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Let Us Repeat It: Learning History from Indian Blogosphere

During· school days, history was not my favorite topic due to the simple reason that history books were boring. For example, the chapter on Mughal Emperors would read like this:

Akbar ruled India from 1560 to 1605. His full name was Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar Padshah Ghazi. He built many roads (from 1561-1563), planted trees (1564 -1567) and dug wells for travelers (1570 -1571). Akbar was succeeded by his son Jahangir. He planted trees (1606), dug wells (1609 -1610) and built roads (1611 -1623). Test question: What was Akbar doing in 1567?

When you find history books outside the school book realm, you find that they are mostly written by

11 Responses to Let Us Repeat It: Learning History from Indian Blogosphere

  1. Praveen July 27, 2006 at 9:27 am #

    Great work! keep it up.

  2. Chandra July 28, 2006 at 12:16 am #

    “This made varnam the most boring blog in Indian blogosphere”

    Not true at least in my case. As soon as I came across you blog – which was recently (few months after I got interested in the world of blogging and started poking around) – and have been visiting regularly and I learn a lot.

    Completely agree with IQ of history text book writers – but even then I was interested in it.

    “A website named varnam wrote about Indus Valley (2002-2003), temple inscriptions (2002- 2004) and Subhash Bose (2004-2006). ” And what did JK write in 2003? :-)

  3. Madhu Nair July 28, 2006 at 10:37 am #

    Varnam:
    This is the first site I always go If I have a question regarding Indian history. What you have been doing is wonderful and invaluable. This site ignited my interest in Indian history. Thank you

  4. JK July 28, 2006 at 1:19 pm #

    Praveen: Thanks

    Madhu: Thanks for the comments. It is great to hear that this site has ignited an interest in history!

  5. therationalfool July 28, 2006 at 1:49 pm #

    I am a regular visitor to your blog and I really appreciate the work that you are doing. Currently, I am working on a critique of Amartya Sen’ recent book The Argumentative Indian. Part of my critique will deal with the impact of Islam on India during the second millenium C.E. Any helpful suggestions from you and your readers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  6. JK July 28, 2006 at 3:57 pm #

    Chandra: Thanks. It feels good to be in the company of people who are interested in history

    therationalfool: So far I have not read much of Indian History after the Islamic invasion. My interests mainly are in pre-1 CE era. Looking forward to reading your critique.

  7. Sumitra July 28, 2006 at 6:22 pm #

    JK,

    I regularly check your blog. I think you are doing a great service and I think it is in India’s national interest to have a such a neutral source as opposed to a Marxist one. I don’t really understand the term “Saffronization” of Indian history.

    Sumitra

  8. jammy July 29, 2006 at 3:44 am #

    i tend to disagee…history is a great subject. Just that it is written by the winners…and is more of fiction than fact :-)

  9. JK July 29, 2006 at 8:02 am #

    jammy, Currently there are multiple theories on the Aryans. Some still believe they were a race. Some don’t. Some say they invaded. Some say they migrated. Some say Vedas came from Europe. Some say it was idigenous. Some say Buddha lived in 18th century BCE. Some say he lived in 500 BCE.

    If history was written by winners, there would be only one single conclusion. Thanks to work done by various archaeologists, we are now getting more and more information about the past, like did the seven pagodas exist in Mahabalipuram, how old was Dwaraka etc. We are learning a lot more about history now and so many old theories are being laid to rest.

  10. PS July 30, 2006 at 5:25 pm #

    Congratulations on running a great blog. I visit this site regularly. It is indeed unfortunate that any attempt to rectify the record on India’s ancient history is perceived as an attempt to safforanize it.

    I always find it amazing that sensible Indians still believe in AMT BS. However, It is only a matter of time before AIT/AMT/ATT is put to rest.

  11. Vishnu Vyas August 8, 2006 at 5:39 am #

    Hey,

    Great Work, Keep it up.

    I’m a fan of history myself and I am one of those who think the Aryan Invasion/Migration theory is simply not true because of a lot of reasons (primarily linguistic ones).

    But the latest reasarch on Mitochondrial DNA proves that the migration was the other way round (from africa, through yemen to south india and then to north india and evantually central asia and europe).

    One of the best resources is to google for Stephen Openheimer and his theories regarding the same.

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