Amazing Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

    Colonialist, Orientalist, Nationalist, Marxist, History of the Disadvantaged, Feminist

Introduction of history of ancient India

    There are different systems of historiography, these systems evolved from the analysis done based on different approaches to looking at history, as mentioned earlier. Let us briefly introduce some of the prominent systems of historiography in the context of the history of ancient India.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

1) Colonial historiography

    The history of India, written by Western historians during the British rule, can be broadly defined as the history of colonialism in India. In order to impose effective governance on the indigenous people of India, many British officials insisted on a careful study of various aspects of the local culture. Of course it included local history. In doing so, he intended to show how superior British culture is and how backward Indian culture is. The contribution of British and other European scholars attracted to the Sanskrit language and its literature in drawing the world’s attention to the ancient Indian culture and history is also significant. His research and translation of many of his ancient texts opened the floodgates of ancient Indian culture to the world, as well as the importance of those texts as tools for historiography. The couple’s descriptions by ancient Greek historians and the chronicles of foreign travelers were also used as tools for historiography of ancient India. But the hegemonic role continues to linger in colonial historiography. The Cambridge History of India (5 vols.), Published in 1922-37, is one of the few examples of colonial historiography, along with James Mill’s The History of British India and Mountstuart Elphinstone’s The History of Ancient India.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

2) Oriental historiography

    East direction means east direction. A special curiosity arose in the circles of Western scholars in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries about the literary culture and history of the Eastern countries.

    His research led to the emergence and development of a new discipline called Oriental Studies. As far as India is concerned, Oriental scholars have made significant contributions in the field of translation and medical editing of texts in ancient Indian literature and literature. Sir William Jones is credited with institutionalizing Orientalist research. In 1784, he founded the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. The Asiatic Society became a major center of Orientalist research in India. In 1788, the Asiatic Society began publishing the journal Asiatic Research. It was the first journal to publish research articles on the ancient culture and history of India. Orientalist research focused on ancient Indian literature and literature. The concept of Indo-European language group was one of the most influential reasons why Western scholars were attracted to it. The idea that Sanskrit should be the mother of Indian and European languages ​​belonging to the Indo-European language group has created curiosity among Western scholars about Sanskrit language and literature in that language. Among the translators of Vedic literature was Frederick Maxmलरller who compiled the Rig Veda. He translated the Rig Veda into German. He also edited 50 volumes, entitled The Sacred Books of the Right. Two books written independently on the history of ancient Sanskrit literature by Arthur Keith and Maurice Winternitz in the early nineteenth century are still considered standard. However, in writing history, the inner intention of Indian Orientalist historians was to criticize Indian culture, as can be seen in many examples. Edward Said discusses the subject in detail in his book Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

3) Nationalist historiography

    Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, who wrote the history of ancient India in the early generations formed in the English education system started by the British in India, Justice. Mahadev Govind Ranade, d. R. Bhandarkar, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Rajendralal Mishra, Kashi Prasad Jaiswal, V. S. Agarwal, Radhakumud Mukherjee, H. C. Raichaudhary, Anant Sadashiv Aaltekar, Vasudev Vishnumirashi, Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Bhagwanlal Indraji etc. became many famous Indian historians. His view of ancient Indian history is a mixed reaction to the views of European historians. Although the principle of modern historiography is fully accepted that history must be written impartially, the influence of Indian nationalism, which began to prevail in the 1920s and 1930s, is more or less evident in his writings. He criticizes the image of ancient Indian culture created by British historians. His emphasis seems to be on emphasizing that India’s past was glorious and in many respects ancient Indian culture was superior to European culture. Historical tools and evidence of ancient India on some occasions in nationalist historiography. It is alleged that their credibility was compromised by objective scrutiny. However, it should also be noted that the self-awareness created by this type of historiography among Indians was used directly or indirectly to strengthen the freedom struggle. Each province of India has its own unique history and culture. The tradition of writing a glorious and more detailed, in-depth history of one’s own province was created in India by the self-awareness of Indians awakened on the occasion of nationalist historiography and became more entrenched in the post-independence period. Regional or local historiography is a sub-branch of nationalist historiography, says Yeril. For example, Justice in Maharashtra. The Rise of Maratha Power by Mahadev Govind Ranade, and Vs. Of Mentioning Rajwade’s tools on the history of Marathas (22 volumes in total).

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

4) Marxist historiography

    In the post-independence period, the Marxist system of historiography in India seems to have had a major impact. For the first time in Marxist Indian historiography, an attempt has been made to frame historical events in a conceptual framework. Marxist historians have used this conceptual framework to go beyond the stereotypes of “what happened in the past” and to “why did it happen”. The human relations in the chain of production based on the means of production and the interests are central to the analysis done under the Marxist system. Marxist historiography is criticized for ignoring other cultural traditions in society in this system. Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi holds a special place among Indian historians who have adopted the Marxist system in historiography. But he also pointed out the inadequacies in the historiography of India based on the Marxist system. According to him, it is desirable to limit the framework of historiography based on Marxism to one of the various mediums. It is important to see whether it is fully applicable in the context of Indian history. Apart from Kosambi, historians like Comrade Shripad Amrit Dange, Ramsharan Sharma, Comrade Sharad Patil, Romila Thapar, etc., while compiling history on the basis of Marxism, considered socio-cultural aspects such as economy, society and rise of state as well as political history.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

5) History of the Disadvantaged (Subaltern) 

    After the advent of colonialism, the history of the disadvantaged began to be written to shed light on the experiences of the people who were deprived of socio-economic rights in the colonies. This style of writing was based on Marxist thought. Marxist ideology mainly deals with the deprived groups in the society and their exploitation. Groups that are at the bottom of the class hierarchy of society are deprived of many economic and social benefits. Their deprivation was not only of socio-economic nature, but also of the established method of historiography. Due to the influence of Marxist ideology, the existence of deprived society and their history came to the fore. In fact, the idea that historiography must begin with a history of deprivation has taken root. Credit goes to the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci for effectively formulating this idea. There is not much detail in the written literature about the deprived groups of ancient times and their history. The folklore that has been preserved in those groups for hundreds of thousands of years is considered to be the main tool for writing a history of deprivation. Ranjit Guha, an Indian historian, was instrumental in bringing the system of historiography, the History of Deprivation, to the forefront of Indian historiography. One thing must be noted here on the go. Mahatma Jotirao Phule and Dr. K.S. It was clearly stated in the writings of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Mahatma Phule not only commented on the exploitation of Shudratishudras and women in Indian society, but also in his book Slavery, which explores the history of the exploited class. The role of the Dalits in shaping Indian society was ignored in Indian historiography. Dr. Ambedkar paid close attention to this. His books, Where’s the Shudraj and The Untouchables, tell the story of the underprivileged.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

6) Feminist history

    In Indian society, as in the case of upper caste groups, the status of women among the disadvantaged groups is second to none. He was the earliest historian to write a history of India. Therefore, it is only natural that women should not be properly noticed in historiography. He has to consider Aaltekar’s Position of Women as an exceptional book. But even this book, which is based on a few selected examples of women in ancient India, asserts that women have a place of respect. It was a challenge to highlight the achievements of women in history. Among the early nineteenth-century writers who took up this challenge, the book is considered to be revolutionary. Tarabai had to face social criticism due to this book. Her contemporary Pandita Ramabari highlighted the status of upper caste Hindu women in her book ‘The High Caste Hindu Women’.

Different perspectives on the history of ancient India |

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