Friday, May 25, 2012

Romila Thapar's lecture on Reporting History: Early India (May 3, 2012). Delivered in absentia. Delivered with memory loss.

In the Lawrence Dana Pinkham Memorial Lecture 2012, delivered in absentia under the auspices of Commie N. Ram's Journalism Institute, Romila Thapar, an 'eminent' historian makes the usual pitch for Marxian view (called historiography) of India's ancient past. As usual, the pseudo-secular historian of ancient India indulges in suggestio falsi and suppressio veri to advance her pet thesis of viewing history in non-cultural terms, so-called class struggle, to start with which according to such historians explains everything.

Life is more complex than mere class struggle. Life in all its dimensions ain't easy to reconstruct as we travel into the mists of history. Historiography as popularly defined in Marxian view by many historians has its own limitations, governed by the world-view of Marx pitting people against people, 'subalterns' against 'feudals', condoning the jihadist atrocities and ignoring the realities evidenced by geology, archaeology and genetics.

Genetic studies are seeking to establish that the pet theories of Aryan Invasion/Migration/Trickle-in are not proved by genetics and that there are vivid genetic markers to show the ancient people of India with roots in Bharat, that is India.

Language studies are also veering to accept that India was a linguistic area (language union or sprachbund) with Tibetan, Dravidian, Munda or Indo-Aryan language group speakers absorbing language features from one another and making them their own. This meant that culturally and linguistically, there was an essential unity in the formation and evolution of the present-day language kaleidoscope of India, that is Bharat.

It will be good if people like Romila Thapar frankly accept the limitations of their discipline and keep an open mind to relate their reconstruction of the past with evidences from geology, genetics or languages, apart from other disciplines like religion, arts, architecture and metallurgical advances transiting from the chalcolithic to the bronze to the iron ages with considerable overlaps in sequencing. Romila also fails to note the discovery of iron smelting circa 18th century BCE in the Ganga basin (e.g. sites of Malhar, Lohardiva, Raja Nal ki Tila). With anecdotal evidences, such pseudo-secular historians should stop misleading young journalists with a deterministic framework of recounting the past but encourage the young minds to inquire and further research on the evidences of history which are all around us. Can any one wish away the magnificence of Dholavira, Kalibangan or Rakhigarhi or even the small sites of Bhirrana or Rupanagar, of Ajanta-Ellora, of Ramasetu, of the temple gopurams in almost every village of Tamil Nadu or Karnataka, of Kashi, Mathura, Brajbhumi? Why wish away the evidence of the Great Epics Mahabharata or Ramayana or the Puranas? Why ignore the evidences of astronomy embedded in the ancient texts starting with Rigveda, Ramayana, Mahabharata? Why forget the references to nighantus and pharmacopoeia of Ayurvedic texts and early, bold surgical interventions of Susruta? Why not refer to the philosophia universalis et perennis of dharma-dhamma, esha dhammo sanantano? Dharma as the global ethic, as the sustaining order, to explain a range of phenomena ranging from the cosmos to consciousness, from governance to ethical values governing every-day activities?

It is time that Romila Thapar varieties of historical representations are debunked by nationalists to reestablish the true identity of the people of Bharat, Bharatam Janam, the people of India. In other words, the true history of Bharatam that is India has yet to be told, despite oratorical flourishes and anecdotes of people like Romila Thapar misleading young minds.

One suggestion is to start with the following reports on the history of early India to overcome the memory loss of Romila Thapar:

The Saraswati: The mother of Indian civilization. Inaugural address delivered on 24 October 2008 by BB Lal in the Conference on Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization held at India International Centre, New Delhi

Sarasvati – Vedic River and Hindu Civilization by S. Kalyanaraman (2008) (including guide to decoding Sarasvati hieroglyphs)

Sarasvati Research & Education Trust, Chennai ISBN 978-81-901126-1-1

Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization (ed.) S. Kalyanaraman (2008) – Compendium of Papers presented at the Conference on the same subject held at at India International Centre, New Delhi between Oct. 24 to 26, 2008 (including inaugural address of BB Lal and Keynote address of KS Valdiya)

Aryan Books International, New Delhi ISBN 978-81-7305-365-8

Consensus conclusions and recommendations (26 Oct. 2008)

Conf. held at India International Centre, New Delhi (24-26 Oct. 2008), participated in by over 55 scholars/scientists.

(Source: )

No comments: