln just g lCHify It I" pal'll S:l1l
propagandists.
Page I J
" Karl Marx and F. Engels clearly ud. oowlcdgclll hcir
dellt 10 F.W. HegeL"
Marx and Engels ackn<lwlcdgcd their "kilt ..:lcllll' nl
of dialectics in Hegel ian philosuphy; even ,\\1 the} n .. 'Jl'\: I.: J
Hegel's idealism, and therefore hi S enlire vil!w 1)1' !-I n.lllry. II , ..
therefore lotall y mi sleading 10 give so mw.:h SP;U':IC In Hq!d',
hi storica l ideas on puges I under the Iteallillg " M:I!·s i .. \
School of His tory".
Page 14
Col.l. line 12: Read 'appall ed' for ' ;JPP:lUlcd '
Page J4
" In 1ndia also there IS a signiri canl traditi on \If ·Hcgdl,IIH:-.IlI '.
'Nc(l-Hegcliani sm' - and ·Anti-Hegelianism· ...
This is jusl one of Ihe many meaningless slall'lU\.'IlI S III
the book.
Anciellf Illdia (Cla.\·.\· XI) .11
Page 14
"Thh, (Marxist] schoo l al $O like the imperialht school find
anything good in the Indian civiJizati(/Il."
Makkhan La[ seems to finu himselr cntitk_u til say
anything he <likes about anyone whom he uisJikes. He uues nnt
seem to have heard of D.O. Kosamhi 's ClIlwre amI Ci vili::.,(lfitm
of Indi a or D.P. ChaUopadhyaya's Lolwyar. It is no wonder that
Makkhan Lal makes such sill y statements as thai
cons ider the age of Kushanas only as , I "Golden Age'} and the
period 500-1200 as a "Dark Age".
Page IS
fn the list of Marxist hi storians of ant:i\;nl Indiu, II
strange to find the names of " frfan Habib, Blpan Chllndru". WlllhC
main fi e ld,S li e in medieval and modern history, A-" ror "Rnllulll
Thapcr" (.so s pe ll). there seems no (except Ihe new urge 10
ca[ 1 all scientifically minded hi storians as "Leflisl s'") fur cla-"-,,ing
her among Marxists. On the other hand. so pronuunced a sclf-
proclaimed Marxi SI historian of ancient Indian philosophy and
science as D.P. Chattopadhyaya is left oul.
Page 17
Perhaps following A.A. Macdonell, Makkhan LaJ
Vedic and Sanskrit separately among the literary But
unl ess the students are also infOrmed that Vedic and Silmknt
constitut e onl y two phases of the same language done hy-
Macdonell , who by $anskrll mean$ class ical Sanskrit. thc stuJ ent
wi ll tarry the impress ion that these lire t\VO separate.
languages, Makkhan Lal writes. that Ihc " Vedic literat ure .,' ,Ire
entirely in n different language." Docs he mean that Vedl ":
language is nOI Sanskrit al all?
Page 17
thi s cltcellenl an of writi ng in ( precept s)."
S/Ura meilns a Ihrend, whence a line, When works were
composed for memori zation it was convenient 10 luve rule:.. c le ..
framed in shari , preferably rhyming sentences. ' Prece pt\' IS a
furthe r denved meaning from the facl that legal texts (tht !lO'
call ed sutras ) were wrillcn in sutra-form. The two
are here confl"Hlnded. Furthermore, wr iting was nOI known thc. n.
The "c.\(ce llenl art of writi ng" could onl y ha ve heen Ihal or
32 IIlde,t of Errors
composing short sente·nces (surras).
Page 19
"Sangama (sic) ... arc. in all, 30,000 lines of poetry arranged in
two main groups, t'ari"e"kllkallakkll and PattI/pauli . The former
is older (hun the· latter."
This is a mi sleading statement. In all Refounts the
enumeration of Sangam works begins with ErlIltQgal (Eight
Anthologies), which is followed by PattltplJIw (The Ten Poems)
and the "Patinenkilka"akkll (the collection of Eighteen Works).
The Tolkappiyam. the great grammatical work of Tamillanguag-e.
is also generally included in Sangam literature. Makkhan Lal
makes no mention,of EUlitogai and Tolkappiyam. How does he
arrive al 30,QOO lines of poctry when he leaves Ollt EUI/roga;?
This is only one example of the splipshod way Ihis textbook is
written,
Page 20
"But with the cxcavaliom, at Mohenjo Daro. Kalibangan and
Harappa, the antiquity of Indian civilization has gone back to
abollt 5000 Be."
Apart from the infelicity of placing 'excavatIons al
Harappa after those of Kalibangan. the ~ h o l e statement IS <t
simple piece of misrepresentation. Nothing al the three sites can
be possibly dated before c.3200 - if even that. And, if
"civilization" means presence of cities, no city in India can
possibly be dated earlier than c,2600 Be.
Pages 22 and 23
In place of the obverse side of a coin, the texi has "observe side"
and "on the observe",
Pages 25
"In ancient times this whole mass of land (Indian 5ubcbntinent)
was known as Bharatavarsha or Hindustan:'
The Puranas speak of Bharatavarsha, buY which ancient
lext mentions Hindustan?
Page 26
"The Hindukush Mountains , right from the Pamirs, form the
natural western boundary of the Indian subcontinent. The
AI/citml India (Class XI) 33
mounlains of Safed Koh, Sulaiman and Kirthar JiCparafC fran
from the Indian
The IWO sentences contain notbing bUI geographi .... ul
nonsense. If the Hindukush Mounlaim; mark the boundary of
"'tbe Indian subconlinenl". two-thirds of Afghanistan wou ld be
included in it. The assertion conOicts with Ihe very next Slalernenl
Ihat the Indian subconllnent reaches only up 10 Safed Kohl
Sulairnan and Kirthnr ranges. This would naturally exclude the
who le of Afghanistan and Baluchistan from it , II would be finally
news to some people that the borders of Iran come up to Safed
Koh , Sulaiman and Klrthar ranges, so Ihat no country like
Afghanistan exists at all!
Page- 28
'"Ptwchanarida (sjd ) or Punjab'".
If Makkhan Lal musl use a name ( ' Panchnnada' ) from
Ihe Mahabharata, he should at Jeasl get il righl. Punjab IS a
Persian w9rd meaning five (pan}) rivers (ab) . Panjnad or
Panchnad is the small seclion of the river after Chenab and Sutlej
unite until they run intO the Indus.
Page 32
"The name 'India' was first applied by the Achaemenid Persians
to the region watered by the Sindhu."
The Achaeme nid name for the Indus reg..ion was
'Hindush', not "India' .
Page 32
"'The Sapta-Sindhu referring [0 the region of the seven rivers of
Saraswat i (or five streams of the Sarasw31i together wi th the
Ganges and the Iamuna) was the term used for India in the Zend-
Avesta, the sacred book of Parasis (sic)."
How many errors can be collected together in just one
sentence! The Avestan name for the region was Hapta Hendu.
not Sapta Sindhu, which is its Vedic equiva.lent. Hupta He.ndu
was nOt used (or India in the Avesta, but for roughly the Panjab
as one of the sixteen regions created by Ahura, Mazda. The name
ill both its Avestan and Vedic forms. Hapta Hendu/Sapta Sindhu
shows that the Indus and its IribUiaries are concerned here, not
Saraswati or "the five streams of Saraswati" whatever that strange
expression means . Finally, the Ganga and Yamuna have never
34
IIU/ex of £rror.\
been counted among the 'Sapta Sindhu'; und the two rivers HI\,'
not at all mentioned in the Avesw ..
Page 32
" HinJu in Persian. Indos in Gl'cek .. art: .:nrrupl ,01
Sindhu."
Not at alL They nre des..:cndcd trom Avo.;s!<lll· ' I-I\!mlu'
which corresponded to Vedic 'Sindhu ', Neither was <I o..:oll"uPI
for m of the olher, but on the inten;hungcahilily 'I;' ,1110.1
·s ' between the Ave'Han and Vedic languages.
Page 32
"Thus the descend:!.nls of Bharala Clune \(I be kll\)wn as Indian.,
or Hindus."
This sl alement suggf!sts thaL all Indians Ufo.: Ul:SL'CIHkd
rru m a s ingle indi vidual Sharat3.. who in traJiliull I S Dilly Ih ... ·
progenilOf of t he tri be of Bharatas. belonging to the uf
Kurukshctra. Thi s is just the crention of a new (:Ind
genealogy for the Indian people llt the mos t ahsurd level , AI,, }
to be noted is the cllsy indentification of Indians with Hindu:-
made by Makkhan Lal here: non- Hindus are. hy implication, 1101
Indian s.
Page 3-1
"Tn saml:: of the sacred Lexts like the BhtHP'tl/{1 PUI'(Utu til"
Mallu.nll,;, i are found passages of palriOli!.. fervour
Bhanua varsha as fashiollell by t,h e Gods
Setting !l.SH.le the oddness of placing Pur/illu
before Mallwmlriti , and spelling "Gods", YJith a capil:11 G, tilt
aut hor dOeS nOI allow himself the luxur), of l'hecking wlwthcr
Ihe name Bharala-varl> ha ever occurs in the Mallloilifili . The
,s tateme nt he Ilttribules to it is not at all found there. It un ly
La Aryav3n3, o bviously making il identical with North
India, and never speaks of being especially divinely fa"hilllH:: LI
(Manu, n, 23-24). MOreover.lhe Shudras arc nullrcaleLi a" heing
bound in any way !O Aryavana - n curious aspect of :...:riplunll
"patriOfi :\m"' that is narurally overlooked by Mnkkhan LaL
Page 34
" Sectaria1l1sm is thus an aid 10 nationalism in Hindu c ulture ...
A ll these prayers and passnges show lhal a Hindu h:l." CkVall"J
min a religi on:'
Ancient India (Class XI)
Such extraordinaril y irrational infere nces from
asserti ons (see preceding comment) are made to suggest that true
pal'rioti sm can onl y be practised by Hindus, for whom it is :1 pan
of their re ligion! Supposedly, then, Hindus in Nepal and Sf!
L ,mka must by their faith be loyal onl y to, Bharutavarsha!
Page 38
Chi sti " should be "Salim Chi shti ".
Page 42
"The humans evol ved over a period of thes.e 42 lakhs (sic) years
and the present for m reached about 50,000 years ago."
The dal.ing is obsolete. The Anatomi call y Modern Man
is much older than 100,000 years, as has been shown by
remalllS in both Afric a and Palestine.
Page 45
"The identi cal shape, size aod nature of the Upper Pal acolit hi ,,:
specimen, dated 9000- 8000 BC, and the ones that are kept in
the modern vi ll age shrines is signi ficant."
refers to u piece of ferrugi nous sands tone found 011
s:lIldstone rubble platform belonging to Baghor I c ul ture datable
to 25,500- 10,500 years ago (not just 9000-8000 BC). Si nce we
do not knO\v its exact Signi fi cance, it is not legiti mate. \0 a!>Sume
that liS "nature" is the same as that of Similar 'stones worshipped
female pri nci ple or Sakti fsi c ! Shaktil in .he counlrys ldc" as
Makkha n La l argues, tryi ng to push back modern beliefs to a
period over 10,000 years ago.
Page 46
""The C- 14 dates ava ilabl e for the Mesoli thi c culture ... "
There is no explanat ion provided in the textbook of whul
C·l"; dati ng js.
Page 50
" Rk c seems to have been domesticated in India hy ahout 70(H)
BC as the cvi J cncc rrom Koldihwa in the Belan vllllcy .
The author should have noted that Ihis clai111 I " IhlW
wluely
36 Index of Envrs
('age 60
"Likewise the figurines lin M:llw8 culllJrcj
probably resembling srivarsa, the symbol of Lakshmi. .. In a
painted design on a pot. a deity is shown with dishevelled httir
recalling Rudra of laLer period. A painting on a jar [ouod from
(sic) Daimabad ... some scholars compare It with the 'Siva
Shival Pashupati' depicted on a seal from Mobanjo Oaro ... Two
figurines from lnamgaon. belonging \0 Jorwe cullOre. been
ide ntified as prolo-Ganesh ... Several headless figurines found
at fnamgaon have been compared with Goddess Visira of the
Mahabharrlla. "
All these stalemeniS amount to sheer ;JnJ
the reader is never made conscious of the distance in time and of
the difference in actual depiction between thc c hakolithi c
figurines and e lement s of very late Hindu iconography.
Page 6S
The name of n.R. Sahni is missspclt as "Sailn;",
Page 66
"This ancienl civili zation lthe Indus Civil ization} of India like
any other, cannot properly be studied on the basis of its present,
day (l) political boundaries. The geographical distribution [of
what?] should be its basis."
Does the author himself know what he wants 10 say?
Page 66
"The tOlal geographical area over which this civilization
flourished is more than 20 t imes of the area of Egyptian anti
more than 12 times of the area of Egyptian and Mesopotamian
civilizat ions combined. It covers an area of about 12,50,000 !'IoC(.
km."
The area of Egyptian civi lizat ion covered about 300,000
and Mesopotamian about 400.000 square km, Even if one accepts
Mak khan LaJ's inflated figure for the Harappan cultu re area
(1,250,000 sq. km. instead of just 7+ or 800,000 sq. km.) . ;1
cannbt be 20 ti mes the size of Egyptian civilization or 12 times
that of Egypt and Mesopotamia combined.
Page 66
+-- " it is clear from the above distribution pattern of .sett lements
Ancient I"dill (Class XI) 37
that the focus of Harappan civiliZation was not the Indus but the
Saraswati Ri ver and its {I' ibut arie.s which flowed between 'the
Indus and the Ganga. lr is because of thi s reason tha t some
scholars call il Indus - Slraswati Civilil3tion and few prefcr the
nomenclature Sara swat! Civilizati on,"
Thi s is a hi ghl y tenJentious statement. What is le/l uns:uJ
is t he fact that none of the major Harappnn sites (with the
excepti on of Kalibangan), suc h li S Harappa.' Mohenjodaro and
Dhol avi ra are located on or close to Ghagg ar, identified hy
Makkhan Lal as Sarasw:lIi . Moreover, the distnbution pattern
of Early Harappan. Mature Harappan and'Late Harappan
dearly shows a chronological moveme nt from the south·west [0
the north·east, from the Indus region to the Ghaggar area,
of the sit es in the laHe r area belong to the declining, hl.le
Harappan phase. Hence it IS IIl correclto hold that Sarasvutl Ri ver
and not Indus was the focus of Harappnn Civi lization.
Page 66
"Some of the settlements like , .. Rakhigarhi ( +80 he!; tares) .
Kalib3ngan (+100 hectares), and Dholavirn (+100 hectare,,) cll n
eas il y be classed as large c iti es."
Only Makkhan Lal can give s uc h Inaccurat e data' .
Kalibangan occupied an area of 11 .50 hect ares, nOt + I DO,
Rakhigarhi , 40 hectares nOI +80; and DhoJavira, 60
nOt + 100, See Possehl 's list of s ites in his ARt'. rhe
,
Btgj nnillgs. Kalibangan could barely make il to Ihe o f a
small township, let alone "a large The other two coul d
just have been s mall lawns.
Page 74
" Bones of horses have been repofled from Lothal , Surkoldil ,
Kalibilngan and several other sites. l'erracolta figurines of the
horse have· been found at Nausharo and Lothal. "
Thi s is a much di sputed claim. In all fai rness the swdenl
should al so be informed that as against the controversial clai m:;
of a few horse·bones discovered in the Harappan ( more proRerly
late Hu.-appan) layers, bones of thousands of horses have been
discovered in the archaeological layers dating from 6000 Be in
the regions of Ural, the Volga and lhe Ukraine; and il is
undi sputed that the animal was first domesticated in these
38 Index of Errors
Page 77
"A male deity ' the prototype of historic Siva' is portrayed on it
seal wi th three faces. seated on a low throne in the typical pol>IUrC
of Yogi. with two animals on each side - elephant and tiger on
right and rhinoceros and buffalo on refl, and two deer (sir:)
standing under the throne. The depiction shows as
Pasupmi (sic!)."
Thi s idc::ntifi carion tentatively sugges ted by Sir John
Mar.dldll has been seriously ques tioned si nce then by a large
number of sc holars such as 0.5. Ghurye ( 1979, Vl!dic Illdiu .
p. 156t); H.P. Su lli van (1964+5, Hisrory of Religioll .\'.
Vol.I V, pp.115-25) : Air Hellebeitcl ( 1978, Vo!.?3
Nos.5-6, pp.769-79); Dori s Srinivasan ( 1984. Jourl/ol of
Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. No.1. pp.77-81).
and A.L Basham ( 1990, The Origin and Devdopml!lIt of
Classical lfindltislII, OUP, Delhi, p.4) . II is more likely (hili lhe
figure represenls a femnle deit y and what Marshall :.lssumcd (0
be the ithyphallic feature js merely the tail end of the double
waste-band. as pointed out by H.P. Sull ivan. In any case. all
evidence of such doubtful nature no categorical SI:llement should
be made in a textbook. It should be noted lhal among the animals
shown on this seal . Ihe bull , an anima l c losely with
PuraOlC Stllva. is conspicuously absent .
Page 78
"Al Kalibnn£an, Lothal. and Bannwali a number of
hnlle been found whi ch seem to have been used as sacrificed
altars _"
There is nothing to show th;lt alltllcse fire-places which
vary in nature, many of them are simple hearths. were 'sacrificlal
alla rs' _ Nor Makkhan Lal exp lain how with ox-hune!>
indicating cattle-s laughler at sacnficial nltars al Kalibangan and
Lothal, the religion 01 the Harappan civiliz,ali('n could be the
same as the Vedic, when. according [0 him. cow :.Iaughtcr wa,
ullerly prohibited in the latter.
Page 80
..... the ·baraburian' (.shl ArY:ln!> !phl:he atlributcu tl) Morlim!.:1
Wheel e rl· ····
M"kkhan Lal' s spelli ng '" cCI'I:llnly barh:Lluu,. WIH.'tlll'l
the Aryans were burburialls or not.
Ancient India (ClaJ'S XI) 39
Page 80
" In fact. there is no archaeological or biological evidence for
invasion or mass mi gration from west or central Asia to Ihc Indus
or Saraswati valleys between 5000 and 800 Be. At!
found during lhi s peri od belong to the same. group of peopl!.'. "
This ,argument to comes t the view that people speaking
Indo- Iranian ("'Aryan") languages entered from the west or north-
west. overlooks. fir st of all, the lingui sli c evide nce. which
overwhelmingly suggests such a migration .. The blithe statement
that there is no archaeological evidence for an Aryan migrlltioll
over looks what the archaeologists have uneart hed about the horse
- a mark.er for the Aryans, It is found success ively in BMAC
in north Afghanistan (2200-1700 BC), Galighal Culture IV in
Swat ( 1800- 1400 BC), and in Pirak I(b) (1600-1400 Be). Final ly,
the idea lhat pani c ular language -s peakers (c.g. Aryans or
Dra vidians) have any specific genetic charactertsti!; s (and so form
a "race") is absurd, No genetic evidence testifies to Turkic
migrations into Turkey, a fact linguist ically and historicall y
establi shed, There is furt hennore no trut h in the ... tatement thal
.!o kel etons found in the Indus basin from 5000-800 BC ""belong
to the same group". The population of Mehrg!lrh III (c.4300-
c.38GO BC) had I.ranian affiniti es whi le Ihat of Mehrgar!l I and II
(c,700-c.4000 Be) shows South-Asian affinities ... 0 that there
was so me change he re around 4000 BC. The skeletons 01
H3rappa show c haracteri stics si mil ar to those of Mehrgarh III.
but di fft. r from those of the people of Mohenj o Daro and or
"modern Punjabis". Thus Ihe Indus Civilization itself had a
geneticall y mixed popUlat ion,
Pages 82 and 83
"The Vedas are ne ither any indivi<:lual re li gious work nor a
collection of definite number of books compiled at a parlil:ular
time."
What is meant by the phrase '"i ndi vidual re li gious
Doc:; thc author mean that the Vedas are neither a ' single' work
rior 'separ:tte' works. or does he wish to convey thc idea thai
the Vedas arc not wrill en by an indivi dual ? What would Ihc
sludei\t learn from such a clumsy. confused piece of writlllf! '!
Pages 83-84
"Age of the Rigveda"
·IU Index of Errors
Under this heading an effort is made to Max
Muller's dating of the Rigveda by auributing il to his VICW (1 1
the creation of the world in 4004 BC. "as a (fue'Chri st ian." Ap:JrI
from the insens itiveness to Christian sentiment in putting the
argument in this form, it is not shown how a Rigvedic dille. say.
of 3000 Be woul d have conflicted with a dale or 4004 Be for
the world's creation! Makkhan Lal is so taken up by Ihis ",ruc-
Christian" bashing thai he says the same thi ng again on page 8-9.
Makkhan Lal goes on to give a string of names of scholar.!.
who give very early dales for the Rigvedc.. while neglecti ng lilO.')t
who give cogent enough arguments for a late dale. The faCI thaI
certain gods mGntioned in the are menti oned in tt)e
Boghazkoy inscripti on of 14'" century Be by no mcans "proves"
that " the Ri gveda must have come inlo exis tence much before
Ihal date": it could have been composed much later also. by the
same token.
Finall y, M:lkkhan Lal cooll y a mi n to tell the reader thai
some like 11lak, who give very earl y dates to the Rigveda, argue
that the Rigveda Was composed outside India!
Page 84
" Ri g Vedic geography, therefore. covers wes te rn
Ullar Pradesh, Haryana. Punjab. Rajasthan, Gujaral. whole of
Pakistan and soulh Afghanistan,"
Thi s is highly exaggerate", There is no proof that Guj arat
and most of Rajasthan were included in, areas the Rigvedic
composes were familiar with, As for Ihe " whole of Paki stan, "
there is no proof that Baluchi stan southwest of the Bolan pass
was known 10 them. Th is would be [he case wilh soulh
Afghanistan if all Rigvedic references to Sarasvati are attributed
to the Haryana stream instead of the Aves tan Harakhva it i (t he
Arghandab·Helmand ri ver), as Makkhan Lal does. He cannot
ride twO horses at the same time!
86
"The Rig Vedic societ y comprised four varnas. namely Brahmana,
Kshatriya. Vaisya (si c) and Sudra (sic) . .. The teacher and pri ests
were called Brahmanas. rulers and administrators kshatriyas . .
farmer-s, merchants and bankers vaisyas: a nd and
labourers as Sudras,"
The Rigvcda onl y once mentions these four categories,
There (the PUrl4Sha-sukta hymn) these: categori es of people are
Allelent India (elllSl' XI) 41
ment ioned without describing the m 3S vamas. Here second
category is called Rajanya, meaning the kinsmen of the Raja,
and not Kshatriya. Evolution of the Rajanyas into a i;<shalrl)'3
varna category is a later deve lopment. The statements in tht!
present textbook are thu s full of anac hroni sms. What is the
evidence that Rig-vedic people bad the institution of a "'bank"
for Valshyas 10 be des ignated "bunkers"? There is no proof that
arti sans were regarded as Shudtas in Vedi.c times. ' Brahmana '
was the designation of a priest onl y. not "teacher". It IS a different
mat ter that later the profession of teaching became the prerogati ve
of the brahmana caste.
Page
"Society "
Under thi s heading a practically ideal society is described. The
reader is not told about dasyus (the ' non-Aryans')
and dasas or slaves arid the dasis or sla ve-girls, whom even the
priests desired in girlS-<
Page 86
""The cow was already deemed llgllllya "not to be kilied'·. Tht:
Vedas prescribe a penalty of deat h or expul sion from the kingdom
to those who kill or injure cows."
A major defect of thi s c hapter is tha.1 the author has
c lubbed together a ll the four Vedas as !f they represent an
identical, unchanging phase of Vedic society, although there is
hardl y any difference of opinion over the fact that the Riglledu
reflects a muc h earli er pha se tha n Th e Yajur veda and Ihe
Arharvaveda.
As for (he killing or injuring of cows being II capital
offence in Vedic times, Makkhan Lal does not menti Olrthe source
on whieh this stat ement is based. Such recommendations a re
made in later texts and not in the Vedas.
