Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Kaushal
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Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Postby Kaushal » 02 Sep 2007 04:40

You are cordially invited to participate in a Seminar titled
'Chronology and Distinguishing Characteristics of the Indic Civilization',
to be held in Dallas, TX (Oct 12-14th, 2007). Please find attached a Call
for Papers detailing the issues, background, purpose, and deliverables for
the seminar.

The objective of the seminar is to increase awareness of the
importance of learning the accurate History of India. The seminar is a
small step towards questioning the establishment, present new research,
uncover new facts, and propagate the correct history to the public at
large in general, and the classrooms in particular.

In addition to indologists and historians, the seminar is equally
relevant to parents of school-going children, community and educational
leaders, and public service professionals. Cultural self-esteem among
impressionable young minds is a direct derivative of correctness of
history taught in schools. Also the representation of the community in the
media and in public space is a consequence of the same. Thus, there is a
veritable need from all quarters, scholars and general public alike to
come together and effect a joint program of correction and propagation of
true history.

A paper submission is not necessarily required to participate in
the session deliberations. You may choose to contribute ad-hoc to the
process of corrections of history, and be part of the plan for propagation
among students and general public including the media.

Conference attendance is highly recommended but not mandatory to
be a valuable asset to the session deliberations. You can submit your
paper which will be tabled at the session in absentia, and deliberated
upon by the session participants.

If I can answer any of your questions, feel free to give me a call
at 925-998-2529 (mobile). You can reach me via e-mail by replying to this
communique.

Looking forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Kosla Vepa, Ph.D.
Session Chair

Indic Studies Foundation Inc.
Tel.: 925-998-2529 (mobile)
E-Mail: history-seminar@heconf.com

PL. contact me for further details. my website indicstudies.us has my email address webmaster at indicethos dot org


Abstract

The issues

It is clear that much of what we learned in our school history books is suspect if not downright erroneous, starting from the chronology of ancient India to the postulation of an Aryan Invasion, the location of the ancient home of the Zoroastrian people, the dating of Chandra Gupta Maurya's reign, the dating of the Buddha himself, the origin of the Brahmi script, the embellishment of the Caste system by the Colonial overlord, the dating of the impregnation of Indic culture in countries of South East Asia to name a few. More importantly, the Eurocentric approach to the narration of the fascinating story of Indian History taken by English authors is at variance with the facts and the history as we knew it prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the Indian subcontinent. We will do our best to peel the layers of the onion, but it is too large a task to be undertaken by a handful of individuals, especially as the narration of this history is firmly in the grip of individuals with certain ideologies who are deeply ensconced in New Delhi and whose viewpoint is for all intents and purposes in conformance with the story as told by the British. The underlying premise here is that the history of ancient India as taught today to our children is substantially at variance with reality, and with the facts as we now understand them
The Rationale - How to remedy the situation
Obviously we need to inform ourselves as to the truth of the matter , apply criteria such as logical consistency to assess the data as it is available and determine whether a particular event or that a substantial portion of the current chronology passes the tests. We invite individuals to contribute in various ways to such a project by participating in the seminar. We are particularly interested in the contributions to the exact sciences such as Astronomy mathematics and linguistics in ancient India, not only to assess the content of the contribution but to use this event to see if it can give us clues and markers which will help us decipher the occurrences of the past several millennia. For example in the many delightful problems that Indian mathematicians pose, such as In Lilavati by Bhaskara II, he may make reference to a currency or a social and legal practice that is particular to a specific era, that would tilt the evidence in the direction of that era. Another example may be the dating of Panini. If texts in classical sanskrit started appearing at a certain date, then it stands to reason that Panini must have completed his monumental work on the Ashtadhyayi prior to this date. This explains why amongst all the dates assigned by Western Indologists , the dating of Panini is one of the oldest. However reluctantly they may have done so , the conclusion that classical sanskrit literature must have post dated Panini is inescapable, since he was the most famous one to codify the language and its grammar.
The Topics
We request interested authors to
1. Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic civlization
2. Indicate those areas of Indian history which are egregiously in error
3. Propose methodology and criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the current or future proposed narratives
4. Discuss the extent to which India borrowed astronomical concepts, such as the Nakshatra system of the precession of the equinoxes from Baylonian, Greek and Chinese sources
5. Discuss the possible connections between Panini’s Linguistic efforts with the invention of the place value system








We encourage individuals to think out of the box and suggest related topics that fall under the overall rubric of the heading above


Objective

The goal of the seminar is to increase awareness of the importance of learning the accurate History of India and to extricate ourselves from the present situation where we have relinquished control of our history to individuals who have little stake in India and hardly any accountability for any errors that they make.


Methodology

Interested people can take part in the seminar that will be held at the Human Empowerment Conference at Dallas, Texas on 13th October 2007. (Conference dates are 12th, 13th, 14th October 2007). Research papers can be either presented at the seminar or be submitted for publication in the conference proceedings in absentia or both.


I request the admins to put a sticky on this for a period of a week, and i thank them for entertaining my request

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Re: Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Postby shiv » 02 Sep 2007 06:01

Kaushal wrote:I request the admins to put a sticky on this for a period of a week, and i thank them for entertaining my request


This will be done as requested.

History is too important a subject to be left in the hands of a few. Unfortunately "timeless" Indians have historically rejected a sense of history and any increase in awareness of history and other humanities among Indians is a step forward.

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Postby Babui » 02 Sep 2007 06:14

Would appreciate any BR attending to put "findings" in this forum in Oct. Its time we move away from a Euro-centric view of our history and heritage and "discover" the truth.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 02 Sep 2007 08:32

Suggest looking at histories of mathematics such as the recent The History of Infinity. Not one mention of Indian thought or mathematics. Begins with Aristotle and only leaves Aristotle in the 17 century with modern European developments.

This is a pattern in such tomes-Eurocentric with no acknowledgement or a positive belittling of Indian or Chinese contributions. Mathematics is especially fertile as history as there is a more compete record and it is generally less open to fatuous opinion. Further it is tacitly held as a crow(n)ing achievemnet of specifically European civilisation.

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Postby shiv » 02 Sep 2007 08:54

If I may add a caterwaul that I have been making for a while: - I believe that "history" - especially ancient history in India has (thus far) come either from archaeological, stone carving or numismatic evidence rather than from written records. Written records of ancient India history seem to be only from Chinese travellers or Arabs, and in more recent times Europeans.

To me this reflects a cultural lacuna in Indian attitudes that needs correction. Histories in Europe not only come from various narrations, but from writings/records of individuals. To select a well known example - Anne Frank's diaries.

Since the type of people who will take part at this meet are likely to be invariably educated, I urge that everyone takes time out to record the narrative or family history from his own family and ancestors in India. I believe India alone can fill up 30% of "information-space" in the world - but I guess that Indian information probably amounts to about 2%.

Just my thoughts.

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Postby Kaushal » 02 Sep 2007 10:00

sanjaykumar, completely agree with what you said about the Mathematics aspects . In fact Indic mathematicians and astronomers have been very characteristically quite precise about the dating of their own efforts,, which provides in many instances a clear marker. Incidentally my life long love affair with the general history of mathematics was given a boost by BR when we had extensive discussions (some of which are archived as of now) on ancient Indian mathematics.


Shiv, your point about the indic record is well taken but somewhat ironic.

The manuscript wealth of India now stands at about 5 million mss (in various languages including Skrit,, pali, and other prakrit languages). About 1 million of these have been catalogued. The rest are/or were in various stages of decay and neglect till recently. In my recent trip to India (Blore,Thiruvananthapuram, Pune and Chenai) I was struck by the casual manner in which these manuscripts are treated. But this is changing as we speak. Many more have been lost over the centuries, due to wars and neglect due to ignorance of their contents.

about 250,000 manuscripts are preserved in foreign libraries (the Bodeliean library, the Bibliotheque national and at harvard and other universities

Despite this huge wealth in manuscripts, which exceeds anything available in the rest of the world by a huge margin,the Brits(with few exceptions) spread the word that Indics had no sense of history and were poor at recording anything much less history, and when they did acknowledge the existence of many a manuscript they tried to downgrade its significance and antiquity by every means possible.That they did so is not the surprise. The surprise is that like many other myths they spread about India,we believed them.

I have one telling anecdotal remark to make. David Pingree, the late professor of history of mathematics at Brown university in RI (an Ivy league school), compiled a multi volume 'Census of the exact sciences' (one volume alone contains all the citations with titles from pa,pha,ba,bha,ma ) in ancient India . Truly a remarkable job. What is even more remarkable is that he always maintained (starting from his PH.D thesis) that India borrowed everything from Greece).

If that was indeed the case, how is it (my question) that he did not find even a fraction of the manuscripts he found in India , elsewhere in the ancient world such as in Greece and that he never found the need to do a similar census for greece or Babylon. I know i will get facile explanations on this one. so i iwll leave it that.
Last edited by Kaushal on 02 Sep 2007 18:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 02 Sep 2007 10:09

British historians also wanted to show that we were slaves for 2000 years so Mughal empire was highlighted and all else was given passing reference.

In fact hardly any Indian student will know that for 4000 years of civilization from 2500 BCE to 1600 AD Indian constituted 40% of world GNP equivalen to value of US & EU combined

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Re: Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Postby Rakesh » 02 Sep 2007 18:26

Kaushal wrote:I request the admins to put a sticky on this for a period of a week, and i thank them for entertaining my request


Kaushal, it would be better if this was left on as a sticky till after the event is over. This thread can get more views that way. Also, it would be nice if you or someone else attending this event, post a brief summary about it. Thanks.

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Postby SriKumar » 02 Sep 2007 19:20

Kaushal wrote: Shiv, your point about the indic record is well taken but somewhat ironic.

