After ensuring that one of the greatest global treatises on statecraft and economic policy was reinstated for posterity, the Oriental Research Institute (ORI) in Mysore was on the verge of losing the original draft of Kautilya-Chanakya's Arthashastra, the art of politics and good statecrat. It was falling victim to maladministration and the vagaries of time, said The Times of India in 2011.
BY Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)
'Aryan Invasion' has been one of the most debated and powerful theories for the last two hundred years. It has affected not only the history writing in various countries but also the very social fabric of many countries. Very few indeed know that the entire hypothesis of Aryan Invasion was born and nurtured out of political necessities and still remains a political tool in the hands of academics as well as politicians. In this article, the author looks at the way Aryan Invasion theory has affected the Indian polity and society.
Study of history and learning history has always been the part of Indian tradition. The entire tradition of Itihas Puranas is witness to this. Even Kautilya prescribes that a king must spend a part of his afternoons in hearing/learing history (Vamsanucharita). One can understand the importance of this in the light of commonly repeated lines â€“ those peoples, nations and societies who do not remember their history become history themselves. The present article deals with the nature of history, problems in writing history and its importance in the lives of peoples, nations and societies.
Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) has been and continues to be one of the most debated and also the most devastating of historical, social, linguistic, archeological and anthropological theories. No other theory has generated more heat, pride, hatred and animosity as this one. Racialism, apartheid, nationalism etc. are all products of AIT. In an article in the last issue of Eternal India (Vol.1, No.9), Prof. Dilip K. Chakrabarti looked at the way AIT was used by the Indian historians, social reformers and indeed the politicians for various purposes. In the present article, Prof. Makkhan Lal looks at the genesis of the AIT itself from various angles likelinguistics, anthropology, lexicology and DNA evidences.
History has been defined in one of the dictionaries as 'a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written in a chronological order.' But a million-dollar question is: Can this 'narrative' be wholly truthful i.e. without any 'distortions'? If you pause for a while and ponder over the question, your answer, in all likelihood, would be: 'Perhaps not.' Why? Because, just as 'beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder', I would say, 'history lies in the perception of the historian'.
Unfortunately, however, today in India, history is unable to play its expected useful role of keeping the people emotionally integrated and psychologically buoyant and proud of their heritage. Instead, it is fast turning to be perilous â€“ a major source of division and discard, an unnecessary burden on memory, and an impediment to progress. This is because there have come into existence several versions of Indian history that contradict each other, creating great confusion.