Indian History Discussions - III

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 12 Jun 2003 20:57

Ashok, there has been no official report from the ASI yet. Everything that we read in the press is spin put out by vested interests, in this case Zafaryab Jeelani. We have to wait for the final report, but in the meanwhile we just have snippets of partial information.

Clearly there was a structure underneath the Babri structure. There is absolutely no doubt about that. It was also a large structure spread over a large area indicated by the size and number of the pillar bases. Whether the structure was a temple or not is an inference that should not be difficult to draw. The age of the artifacts can also easily be established. The existence of structures that are 500 years old (or older) is difficult to establish esp. after they have been destroyed.

Sanjay Joshi
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 20
Joined: 18 Oct 2001 11:31
Location: Mysore, India

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Sanjay Joshi » 12 Jun 2003 22:00

Hi Kaushal, actually after I met him for lunch anf gave him my lecture, I emailed him the links which someone posted in this very thread about how the finds were inconclusive. And for the final punch to fragile Paki H&D, I mailed him the link where the BJP Spokesman Mukthar Abbas Naqvi makes his statement! His eyes must have popped out to see the much reviled "hindoooo fundamentalist" BJP with a muslim spokesman!

Originally posted by Kaushal:
Sanjay, while what you say is true, it is not true that the ASI has said that there was No evidence of a prior structure. Pl. look at the graphic in the Outlook article of June 2 to get a mental picture of what has been found and what hasnt.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 8
Joined: 31 Jan 2003 12:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Champs » 14 Jun 2003 05:59

This article nicely summarizes the attitude of Babur towards the "Hindu infidels" and the people of India in general. For the interested people, I can dig references for Babur's views, most of which are from Baburnama. I am posting the context and relevant parts:

Context: There is an extremely disturbing and alarming trend amongst the Indian intelligentsia to glean from history what suits their bias. Rather than accept the historical fact that the Muslim invasion of India has, by almost all accounts (including the historical writings of the invaders themselves), been the bloodiest in the history of the World, these "scholars" try to project a more "respectable" account of the Islamic invasion of India. Anyone who rejects this rosy picture of history is immediately dismissed as being a Hindutva freak. Thus, when even a respected journalist like Naipaul, dares to speak the truth, he is accused of succumbing to the Hindutva propaganda. Amulya Ganguli in one of articles in The Hindustan Times claims that Naipaul has a "warped vision of (Indian) history" and yet it is actually Ganguli who distorts Indian history by trying to present Babur as someone who loved India...

Babur's attitude towards Hindus and India in general:

He did not like the heat of India, he found its towns and country "greatly wanting in charm", "its people have no good looks, no manners, no genius, in work no symmetry or quality, no good horses, no good dogs, no grapes, no musk melons or no first rate fruits, no good bread". Two things Babur liked very much: Hindustan as stated by him has "masses of gold and silver" and yields immense revenue.

He called them "abject and mean" , "wretched" . He ordered repeatedly pillars of pagan heads to be built. He abolished all taxes on Muslims throughout all the territories -- though its yield was more than the dreams of avarice. Why? It was, he believed "a practice outside the edicts of the prince of Apostles (Muhammad)". And what did he wish for the Hindus? "God willing! Soon will be dashed the gods of the idolaters" It goes without saying that he did not abolish the tax on Hindus.

At Chandiri, Khwafi Khan records a massacre by Babur, saying that after the fort was surrendered as was done on the condition of security for the garrison from 3,000 - 4,000 pagans were put to death by Babur's troops.

"It was a cruel age when criminals and spies were routinely ordered by the rulers to be buried or skinned alive or impaled or trampled to death by elephants" Ganguli wrote. "These were barbaric times". No, the times were not barbaric -- the invaders/rulers were barbaric. The massacres of the likes of 100,000 Hindu captives in one day by Timurlang have never been witnessed before or after in the history of the World...

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 14 Jun 2003 11:03

These were barbaric times". No, the times were not barbaric -- the invaders/rulers were barbaric. The massacres of the likes of 100,000 Hindu captives in one day by Timurlang have never been witnessed before or after in the history of the World...

Precisely, the times were not barbaric and neither were the Islamic savants like AlBiruni (who accompanied Mohammad Ghazni in his conquests)but the invaders were by and large a barbaric depraved bunch bereft of any the qualities which we prize among individuals who aspire to rule or lead. The very thought that Babar would choose to build a structure in Ayodhya the sole purpose of which was to humiliate his conquered Hindu populace, is nauseating.And this is the ruler that Pt.Nehru extolls in his Discovery of India as a charming Prince.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55233
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2003 22:05

What were the geopolitics that drove Turko-Afghan and later Islamized Mongols horde towards India? By then the Arabic Islam was dead or dying.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Arvind » 14 Jun 2003 23:13

Question: which was the last independent Indic state in Central Asia and when was it annihilated?

Answer: It was the state of Khotan. It survived the Chinese and Islamic whirlwinds and persisted in classical Indic tradition as a multi-ethnic state with religious freedom under benign Indic monarchs.

Its last Indic monarch was Vijayadharman. His reign came to an end in an fiercely contested life and death struggle against the Ghazis pouring in, from Bokhara, to erase the "island of infidelity" starting from 982 AD (mark the date, does it tell you something?).

Was this mentioned in our history text books?

Got to get back to work, but more on this later.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Jun 2002 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby karana » 14 Jun 2003 23:16

Originally posted by Hauma Hamiddha:
Question: which was the last independent Indic state in Central Asia and when was it annihilated?

Answer: It was the state of Khotan. It survived the Chinese and Islamic whirlwinds and persisted in classical Indic tradition as a multi-ethnic state with religious freedom under benign Indic monarchs.

Its last Indic monarch was Vijayadharman. His reign came to an end in an fiercely contested life and death struggle against the Ghazis pouring in, from Bokhara, to erase the "island of infidelity" starting from [b]982 AD.

Was this mentioned in our history text books?

Got to get back to work, but more on this later.[/b]
very interesting. please provide more information. i am more interested in whether the population in those areas retain any memories of those glorious days

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 8
Joined: 31 Jan 2003 12:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Champs » 15 Jun 2003 00:10

Hauma, Kaushal and Karana

The people of "Nuristan" ( called "Kafiristan" up till 1896 AD) were incidentally the ones to resist the waves of Islamization for the longest period in the Indian subcontinent. The people of "Kafiristan" resisted Islamization for almost 1000 years, defying Mahmud to Tamerlane, before they were finally converted following a shattering defeat at the hands of Abdur-Rahmân Khân, an Afghan Emir in 1896 AD. These people are ethnically and linguistically very different from their close neighbors, Afghanis and Paki Pathans. A very good summary of these people and their history could be found on the following site:

Let me quote some relevant text from the above site to spice up the interest of the people -

History: .....Around a thousand years ago Mahmud of Ghazni imposed his Islâmic Turkish empire throughout the Kâbul River Valley and forced the unsubmissive population to flee into the hinterlands of the surrounding mountains. The Nuristânis fled Kâmâ and eventually took refuge in the sparsely inhabited interior of the upper Pech and Laghmân Valleys in the Hindu-Kush Range.3 In their flight they passed over the lands of most of the Indo-Âryan peoples of the lower valleys of the Hindu Kush, but they did displace the earlier Jâši and Gahwâr inhabitants from the interior Pech Basin, driving them toward the east. ...

...In the wake of Mahmud's depredation came the Afghâns, who in the ensuing centuries expropriated the region's lowlands from their Indo-Âryan inhabitants. Population shifts in Laghmân, perhaps caused by the TarkâNi Afghân invasion in the mid 15th Century A.D., propelled other groups eastward into the Pech basin to become in part the ancestors of the KalaSa Nuristânis of today.

As Afghâns encroached on the region, relations between them and the Nuristânis grew more hostile. From the Nuristânis' viewpoint, they were surrounded by hostile peoples, bent on converting them to Islâm through force. Numerous holy-war expeditions against the "Kâfirs" (including the unconverted Indo-Âryan-speaking peoples of the region) were mounted by regional Muslim rulers, including those of Timur-e Lang (Tamerlane) in 1398 A.D. (Frazer-Tytler 1967: 58), Bâbur in the early 1500's, Akbar in the late 1500's, and Jahângir in the early 1600's (Kakar 1971: 186-87). The Nuristânis' response to such intolerant hostility was hundreds of years of incessant murderous raids on the lowland Afghân population, in compliance with their custom of blood revenge.

...At the end of the 19th Century A.D. pressure on the Nuristânis mounted as they became pawns in the imperialist "Great Game" between Great Britain, Russia, and the Afghân Âmir ("Commander") Abdur-Rahmân Khân. Many Nuristânis voluntarily submitted to Islâm and agreed to pay tribute to the Âmir in order to prevent war, but he required total submission and spurned their offers of peace (Kakar 1971: 181 ff.). After he and the British agreed on a boundary (the "Durand Line") beyond which neither would advance, he had license to annex the independent polities east of his current empire up to the line, including those of present-day Nuristân. He mounted campaigns up the Laghmân and Kunar Valleys in 1895, and succeeded in overcoming all the "Kâfirs" by the end of 1896 (Kakar 1971: 197-200).4 His troops destroyed and plundered most of the temples and religious idols, and they compelled the men to submit to circumcision as a sign of their submission to Allâh. Thousands of Nuristânis from Laghmân were deported to other provinces of the Âmir's empire and only later allowed to return, but in general the conquered Nuristânis were treated well. Many deportees were inducted into the army, establishing an enduring tradition of integrating Nuristânis into national life through governmental service. Governmental mullahs were sent to educate the new converts in the requirements of their new God, and after two generations the populace was thoroughly Islamized

Pre-Islâmic Religion:Before their conversion to Islâm the Nuristânis practiced a form of ancient Hinduism, infused with accretions developed locally. They acknowledged a number of human-like deities who lived in the unseen Deity World (Kâmviri d'e lu; cf. Sanskrit deva lok'a-). Certain deities were revered only in one community or tribe, but one was universally revered as the Creator: the ancient Hindu god Yama Râja, called imr'o in Kâmviri. The deities guided peoples' destinies and could be influenced through sacrifice, prayer, and dance. Supplicants communicated with the deities through shamans, who would go into a trance after the area was purified with juniper smoke to invite the deities' presence. Such communication often resulted in the disclosure of a transgression of purity against a diety, who demanded a sacrifice of livestock in appeasement. Some details of the former religion, as practiced by the Vasi, appear here.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 15 Jun 2003 02:31

The Nuristanis (Kafiristanis) of Afghanistan and the Kalash Kafirs of Chitral in TSP are related. Both were remnants of people who refused to convert to islam over a 1000 years despite much pressure. More work needs to be done to study the languages of these tribes and their relationship to the rest of the Indo-iranian language group.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 15 Jun 2003 10:54

Death, his dominion
Author: DK Mittal
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: June 13, 2003
In his letter, 'Tipu Sultan: Eye of the tiger' (May 31), Mr Obaidur Rahman Nadwi alleges a section of religious fanatics (read Hindus) has launched "a campaign to denigrate Muslims, particularly those who played a leading role in India's struggle against the British. A recent publication. Tipu Sultan was a Patriot or a Religious Bigot? is part of this design". The author, DH Shankara Murty, has reportedly said Tipu invited Afghans and other raiders from Central Asia to invade India with instructions "execute a genocide of Hindus". Mr Nadwi rubbishes the claim. How one wishes what he says were true!

But Tipu himself left behind personal accounts of his atrocities against the Hindus. These details can be found in two autobiographies: Sultan-ut Tawarikh and Tarikh-i-Khudadadi, housed in the India Office Library, London. Noted historian KM Panicker chanced upon Tipu's correspondence at the India Office Library. These have since been published. Take a letter (March 22, 1788) written to Abdul Khadar: "Over 12,000 Hindus were honoured with Islam ... Local Hindus should be brought before you and then converted to Islam. No Namboodri should be spared."

In a letter (December 14, 1788), he said to his army commander in Calicut: "You should capture and kill all Hindus. Those below 20 years may be kept in prison and 5,000 from the rest should be killed hanging from treetops". Writing on January 19, 1790, to Badroos Saman Khan, he said: "I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam. I am now determined to march against the cursed Raman Nair." Tipu issued orders in different parts of Malabar: "All means, truth or falsehood, fraud or force, should be employed to effect their (Hindu) universal conversion to Islam" (Historical Sketches of the South of India in an attempt to trace the History of Mysore, Mark Wilks Vol II, page 120).

Tipu corresponded with Zaman Shah, grandson Ahmad Shah Abdali and ruler of Afghanistan before the Third Mysore War (1792) and continued to do so till 1798. These letters were translated by Kabir Kausar in The History of Tipu Sultan. In one place, he wrote: "My exalted ambition has for its object a holy war ... In the midst of this land the Almighty protects this trace of Muhammadan dominion like the Ark of Noah and cuts short the extended arm of the abandoned infidel". In a letter dated February 5, 1797: "We should unite in carrying on a holy war against the enemies of our religion.... Thine armies shall ... render us victorious."

What Fra Bartolomaco, a Portuguese traveller and historian, saw in Malabar in 1790, he recorded in Voyage to East Indies: "Most of the men and women were hanged in Calicut ... That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants ... till the bodies ... were torn to prices. Temples and churches were ordered to be burnt down, desecrated and destroyed ... I myself helped many victims to cross the Varappuzha river" (pgs 141-142).

The sword of Tipu Sultan carried an inscription in Persian: "My victorious Sabre is lightening for the destruction of the unbelievers. Thou art our Lord, make him victorious who promotes the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuses the faith of Muhammad and withold us from those who are so inclined" (History of Mysore, CH Rao, Vol III, p 1073). The Mysore Gazetteer also provides details about Tipu's destruction of over 800 temples in South India. Who should we believe - Mr Nadwi or what Tipu Sultan's own accounts and other contemporary records?

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 16 Jun 2003 06:46

June 28 issue (there is a problem with the URL)

No Escape, Left Or Right
The article Secrets Of The Shrine on the excavation findings has been accused of being untrue and partisan. Really, the author asks.


As I stood a few metres away from the makeshift structure that houses the Ram Lalla idol in Ayodhya on a dog day afternoon in mid-May and watched a Sikh videographer recording the process of recovery of some artefact from a trench close by, I knew I was in trouble. Whatever I wrote about my visit and the findings of the excavation, I would enrage both sides of the mandir-masjid debate. There was no escape.
I was right. In the last few weeks I have been called a running dog of the VHP, and a lunatic leftie. One mail on our website even promised that when the Hindu revolution comes, I should vamoose to Bangladesh. In addition, there have been accusations that I never visited the site, that the stone slab I had mentioned in my June 2 article with early Devanagari inscription on it did not exist, that I be hauled up for contempt of court. Let's tackle the stone slab matter first.

On May 29, The Times of India reported: "(Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said that) the inscription has neither been removed nor photographed till date. Even the plaintiffs or defendants have no idea about this particular inscription which is lying upside down." Okay. But on June 12, the same paper quoted unnamed ASI officials as saying that it would take a long time before anyone can say that the fourth letter is the sacred sign swoaham followed by the word 'Ram'. "Our own epigraphist has managed to decipher only one word, that is, 'pala' in the inscription," the official is quoted. The ASI officials' view totally corroborates the copy of the inscription we carried in Outlook. I had written: "The pro-mandir men immediately saw the fourth letter as the Hindu sacred sign swoaham, followed by the word 'Ram'...Non-VHP observers see no swoaham there, neither do they make out Ram." Yet, my article has been accused of being "partisan and inaccurate".

The stone slab is still underground, since trench J3 was flooded. The water is being pumped out now and the slab will perhaps be unearthed in the next few days. As for charges that I was nowhere near the site and fabricated my story, based on the fact that my name is not entered in the visitors' register, did you expect me to visit the disputed area wearing a fluorescent Outlook T-shirt handing out copies of the magazine to the policemen?

Which brings me to the question of bias. While most papers covering the new ASI report last week said that it claims there was no structure under the Babri masjid, what the report actually says is that of the 30 recent trenches, the team has found man-made structures in eight, and none in 16. In five, they couldn't decide due to "structural activities at the upper levels" (mainly the plinth of the Babri masjid). One trench they did not survey. Among the structures listed in the report are several brick walls "in east-west orientation", several in "north-south orientation", "decorated coloured floor", several "pillar bases", and a "1.64-metre high decorated black stone pillar (broken) with yaksha figurines on four corners". Now that I am sounding like a "running dog of the VHP" to the "lunatic lefties", let me quickly add that they also found "Arabic inscription of holy verses on stone".

But what many people have missed out on—due to bias or sloth—is that these are findings only from the period of May 22 to June 6. This is not the full list. If they read the earlier reports, they would also find listed several walls, a staircase, and two black basalt columns "bearing fine decorative carvings with two cross-legged figures in bas-relief on a bloomed lotus with a peacock whose feathers are raised upwards".

The ideology does not matter. A journalist must report the facts. So let me apologise for two errors I made. One is grave: I wrote that the ASI reports to Murli Manohar Joshi; it actually comes under Jagmohan.The other is a technicality: the ASI did not project a photograph of the Devanagari inscription on a screen for the excavation observers to see, they showed a large photographic print.

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 17 Jun 2003 06:53

Interesting that the foreign media is claiming something that none of the DDM (as of June 11) have claimed: "Dig finds No Sign of Temple in Ayodhya". This is a far more definitive claim than what our DDM tried to spin few days before ... ie no proof in 15 of the trenches dug as Kaushal has pointed out.

I am posting these links for future reference.

Voice of America

Dig Finds No Sign of Temple in Ayodhya, India
VOA News
11 Jun 2003, 15:48 UTC

Three months of excavation in India's holy town of Ayodhya has so far found no evidence that a Hindu temple once existed on the site of a mosque razed by Hindu extremists in 1992.

Government archaeologists say this casts a doubt on claims by Hindu hardliners that the 16th century mosque was built after a temple to the Hindu warrior god Ram was destroyed at the site.

Archaeologists have spent the past three months digging and scraping away at earth beneath the site at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state.

A final report on the excavation will be submitted to a state court within two weeks after the digging ends June 15.

The excavation began in March as part of a court-ordered investigation aimed at resolving the Hindu-Muslim dispute over the site.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 17 Jun 2003 07:14

Just for comparison, see this report posted on the very next day. It is dorky but is not out and out bald face lies like the foreign dorky media.

Not much temple proof: ASI

AGENCIES[ THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2003 05:59:29 AM ]
LUCKNOW: In a significant development in the ongoing excavation at the acquired land at Ayodhya, the Archaeological Survey of India has said in its progress report that no structural anomalies suggesting evidence of any structure under the demolished Babri Mosque had been found in 15 of the new trenches dug up at the site.

The report submitted to the special bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said the Tojo Vikas International ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey had pointed out structural anomalies at the disputed site, but the excavation in 15 new trenches did not confirm to the Tojo survey, sources here said.

Structural anomalies were, however, detected in 15 other trenches, the report said. The ASI has in its earlier report submitted to the court in April last sought permission of the court to undertake digging in 30 new trenches. The ASI had so far carried out excavation work in 72 trenches, of which 30 trenches were dug after taking permission of the High Court.

The progress report said that the anomalies indicated in the GPR survey report were either confirmed or partially confirmed in 15 of the new trenches, while they were not detected in the other 15 trenches.

Though the ASI has refrained from reaching any conclusion, the latest progress report at least partially negated the Tojo survey which had hinted at the existence of some structure beneath the demolished Babri mosque.

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 17 Jun 2003 07:20

Very instructive on how the "well respected" news media works. First lie, then repeat the lie as many times as possible ...

Last Updated: Sunday, 15 June, 2003, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK

More time for Ayodhya dig

Archaeologists excavating a disputed religious site in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya have asked for a two week extension to complete the work.
The excavation, which was ordered by a court to find whether a Hindu temple once stood on the site, was due to finish on Sunday.

A recent interim report said the dig had produced no evidence of such a temple.

The site has been the centre of bitter controversy for more than a decade.

A 16th Century mosque at Ayodhya was torn down by Hindus in 1992, an act that led to clashes in which around three thousand Hindus and Muslims were killed.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 19 Jun 2003 06:59

crossposted from IC yahoogroups

Peshwa Baji Rao I

After the death of Shivaji the real revival of Hindu power came from
Baji Rao I (1700-1740). The death of Sambhaji (d. 1689) had
accelerated internal disintegration of the Marathas which was set in
motion by the death of Shivaji (d. 1680). Besides, Maratha nobles of
high standing refused to acknowledge authority of Peshwa. The old
brigade opposed Baji Rao I to the very end but he had a genius for
spotting talent and groomed peasants and servants into generals of
considerable repute. These - Holkars, Shindes and Pawars - were to
become the mainstay of Peshwa.

He was an ambitious and far seeking man, and conceived the bold plan
of turning the tables upon the declining Moghul Empire and invading
Hindustan. "Now is the time," he exclaimed, "to drive the strangers
from the land of the Hindus! Let us strike at the trunk of the
withering tree, and the branches will fall off themselves. By
directing our efforts to Hindustan, the Maratha flag shall fly from
Krishna to Attock." From that day the faces of Marathas turned
northwards. Every Maratha fort has its 'Delhi Gate'.

Baji Rao, aided ably by brother Chimaji Appa, fought 36 battles in
all and never tasted a defeat. A simple, down to earth man, he mixed
freely with his soldiers and set the trend of giving land to his men
as 'Vatan' to ensure that the territory won stayed won. In the
hindsight though, this had the effect of sowing seeds of the process
of decentralisation as opposed to the centralised power which Shivaji
sought to establish. The expansion of Maratha Raj under him was
spectacular. In 1737, he arrived within the vicinity of Delhi in a
surprise attack and split the joint force of Nizam and the Moghuls to
defeat them both. The Moghuls surrendered and the Marathas were
established as the supreme power in India. Nizam-Ul-Mulk, the string
holder of Moghuls, refused to take protection of the Maratha army for
obvious reasons. Baji Rao stayed in Delhi for a few days and
retreated to the South to subdue the Portuguese. The decision
backfired on the Moghuls as Nader Shah invaded and defiled Delhi in
1739. Nizam later moved over to Hyderabad to establish a dynasty of
his own. Shortly afterwards, the stress of relentless campaigns
claimed Baji Rao. Aged 40, he died in a tent among his men in
Ravarkhed on a campaign. His Muslim mistress Mastani committed
suicide upon learning of his death.

Thanks to Baji Rao we found after seven hundred years the tide of
Islamic invasion turned back to the very gates of Afghanistan and the
banner of Hindu Padshahi range from the Himalayas to the South.

J. Grant Duff says in "History of the Marathas":

"Bred a soldier as well as a statesman, Baji Rao united the
enterprise, vigour, and hardihood of a Maratha chief with the
polished manners, the sagacity, and address which frequently
distinguish the Brahmins of the Concan. Fully acquainted with the
financial schemes of his father, he selected that part of the plan
calculated to direct the predatory hordes of Maharashtra in a common
effort. In this respect, the genius of Baji Rao enlarged the schemes
which his father devised; and unlike most Brahmins of him, it may be
truly said- he had both- the head to plan and the hand to execute."

Sir R. Temple says in "Oriental Experiences":

"Baji Rao was hardly to be surpassed as a rider and was ever forward
in action, eager to expose himself under fire if the affair was
arduous. He was inured to fatigue and prided himself on enduring the
same hardships as his soldiers and sharing their scanty fare. He was
moved by an ardour for success in national undertakings by a
patriotic confidence in the Hindu cause as against its old enemies,
the Muhammadans and its new rivals, the Europeans then rising above
the political horizon. He lived to see the Maratha spread over the
Indian continent from the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal. He died
as he lived in camp under canvas among his men and he is remembered
among the Marathas as the fighting Peshwa, as the incarnation of
Hindu energy."

Jadunath Sarkar says in his forward to "Peshwa Baji Rao I and Maratha

"Baji Rao was a heaven born cavalry leader. In the long and
distinguished galaxy of Peshwas, Baji Rao Ballal was unequalled for
the daring and originality of his genius and the volume and value of
his achievements. He was truly a carlylean Hero as king- or rather
as `Man of action.' If Sir Robert Walpole created the
unchallengeable position of the Prime Minister in the unwritten
constitution of England, Baji Rao created the same institution in the
Maratha Raj at exactly the same time."

Published by Shakti Marg

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 20
Joined: 08 Jun 2001 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Ashok » 19 Jun 2003 09:01

Originally posted by Kaushal:
..Peshwa Baji Rao I....Aged 40, he died in a tent among his men in Ravarkhed on a campaign. His Muslim mistress Mastani committed suicide upon learning of his death.....
I thought Mastani was the foster-daughter of Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand, whom he gave in marriage to Baji Rao. Is that incorrect?

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 19 Jun 2003 13:09

The rise and stagnation of Marathas
Review by Harbans Singh

Baji Rao: The Warrior Peshwa
by E. Jaiwant Paul. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 184. Rs 275.

JAIWANT PAUL's "Baji Rao: The Warrior Peshwa" is not just an account of the life of a general of the Marathas; it goes much beyond the biographical loyalty of an author for, it vividly recreates an era which saw the juxtaposition of the decadent forces of the Mughals and the daring and innovative ways of the Marathas. It deals with an age when competent and willing warriors were scarce in the Mughal army, while they were abundant among the Marathas.

"It is a book about Hindustan whose emperor cannot think beyond the skirts of his concubines and (whose) blood is sluggish with opium," and a people whose leaders dared to dream of planting the Maratha flag on the banks of the Indus. It is amazing to note that the ambition and the struggle launched by Shivaji had such an irresistible force that the adversities that befell the Marathas could not stop three generations from spreading the power of the descendants of Shivaji and also the Maratha people.

The book ostensibly is the story of Baji Rao, the Peshwa of Shahuji, but in truth it is a chronicle of the times when in a burst of creative energy the Marathas established their authority over what was Mughal India. Credit must be given not only to the Maratha king who had the wisdom to choose the right persons but also to Baji Rao who in a short span of life created outstanding generals out of ordinary men and soldiers. It speaks volumes of the leadership qualities he must have possessed, since it is no mean task in a caste-ridden society to recognise and encourage the talent of a cowherd Holkar and Ranoji Scindia who took care of the slippers of the Peshwa. And, in between he had time enough to weave a near tragic romance with Mastani as well!

The rise of the Marathas is as much due to individual leaders as the collective will of the people, and this is evident from the fact that there are the most unlikely heroes at different times. If Ranoji Angre was emerging as the menace to be contended with at seas, then Balaji, a Chitpavan Brahmin, was successfully implementing a system which was aimed at strengthening the Maratha power. At no point of time did Angre dream of establishing an independent kingdom. His loyalty was firmly first for Sambhaji, the younger branch of Shivaji, and then inalienably for Shahuji, Balaji Rao had correctly assessed that Shahuji did not have the vigour of his grandfather to run an autocracy, and therefore it would be different for him to run an army whose officers were salaried. He introduced the system of offering land to the officers instead of a salary. Thus sowing the seeds of the Maratha confederacy at an early stage of their history.

Balaji and then his illustrious son Baji Rao had also accurately analysed that the traditional armies of the Mughals and those who were associated with the Mughal court, could be easily outwitted and defeated if confronted with fast moving soldiers and unorthodox tactics. Steeped in convention and devoid of imagination, the Mughals were easily baffled and beaten by the fast moving and ingenuous Marathas. Baji Rao also ensured that there was no complacency in the discipline of his soldiers, and two incidents mentioned in the book speak volumes of their fighting qualities. When asked to draw a picture of Baji Rao by the Mughal emperor, the painter drew a soldier on a horseback in the dress of a trooper with reins loose on the horse's neck and the lance resting on his shoulder. But as he rode he rubbed both hands on the ear of the corn which he ate after removing the husk. Aghast at the sight, Emperor Mohammad Shah exclaimed in great alarm, "The man must be the very devil himself!"

On another occasion, outwitting and outmarching Sadat Khan and Khan Dauran, Baji Rao reached Delhi to the utter disbelief of the Mughal emperor who sent a spy disguised as a beggar to confirm the entry. When the spy returned and appeared before the emperor, he produced the alms he had received, some grain, dry gram, pieces of baked bread and pods of red pepper, which confirmed the presence of the Maratha forces. It is instructive to compare these forces of Baji Rao with the Mughal paraphernalia some two decades after this incident at the battle of Panipat!

Though the author has not gone into detail, two aspects of the Maratha rise are also mentioned by him, one fascinating in its scope and the other a matter of regret. Throughout history, the Marathas had waged a ceaseless war against the Mughals, treating them as aliens in this land. And yet, they had a strange sense of loyalty which forbade them from annihilating the Mughals or even allowing others to do the same. Twice during his lifetime. Baji Rao had the opportunity of destroying the most potent symbol of the Mughals, the Nizam, first at Palkhed and then at Bhopal. The presence of the Nizam in close proximity to the Marathas could only bode ill, and yet on both occasions he was spared. It is said that this was done because the Maratha king Shahuji, who was brought up in Mughal captivity, had a soft corner for them to deliver the coup de grace.

Similarly, Baji Rao had Delhi at his mercy. In fact he had gone there with the explicit intention of destroying it, and yet he spared it.

On another occasion, when he was in a position to clear the western coast of the Portugese presence, he gave up the task when the news broke of a grave threat to Hindustan from the northern frontiers in the form of Nadir Shah. He lost no time in getting in touch with other princes to meet the challenge, and in fact according to the author, he even forged a new alliance wherein the Maharana of Mewar was to be crowned the Emperor of Hindustan.

While his obsession and fascination with Delhi can perhaps be attributed to many factors, the inability of the Marathas to assess the long-term threat that the British colonialists posed is regrettable indeed. The native wisdom that no stranger should be allowed to settle down in your courtyard was inexplicably forgotten when they failed to clear the vicinity of the obsequious traders. In their obsession with Delhi, the Marathas failed to see the progress the British were making in the east of the country. The truth is that when the Marathas were making inroads into Malwa and Agra, the British were tightening their stranglehold on the Bengal suba of the Mughals, and yet they were not perceived as a threat. This oversight would remain not only a regret but also a blot on an otherwise brilliant and systematic rise of the Marathas in general and Baji Rao in particular.

The reader will also notice that the interlude of the Mastani episode is based on folklore and hearsay than on documentay evidence. This is strange since the events belong to an era when much of it is documented. In fact the historians are not even sure if Mastani was the daughter of the redoubtable Chhatrasal or the wily Nizam! Fortunately everyone agrees that she was a Muslim, but again one cannot be certain if she died on the funeral pyre away from Pune or committed suicide in Pune on hearing the news of Baji Rao's death and where her tomb is said to be. What, however, is acknowledged is that her and Baji Rao's son had to be brought up as a Muslim because the Brahmins exerted pressure on Baji Rao and his family.

It is a refreshing book, coming as it does from a person whose perspective and style is not bound by the formal approach of an academician. Easy to read, it is a fast paced story of an astonishing era of Indian history. The canvas is wide, yet the author has skillfully kept the focus on the life and works of his subject.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Arvind » 19 Jun 2003 21:58

The Mongol conquest of Myanmar

In 1044, rAja aniruddha the chief of the Mramma tribe was brought to the fold of the sangha by the brAhmaNa paNDita, dharmadarshi from bhAratavarsha. He ascended the throne in Pagan and Sanskritized it as arimardanapura. He first moved against the Mon kingdom of Thaton and conquered it after a 3 month war. Next he annexed the city of Shrikshetra of the Pyu who were the other dominant force in Myanmar and carried away the bauddha relics from the city. Next he advanced against the North Arakan and conquered it after a swift campaign. The Shan tribes were then subdued and their chiefdoms were invested. aniruddha next marched into Yunnan with a large army and ousted the Thais in a keenly contested battle. With this he had completed the conquest of Myanmar and crowned himself as rAjAdhirAja. This increased prestige allowed him to gain a kshatriya princess from India. He formed an alliance with the Simhalas against the Cholas, but was crushed in a naval battle by the Chola navy. In 1077, he was succeed by his half-Indian son tribhuvanAditya dharmarAja, who Indianized Myanmar further by settling Buddhists and Hindus from India. He was involved in a tripartite struggle with the Cholas from South India and the Chinese, however, he finally formed a alliance with the former by marrying a Chola princess. The Chinese tried to interfere in Myanmar by setting up their agents in south Arakan, but tribhuvanAditya conducted a successful campaign against them and succeeded in maintaining the unity of Myanmar. He made a trip to India to renovate buddha gayA and was great builder who raised the might Myanmar to its pinnacle. The impetus of the aniruddhan dynasty lasted 1270 keeping Myanmar intact and very much in the Indian cultural sphere. However, its last ruler, Narasimhapati, who boasted of impregnating a new woman every day and eating 365 curries, had neglected the threats from his surroundings.

On his deathbed Chingiz Kha’Khan had laid out the vast lines of action that his successors were to follow. One these include the conquest of Myanmar. The two small Chinese states in Yunnan, namely Lai Liu and Yung Chang had been made vassals of Myanmar by tribhuvanAditya and remained so till the reign of Narasimhapati. Kublai Kha’Khan sent his greatest generals, Baghatur Uriangkhadai, son of Subedai, of one of the greatest warriors of Chingiz, to annex these territories. Uriangkhadai was assisted by an advance raiding party under the Mongol warrior Soegetue Noyan, and an auxiliary force led two Chechnyan generals Ali Haiya and Nassireddin. Soegetue’s advance force seized Lai Liu and Yung Chang and beheaded its rulers. Then he sent a messenger to Narasimhapati to humbly surrender to the Mongols and hand over his kingdom to Kublai Kha’Khan. Proud over his strength the Burman king refused and declared his intentions to seize back the provinces of Yunnan. Then Soegetue made a move with Nasser towards Myanmar from Yunnan in the North West. This drew the Burman army in that direction, as Uriangkhadai marched in from the North and seized the relatively undefended Northern Mynamar through a swift campaign and moved in to occupy Bhamo. The conquest of Bhamo opened the path to the Iravati (Ayerayawaddy) valley and gave them a straight route to arimardanapura (Pagan). Uriang then secured a forest in the vicinity of Bhamo and planned his attack on the Burman interior. Shaken by move Narasimhapati sent a force of 60,000 men to take on Uriang. Of this around 10000 made the elite Burman cavalry and the frontline was made of a large elephant force with archers borne on howdas. Uriang led a charge but his horses seeing the elephants fled in terror and for some minutes the Mongols failed to check the beasts under them. This made the Burmans bolder and they advanced forward boldly. However, Uriang noticed that the elephants lacked armor and ordered his men to dismount and shower arrows on the elephants. The Mongol archers, with strong armor and being able to hit targets with their iron-tipped arrows from a much greater distance than the Burmans who only shot bone arrows, held the upper hand in such a confrontation. The elephants wounded all over by the arrows fled backwards into the forest and their howdas broke and sent the archers crashing down. With the elephants out of the way the Mongols remounted and covered the Burmans with swarms of arrows. When they were weakened, Uriang led a direct charge with the cavalry to cut the poorly armored Burmans to pieces with their swords and axes. The Mongols captured 200 elephants in the campaign and incorporated them as draught beasts. Having destroyed the Burman army, Uriang marched along to the Iravati valley to conquer the entire northern Burma but did not move further due to their horses not standing the oppressive heat.

In winter of 1283 Kublai Kha’Khan sent his general Siankur Noyan to slay Narasimhapati and put and end to the Burman kingdom once and for all. A fierce Mongol army with spread through the Iravati valley to destroy all the major Burman cities and grind down the Burma economy. A division of engineers of the Mongol army appeared near the city of Katha on the Iravati and set up huge engines hurl enormous stone missiles on it. In November of that year the assault began with Mongols hurling a hail of ballistas crushing everything in the city that they fell on. The Burmans having never encountered anything of this kind gave up all hopes of defense and fled in terror. Narasihapati sent a strong Burman fleet on the Iravati to relieve his northern defense from the Mongols. However, Sianchur sent his cavalry and infantry on either side of Iravati river to hurl storms of stone ballistas and fireworks on the Burman fleet. Several of their barges were sunk and the river was said to be reddened by their blood. Narasimhapati fearing a total route fled his capital. However, the Mongols paused their campaign against Myanmar to move east and devastate the mahArAjas of Thailand and Indo-China who were bravely defending their independence. In this context the valiant struggle of mahArAja indravarman the 4th of Cambodia, with his guerrilla troops, was particularly noteworthy.

Once this flank clearing operation was done with the Mongols decided to trap Myanmar in a pincer grip, in 1287. One Mongol army under Sianchur advanced from the north, which had already been conquered, while Uriangkhadai marched from the east to intersect at Pagan. First the Mongol raiding parties destroyed major cities and blockaded the ports of Myanmar to cause an economic paralysis. This resulted in the total breakdown of the central authority of the aniruddhan dynasty and local tribal rebellions of the Shan tribes broke out. The chaos prevented any concerted action by the Burman army which splintered up rapidly. At this point the two Mongol generals marched straight on arimardanapura (Pagan) to deliver the coup de grace, even as Narasimhapati was assassinated by agents of the Mongols. The ramshackle Burman army led by the general Ramya was overwhelmed by the Mongol armies and butchered completely. He made his final stand in Pagan, which was besieged by the Mongol generals and assaulted with trebuchets which hurled rocks over a ton on the fortifications. When the cities defenses were broken the Mongol army stormed it and massacred the population and burnt it down. With that the conquest of Myanmar had been achieved and it became a vassal of the Mongols. Kublai Kha’khan was pleased with his generals and rewarded them richly for the great task. Puppet agents from the Shan tribe were placed for administrative purposes in the captured territory. An important consequence of this event was that Burma moved out of the Indian sphere of influence and was appended to the Mongol (to be inherited by the Chinese) sphere. This was especially so because it also corresponded to a low-point in India’s history: its fall under Moslem occupation was underway. The other important issue with the Mongol invasion of Burma was the devastation of its economy, that never allowed its unity to recover completely to the pre-Mongol period.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 8
Joined: 31 Jan 2003 12:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Champs » 19 Jun 2003 22:45


The article on Mongol conquest of Burma and its subsequent moving away from the Indian sphere of influence was instructive. I was not aware of the history of Burma before. I have always wondered what accounted for the sudden rise of Mongols from obscurity and their subsequent pilage and devastation of the entire Asia within a very brief period of time. From the little I know, it was perhaps the invention of stirrup by Mongols which dramatically increased the maneurability of the horses. Besides, Mongol armies were very well mounted traditionally and they had access to the superior breed of Central Asian and Arabian horses. In the ancient era, the wars were more or less "static" with infantry being the most important arm. The Mongols seem to have pioneered mobile warfare establishing the supremacy of a well mounted cavalary over good infantry.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby svinayak » 20 Jun 2003 00:03

What were the geopolitics that drove Turko-Afghan and later Islamized Mongols horde towards India? By then the Arabic Islam was dead or dying.

In 1480 The Moscow ruler stopped payment to the Mongol Hordes and assumed the title of Tzar ( Ceaser from the Roman empire)

The expansion of the russian empire under the Orthodox church stared by 1582 towards the east and into the lands of the Mongols.

THe Central asia started loing its territories and revenue with the expansion of the Russians and the different political centers in Persia and central asia started intercine wars.

Babar was not able to create his own turf and decied to raid Afgahnistan. He raided Kandhahar in 1517.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 20 Jun 2003 00:58

The Turkic advance into India in 1200 CE is related to the decline of Arabic islam only in so far as both of these civilizations fell prey to the advance of the Central Asian hordes (first the Turks and then the Mongols, although the Turks and the Mongols were related linguistically and ethnically they were not the same. The Turks converted to islam almost immediately (within 100 years) after the advent of islam. The MOngols (some of them not all) did not convert to islam till after the death of Hulagu in the thirteenth century(30 to 40 years after).

The major interaction in India was with the Turks, although the Mongols did try in the 13th century, but by then they were preceded by the Turks. Both in india and in the Middleeast the Mongols were eventually defeated by the Turks (Mamelukes, slaves).

One can conclude that that the major reason for the Turkic advance into India was the lure of plunder ,wealth and the spreading of the faith, and only secondarily to rule the land. Of course Babar (a chagatai turk) did invade in order to carve out a kingdom for himself. But his motivation was mainly that he was driven out of samarkand by his peers and he came in much later in 1526.

I dont think the Russians began to play a major role at this time. It would take a 100 years for the Romanoffs to establish themselves and it was only in the 17th century that they started the eastward expansion. by that time the Moghals were well established in india.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 3620
Joined: 25 Jun 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Paul » 20 Jun 2003 02:27

The first turk to come in contact with India was Emperor Kanishka of the Kushan dynasty. Of course, the Kushans were derivatives of the Yueh-Chi tribe which which was forced to migrate from Central Asia following an westward expansionist drive from the Chinese.

The first contact with the Turks were beneficial for us.

Coming to the Mongols, it is said that Genghis Khan thought of going back to China after cutting through India but turned back from the banks of the Indus. His motive for coming into Central Asia was primarily to seek revenge from the Khwarazim Shah but trade also played a role.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Arvind » 20 Jun 2003 05:46

The first turk to come in contact with India was Emperor Kanishka of the Kushan dynasty. Of course, the Kushans were derivatives of the Yueh-Chi tribe which which was forced to migrate from Central Asia following an westward expansionist drive from the Chinese.
2 quick points:
There is much evidence that the Kushanas were *not* Turks but actually Indo-Iranians of the Iranian branch. They lived originally in Inner Mongolia in close proximity with the first Hunnic empire of Motun-tegin which had driven them out from their home base. That was about their connection with the ALtaics. Many later Indian authors have confused them casually with the Turks.

Secondly Akash, Regarding the Stirrup: Interestingly the first attested case of the stirrup was in seen in India. They are seen in the Bhaja cave carvings near Pune (before 100 BC). The major use of the stirrup in the steppes was as a result of the Iranian horsemen of the steppes. They transferred it relatively late to the Turko-Mongols.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 21 Jun 2003 20:42

This is a review about a new book, or rather college or school level textbook, written by Irfan Habib. IH considers himself a Marxist and generally takes the view that the Saraswati Sindhu civilization had little to do with Hinduism. He subscribes to the notion that the Rig veda was written much later after the demise of the Saraswati Sindhu civilization, and that India is a cultural cul de sac where everybody(and every idea) came from somewhere else in the recent past. However, many of the assumptions that IH makes are questioned by increasingly large numbers of informed historians.

Frontline (India), June 21 - July 4, 2003

Mysteries of the Indus Valley


The Indus Civilization by Irfan Habib; Tulika Books; pages 110; Rs.225.

REPRESENTING a particularly high watermark of ancient history, the
Indus Valley Civilisation has never failed to stoke the curiosity and
capture the imagination of historian and lay person alike. This is
not surprising. The evidence for this early chapter of the
subcontinent's history conceals a great deal more than it yields
while yet offering clues to many puzzles and mysteries that continue
to confound and confuse us. Locked in the diverse yet relatively
sparse representations of the Indus culture are the secrets of the
subcontinent's collective identity: of who we are, where we are from,
how we are linked, and why we have come to be the way we are.

The Indus Civilisation flourished between 2500 B.C. and 2000 B.C. A
comprehensive interpretation of the rich archaeological remains of
the Indus culture has not been possible as the elusive Indus script -
the key to the civilisation - remains un-deciphered. Further, the
modern division into two hostile countries of the region across which
the Indus civilisation once lay has undoubtedly been a major
impediment in the study of this subcontinental legacy. We have also
seen recent attempts by Hindutva writers to re-interpret the evidence
from the Indus Civilisation. At the level of serious scholarship,
these efforts have been firmly rejected. Nevertheless, theories which
posit a Vedic origin for the Indus civilisation, on the basis of a
flaky interpretation of archaeological evidence and a `decipherment'
of the script, have been popularised by a credulous media. They are
also becoming part of classroom knowledge via a new generation of
history textbooks for schools.

DESPITE these limitations and setbacks, serious Indus scholarship has
moved painstakingly ahead, uncovering new evidence, while
reinterpreting and even challenging old theories. To this growing
body of scholarship, Irfan Habib's new book on the Indus
Civilisation, makes a substantial and valuable contribution. The
second in the Peoples History of India series sponsored by the
Aligarh Historians Society, this slim book with its sedate layout and
presentation packs not a few punches. Though best known as a
historian of medieval India, Habib is no stranger to the history of
ancient India, although this is his first major work on the Indus
period. In keeping with the objectives of the People's History of
India project, the book has been written for a popular audience and
for use by high school and college teachers. Therefore, considerable
attention has been paid to explaining issues that historians might be
familiar with but not the average reader, and the book has
explanatory notes on the methods of archaeology and the
reconstruction of language history.

Archaeologists, like investigative journalists, deal with data or
information, often disparate and apparently unconnected. Careful data
collection is just one part of the job. The data must be analysed,
and the connections of the parts with the whole made. But the most
important part of the process is the interpretation. This often
necessitates a leap in reasoning which elevates the story to a new
level of credibility. Habib is not a primary investigator of the
period he writes about and instead draws upon the vast literature
that already exists on the theme. But he has constant surprises in
store for the reader by his reasoned insights into his subject
matter. His study thereby substantially advances the base of our
awareness and knowledge of this fascinating period of our ancient

If the Indus Civilisation diffused from a small core area, which
Habib believes it must have done given the remarkable uniformity of
its cultural features, this area has not been firmly established,
although it could possibly have been in the Kot-Diji culture area of
the Punjab, and northern and central Sindh. According to Habib, the
Urban Revolution took place in the region extending from Iraq to the
Indus basin between 3500 B.C. and 2500 B.C. The existence of towns
would imply that agricultural communities had started producing a
surplus and that a group of people were thereby freed from
agriculture to take up other occupations. The increase in
agricultural production was driven by a range of technological
advances. A state apparatus emerged, which collected taxes and
administered the towns. Religion and ideology reinforced the process
of urban integration. The term `civilisation' describes a society of
which town life is a central feature. Habib discusses the Helmand
Civilisation, the material remains of which present a model of how
urban societies developed out of agricultural communities. The
Helmand culture existed in present-day Afghanistan between 2600 B.C.
and 2100 B.C. With its two cities of Shahr-i Sokhta and Mundikak, it
was a fairly advanced society, although, interestingly, there is no
firm evidence of any interaction between it and the Indus
Civilisation with which it overlapped in its late phase.

Indus Civilisation sites or settlements shared certain standard
cultural features, according to Habib. These included the following:
the distinctive Harappan wheel-made pottery which was in widespread
use; the Indus script that appears on seals, potsherds and metal
artefacts, and which is uniform in the Indus culture zone; baked
bricks of a standard size with their sides in the 1:2:4 ratio;
standard weights based on a unit equivalent to 13.63 grams; a grid
pattern for roads in urban settlements and a drainage system;
citadels built adjacent to the town; masonry walls and tanks; and a
common burial pattern in cemeteries outside the town. The diffusion
of the Indus culture over such a wide extent could only have been
driven by political expansion, Habib argues. "One must imagine," he
writes, "that the proto-Indus state, by use, perhaps, of ox-drawn
chariots and bronze weaponry, subdued the territories of the
different Early Indus cultures, and thereafter imposed its major
features of economic and cultural life in all parts of the `Indus
empire', which was now formed. ...Whatever the details of the
process, the role of the state in the spread of the Indus
Civilisation is likely to have been crucial."

In the second section of the book Habib puts more pieces of the Indus
jigsaw in place by working with existing evidence to examine the
historical processes at work, while building new arguments on various
facets of the Indus culture. He discusses Indus agriculture, craft
production and trade; there is a detailed discussion on towns and
urban life; sections on religion, writing and art; and a stimulating
discussion on society, state and the Indus decline. The culture was
geographically vast (a map of the Indus culture area in relation to
the rest of the subcontinent would have provided a sense of its
extent). It extended over most of present-day Punjab (in both India
and Pakistan), Haryana, parts of western Uttar Pradesh and northern
Rajasthan, Sindh, most of Gujarat and parts of northeastern and
southern Baluchistan. Population estimates for the area range between
one and five million. If at the height of de-urbanisation in the 19th
century the rural population was nearly nine times the urban, Habib
argues, the rural population of the Indus Civilisation could not have
been less than 15 times the urban if they had to produce sufficient
food at the existing levels of agricultural productivity. He makes a
rough population estimate of four million on this basis for the whole
area, or six persons per square kilometre. (In 1901 the same area
supported 50 persons per square kilometre). The combined population
of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa was 150,000 and the total urban
population not less than 250,000.

The use of the plough in Indus agriculture has been proved by the
discovery of a clay model, and the discovery of a ploughed field at
an excavated Indus settlement. It is the first culture known where
wells gave access to underground water. While there is no proof that
the pulley was in use for lifting water, the lever-lift based on
stone counterweights could well have been in use, Habib argues. The
range of crops had increased to 12 by this period and included
cereals (but not rice), several millets, pulses, oilseeds, and, most
importantly, cotton. Finds of animal bones reveal that the ox and the
cow were domesticated as were sheep and goats (kept for meat and
wool). The building industry had a major place in the Indus economy.
The fired brick that was in use was an "outstanding innovation"
according to Habib, as much for its size and ratio as for the
technique of use, which gave extra stability to the structures.

The Indus cities were unique for their time in urban planning, and
more particularly for their drainage system. The main features of the
towns are well known - the division of the town into the `acropolis'
or `citadel' built upon a large platform and a `lower town' area; the
broad roads laid at right angles, the corbelled roofed drains which
cleaners could enter; the granaries, and the `Great Bath' at
Mohenjo-Daro. There were several large towns within the Indus culture
zone. The occupied area of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are estimated at
over 200 and 150 hectares respectively. The site of Ganweriwala
covers an estimated area of 80 hectares. The sites of Lakhmirwala,
Gurni Kalan and Hasanpur-2 in the Punjab, and Dholavira in Kutch are
among the larger of the sites (the first three have not yet been
excavated though they have been surveyed). The large structures
identified as granaries at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro perhaps stored
the grain brought by officials as land tax and was meant for
distribution in the citadel area of the cities. The region apparently
supported a widespread network of trade both within the different
parts of the empire and `internationally'. Historical evidence from
contemporary societies hold exciting possibilities for extending our
knowledge of the Indus period. The Mesopotamians gave to the Indus
basin the name `Meluhha' and there have been finds of Indus potsherds
and artefacts at the royal cemetery at Ur in southern Iraq. A seal of
the Akkadian period refers to its owner as `Silusu, Meluhha
interpreter'. The Indus equivalent of a Rosetta Stone has never been
found, but if it ever surfaced it would surely be in a region with
which Indus merchants had trade links.

Habib draws a convincing picture of a society that was both socially
and economically differentiated, "a well-developed class society,
comprising peasants, pastoral nomads, slaves, urban poor, artisans,
merchants, priests and rulers, along with their dependents such as
warriors, scribes and servants." The existence of private property,
and indeed great private wealth and power, is suggested by the vastly
different housing standards for the rich and the poor in towns, by
the profusion of seals used to mark personal property and
merchandise, the discovery of a treasure jar of precious ornaments,
and so on. That women had a subordinate position in such a society
could well be assumed; interestingly, skeletal evidence also proves
it. Habib says that dental studies of Harappan skeletons showed that
women from their childhood were less well-nourished. Malaria appears
to have been a frequent visitor. According to him, the evidence of a
malaria epidemic in India is established for the first time from the
study of Mohenjo-Daro skeletons. While life expectancy has not been
calculated for the Indus people, from the age profile of 90 skeletons
from the Harappan cemetery, "it would be surprising if real average
life expectancy exceeded thirty years", he concludes.

According to Habib, the mature Indus Civilisation state could well
have created an `Indus empire'. For only a strong centralised state,
which was in administrative control of the cities, could have
established the sort of institutional and cultural uniformity that
set the civilisation apart. Such a state was needed to conquer new
regions and keep tax-paying peasants in subjection. What might then
have happened to the Indus state? "A large part of the Indus basin
having been conquered and held for some time as a centralised
`empire'," Habib writes, "might have then broken into two or more
parts, each under a separate dynasty but each owing allegiance to the
same tradition of culture and governance". If the Indus Civilisation
was indeed an empire, ruled by one or several monarchies, the symbols
of empire like large monumental buildings, are absent from the
remains. Will excavations of the future reveal these? Does the
absence of such symbols disprove the theory of a strong and
expansionist Indus state, or could imperial power have been expressed
in other ways, which new evidence from this period might throw up?

How did it all end? How did a flourishing civilisation with an
evolved central administrative system, a wide trade network, a
dynamic manufacturing sector, and an agriculture that sustained this
edifice collapse in a period of one hundred years? Soon after 2000
B.C., cities and towns practically disappear. Some cities show signs
of disrepair followed by abandonment, the writing disappears on
seals, the figures of deities and sacred animals on seals and tablets
disappear, there are changes in burial practices, the pottery is
replaced, and crafts disappear. "The change then was so complete as
to bring about a relapse to non-urban conditions and illiteracy, an
alteration of religion, and a great qualitative and quantitative
contraction of crafts. All the survivals from the Indus Civilisation
within the succeeding cultures are of a minor and secondary
character; and even these leave the scene fairly soon," writes Habib
of the post-Indus scenario.

Habib examines the many theories that have been advanced for this
sudden civilisational collapse. Flooding owing to a shifting of the
river's course has been suggested as one reason for the decline.
Conversely, there is the theory of an arid phase and the consequent
drying up of the Ghaggar Hakra river, which in turn caused the
depopulation of cities. There is a theory that a human-induced
disaster occurred, the consequence of over-cultivation and
deforesting of the land. The decline of trade with Mesopotamia after
2000 B.C. is often cited as a reason for the decline of commerce and
manufacture in the Indus basin, leading in turn to a collapse of the

Habib himself advances a persuasive argument for the collapse of the
civilisation. The Indus state, he says, ran into a political crisis,
which affected its ability to impose and collect tribute from the
rural communities. This could have happened owing to dissension
within the ruling class. The towns and townspeople depended on the
tribute for their sustenance. The sudden collapse of towns therefore
could only have happened if some crisis had caused the tribute to dry
up. Prior to the Indus collapse, around 2200 B.C., the Helmand
civilisation came to a sudden end, with evidence of arson and
violence in the historical record. According to Habib, a reasonable
inference that can be made is that invasions from the west
overwhelmed first the Helmand cities, then the Kot-Diji culture, and
finally the Indus cities. He points to the signs of violence in the
later stages of Mohenjo-Daro where 38 skeletons were found in
unnatural situations, suggesting that they were victims of acts of
violence. Therefore, an internal political crisis of the Indus state,
which weakened it, was followed by an external attack or invasion of
some sort, which dealt the civilisation a final blow.

However, Habib does not subscribe to the view that the invaders were
Vedic Aryans. The end of the Indus Civilisation can be put no later
than 1900 B.C., 400 years before the earliest elements in the
Rigveda. But he does say that the intruders could have been
`pre-Vedic Aryans' who spoke some form of proto-Aryan speech,
although this has not yet been proved.

The last section of the book deals with the period in the 500 years
following the collapse of the Indus Civilisation. There was progress
on some counts, namely an increase in the range of crops which
suggested double cropping, and the spread of some craft techniques.
But the slide-back from the achievements of the Indus culture were
far more pronounced. This was marked by `de-urbanisation', the decay
of a range of Indus crafts, and the withering of commerce.

A guide to the literature provided at the end of each chapter instead
of footnotes helps keep the narrative flowing. Along with the notes
on the methods of archaeology and the reconstruction of language, a
note on the archaeological discovery of the major Indus sites, a
story by itself, would have been useful and interesting.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 22 Jun 2003 11:10

You can bet that this does not get the same play in the English language media (Indian and foreign)as the news that there was nothing found.

'Structural anomalies in 46 trenches'

By Our Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW June 21. The Archaeological Survey of India in its fresh progress report submitted to the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court today said that it had found `structural anomalies' in 46 trenches dug near the disputed site at Ayodhya.

The six-page report which gave details of the ASI findings , said these anomalies were found in 46 of the 84 trenches at a considerable depth.

Structural evidence was found at the upper strata in 26 trenches. The report said pillar bases and drains were also found in some of the trenches .

The ASI had been directed by the High Court to undertake excavations near the disputed site at Ayodhya to find out if there was evidence of the presence of any structures predating the Babri mosque. The report was in response to the Court directive.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 22 Jun 2003 12:10

There are some interesting comments on Indian immigration . Note also that in 1933, there were only 2700 Indians and SLans in all of Australia.

Between the World Wars

"Indians apparently did not count as Haggards's 'sons' either, despite their sacrifice for the British Empire. Ghulam Gana, a farm labourer of Lismore NSW who had worked in that district for fifteen years, had to offer to put up the huge sum of one hundred pounds to guarantee the good behaviour of his 23 year old son for whom he wanted permission to visit Australia for three years. Mr Brewer, who wrote to "The Chief Customs House Official, Melbourne" on Ghulam's behalf, mentioned that the son, Shar Mahomet, was also a farm labourer used to the cotton industry, which was to be started in Lismore that same year. On 19 September 1922 permission for three years visit was granted.[196]

Relations with India troubled Australia throughout the inter-war period. Sir Archibald Strong warned of the weakening effect the prevailing immigration restriction policy could have upon relations with India at a 1928 meeting of the Victoria League of Victoria. He argued that Australians must explain to Indians that they are not despised but that the policy has been introduced "because we desire to avoid the creation of conditions under which we might eventually do so." It is the wish to avoid racial strife that this policy is upheld. "Yet the belief is strong in India that Australia as a country, and Australians as individuals are inspired by a blind and unreasoning hatred of the Indian."[197]

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Mar 2003 12:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby chandru » 23 Jun 2003 02:19

Australia always followed a White only Immigration policy. They put refugges in detention centre's even childrens.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55233
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby ramana » 24 Jun 2003 08:35

H^2 any leads and info on Andhra Smarthas? Thanks in advance.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 24 Jun 2003 23:26

Interesting !

Truth behind the myths
R. PRASANNAN searches for the grain
of truth in ten enduring myths of India

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 25 Jun 2003 19:38

Off topic but this guy discovered a way to take detailed scans of the underground without digging.

''I was stunned when I saw this,'' Carr said. ``He produces what appears to be an X-ray movie of what's below the ground. It's like the greatest science fiction film you ever saw. Nothing like this has ever been done in the history of archaeology.''

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Arvind » 27 Jun 2003 04:46

Originally posted by ramana:
[QB]H^2 any leads and info on Andhra Smarthas? Thanks in advance.
I am not culturally AS myself but they figure in my ancestory: my maternal grandmother's father's mother :) was from a Andhra smarta vaidiki family in the Guntur district. That part of my maternal lineage lived in the Telegu country till 1930s. That great-grandfather was the adhvaryu priest at aptyorAma and agniShToma yagas in which the yajamAna was a somayAji AS also from Guntur. Hence the Rama of Tenali is remembered as great hero in that lineage. Two of my paternal clansmen (including great grandfather) functioned as hotar and brahmA priests in a agniShToma of a AS somayaji. These suggest a considerable overlap in the vedic traditions followed by the smArtas of AP and TN in the period between 1400-1900 at least.

We have done a gotra survey of AS: The most prevalent gotra is bharadvAja of classical bArhaspatya-bhAradvAja lineage. Distances based on the gotra frequencies suggests that the Vaidikis are closest to the TN smartas, then Niyogis and then Haviks of Karnataka and then the deshasta smartas of the Kolhapur region. This cluster is largely unrelated to the Nambuthiris.

It is my anecdotal observation that the Vaidikis from the mUlaka nAdu seem to be great vedicists mainly of the taittiriya school. The samavedic tradition seems to be derived from the kauthumas and is in a poorer state of preservation than TN and Kerala.
My maternal folks consider the Rama of Tenali a smArta and extol him as the greatest representative of the smArtas in AP. He is believed to have sanskritized Telegu. But I have heard Andhra folk call him Shaiva. My folks have provided evidence for their claim. Going by his Sanskrit works this seems most likely. Could anyone provide evidence for alternative views?

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 27 Jun 2003 12:43

My ancestry is Vaidiki Velnadu but unfortunately the Vedic scholars are few and far between in the last 3 generations. Almost all have migrated to lay professions.

Anyway thanks for that bit of trivia. I believe Hauma has a website on Gothras, remember seeing something a while ago.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 27 Jun 2003 12:44

crossposted from IC (will post url when i have it)

Bookreview: Mughal Throne
Decline and fall of the Mughal empire
(Filed: 25/05/2003)

Philip Ziegler reviews The Mughal Throne by Abraham Eraly

The Mughals effectively ruled India for about 150 years during the
16th and 17th centuries, a period roughly comparable with that of the
British Raj. On the whole, comparisons favour the latter. The British
bequeathed India an impressive network of communications, a legal
system and viable administration, a tradition of democratic
government that has survived, battered but unbroken.

When Mughal power dwindled, the subcontinent degenerated into a
patchwork of warring fiefs, a chaos that offered easy pickings for
predatory European imperialists. The Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan's great
masterpiece, may compare favourably with Edwin Lutyens's palace in
New Delhi, but after the death of Aurangzeb many of the Mughal
monuments crumbled; it took an English viceroy to rescue some of them
from dereliction.

The Mughals failed because they made little, if any, effort to drag
India out of the Middle Ages. The Mughal empire, writes Abraham
Eraly, "lagged way behind Europe, behind even China, Japan and
Persia. There was hardly any vigour in the economy, scant spirit of
enterprise among the people. In agriculture, industry and trade,
Indian practices were archaic. There was no ferment of ideas…'' The
Mughals were formidable conquerors but inept governors. They did
nothing to cure the endemic weaknesses of Indian society and added
fresh economic burdens through the profligacy of their courts and the
cost of their military campaigns.

