The Indian History Carnival, published on the 15th of every month, is a collection of posts related to Indian history and archaeology.
- In the debate on the origins of Indo-Aryans, is a transition happening? Giacomo Benedetti thinks so
- Suvrat Kher argues that the river Ghaggar, identified as the Vedic Sarasvati, did not have a glacial source.
- Maddy has a brief history of Calico and its origins
- Calicut Heritage writes about Father Giacomo Finici, the Italian Priest, who tried to convert the tribals in 1603
- Here at varnam, we had a three part series (1,2,3) on the Indian Spy in Kashgar during the Great Game.
- Fëanor writes about various titles instituted by the British for the colonies
- Murali Ramavarma displays a collection of stamp papers from Travancore and Cochin
- Atanu Dey writes about Gandhi, Bose and few issues related to India’s Independence.
What is particularly interesting in this conference is its opening to positions regarded as heretical by the academic establishment (also in the US); then it gives some hope for an authentic debate and for the Great Transition which various hints suggest as being underway: from the old paradigm to a new one, no more based on the aprioristic theory of the Aryan invasion or migration into India.
The funny thing is, in my opinion the theory of a glacial source of Saraswati is not necessary in this debate. The Ghaggar was a wetter river before 1800 B.C. because of a generally more wetter climate. Strong summer monsoons over the Siwaliks and then spring flow would have made human settlements along its banks sustainable. A life sustaining river would have been holy to the people depending on it, regardless of whether it had a glacial origin or not.
These days you do find coarse crepe material from some remaining handloom units in Malabar but what is the real story of Calico? Did all the Calico exported to Europe get woven in Calicut? Or was it just an exporting center from historic times through its famous ports? Some of you may even believe that British renamed Kozhikode to Calicut due to the textile Calico.
At the end of the trip all that Father Finicio and his team could find was a tribe of innocent Badagas and Todas who worshipped the buffalo. The pious priest stayed among the Todas for two months braving the biting cold, trying to convince the Todas on how they could be saved by becoming Christians. In return, the head priest of the Todas extolled on the virtues of the Bufalo God!
The ruling princes were so desperate for these awards that they competed desperately amongst each other; they seemed to have completely missed the fact that being awarded something like Commander of the Order of the Star of India (CSI) or even Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India would merely equate them to a high-court judge or a British resident; even so rich and grand a prince as the Maharaja of Mysore expected to be awarded the Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India in every generation, an award that put him at the same rank as, say, the governor-general of Bombay or Madras.
I think that Gandhi was an ego-maniac as well. I read his autobiography and that message comes across very clearly to me. He could not stand anyone who challenged his authority. Subhas Chandra Bose did not approve of Gandhi’s carefully calculated pacifism. Gandhi basically decided that Subhas is his enemy. When it comes to practical matters, I suppose Gandhi decided “love thine enemy” is not applicable, and saw to it that Subhas is buried.
If you find any posts related to Indian history published in the past one month, please send it to jk AT varnam DOT org or send a tweet to @varnam_blog. The next carnival will be up on March 15th.