The manuscript wealth of India now stands at about 5 million mss (in various languages including Skrit,, pali, and other prakrit languages). About 1 million of these have been catalogued. The rest are/or were in various stages of decay and neglect till recently. In my recent trip to India (Blore,Thiruvananthapuram, Pune and Chenai)

about 250,000 manuscripts are preserved in foreign libraries (the Bodeliean library, the Bibliotheque national and at harvard and other universities

Despite this huge wealth in manuscripts, which exceeds anything available in the rest of the world by a huge margin,the Brits(with few exceptions) spread the word that Indics had no sense of history and were poor at recording anything much less history

I too have been under the impression that a social, political and even historical record of India by Indians is on the lower side. If Shiv thinks the same, I am in very good company. And this is, IMHO, a symptom of a problem. Per your comment, if indeed there are millions of manuscripts in Sanskrit/Prakrit/other languages, may I suggest that this be a one of the topics for a presentation:

A list/compendium of social/political/historical literature that is known to exist today and where (libraries/musems in the UK, in remote villages in India etc.). In essence, what is available and where?

I would say, in the spirit of Shiv's 'narrative' approach, even personal comments/statements from people could be encouraged....something along the lines of 'In my village, I know so-and-so who has these really old manuscripts that were handed down from his great grand-father....etc.

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Postby Kaushal » 02 Sep 2007 23:11

This is exactly what is happening , with the launching of the national mission for manuscripts. Once they are cataloged, the real job starts of evaluating the contents. Google is digitizing, 800000 ms at the university of mysore. Not surprisingly the biggest repositories of manuscripts are inthe so called princely states Mysore, Travancore, baroda and Jaipur. But still there are more manuscripts bin lost everyday and there is a resulting national amnesia about events prior to 1700 CE and even moreso about events before 1200 ce. Hence the tendency of the Indic to judge himself by what he sees in the years after independence.... .completely ignoring the 5 to 6 millennia of events prior to that. This is also one of the main reasons for the absence of a strategic culture in the Indian mindset


http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... DD4LL1.DTL

(06-26) 04:00 PDT New Delhi -- In the walled quarters of the old city, a Sanskrit language scholar walks purposefully along the packed, narrow and twisting alleyways, jostling past rows of jewelry shoppers, cycle rickshaws, bullock carts and beggars.

When he comes upon an old temple with an ornately carved doorway, he stops, sweating profusely in the sweltering sun.

"Do you have any ancient handwritten manuscripts here?" Dilipkumar Rana, the scholar, asks in a whisper. The stunned temple manager nods. "The government is doing a survey of old manuscripts," Rana says.

"But I have very few left now," temple manager Jaipal Jain says. "I threw many old manuscripts into the river last year."

"Why?" Rana asks anxiously.

"I had put them in the attic. Last year during the monsoon, the ceiling leaked. And the water destroyed many of the manuscripts," Jain says, sighing. "White ants attacked some others."

And so it goes, as India's 30,000 manuscript hunters fan out nationwide, seeking the nation's heritage in old temples, madrassas, mosques, monasteries, libraries and homes.

Launched two years ago, the National Mission for Manuscripts is a five- year project to catalog for the first time India's ancient documentary wealth and ensure that basic conservation practices are followed to halt their rapid decay. Officials say that India is the largest repository of manuscripts in the world, with an estimated 5 million texts in hundreds of languages.

Linguistic scholars and history students involved in this adventurous hunt for ancient volumes use not only expertise but also social skills, coaxing and cultural sensitivity to gain access to manuscripts.

After Rana takes off his shoes and washes his hands, he prays at the shrine. Then Jain leads him to the temple's dimly lighted manuscript room. He opens a creaky steel cupboard and reveals rows of old texts, bundled in yellow cotton cloth. Rana cautiously holds some pages up to the window light to examine the writing.

"It is in Prakrit language," he says, referring to a popular dialect of classical Sanskrit, no longer spoken. "The period is early 1600s. It prescribes a model code of living for Jain monks," a religious order that arose with Buddhism in the sixth century B.C.

The manuscript project's officials say the nationwide survey will open a window to India's ancient knowledge systems: religion, astronomy, astrology, art, architecture, science, literature, philosophy and mathematics.

"We are creating a manuscript map of India. The survey will present new facets to our intellectual heritage," says Sudha Gopalakrishnan, chief of the National Mission for Manuscripts. The project will not take the volumes from their owners but merely document what is available and help in conservation.

"The key abstracts of all the ancient knowledge found in our manuscripts will be available digitally for the world to see," Gopalakrishnan says.

Art historians are eagerly watching this massive cataloguing process, hoping for new clues to India's past.

"What we find will answer many nagging doubts about our knowledge tradition," says Lokesh Chandra, an art historian and manuscript scholar. "For example, we came very close to modern mathematics in the 8th century. But what happened after that? Why was there a hiatus in the evolution of ideas in India? How did we miss the bus to the future?"

In the 18th century, some European scholars began translating ancient Sanskrit and Buddhist manuscripts and made them accessible to the world. Many valuable manuscripts were taken out of the country and are now in European libraries and private collections.

Chandra says unearthing the manuscripts will also forge national pride for India's 4,000-year history and will "give us a psychological boost for future advances."

The oldest manuscripts that India possesses are a set of sixth century Buddhist texts that were found buried in the hills of Kashmir about 60 years ago. In the last two years, the surveyors have found rare ancient Sanskrit and Arabic treatises on such subjects as diabetes, astrophysics, interpretation of dreams, surgical instruments, concepts of time and the art of war. A 400-year- old handwritten Koran was found in a locket measuring 3 inches.

But Gopalakrishnan says manuscripts are being lost at an alarming rate because of neglect and ignorance. Most ancient manuscripts, found on paper, palm leaves, birch bark, cloth, wood and stone, are languishing because of improper care in this humid, tropical and dusty country.

"By the time we find them, they are moth-eaten, edges falling apart, attacked by fungus," says Ritu Jain, a conservator with the manuscript project. She recently discovered a yellowing and brittle 18th century Arabic manuscript on a traditional Islamic healing procedure in a dusty, cobweb- filled corner of a college library in New Delhi.

"I shudder in pain when I hold them," she says. "Some pages are so fragile that they just become powder in our hands."

The manuscript mission also trains librarians, private collectors and temple priests in conservation, advising them to keep the documents wrapped in starch-free cotton and in a space free of dust and moisture. Basic training is also given in chemical conservation. But few homes and temples handle the religious manuscripts with reverence and ritual purity. Some also follow indigenous methods of preservation such as using margosa leaves, clove and black pepper.

On a recent morning, an Arabic scholar at the mission office received a letter from a New Delhi resident, Afzal-ur-Rahman, who wanted his decaying ancestral collection of Arabic literature examined by experts.

Later, as a scholar leafed through the frayed, fungus-infected pages of a book about the nuances of Arabic grammar, Rahman, 61, spoke of his great- grandfather, whose literary work was honored by a Mughal king in the early 1800s.

"I am emotionally attached to these manuscripts," he says. "It is a family heirloom. I never let anyone touch it. But it contains knowledge that must be shared with the world."

This article appeared on page A - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Postby Kaushal » 03 Sep 2007 12:48

Kaushal, it would be better if this was left on as a sticky till after the event is over. This thread can get more views that way. Also, it would be nice if you or someone else attending this event, post a brief summary about it. Thanks.




Thank you for the offer, rakesh

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Postby Rakesh » 03 Sep 2007 17:24

I did not know where else to post this, but this is a fantastic link.

The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
http://india_resource.tripod.com/colonial.html

Basically the article states how the British deliberately kept India intellectually dumb, ruined her urban and agricultural development, virtually stopped India from experiencing her Industrial Revolution, while in turn accelerating its own with India and other colonized nations acting as a direct catalyst. So much for India benefiting under British rule! While these barbaric acts almost destroyed the Indian fabric of society, it is interesting to note how Dr Swami Vivekananda's words ring true even today, although he said it 114 years ago at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.

"Sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the seashore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing flood, a thousand times more vigorous; and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith."

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Postby Sanku » 03 Sep 2007 17:39

Rakesh wrote:Basically the article states how the British deliberately kept India intellectually dumb, ruined her urban and agricultural development, virtually stopped India from experiencing her Industrial Revolution, while in turn accelerating its own with India and other colonized nations acting as a direct catalyst.


That obviously can not be true; for if it were; why would the Indian Prime Minister proudly thank UK for all the good that India has had from the colonial period; that too in 60 years of our independence? At a time when even the Japanese are praying at their war shrines.

Rakesh I must say you have to be mistaken; because surely Dr Singh being a learned economist would know of this; or are you imputing his motives?

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Postby Rakesh » 03 Sep 2007 17:46

Well Sanku, if I was in Dr Manmohan Singh's position...I would say the same thing. After all Oxford is his alma mater. What else is he going to say?

However, to state that India benefited from the British rule is only partially correct and tells only one side of the story. India benefited from British rule because of a 'trickle-down' effect and not because of the overtly benevolent British government. Everything they did in India, was for their own economic benefit. They basically raped the country.

Take a look at this link...

Integration into the Market - Globalisation and the Impact on Health
http://www.phmovement.org/pubs/issuepapers/hong03.html

To feed the global market economy, new crops mainly for export were introduced in the colonies; new laws and social structures were imposed; new technologies and consumption patterns, which were totally alien, took hold. Subsistence food production gave way to commercial crops and raw materials to feed Europe’s industrialisation. Agrarian societies in the colonies were profoundly transformed. Fertile lands were given to grow cash crops with less land to grow food to feed the local population. Food scarcity became a permanent feature and this affected the nutritional and health status of the people.

For example, Bengali peasants under East India Company (EIC) rule in India were forced to grow indigo and kept in extreme poverty as a result of very high land taxes imposed by the Company. Within a few years of Company rule, Bengal’s economy was in ruins. Fertile agricultural lands became barren and useless and famine killed some ten million Bengalis. The frequency and severity of famines which occurred under the rule of the EIC, accelerated under direct British rule when food production was increasingly displaced by commodities like jute, dyes, and cotton.

By the second half of the 19th century, India’s industry and economy were in complete ruins. India became one huge plantation for the British to grow tea, indigo, and jute for export. Famine became endemic and reached epidemic proportions under British colonial rule. During this period, more than 20 million Indians died from famine.

All told, British exploitation of India, not only pauperized more than 90 percent of the Indian masses, it left behind a weakened population, susceptible to disease and destroyed indigenous coping mechanisms that had been developed over the course of centuries. This story was replayed in many Third World societies under colonial conquest.
Last edited by Rakesh on 03 Sep 2007 17:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Sep 2007 17:53

Ah well; I wish Dr Singh did not have to give a clean chit them on such weak grounds then. After all though Oxford is his alma mater; India is his mater; he has literally grown up on Indian milk has he not? To whom would his loyalties be expected to be stronger too? There is certainly no point in him joining the debate of how the Brits were bad; but at least he could have refrained from overt praise in the capacity as the Indian head of Govt. Anyway that is said and done now.

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Postby Rakesh » 03 Sep 2007 17:58

His strategy of reaching out to the world ;) I guess it is safe to assume that you are not particularly fond of Pradhan Mantri Singh! But on the issue of his loyalties, like virtually most Congress party members, we all know where that lies!

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Postby Sanku » 03 Sep 2007 18:09

:lol:

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Postby Calvin » 03 Sep 2007 18:27

Kaushal - this is a wonderful effort. I am reminded of an essay I read a long time ago by GK Chesterton on "history and historians". A google search turned it up, and I quote it here, not only because Chesterton's wit and words and worthy in and off themselves, but because they suggest precisely what you are suggesting - that we look beyond the historians to the manuscripts of the day.

History Versus the Historians
By G.K. Chesterton

From Lunacy and Letters

In my innocent and ardent youth I had a fixed fancy. I held that children in a school ought to be taught history, and ought to be taught nothing else. The story of human society is the only fundamental framework outside of religion in which everything can fall into its place. A boy cannot see the importance of Latin simply by learning Latin. But he might see it by learning the history of the Latins. Nobody can possibly see any sense in learning geography or in learning arithmetic - both studies are obviously nonsense. But on the eager eve of Austerlitz, where Napoleon was fighting a superior force in a foreign country, one might see the need for Napoleon knowing a little geography and a little arithmetic. I have thought that if people would only learn history, they would learn to learn everything else. Algebra might seem ugly, yet the very name of it is connected with something so romantic as the Crusades, for the word is from the Saracens. Greek might be ugly until one knew the Greeks, but surely not afterwards. History is simply humanity. And history will humanise all studies, even anthropology.

Since that age of innocence I have, however, realised that there is a difficulty in this teaching of history. And the difficulty is that there is no history to teach. This is not a scrap of cynicism - it is a genuine and necessary product of the many points of view and the strong mental separations of our society, for in our age every man has a cosmos of his own, and is therefore horribly alone. There is no history; there are only historians. To tell the tale plainly is now much more difficult than to tell it treacherously. It is unnatural to leave the facts alone; it is instinctive to pervert them. The very words involved in the chronicles - "Pagan", "Puritan", "Catholic", "Republican", "Imperialist" - are words which make us leap out of our armchairs.

No good modern historians are impartial. All modern historians are divided into two classes - those who tell half the truth, like Macaulay and Froude, and those who tell none of the truth, like Hallam and the Impartials. The angry historians see one side of the question. The calm historians see nothing at all, not even the question itself.

But there is another possible attitude towards the records of the past, and I have never been able to understand why it has not been more often adopted. To put it in its curtest form, my proposal is this: That we should not read historians, but history. Let us read the actual text of the times. Let us, for a year, or a month, or a fortnight, refuse to read anything about Oliver Cromwell except what was written while he was alive. There is plenty of material; from my own memory (which is all I have to rely on in the place where I write) I could mention offhand many long and famous efforts of English literature that cover the period. Clarendon's History, Evelyn's Diary, the Life of Colonel Hutchinson. Above all let us read all Cromwell's own letters and speeches, as Carlyle published them. But before we read them let us carefully paste pieces of stamp-paper over every sentence written by Carlyle. Let us blot out in every memoir every critical note and every modern paragraph. For a time let us cease altogether to read the living men on their dead topics. Let us read only the dead men on their living topics.


http://www.chesterton.org/gkc/historian/historians.html

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Postby Surya » 03 Sep 2007 18:38

Just returned from the UK and saw the intial episode of the The Story of India by Michael wood.

Did anyone else catch it?

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Postby Rakesh » 03 Sep 2007 18:43

The Story Of India With Michael Wood
http://www.a2mediagroup.com/?c=175&a=17248

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Postby ashish raval » 03 Sep 2007 18:51

Surya wrote:Just returned from the UK and saw the intial episode of the The Story of India by Michael wood.

Did anyone else catch it?

I have seen all of them presented so far.

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Postby SriKumar » 03 Sep 2007 19:51

Kaushal wrote: [ they are trying to locate and catalogue old manuscripts ]...... with the launching of the national mission for manuscripts.
A 1-minute google search turned up their website under Ministry of Tourism and Culture. This is an amazing effort, and it seems to reach out in all directions, and at all levels (district and village). Hats off to GOI for this. http://namami.org/

Check out the photo-gallery. There are jpegs of manuscripts and art collated thus far. There's stuff on music (can see a picture of a mridangam) art, calligraphy and some others not as obvious. http://namami.org/photogallery.htm

(Admins: If this is considered off-topic, please move to appropriate thread).

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Re: Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Postby Nandu » 06 Sep 2007 00:24

May I request a brief synopsis of what these distortions are? In particular what exactly is wrong about the commonly held views on the following?

Kaushal wrote:.... the location of the ancient home of the Zoroastrian people, the dating of Chandra Gupta Maurya's reign, the dating of the Buddha himself, the origin of the Brahmi script, .... the dating of the impregnation of Indic culture in countries of South East Asia.


In quoting, I have removed a few from Kaushal's list because those particular items are discussed here often, esp. in the psyops thread. I'd love to see some details on these others.

Thanks.

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Postby ramana » 06 Sep 2007 00:58

I request Sanku and any others not to bring in politics or criticism of exisiting persoanlities for it will only serve to derail the thread.

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Postby Sadler » 06 Sep 2007 04:13

This is a subject i am extremely interested in but know virtually nothing about.

To remedy that, i asked an Indian friend to help out. She (based on advice from Acharya/Tanaji) looked up the multivolume set on Indian history by one Majundar (sp?). I did not realize at that time but this is an eleven volume set!! And it cost a pittance. Apparently less than $80!! For an eleven volume set on what i have been told is one of the most authoritative collection of books on indian history!! The volumes came to about 60 lbs and had to be shipped (literally), so i should receive them in about 2 months from now.

However, this event is certainly of some interest. Would the organizer/editors consider posting the proceedings on BRF?? It would be one heck of a resource for folks like me and i suspect Indians as well.

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Postby Kaushal » 07 Sep 2007 03:24

Till the discovery of the paleo channel of the dried up Saraswati river, the chronology followed by the Historians of India who were for the most part British followed the basic framework laid down by sir William Jones during the 1780's and despite significant discoveries such as the Sarasvati Sindhi Civilization aka the Indus valley civilization, stuck to the revised history as they envisioned it, ever since. Even Majumdar,, who is otherwise very credible, does not break lose from the "Steel Frame' version of the Indic past in his multi volume compilation of Indic history.

In short, the authoritatiive history of India in the English language yet to be written

excerpt from the press release for the conference,

"In his constant strategic quest to perpetuate his empire the colonial overlord employed several approaches which may (taxonomically) be characterized as being a paradigm shift in the way empires are run. The British had an overwhelming desire to be regarded as a benign Imperial power only remaining behind in India because of the overwhelming obligation to civilize the natives of the subcontinent, at least according to Thomas Babington Macaulay. After the systematic looting of the country for over a half century beginning in the 1760’s, as described by Nicholas Dirks in The Scandal of Empire, and having reduced the bulk of the populace to a penurious condition, he then set about systematically to change the mindset of the Indic by various means. In particular he set himself the task to


Devalue the INDIC IDENTITY and the cohesiveness of Indic traditions in the subcontinent by insinuating that the idea of India is essentially a colonial notion

Exaggerate the cultural and racial diversity in order to create fissions within Indian society (in this they have largely succeeded thanks to the frequently and regularly run census of India beginning in the latter half of the 19th Century, and Macaulay’s minute on education) by trying to separate the intellectual sections of Indic society from the rest of the populace.

Create a new ethnic taxonomy peculiar only to India (Aryan vs. Dravidian) where none existed before

Confuse and negate the antiquity of the Indic civilization by introducing spurious and invalid postulates such as the Aryan Invasion theory to create the FUD factor (fear. , uncertainty and doubt) and totally obfuscate the chronology of India

Devalue the contributions to the exact sciences in antiquity, which is only now being redressed by the work of the Neugebauer School (to a very limited extent) and the group at University of Exeter in UK.

The result of this handiwork is that the History and chronology of India prior to 700 CE has been completely mangled and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.

The goal of the seminar is to increase awareness of the importance of learning the accurate History of India and to extricate ourselves from the present situation where we have relinquished control of our history to individuals who have little stake in India and hardly any accountability for any errors that they may make.
Our aim is to
1. Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic civilization
2. Indicate those areas of Indian history which are egregiously in error
3. Propose methodology and criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the current or future proposed narratives
4. Discuss the extent to which India borrowed astronomical concepts, such as the Nakshatra system of the precession of the equinoxes from Baylonian, Greek and Chinese sources
5. Discuss the possible connections between Panini’s Linguistic efforts with the invention of the place value system
Indic Studies Foundation

is committed to devising and executing plans that will

focus awareness on the antiquity, diversity, intellectual vibrancy, the logical rigor and ontological scope of Indic civilization, the profound contributions it has made to many spheres of activity of humanity.

comprehend the nature and breadth of adversarial theologies which seek to malign the Indic ethos, dispel lacunae and misconceptions in the understanding of Indic traditions in India and the Western hemisphere, as exemplified by the case of the California Text Book Misrepresentation of Ancient India in 2005/2006

explore the progress in realizing the unfulfilled promise and potential of this nation and its talented populace
the Foundation will undertake a series of seminars annually with an exclusive focus on Indic history to specifically research the distorted history, investigate its consequences,assess its consequences, and remedy the situation by facilitating impartial/professional research into Indic history, and in addition will conduct programs to correct the history in the academia, media and in public perception.






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Postby Sadler » 07 Sep 2007 03:47

Kaushal wrote:Even Majumdar,, who is otherwise very credible, does not break lose from the "Steel Frame' version of the Indic past in his multi volume compilation of Indic history.


Thanks for the tip. I am sure i'll have a lot of questions as i begin to read these books. I'll post my questions here at that time.

Thanks and Shalom.

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Postby Airavat » 12 Sep 2007 03:22

Kaushal wrote:Even Majumdar,, who is otherwise very credible, does not break lose from the "Steel Frame' version of the Indic past in his multi volume compilation of Indic history.


Yes that is because at the time these volumes were first compiled (1950s) Majumdar could not have gone against the established 'steel frame'. More so because a variety of historians contributed different chapters in each volume...some of them were ardent colonialists while others were what we call today 'leftists'.

Instead Majumdar and KM Munshi provided space to alternative views on controversial topics like the Aryan Theory, Puranic history from the earliest times, The Vikrami Samvat, etc, which at least left the conclusions open for the individual reader.

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Postby Kaushal » 12 Sep 2007 04:26

I concur with you and do not make a judgement of Majumdar, for whom I have great respect. Remember at that time there was as yet no discovery of the sarasvati paleo channel via satellite, which for all practical purposes clinches the argument against AIT.

I am less charitable towards those (e.g Romilla Thapar) who argue in favor of AIT even today.










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Postby UPrabhu » 12 Sep 2007 04:45

ramana wrote:I request Sanku and any others not to bring in politics or criticism of exisiting persoanlities for it will only serve to derail the thread.


I agree, these existing personalities mentioned are one of the ill-effects of British, and only time will cure us of them, they have secondary side effect of derailing threads on important discussions. Seriously... discussing Sanku mentioned personality is hopeless.. only time will cure us, 60 years is too less.


It is interesting that it took Sinzo Abe, person born after WWII to bring about some assertiveness in japanese policy. May be it will take some PM born after 1947 to do the same for us.

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Postby Kaushal » 15 Sep 2007 08:44


There is no question that 750 years of domination by people of a different culture and value system, who had little respect for our traditions has taken its toll on the collectiive psyche of the Indic. Few have escaped its effects unscathed. No need to wring our hands forever about it. Make a note of it and move on. Time heals everything.




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Postby JE Menon » 15 Sep 2007 15:53

Guys, is the michael wood series anywhere on youtube or anything like that. Is it out on DVD??? Want to see it yesterday....

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Postby Kaushal » 16 Sep 2007 09:42

Hello Jaideep old friend, how goes it with you. Nice to see you are still active.

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Postby JE Menon » 16 Sep 2007 18:48

Hello Kaushal. Fine boss, fine. Good to see you are still fighting the good fight. Yeah, still active.. :twisted:

Keep well...

Sorry for thread diversion people...

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Postby Jagan » 16 Sep 2007 20:11

Kaushal garu,

can we keep the font size to normal please?

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Postby Rudranath » 16 Sep 2007 21:30

Kaushalji take a look at this 2 threads on other forum.

A historian by the name Dharampal is mentioned.

Link1

Link2

This 2 threads have very good material and if possible should be cloned on BR.

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Postby JE Menon » 17 Sep 2007 01:03

Rudranath,

No need for cloning. You have provided the links. Anyone on BR who wants to read it can go to IF and do so...

BR Admins have often recommended IF as a source for such material, and will continue to do so, primarily because these discussons tend to spill into areas outside the mandate of BR. And IF has provided a fine platform.

emsin

Postby emsin » 17 Sep 2007 01:33

IT's ridiculous that people say that Dalits were not educated for thousands of years etc..this is blatantly false. Facts left by British scholars in the last century point otherwise..they point even to the fact that primary education is something the West learnt from us..not otherwise.

According to the Survey of Indigenous Education in the Province of Bombay (1820-1830), Brahmins constituted only 30% of the total scholars in that province.

Adam tells the same story about Bengal and Bihar. In the five districts he investigated, the total number of Hindu students was 22,957. Out of these 5,744 were Brahmins, or about 25%. Kayasthas were about 12%. Students belonging to 95 castes find representation in his Report. It includes 66 ChanDals, 20 Muchis, 84 Doms, 102 Kahars, and 615 Kurmis.
As teachers, the Brahmins were even less represented. Out of a total of 2,261 teachers in these districts, Brahmins were only 208, or about 11%. In this region Kayasthas were the teachers par excellence. They were 1,019 in number, or a little less than half the total. Other teachers belonged to other 32 castes. ChanDals had six, Goalas had five, Telis had eleven; while Rajputs had only two, and Chhatri and Kshetriya taken together had only three.

It will not be out of place here to compare the state of instruction in India at this period with the one prevalent in the West, and particularly in England, the country with which we have better acquaintance. The West was at this time acquiring monasteries and new-style universities which were gaining fame for teaching theology, but it still had no national system of elementary education for instructing its younger ones


In England, the attempt to introduce any semblance of wider instruction was first made in mid-fifties in the nineteenth century under factory laws. But the legislation "provided nothing more than that the children shall on certain days of the week, and for a certain number of hours (three) in each day, be inclosed within the four walls of a place called a school, and that the employer of the child shall receive weekly a certificate to that effect signed by a person designated by the subscriber as a schoolmaster or schoolmistress" (Report of the Inspector of Factories, Parliamentary Papers, June 30, 1857).

The Indian national education system was no freak. It was grounded in Hindu culture and its system of local self-government. Ludlow's British India says that "in every Hindu village which has retained anything of its form ... the rudiments of knowledge are sought to be imparted; there is not a child... who is not able to read, to write, to cipher; in the last branch of learning they are confessedly most proficient". The same source says at another place that "where the village system has been swept away by us, as in Bengal, there the school system has equally disappeared". Leitner quotes a report of a British Inspector of Schools in the Punjab which too brings out the intimate link between indigenous educational system and it underlying system of ideas and polity. It says: "The indigenous education of India was founded on the sanction of the Shastras, which elevated into religious duties and conferred dignity on the commonest transactions of every-day life. The existence of village communities, which left not only their municipal, but also in part their revenue and judicial administrations, in the hands of the people themselves, greatly helped to spread education among all the different members of the community."

When the British started studying indigenous education, they had already been in control of the territory for over fifty years; and during these years much harm had already been done. The land grants were already stopped or curtailed. There was a general breakdown in the economy at large. The old classes which supported local institutions were impoverished. These and other causes combined to bring about a fast deterioration is Ancient India was celebrated for its learning all over civilized Asia and Europe. Megasthenese (ca. 302 BC) was struck by the depth of this learning during his mission to the court of Chandragupta. Fa-hien, the famous Chinese traveller (399413 AD) spent some years at the Pataliputra and Tamralipti monasteries. He also spent two years in Ceylon which too had its monasteries after the India fashion. These monasteries were a big affair, housing and teaching several hundred monks each. Two centuries after came Hiuen Tsang undertaking a hazardous journey across Central Asia and northern parts of India. During the seventeen years he spent in India (629-645 AD) he visited many monasteries belonging to the Mahayana and the Hinayana schools. He visited Hiranyaparvata, the Golden Hill (Munghir), a city on the bank of the Ganges, which had 10 Sangharamas with 4,000 priests, and 12 Deva temples. At Tamralipti (at the mouth of Hoogly), there were 10 monasteries with a thousand monks. The same story is told of many other towns he visited.

I-tsing (671-695 AD) came to India by sea-route. He spent ten years studying at the Nalanda University, the most dominant at his time. It was supported by a revenue of 200 villages and housed more than 3,000 monks. The building contained eight halls and three hundred apartments. On the way back, he spent seven years in Sribhoja (Sumatra), which was a cultural extension of India.

In the face of continued Muslim onslaught from across the north-west frontier, Hindu Buddhist sciences began to retire into the ineterior. Alberuni tells us how "Mahmud ruined the prosperity of the country (India)", how they (Hindus) were turned into "atoms of dust scattered in all directions", how "this is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and have fled to places which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir, Benares, and other places." As time passed and the Muslim inroads became deeper, Hindu centres of learning were destroyed in the interior too. Eventually, from there they retired into neighbouring countries like Tibet.


http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/ohrr/ch07.htm

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Postby svinayak » 17 Sep 2007 02:22

Sadler wrote:This is a subject i am extremely interested in but know virtually nothing about.

To remedy that, i asked an Indian friend to help out. She (based on advice from Acharya/Tanaji) looked up the multivolume set on Indian history by one Majundar (sp?). I did not realize at that time but this is an eleven volume set!! And it cost a pittance. Apparently less than $80!! For an eleven volume set on what i have been told is one of the most authoritative collection of books on indian history!! The volumes came to about 60 lbs and had to be shipped (literally), so i should receive them in about 2 months from now.

However, this event is certainly of some interest. Would the organizer/editors consider posting the proceedings on BRF?? It would be one heck of a resource for folks like me and i suspect Indians as well.

I got this 11 volume book recently from Blore which my freind helped me. It is deep and will give an exhaustive amount of information.

The list of contributors will tell the list of eminent historians who are the real Historians of India.

There are some criticism of RC Mazumdar since he still uses Aryan Invasion Theory and other colonial referenes. But overall this the best

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Postby Kaushal » 17 Sep 2007 10:48

an we keep the font size to normal please ?


i have vision problem with the small font size. I consistently use 12 pt size for all the work that i do at the keyboard.


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