Later, Makkhan Lal himself realized the unte nabilit y of
his assertion; and in hi s The NCERT Social S,:jellce Books:
F.alse Propaganda, Political Agenda and thl' ""E", il/ !! '"
HiSTorians " publi shed by him (Nov. 2002, p.7). he Inc!> to make
a distinction betwee n the meat of a ' bull' , ' ox' , male calf. th.",
and that of a cow, and asserts '"From RiRveda and
we know that some of Ihe domestic animal s like buf(ulu. hu ll.
ox. male calf, eiC. were eaten but NOT whic h was held
42 Index of EI'I'Or.f
sacred all thorugh. "
The following hymns of tJle Rigvt'do may hn'1cvc r. hI..'.
considered:
Rjgl/tda 11 .7.5 speaks of worshipping the firc-god . Agm'
with barren cows (vasah), bullocks ( Ilksha ) and in call"
(llshtapadiblllh). Thi s is the explanation given by Say:tnlH.:harya
of these terms and it is c leM thai nOt only bull M ox but abt.
barren cows and sometimes even pregnant cows were sacl'ific.:Li
perhaps for increasi ng fe rti lity. Barren cows ("Wid'" and \).\CI1
we re regular food of the fire-god Agni, who IS dcsnihecl Ihcll'
ealer in Rigvtda VII1.43. 11 . Rigl/eda VI.16.47 IS a hymn III pnm..:
of Agni in whith the poet prays that hi s may he
acce pta,ble to the god in the sn me fashion as he al'\:cpl:- Ih;:
offerings of oxen (lIksl ulIlall) Ilnd cows (vasa/r ). In {he welhhnt;
hymn (X.85. 13) we arc told that in the Magha (Na/c.l'/w/1'lI 1
(or callie, gavah) are slain. The Rigveda X.9 1.14 $peaks of Ih.:
offering o f horses (as vasa h). oxen ( ukshollu/r ), oll Trcn cOws
(vasah) and sheep (mesllalr) [0 the fire·god Agni. The word V(/.wll
is translated as 'a barren cow' or a barren woman. BUllhc conlc-xt
clearl y shows that a barren cow is meant.
V.M. Aple, Professor of Sanskrit in Karn:mk College.
Dharwar, writing in The Vedic Age, His/Dry (wd Cutrur'e of thi'
India" People, YoU. ediled b y R.C. Majumdar (publi shed by
Bharatiya Vidya Bhava n, 5
11
• edition, p.396). recognises th:l.! in
the Rigveda. VO.faS. i.e .. barren cows. were:. sacrifil.:ed. It we-II
known thlll whatever is offered to gods is late r caten hy the
worshippers . In Rig\'eda, X.6S.3, cows (galr) are descnbed 11\
atflhinih, fit for guest s. apparelltly referring 10 the wdl-
documented cuslom in the G,-jhYU-SUUllS of killing a cow IIJ
feast a guest. V.M. Apte Thinks (ibid. ) lllat barren COWl> musl
have been meant in this Rigvedi c passage. and he Hnds il diffi cult
10 reconcile thi s evidence with the descri ption of cnw 11:- lI,r<hln'lI
in several passages. But the cow may have been deSCri bed
oghllyo owing to' its usefulness and economic impurtant'l! There
is nothing 1.0 show Ihat i.t was considered 'sacred' and thai the
eat ing of cow-meat was prohibiled.
While it may be argue d that thelie details ncctl nUl
encumber a Class Xl textbook. it is improper to make
manifestly conlrary to racts, as Makkh:m Lal has tl one . It wuuld
have been enough for him to state that thl! reverence for thc cow
increased with time in the Brahmanical trudition.
Allciel/l India (Class XI) 43
Page 87
"Alcoholic drinks sura and Soma were also consumed, though
t heir consumption has been condemned because of It S (.11("1
inloxicating effect."
Soma is a divine drink highly extolled in the Rig"ftt/a
and offered to gods and even gotldesses sucb as Indrani , Varuntllll
(Rl8veda , 1.22.9- 12), goddess Earth and Aditi (IX,8. J -5) . II ...
preparation was a household affair VIl1.2.7). RigvC'da ,
VII1. 31, vividly describes how a hu sband-and-wife couple'
(dampatj) wash nnd press out the soma juice and perform the
sacnfice together for gaining 'strength' and 'glory'. Thcre is thur\
no condemnation of soma consufTl pti on.
Puge 87
"The Rig Veda auached great importance to agriculture. The
plough drawn by the oxen at times in teams of six., eigh,"or
even twelve,"
There is no reference in the Rigveda to such plough-
teams of oxen,
Page 87
" Barter was' in vogue ... The conception of money can be traced
in the mention of a gift of 100 nishkas. Money-lending was also
known."
If barter ';was in vogue", how come there were coins
( n;shkas) and also money-lending?
Page 88·89
"The Rigveda does not give even an inkling of any migrati on of
Aryans from any other area. It does not even have a fai nt memory
of any such mi gration, II does not have any knowledge even of
the geography beyond the known of ancien! India:'
Makkhan Lal apparentl y feels it is unpatriotit: to suggest
that the Aryans C"arne from outside [ndia. He needs to be reminded
that Lokamanya Sal Gangadbar Tilak. whose patr ioti sm in
leading the struggle against colonial rule can hardly be, doubt ed.
had suggested that the Arctic was the ori gi nal home of the Aryans .
fo r 1.76.3 speaks of Mmany days (that] have passed before
t he sunrise"; and such a phenomenon occurs onl y in the Polar
regions . II is the votaries of Hlndutva who see in the
genuine hi stori cal problem of the ori ginal home of the Aryans.
44 of Errors
or rather speakers of Indo-European la nguages. as an obSl ru(.:tiOn
to their harping on the 'foreign character' of the non- Hindu
[ndian population.
A s to the amount of geographical knowledge In the
Rigvl!dq, the text locates several Vedic tribes in the regions of
Kubha (Kabul ), Suvastu (Swat ). Krumu (Kurum) and.Gomati,
modern Gomal, the rivers of eastern Afghanistan ::md NWFP. It
shows no knowledge of the Indian territories beyond the western
limits of the Gangetic river system in the east >Ind south of Punj ab.
What should the st udents regard as the " known boundaries of
ancient India?" Did 'ancient llldi a' of Dr. Makkhan Lal's
conception include Afghanistan bOt excl ude the enlire southern
and eastern regions of present.day· lndi a?
Page 89
"Many schol ars think that the Aryans' were Originall y inhabitants
of India and did not come from outside ... "
The statements made in this paragraph repeat those mllde
,
on page 80; see our comments above under that
Page 90
To justify the identification of Harappan civilization wi th Vedic
"civili zat ion" the aut hor mi stranslates ' Pu,randara', nn epi thet
of god lndra in the Riglleda, as "Lord of CHles". The term means
" destroyer of forls (or towns)" (Purah Satrunam nagarani
darayati khach, V.S. Apte, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, s.v.
Purandara). Hence t he epit het is a'lso applied to god Sh lva,
famous for destroying three cities (Trfpuralllaka) .
Page 90
"Most of the animal s kn,own [Q the Indus people are also known
to the Rigllcda."
Rhinoceros was known in Harappan culture bul is nO(
mentioned in the Riglleda. It is curi ous thai the horse which
played a very import ant role in the material and re li gious li fe of
the Vedic people and is mentioned in the Rigveda 2 15 times, as
agai nst the cow, 174 ti mes. and bull, 170 times. is conspicuously
unt raceabl e in a c lear and uncontroversial ma nner i n the
Harappan milieu. It is not shown, for example. on any Harappan
seals, and a horse·seal ' discovered' by one of the saffron brigade
enthusiasts has been exposed as a fraud.
Ancient India (Class XI) 45
Page 92
:'The whole question of the Aryan invasion theory has most apt ly
been summed up by Ihe famous anthropologist Professor Edmund
Leach of the Cambridge University. [n his famous article' Aryan
Invasion over Four Millennia' .,. "
The joke is that Leach reaches his conclusion. "The
Aryan invasions never happened at air' , by arguing that there
had actually been no Vedic culture. not even a Vedic religion.
and that Vedic texts cannot be used as eVIdence for any period:
"the Vedic religion", he says, "is a fictional entit y about which
n o t ~ i n g is genuinely known;" and "The Vedas add up to a
miscellany of undatable doc.umetHs of unknown origin". Thu.\,
neither were there any Vedic Aryans nor, therefore, any Aryan
invaders! Makkhan Lal most misleadingly picks up a few
statements from Leach for quotation, while carefully excluding
,
those relating to the crucial nihilistic reasoning of thai author,
equally destructive of &fly " Vedic civilization" as of Aryan
invasion. Such a deliberate act of distortion on Makkhan LsI's
part cannot be too strongly deplored.
Page 94
"Upanishads do not believe in the sacrificial ac.quiring
ceremonies (sic)" .•
What is the meaning of this sentence'? The Upanishads
show no opposition to sacrifices.
Page 9S
"Wi thin the framework of kingship there were operating certain
democratic elements. These were: ( I) the people's right in
choosing the king ... "
Does this mean that the kings were elected by lA.",
franchise and the monarchies were not here(litary in nature? Thi s
is just one example of Makkhan Lal's tendency to so idealj sc
the Vedic Age as to make everything ridiculous .
Page 98
"The Uponishads. being the highest l eve l of inlellectual
attainments, which was no doubt the outcome of the intellectual
pursuits of the time."
What a tautology! Could an " intell ectual attainment "
have come out of muscular pursuits?
46 Index of Errors
Page 100
Correct 'Schoperhour' to 'Schopenhauer '
Page 100
"Vedic people knew the methods or making squares equal in
area to' triangles. circles and c alculate the sums and di fferences
of squares. The Zero was known in Rigvedic times itself and due
10 thiS, large numbers could be recorded. Also. the positional
value of each number with its absolute value was known. Cubes.
c ubcrools, squareroots and underroots were a lso known and
used,"
The entire statement is fal se and propagandist . made wllh
a view t.o crediting the Vedas with all kinds of knowledge and
scientific discoveries. No doubt, the zero and the positional value
of numerals in the decimal system were invented in India, and
Aryabhata in the fifth century AD was familiar with the system
of writing decimal numerals; but these discoveries were made
some lime in the early centuries of Ihe Christian era, Positional
value of !lumerals was '.lot known to the engravers of the Maurya.
Satavahana, Kushana and even Gupta inscriptions. which use
different ·symbols for teo, twenty, thirty, hundred, tWo hundred
and so on. Large numbers have nothing to do with the knowledge
of zero. For a detailed criticism of Makkhan Lal's stateme nts.
see Gunakar Mule in Saffronised and Substandard: A Crifique
of the New NCERT Textbooks (Published by SAHMAT New
Delhi , 2002), pp. 138--160.
Page 100
lin the Vedic period} '·they also knew that the earth moved on
its axis and around the sun. The Moon moved around the eart h."
This is again a deliberate falsehood. Even the great
astronomer Aryabhata has not said that the earth moved around
the sun. His great discovery was that the earth moves on its aXIs .
But this view was not acceptable (0 traditional orthodoxy, as in
the Athar'llo'lleda the earth is said to be stable (pruris,ha). Both
Varahamihira in his Pallchasiddhanliko (Xlll.6.7) written in 505
AD and Brahmagupta (628 AD) in his Braghmasl'hl/w,
Siddhullta rejeet Aryabhata's assertion and describe il as again:-I
the tradition of the Vedas and Smritis.
Page 108
" Bolh [Jainism and Buddhi sm] are organised .:as ascetic urders
Allcimt India (Class XI) 47
and brothe rhoods. Asceticism in fact has its origin In Vedic
thought and has been- directly encouraged by the Upanishads."
Again, an attempt to see the Vedic corpus a ~ the
foun tainhead of all subsequent ancient religious thought anLl
pTlu':lice, including Jaini s m and Buddhism. BUI therc is no
suggest ion in VediC tradition of the monastic order (.wnK'1lI1
ch;lractcri st ic of these two religions. H is furthermore Incorrect
to attribute to Buddhism any element of ascetici:.m.
Page 110
·' He [!.hc Buddha's father, SuddhodanaJ, was the king of Sakyil
repuI)Jie".
A 'ki ng' of a 'republic' is surely a strange phenomenon.
And it should be 'ShakYIl' not 'Sakya'.
Page 111
··Both lMahavira and Gautama BuddhaJ ... derivcd their baSIC
principles from the Upanishads."
This belittling of the break that Jaini sm and Buddhism
make with the Upanishidic tradition, is li nked to an Insistence
Ihal these two religi ous arose out of Ihe very system, the Vedic,
that they rejected. What these t':""o reli gio!ls obtained from the
Upanishads is not at a ll made clear. Indeed. there i!\ hardly
anything common between them, if we go by the author'", own
summary of the U,Janishads· beli efs on page IU2 and h i ~
summary of the beliefs of Jainism and Buddhi., m hc.re, on page,
II 1-12.
Page lJ2
" It may be said that within fi ve hundred years Buddha spread
far and wide in different paris of the world."
' Buddha' or ' Buddhi sm'?
Page 114
No explanati on is offered why in early Vedic litcrorun: only
'janos' are mentioned and jallapad(1s figure in later Vedic and
post· Vedic lite rature.
Page 115
Like all other maps in this book, the map on thIS page is also
very poor. Kurukshetra is shown in Northern Rajasthan . The
48
Index of Errors
upper section of the Ganga is actually that of the Yamuna. which
is s hown as rising in lower Haryana! Pataliputra is spell
'·Patliputra". The Brahmaputra is not shown at all.
Page 116
"This extract from Megasthenese' s (si c) ItJdia is in conformit y
with the posi-Mahabharata war genealogy preserved in the
Pu"'anas. "
Here Makkhan LaJ repeats a statement made also on page
6. fI deserves to be noted that , as quoted by Arrian. Megaslhcnc!>
re ported that " from the time of Dio nysus to San dracollu s
IChandragupta Mauryal the Indians coumed 153 kings and a
period of 6042 years, bUI among these a republic was thnce
establi shed." There is no reference to Ihe Mahabharat8 War in
Megaslhenes, on the one hand, Bnd none to Dionysus or 153
ki ngs or a pertod of 6042 years or three republi can interludes In
the Puranas. on the o ther. How, then , can the twp be "in
confomllty" with e3ch other?
Page 120
" [Achaemenian domini ons) comprised some terri lOry to thc cast
of Sindhu."
The recogni sed name in English for the river is f n d u ~ (so
also in the Survey of India maps). The const3nt usc of "Si ndhu"
for Indus is unjustified Sansk.ritisation. Yet on the very next page
12 1 Makkhan Lal forgets hi s Sanskrit learning and s peak.s of
"the Jhelum and the Chenab". ~ n d on page 32 we even read of
"the Ganges and the Jamuna". No Sanskrit forms here!
Page 125
"Chandragupta Maurya was the first ruler who unifi ed entire
Indi a under one political unit." '
' Entire India'7lf so why did Ashoka have had to conquer
Kalinga or to describe Chola. Pandy a. S3tiyapurra an d '
Keralaputra. located in Tamil N.du lind Kernla, as' fronti e r
Kingdoms? This isjust another example of an inaccurate. slipshod
way of writing. inexcusable in a textbook. .
Page 130
"'11u$ Ashoka tried to instill moral law (Dharma) 3S Ihe governing
principle and forced [it?} in every sphere of life. "
Ancient India (Class XI) 49
What is the meaning of this sentence? Does it mean that
Ashoka ' forced' arbitrarily the principle of Dharma into every
spht"re of life? Makkhan Lal has
Page 131
"Ashoka took for the propagation of Buddhism,"
Ashoka took what? Makkhan Lal ha s forgotte n tn
complete this sentence,
Page 131
"His (As hoka' s) reign constitutes one of ' the rare and lighting
(sic) epochs in the annals or nations.'"
Whatever is a "li ght ing epoch"? Makkhan Lal seems
usually to pick out unnamed aut hors for quotation whose
utterances are as woolly-headed as his own.
Page III
" A-shoka i ~ the only king in the history of human kind who
apologized to his conquered subject (.sic) for having waged war
against them ... The Rock Edkt XlII is a moving document."
This is an obvious misinterpretatiQD of the contents of
Ashoka's Rock Edict XIII. It expresses Ashoka's sorrow and
repentance over the Kalinga war, but it cannot be construed a ~
an apology. It should be noted that thi s particular Rock Edict
does not form part of the royal edicts found in Orissa. The two
separate Rock Edicts sent to different provincial centers, are here
inscribed in lieu of Rock. Edict XlII. It Rock Edtft XIII was an
"apology". il was not tendered to [he people of Kalinga.
Page 131
"Apparentl y due to concern for the empire a nd 10lal
disillusionment on kings (sic) unworthiness . Pushyarnitra. the
commander-in-chief killed the king Brihadratha while he was
reviewing the army ... This is the only recorded and uAdisputed
incident in the history of India till the twenfth century AD where
the king was murdered and replaced."
The obvious attempt here is to show that whereas regi cide
was an exception in ancient Indi a. it became a regular feature of
Muslim politics in Medieval India. It may be poimed out that
according to the Buddhist tradition all kings from Ajatastialru.
the kjng of Magadha and contemporary of tbe Buddh.a, to Naga-
50 flldex of Errors
Dasaka were parricides. "The c itiz.ens drove oul the family in
anger a nd raised an (lmatya (offici al) to the throne" ( H C
Rnychaudhuri, Politi cal History of Allcie,!r [ndio , OUP, 2000.
p. 193). Shishunaga, the new ki ng had been ac t ing a ~ the
Magadhan viceroy at Varanasi . The violent death of KUnlkn
Ajalasalru, who had kill ed hi s father Bimbi sara, is confirmed by
{he Jaina sources.
Anot he r cont emporary of the Buddha , King Prascmlju
of Kasala. WS'S kill e d by his son Vidudabha. who had heen
appoi nted asenapari or a general of a standing army by /II S father.
(For more exampl es s ~ comments in Ihi s Lndc.x on Mukl.. han
Lal 's te xtbook for Class VI). under p.l 02.
Pnge 132
" Bul weak economy does not Rppear to be the cilse, as. [he .
excavations of Mauryan seltlernents and also ot her evidence point
10 an expendi ng (sic) and flouri shing economy."
Both the language and argument are poor. Inadequalc
s late resources a nd a flourishing economy are IWO dirferent
things. In any case. our knowledge about the pos i- Ashoka
M::mryan Empire is so small that anyone can just say anything
Page 135
"A married woman had her own property in the rorm (It bndc-
gift (slru dlrana), and jewels."
There is obvious cO{l fusion here between srri -c1I/(U/u ,lIIeJ
kanya·dan. DIJafla means wea hh, prope rty. nOI gift.
Page 143
" He overthrew Nahapana and restruct (sic) large numPer of hi ...
sil ver coins."
Correct ' restruct' as ' restruck' and inser! the aTl icie 'a'
after it.
Page 144
"The Yavanas [Greeks] were the first ones La establish foreign
supremacy over Indian soil. "
Surely not the fi rst! What of the Achaemenids? For thaI
malt e r, Alexander was a Macedonian , not Greek, and Ill S
conquests cannot be he ld to be Greek conques ts .
Ancien/India (Closs XI) 31
Page 146
In place of "provincial governor Chandragupta Maurya" read
'provi ncial governor of Chandragupta Maurya'.
Page 151
" TJ'oe detailed descripti on of south Indian states is found in
Snngam literature belonging 10 the first fou r cenluri es of the
Christian era",
Here the Sangam. literature is ascribed to the "first .four
centuries of the Christi an e ra," But in the same paragraph after a
few sentences we are told, "The Sangam literature preserves folk
memory about the society and life in South Indi a between third
Century BC and third Century AD,"
Page 154
' The greatest king of the Chera dYllasty was Sengulluran',
Read 'Senguuuvan ' for 'Sengulluran' .
Pages 158-160
"Social Conditions"
It is remark,,;ble thaI in this enlire section. the ,statements
the Manusmriti makes on the "mi xed" jar;)' outside the four
vamos, of which a long list is provided by that text, arc silently
passed over; a nd the di sabili ti es imposed on them are nul
me ntioned, Thus the ' dalils' are firmly kepi out side our history.
Pagts 159-60
"Ashramos"
The long passage on ashramas makes curious reading.
It omi ts to mention. that these stages of life were 1/01 open to
women and shudras, let alone dalits. The statement (p. 160) thai
this "scheme" of four ashranllls "was designed to· give a wide
scope to individuals in the choice in a vocal ion of life whi ch
was best suited to thei r in tell ectual and m'enl"l capaci,ty"
overl ooks the fact that the "scheme" was part of the cas te system.
and the dharmashastra did nOl permit One 10 adopt a "vocati on"
not assigned to one's caste,
Page 160
" Marriage between the members of the sumejaris was preferred.
though intermarriage between different jaris was preva lent ."
52 Index of Errors
The fact was that women of a higher \lama could never
be married to n man of a lower "ama. while a man belonging 10
a higher varna had to marry a woman or" hi s own varna and.
lhen only, successive ly women of lower varnas. The statement
t hat intermarr iages were prevalent thu s needs to be great ly
qualified.
Page 160
"Eight forms of marriage are mentioned in the Dharmasaslra.J
(sic!) , These are - bra/,,"a. daivu. arrha. prajapllt),o. as/1ft ••
gandl,arvQ, raJcsha sa and paisac/Ja . Among these the last is
condemned by all the Dharmasatras (sic!). Women . ,' held
honourable' pos ition in the (si c!) society and household."
Wtiat is the use of giving thi s Siring of terms for different
kinds of marriages if these aTe not explained? The (act that the
rabila$a form of marriage - in which a woman is forcibly
abducled against her will and her family's wishes - was
recognised as valid for at least Kshalriya ma les, is hardl y
compatible with the unqualified statement made in the nex t
sentence Ihat "the women __ . he ld honourable position In the
society" ,
Page 161
" . .. the division of Buddhi sm into two broad sects - the Hinayana
and the Mahayana."
It should be noted that Hinayana (' Littl e Vehide') is
the name the Mnhayanisu give to the ot her sect. A more suituble
designation is Thcravada for Hjnayana.
Page 162
"the Mahayamsls consider him [Ihe Buddhal as God."
The Mahayanists are not theists at all; so this statement
is not correctly worded.
l'age 163
.. ... the Harappan deity known as Pasupal; [=Pashup8tiJ."
We do npt know,. word or the H(l rappan languIIge; so
how do we know the deity on a seal, found by some to be ~ i m i l a r
10 Pashupati, was actually so call ed.
Page 163
"Saivism", "Saiva", " Siva" "Saktl" are all errors, respectively
Allci elll India (Clan XI )
for Shaivism, Shaivite, Shiva and shak/I.
Page 165
53
"Money was lent for interest on promising rtlle S to be renewed
e.very yoar."
What are "promising" rates? High or low'!
Page 167
"The large statues of (the] Buddha at BamiYlln were one (sid
one of the finest examples of the Gandhara arc"
The Bamiyan Buddhas, which belonged to a later period
{ 6 ' ~ century}, do nOt belong to Gandhara art proper.
Page 169
" It was based on the theory of three humours - air. bile, phlegm
- the correct balance of these gave in (sic! ) a healthy body:'
What kind of communi cation skill s would a stude nt
acquire by reading such incorrect expressions?
Page 170
. .
"Charaka and Sushruta were the contemporaries uf Kushana king
Kanishka."
Charaka was a contempo rary of Kani s M:a but nOl
Sushruta who is generally regarded as later, than Charaka and
placed in the fourth century AD
Page 174
"The Lichchhavis (to whom Gaut am!l Buddha belongs [sic ! IJ
were an old and established Ganaralya."
A blunder. again. Gautama Buddha did ;1Ol belong to
the Lichchhavi bllt to the Shakya clan. (Compare page 11 6 where
Shakyas of Kapilavas tu and Li c hchav.is of Vai sl1ali are
enumerated separately in a list of the ganaraj),as. Generall y the
latter ganarajya was known as Vajji . and Lichchavis formed a
part of it.)
Page J90
"This period is characteri zed by a remarkable growth of the local
self-governing institutions such as village committees and district
commiltees. Their existence from a very early period has been
nOlieed, hundreds of inscl:,i ptions and Iile ralure (sic) of thi s
54 Jndex of Errors
penod from driOUS parlS of the country throw a nood of light
on their nature and activities and testify to the wunJerful
organisation Ihat Ihe nncient Indians evolve(I."
Makkhan Lal is characlcrlsl ic:ll1y long. On and
"hon on facts. If a "flood of light " is, indeed. thrown on thc_' c
inSlllutions" il is surpri sing. thaI he has not caught
even a ray of it 10 provide the reader with sultle spedne
description. He has no time 10 consider that the mass of pcaS<lm ...
were excluded fr om these instituti ons (e.g the well-known
passage In Milirida-pollhQ) and thaI the poorer Slr:HlI were
subjc(,led 10 much personal oppression and humiliation by hi gher
rural elements (see Kamasutrll. 5.5.5-6 ).
Page 190
" 11 appears thtlt royal powers were more ... In the
Gupta period and later during the Mauryas."
Were the Mauryas later than the Guplas?
190
"Evidence that the king maintained a l>landlng army is cf)nl"irmcd
from the conquest!. of Samudragupta and Chlindraguptu fl ..
Another instance of wooJty-headednesl>. There have hecn
t:onquerors who made use not of standing armies bul uf spe .... lal
(or their campaigns. like Chinggls Khan and Timur.
Page 192
"The .... ommentaries on Buddhist text s were writtCll in Pali.·'
in the period in question (Gupras to Harsha). Sanskrit.
and not Pali, W:lS the language in which Buddhi st .....
were mainly written in India. Pall was mainl y used by Buddhists
in Sri Lanka during this period.
Page 196
"The Study shows that t he total area given ill land grant IS
between 0.017% and 0.026% of the total fand area of lhe
kingdom." .
No records exist by which such statistics .... an be worked
out. In any case we are not even told, which kingdom is the
subject of suc h a remarkable slatistical study.
Page ] 99
"Lingayata was anolher important sect of Saivl:-m ) in South
Allcient India (Class XI) 55
India. whose philosophy was influenced both by Sankara
and R:lmanuja."
The {jates or and Ramanuja are eighth and
eleventh centuries respectively The Lingayat sect came. into
prominence in the twelrth century AD. It is not clear why II
should be discussed in a chapter tilted ··SOCIETY. ECONOM'Y
AND CULTURE. FROM THE GUPTAS TO HARSHA."
Page 207
·'Varahamihira. who flourished in the court of II .
has preserved in his Panchasiddhamika, wriuen in AD 505. the
accounts of five astronomical works . .. "
_ On page 178 the reader is told Ihat Chandraguptn II died
about As the Panchasiddhantika c learl y mentions a
date corresponding to AD 505, how could Varaha mi hira have
adorned the Caliri of Chandragup(8 n ?
Page 212
"Nagabhatta {II] defeated Sultan Vega. who 'was Ihe son of the
Governor of Sind under
No ' Sullan Vega' is heard of in the sources of Arab Sind.
' Vega' is . in any case, nol a possible Arab name, nor i:i Sultan a
likely ti tle for anyone al that lime. ft is singular that whi le
Makkhan Lal describes other kingdoms. he does not si mil arl y
offer any separate description of Arab power in Sind and southern
Punj ab. Even the Arab conquest of thi s area 0 11 - 14) is passed
over in si lence. It is. therefore. not surpri sing th ai he also
maintains silence over the considerable body of Indian scienlitic
le'arning and philosophi cal thought that reached Ihe Arabs via
Sind.
Page 1.14
"The History of Bengal from the Death of Harsha up to
ascendancy of the Palas remains in (.fic) obscure" .
Note linguistic errors.
Page 224
On thi s page the four dictionaries composed by Hemachandra
are described as " famous dramas". In fact, the Abhidhaflu
Chi"taman; contains synonyms; Duhinamamala is a Pra.krit
dictionary; contains a li st of homonyms:
56 Index of errors
and Nighantushesha is a a botanical glossary.
Page '227
The Sai lendra Kings arc abruptly mentioned on Ihis page without
te lling the students who they were, where they ruled, etc.
Page 228
" In this way it is also connected with Saka·Sak,j CUll."
There is no cult known as Saka Sakli cult .
Pages 228-29
..... because of popular demand for a morc personaf religion
(sic) deity",
What is to be understood by this phrase?
Page 239
" From the days of the RamayonQ India had Jinks with Sri Lanka.
which was popularly known as Lanka in Ramayafla."
Does this mean Ihal the existence of the ralcsha:m ruler
Ravsna and his overthrow are hi storical facts with which llur
links with Sri Lanka began?
Page 250
It is perhaps not strange to find in the Bibl iography a title by
"Swami" David Frawley. Vedic Aryans and the Origin (If
Civilization, in which as all civilizations of the world, including
those of Pre-Columbian America, arc attributed to Vedic Aryans.
N.S. Rajaram. the publisher, of this book. is the person who
invented a "horse-scal' to prove Ihat there were horses in the
Indus Civilization. Of a similar kind is Bhagwan Singh's V ~ d i c
Harappans , its title conveying its propagandist character. Is thi s
the kind of reading 10 be suggested to Class XI students and
their teachers?
NOTE: This textbook contains so many 'spelling mi stakes of
Sanskrit terms that one begins 10 wonder if the author knows
even clemef1tary Sanskrit. Many have already been noticed
Listed -below are others which will have to be corrected ror
students. The text has:
Page 17: \lYakarna for \o)oakarana.
Page 18: Mudfarakshasha (or Mudraraksha.m
Ancient India XI)
Page 84: Purushani for Pumshlli.
57
Page 85: grami"i for gramani. Thi s mi stake is repeated on page:.
92. 93, 96 and elsewhere.
Page 85: rajana for rajan.
85: yadva·janaha for yadava .• jtHWh and 'Bharma·jwlllh(,·
for Bharata·)Imah. (How the Visarga of Sanskrit language came
to be transliterated as ' ha', only the author can e;'l;plai'n.)
Page 87: Maruta for Marut.
Page 95: Vajpeya for Vajapeya and' Rajsuya ' for Rajasuya.
Page 96: Vajsaneyi Samhita for Vajasaneyi Samhita.
Page 'ffi3: Janan for jnana.
Page 114: Pundara for Pundra.
Page 116: Apranta for Aparanta.
Page 157: Asvaghosha should be Asllvaghosha·. correctly given
on p. 16 1.
Page 164: sresthi es for shreshthis.
Page l 74: Lichcha vis· dauhitra (or Lichchhul'j·duuhitra.
Page 178: and elsewhere - KaUda.f for Kal ,dasa.
Page 19]: Abhijnashakunralam for 'AbhijnonashaklUllalcwl '
Page 209: Nayanarcu for Nayana rs
Page 223: Raghavaphandavija for Raghavap(wdaviYu
Page 223: Dhanajaya Shrutokriti for Dllananjaya Shmwkirli .
••• Kuarapalacharira for kumarapalacharita.
Page 224: Rajmarigankll for Rajamriganka.
Page 240: Kaudinya for Kaundinya.
Page :2
3
Meenakshi Jain, Medie.'af./n.dia
- A,Textbook for Class XI
Published: November 2002
[Of Yashovarman of KlInauj:] " A reputed warn or. he i s even said
to have allied with C hina against the gro wing power o f the Ara bs."
The suppos iti on borders on fantasy. The onl y fat' l known
to us is that according to Chinese sources, ),as hovarman (' I-c ha-
ron-mo' ) sent an e mbassy to China in AD 731 .
Page 3
" Buddhi sm was for all practical purposes absorbed inlO Hindui sm: '
Such a statement is not justified: What the author shows
is onl y that some e le ments of Buddhi sm (and Jainism) li ke uliimslI
came greatly 10 influence Hindui sm. Thi s does not mean thai
Buddhism thereby went out of exi stence by absorption. Otherwi se
one might say thai Buddhism. because of its taking over some
elements of Brahmanism. "absorbed" Hindui sm!
Page 5
"The countless new towns in the Gurj ara Pratihara domll.ins ha ve
been linked to a realignment of trade routes in consonance with
agrarian and merchantile e xpansion."
The word "countless" is an exaggeration. The aUlhor
totally ignores the contrary view. that of a decline in commerce
(the basi s of the concept of "Indian Feudali sm"). AI class Xl such
a one· sided view of (he period c.650-1200 ought nOI to be
presented.
Page 8
For "Fawadul Fawnid" read "Fawaidul Fawad" .
Page 8
"Medieval Indian historiography fall s into three neat phases with
the first covering the works of medieval chroniclers who wcre
usually court historians."
MedievlI/lfldja (e/IUS XI) 59
The statement that medi eval historians were usually
·'.court" historians is often made, but it needs 10 be t:xplained that
several major hi stori ans. like Barani and were /l Of ct)ur
and wrote from a strongly critical point of view.
Si milarl y. the further statement ,,on the same page. thai medi eval
hi storians "examined no source material" (when many of theil'
hi stories were actual ly based on official "news-report s'!, ear li er
histories, etc . ) is equall y untenable.
Page 8
"Their [medieval hi storians ' ] histories were court-centric and
generally took no note of tbe world beyond the royal durbar:'
This statement again is far too sweepi ng as is shown by
the author's own reference to Abu ' ) Fazl and Ali Muhammad Khan.
Such works as go beyond court -centred polit ical his tory are fair-l y
nume rous1and include works like Shahjaho1li, Nuskhl'-I
Dilkusha, Mir 'atu 'l Haqa 'jq, etc .. and cannot just be dismi ssed
as an ·;exceplion."
A notable omission in the author's account of sources IS
the category of autObiographical memoi rs (e.g. of Babur and
Jahangit), biographies of nobl es (including such biographi cal
dictionaries as Zakhiralu '{ Khaw{Jllin and Ma 'asiru '/ Umara ). and
coll ections of of poets. schol ars. etc. Such lite rat ure l ml
had no precedent in pre-medieval times.
Page 9
" Despite the authoritative nature of hi s (Moreland's ) monographs .
which included the Agriculture of the United Pravinces f 19(4),
The Revenue Administration of the Provinces ( 19 1 I ) .. . ··
These two works are not hi stori cal in nature, and their
inclusion engenders the suspicion that the author is mentiuning
books she has never herself even seen.
Page 10
The separate classification on thi s page of Muslim and Hinuu
hi storians is very tendentious. Clearly, Tara Chand (author 01
Influence oJlslam on Indian ClIlwre) (who is not at all ment ioned!)
and R.P. Tripathi (Stu.dies in Muslim Adminis.lrariall) ought to have
been classed with M. Habib and K.M. Ashraf. on th..: hasis ofihei r
point or vie w. Nor Will it be acceptable to all to pl ace Faruki "JO
book on Aurangzeb among important historical WClrJ.. S.
60
Index of Errors
Page 12
II is strange to see in the chapter heading (Chapter 2: "Struggle
for Chakravartitva") the use of a Sanskrit word of purely modern
coinage (from the genuine term chakravartilt ), when "Poli tlcnl
Supremacy" would have served as well.
Page 23
" Scholars have therefore viewed the new religion as 1l
manifestation of Arab nationalism."
A doubtful proposition, since the concept of "nalion" was
not preSent al the lime; nor is it supported by any verse in the
Quran. The sentence should at least be qualified by saying "Some
scholars" instead of "Scholars".
Page 2S
' 'The Arab forces were vastly superior to those Gf King Dahir, in
numbers and equipment , ., Even so heavily outnumbered, It was
the information supplied by a traitor that finally tilled the
against Sind."
These have no s upport from either the
Chachnama or Balazuri, our two main sources and arc Inventions
modelled after the usual explanations for one's hero's defeat. .
namely, the opponent's larger numbers and the aCIS of a traitor.
A singular omission in the textbook is that of any rererent:e
(0 Sind after the Arab conquest (c.712-c. IOOO). The ract that In
the IOtbcentury Mansura. covering an area ofabouI400 heGtares.
was the largest town (archaeologically attested) in India till th:lt
time is nowhere mentioned; nor is the importance of Sind undt'f
the Arabs as a conduit of cultural transmi ssion between India and
the Arab-Iranian world touched upon.
Page 26
"The Chachnama says that the king of Kashmir had estahlished
suzerainty over Zabul."
An utterly baseless statement: there is no reference 10
Zabu l in the Chachnama.
Page 26
"Subuktagin ... became master of the region UplO thl" SinJhu.··
The name of the river In English is Indus. lind there IS !Ill
need ror the Sanskrit form
Medie\'Ql india (Clan· XI) 01
Page 26
··Thus from the first Arab foray into Sind 10 the Turkish
of it took the invaders fou r hundred year!> 1(.1 e .. 11
footho ld in the continent."
The statement is doubl.y rallat:illus· ( t ) The Arabs he ld
Sind and soulhem Panjab from earl y 7th century onward .... and
that was surely enough of a " (OOlhold·'; and (2) thl! Arabs and
Ghaznavids are lumped together as "invaders": lhe authul' might
have st ill better gone back to Alexander; then she l,;ould have said
that it took thirteen hundred years for the invader.s to estahlisil 1\
fOOlhold here!
Page 26
"Muhammad Ghur's Indian ventures ... "
Muhammad GhUT is a piece of illiteracy, and the illiler.te
form is throughout the book. It should be " Muhammad uf
Chur" Or "Shihabuddinl MU'lzzuddin of Ghut'''. Ghur' is the name
of a district: so 'Ghuri' would also do.
Pages 26-27
"Mahmud Ghazni invaded India sevent een times .
"Mahmud Gha.lni" is again a piece or il li lcracy Should
be "Mahmud of Cha7.ni"
Pilf!es 27-28
While the destruction of idols and lem.ples by Mahmud of Gha;.ni
needs to be mentioned, there is liule to go Into
such as. the doubtrul assertion (page 28) that Somnath ··dunng lunar
ec lipses drew as many as two to three lakh pilgri ms." or the
particulars (page 28) as to which part of which idul went where (a
long quota tion from Alhcrun i). I t is noteworlhy I ha! ot her
statement s suc h as those rega rding Indi an · science or the caste
syslcm made by .l\lberuni are passed over in silence.
Page 29
"The l.;ol1ege of Ajrner built by Vigrohar:lja IV Visaladeva
converted mto a mo:.que by the invading Turks :tntI hct:amc
J..nown as the Adhai din kaJhompra.'·
The statetm;,nt (repeated on page 381 IS tty n(l rncilns
Clearly, the bulldlllg of the mosque IS
design. though making use or ma terials of Hindu buil dings . which
62 Index of Errors
include an inscription of Vigraharaja. It does nOI
occupy the site of an earlier "coll ege."
Page 30
"Meanwhile another slave Bakhliyar Khalji .... '
Bakhtyar Khalji was nol a slave. but a free-born man of
the Khalji tribe.
Page 30
"In one expedition he [Bakhtyar Kha lji I reached as far ,\S
Uddanapur Vahara. a university town inhabited by monks. h was
destroyed, as were the famous monasteries of Nalanda and
Vikramslla."
One vihara alone is said to have been destroyed by
Bakhtyar Khalji (vide Minhaj Siraj), Meenakshi Jain makes it three
without any basis', Nalanda was in fact visited bY,a Tibetan monk
soon afterwards.
Page 30
" the colonial period when the British for the fi rst di sarmed
the Hindu peasantry."
The statement that the British 'disarmament' of the
peasants was Hindu-specific is absurd.
Pace 30
"The kshatriya varna had always been an open-ended category ...
the Rajputs ..• well into tne Britisn period married into armed
groups like the r-asis to augment their military might ."
Rajput-Pasi marriages were sure ly so rare as to be
insignificant. Throughout the textbook the author adroitly avoids
admitting any defect in caste society. She is ent irely si lent over
'What the dharmashaslra texts prescribed for outcasles, This is in
sharp contrast to her readiness to underline all the imperfc..:tions
in Islamic society.
Page 30
"There i s nothing to show that Islam mitigated socia l
discrimination against low-caste Hindu converts. Certainl y thc;:y
(sic!) did not regard the converts as social equals,"
Apparently, the author seems convinced th31 Musljm law
has the same rules for lower castes as the DharmaslWSfra. In fact.
Medieval India (Class XI) 63
a mitigation of circumstances for low cas tes wou ld have been an
obvious result of any application of Muslims law, though mitigation
does not mean elimirfation of all disabilities.
Page 31
"The Arabs ... In fact had developed a hi ghl y refined system of
racial discrimination ... White slaves, des ignated Mamluks. were
entrusted with hi gh office .. Black slaves, howe ver, were used
mostly for hard labour."
The aut hor seems to labour under the false impression that
Arabs [i.e. the ori ginal people of the Arabian peni nsul a] were
whi tes, and that the word mam/uk was onl y applied to non· African
('White' ] slaves. The extent of colour·di scrimi nalion in the Is lamic
world is thus described in unnecessaril y exaggerated terms . The
author also forgets thaI in the 13th century she has to deal wi th
Turks. Tajiks, and Indi an Muslims, not Arabs!
Page 38
•.... Turkish troops of the ruler of Sind [in mid·ninth cent uryJ."
There is no reference anywhere in our sources to the am in:
of Sind employing Turkish troops in the ninth century.
Page 62
" [The Delhi Sultanate rul e rs] effected an exploit:uion of Ihe
peasantry unparalleled in the annals of India".
There is no proof that peasants were any less exploited
before the regime of the Sultans.
Il is also worth nOling that while treating the establishment
of the Delhi Sultanate as '"a landmark in Indi an hi slOry," the author-
onl y notes as reasons their religion and exploitation of peasantry,
and ignores altogether the cult ural contributions of the Sultanate
or the cons iderable infusion of new production technIques (geared
wheel , spinning Wheel, paper, arcuate construction, ~ t c . )
Page 64
" He Ultutmis h I settled two thousand Turkish soldiers in the JUllb
region."
There IS no statement in any source that the ;qtu ' ·holding
soldiers were Turks.
Page 66
"Meos (inhabitants of the region of Mewat corresponding roughly
64 Index of Ermr.I'
10 nOllh·eastcrn Rajl!.sl han and said to be Yaduvanshi RaJpu!li) .....
The terntory of the Meos also included southern ,Huryana:
and the author tries needle"sly to 'RaJputiloc' them. for WhH.:h (hl!rc
is no contemporary authority.
Page 67
" Hulaku's successors, the II-Khan Mongols held a kingdom of
scarce resources and were hurdly a force to reckon with .. . '"
The Il-kharid empire was by no me:lns a well" pllwcr ;,1,
suggested by the author; and the statement IS seemtngly to
suppOrt "some s,,;holars" (whom it is diffil,;ul, 10 identify) whu
simpl y to run down Balban. lind suggest thai he was not al all
threatened by the Mongols. The Il-khanid Empire extended from
theOxus and Indus to Syria during Balban's time. and so CQnt:lim:d
Iraq. Iran and Afghanistan. and was I1m!1 well mto the 14th century
one of the great empires of Asi a.
Page 67
"Balbal1 appears to have been a poor military le:luer. ... The dbnl:J1
record of Balban's army ... ,"
These statements :'Irc hardly borne out by the facts. No
evidence of "dismal record" IS provided by the authur. There no
known military campaign by Balban in whi c h he sustatned
discomfiture.
Page 67
"Despite his c:taggerated praise o( Balban, the medieval chronicler
Minhaj us Siraj is unable to present him as a patron of culture,"
The author obviously does not know tfrat Minhaj wrOte
his Tabllqll1·i Nasir; some six years before Balban came 10 the·
throne!
Page 68
.. .. .. the polity included other foreign groups such free Turki sh
nobles. Khaljis. Ghurids find Tajiks,"
"Tajlk" was now the name for all' Per sian- s peaking
peoples, and thus Tajiks included Ghurids and, by thi s lime. Khalji s
as WeU.
Pagen
" He tAlauddin Khalj iJ returned with immense trcusures and In
India (Class XI) 65
the evocative. words of a modern hi SlOflon, 'the inevitable idol to
be trampled under the zealot's feet' ."
if a contempol1lry historian cannot be found, let It ' modern '
scholar be used to underline Muslim fanatici sm.
['age 73
•.. ... the first inst ance that a Turkish army had intruded InlO
southern India."
The anny was by no means Thrki sh in composi tion. Why
nol " Delhi Army", its usual name (Lashk.ar-i DeM;) among
contemporaries.
Page 75
"The rate of taxation in pre-Is lamic India was usually one-s ixth of
the produce and appears to have been far less than the exact ions
under the Delhi Sultans."
This is a characteri st ic piece of allributing ideal conditions
to ancient India and presenting medieval India in dark colours.
No serious historian supposes Ihe burden of taxation to have been
Just one-sixth of the produce in 'pre-Islamic' times.
Page 78
"A convert of the Parwari caste, it is said that ... he (Khusrau
Khan) reverted to his ancest ral faith."
There is no proof at all ort he reversion to "ancestral faith:"
lhe author seems exceptionally concerned all the time with
conversion and reconversion.
79
"The near unanimous contemporary condemnation of the Sultan
could perhaps be auribuled to his [Muhammad Tughluq's] open
consorting wi th Hindus andjogis, which provoked chroniclers like
h am! and Barani to denounce him as irreligious."
Such statements tend to portray medieval writers as far
more communally inclined than they aClUally were. Burani , our
major historian, never castigates the Sultan or holds him to be
irreligious on the ground that he consorted with Hindus. On the
contrary. he criticises him for encouraging rationalism. Similarly,
Ibn Batluta whjlehc saw him consorti ng withjogis, docs not at all
criticise 111m for this . Il is QlIl)' Isami, who makes the 'consorting'
3n issue; and he is a partisan of the Bahmanis who had rebelled
66 Imlex. of Errors
against the Sultan. Thus Jain's statements are here factuall y wrong
and. in purport, mi sleadi ng.
Page 82
" ... . And according to Ibn Battuta, [Muhammad Tughluq 1 himself
shi fted to Swargadwari ... "
Not onl y according 10 Ibn BaitUia. but also according 10
Barani and !sami as well. It i$ specifically menti oned in these
sources that the Hindi nainegiven to the place by the Sultan meant
" Door of Heaven", The cultural signifi cance of thi s nomenclature
is passed over in silence here by Meenakshi Jai n.
Page 82
"amiran-i soda or amirs of a hundred vil lages (cen!urians) ."
"Centurians" are captai ns of a hundred men, not m a s t e r ~
of a hundred village!i! The most plausible view also is that (III/iral/ '
i soda meant captains of a hundred troopers.
Page 83
"S·ar:mi pithil y commented, "at l:lsi the people got rid of him :lnd
he got rid of the people"."
The quotation is from the much later historian Sadauni ,
not Sarani , who never says such a thing.
Page 84
" He [Fi ruz TughluqJ then blockaded an Is land near the sea coas t,
where nearly a hundred thousand inhabi tants or Jajnagar (Orissa)
had taken refuge and 'converted the island infO :1 basin of blood
by the massacre of the unbelievers'."
There is no isla nd off Orissa coast which can possibly
contai n one lakh people or a tenth of the number.
Page 85
"A Barlas Turk., Timur, wound up the remnants of the Chaghal:l ),
Mongol kingdom ... "
Whatever does Jain mean by TilllUr 's "wi ndi ng up" of the
Chaghatay kjngdom's remnanu' 1
Page 85
"The Mughals were acwall y Barlas Turks. n\l! Mongols, though
mey also acknowledged thei r links with the hmer" .
Medieval India (Class XI) 67
The Barlas tribe was a genuine Mongol tribe and traced
il s descent from the legendary Mongol Alan Qua. with
whom the imperial line of Chengiz. Khan also originated. Such
Mongols as moved into Transoxania, including members of the
Chengisid house, Barlas and other Mongol c;lans took to the Turkk
tongue, and so became Turk icised, but cont inued to regard
themselves as of Mongol origin.
Page 87
"Thi s limited support base obl iged him (Ghiyasuddin Tughluq ]10
courl Alauddin' s nobles in his carly years, but the alliance
short- lived and ullimately many Alai nobles were executed."
Ghiyasuddin Tughluq did not kill off any group of nobles.
in his 4-year long reign, except those few who had revolted against
hi s son VI ugh Khan during the Warangal expedition. Most of hi s
nobl es were those continuing from the Khalji period, and thu!>.
like him, were "Alai s·'.
Page 87
" Indian converlS 10 Jslam, related to the Sultan ]Firuz Tughluq)
,
by marri age, were al so represented in the nobility, as were a few
,princes."
The qualifying phrase "rel rHcd to the Sultan by marriage"
. is uncalled for. Kannu, Khan-i Jaha.n, Firuz's Prime Mini ster and
a convert from Andhra, was not at all Qriginally related to the
Sultan. As to the "princes". Jain fails to mention that th'c princes
(ra'is) mentioned by her here, were Hindus, a point that deserves
to be noted, since she ot herwi se enlarges upon Firul. Tughluq' s
policy of religious intolerance (on pagc 86).
Page 91
"Vira Ballaln []I , ofte.n described as the champion 01 Hindus 10
the south ... "
Described by whom? There is a constant harpmg over
the Hjndu-Muslim st rife through statements such as this one.
Page 92
..... the Bahamani kingdom, founded in 1347, byAlauddin
Shah Bahman, an Afghan rebel oflicer. ... "
The correct spelling is ' Bahmani ,' n OI Baham:)ni, as
followed in thi s book throughoul. And Alauddin Hasan was not
68 Index of Errors
an Afghan.
Page 92
" Bukbl ._ , freed practicall y the whole of the south from foreign
domination."
The aut hor's view clearly is ro equal!: Musi[ll1s wilh
foreigners.
Page 9S
" Ouring the 175 years of its existence. the Bahamani kingdom
had witnessed the re ign of eighteen kings , fi ve of whom were
murdered , th ree deposed, two bl inded; whil e two died uf
int emperance"
All this may be true. Bul if the student ... need to be told
about slJch tellI ng facts about the wickedness or the ruJingclasses.
the aulhor should have told them also of the practice of burning
ail ihe wives and slavegir ls of the dead rulers in Rajpul and other
dynasties: in the Vijayanagara Empire 400-500 women were thus
ki lled al the death of every rul er II is important that balance be
mai nt ained 10 such maltcrs.
Page 100
>' Ti mur repeatedly states in hi s memoi rs. the TII :; lI k- j Timllri .. . ,
These so-called "Memoirs" are not genuine, an9 the lex!
translated by Elli ot and Dawson and quoted h e r ~ was expli cit ly
written in 'autobiographic' form in the reign of Shahjahan. The
carli er 'aulObiography', which these especially crafted memoirs
sought to replace. and which might or might not be genuine. SlOpS
at a point much earlier Lhan Timur's invasiqn of Indi a.
Page 101
"Some modern sch<1lars assert that there is no reason 10 assume
that Muslims were spared in this massacre Iby Timur!, ' ,
Not only " modern scholars": Yazdi, our main sou rce. says
' >kalima-reciting infidels" [i.e. Muslims) were sla ughtered. Yahya
Sirhindi, the contemporaneous Indian historian , " I ~ o s peaks of
MusliplS as the victims ,
Page 101
"Khi zr Khan was appointed governor of Multan by Firuz Shah
Khalji,"
Medieval India (Cla.u XI) 69
l a laluddin Fjruz Khalji ruled a hundred years earli er
(1290-96) and had nothing to do with Khizr Khan
Pngl' 102
"The l:.Ist ruler of this dynasty slain in the battle 01 PtlnipUL'
The name of fbrahim Lodi should be inserted hcrl<. W :lVoid
obscurity.
Page 105
tllc renowned Rana Srl ngha __ . ,.
This spelling of the famous Mewar name wrong;
the c()rrCI.' l spel ling "Rana Sanga" is given on page 132,
Page 111
" At till S pomt, the iqtadars of ii/tas ) also served us
governors."
The governors werc actually call ed //Iul/,a's or
never iqra 'dars. a term reserved for small asslgnment-holders_
'''age 116
"The famous Iron Pillar. uprooted from Malhura .
There is no cert ainty thaI the Mehrauli Iron PiUar WIIS
brought from Mathura.
Page 117
.. Its [Alai refined appearance has neen um ibuted to
the Influx of Mus li m artisans and craftsmen Lo Indi a lollowing Lhe
coll apse of the Saljulo. Empire."
The Selj uq Empirc had collapsed in the 12th century. How
cQuld this have anything to do with the building of the Alai
Darwaza in early 14th century?
Pages 119-120
"Persian Literature"
It is si ngular thaI Amir Khusrau is jusl passed over in one
sentence (p. 120); "Among the prominent poets of the age were
Amir Khusrau, Amir Hasan Dihal vi and Malik Muhammad laisl : '
Jaisj was nor a poet of Persian. The author omits to refer
to Amir Khusrau 's ve ry Important metri cal account of Indian
c.ulture in Nuh Sipihr. perhaps since thi s wou ld hav{:!: clearly
70 Index of Errors
indicated the evolution of a composite culture.
Page 121
' "The new [Islami c] identit y became so pervasive Ihal all traces of
pre- Islamic forms were erased from publi c memory . .. the,Egyptian
conver\S, who even forgot their Pharaohs,"
These comments show profound ignorance. The author
does not seem [0 have heard ofFi rdausi's Shahnmnll (11th cenlUry).
which is regarded as Iran's National Epic and is concerned entirely
with Iran's pre-Isl amic greatness. As for Egypt. she forget!> that
the Pharaohs had di sappeared morc than 1200 yea rs before the
Arab conques t. at whi c h lime the bulk of Egyptians were
Chri stians: Islam practically entirel y adopts the pre-Islamic Biblical
tradi ti on, which it shares with the And Pharaohs are
remembered in that traditi on: Meenakshi Jain should read up the
stories of Joseph and Moses.
Page 122
"The extreme racialism [contempt of recent Hindu convert!.1
reac hed its pinnacle under Balban, though such senlimcnb
we ll into thc seventeenth century."
This theme, Invoked more than onl;c. is ce rta!!ll }
overstressed. Balban himself was a conven. Khan J ahsl) Muqbul.
the powerful Pr ime Milllster of Firuz Tughluq , wa", a Hindu
convert. held him in contempt.
Page 123
" It was onl y after the Bntish arri ved that the IdeSlhat Islam
social equali ty, as opposed to religious merit . was floated:'
The statement is so one-s ided as to be lotall y misleading.
It is mainly fI questi on of what one means by l'soc ml equality."
Islamic law does nm formally distinguish betwecn men on bi1'1l>
of birth for purposes of judging crime and puni shment ; nor does it
countenance anything approachi ng caste-hierarchy. Women are not
treated as equals, but are still assigned rights to mheritance (half
that of men), and are definjte legal persons. As earl y as II th century
( long before the Briti sh conquest). Alberuni, writing on the IndIan
caste system. contrasts it wi th Islam's secular equality. Thus Jain's
stat ement that "equality" in Islam I S a modern idea. is factually
incorrect. .
It is remarkabl e that this bQQk nowhere cdnl ains a
(Clo.ss XI) 71
description of the treatment of dalilj' or of untouchability under
the caste system, if the da/iu' have no part in our heritage.
Page 123
"Scholars note that Islam registered Its greatest gains in wt!stern
Punj ab and eastern Bengal. both areas on the periphery of settled
agriculture ... Communiti es of hunter-gatherers ... took to the new
fait h in both regions' .
The argument has. no basis, nor logi c. East Bengal ha!>
been a rich agricult ural region, and the history of Indian agriculture
began in the Indus basin (mainly Panjab and Si nd). No reason is
also advanced why "hunter-gatherers" should rush to become
Mus li ms in Punjab and Bengal and nOl e lsewhere
Page 124
"Sagun Bhakti"
Kabir appears only briefly in this book and in a sub-chapter
on Saguna Blwkli.' Only one sentence is devoted to him: "The
nirguna school was best represented by Kabir. cons idered the
spiritual preceptor of all subsequent north Indian ptJ,ntl!s."
Comple te sil ence is thus maintained over his lowly
profession (weaver) and Muslim origin. hi s rcjct.:tion of bOlh
Hinduism and Is lam. his denunciation of caste disabilities and
ritual. and his popular vibrant verses . Ravidas, the great dalit saint ,
and Sain, the barber, both disciples of Kabir. and giving vent to
simil ar ideas , are totall y ignored. The omi ss ion of such a vital
aspect of our common cultural heritage is clearly pan of hin's
design to exclude all inlegrative or t.:ritical c le ments Frum our
history.
Pages 126-127
"Guru Arjun . .. "
The proper spelling of [he Guru '5 name ' Arjan· .
P,ge 127
"Sufi Movement"
Strangely, Sufism is nowhere described: The st udent is
nowhere told that Sufism lays emphasis on Luve of God, holds
(orlh no expectation of reward in afterliFe. and aims at :1 t.:Ol1lp!cle
absorpti on in God wit h the annihilati on IjUlW) of st ir. ThI S
definition would explain why sufism is distinct from urthtldux III
n lildex of Errors
theological Islam, where there is a strong st ress on earning
merit for reward in aflerlife. Without such an explanation the
s\Udent wou ld have no notion of what kind of thuught is being
talked about. Mere mention of importil nt sufis' names of little
use.
Page 127
" By the twelJth century. Suri sm had been completely integrated
into orthodox Islam as a resu lt of the effort s of al-ChaZ'lli. al·
Hallaj and Ibn a)· Arabi."
Thi s is an Ignorant piece of nonsense. Sufi sm had by n{l
means been "completely integrated into orthodQx [sl:.lm" lly till'
12th century (ortill date). The question then was how far it ..:ould
be tol e rated by the orthodox. Ghazali (d, 1'111 ). indeed. pl:lyed ,[
part in securing for it a limited tolerance; but like Nizamuddin
Auliya of Delhi (d 1324), conti nued LO pour scorn 110 Ghat:; li· ...
own rituali stic "uilude. As for al-Hallaj and ibn al- · Arah •. th ...
inclusion of their namt:s among those who hrought nearer
to orthodox Islam is just absurd. Hall aj was executed In earl y t (hh
century for exclaiming "I am God ITruth'. 1i nd (hll " coull.! hanll)'
be deemed to have striven rOT peace with the orthodox. Ihn al·
Arabi (d. 1240) enunei:1tcd his theory of ' Unit y of by
whicb both tbe world and rel igion were held to he an illusion.
Thi s proposition convulsed IslamiC tbought, and ··to the urlhodox
theologians Ibn ai-Arabi was little better than an infi del'· ( H,A.R.
Gibb). Hallaj and Ibn ArabI thus co ntr ibuted not 10 any
reconciliation with orthodox Isl am. but 10 · a fundamental break
with it.
Incidentally, Meenakshi Jam's chronOlogy IS .lIrnciuu ... .
Hallaj is placed after Gbazah. 311d ibn .II- Ara bi before ( Ir in the
12th century,
Page 127
"In the Indian context, Suri;; m.:'ticul ously resolved thei r
with the ul ema, and cmpha:-;il.cd the need to foll ow the Sharia"
This statement 100, wilh words like "mclicul\)l.l"ly" and
"emphasized" , seems to be driven by a desire!U show lhat
wa:-; just Ihe other Side of the coin of orthodox bl am. While the
sufis"nad no qll3rrcl with the slwria as perceIved by
per $e, the y did not regard t hemselves as bound by it in truly
s pirilUal or even moral matters. How would otherwise e xplain
Ni zamuddin Auliy:.· .. critica.l attitude (oward:. IhMe who went 011
Medieval lndia (Class XI)
7J
Haj pilgrimage. or hi s approval of the freeing of conve rto!d
even when this meant colluding in their apostasy.
Page 132
"The death of Rana Sanga and several Rajput leaders 01 note lul
the battle of KhanuaJ considerably weakened the possibility of:t
Rajpul resurgence ... :
An inexcusable blunder: Rana Sanga was not kil led at the
baule of Khanua. but ned from lhe fi eld.
Page 134
[for Babur's mosques I were carefull y l>clected
Sambhal was where the tenth and last Ollalar of Vishnu was to
appear at the end of the J'uga, and Ayodhya was rcvered as the
birlhplace of Rama."
It is most implausibl e thul Babur knew (unlike Mcenab;hl
Jain) where Vi shnu 's last alllllar would appe ar atlhe end (If tllne;
as for Ayodhya, it was then the headquarters of a large provi nl:c.
and there is no indication from the Babri Masjid inscnptlonli' thaI
any particular desire to build a mosque in a Hindu holy place was
being entertained. Such baselesl> should have no pla..:t'
in a school textbook.
Pase 13S
" He (Sher Shah) al so real ised jaziya from the Hindus",
There is nb e xplicit statement In the sources that he did
so. The correct spelling is
Page 139
"He tHemuj then declared himselr independent. and Invoking the
sanskriric traditions ass umed the title of Raja Hemchanura
Vikramaditya."
The fact of Hemu declaring himself independent is by no
means certain; and there is a statement in one source that he had
rc;ceived the title of Bikramajit (Vikramaditya) from hi s sovereign
Muhammad' Adil Shah after an earlier success at Chunar. Thai he
bore the name Hemchandra I S a pure piece of speculation. h
thus not al all clear that he himself had invoked any 'samkritLI,
traditi ons' ,
74 Index of Errors
Page 140
" Abdul Rahim Khan Khana ..
The till e was ' Khan-i Khannn ' Cthe khan of khans') no r
;K han- i Khana" (the Khan of the house).
Page 148
" Little wonder thatsuldl-kul, peace with all , was Akbar' s mono",
The correCt spell ing is s/llil-; kill . and the meaning i ~
' absolute peace', not 'peace with all' .
Page 149
'' In 1579. Akbar abolished the jaziya".
The jjzya was abolished in 1564, re- impos ed (on ly
nominall y) in 1575. and finally aboli shed in 1579. Since mosl text
books give (correctly) the date orthe abolit ion of thcjiZ}'Q as 1564,
an explanation of why 1579 is bei ng given as rhe da te of its
abolition is necessary.
Page 149
"The same year [1579J, he [Akbar] issued the controvers ial Mahz.ur
. ... The Mahzar was a decree, which enti tled the Emperor to
choose one of the interpretat ions of Muslim law ... ,.
The author here continues to commi t. an error long refuted.
Mahzar means a statement, a decl aration of facts, attes ted by
witnesses, or opinion. on a point of law given by au\nori tative
exponems of law. By its very name, it could not be ttn imperi al
decree. The mahzarof 1579 was, in fact. a declarati on of opini on
by noted theologians on the enti tlements of ajusl !>overeign in the
realm of legal interpretation. It was fl ot issued by Akba r. but
presented 10 him.
Page 149
"The move that has attracted the greatest alten(ion, however. h:
Akbar's proclamation of the Din-i /lahi. "
There is no state ment in any of our source!> thaI Akbar
ever proclaimed a religion known as Din-i Ilahi . As ,has been
repeatedJy pointed out, the term appears oblique.! y through Ihe
quotation from a sycophant's document. Akbar himself believed
both din (religion) and dun.ya (world) 10 be illusions, as Abu\ l
Fazl makes clear; and so the questi on of hi s es tablishing a religion
could hardly ari se. He had only a limited c ircle of disciples to
Medievalilldio (Class XI) 75
promote his views ofS/4th·i Kul (derived from Ibn 'Arabi ) and Ihe
iIIuminalionist doctrine of Shjhabuddin Maqtul. As for "claiming
propl)ethood for himself' (author's words on the last line of the
page), the author should have noted that in a saying of his (recorded
by Abu' l Fazl) Akbarexpressed<iisbelief in both proph.ethood and
divine incarnation.
Page 150
"But Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi ...• who often criticised the Emperor
for failing in his duties as a Muslim ruler, never accused him of
apostasy ...
Sirhindi called Akbar '·the Opponent of the Cause of
Islam" (mana '.j daulat·; Islam); so the above statement is hardly
accurate.
Page lsd
"Akbar' s Hindu nobles preferred to remain aloof [from Akbar's ·
eircle-of disciples] ......
So, indeed , did Muslim nobles: the circ le was nOI
apparently intended to be a duplication of the durbar.
Here it is important to note that Jain totall y ignores Akbar 's
views on social mailers. She ignores his prohibition of slave.trade
in early 1560s and hberatlon of his own sla\tCs in 1582. Still more
curious is the total o m i ~ s i o n of any reference to Akbar's harsh
disapproval of sati, and prohibition of il1volunlary sari. The author
tends to gloss over this practice everywhere, and so avoid!>
mentioning it in connection with Akba'r's social reforms. She also
omil:.; t.o mention Akbar's prohibition of child marriages, an
institution so strongly entrenched in India.
Page 151
..... the mjr saman was in charge of the supply department".
He was actually in charge of the Imperial household,
Page l53
"Given that India was almost free from the scourge of foreign
invasions during Mughal rimes it is apparent that this awesome
military apparatus W3S directed towards conquering and
reconquering the sal1)c old territories and restive peoples.·'
The author supposes obviously that. other states were nut
as: militaristic as the Mug-hal Empire. Yet how c lsl:, then. cuul{1
76
Index of Errors
the Rajputs have been "the swordarm of Hmdu society" ( the
author's own words on page I 50)'! One may also wonder why an
army shC?uld reconquer a country already conquered. There is no
logic in such flamboyant statements. As to the freedom from " the
scourge of foreign invasions." should not .the credi t for thI S he
placed al the door of the very "awesome" Mughal mi litary
apparatus, which discouraged any auempl al invasion'! When i\
coll apsed, invasions like those of Nadir Shah and the Abdali s.
and, of course, the Briti sh could altain success.
Page 153
"The overwhelming majority of the beneficiaries of such (mat/lId-
j rna 'ash) grants were Muslims."
While it is true that the majorit y orthe benefic iaries were
Muslims, Akbar and his successors also gave larg¢ grants to Hindu
temples and divines. a fact which should 31 least have been
mentioned here.
,Page 154-5
On Ihese pages under the subheadings "Magnitude of Revenue
Demand" and "Rural Taxes olher than Revenue'" Meenakshl J;.IIn ,
constantly slresses the oppressive nature of Ihe Mugh ul
administration. freely using statements relating 10 late r reigns for
the reign of Akbar. with which Ihis chapter ("India under Akbar")
deals. On the other hand, she does not refer anywhere 10 the sysh!rn
of laceavi loans. reduced la.ltation rates for newly culti vated land
and incentives for c ultivating highe r-value c rops, which were
important ways of developing agri cultural resources under Akhar
and his successors. Her omission here may be contrasted with hc r
treatment of Shivaji's fiscal system on p. 191 . There Shi "uji is
praised for "extending developmental loans (i .e . laecavi loansl to
agricuhurisu"; and his high rates of taxation are passed over in
silence.
Page 160
lIIustralion : " Meeting of Jahangir with the Persilln king Shah
Abbas."
It should have been nOled that the meeting is ~ m imaginary
one.
Mediemllndia (Class XI ) 77
Page 162
" .. . lahangir was attracted to· the greaf as.:ct ic, Gosain
Jadru·p."
Jadrup (::::Chadrup) is the popular form of Chitrarupa, U
Shaivile yogi , who beli eved tn Shankaracharya ' ::; ve r.')lt.n HI
Vedanta.
Page 162
" Many learned Muslims .. . rejected hi s (Ahmad S,rh'lldi 's ) cI,lim
to be a manifestation of thi:: Four Pious Caliphs."
Shaikh Ahmad Sirh indi c laimed lO he ""
manifestation" of the (jrst four Caliphs in any form whatsoever.
HIs high claims to have access to God in the spiritual sphere. were
naturally not accepted by those who were not hi s foll owers; but
Ihi s contr.ovcrsy did not.. any daim to caliphal incarnation.
Page 162
"The new queen soon becllme the favourite of the Empe rors' (.fic)
wives."
Favourite of the Emperor's other wi ves? The author
perhaps meant to write simply: "favourite wife of the Emperor."
She should have done so.
Potge 165
"AI no point cou ld the Mughal s Ihr'eaten the Uzbek capital
[Bukhara] or even co me close t(] the It cit y ('i f
Samarqand."
, The two ci ties were not the objective in the Mugh:.11
expedition of 1645-46 (the dates are not given by the author) . The
MughaJs aimed at seizing Balkh and Badakhshan (modern northern
Afghanistan), which they occupied , but cou.ld not hold on to
Page 166
"The shift in the imperialist IShahjahan's] attitude was refl ective
of the growi ng ascendancy of revivalist forces within the wld,r
Muslim communit y,"
It is a noticeable trena in this book to reserve the words
"orthodox" and "revivalist" for Muslims alone. As for the
made here, had Shahjahan been as orthodox or intolerant , he would
surel y not have favoured Dara Shukoh, who made a PerSIan
translation of the Upanishads, and otherwi se showed great intcrest
78 Index of Errors
in Vedanta (see pages 167-8 of the book).
Page 167
.. . .. Dara's apparently less than conformist behaviour earned him
the ire of his coreligionists."
This statement has no basis. Dara Shukoh's cause was
supported by a large number of Muslim nobles. and none is known
10 have deserted him for rcasons of his 'nonconformity'. The most
prominent person who changed sides with a vcngeance was Mi rza
Raja Jai Singh; and Rana Raj Singh favoured the cause of
Aurangz;eb as against that of Dan Shukoh almost from the
beginning of the war of succession.
Page 168
"Assisted by Murshid Quli Khan. a talented revenut:: officer,
Aurangzeb substantially improved the outflow of resources from
the Deccan."
There is no proof that Murshid Quli Khan' s measures led
to any "outflow of resources", Rather, the sources suggest thal a
'modest and fair assessment led to an extension of
Pale 1458
"His {Aurangzeb's} plans for a joint invasion of Golconda with
Mir Jumls were not approved by Shah Jahan. who also withdrew
from a proposed invasion of Bij apur. At this moment Shah Jahan
fell ill, triggering off a war of succession among his sons:'
The political history as given here is all wrong Aurangzeb
not only planne'd, but undertook an invasion against Golconda in
1656 aDd imposed a harsh treaty on it. Shahjahan showed his
approval by summoning and appointing Mir Jumla as his Wazlr.
Bijapur too was. invaded with his approval in 1657, and Bidar was
seized; this war was not yet over when Shahjahan fell ill.
Page 171
"The imperfect integration of several parts of the subcontinent
with the Mugbal Empire necessitated repeated expeditions 10
conquer the same regions,"
Only two regions. Assam and the Afghan tribal area are
mentioned (pp.171·2) after this broad statement. These do not make
up "several" parts. In fact. most provinces of Mughal Empire
during the 17th century witnessed 3 remarkable state of peace.
Medieval India (Class XI) 79
Page ]72
"[Aurangzebl replaced the solar calendar by the lunar hijra."
The solar calendar for calCulating the regnal years had
already been replaced by Shahjahan in his tenth regnal year. For
revenue collection as weil as salary payments Aurangzeb continued
the use of the solar calendar as hitherto. S.H. Hodivala long ago
explained that what he dispensed with was the annual fixation of
fJauroz (the first day of the solar year) by the astronomers.
Page 175
,. Aurangzeb's religious interventions provoked wides pread revolts
in the empire."
It is arguable whether under the heading "Political
Ideology" the author needed to go into all Ihe d e t < l i l ~ o f
Aurangzeb's measures of intolerance, without adequately
explaining their limitations. The statemenl thallhese measure!> led
to "widespread revolts" is certainly not borne out by facts.
Pages 175-76
"The Jats" and "The Satnamis"
Lisdng the lats among revolts reflecting "Hindu
resistance", the author omits to mention lhal expediti ons against
them were undertaken by the Kachhwaha Rajpuis. Nor is the fact
ment-joned that the Salnamis destroyed both mosques and temples.
Page 178
"ll is said that the Guru was a devotee of Goddess Chandi."
We have a claim here reminiscent of the RSS's old claim
that "Sikhs are Hindus." It is characteri stic of the author ' s vein
that while she thus inlerprets Guru Gobind Singh's lilerary
compositions Chandi di \lar and Chandi chariuar ufwt i?ilas, she
does not quote Guru Gobind Singh's ZAfarnama (also in Dasam
Graflfh) where he declares that while the Hindu chiefs "are idol-
worshippers. I am an idol-breaker." Elsewhere too. the Guru
forbids hi s followers to believe in gods and goddesses. He can.
therefore. hardl y have been a "devotee" of any goddess.
Page 179
.' ... an Afghan, linked either with Wazir Khan or with un imperial
officer. mortally wounded Guru Gobind Singh ."
There is no proof that [he Afghan had anything to do with
80 Index of Errors
any Mughal noble or officer. including Wazfr Khan. Theakhbanll
show that the Emperor sent a mourner's robe to the Guru ' s <ldopteJ
son in token of condolences.
Page 180
"The Emperor offered to confer the title of raj a on him lAji l Singh I
when he attained adulthood on the conditi on that he be rai sed as a
Muslim .. . "
The sources ment ion no such condition having been laid .
When lndar Singh was made the raja after the spir iting. away or
Aj it Singh. hi s appoinlrnem was not made subj ecT \0 any such
condition either.
Page ]80
'The cornered Rajpuls urged Prince Akbar La revolt against h i ~
father, whose anti-Rajpul and anti-Hi ndu poli cies. they daimcd,
were ruining the Empire ... bOI the Emperor's tri ckery foiled thei r
joi nt attack .. ."
The words "anti-Hindu" are gralUilous ly att ribut ed to the
Rnjpul s by the author. About Aurangzeb's "trickery" , the reader
is given no clue. It is, perhaps, a reference to the long di scredited
Story of a false letter fTom Aurangzeb that was allowed 10 fall int o
the wrong hands. [f so, instead of using a pejorative word, whatever
happened should have been directly slaled.
Page 180
·' In his panoramic The Discovery of India , Jawaharla l Nehru
prcsenu::d a graphic portrayal of Aurangzeb . .. "
In the quotation that foll ows the point s that Nehru
discourses on, are all those which the author has already underlined
wi th much d"elai!. II is characteristic that Ihe only quotation from
Nehru taken should be on this theme, and not on Ihe evolution of
common cuJture or on Akbar, where his ideas are at total variance
with the NCERT author's approach.
Page 183
Exercise No.6: It will be seen that the mate-hing exercise is reall y
poinlless, with Chhalra Sal atone being a personal name, and so
obviously linked to the onl y answer requiring a person on thc
matching options. It is not even a test of commonsense.
McditvallntJia (Class XI) 81
186
"Groups like the Mararhas, Sikhs, and Jals '--took on th,e mighty
and splintered and shattered their domains,'"
The Iranians... under Nadir Shah und the AfghrlOs. who
played'"a miljor part in weakening and splinlering the Mughal
Empire. are here ignored. presumably just because they were
Muslims, -
Page 186
" Bijapur had a small Muslim e lite because thc Portuguese
occupation of the WeSI coast cut off migration from Arabia and
Persia, while the Mughals disrupted immigrati on from the nonh, "
This is a baseless slt1lement. The Portuguese ceased
interfering with much of Asian shipping by latcr decades of the
sixteenth century, and the Mughals never slOpped travcl to the
Deccan through or from their empire,
Page 190
"Several administrative denominations were taken from the ancien!
pas t 311d Sanskrit technical terms coined .. ...
In fact, the offices or departments were largely those
instituted in the Deccan kingdoms of the lime, and the Persian
disignations (ralher than their Sanskrit continued in
use, as for al least six. of the Eight MInisters , viz. .. Peshwa,
Majmu 'adar. Dabir. and Sar·i Naubal.
Pages 190·91
[n the description of Shivaji's administrati on on these pages no
reference is made to chaulh of revenue) and
sardeslmw.khi (additional one· tenth) exacted by Shivaji from areas
not under hi s cont rol, under the threat of putting them to sack - in
which event no difference was made between Hindl..l and Muslim.
The dCJscription of Shivaji's admini stration and fiscal sys tem is
thus seriously incomplete.
Page 192
"The Brahmin and Telugu officials or the two states [Bijapur and
Golkundal, however. were almost discharged from service".
The author does not make the qualification that Marntha
olTicials of Bijapur were taken into Mughal service in large
82
·Index of Errors
numbers. As she formulate s her statement s the reader would
ass ume that in both slates after anne.'lati on Hindu official s were
universally di scharged. As for TeJugu officials or chiefs, eight of
them are known to have obtained a mansab of 1000 or above before
1707. So they 100 were nOI excluded.
P a g ~ 193
"' A':urangzeb now declared jihad on the Marathas . • ,
Aurangzeb conducted campaigns against Marathas whic h
may be described as jihad in the sources. BUI ttJere was no
particular point at which Aurangzeb " decla red jihad on the
Marathas." Such rhetoric needs to be avoided.
Page 193
"European trading compani es in turn began to entrench themselves
in places such as Bombay and Madras",
This is a very confused kino of statement. Only the Engli sh
llJdia Company entrenched itself ill Bombay and Madras; no other
European Companies had their ' factori es' there. The major Dutch
factory was at Puli (:at; the French at Pondicherry.
Page 194
"Aurangzeb died at Aurangabad ..
The author seems incapable of accuracy_ Aurangzeb died
at Ahmadnagar; his bOdy was taken later ~ o Khuldabad near Ellora
where he lies buried.
Page 197
..... offi cial documents like Daslur-ul Amal-; Alamgiri
The Dasturu'l 'Amal-i ' Alamgiri is nor an o ffi c ial
document but a privately compiled exp lanation of official
.procedures.
Page 198
" Population, too, sc holars say, grew at a low average annual rat e
of 0. 14 per cenl during the years 1600- 1800. "
Shireen Moosvi , giving the most thorough calculation yet
availabl e works out an annuaJ growth of 0_21 per cent for 1600-
1800. This was not " low" by world standards. The rat es for 1600-
1700 in Europe were: Fran!?e, 0.08%; Britain, 0.31 %; Spain and
Portugal, 0. 12%, Germany. 0.00%; and Russia, 0.12%. We b-ave
Medieval India (Closs XI) 83
absolutely no knowledge of the rates at which population had
grown in India in earlier times.
Page 198
, •.. . the muqarrari raiya", .
The correct form is either ra 'iyat or ri 'aY(l, not rtliya. The
term ri'aya-i muqarrari is not found in the Persian documents,
but may mea!) peasants paying a fixed (muqarrari ) rale of tax.
The author does not herself explain what the term nlllqarmri stands
f9r .
. Page 200
"Thousands and thousands of peasants were enslaved and deported,
many sold to countries west of India ... Kabul became the centre
of this trade."
In support of this statemcnt, with its "thousands and
thousands", the author gives (page 20 1) two instances on ly from
the whole of the Mughal period: one of Jahangir ens laving ··poor.
mi serable theevish people thai li ve in woods and deserts" whil e
hunting (Finc h) and the other a tradition about Abdullan Khan
Firuz Jang capturing and selling away captured peasants and their
families to Persia in course of military operations in Kanauj -
Kalpi area (source not -s tated). In fact. however, slave trade had
declined great ly in Mughal rimes. and there is no statcment about
thero being any large mart for Indian slaves at Kabul from Akbar 's
time onwards. Indeed, information about Indian slaves imported
inla Central Asia dries off after the early years of Akbar's reign.
The author ought to have men'tioned that in 1563 Akbar totally
forbade export of slaves. and ordered harsh punishment s, lik.e
cutting the ears of merchants engaged in thi s traffic.
Page 201
"When asked by a visitor how many infidel heads he (Abdullah
Khan] had cut off ... Scholars believe that the account , though
possibly exaggerated, may contain a grain of trut h."
This entire passage has nothing to do with "Sluve Trade"
under whi ch headmg it is placed. It was in a conversation with
Farid Bhakkari , author of a biographical dictionary of Mughal
nobles, that Abdullah Khan claimed to have slaughtered 200,000
persons. Farid Bhakkari clearly shows that these claimed numbers
included both Hindus and Muslims , and "ot simply those of
84
Index ofErlVr.l
"i nfidels" as Meenakshi h in tells her readers. The claims were
undoubtedly exaggerated in terms of numbers. but these
serve the NCERT author's purpose in presenting as dark:l. si de of
the picture as possible. with an appropriate communal message
attached.
Page 201
"The Mughal s adopted tI policy of seali ng Afghtills in areas 01
i nsurgence,"
This is not at all true. The MughaJ s, by and large, were
wary of Afghnn elements even in the anny, although they we re
recruited as soldiers. That Jahangir seuteJ Dilzak Afghans in India.
or Au'rangzeb invited Afridis 10 Muzaffornagar DIstrict IS by no
meanS based on reli able reports. Aurangzeb himself had been fated
by a powerful Afghan rebellion. In any case [hl' fe is no rcason
why thi s paragraph, like the precedi ng one, should appear under
"Slave Trade".
Page 205
"Water and wi nd power not unknown" ,
This stateme nt is incorrect In respect of wind power,
Windmills (employed in Sislan outside the Mughal Empi re) nre
not known to have been used in India, except for a stray reference
to a disused windmill at Ah madabad.
Page 200
"Since grain pri ces incrcased by more than a hundred' per cent
during this peri od, the re was a ,eal decline in earnings of the lowest
paid workers,"
The year 1637-38, whose pri ces arid wages at Agra arc
being compared with normal prices and at the Imperial
Court, Lahore, 1595-96, included a period of,great scarcity; so
the inference of a decline in real wages over the whole period i!o>
not a jlJ:jlifiableone, especial ly i f one not es 111C facl Ih:lllhe
concerned are at much distance from each other.
Page 206
" Money'"
In the text whether under (his headi ng or elsewhere in the
c hapter one would have expected a reference 10 deposi t-bunking.
the developed network of bills of exchange (hl/fldi;),) and insurance,
Medieval India (Class XI) 85
which are noteworthy features of the financial sys tem of thi s
penod. Meennkshi Jain has nol a word about them.
Page 2J2
..... Jodha Bai's palace ... and Raja Birbal"s home ..
It should be pointed out that the bui'ldings al Fatchpur Slkn
have been given these names in the 19th century by ignorant guides
Page 216
··Shah Jahan forbade the construction of Hindu temples and
destroyed several others, as ror example, the temple const ructed
by Bir Singh at Oreha."
Statements to this effect Rre already made on pages 164
and 166. in much more det ai l; so their repetition here IS ... urely
dictated more by the author's brief than need.
Page 217
"Auran.gzeb destroyed several Hindu temples . .. the Emperor"s
attention."
The entire paragraph is a mere repetition of whal has been
said in much greater detail on page 173, See the precedIng
comment .
Page 218
"Early projects of Akbar's reign include the/-lhmzallomu, the
of Amir Haml-a, an uncle of Prophet Muhammad, who Iried lu
convert the world to Islam".
Haml.a was killed at the battle of Uhud in the lifetime of
Prophet Muhammad; and he had earlier constantl y kept company
with the Prophet - so there WitS no time to try to convert
the world! Later on, Imnian folk-tales of chivalry got attached tIJ
hi s name: and it was !.hes!! tales (rrot Hamza's alleged status II
missionary) that attracted Akbar and his painters.
Page 218
"Translations of Arabic. Turki sh and Kashmiri works were also
undertaken fat Akbar's court) ."
No. book in the Kashmiri language was translated
Page 220
" Persian literature in this period, they ['some scholar ... 'I say. wa.,
86 Index of Errors
uninfluenced by Sanskrit , even as Sanskrit and Hindi rema ined
immune to Persian cultural tWllins."
It is the same siory of emphasizing tne belief thal lhe twain
ha ve never met! How can it be said that Persian literat ure remained
uninfluenced by Sanskrit., when Akbar's poet laurcilte Fai zi wrote
the long metrical romance (masll awi), Naf-Daman. on the Jove of
Nala and Damayanti ? As for Hindi it is enough 10 point to the
considerable amount of Persian influence on its vocabul ary and
idiom.
One major omission in ' Literary Developments' is the
absence of an)' attention to Persian poetry and of the ri se of Urdu
and the first phase of its literature. Another omi ssion IS in respect
of regional literatures. The peri od represents a ric h phase in
Bengali , for example. It also saw the flowering of Malayalam after
its separation from Tamil,
Pages 220-21
" Bhakti Movement Continues"
The author thinks 'this theme is the onl y one from the
re ligious sphere that needs to be described .. She thus ignores the
interaction of religious thought at higher levels whi ch is suc h a
feature of the cultural developments of the Mughal period. It is
seen not onl y at the Mughal COUit (under the pall'onage of Akbar
and Dara Shukoh). but also outsi de. The Dabistan-i MazaMb, ::l
book on reli gions written in c. 1655 by a me mber of the Si pas:i
sect of Pars is, is an unbi ased account of the major rellgions. unique
in the world during its time. Surely this needed a mention, if nol
an adequate description_
Pages 221-24
"Glossary"
The Glossary is rather unbalanced with several obvious
terms mi ssing, especially from vari ous regions. for example: IIr
(Chola Empire), pa/aiylIkkartls or ' poligars' (Vijayanagara
Empire), swarajya (especiall y with reference to Snivaji), Wllftln
or vantha (Maharashlra, Gujarat), GIlru (Sikhism).karon· (MughaJ
administration). Eyen the word sati is missing, Many meanings
are ra,ther inaccurate, e.g. amin (meaning official concerned main,ly
with revenue assess ment. not collection), or ulama (spell IIl emu
in t he Glossary) which means si mpl y learned men, from 'if",
(knowledge) , Waqf is not a grant to religi ous bodies, but a trust
established for a parti cul ar purpose. Sarkar was not only u
Medieval India (Class XI) 87
territorial division, but also an official establishment (such as that
of King or a noble). The correct spelling is khanazad\ literally
' born in the house', not khanazada.
Pages 2 2 S ~ 2 8
" Bibliography"
One marks a notable omission: Tara Chand. Influence of
Islam on Indian Culture.
4
Hari Om, et al. India
for Class IX
lSI edition' , August 2002; reprint edit ion, Oclober 2002
Unit J: INDIA IN THE
TWENTIETH- CENTURY WORLD
Note: Page No from the reprint edition IS given only when differcrH
from that of the first edition.
Page J
" India in the Twentieth-Century World: .. , Some of the most
nOleworthy [developments] were the completion of [he age-old
process of colonialism in Asia and Africa",
European colonial domination has by no means been " age-
old", having begun 10 lake shape only after 1592 (the yea r of
Columbus's epochal discovery of America, soon to be followed
by Vasco da Gama's voyage 10 (ndia, 1498 ).
Page 1
" (Other 20th century developments included] Worl d War I, coup
ill Russia. World War n ... The lsic] Communism also represent ed
almost a simjlar trend (like " Fasci sm and Nazism"] in Ihe sense
that il stood for the dictatorship of a particular class".
To describe the Soviet Revoluti on of 1917 al> a "coup"
should suit a very cheap Right-wing propaganda sheet rather than
a school textbook. And if Communi sm and ils deadliest enemies,
Fascism and Nazism, are to be equllted. thi s hold hypothesis
demands more than a reference to the Communist theory of
dictatorship of the working class, since the and Nazis. or
course; had an absolutely opposite beli ef.
Page]
" All these developments consti tute just one side of the world
Contemporary India (C/as.r IX) 89
picture. The other side is the liberation movements in Asia, Arrt ca
and elsewhere in the world. This side is :I renection of the rise
and growth of national ism and freedom struggle ill Indi a,"
To say that aJi lhe nat ional liberation moveme nt s in Asia
and Afri ca an4 "elsewhere" were simply a "reflecti on" of the Indian
National Movement is fantasy taken to the extreme. What ought
to be said is that the National Movement in India drew inspiration
from simi lar movements elsewhere. snd vice versa,
Page 3
cenlUries before Chri st . Europe was importi ng [ndlan
textiles, spices , jewellery and other luxury goods."
111ere isj ust no evidence for such Indian exports to Europe
"many I.:enluries before Christ."
Page 3
.. .. . The Pope, the supreme head of the then Chnstian world. by
an order c alled Papal Bu ll, aut horised the two European States -
Spain and Portugal - to explore alt ernative routes to
India .... With Pope's bless ings and authority, kingdoms of Spain
and Portugal acqui red monopoly overthe newly discovered lands,
their wealth and maritime trade:'
The Pope was not the ht:ad of "the then Chri stian world".
un less aJithe Christians owing allegiance to the Easte rn Orthodox
Churcht:s ; as well as Syrian Chris tians, Copts and Ethiopians, are
excluded from the Cll n stian worl d. The senlences by att rihutlng
Spani sh and Portuguese coloni ali sm to the Pope's "blessings and
authori ty" totally misreads the actual moti ve rorces behind
coloniali sm. But what the author says here is in li.!le wi th an
ex.tensive sniping at Christianity ,hat the new NCERT History
books indulge in,
Page 3
"yasco da Gama, taking a round of the African continelll. landed
at Calicu!. .. "
Vasco da Gama did not take "8 round of the African
continen''' , he sailed round the Cape of Good Hope.
,
Page 3
"They [the Portuguese I also indulged in a large scale conversion
of Hindus to Christianity. As 8 result they 10,;1 the Indian
90 I"dex of Errors
sympathy .... "
One wonders why the Portuguese had gained " Indlan
sympathy" earlier. Or why Had Om refers only to conversions of
Hindus, and not also to similar conversions of Muslims by the
Portuguese.
Page 3
"Coincidently, protest (si c!) for religious reforms led by Mart in
Luther, Knox and Calvin was also taking shape,"
If one takes cudgels- against one should at
least lake care nqt to di splay one's ignorance in so gross ll' fashion.
The correct order should be Luther ( 1483-1546), Jean CHlvi n
( 1509-64) and John Knox (1514-72) not only chronologically, but
also because Knox was a follower of Calvin. Incidentall y. while
the Reformation is touched upon, though in this inadequate manner,
there is not a word here about the Renaiss.ance. so vital for the
st uden!'s understanding of (he development of modern thought,
science and technology.
Page 4
"In 1600 A.D. the English East India Company was established
jn lndia."
This stupid mistake has been rectified in the reprint edition
by deleting the words "in India."
Page 4
" ... Madagascar. an island in the Arabian Sea."'
So in the first edition of the book. In the reprint ed ..
gross e rror, pointed out even in newspaper reporiS, has heen
removed. We now read: "Madagascar, a french (sic) in
the Indian Ocean":
Page 5
" tn 1765. steam engine was iovented in England"
The correct date is 1769, when James Watt patented his
steam engine.
Page 6
"Trade led to politkal conquest and potitical power was used to
propagate Christianity ... The English Ellst India Company in the
name of religious neutrality was giving maximum support and
C(lmemporary I"dia (Class IX) 91
encouragement to Christianity."
The idea that the major aim of colonialism in [ndia was
the spread of Christianity is in line with the anti-Christian bi:!s of
Ihe book. The East India Company in fact had generally been wary
of miss ionary activity in India, seeing it as a possible cause of
popu lar unrest.
Page 6
"What is rel evant here to remember is the failure of this upheaval
11857 Revolt] and the famous theory of evolution by an Engli sh
thinker Charles Darwin." In the reprint edition we find· a fUrlher
e laboration: "The British success rn suppress ing the revoll of 1857
was seen as a victory of civil ization over barbarism in those days.
It was also associated with the 'Theory of Evolution' by an English
thinker(!) Charl es Darwin."
The link between the two event s ( 1857 Revo lt and
Darwin's scientific discovery) is not at all clear. Darwin's.theory
of the evolution of species is wrongly equated with the theory of
"whi te man '5 burden" onhe notion that the British victory ;nI8'.57
represented the "victory of civili zati on over barbarism." That
others used Darwin's theory to evolve racist theori es has been
confused with Darwin's genui nely path-breaking dl scQveri es. In
any case. the notion of the 'white man's burden' did not bave 10
wait for Darwi n's theory of evoluti on (which came with rhe Origm
of Species, 1859) si nce both the Briti sh victory in 1857 and the
raCial theories long preceded il. (Sec: Thomas Metcalfe, The
Aftermarll of Revolt, c.g. pp.309ff. ) App3rently, Bari Om thinks
that the Darwinian theory of Evolution of Species is not to be
believed!
Page 6
" Max Muller ... till his death in 1900 aeted as an intel lect ual hridge
between England and Germany".
This is a statement of7extraordinary exaggeration.
Page 6
"Max Muller did his maximum to popularise the idea of an Aryan
race and the Aryan invasion of Ind ia ... hi S theory laHI the
foundation of a rac ial interpretation of India's manifold diversity
... Th is Aryan in\:.as ion t heory was used as an iCllcll ect uul
instrument to further the well-known Br;tish p ~ l i c y of divide and
rule as well as convert the Briti sh political conques t intn a
92 Indu uf Errors
permanent c ullural conquest."
These statements reflect the current tirade of the
brigade against Max Muiler, who promoted with great dedication
a study of ancient Indian culture. He himself rejected the concepl
of racial .superiorit y. It is also not clear how a con..:cr' of "ArYlln
invasion" should be divisive in its effects. Sal Gan£adhar Til:!k.
the great nationali st, himsel f held [hat the Aryans had corne from
an Arctic homeland.
Page 8
The map (Fi g.I .2: " Alliances and World War I") IS technically
very incompetent. Spa.;n is shown as one of the Triple Entent e
and a large non-exi sting isl and en is shown in western
Mediterranean . How Morocco and Tunisia already occupied hy
France before 1914 cou ld be " neutral " in Worl d War I is nOI aI all
clear. While Italy is shown as an ally of the Triple Entente, Sardini:i,
the large island belonging to ii , is shown as " neutrJ.!." Finally. the
line patterns in the refe rence table do not til those aClUa ll y used;n
Ihe map.
Page 9
"Generations-old rul e of the Czars was swept away by a cuup Jed
by Lenin, the leader of the Bols hevik party. Thi s event is popularly
known as the Russian Revolution."
There are twO major errors here:
(a) The rule of the Czars was "s wept away" nut hy Ll!nm
and the Bolsheviks in their October Revolution of 1917. bul ('arllcr
in the February Revolut ion, led by other po litl c,,1 and
factions.
(b) The Russian revol ut ion of OClOber 19 17, the firlol
socialist re volution. one of the most important cvent5 01 20t h
century, is described by the author as simpl y a 'coup' Jed by Lenin.
Thi s revolution aboli shed landlordism and capitalis m. and began
the construction of a socialist so it is not only populm
usage. but also substant ive change. that makes nIl! it II
" revolut ion", in the same way as. say, the French Revulution.
Page 9
··tAfler World War [J , Europe's map was redrawn and a n..:.w Slate
called Czechoslovakia was c reated in her heart (si c)".
Not only Czechoslovakia. other new states wer-= ;.t "n
created. notably, Poland. Yugos lavia and the three Baltic
CQmemporory I ndia (Closs IX)
93
bes ides the states of Austria and Hungary,
Page ,9
'· Whatever success it (the League of Nations) I;ould achieve wa!>
at the cos t of smaller countries li ke Et hi opia and Manchuria
( 193 1)."
What Hari Om wishes to sa)' here is not clear, The League
of Nations won no "s uccess" at the cost of Ethiopia or Manchuria,
but simply faHed to protect them from aggression. Manc huria was
incidemally nOt a "s maJl country" but was and is a pal'! of China,
Page 10
"The ideology of the Nazi part y was a sort of of
nat ional ism and socialism,"
Thi s amounts 10 uncrilicnl ly accepting the clanns of Hi tler
Hnd the Nazi ,party who called themselves 'Nat ional Social ists',
In fac t the Nazis promoted the tot al control of capitali sts over the
workers, h is also astonishing that the most well known aspeCts of
Naz.i ideology like racialism and anti-Semi thm which led 10 the
I-dling of about seven million Jews IS not even mentioned I
Page 10
" Mussolini and the Fascis l Part y att racted many sccl ions of socielY
because, as he himself said, he aimed 3 1 rescuing ' Jlaly fTOm feeble
government' ,"
The feebleness of the Italian government lay pre:dsely in
not confronting Ihe chaos and disorder created by the. Fasci sts,
who overthrew tbe constitutional government by force and the n
suppressed Ihe opposition by a campaign of terror and murder.
Page 10
and fascism were a sort of counterpart oj' the dit.:tatorship
of the proletariat '(working class) imposed upon the Soviel Union
by Joseph Sialin,"
The words "imposed upon the Soviel Union by Joseph
Stalin (not Lenin!}" are de leted in the reprint edition, so now the
innocent reader would nOI e ven kllow wh¢re Ihe "dictutorship of
(he pro letariat " had been es tabli shed! 111 ::my ca .. e. In any case,
bOlh the Nazis and Fascists we re inveterate ut
whom the forcibly suppressed. with IOrturc and e.llccutlOl1l>, and
so how could they be a "counlel'part" of tht! tC!,!i lllc III
Ihe Soviet Union?
94
Ittdex of Errors
Page 10
"It is also interesting to note that Stal in was the first European
leader to enter into a peace agreement with Hitler ... "
What is interesting is only the lac k of I..nowledge of
elementary facts displayed here. The first European leade rs ()f
major European powers to enter into an agreemerH with Hitler
were Joseph Cbamberlain. Prime Minister of Britain and Eduardo
Daladier, Prime Minister of France, who signed MUflh.: h PUC I
in September t 938, in effect giving away Czechoslovakia 10 Hitler,
whereas the Soviet Uni on had offered aid LO that country. The
Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact came almost a yea r later in
August 1939. and followed the failure of Anglo-Frend
negotiations with the Soviet Government a derensive alliance
against Hitler.
Page 10
"For the first time Hitler carried the fury of war lo'tO the very house
(sic!) of England, England had always fought the war of defence
on the soil of others and n'ever had to suffer destruction in her
own home. It was for the first lime that the Germans bombed British
cities, including their (sic) capital London,"
Hari Om's admi ration for Hitler is again very perceptible ;
Page 10
"The German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 pushed Russia
and the believers in the concept of Communis m all over the world
into the anti-German camp., ...
The sole significance of Hitler's attack on Soviet Union
for Hari Om seems to be the opportunity it offers to him (or
sneeri ng at Communists for supporting the war against Hiller, He
seems to forget that the Congress leaders too were in "the anti -
German camp," even while issuing the Quit- rndia call. See
comment under page 54,
So hostile is Hari Om to the Soviet Union that nowhere in
his account of World War II does it appear that it was the Soviet
army which turned the tables against Hitler by it s victory first
before Moscow in 1941 Rnd then at Stalingrad in 1942.
Page 11
"While Japan' s moral and material support he [Subhas Bose l and
his Indian National Army was (sic!) able 10 liberale the islandlo til'
Andaman and some part or Manipur."
Contemporary India (Class IX) 95
The statement is entirely inco'rrect . The Japanese had
occupied Andaman Islllnds early in 1942 and refused til hand over
its administration to INA, except in name. The attat:k on Manipur
in 1944 was launched mainly by the Japanese forces. with INA
given a qUIte minor role (wit h forces comprisil"!g less than 10 per
cent. of the e ntire attacking force and the command placed
exclusively in Japanese hands).
Note: Having learnt some history of the INA by the time
of the reprint edition. the author restricts the areas " liberated" 10
"some parts of Manipur." Even this, as we havc just seen, is u
piece of fantasy,
Page 12
·' Britai n. because of her internal weaknesses as well as prcssure
from the tWO super powers [US and USSR] was not in a position
to relain her hold on Indi a. Hence, she decided to whhdraw."
This view completely denies any role to the Indian
National Movement (of which RSS was never a part) in creating
the situation in which Britain "was not is a position to rctuin hcr
hold on India" and was forced to wit hdraw. The position taken by
Hari am is quite similar to the colonial view, which too atlcmpted
to ignore the role of the Indian National Movement .
Page 12 (Page II in the reprint edition)
"But independent India chose to carve OUI a path of Non-Alignmcni
foc hersel f."
Strangely. Hari Om omits to mention the architect (If this
policy, lawaharlal Nehru. Thi s is in line with his policy of making
Nehru practically a non-person in modern Indi an hi story,
Page 12 (Page II in the reprint edition)
This just one paragraph , descri bing the "Olher sigmncanl
developments" of the post-1945 period up to virtuli lly the end of
the 20th century, f inds place only for details on 1he retreat of
Socialism forces in the world. namely the unification of Germany
in October 1990, the collapse of the Soviet UnIon and the
consequent emergence of II unipolar world led by the USA. No
mention IS made of the Chinese Revolution of 1949. of the Korean
War and of the prolonged struggle in Vi et nam leading to the vicwry
of lhe Vietnamese people and defeat of the USA. The Cuban
Revolution. the Palest ine Issue and the eAd of lhe Apartheid
96 Ill dex oj
regIme in South Afri ca and many such equa ll y impo rt an t
developments that occurred in thi s pcriQd are similarly ove rl ooked.
Page 14
"Soon India became a land of free loorers" (lSI cd. )
Thi s remarkable observation about the [odiftn peopl e has
thankfull y been removed in the repri nt cditon.
Page 14
"Il is inleresting to note ,hal the rise and gro'wlp of British rul e in
India coi nc ided wit h the indust ri al revolUlien in Europe. The
immediate resull of the revolut ion was the need of new
and more of (sic) raw materials"
Here the author links the beginning of colonialism wilh
the industrial revolution and the search far markets and raw
malerials. This rat her limited view of colonialism ignores theentire
first stage of colonialism wnere tne metropoli tan county was nol
yet industri alized and instead of loC!ki ng for markets sought
products including manufactured goods from the coloni es, which
we(c appropriated fully or partially wi thout paymenl through a
sys tem of tribute or drai n of wealth. [n India thi s singe of
colonialism belonged to the second ha lf of the 18th century and in
the case of the Dutch in IndQl'lesia illasted for nearly two centuries
(17th to 19th centuries) , Colon ialism of thi s stage strongly aided
the .process of industriali zati on in the metropolitan countri es.
Page ]4
'"In certain cases, dutieS levied were as higl"! as 400 per cenL"
It is not made clear that the duties here mentioned were
customs dut ies imposed on imports from Indi a into England , or
ex.cise dulies On Indian goods in India. Such ex.ci se ratc.s are not
known to have been levied. [t is true, however, thal from 172 1 to
1774 import of all [ndian cotton fabrics into Engla nd was
prohi bited. This shoul d have been ment ioned.
Page 15
"The British used to call them [Indians] ·Niggers·." (1st. ed.)
The British used to call fndi ans ' natives·, not · ni ggers'
(The quoted statement is removed in the reprint edition).
COIllImtporary India (Clas.f IX) 97
Page 15
'· Bes:dcs. it [British rule} also created among the Indians Ii dal' S
o( loyali sts. first in the shape of landlords. and then the middle
classes .. . British policies had offended all sections of indilln
socicty .. ,
Extremely s implistic assertions lead to bllllant
contrad1ctions as one can see when these tWO statements on the
same page are juxtaposed. It is, in any case. certainly wrong to
assert that the Indian middle classes were, as a rule. made up of
"loyali sts"
Page 15
"These had led to the pass ing of the Religious Di sahili(ies At: t
( I 851) , the Widow Remarriage Act (1856) and large sca le
unemploymcnt of Indians. "
One is at a loss to see the interconnection between the
three facts, and apt to wonder why removal of religious
and proyi slOn for widow remarriage are to be bad amI
anll -Indian.
Page 15
" Lord Curzon and several other administrators committed many
provocative acts." (1st. Ed.)
Hari Om forgclS that Lord Curzon came to India Viceroy
over 40 years after the 1857 Rebellion and so hi s "proyocat iyc
acts" could have had no role to play in the popul ar reyolts and the
1857 Rebellion with which this chapter dea ls. <Lord Curzon's name
is now omitted in the reprint edition!) .
Page 16
"Recent researches have establis hed that the 1857 rebellion was a
well-planned affai r. II had all India dimensions ... Nana Saheb.
son of l3. sl Peshwa Bajirao II was {he brain behind the Whole plan."
The abs urdity of these asserti ons is patent; and the desire
to raise Nana Saheb (who had nOlhing to do with the crucial ri sing
at Meerut and the sepoys ' occupati on of Delhi) above all the 1857
rebel s, is ridiculous in the extreme.
Page 17
The name of Bakh! Khan. the famous rebel commander' at Delhi ,
is wrongly spell as "Blilkhat Khan".
98 Index of Errors
Page 17
" However, the most important hClOr which cOnlribul cd
cons iderabl y to the collapse of the upheaval (sit) was Ihal il 11hc
1857 Rebe lli on) lOok place before the rixed date (31 MflY 18S7):'
We are not lOld, who fixed the dale of 31 May <'lnd why.
All thi s is myth, pure and simple.
Pages 16-18
In the long descliprion of the 1857 revolt, Hari Om vcry
significantly omit s to underline one aspect 'which many freedom
fighters as well as a number of historians have repealedly
hi gtllighted: that of Hindu- Muslim unity. Indeed on page 26 Hnri
Om specifically says thaI Muslims shed their blood In the 1857,
rebelli o n onl y " to regain the lost ground l or their power
presumab1yJ and restore the Mugha! Empire ... " In olher words,
he holds that their motives were different from those of the Hindus.
See comment under page 26.
Page 18
While discussing ·'several anti-Britis h revohs" wiwr.!s:.cd in ·' India
aftt;r 1857", the author starts with the Benaras protests against
imposition of house tax which occurred in 1810. The aut hor, whu
himself does not give any dale, has again nOI tollowed the
e lementary rules of chronology.
Hari Om's selection of anti-British uprising:. I:' also rather
strange. The indigo disturbances, the Wahabis and Birsa Munda
find no mention here.
Page 19
"After a prolonged st ruggl e likendraJitlaid down hi s Ilfc··.
He was, in fact , defeated and executed.
Page J9
lo In Maharnshtra Vasudeo Bnlwant Ph adke o rganised a
revolutionary society ( 1879) in order to overthrow Briti sh ru Ie,"
Phadke did not organise a revolutionary soclely. He had
some 300 men lI od raided houses of the rich to buy arms. 1879 IS
the year of his capture by the British, afler a shorl spate til'
dist urbances the same year.
Contemporary India (Class (X)
Page 21
"Chapter 3 Congress, New Spirit and Muslim League"
The t ill e of thc chaptcr itself is biased. Why include
Mus lim League in the titl e and not Hindu Mahasabha. Also, as we
will sec below, "Ncw Spiri! " (a strange description of a political
strand) is wrongly treated as a strand di s tinct from, if no! opposed
10 Ihal ofille Congress and secul ar mlli onal ism, and prcl':cnlcd a:;
an exclus ively Hi ndu pheno menon.
Page 21
"Thi s [the failu re of the " repress ive measures" imposed hy Lord
Lyttonl made the British government to (sic!) befri end the Indian
nationalists and landl ords."
Here thc author is factually wrong. The Briti s h ttl no stag.e
in [he coloni al period "befriended" Indian nati onalis ts. Even Ripon
cont inued 10 remove aJl import duti es o n British cl oth. despite
Indian prolests. As fo r "befri ending" bi g landlords. taluqdars. CIC.,
Ihis was all empted precisely to creat e break wat ers thc
national ists, not to ' befrie nd ' them. Also, the strategy of making
concess io ns to the big landlords was adopted much e;,rli cr.
following the 1857 revoh. and was part of a wider st rategy 01
concessions with clear assertion of Briti sh supremacy.
The ;befri ended' landl ords were nOll eft in doubt as to who call ed
the s hots. The lands of tht" \aluqdars in Oudh" for example, were
confiscated after the Mutiny and tben restored onl y in return for
submi ss ion and loyal ty.
Page 21
"The s truggle over [his (l1ben Bi II ) and severa) olher such issue:.
led Indian nationa lists to join hands and make their campaign
nation-wide."
If " the Briti sh Government ... befriend{ed) thc Indian
Nationalists" then agai nst whom were the Indi an Nationalists
j o ining hands to mak.e a nation-wide campai gn? The paragraph
suggests that it is against the opponents of the IIllert Bill. This is
an extremely inadequate explanati on for the rise of Indian
National Movement , which emerged because of thc confli ct of
econo mi c, political and other interests of the Indi an people wi lh
Imperiali sm.
Page 21
"The establis hment of Indian Associati on nOI to the liking 01
100 bIder of Error.f
several Englishmen, both in India and England. Hence they thought
of an alternative to Ihi s org:.misation [by the formation of the Indian
Nati onal Congress )",
The whole paragraph is f3cwall y wrong and does nOt lake
into account the advances in indian hl slonography on Ihis question
made decades ago, especially after the opening or the DulTerin
papers. The points to be noted are:
First. the Indi an NatIOnal Congress was not anullernative
to the Indian Associat ion. The Indian Associat ion JeaJcrs such as
Surendranat h Banerjea played an important.role in the emergence
Of the Congress. In fact they hosted the 2nd sess ion of the Congr!!,,,s
in CakuLtu In 1886.
Second, Dufferin did not give Htlme " h i ~ full suppon " in
the formutl on of the Congress. He In fact did not want the Indians
10 form any politi c.al orga ni zation but to engage in sodal refurlll .
He was critical of the Congress virtually si nce its incepti on and
became quite lilJspicious and cool towards Hume.
Third, no signIfi cant strand of "Briti sh opinion saw the
Congress as an organisai ion ·which would play the role of a safcty -
valve. II was seen by and large as an irritant, if nOl, at the beginning.
hostile. Even ifHume and a few like him did project the Congress
as a safet y-valve. in realit y the role played by the Congress was
quite the opposite. To hi s honour, Hume himse lf strongly .defended
the Congress against allacks by Lord Dufferin in ' Flgg
Page 22
Tht description of t he Indinn Na tional Congress between 1885 -
1905 is ext remely slight f' ll in tone and inaccorate ab\)ut it s leaden •.
" Mosl of them" djd nO[ consider " Briti sh rule. as a bless ing for
India" , The fact Ihal t he. Moderates produced a very strong
economic cri ti que of imperialism (among the firs t in the world to
do so) is not mentioned by Hari Om, at all. The Moderates brought
home to the Indian people the evil economic: impact of British
rul e thus questioning a l:Iasic element of impcri ali st ideology
spread assiduously in India. The Moderates' role in popularising
and fighting for key issues such as civil liberties, freedom or Ihe
pres s, democracy and popular sovere ignt y also is altogether
ignon; d here. Some of the tallest Moderate leaders like Dadabhai
Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhal e a nd M. G. Ranade are not
mentioned as leaders of the Congress by Hari Om and Moderatc
leade rs like R.c. Dult, G. Subramani ya Iyer, Badruddi"n Tyabji,
K. T. Te lang. Pherozes hah Mehta, all household names in the
Coruemporary India (Class IX) lOt
nationalist pant heon. urc nOI mentione.d at all. This is not
accide.ntal. as a mention of these names would nol accord wilh Ihe
projection of the Moderates as virtually loyalists and
Page 22
"The British ru lers did nOI pay any heed 10 the Congress demands
which were modest by any standard." (The reprint cd. J'eads "very
modes t")
To deSCribe the Congress demands in the Moderat e phase
as "modeSl by any standard" is not. to understand the meaning of
the Moderatc domands at all . Even some of the demands described
by Harl Om himself in Ihis and the previous paragraph. as
"reduction in land revenue and army expenditure and usc of Indian
wealth for the Indians themselves", introduction of "democratic
instituLions in India" and .refo.rm of "the legi slative councils. by
inducting in them elected indians", were hardly Ill odest "by any
standard" .
Page 22, col.l, lower portion
" Lord Curzon even went to the extent of saying thut the peopl e of
India were ' the peasants, whose life was not vne of. political
aspiration' . This had it tremendous impact on the Indian freedllm
struggle".
Writing in one's sleep?
Page 22
"A parallel wave of sprituaJ and cultural awakening .. . popularly
known as 'Indian Renais sance'. Its ground had been prepared by
Bankim Chandra Chanerjee. Swami Dayannnda Saraswati and Sri
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa."
This misleading sentence needs [0 be corrected. The
ground was prepared almost half a century earl ier by Ram Mohan
Roy. the Young Bengal movement, etc. Whal i'S trul y ashtonishing
here is the complete omission of any reference to Keshav Chandra
Sen. the dom.i nant figure il) reform movement in the laller
half of the Century. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is also
similarl y ignored. In fact the whole paragraph describing the 19'h
Century renaissance in India is totally distorted and one-sided.
Major social reformers from Maharashtra and South Jndla are also
ignored, among them Jotiba Phule. Syed Ahmed Khan and
Dadabhai Naoroji (in his role as Parsi social reformer) arc al so
102 Index of Errors
not treated as represent at ives of the Ren:Hssancc. Obviously. the
' New Spi rit ' is secn as purely Hindu, and that al so of the m o ~ !
conservative kind.
Page 22
"Similarl y, Swami Dayananda's slogan ' Back to the Vedas' h:ld
insti ll ed a pride in the ideas of Swadeshi and ancient cu ltural
herit age .. ,
It is characteri sti c that a purely religious project of shaping
Hindui sm according to the original Vedi c princi ples is he re seen
as a slogan for swadeshi, which Daynand never put forwa rd. For
thai mailer he neve r opposed or c riti cised Briti sh rule. unlike Ihe
much mal igned Moderates.
Page 22
"Thi s year Swami Vivekananda .. " al Chi cago ( USA) ... es t:lbli shcd
the superiority of Indian thought and culture over the western
mi nd", Last four words removed in the reprint edi tion.
Vivekananda's speech in Chicago no doubt made many
reel proud of t he Hindu tradi tion, but to say thaI it "estllbli shed"
(to whom?) the superionty of Indian thought and culture over the
wes tern mind, or over any other religi on or tradition is cxtr..:rnel y
tendenti ous.
Page 23
"Aurobindo Ohose wrote a senes of arti cles under the title 'New
Lamps for the old ', di scarding (sic!) the Congress policy as
mt!ndicancy' .. '
The reference to Aurobindo allegedly" dil'carding(!) the
Congress ( note. not Moderate) poli cy as me ndi cancy" is n(1t
innocent. The Congress is he re equated with Moderates and since
the lauer are said to resort to mendicancy, the former is ;1!s0
assumed to do so, The position that e merged within the Congress
led by Tilak, S .C. Pal . Lajpat Rai. etc" whi ch at that time used to
be call ed t he "Extremist" position. is tre at ed by Hari On1 as
some! hing outside the Congress, and is treated as virtuall y anti ·
Congres s,
Page 22·23
The author makes 8 feu ish of 1893 as "a major landmark in the
evolution of ideology of our freedom struggle", the first event or
that year in th is rega rd being Vivekananda's exposi ti on 0 1
Contemporary II/dia (Class IX)
103
Hinduism - at Chicago, USA! The. last event li sted is Gandhi's
departure for South Africa, with no reference to his subsequent '
struggles for Indian ri ghts there. In (act Gandhi's immensely
import ant work in organising and leadi ng struggles for the defence
of Indi an civil rights in South Afri ca is not touched upon anywhere
except for a casual reference on page 34.
Page 23
" Both of them [Tilak and Aurobindo C hosel believed in and
advocated cultural nat ionalism ... They also held the view lhul
Moderates we re only pl ayi ng with "bubbles" (sic!) li ke the
legislative councils and not taking up t.he issues capable or
protecti ng and promoting the (sid) Indi an cu lture."
The ' Extremist' position take n by TiJ ak, Aurobindo, etc,
is thus by a sleight of hand described as "cultural national ism" , a
concept associated with the name of V D, Savarka r in hi s Hindu
communal phase! Whil e thi s stratagem seeks to give the Hindu
communali sts a fal se linkage with Indian nati onali sm, it does grave
inj usti ce to TIlak and other leaders whose nat ionali sm was deeply
rooted in the politi cal and economic critique of coloniOJli sm and
had nothing to do with the Hindu communal st ream. The vitriul
poured on ' moderates' is to be attributed mainl y to a to
condemn all elements in the National Movement that stood ror
modern and secular values. It is a calumny on Moderates like
Gokhale to say that they merel y stood ror ':bubbles" ( Hari Om's
Engli sh for ' baubles') like Legislati veCounc il s, and nothing e lse.
Page 23
..... S.N. Paranj ape's Marathi weekly Kal con tril:luted a \Ot in
arous ing nationali sm and ant i-Britis h sentiments_ The immediate
fall -out was the murder of Rand .. ,"
Paranjpe's weekly began appearing in March 1898. Rand
was shot on 22 June 1897. "The immediate fall-out" thus actually
long preceded the cause!
P..age 23
"Tilak de fended the Chapekar brot hers stoutly in KI.!.Wlri nod
the charge of sedition against himself."
Had Om here openly glorifies individual violent res istance
to the British as against non- violent mass resistance. In the
he presents a grossly misleading account. First. Ti lak was ,)01
prosecuted for sediti on because he "defended" the Cha rd ir
104 Index of Errors
brothers.' He was prosecuted for writing articles before the murder
of Rand, for which the Chapekar brothers wcre'arreslcd, S::cond,
while appreciating the nationalist spirit of the Chapekar bJblhcrs.
Tilak strongly crit icized their acl ion as the "horribl e" action of a
fanatic. Tilak was criti cal of the path fo llowed by the 'pnny of the
bomb' or indivi-dual violent resistance. In fact many other
nationalist leaders often defended against B.ritish repress ion anll +
Briti sh political elemeniS wi th whose methods of struggle they
totally disagreed (e.g. c.R. Das's defence of Aurobindo Ghose).
Pages 23-24
"Simi larly, in Bengal. the return of Swami Vivekananda und
founda ti on of the Ramakrishna Mission electrified the who le
political situat ion."
The author thus tries to link Hindui sm. especially
Vivekananda. to this strand of violent resi stance or the cull of
assassinations, which he calls "the new spirit", He then adds that
after Vivekananda's death the carrying forward (I f mi ssion by
sisler Ni vedita (described as "an Irish by birth hut (one who]
adopted Hinduism as her faith"), who wrote books like \. Kali Ihc
mother", "contributed considerably to the growth of (the} new
spi rit.·' These statements overlook the fact that the Ramakrishna
Mission was and has been a totally non-politi cal organisati on.
Page 24
" He [Curzon] took this divisive step [P:lrtilion of as lhc I
was alarmed by the Impacl of cultural nationa lism on the
Indians .....
Not nationalism, not the National Movement, but the so.
called "Cultural Nationalism" only, is thought 10 have troubl ed
Curzon!
Si nce the author takes "cultural nationalism" practically
as "Hindu Cuhural Nationalism", it Is very strange that Curzon
should have had to try to create, a Hindu-Muslim divide in Bengal.
as presumably Hindu Cohural Nationalism must have already done
so on its own , Cunon's plan of Partition made !>eo!>c for
Imperialism only if if was aimed al breaking up an emergin!! /If/ilt'd '
Indian nationalism,
Page 24
.. Aurobindo Ghosc ... started with Sepin (sic) Chandra Pulu pal"'"
Ballde Marra", . ..
Contemporary /tulia (C/rus IX) 105
Aurobindojoined, but did not co-establish, Blpi" Chandra
Pal's paper Bunde Mlitralll. He himself staned the Yug£lll(lIr.
Page 24
·'Ouring the Swadeshi movement, Aurobindo Ghose emerged
the chief architect of the philosophy of our freedom struggle.
Deriving inspiration from Dayananda, Bankim Chandra and Tilak,
he gave a cultural orientation to the freedom struggle."
This statemenl is wrong and mi sleading on sevei'll I
There is no evidence of Aurobindo being influenced by Dayannnd
Sarasvati: Ihi s is juSt a piece of nourish by Had Om. On a more
general plane, il is absurd to make out Aurobindo In his phase of
Hindu Nationalism as " the chief architect of the phi Josophy of
our freedom struggle." The period of rhe SwadedH movement
witnessed extremely rich and diverse political trends - moderates.
extremists. revolutionary believers in violence. incipient soclalh ts.
those that argued fol' boycott and passive resistance and so on.
Aurbindo represented -On ly one trend in thI S movement and could
certainly not be called its "chief architect." (Naturnlly' his later
total abandonment of freedom struggle is not mentioned by Hari
Om).
Also, what is meant by "cultural orientatIOn to freedom
struggle" is not made clear 31 all. The author again by innuendo
seeks to link lndian nationalism to v. hal he calls "cullural
nationalism" which he identifies with Hindu "nationalism" In thi!;
effort he repeatedly tries to distort and overemphaSize the role of
people like Bankimchandra and Aurobindo, who are prOjected as
Hindu Ideologues and leaders.
Page 24
"Almost simultaneously Gandhiji was penning down (sic!) hilo
great classic Hind Swam) wherein he rejected the western machine
civilization and western institutions such as parliamentary
democracy."
Gandhiji penned Himl Swara) In 1909 - nOt
simultaneously wit li , but well after the Partiti on of Beng.a l. Whilt::
Hind Swaraj condemned a number of evils in Western Civilizat ion.
it projected a secular image of the Indian nat ion, a vIew totally at
variance with that of Hari Om. Religion, Gandhiji said in Hind
Swara), had nothing to do with the idea of nation, and so Hindus.
Muslims. Parsis and Christians "will have 10 live in unit y" .
106 J"dex of Error.f
Gandhiji neve r condemned democracy, whef her parliamentary or
any other form of it. Lt is ext remely objectionabl e that the NCERT
te,xtbook should be used 10 deni grate the concep-l of parl iamentary
by putting the denigration in the mouth of the Father
of the Nation,
Pages 24-25
Bipin Chandra Pal throughout has hi s name mi sspell as Bepio
Chandra Pal.
Page 2S
"Il fthe Swadc.sf\i Movemenl} even shook the faith of such great
Moderate leaders as Gopal Krishna Gokhale and malic them ·waver
in (hei r long-cherished faith and belief in the clemency and justice
of t ht':; British'."
Not the Swades hi Movement . bUI the Briti sh suppression .
of iI , surely the Moderates momentarily 10 lose their alleged
faith in "the clemency and justice of the Briti sh". The shoddiness
of express ion apart, these assertions arc i n line wit h Hart Om's
consistent denigration of the Moderates,
Page 26
" Dadabhoy Naoroj i, thl! grand old man of [ndian poli ti cs ... "
Naoroj i was affecti onately called the Grand Old Man of
Indian nationali sm, not poli tics. Thi's was because he was correctly
held to be [ndia's first nationali st spokesman, a stri ngent cri ti c of
Briti sh rule since 1871, Even in such small matters Hari am wishes
to belittle the role of early Congress leaders, usually ofa
slamp. There is no picture of Dadabhoy Naoroji in the book.
Page 26
"Afte r the Sural split ... Sardar Ajit Singh and Lala Lajput Rai
were de ported."
Factuall y incorrect: Both Ajit Singh and Lala Lajpal Rai
were deported in April 1907 much before the Sural Congress.
When Lajpat Rai went abroad after the Sural Congress, it was a
voluntary act on hi s pan .
Page 26
.... . the Mus li ms had part icipated in the- 1857 Uprising in a big
way. They had taken part in the anti-Britis h struggle in order to
Colltemporary India (Class IX) 107
regain the lost ground and restore the Mughal empire to its pristine
glory."
. Indeed! So, while the Hindu sepoy died for the freedom
of the country, the Muslim sepoy lighting the Briti sh along with
hi m, died on ly for the sake of tne Mughal Empire! Muslims, it is
thus insinuated, could not have loved thi s country or fought for it s
freedom. What deadly venom is here sought to be transmItted to
the. young readers of the book!
Pages 26·27
"But the failure of the 1857 uphep.val ended whatever existed in
the name of Muslim rul e in fndia and established the supremacy
of Ihe Briti sh:'
The statement is wrong as 10 faclS. No Muslim slale of
any size was annexed as a result of the Mutiny. As ror rfle
depositio·n of the Mughal 'emperor'. he did not , even .as titular
'emperor ', control Delhi , which was governed by the British
British supremacy e:tuted already before 1857.
Page 27
"The other [Muslim trendl was in the form of the continuation of
the Wahabi movement which mobilised funds and volunteers for
the anti ·British struggle in the North·Western Fronti er areas ."
When the Wahabis were thus engaging in urmed action
against the Bri ti sh and (what Hari Om Qmits to mention) suffered
heavil y in terms of lives lost and puni shments awarded. it is strange
that their struggle should be passed over so casually and not treated
as part of the "New Spirit" or of rhe revolutionary phase of the
F r e ~ d o m Struggle. However, given the author's communal bias ,
the hurried way in whi ch the Wahabis are denll wilh is qui Ie
understandable.
Page 27
·'The third trend was represented by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. , ...
By puuing the [\\,;count of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan unde r
"Emergence of the Muslim League", Hari Om clearly wishes 10
link him with the Muslim League, although he died SOme eight
yearll before it was founded . and he had nothing (0 do with I'"
rorm.llJ on_ Syed Ahmad Khan's cOnlribulfons to the spread or
SI:Ii.!nlifi education arId hi s essentIally modern Ihougtll a.re totally
Ignored III Hari Om s accoutlt, despite the fact thlt t Ih(')1 wer.: ~ o
108
Index of Errors
closely anuned to the spirit of the Indian Renaissance.
Page 27
"He [Syed Ahmad Khan] that {he British rule hau corne
to slay and its hostility to the Musl ims will only help and
strengthen the rising Hindu elite."
[n other words, Syed Ahmad Khan set our IU educate
Muslims oul of only spite for the Hindus!
Page 27
"The Briti sh welcomed these mlliallves comi ng trom Sir S)'cd
Ahmad Khan. They invited him to England. ,"
Sycd Ahmad Khan visited England in 1869-70 al hi:. own
expense and nol at anyone's invitation, least of all (hat of the Briw.!1
Government.
Page 1.7
"This college lM.A.O. ColIge) became the nodal point of the
Aligarh Movement started in 1875."
The sentence is misleading. The Aligarh Movement I1td
not start in 1875: if a date is to be provided for It!' beginning It
should be 1864, when the Trans lation Sol'iety. lat er called.
Scientific Society, was established. II was the M A.a . College
which was eSlablished at Aligarh in 1875.
27
"One of the aims of the Aligarh Movement was to ' milke Ihe
Mussalmans of India worthy and useful subject s of the British
Crown' ."
Hari am does not say where the quotation is taken from
Sinee the Aligarh Movement was not a formal asslKJatiun there
was no question of any such declaration on its behalf. What IS to
be remembered is that such statements were made ,by most
educational and social organisations at the time. and by fairly fiery
'tationalist leaders as well . The essential feature of the Ali gurh
Movement was the spread of modern and scientific educati on, fur
which reason its detractors called it ntcharl. i.e .• preaching 11 belief
in Nature. In politic!:, it contained both Io.yali st and nall on"li SI
elements.
COl/temporary India (Clem IX) 109
Pnge 27
" His ISyed Ahmad Khnn 's] Meerut anq Li.H.:;know speeches lof
18881 present hi s thinking very clearly."
Whatlhese speeches present is cert3inly an eliti st critique.
of the Congress: but these called for both Muslim and
Hindu gentry to unite. against the Indeed, Syed Ahmad
Khan subsequently formed an "Indian Patriotic Association",
including both Hindus and Muslim::i , Hari am makes short .worK
of these nuances in his aim of presenting Syed Ahmad Khan as
simply a loyalis l and communakst. He has naturally no word about
the contemporary Hindu movenaon( around the cause of Hindi !
Nagari propagalion. including the Hindu Samaj (establi Shed, 1880)
of Madan Mohan Malavi ya. where profess ions of loyalty to the
British were quite as profusely made as his denigrations of Urdu .
Page 27
" Developments in Muslim Politics Arter 1898"
Again, a communal category is used here. The use of the
words "Muslim poli ti cs" suggests that all had the same
politics or al least that all Muslims had..polilics separate from that
of the Hindus or other religious groups who presumably followed
politics of their own religious denominations. SIgnificantl y.
though. there is no'section in the book called 'Hindu Politics'.
Puges 27-28
The aUlhor gives an unusually long description or t he
formation of tbe Muslim League and j'ls loyalty to the Briti sh, its
efforts to mobilize Muslims separately from the Congress, etc.
The book however does not discuss the formation of the All-India
Hindu Mahasabha which took place with much fanfare at Lahore
in 1906. Apparently, the students are to be prevented from
suspecting even remotely that there was a Hi"hdu commu!1alism as
well. along with.its counterpart. Muslim communali sm.
Page 29
Pulln Das, the leader of the Anushilan Samitl. has been
wrongly called Pulin Behan Bannerji ; and the name of
the well-known revolutionary Sat yen Bose is wrongl > Satyan
Bose,
G.D, and V.D. Savarkar were connl!..-:.Ied With the society
called Abhinav Bharal, nOI Abhinav Bharli .
110 Index of Errors
29
"Those who played a crucial tole in thi s regard ("revolutionary
movement abroad" ] were Shyamji Kri shna Varma, V.D. Savnrkar.
Ohingta. Madame Bhikaiji Cam a, Sard!lr Si ngh Rana.
Tarakanath Das, Lala Har Dayal. Virendranat h Chauopadhyay and
Sohan Singh Bhaha, Subramania Bhatti and Champaka Raman
PillaL."
Thi s li st is both tendentious and inaccurat e as almost
everything in the book. As (or inaccuracies: Subramania Bharali
had nothing to do with the revolutionary movement abroad, unless
Pondicherry is thought to be outside Indi a. The tendcnt ious nes!; is
apparent in a remarkable exclusion: BarkalUlIah Khan (died. 192K)
was an I.mrelenling revolutionary nationalist and propagandi st in
US. Japan, Afghanistan. Soviet Russia and Ge rmany, cOnlinuously
hounded by the Briti sh. He is not mentioned here, nor in the section
on the Ghadar Party ( page 30). One need not wonder, why.
Page 30
" Kamagata·Maru renamed Guru Na"uk Jahal. ... "
The famous ship Komagata· Maru is wrongly spell ' Kama·
gata·Maru'. Similarly the ship Toshamaru is here called '·Tasu
Maru".
Page 30
"Rash Behari Bose, who earlier had escaped to Japan under a fake
name, .. ..
'Rash Behari Bose escaped to Japan after the failure of
the plan of the mutiny in the armed forces and not ·earlier· as
stated here.
Hari Om makes no reference to the GhaJar·inspired
mutiny at Singapore which took place almost s imultaneously In
February 191.5. Forty·seven of the mutineers were sentenced 10
death by firing and 175 o thers received long terms of
imprisonment. The leaders Subedar Dunda Khan and Jamadar
Chishti Khan. who "marched erect and steadi ly 10 the execution
pOSlS/' Mosl of the rebelling sepoys were' Sikhs. ls sueh inter-
communal nature of the Mutiny a reason for Hari Om's silence
and relegation of such a large number of martyrs to ohlivion·'
Conumporary India (Class IX)
III
Page 33
" Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 13epin (Bipin ) Chandra Pal and Aurobindo
Ghose critjcised as futile and impossible the aim of the Congress
to convince the British and obtain for the Indians
Again the author here equates the Congress with the
Moderates. The impression is created that the Extremist leaders
(called "Radicals" in Ihis book) were not Congressmen, whereas
the fact is that leaders such as Tilak and B. C. Pal while being ·
critical of the Moderate strand were themselves eminent leaders
of the Congress.
Page 33
"It (the Lucknow Pact of 1916) unwillingly began the constitutional
process to the partition of India." .
If the reference is to 'communal electorates' beginning.
the process leading to. partition then this process began with the
Morley -Minto reforms and not the Lucknow Pact . which accepted
separate electorates in a situation of restricted electorales (the right
to vote being restricted to property-owners, of status
and graduates) and as a measure with the immediate objective of
achieving Hindu-Muslim unity. Later on, everyone practically was
agreed that separate electorate would not be necessary once adult
franchise was establiShed, for that would aUlOmatically result in
communities being represented among voters according to the size
of their populations. But throughout British rule, the electorates
remained extremely restricted.
AlsQ., it is absurd to say that the Pact led to the })artition.
The Pact, on the other hand. was a major step forward in achieving
Hindu-Muslim unity. It brought the Muslim League to accept the
goal of and join the nationalist platform along the
Congress.
Page 34
"Dut between 1915 and 1918, he [Mahatma Gandhi} did nOI play
any active role in Indian political )ife under the advice of hi s
political guru, Gopal Krishna Q.o.k1lale."
This is factually-wrong. 'Ookhale asked Gandhi to
the situation for one year. which he did by travelling all ovedhe
country. To say that Gandhi did not play any active political
between 1915 - 1918 is ridiculous as he led three major struggles
the course of 19P and early 1918, invoiving the peasants
112 Index of Errors
of Champaran district in Bihar. those of Kheda chslriCI In GUJl.trill
and the induslri al workers of Ahmedabad.
Page 34
"The title of' Mahatma was given Ito Gandhijll hy Rahindlunalh
1'113lo:.ur. "
"Rabindranath Tagore" was hOw Tagon: his Ill1llH' III
English and he is thus known allover the Wllrld Till" spel ling
should be followed.
Page 34
"Wedded to the ideology of Pan-Islamism. the (.I' it') Muslim uplnion
in India felt very much concerned about the- fute ur the defeated
Thrkey .... They were also up!>et because or the wl!akening of the
control of the Sultan of Turkey as he carried the ul'
Khalifa also."
Once again Muslims are wrongly treated as being alt {(lr
in majority) wedded to Pan· [slaml srn. Also. the auth9" tot all y
ignores the fact that the British over a IOrlg period
Indian Muslims to look upon the Sultan of Turkey the Khllhfa
of Mus lims. Thi s was when the British had an alliam:e with Turkey
and they wanted to project this among Indian Muslims a!o It pro-
Muslim act. Later, in 1919, when the betrayed in
the terms of the peace settlement following the end of the First
World War, the resultant anti-British sentiment was prujel:tcd by
the British as Muslim pan -Islam ism, a view that Han am
and enlarges upon.
Page 3S
"Gandhiji simultaneously fused the nati onal urge for wilh
the Muslim concern for the Khilafat. He in a pact with the Khilafat
Committee clubbed the two issues of the protection of Khilafat
and the protection of cow."
The author here has counterpoised ' the national concern
for Swaraj' to 'Lhe Mus lim concern for Khilafat ·. The Muslimli
accordi ng to him were not concerned with the urge for
swaraj ! They were only concerned with religious issues, that too
those which are located outside the national boundaries. confirming
their being to ... Pan- Islamism". This is both malicious
and a-historical.
The author in tile second sentence .goes one step further
and Jinks the national concern to ' the protection of the l:Ow', whilc
COlltempomry India (Ciaj'!) IX) ILl
the Muslims. who apparently do not share Ihis concern. are linked
to ' protection of Khilarat' .
Page 35
"Gandhiji's support to the Khil afal was not acceptat'llc 1O;:a scctlOn
of the old Congress leaders such 3S Tilak. Annie Bc!'ant, Sriniv:t!>a
ShastrL ... "
The opposition to Gandhi that emergcti frnm sume
Congress leaders was not on the issue of Khilafat hut un the
programme of the Non Cooperation Movcmel1l. especially tin the
question of boycott of e lections. tn lhe 1920 manifesto of the
Congress Democrati c Party that Tilak drafted. fur the
Khilafat was clearly and unambiguously stated.
Page 36
"Gandhiji ' s emphasis on Swodeshi did not find favour With linnah
from the very beginning." .
This is incorrect. linnah's with GandhI In the
early Siages were related to the laller's attempt 10 convert the
national movement into a mass movement , and (0 to Nvn-
cooperation.
Page 36
"Thiru Vi Ka supponed four-month long strike al the Buckingham
and Carnalic textiles mi ll s."
The full name Thiru V. Kalyansundarar Muualiar shou ld
be given. and not just the initials.
Page 36
"The British gesture of revising the Treaty ofSevres (May 192U)
in favour of Turkey considerably mollified the Indian Muslims.
But the subsequent abolition of the institution of Khilafm by Ihe
revolutionaries under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal
Pasha weakened the whole Khilafal Movement. The Muslim
fervour for agitation died and they withdrew from the Non-
Cooperation Movement. '·
The whole paragraph is based on demonstrably false
statements. The Non-cooperation Movement was withdrawn on
12 February 1922 after the Chauri Chaura incident by Gandhiji.
and thi s had nothing to do with any supposed withdrawal of
Muslims from the Non-Cooperation Movement. The Treaty of
114 Index oj Erron,'
Laussane by which the Treaty of Sevrcs was re vised - an act which
is supposed to have "mollified" Mus lims - came only in J 92J.
more than a year after the wi thdrawa l of Non-Cooperalion and
onl y after spec-lacular mi l itary successes of-the Turks in August-
September 1922. The Khil afat was abolished by Republi can Turkey'
in 1924. How could all these later events ha ve impl!lled Musl ims
(0 wi thdraw from the Non-Cooperalion Movement? Actually. there
is OQt a shred of evidence of such withdrawal.
Onccan onl y explain such invenlions. running againSt the
si mple force of chronology, as based on a simple insat iable bias.
Thi"s also leads Har' Om to overlook the role of major KhiJafu\
leaders such as Mohammad Al i, Shaukat Ali and Hakim Ajmal
Khan. The young readers are not even told that HlIs rat Mohani
moved a resolution at the 1921 session of the Congress that Swaraj
be defined as Compl ete Independence, a position which anticipated
the posit ion the Congress was forma lly to adopt nine yeurs later.
Page 36
"However, the participation of the Mus lims firecLby' a religious
fervour gave the Movement Movement\a new
_vi gour and aggressiveness. At the same time, the outburst of this
religious zeal in Malabar, in the form of Mop/all riots on (sic!)
agrarian/tenancy problems . .. resulted into a (sic!) large scale
conversions and murder of Hindus."
The author here tries to link the Moplah (Mappila) riOt s
and the "m!lrder of Hindus" wit h the Muslim support to Khilafat.
the alleged 'religious fervour ' generated by the lauer taking Ihe
for m of r iots in Moplah territqry. Thi s is far-fetched and
tendentious. If religious fervour among Muslims was to inevitably
lead to riots it is strange that the author never finds any li nk between
Hindu rel igious fervour and riot s! The Khilafat and the Mappi la
rebellion were indeed linked though not on religious grounds bul
as a result o r the Khilafal movement closely identifying with the
cause of the Mappila tenants against landlord oppress ion. Often
Khilafat meeti ngs and the tenants' meetings merged . Hari Om also
has no word al all for the brutal way in which the upri sing
s uppressed, with summary executi ons: 2,337 Mappilas we re
ofricially reported k,ill ed; unofricial estimates look Ihe numbe r 10
10.000.
Page 36
"This phase also witnessed a spate of Hindu-Muslim rims all over
the country from Kohal to Calcutta ,"
Contemporary I"dia (Class IX) 115
This is factually wrong.IJ"This phase" refers 10 the Non-
cooperati on days (1920-22) and the Moplah riots (192 I). the
country was by and large remarkably free of riots in this peri od.
The phase of ri ots was after the Non-cooperation Movement was
c:OUed off, i. e" from 1923 to 1926-27, and this, therefore. l'(lu ld
have had no role to play in the alleged detaching. of "Muslin1:>
from the Non-Cooperation Movement", stated to be the aim of
"British diplomacy" in the preceding sentence: Incident.'ll ly, tha t
sentence is both idiomatically and gramnlatical1y defective
("working in (sic) deepening the dissentiolls and detach the
Muslims", etc.)
II is significant thai while all observers. incl uding British
official s. were impressed by Ihe sight of Hin.du-Muslim unity
displayed in the Non-cooperation Movement. Hari Om.nar.ps ;ln ly
un the "aggressiveness" that Muslim participation lent 10· the
Movement, and on the riots that actually belonged 10 .the post-
Non-Cooperation period.
Page 38
Chapter 5 "Struggle for Swaraj and British Techniques"
The tttle is thoughtlessly framed. ;'8rit ish Techniques"
seems an. awkward way of saying " British Tactics", which to\)
woul'd be hardly suitable here.
Page 38
"But the debate continued between the ' changers' led by I C.R. ,)
Das and ' no-changers' led by C. Rajagopalachari ."
The Swarajists led by C.R. Das we re actually called " Pro-
changers". The word "Changers" for them has been coined
apparently by Hari Om himself.
Page 38·39
The names of Ramprasad Bismil and Rajcndranath Lahi1't
are repeatedly misspell as Ramprasad 8ismal and Rajendranath
Lahri. The revoluti onary Roshan Singh tS referred to as Roshan
Lal .
Page 38
"The result was the establi shment of the Hindusllln Republican
Associa ti on at Kanpur in October 1924 under the inspiration of
Chandrashekhar Azad.'·
116
lruiex of Errors
This is incorrect. The Hindustan Republican Assoc ialion
(HRA) was no t establi shed in 1924 unde r lhe inspiration of
Chandrashekhar Azad but was eSlablished under the leadership
of older revoluti onaries like Ramprasad 8 ismi!. Jogesh Chatterjee
and Sachindranath Sanynl.
It was the Hl nduSlan Socialist Republic:.n p,.. rmy (HSRA).
which was formed in Sepiemberl92R under the of
Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagal Singh and others. The author with
his clear hostility towards the vcry concepl of socialism has In
facL not even mentioned this major event of the HRA being
lranst:ormed into the HSRA, whereby the now
adoptcd socialism as their official goal. SOme of the Inlles! among
the n:voJutionaries like Bhagal SlIIgh and B.K, Sinha had openly
proclaimed their transifion from the cult of the bomb and individual
heroic acts to the creed of socialism :lnd anli-l ' npena)lsl ma )s
sCli on.
Page 38
"On Augusl 6,1925, for instance, these revolutlonanes under Ihe
leadership of Rampras:ad Bismlll (.lifo) successfully der:a lled a Inlln
near Kakori railway Siall on ... Till S incident was as the
" Kakori Conspiracy Case' ,"
Bi5mi l and his colleagues did not de rail the tmin bUI pulled
the chain to stop it. They cared for the lives of passengers .. Kakori
Conspiracy Case' referred to their subsequent tnal. not the incideOl
itself.
Page 39
"The Congress under the Presidenlship of Dr. M.A. Ansan
demanded complele indc;>e-ndence in 1927"
Had Om fails to menlion that the ;" independence"
resolution in 1927 was the work of lawaharlal Nehru. "Complete '
independence" (puma swam) was finally adopted as it's goal by
the Congress al Lahore in December 1929.
Page 39
" Ho\,Ycver the attitude of the Punjab led by Sikandar
Hayoe Khan , .. was somewhat different"
It is strange that only some Muslims are mentioned as
cooperating with the Simon Commission. The Hindu Mahasabha
(Jed by Bhai Parmanand) and 8 .R_ Ambedkar. who also did so,
Contemporary India (Cla,u IX) 117
arc overluoked. This is lende ntiousne!,s with II vengeance.
Page 40
"The British repression and the death of Lala LaJPal Rai on 11
November 1928 did not demoralize the. On the t:ontr:aI"Y.
they decided to give a new orientation to the freedom struggle.
Re.volutionaries like Sardar Bhagal Singh anQ R:.jguru even went
to the extent of avenging the. death of Lain Lajpat Rai anll ki lieu a
British officer, John Saunders."
The "new onenlation to the freedom struggle" referred to
by the authors was not born out of the need for avenging of the
death of Lajpat Rai . Such acts of violence had been happening
ever since the Chapek:u brothers killed Rand in The nc.w
orientation lay in the revolutionaries now adopting SQ\: i3li sm and
the strategy of mass mobilisation against imperiali sm their goal
.. nd in their st rong critique or communali sm.
Pages
"The Parting of Ways"
··However. Mohammad Ali Jinn(lh .... rejected the I Motilal Nehru I
report ... Thereafter, hejoined the Mohammad Shafi group, which
stood for two--nation theory. The Congress, the Hindu Mahasahlm
and other members or the AII·Party Conrerence regarded all the
demands of Jinnah (as] communal, divisive and harmful for (he
cou ntry. Some of the demands of Jinnah included one· , h,rd
representation to the Muslims in the Centra l Assembly.
representation to the Muslims in proportion to their population In
Punjab and Bengal , and creation of three new Muslim-majority
provinces (Si nd, Baluchistan and North-West Province)."
The Shafi·led Muslim League stood as much for the Two
Nation Theory as the Hindu Mahasabha (with its slogu'1 "Hindu-
Hlndi · Hindustan") and the RSS ("Hindu Raj "). Much for the
reason of rejection of Jinnah's proposals lay in the intransigence
of the Hindu Mahasabha, which rejected Muslim representation
proportionate to population in Bengal and the Punjab as well as
the creation of the three new Provinces, wh.ich had fuJI linguistic
justification and whose creation was accepted by the Congress at
Karachi In 1931. Tej Bahadur Sapru. the Liberal leader, argued
against the rejection or Jinnah's proposals. The heading "Parting
of Ways" (Ji nnah 's depiction of the break) is especiallY ironic.
since the Hindu Mahasabha !OO deserted the Congress at the same
Index. of Errors
lime and refused to join it either in the' Civil Disobedience
Movement or in the boycott of the First Round Table Conference.
Indeed, allhe lattef Conference in 1930 its leaders happil y rubhed
shoulders with those of the Muslim League. These are. of
course, conveni ently overlooked by Hari Om,
Page 41
"Aga Khan and Ali Brothers gave their full support to Jinnah and
promoted the pOlitics of separatism."
It is characteristic thatlhe "Ali Brothers" (docs Hari Om
expects. all boys and girls 10 know beforehand that by these words
he means Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali?) are brought in only
when they are to be censured. A veil is drawn over Ih«ir earlier
contribut ions to the Freedom Movement that are 110t simply
mentioned, Nor docs the author care to mention the oppositIon 10
the Muslim League from the large group that came to be known as
NationaliSI Muslims.
Page 42
"llie Civil Disobedience Movement started by the under
the leadership of Gandhiji to achieve Puma Swaraj was differem
from the Movemenl. It s goal and methods to
ach ieve it were different. The goal this time was compl e te
independence. It was to be achieved by breaking the law."
This is too si mplistic. The differences were neifher in goals
or methods but in the wider reach of the movement and in the
more effective use of certain methods and better implcmcnllition
of programmes. Purna Swaraj had been adopted in J 929 as the
goal of the Congress. It was nOI in actual fact the immediate goal
of the Civi l disobedience Movement. Gandhiji had put forward ,
hi s famous II demands before launchlng the move ment in 1930.
and Puma Swaraj was not one of them.
Besides, breaking or the law or Civi l disobedience was
used as a weapon or struggle in the Non-cooperation Movement
as well. Banned literature was sold in derianceof law, local taxes
as well as land revenue were not paid in some-areas such as Andhra.
The scale or civil disobedience was much bigger in the 1930-32
movement but it was by no means new.
Page 43
"The Palhan Muslims of North-West Frontier Province (now in
Pakistan) under Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. a disciple ofGandhiji.
Contemporary Illdia (Cum .IX) 119
made the (sic) things very difficult for the Briti sh."
There is unnecessary and excessive concern here with
re li gious identificati on: so not simpl y "Palhans" but "Pathan
Muslims"; and one similarly reads below in the same page of
"Hindu soldiers of the Garhwal Rifles." Moreover, 10 describe
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan as "a disc iple of Gandhiji " is not very
accurate, He 'had deve loped the Khudai Khidmargar organisation
on hi s own and then establ ished links with the Congress in 1929
and 1930. Hi s position as a close associate of Ga ndhiji and
I awaharlal Nehru developed thereafter, Had Om overlooks entirely
the remarkable nature of the Khudai Khidmatgar move me n I.
PageA.4
"Communalisation th['ough Constitutional Process"
The paragraph with the above heading has nothing about thi s theme
at all.
Page 44
.• . , ' Lord Irwin, Governor - General of India, made serious errOl'lS
in early 1931 to ensure the Congress part icipati on in the Second
Round Table Conference. It was a strategic move to trup Gandhiji
and snatch from his hands the whole political initiative. As a resul\
the Gandhi- Irwin Pact was signed."
Much controversy and debate centres on the Gandhi -Irwin
Pact. But to see the Pact as a trap laid by the BritI sh to lUke the
political initiative out of Gandhi 's hands (a trap an un.suspctting
Gandhi supposedly walked into) is an over-simple exrlanat ion.
The Pact which for the first time put the Congress on an equal
footing with the Government was seen by the British as a major
concess ion wrenched by Gandhi and the Indian national_move ment.
The Indian people too gene rall y saw it as a viccory over the British
government , though some of the younger leaders of the Congress
were disappointed at the temporary pause in the ma:.s movemenL.
Page 44
"Gandhiji tried hi s best to persuade these [minorit yl groups n(lt to
make a demand for separ3.tc e lectorate but failed. Hence GHndhij i
returned to India, and revived the Civil Di sobedi ence Movcmenl. ··
The main reason ror Ga ndhij i·s di sappointment was over
the British Government' s failure to promise any subslamial gran I
of self-government to India at the Second Round Table Conference.
120 Index of Errors
and not just over the issue of scp:lTatc electorates. If Gandhiji
wis hed all Indians (Including Hindu communal leaders) tu speak
wi th one voice. thi s was owing to his desire nOI to' al low the
Government to exploit their differences in order to rejet.:1 the
principal nationalist demand for self· rule.
Page .as
"The period after 1930 also witnessed the growth of trade
and peasant activities •. .. "
The author gives a most cursory treatment 10 trade union
and peasant movements in this paragraph. Also. he does not even
mention imporlatll deve lopments in Ihis sphere before 1930
as the Kisan Sabha Movement in UP during the peri od 1918-22,
the Bardoli peasants ' struggle (J 928). the establishment of (he
Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association by Gandhiji in the
launchmg of the All India Trade Union Congress in 1920 umler
the Icadership of Tilak, Lajpat Rai etc" and the emergence ot' a
powerfullrade union movement in the lale 1920s culminating in
the siJl month long general strike by lCJl lile workers In Bombay
led by the Cimi Kamgar Union, a devel opment which became a
major cause of concern for the British.
It may also be menlioned here that Hari Om totally ignurc.s
the early hislo ry of the Communist Part y which was so ..olmeJy
bound up wilh the rise of the peasant and work.ng-clus'l
movements. The Bri tish persecuti on of the Communists (t he
Peshawar. Kanpur. and Mecrut Conspiracy cases cuming. In
succession in the 1920s) is a lso passed over in si lence .
Pages 44-45
A very serious omission in Had Om's treatment or the
events of 193 I is a total absence of reference to the Karachi sessio n
o r the Congress where the Gandhi- Irwin Pact was ratified. A ITItljur
product of that session was the Resolution on Fundamental Rights
(later known as the Karachi Resolution) which hccame an
embryonic Constitution and Programnte of the fuLUre Free India.
Its democratic and secular chsract<!r needs 10 b¢ underlined. Su..:.h
3. document, it would seem. has nil place in the new
saffronised History.
Page 46
"Some of the popul ar leaders and publ ic spirited persons who had
played an important role in princely Siaies were Sewa Singh
Contemporary India (C/au IX) 121
( Punjab), Sarangadhar Dns (Orissa). Balwant Ral Mehta and
Jamnalal Bajaj (Gujarat) and Manikya Lal Yenna and Vijay Singh
Pathak Isic! P atik] (Rajasthan) a nd Ramananda THth a
t Hyde rabadl."
One mi sses here the name of the most promincnt of the
state people's leaders , Shaikh Abdull ah. founder and leader oflhe
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. This i ~ all the more
object ionable, since Hari am on the same page slngles Out for
praIse, the regime of Han Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir,
which knew of no de mocratic ri ghts and suppressed oppos ition
wit h draconian measures.
Page 48
"Jinnah called the Muslim League sessIOn in 1937 at Lucknow.
where he dubbed the Congress rule tiS the HiruJu rul .... llnd
denounced the Congress as a fasc ist party. He aho d·ubhct.l
Mahatma Gandhi as a Hindu revivalist:'
Once again. Hari Om has given a long dcscripllon (It
Jinnah and the Muslim League's attack on the Congress and
Mahatma Gandhi but characteristically railed to mCnli on thul the
RSS and Hindu Mahasabha and their leadcrs Golwalkur and
Savarkar a lso attack.ed the Congress and Gandhiji in Ihe same
manner except that they accused them of being pro·Muslim nnd
anli·Hl ndo_
Page SO
"This war [World War III was conducted on Imperialisl lines and
was meant to consolidate imperi al ism in India and elsewherc"
Does Hari Om mean 10 say that Britain wenl 10 war with
Germany to consolidate ils own control over India? Hi s is, indeed,
a strange explanation of the Second World War, whi ch docs not
even mention the struggle against fascism. The aut hor 'S dis like
for sociali sm is matched onl y by his sympathetic altitude loward:-
rasclsm.
l'age SO
" It (the Muslim League Session or 1940) was presided over hy
linnah. Addressing his rollowers_ Jinnah said that that Ihe H i n d u ~
and the Muslims were 'two distinct nations' and thUllheir -inlercsb
were not common'."
122 Index of Errors
In keeping with the author's practice of repeatedly holding
the Muslim League as so lely res pon sib l.e for spreading
communalism in Indi a llnd not even mentioning the Hindu
Mahasabha or the RSS, here agai n he to mention that Savarlar,
the Hindu Mahasabha leader, had propagated the two-nation theory
in 1937 much Jinnah, and thai in 1943 he said, "1 have no
quarre l with Mr. Jinnah' s two nation theory. We Hindus are a nat ion
by ourselves and it is a hi stori cal fact that Hindus and Muslims
arc two nations."
Pages 50-51
'; However, what'was most disturbing was the Pakistan resoluti on
. .. adopted on 23 Marc h 1940. This resolution demanded a
soverei gn and independent Pakistan for the Muslims. According
to it, all the Muslims-maj ority areas in the and
Nort h-Eastern regions of India would form Pak istan . These areas
were North-West Frontier Provi nce, Sind. Baluchistan. Punjab and
Bengal. "
Har' Om seems not to have read the Lahore resol uti on. If'
he does so, he would find that it talked onl y of the Muslim majorit)"
areas forming "independent states" (in the plural). Also, speCific
arcas such as North- West Frontier Province, Si nd, Baluchistan,
etc .• arc not mentioned in it, nor is the name " Paki stan" found in
it.
Page 51
"The immediate result of the Pakistan Resolution was It ch:.tnge III
the attitude of the Congress to the Dritish as well as Ihe Indian
contri buti on to the war."
There was no ch:mge in the Congress alti tude to the war.
immedi ate or otherwise, as a result of thc Lahore Resolution or
March 1940. Right through Apri l 8nJ May of 1940 s:ltyagraha
committees continued to be formed. It was on ly the reve rses
surrered by the Allies. such as the coll apse-or Fr:IhC\.' ill June. 1940.
the possible defeat of Britain and the panic generated about the
securi ty of [ndia, which led a sectIOn or the Congress lendersill p
to argue in Jul y 1940 that conditional cooperation should bc offered
by the Congrcss to the war effort.
Page 51
··August Offer (1940)
" You have already rcad that lndia had It) heIr th\7.
Contemporary India (Class IX) 123
Briti sh in the war"
What about the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League
both of which supported the British War EtTon and cooperat ed
with British Government1 Were the communal parties. Hindu and
Muslim, who fully cooperated. not a part of Indi;l ? It would be
corTect to s ay. ' the Congress haa refused to help in the war'.
Page 52
"'vinoba Shave was the first ' Satyagrahi' [in the Individual
Sataygraha movement]. who came to a publi c place and opposed
(he war. He was arrested. Thereafter the government arrested and
jailed about 30,000 Satyagrahis ror similar reasons. These al so
included some important Congress leaders like Saojini Naidu.
Aruna Asar Ali. C. Rajagopalachari and Mian Iftikhar-ud-Din ."
The author's c lear bias against Jawaharlal Nehru is evident
here. Nehru who was the second Satyagrahi after Vinoba Bha'Ve
does not get a mention either among the "i mponant Congress
leaders" or even among the 30.000 other Satyagrahi s arrested and
jailed!
Page 52
"The e ntry of lapan into the war and the successes it achieved
against England in the early stages of (he war cha nged the 'whole
situation. Encouraged, the Indians decided to use this opportuni ty
to do away with the Briti sh rule and achieve freedom,"
This is incorrect. Worry was expressed in lndia' after the
fall of Singapore to the Japanese, in ei!rly 1942 (note. not in ' the
early stages of the war ') that thi s coul d be her fate as well and that
the Japanese might replace the British as still worse coloni al
masters. Presenting Japanese success as an "encouragement ' to
the I ndians is to first as sume that Indian nationali sts were nOl
c riti c.al of the Japanese fascist and imperial ist designs. Second, it
is an indirect way of saying that Subhash Bose's positi on with
regard to cooporation wit h the Japanese was shared by other
sections of the nationalist leadership, which was not at all the case,
Page 53
';The failure of the of the vari ous reform schemes. the utmost
e mphasis of the British Government on communali sm and the bitter
campaign of the MU'slim League agai nst the Congress and the
Hindus provoked the Congress to adopt more radical methods to
achieve swaraj. [i.e .• launch the Quit India movement}"
124 of Errors
The factors here mentioned for the Quit-India Resolution
are ridiculous jn lhe extreme. The Muslim League's campaign
against "the Congress and the Hindus" had nothing to do with il.
It was not also "the failure of the various reform schemes", but
the refusal oflhe Briti sh to transfer power 10 the Indian people - a
far more substanti ve issue as is made amply clear by the ALeC' s
resolution itself. There was a threallo India from Ihe Axis Powers
(Germany Italy and Japan), and it was thiS which lent urgency to
the demand that a free India should confront
Pale 54
"The Indian Communists and followers of Jinnah were perhaps
the only -political elements who did nOI support such a strong and
widespread movement (the Quit India movement] . The Muslim
League eveD went to the extent of offering cooperation to the
government on the conditions lhat the Briti sh authorities wou ld
divide India on communal lines and finally quit. As for Ihe Indi an
Communists. they gave their full support to the League's views
and British war efforts. They blindly supported Russia. ignori ng
the interests of the Indians and their fight against Briti sh
·colonialism ...
The paragraph is largely factually wrong and illustrati ve
of the author's partisanship. I) While accusing the Comm"llnisls
and the Muslim Leagueofnot supporting the Quit-India movement
Hari Om makes no mention of the fact thai the RSS and the Hindu
Mahasabha as well as B.R. Ambedkar and his followers also stayed
away from the movement. 2) In the second sentence the Muslim
League is accused o f offering cooperation to the British
government bui no mention is made of the faci that the Hindu
Mahasabha did the same. In faci the Hindu Mahasabha even
cooperated with the League in forming provincial governments in
that period. Savarkar while Offering cooperation to the Briti sh
government expressed satisfaction at the British suppression of
the Congress. which was seen as the main enemy. Ambedkar
accepted a position on the Viceregal Council. 3) The Communists
did not give "their full support to the League's views". The
conditional support of the Communists the war effort during
the Quit·India movement was for reasons completely different from
those of the League or the Mahasabha, being explicitly designed
to strengthen the fight against fascism, an objective whh:h was
shared by the Indian nationalists including Gandhi and Nehru.
Their support did not arise out of the inevitable loyali sm' of the
COlltemporalY India (C/o.Sl· IX) 125
communal parties, which saw the secul ar Congress and the 'Other '
communi ty as their chief enemies. 4) While here accusing the
Communists of ignoring the anti-colonial struggle. Hari Om. as
previously noted, has nowhere referred to Communists' active
participation in the Freedom struggle ri ght from the 1920s. They
acti vely participated in the Satyagraha of 1940, and, lhe
leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha other communal pari ies, most
of lheir leaders were sti ll in jail in 194 1-42.
Page 55
.. According to an e minent hi storian S.N. Sen .• II was V.D. Savarkar
who on 22 June 1940 advised Bose to leave India, organise the
Indian froces and invade British India as soon as possible."
This claim on behalf of Savarkar hus no basis. Bose had
met both .Jinnah and Savarkar at this time, and was dissati sfied
with the responses of both of them with regard to Indi a's struggle
in the context of the war (Subhas Bose. Indian Struggle. 1920-42,
pp.343-4. cited by Leonard A. Gordon. Brothers Against the Raj.
New York. 1990, p,4 10). The advice would in any case ha ve
appeared hypocritical comi ng from the lips of fa man who was
proclaiming all the time his support of the Briti sh and their War
Effort.
Page 55
"He [Subhas Bose) travel Jed secret ly through Peshawar and Russia
in disguise and reached Berlin (Germany) on 28 March 1942".
Since Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June I I
Subhas Bose could not possibly have crossed from Russia into
Germany in 1942! He in fact arrived in Berli n by plane from
Moscow early in April 1941.
Page 5S
"The Indian Nation and the At.ad Hind Foul. suffered a great
setback in August 1945 (when Bose was reponedl y killed in a
cras h) ."
"A2.ad Hind Fauj" is the correct spelling - FQlI" is sheer
illiteracy.
Page S5
"Thei r (INA prisoners' ] sentences, however, were..remine'd. The-
British aulhorilies had to do so in view of the mass ive harw/sj
126 Index of ErnUl'
.strikes and protests organised by the agitated Indians, purtlcuJarly
the students, against the trial."
The author's bias again comes through. No mention is here
made of Congres's support to the defence of the INA accused or o'f .
Nehru who in a dramatic gesture once again put on
robes to argue in favour of the accused. The Muslim League also
demanded the freeing of the INA accused.
Page SS·S6
"This upri sing [RIN mutiny] fesulled in clashes between the naval
ratings and the British troops and the death of no les!'> than 300
people il} Bombay"
The British troops actually clashed with the peopl e of
Bombay who went on a general strike on 22 February 1946 ill
support of the ratings. Over 250 people were killed.
Page 56
"Lord Wavell and Congress leaders did try to persuade the Muslim
Leagti'e...to see reason, but failed. Consequently, Wave!! announced
that the Conference had failed."
Wavell could have bypassed the League and gone ahead
with the Congress rather than declaring the COnference a failure.
The author repeatedly highlights Muslim League intrans igence but
fails to mention the British role in bolstering the position of the
League by giving it a virtual veto in any constitutional or political
settlement.
Page 57
"The announcement of the Mountbatten Plan led to more riots .
The bitterness created by the Muslim League produced dangerous
results. The common people were subjected to senseless brutalities.
Nearly five lakh people died and millions lost their homes and
hearths. Gandhiji and other leaders, who had fought for the Hindu-
Muslim unity, were the most disillusioned persons, They did try
their best 10 control the situation, but with lillie success,"
Here again the role of the Muslim League in creati ng
leading to senseless killings of lakhs of people is
highlighted. but no mention is made of the identical role played
by Hindu communal oraganisations like the RSS and Hindu
Mahasabha in promoting killings of an equal number of !"fuslims,
Gandhi and tbe other leaders who fought for Hindu-
COllumporary India (Class IX) 127
Muslim unity were not "disi llusioned" with the nOlion of Hindu-
Muslim unit y but, as Gandhiji in parliclilar st res sed , the
disi llusionment was with bOlh Hindu and Muslim communalist s
who created such mutual bitterness. Also. despite th e
disillusionment Gandhi was still optimislic that (I hurhal1e and
secular society of his dreams could be built.
It is wrong to say that Gandhi and other secular l e a d e r ~
who fought for Hindu-Muslim unity tried "their best {O control
the situation, but with little success." Despite the hatred ge nerated
by the Hindu and Muslim communal forces :mass "il lings and the
large mass migrations caused by religious hostility. Gandhiji went
on wit h his campaign against violence: in NoakhalL ill Calcutla
and then, finally, in Delhi, where his hunger strike in January 1948
had dramatic consequences. Both Nehru and Sardar Palel used
strong government action to maintain law and order. Hari am
characteristically gives no desc ri ption of Gandhij i ' 5 epic effort in
this phase..
Page 57
.. Gandhijj's efforts to bring peace and harmony in society came
to a sudden and tragic end due to hi s assassination by Nathuram
Godse on January 30 1948, in Del hi while Gandhiji W.ll S on hi s
way to attend a prayer meeting."
In its first edition this textbook did nul even men lion the
fact that Gandhiji was assassinated. The author. in the reprint
edi tion, has added the above bare. sentence. No mention is still
made of who Godse was, and of Ins strong. links with the Hindu
communal forces . with the Hindu Mahasabha and it s leade.
Savarkar. Sardar Patel, the then home minister, wrote to Nehru on
27 February 1948, .. It was a fanatical wing of the Hindu
Mahasabha directly under Savarkar that (hatched] the conspiracy
and saw it through" .
Page 59
"As far as Jammu and Kashmir State was concerned, it was
represented by her Prime Minislr, Sheikh Abdu ll ah and, Ids
nominees. This was done at the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru .. .
Several melJlbers of thi Constituent Assembly opposed him
{Nehru?]. "
This singling out of Jammu and Kashmir out of all the
princely states is again in line with the communal bias of the book.
When the state had held no-elections, who wa'S to represent it'?
128 Indv: of Errors
Only nomi nees of Maharaja Hari Singh, and nol popular leader:.
like Shaikh Abdullah? There was thus no occasion for "several
members of the Consti tuent Assembly" 10 oppose nominations
from the State Government. headed by Shaikh Abdullah
Page 59
"Their [Constitution - makers '] foremost job was to ensure the
integrity of country taking imo aceD/UII the of Paki.HlIn
within India herself. " .
The italicised portion of the sentence (prudent ly deleted
in the. reprint edition) opens yet another window to tile mind of
those entrusted by NCERT to write Hi story books for our schools.
The obnoxious statement onl y makes expl icit what IS impl icit
throughout Hari Om's text : Muslims do not love Ihis cou ntry. and
thus have been and are di sloyal.
Pnge 59
"The sources of the Conuitution are based on the At:l of 1935 "
Is the Consti tuti On or aTC its sources based on the Act ut
1935, elc.?
Pages 59-60
..... leaders and think-tanks like Sardar VaJlabhbhai Palel and v.P.
Menon."
One has not heard of perSons as ·' think-tanks." BUI
one li ves and leams.
Page 60
'·Pro-I ndia movements were already going on in the stBt es like
Hyderabad. Junagarh, Nilgiri and Taleher."
Strange ly. t he most powerful of the Slat e peop le·oS
moveme nts, that of Shaikh Abdullah's NatIonal Conference in
Jammu and Kashmir (with its Quit-Kashmir agi tation AgI.llnst Dogra
rule ( 1946-47), is excluded from this li st of "Pro- Indi a"
movements, though it was strongly supported by the Congress
leaders hip. and opposed by the Muslim League. A blatant
communal bias is again shown here by the author.
60
"The Pakistan aggression an Jammu and Kashmir resulted In her
accession to India on 26 October 1947."
Conlt'mporary India (Class IX) 129
Had Om does not let his readers know why hi s favourite
ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Had Singh, did nor sign the
Instrument of Accession on 15 August 1947. And he keep.s entirely
silent over the role of the National Conference in facilitating the
accession and defending Kashmir from the Pakistani raiders.
Page 60
" Hyderabad -and Junagarh were the only states which poseu some
problems. These were the (sic) Hindu majority states with Muslim
rulers."
The statement invokes a principle which is no different
from that raised on behalf of Pakistan in the case of Jammu and
Kashnlir: a majority Muslim state with a Hindu ruler. How closely
do [he two communal points of view coincide with each other!
Page 60
"The integration of these states [Hyderabad and JunagarhJ with
the country could be acnieved with Sardar Patel's skillful strategy."
The author seems unnecessarily embarrassed about
mentioning the 'Police Action' against Hyderabad here, which. '
of course. necessitated the use not only of Patel's '·strategy". but
also Jawaharlal Nehru's decision to use force.
Page 61
"Integration of Goa
" . . , The most notable achievements were the capture· of Dadro on
22 July [1954) and Nagar Haveli shortly thereafter by the
volunteers of 'Free Goa' movement backed by the lana Sangh
and the Goa People's Party."
The two small Portuguese enclaves being surrounded on
all sides by Indian territory. their occupation hardly constituted
"most notable" achievements. and 8re mentioned probably simply
to let Hari Om single out the Jan Sangh for receiving credit for it.
On the other hand. there is not a word about the movement led by
D.r Tristao Braganza Cunha (1891-58), who in 1928 founded the
Goa Congress and suffered constant persecution and imprisonment.
Another instance of anti-Christian bias?
Page 62
"Foreign Relations"
Under this section of the chapter " Democratic Republic" , the
130 Index of Errors
author manages 10 omit any mention of the fonnation of (he famous
policy of Non-Alignment and the Five Principles (P(mc/rshul)
formulated by Jawaharlal Nehru or of the liberation of Bangladesh
achieved in t 971 under Indira Gandhi. The partisan motive behind
such omi ssions is obvious.
I'age 163
" This event (II September 200 1 incident in New York] has
changed the whole world and has virtually prompted the United
States [0 join hands with [ndia in her fight against terrori sm."
In the first edition the credit for changi ng the whole world
was given 10 "OSama Bin Laden and similar other persons"! The
change in the world itself apparently conSIsts of US and India
coming IOgether in the war agai nst terrorism. It is another mailer
that the US hardl y saw India as a key ally in its invasion of
Afghanistan, and the Indian Parliament alleaSI fortnally cril i(.;i sed
Ihe US invasion of Iraq. the second major US ent erprIse in the
name of fighting "Islamic terror."
I Contd. from back coyer I
FAVOURITE OF MANY EMPEROKS WIVES?
"Thc new quecn INur Jahan I bccamc Ihe 1'," Olll'ile QLthc Empcors'
\\'ivcs" (ibid" p. 1(2). . " "
INDIAN PEOPLE OR "FREE LOOTERS"
"Soon Indi;1 became a land of frec looters".
(Hari Om. Textbook for .. lX. lsI. cd" p. 1 1
, ''I h', , ,.'
LOGIC
"These led to the passing of the Religiolls Disabililies Act (1851).
Ihc Widow Relllarringe Act (1856) and largc scale unemplo),mcnl
of Indians" (ibid., p.15).
CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE!
" Lord (?urzon cllcn went to cxtcnl of Ihal Ihe people of
India were ' the peasants whose lire ,,,I S nol olle of polilical
aspiration' . This IllId a tremendous impact on Ihe Indian freedom
slrugglc" (ibid. , p.22).
, ....
..,
.1
J '
STARTLING "TRUTHS"
FROM THE NEW NCERT HISTORY
TEXTBOOKS
"CIVILIZATION" IN THE STONE AGE
..... Indian Civilization which has an unbroken history of
about 8000 years, i.e. from neolithic times" (Makkhan Lal,
Textbook for Class VI, p.S8)
WHEEL IN THE HANDLOOM
"The discovery of the wheel made a significant difference.
It was also used to spin cotton and wool and weave cloth" (ibid.,
pp.S4-SS)
SHAKING HANDS WITH RAVANA
"From the days of Ramayana India had close links with
Sri Lanka" (ibid., p. 130)
THE INDIANIHINDU RACE
"Thus the descendants of Bharala came to be known as
Indians or Hindus" (Makkhan Lal, Textbook for Class XI, p.32).
THE GOOD SECTARIANS
"Sectarianism is thus an aid to nationalism in Hindu culture" (ibid.,
p.34).
WE ONCE KNEW EVERYTHING (AND THEN FORGOT
EVERYTHING?)
"The Zero was known in Rigvedic times itself (sic!) ... Also the
positional value of each number with its absolute value was known
... they also knew that the earth moved on its axis and around the
sun" (ibid., p.l 00).
REGRETTABLE LOSS OF MEMORY
"The new Islamic identity became so pervasive that all traces of
pre-Islamic forms were erased from public memory ... the Egyptian
converts, who even forgot their Pharaohs" (Meenakshi Jain,
Textbook for Class XI, p.121).
[Conld. on inside cover]

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.