Prevailing Prejudices and Popular Notions based on Traditions

“India is country of spiritualist philosophers and that Indian mind is weak in material and political speculation. India is country of saints, snake charmers and beggars” Maxmuller German scholar 1859

• Karl Marx thought about India as classical example of “oriental despotism” where there had been a little scope of material progress and there could be no material institutional changes without western imperialist impact.

• Early Christian missionaries who came to India followed white man’s burden to civilize this Indian part of the world.

• Now the real question arises how we Indians view our history and present? • Hindus regards period preceding Turkish rule as most golden period of Indian history.

• For Muslims history of India for them means nothing beyond Turkish sultans of Delhi, Afghan nobles and Mughal badshahs.
• Same is the case with Christians it wont be wrong to say that Indian history for them begins with advent of British in India. • Sikhs can also do not have better understanding of history apart from the context of the origin of their own religious faith in medieval faith • Only Buddhists and Jainis of this country have a little understanding of the ancient Indian history in terms of real history.

Justifying Real History in the Context of

Indian Nation
• Nation is such a cultural community which provides sense of security to each of its member from both internal and external exploitation.

• Real history demands knowing and understanding both good and bad of the past. It will be necessary to search for the major causes of tragedy rather playing the blame game or finding excuses with the rule of Islamic kings or the British. • There are instances of forcible conversion into Islam by the Muslim rulers but then we should also look towards the other side of the situation that majority of Indian converts were voluntary and by the down trodden, low caste Hindus. • To analyze the administrative efficiency, prosperity and presence of general will we have to zero down our investigation on Indian history examine the condition of a common man.

• There are two aspects of puranic literature one is purely imaginative and other one is historical but cannot be treated as real history. • In Philosophical terms its can explained as age of predominance of knowledge to the age of labour. . • As per puranic version if there has been an era of human culture its based on observance of rightful practices of Brahmanical order which implies continuous decline if Indian society from the age of Satta (truth) to Kaliyuga.Traditional Concepts and Mythological Writings • In Vedic-Hindu tradition Itihasa-Purana are together referred to as pancham-Veda.

• First serious attempt to write real Indain history was done by noted historian of Kashmir Kalhan in his book Rajatarangini-river of kingswritten somewhere in 10th and 11th century. standard of living. • However this book presents chronology of events of Kashmir only. . • Another attempt by Al Biruni was done was during the Ghaznavi raids in India in his book he gives detail information about Indian people their beliefs. social classes and past achievements of Indians. economy.

• But these writers have chosen their respective sultans or badshahs and their reign in India. .Medieval writings • Comparatively more realistic and chronological picture of state of politics and society of the medieval period of Indian history can drawn on the basis of writings of Arab and Persian writers.

• Reason behind the interest of English historian to discover Indian past was to know about the cultural communities of India in order to consolidate their position. evolved. supported by decipherment of Ashokan inscription by John Prinsep.Modern Approaches • With the establishment of British empire in Indian a new approach to re write Indian history. .

• Translation of Hindu scriptures of Manu Smriti to English by William Jones and logical explanation of varna system by Colebrook made higher and middle class Hindus obliged to english. .Western imperialist and Orient lists • Orientlists were more inclined towards ancient Indian period. • Reason for this inclination was India had predominantly Hindu majority and secondly British were comparatively welcomed by the Hindu elites as compared to the Muslim aristocrats.

.• This policy of British acted as cultural counterpart of the Permanent settlement system of land initiated by Lord Cornwallis. This resulted in winning obedience of the Hindu elite.

• Prior to nationalist writings on Indian history the British taught Indian history as history of Hindu and Muslim period in schools and colleges which acted as tool to their policy of Divide and Rule. • However after the revolt of 1857 the Muslims thought it necessary to adopt English education started making rapport with the British.Nationalists • After the First War of Independence 1857 nationalist awakening was on rise. Pioneer among them was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who later on established Aligarh Muslim College. . • Nationalists writings brought to light all such aspects of Indian history which provide evidence of liberal and enlightened Indians. They started reform movements.

. • So vision of showing the plight of common man in Indian history was snubbed under growing nationalist feelings.• British also thought it wise not alienate from Muslims and as consequence history of medieval sultans and badshahs gained importance to reconcile with Muslims.

social. . economic. • It tried to encapsulate political.Elitist • This writing started little before the independence. religious and cultural aspects of Indian history. • Some scholars tried to focus on the downtrodden in the Indian history but it was with an objective of contending higher social roots of sudras and untouchables of the Hindu society. Only thing missing in the reference was the common man • The tendency was to represent elitist aspect of the history.

feudalism and capitalism. . cultural and social behavior. • Leftist writers did mention the plight of common man but they were more inclined to expose vested political and economic interests behind every Indian religious. • They even attacked the non violent philosophies of Buddha and Mahavir to preserve livestock and encourage trading. landed aristocracy.Marxist • Leftist scholars influenced by Marxist ideology started interpretating Indian history with ages of primitive communism. slavery.

Assam and North East Region. Orissa. Harayana. South India. Rajasthan.Regionalists • Some parallel streams of writings were also taking shape one of them was related to writing of regional histories. Bengal. . • It was mainly concerned with assertion of some regional identities and regions mainly beyong gangetic plains. • This includes history of Punjab.

Subaltern • A new stream of history which concentrated on the condition of the neglected and down trodden a little different from leftist writings. . • But the difficulty is with the limitation in reproducing a comprehensive and total history of India with their approach both size and influence have been quite limited.

. • These writers tend to find causes of the tragedy of Indian mental weakness and economic poverty of Indians in the colonial administration of the British.Gandhian Nationalists • This group of writer highlighted wrongful practices and weakness of the traditional Indian society.

Communalist • This group of writers presented the Indian history before the advent of Muslims as an era of prosperity. • Objective of this approach was to highlight Ancient Hindu glory and to hold Muslim rule responsible for all the wrong practices like untouchability. sati. peace and harmony. child marriage • This type of writing with communal overtones was suited for British to promote their policy of Divide and Rule. .

Proposed Objective and Meaning of Indian History • The foremost objective of writing Indian history is to put all the events and developments from the beginning till the present context in chronological order. • It is not to write about the military conquests of kings of the part but to bring to light the progress of Indian Man. .

• Indian religious and philosophy remained indifferent to Western philosophies which focused in individualism and existentialism in material domain. assimilating and synthesizing diverse elements and attributes. • This led both to state of maximum efficiency in their respective directions because both now look in crisis being captive of their one sided spiritual or material obsessions respectively.Reflection of spirit and matter in Indian History • The men of elite and influential had a mindset about the perfection and viability of the social systems it had evolved accommodating. • So is India just a spiritual country? . • The Men at lower strata of society were left on their fate which resulted in the their reconciliation with meaningless life and to give their life a new meaning they inclined towards the preaching of the divinity for improvements of his status in future births.

. • But the spirit of humanity of Indian culture is the life line of Indian culture.• The imbalanced material growth and material lust of the dominant class of this country combined with its socio religious hypocrisy proved suicidal and led to the decline of the Indian society in the material domain and popularization of self centered and illogical superstitions on the other at different points of time in history. Prehaps that is why even the cruelest invaders tended to turn humble and after settling down in this land and looked helpless against a fresh new barbarous invaders.

. It suggest that whenever there is encroachment by one of the other it has resulted into negligence of general will resulting to one sided growth of civilization leading to decline and eventual fall.General will and Maximum and Total Efficiencies Defined in the context of Indian History • The wheel of history of Ram Manohar Lohia suggests a course of Indian history upon the balancing and unbalancing of the spirit of humanity and the material endeavors subjected to the realization of General Will. • It also proposes more than one wheel of rise and fall.

Rise and Fall: the Making of a Wheel • The rise and fall of Indian ethos in longer or shorter span of time suggests a phenomenon of making a wheel o wheels of Indian history. . • It coincides with gradual rise of a social order along with the material progress on the one hand and later of its fal after reaching a state of maximum efficiency caused by vested interests and hypocrite approach of the dominant classes.

Which was the result of synthesis of Brahmanic and Sramanic cultures which saw material progress and balance with establishment of an egalitarian society. • Taking the proposed hypothesis of wheel of history a new era is destined to begin only in the back drop of lack of socio-economic balance and disregard of general will in the preceding. The winning of Indian independence and progress of free India. Four wheels of Indian history . However the later political system could not reflect general will to its utmost capacity and lead to decline and fall later on. spread and decline and fall. • The second and longest wheel begins with the Vedic-Brahmana culture. • The third wheel of Indian history begins with a slow progress of accommodation and balance during the period of Mohammedans and without making any big leap in this direction reaches state of maximum efficiency during the period of Mughals and its disintegration soon after. • The fourth wheel begins with the period of colonial rule of the British.• The first ever conceivable wheel of Indian history of Indian culture is that of Indus civilization from what is know from its archaeological remains show it gradual rise. climax.

• • .C till 1500 B. The age of this civilization has been decided on its contacts with the contemporary Mesopotamia cultures and the carbon dating method.C. Due to inability to decipher the script of this civilization we are lacking vast resource of information that this civilization beholds.Evaluating Indus Valley Civilization as a First Wheel of Indian History • The period of Indus civilization covers a time period which begins with advent of Neolithic age-6000 B.till the coming of Aryans.

• • • • . Minimal finds of weapons this indicates hardly any presence of soldiery or military class.• Originally peasant villages settlements developed into urban trade centers in due course of time. Another factor would have been event of migration of citizens to new places due to weakening to old centers. Mongoloid and Alpine. Mediterranean. The rise of these urban centers is due imposition in a bid to make access to certain raw materials and transit ports. The human fossils of this civilization represents variety of racial elements like proto Austroloid.

• Aryan advent in India also coincides with the decline of Indus civilization. • One possible reason could be despite external or internal reasons would that this civilization was not able to usher into a new era of revival. • To assume a single factor alone for the fall of this civilization would be justifiable.• There is a constant improvement in the structure in the five phases out of total nine phases in Mohen-jo-daro. • But the questions still remains unanswered why and how did this flourishing civilization came to an abrupt end? • Possibility of barbarous invasion on the basis mass burial. . Which means people of this city were able to overcome regular flooding and also shows their solidarity among themselves.

S Sharma that Urban centers were basically trading centers and depended on chalcolithic settlements for food grains and due to ever increasing exploitation of the latter proved suicidal in long term. villages which when ruptured led to fall of this civilization. . • This suggest that this civilization was based on balance between cities. town. • As per R.• There has been paucity of agricultural implements in this civilization and presence of Great granary indicates that urban people were dependent on chalcolithic settlements.

It had ample scope to expand its civilization.Origin and Growth of the Second Wheel of Indian History The knowledge of the size and composition of population is prerequisite for understanding the pace of growth of civilization and culture and the processes and tendencies which were responsible for creating different wheels of Indian history. establishment of hegemony and directing affairs in vast central Indian region having a thin and scattered tribal population. The Gangetic plain had its own significance it remained unaffected from the aggressions in worth-western regions of India for a quite long time. . It had to face problems arising out of cultural expansion like internal socio economic tensions which resulted rise of vested interests elements and weakening of moral strength. cultural traits.

This movement was directed to total efficiency by heterodox movements like Buddhism and Jainism and enlightened kings like Ashoka by offering egalitarian solution to anomalies arising in the this process of its growth and expansion.D with growing narrowness and weakness which hardly left any hope of successful resistance of the Turks. Misuse of political force on the part of vested interest groups implying egoism of Brahmainical order and growth of feudal system deviated this wheel in the direction of maximum efficiency.Conceptual design of Second Wheel of Indian History There was origin and expansion of VedicBrahamana culture. skills and cultural communities which consequently led the civilization to second state of urbanization in 6th century. This led to synthesizing of different attributes. . It reached its climax in the period of Guptas and met yst decline and fall finally from the mid of 7th century A.

• Outcome of second Battle of Terrain of 1192 A. • First expedition of Muslims in India was led by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 which was resisted by Maitreya rulers. During his raids Indian rulers could not give him a unified resistance. . But for northern India Turks appeared to be barbarous invaders only. fought between Muhammad Gori and Prithviraj chauhan changed the course of Indian history and Ghori was able to establish Muslim rule in India which was to continue for good 800 years. • There were existence of Muslims in South western coastal region as peaceful trader community. • Mahmud of Ghazni was the first Muslim invader to pose a serious threat to the integrity of India.The Third Wheel and the Medieval Experience • Islam and Muslims were known to India since the times of Turkish Caliphate.D.

• Reason for defeat of Indian kings in war against Muslims was not their lack of courage but lack of vision on the part of Indian rulers who never had greater objectives in achieving success in wars. • Rajput armies were numerically greater in number as compared to Turkish armies but they were full potential was hindered by complex caste system. • The loyalty of army was confined to their kings and common masses were neglected. .

• With the establishment of Muslim rule in India a number of positive changes also took place. . • A new architectural heritage of India came into being with constructions of victory towers. He even started public distribution system. • Alauddin Khilji gave a new administrative and revenue system and practiced market control to be tried by the socialist states of modern age. • Iltutmish gave shape to tanka or modern rupaya as the currency prevalent even today. mosques and mausoleums. A new style of music evolved and gave birth to Hindustani classical music. palaces. forts. • Trade links with western world were revived and new lease to economic life was given.

• So relating themselves more to the native subjects they preferred to breach their allegiance to Caliph and declared themselves as independent rulers of India.• Threatened more by their associates a new feature of discrimination between native Islamic converts and original Muslim nobility was emerging. Hindu or Islamic identity of ruler hardly meant anything different with regard to system of land revenue. • Hindu section more affected by the rule of Muslims were mainly the nobles and the land lords who were either displaced from their land holdings or had to share their property with their Muslim counterparts. . • Revenue administration even under the Delhi sultans or any other regional Muslim ruler was supported mostly by Hindu officials and staff at the lower ranks. • The condition of raiyat (producers) and nature of revenue were almost same.

• The community of ironsmith who built Iron Pillar of Delhi in the age of Gupta’s and were later sidelined considering them low born’s were now given special privileges in the imperial workshops.• By the time reign of Akbar started Muslim rule in India was heading towards achieving total efficiency. zamindari crisis and other reactionary policies of Aurangzeb gave rise to regional powers like Marathas under Shivaji. Rajputs under state of Marawar which led to disintegration of Mughals. • Imposition of Jizyah on non Muslims. . With the creation of Din-i-Ilahi and establishment of imperial workshops a lead was taken to protect Indian culture and craftsmanship. • The age of Jahangir and Shahjahan added to the prosperity of Indian culture and Indian economy. Sikhs under Guru Gobind singh Ji.

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• However Indian society remained shackled in fatalist and superstitious beliefs. • Rise of regional power i. • This led to mercantilism of Europe which consequently gave rise to middle class. Marathas was short lived and regional and they hardly proved to be an initiative in the direction of nation state. . • There was no scope of a political power containing healthy and pervasive social vision. which believed in achieving material pleasure.Fourth Wheel: Rise of Indian Nation and Call of The Age • When the Indian civilization was undergoing maximum efficiency Europe on the other hand was going through revolutionary changes to reform social activities of the state.e.

• On the other hand European traders had to buy finished or unfinished goods in India in lieu of gold and this state of trade was obliviously not very profitable on the part of these traders. . • Indians were needed to run the local administration and due to this needed fact English education was imparted to Indians. • Their unprofitable trade added with the political chaos of India due to weak rulers led them to think to bring the whole of India under their suzerainty which they were able to achieve in a remarkable period of time. • After becoming the masters of the India they forced the peasants to take up commercial crops as they were not interested in production of food grains. • They also studied Hindu scriptures to understand the fabric of the Indian society.

• The British made extensive reforms to pacify the common masses but whatever the reforms could make only added to burning desire for an independent nation state. • With the awakening everybody came to understand that they were being ruled by a foreign power which reflected different traditions and culture. . • With the birth of Indian National Congress in 1885 a well staged program of Indian freedom struggle started.• Review of Indian scriptures and coming of a new vision with English education led to a new awakening which gave rise to Indian Renaissance. • This ever growing resentment against the foreigners led to First War of Independence in 1857. • Leaders like Gokhale and Ranade gave us the vision of anew civilization and Tilak infused spirit of self honor gave slogan of freedom is our birth right. However the rising did not succeeded in its immediate goals but it initiated the freedom struggle of India.

• After independence the self sufficiency achievd in food grains.• Jallianwala Bagh massacre incident brought Gandhi in direct clash with the British administration. • Gandhi championed the rights of downtrodden and the launching of movements to uplift them directed the national freedom struggle to total efficiency which ultimately led to independence. development of number of skills. . protection of national boundaries and some small and big welfare plans and projects were to prove that the fourth wheel of Indian history has reached its maximum efficiency.

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