Akbar, the greatest of the Mughal emperors, was an honourable
exception. He was a man of extraordinary vision, a virtual illiterate
with a much-loved and often consulted library of 24,000 volumes, a
Muslim who took a keen interest in the Hindu and Christian faiths and
devised what was, to all intents and purposes, his own religion. His
intellectual curiosity was insatiable and his absolute power allowed
him to indulge it to the full. He was convinced that there must be an
innate language common to all human beings and, in his quest for it,
bought 20 newborn babies from their parents and had them raised in a
secluded place where they heard no human speech. After three or four
years, they were brought out of seclusion and encouraged to express
themselves. Sadly for his theories, "nothing came out of them except
the noise of the dumb''.

His benign broad-mindedness did not last long after his departure;
under Aurangzeb, Hindu temples were demolished, the Jesuit missions
curbed, the hated Jizya – a poll tax on all who were not Muslims –
reimposed. For a brief period under Akbar it had seemed as if the
Mughals might come to terms with the explosion of new scientific and
technological ideas that was taking place in Europe; the impulse died
and with its death the dynasty was doomed to eventual atrophy and

One weakness of the Mughals was their failure to contrive a peaceful
transition from one ruler to another; Eraly's pages are pitted with
accounts of fratricidal purges. Five potentially rival princes were
murdered when Shah Jahan succeeded to the throne; the war of
succession that raged before Aurangzeb could depose his father and
proclaim himself Emperor left his country militarily and economically

Aurangzeb treated his external enemies with even greater ferocity.
The Maratha princes who had had the effrontery to oppose him first
had their tongues cut off and their eyes gouged out. After six weeks
to reflect, they were "put to death with a variety of tortures. The
skins of their heads were then stuffed with straw and sent to be
exhibited in all the cities and towns of the Dakhin, with the beat of
drum and sound of trumpet.'' In spite of such excesses, Eraly tells
us, Aurangzeb was "the mildest, the least violent, the most law-
abiding of the Great Mughals''.

The story of Mughal India is intensely colourful and dramatic, and
Eraly's lively text does justice to its subject. But he does not make
it easy for his readers. The book cries out for illustrations. No
doubt those were omitted on the grounds of expense, but it is still
irritating to read a description of a portrait and yet not be allowed
to see it. Still more does the book need a family tree. In effect, it
deals only with the vicissitudes of half a dozen emperors, but the
proliferation of wives and sons so complicates the plot that only
unwavering attention can keep them sorted out.

Most unforgivable of all is the failure to provide maps. The Mughals
were an itinerant lot, perpetually chasing each other around the
subcontinent or embarking on fresh conquests. Only a reader already
well-acquainted with their history will find it easy to work out
where they were coming from or going to, and why. Lucidity is not
Eraly's most notable quality and his approach to chronology is often
idiosyncratic. The Mughal Throne makes exciting reading, but a little
more clarity in its exposition would have been welcome.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Arvind » 28 Jun 2003 09:24

Collected works of Lala Lajpat Rai

A new volume with the works of Lala in one tome. He was a great doyen of the Indian struggle against the British predators along with the two other extermists Tilak and Aurobindo. He was finally killed by the British to get him out of the way. Had this triad of Lala, Tilak and Ghosh been at the helm of the struggle for longer, we may have had a better nation, steeped in the revived Hindu spirit

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 28 Jun 2003 11:43

'New deal' for archaeologists
By Anita Joshua

NEW DELHI JUNE 26. After a year of spadework, the Union Tourism and Culture
Ministry has drawn up
the contours of an Indian Archaeological and Heritage Service (IAHS) to
``professionalise'' the
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and is hopeful of the proposal getting
Cabinet clearance.

A Cabinet approval will result in ending the decade-long ``IAS stranglehold''
over the post of ASI

Since the total vacancies would be too small to merit a separate all-India
examination like the
Indian Economic Service, the IAHS has been envisaged as part of the Central

Selection will be through the Civil Services Examination — conducted annually
by the Union Public
Service Commission — and the shortlisted candidates will undergo the four-month
Foundational Course
at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie as
all others who make

Thereafter, those selected for the IAHS will be put through a 20-month diploma
programme at the
Institute of Archaeology where in the second year they will have to choose
between a host of related
subjects including museology, epigraphy, numismatics... And, the ASI will be
allowed to draw from
the Indian Engineering Service and the Indian Forest Service to meet its
requirements in the area of
engineering and horticulture.

Jagmohan's steps

According to the Union Tourism & Culture Minister, Jagmohan, ``this is a new
deal for professional
archaeologists''. Also, he said, it would make the organisation a ``dynamic
instrument for
preserving the vast cultural assets of India as well as those being excavated
now on a large scale;
Dholavira in Gujarat being a case in point''.

Upset by the state of affairs in the ASI and the condition of a majority of the
monuments under it,
Mr. Jagmohan's contention has been that the rot in the institution began at the
top since it was
headed by a bureaucrat with little understanding of the job at hand.

So eager was he to reorganise the set-up and revert to the earlier provision of
having an
archaeologist as ASI DG, that at one point there was talk of seeking Cabinet
approval for an ad hoc
appointment pending the creation of a separate service.

As for those already in the ASI — particularly in the higher ranks — the plan
is to adjust them into
the new service through the Selection Committee of the UPSC. But a question
that many within the ASI
have about this bid to professionalise the institution is where the
archaeological expertise needed
for excavations and interpreting the findings will come from; given that any
graduate is eligible to
take the examination.

Posts: 442
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Kaushal » 30 Jun 2003 11:15

fyi. As a matter of interest, Dr.Nagaswamy has tangled with Michael Witzel in matters related to the Saraswati Sindhu Civlization.

International conference on Mahabharata and Puranas
[An important announcement received from Dr. Nagaswamy, Chennai.
Please feel free to pass it on to scholars with competence in the
fields outlined below.]

International Conference on
Mahabharata and Puranas

With the blessings of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamikal,
and His Holiness Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati Swamikal, the
Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha, a five-day seminar will be
held at Kanchipuram from the 24th to 28th December 2003.

The conference will focus attention on Contribution of Mahabharata
and Puranas to Art, Thought and Literature in Asian and South East
Asian Countries. The focus would be on their spread and contribution
to religious edifices, philosophy, art, music and dance, in India,
Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore,
Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Japan,
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Central Asia.

Foreign delegates will have to make their own arrangements towards
travel from their place to Kanchipuram and back.

The organizers will provide local hospitality. Papers of Academic
Interest are invited from Scholars. A total of 40 minutes will be
available for presentation of each paper including "Slide show".
Abstract of the paper should reach the convener by the middle of
September. Final version of the paper should reach the organizers by
the end of November. It is proposed to publish the papers
immediately after the conference. Kindly keep up the time
schedule. Use diacritical marks of international standards. Please
send your typed/printed version and floppy of your paper.
Illustrations can be included.

The conference will be divided into the following sections:

1. Vedic Traditions
2. Agriculture and Water managements
3. Archaeology
4. Art and Architecture
5. Astronomy
6. Dharma (Legal)
7. Epigraphy
8. Linguistics
9. Literature in Sanskrit and Regional languages
10. Medicine
11. Music, Dance, and Dramas
12. Public health and Medicines
13. Religion and Philosophy
14. Science and Technology
15. State and Economy
16. The role of Women and Children
17. Trade and commerce
18. Tribal studies
19. Village and Folk traditions
20. Weaponry
21. Weaving Industry

Scholars interested in attending the conference and presenting
academic papers may register their names before 1st August 2003 by
writing to the Convener of the Conference:

Dr. R. Nagaswamy,
Former Vice Chancellor,
Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati University of Kanchipuram
11, 22nd Cross Street
Chennai – 600 090
Phone (91-44) 24916005
Email : nagasamy@x... or Nagaswamy@m...

Kindly note that no alcoholic or smoking is permitted inside the
South Indian vegetarian food would be served for the participants.
If you need any other help please do not hesitate to write to me.

With best wishes,

R. Nagaswamy

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 30 Jun 2003 18:29

Redstone with Devnagri script found in Ayodhya

Press Trust of India

Ayodhya, June 27: A carved redstone piece with inscriptions in Devnagri script was taken out from one of the trenches on Friday during the excavation undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India to find out if a temple existed prior to the construction of Babri Masjid, ASI sources said.

The stone piece was removed from trench no J-3 after 123 days of digging, the sources said.

The redstone piece, measuring about 51 X 30 centimetres and 6 inches thick, bore certain clear inscriptions in Devnagri script and is said to be an important artefact found during the digging.

The sources said that a broken piece of this stone might still be buried beneath the ground.

The ASI team examined about 65 articles found in excavation work in Ayodhya on Friday, sources added.

Posts: 161
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Shrewsbury, MA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby Babui » 01 Jul 2003 01:46

Nice article on the myths in Indian History

O Vijay
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby O Vijay » 01 Jul 2003 02:31

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Nov 2002 12:31
Location: VA, USA

Re: Indian History Discussions - III

Postby eas » 01 Jul 2003 09:05

O Vijay,
Great find. And an article which leaves one with a very uncomfortable feeling.

The 1947 partition was then almost a necessary event for native religion of the sub continent to reverse more than a thousand years of being ruled upon from outsiders, and obtain self rule. While this has not led to a religious revival of the native religion, it has arrested the decline - though only in the nation-state of India.

Return to “History & Current Affairs Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest