November 12, 2007

Experiences with Digital history of India

The Digital History of India is online for a long time. However, it has undergone numerous changes in its display and contents. But, even then, it has always left a feeling of dissatisfaction.

It is hosted by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, CMU, IIIT, NSF, ERNETand MCIT and 21 participating centers. All the participating associates are the outstanding identities of the Indian intellectual world.

The site has a Flash Display of its aim and vision. It aims at bringing nearly one million books on Indian heritage and culture. It has links for different subjects which classify all the books which are being made available on it. It is other thing that if you start exploring the site, you may find many books classified as history but it does not have any separate classification for history.

So far so good.

My Experience:
I have learned about the Digital History of India on November 6, 2005 while making a note on Ian Sinclair blog. Ian Sinclair regularly refers to digital sources on the culture and heritage of Vajrayana Buddhism. During the process and activity of making notes on such sources he invariably refer to links to such sources which have origin in India.

Later, once I tried to explore the site, I found that the link provided there was not functional. However, while mining the Internet, I again came across the fresh URL of Digital History of India. I was again excited to find it there. At that time, it had links to numerous books from various regional languages. It had links to some other libraries in which it had included a link to Rashtripati Bhavan also. But I was not able to get any access to any text which I tried at that time. I again returned to that site but I found that even the new URL had become non-functional. I think, it was during my exploration of the ERNET resources reached through the web site of University Grant Commission that I again came across the site. At that time, the site was available in totally a new form. I found that it had given links to other libraries. I was highly disappointed. I remember that in one of my post I had criticized their efforts.

Now, I have again come across a fresh URL of Digital History of India. It was again during the mining of the Internet for the Digital Documents on India that I have located this URL. By now, my blog is quite rich with many links to such sources from where one can make his own digital library on Internet. No doubt, the visits to my site have increased and similarly the out clicks from my blog have also increased. I have been receiving good comments and references in different groups and on highly prestigious sites. A simple search query made as "sumir-history" on any search engine can prove my claim.

A case of Merii Kahaanii:

A visit to the Digital Library of India is again not a good experience. When the site opens, it gives very impressive look. There are two insignias displayed on it. One is displayed in a Flash format and shown glittering. The other insignia is a normal jpg file on the right hand site.

Below the title, there is again a rectangular Flash Display which take a lot of time to download on a computer which I am using. I have a very slow internet connection. The space available on my computer is also very less. I am using Pentium III and Window 98s operating system. A similar type of display is given on British Library. However, in case of British Library site, I do not have to wait for long for the download. However, in case of Digital Library of India, it took half an hour to download last time.

The Library has a good catalogue. India is a country of multi-language and multicultural society. As a result, there are separate links for leading languages of India wherein the old books are sifted in the corresponding category. Further, the old books are then again classified according to time period.

I tried to explore for some books. I was made to download new software in order to read them. After I had installed the software as directed, I experienced a very disappointing display. Some of the books just show a blank space as if the book is not uploaded and only a link is created. In some of the cases only the library chart of issue is displayed.

I tried to open the book written by Jawahar Lal Nehru titled Meri Kahani. I received the following message.
Drenched Book, Damage Book.

Further, the details of the book is given in the following manner. I have copied it from the site and they appear as they are written there.

Merii Kahaanii
Neharuu Javaaharalaal

I hope that the shortcoming is quite evident from the example. The spellings of title as well as author are in un-edited form. It seems that it had been scanned but while converting to the text the dealing person had not taken care of proof reading. It hardly matters as many of my posts were posted without post-editing and there are numerous spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and skipping of the words which take place while typing down your argument or version.

Digital Libraries Option:

Visit Wikipedia with the query Digital Library, one can find a good list on it. There is a good collection of original documents, contemporary books (Primary as well secondary sources) on wikipedia associated sites.

Gutenburg project now have more that 17000 books. Wikipedia is nicely associated with Gutenburg as one can find it on its own that there is an entry each for each author or title from Wikipedia on Gutenberg site.

The Library of Congress is another site which allow you access numerous documents related to many non-USA matters.

It is part of Library of Congress work, that NARA has displayed 100 documents on American History. Well it is specifically related to American history but it is an example that how an online library should be displayed.

There are many sites of leading universities which may not allow you to access the book without registration which invariably require some payment, but they definitely allow you to access their catalogue. The site on Cambridge University has such a store house that at least one can prepare a good bibliography for any research project with the confidence that the book is available at least with that library.

The next revolutionary project in ICT and digitization is Google Books. They have now added a new feature of making a clipping from the books whether it is full available version or restricted available version. No doubt, every book entry has further information about the availability of the book with the publisher or with the associated library.

The Online Library of Liberty has 1000 books online. They have even related essays on authors, historic trends and period from which they have selected those books. The project has displayed from seventeenth to nineteenth. The special essays on thinkers written by established scholars is a feature which attracts and impress.

I am here made to direct the attention to one of my post titled Microfilming of Indian Publication Project. I am unable to understand the rational of undertaking this project when Government of India, with the help of the best brains of India, is trying to establish the Digital Library. However, the form in which the library is presently available, I believe that it is a blessing that somewhere the Government of India has realized that the work is not been done and the activity of getting online sources is worth needed and they have sought the help of the friends. The associated organization, that is Digital South Asia Library is far better source available. You can find a big set of Social Scientist there.

Moral of the Story:
Naam Unchee, Darshan Chotty.

NB: I have not given links to many of the sources mentioned above. However, I have written posts related to such sources and they are available on this very blog. One can check the archive or use the title bar above, where the query can be placed and the relevant post will be fetched. The second option is access my blog through a query "sumir-history" on

October 29, 2007

The History of British India By J Mill in Six volumes 1817 is online

The complete text of The History of British India by J Mill in six volumes is available online on The Online Library of Liberty.

The book was published in 1817 and the online version has used its third edition of 1826 published by Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, London.

Those who are interested in Indian History, must read this book before reading the books by present authors.

I may like to reframe my statement given above. The interested people, who wanted to learn about India, must read the book by J Mill in original before developing any opinion about the historiography of India on the basis of the comments given in other books about the influence of J Mill writings on the periodization of Indian History.

The above book is divided in to six volumes and each volume is called a Book.

The Book 1 is given a peculiar title and it is 1527 – 1707. This book contains five chapters. In the beginning of this book, the author has defined the motive and method of writing the six volumes.

The Chapter 1 studies the coming of the Europeans on Indian Subcontinent. The most fascinating aspect which is discussed in detail is the finding of the American colonies
while struggling to find the path to India to beat the riches being earned by Portugal. While describing the different efforts made by England during the sixteenth century to find a path to India, the author has described the expeditions of Francis Drake in detail. The second person who has found favour with author to get enough words for his work is Thomas Cavendish. Then, going through different aspects, the author reaches the incidence of appointment of Captain James Lancaster who was to command the first ship to India the company named, "The Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading to the East Indies.

The Chapter 2 studies the development of company in 1612 when it received the formal papers to establish the factory at Surat, Ahmedabad, Cambaya and Goga.

In this chapter, he had undertaken a deep study of the development of the European trade in East Indies and with the activities of the British East India Company as a central theme.

The Chapter 3 studies the development of the British East India from 1632 to 1657.

It is in this chapter, Mill studies the development of the holding of the Company in India or Hindustan as he had used this term for India. During this period, the activity of the company was extended to Golcunda and Pipley in Orissa.

The Chapter 4 studies the development of the company merger with the activities Merchant Adventurers. It contains details about the development in the Mughal Empire which were directly related to the development of the British Company within India.

The Chapter 5 studies the development of the company under the charter of 1711. The chapter covers in detail the development of the circumstances under which the charter of 1711 was granted.

The Book 2 is spread over seven chapters and the title is Of the Hindus. It is worth going through the contents of this book in order to understand the historiography of India, the bias of an invader, the actual views of the Utilitarians, the type of records which would have been maintained in London about India.

As a point of elaboration, I give the titles of all the seven chapters.

The chapter 1 begins with the title "Chronology and Ancient History of the Hindus".

It is begins with the following line.
"Rude Nations seem to derive a peculiar gratification from pretensions to remote antiquity."

The Chronology given in the chapter is not the one as it is given in general books by later authors especially after 1947. The author had taken up the Three Yugas divisions of the Puranic History and there is a tinge or rather quite dominating tone of disdain and ridicule. It seems that there was some conflict between the authorities in London and the Orientalist group which was emerging under the guidance of William Jones.

The Chapter 2 is given the heading "Classification and Distribution of People".

This chapter attracts for the thesis that the Indians were earlier tribal people and latter settled for farming at a fixed place. Now, Marx came on a later date. However, the explanation as given here is so much Marxian in nature that if one does not know the chronology of development of various thoughts, he could conclude that that Mill had read Marx.

The another feature of this chapter is the image that the author had carried for the Priest in the Hindu society. Then, there is an elaboration of the class of Brahmins, Cashtriyas, Vaisya and Sudra. The classification as given by Mill has taken such a strong hold of the intellectual world about the Indian society, that no body has cared to check on his own the actual ground realities. It was only through the essays of people like M. N. Srivastva and other sociologist that the Indian social classification was given a review. The election activities, the issue or reservations etc are now bringing some facts before the general public. But the European world carried this four fold division so rigidly that they never ever developed the right view of the Indian society.

The chapter 3 is "The Form of Government".

The chapter has tried to trace the development or atleast the basis of rule during the pre conquest period in India. The authority which has been quoted is the Law of Manu. The most repeated phrases in the whole chapter are "those rude ideas" and "a rude and ignorant people".

It makes a good reading for the student of politics and the law. One should remember that when Mill was writing those volumes, the world has not learned about the existence of Arthasashtra.

The chapter 4 is "The Law".

It will be pertinent to quote Mill here to understand the development of the British rule towards the Indian law. I quote, "For elucidating this important point (that is the law), in the history of the Hindus, materials are abundant."

For this chapter also, the main source of information is Manu and the translation by Halhed and Colebrooke. Mill has observed in the beginning of the chapter that the availability of the material made the discussion of the subject very wide. Therefore, he suggested that he would deal only with the limited aspects of the law of Hindus. He took the main eighteen basis of law as given by Manu. The elaboration which followed is however, made against the background of the understanding of the law by the author. During the course, he had taken the selective issues which I believe latter became the milestone in interpreting the Indian basis of law. It was openly taken up by the present Dalit political groups like BSP. However, atleast for me, it is quite an exhaustive chapter covering an exhaustive list of issues.

The Chapter 5 is "The Taxes".

While taking up the issue of taxation in India during the ancient time, Mill was made to refer to the major problem faced by the company officials about the issue of deciding the taxes to be taken by the company administration. One must remember that by 1792, the company had already developed their own view about the quantity of tax to be collected from the farmers under the rule of Lord Cornwallis.

The Chapter 6 is "Religion".

Mill has started this paragraph which is till this day considered as truism in case of Indian society and Religion.

He writes, "It is difficult to determine whether the constitution of the government and the provisions of law, or Religion, have, among the Hindus, the greatest influence upon the lives of individuals, and the operations of society."

The contents of the chapter is based on the records deposited by William Jones, Colebrook, H. H. Wilkins etc. This shows that how far the work of Indologists of Bengal Asiastic Society and the Wellington College influenced the framing of the perception of the Company administration in Britain.

The Chapter 7 is "Manner".

The motive of studying this chapter is laid by the author in the very first line of the chapter. He writes, "By the manners of a nation are understood the peculiar modes in which the ordinary business of human life is carried on."

The second observation of great importance is also important. He writes, "So much of the entire business of life, among the Hindus, consists in religious services, that the delineation of their religion is a delineation of the principal branch of their manners." This very point is emphasized by the sociologists. However, while studying the political history from the general book, the student in school and colleges would never learn this truth about the history whereas he may be experiencing it in his or her daily life. It is further emphasized when the communal tensions are developed. But no body asks that how different communities continue to live and interact on economic plane when such tensions are not there?

However, with a glorifying beginning of the chapter, J Mills discuss the behaviour of the higher classes to the lower classes. It is surprising to learn that what kind of material was submitted to the Britain that a person who did not visit India even once for writing the book learned about the negative aspect of the society?

Book IV is spread over nine chapters.

In the first chapter of the book the development of the company from 1708 to 1773 has been studied.

The second chapter has studied the development of the Carnatic wars involving Nabob of Carnatic.

The chapter 3 deals with the relation of the East India Company of Britain with Bengal.

The chapter 4 deals with the third war of Carnatic and establishment of the supreme European trading company in India.

The Chapter 5 deals with the Battle of Buxar and second governorship of Clive.

The Chapter 6 deals with the political activity of Company in Madras Presidency.

The Chapter 7 deals with the second governorship of Clive in Bengal in detail and rising problem of the finance in the Company.

The Chapter 8 deals with the political activity of Company in Madras Presidency and dealing with Hyder Ali in the Anglo Mysore Wars.

The Chapter 9 deals with following issues as per J Mill.
Public opinion in England, Proceedings in the India House, and in Parliament—Plan of Supervisors—Plan of a King’s Commissioner—Increase of pecuniary Difficulties—Dividend raised—Company unable to meet their Obligations—Parliamentary Inquiry—Ministerial Relief—An Act, which changes the Constitution of the Company—Tendency of the Change—Financial and Commercial State

In this chapter one can find an example of best imperialistic tendencies of Britain. It was reflected in the wordings of 1769 Act which conveyed "That the territorial revenues in India should be held by the Company for five years to come; that in consideration of this benefit they should pay into the exchequer 400,000l. every year; that if the revenues allowed, they might increase the dividend, by augmentations not exceeding one per cent. in one year, to twelve and a half per cent.; that if, on the other hand, the dividend should fall below ten per cent., the payment into the exchequer should obtain a proportional reduction, and entirely cease if the dividend should decline to six per cent.; that the Company should, during each year of the term, export British merchandise, exclusive of naval and military stores, to the amount of 380,837l.; and that when they should have paid their simple contract debts bearing interest, and reduced their bonded debt to an equality with their loans to government, they should add to these loans the surplus of their receipts at an interest of two per cent."

In this very chapter, J Mill had touched upon the issue of scandals in the working of the company and the appointment of commissioners to investigate it. It has proved the opinion of R. C. Majumdar, that the British Parliament was interested in the affairs of India since the days of 1757 with imperialistic tendencies.

On the whole, this chapter is worth reading for the people who want to understand the role of Directors and Parliament in deciding the course of activities in India. One should remember that most of the books would suggest that the course of the events in India was much influenced by the personalities and attitudes of the governor generals. However, this is only one side of the coin. The other side can be briefly studied in this chapter.

The Book 5 is covers the period between 1773 and 1784, and covered in two chapters.

Chapter I. This chapter is more marked for discussing the scandals during Warren Hastings. (Kindly note, the word "scandal" is my version and not that of J Mill. Apart from that, the chapter provides the political happenings in India in detail. There seems to be sudden shift in the details.

Chapter II is also about the political activities of the British trading company in India. J Mill gives the following topic which are covered in this chapter.

"Commencement of the New Government—Supreme Council divided into two Parties, of which that of the Governor-General in the Minority—Presidency of Bombay espouse the Cause of Ragoba, an ejected Peshwa—Supreme council condemn this Policy, and make Peace with his Opponents—Situation of the Powers in the Upper Country, Nabob of Oude, Emperor, and Nujeef Khan—Pecuniary Corruption, in which Governor-General seemed to be implicated, in the cases of the Ranee of Burdwan, Phousdar of Hoogley, and Munny Begum—Governor-General resists Inquiry—Nuncomar the great Accuser—He is prosecuted by Governor-General—Accused of Forgery, found guilty, and hanged—Mahomed Reza Khan, and the office of Naib Subah restored."

The Book 6 is spread over thirteen chapters and end with an eye catching statement, "The peace which terminated the war with the Mahrattas, a few months after the period of Lord Wellesley’s administration, is the last great epoch, in the series of British transactions in India. With regard to subsequent events, the official papers, and other sources of information, are not sufficiently at command. Here, therefore, it is necessary that, for the present, this History should close." It also tells that the work ends with the tenure of Wellesley period in 1806.

Chapter I is about Administration of Mr. Macpherson—State of the Government in India, internal, and external—Board of Control pays, without inquiry, the Debts of the Nabob of Arcot—Orders the assignment of the Carnatic Revenues to be given up—Absorbs the Power of the Directors—Lord Cornwallis appointed Governor-General—Commencement of the Proceedings in Parliament relative to the Impeachment of Mr. Hastings—The best Mode of proceeding rejected by the House of Commons—Articles of Charge against Mr. Hastings—Three Bills to amend the East India Act—Proceedings in Parliament relative to the Impeachment of Mr. Hastings—Impeachment voted—Proceedings in Parliament tending to the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey—Motion for Impeachment negatived—Mr. Pitt’s declaratory act.

Chapter II is about The Trial of Mr. Hastings.

Chapter III is about Arrangement about troops and money with the Nabob of Oude—The Guntoor Circar obtained from the Nizam, and a new arrangement made with that Prince—Aspect which that arrangement bore to Tippoo Saib—Dispute of Tippoo with the Rajah of Travancore—Tippoo attacks the lines of Travancore—The English prepare for war—Form an alliance with the Nizam, and with the Mahrattas—Plan of the Campaign—General Meadows takes possession of Coimbetore, and establishes a chain of depots to the bottom of the Gujelhutty Pass—Tippoo descends by the Gujelhutty Pass—And compels the English General to return for the Defence of Carnatic—End of the campaign, and arrival of Lord Cornwallis at Madras—Operations in Malabar—A new arrangement with Mahomed Ali, respecting the revenues of Carnatic.

Chapter IV is about Cornwallis takes the Command—Second Campaign begins—Siege of Bangalore—March to Seringapatam—Operations of the Bombay Army—Battle at Arikera between Cornwallis and Tippoo—Army in Distress for Bullocks and Provisions—Obliged to return—Operations of the Mahratta Contingent—Negotiations with Tippoo—Debate in the House of Commons on the War with Tippoo—Preparations for a third Campaign—Reduction of the Fortresses which commanded the Passes into Carnatic, and threatened the Communications—Operations of the Nizam’s Army, and of the Mahratta Contingent, in the Interval between the first and second March upon Seringapatam—Operations of the Bombay Army—Operations of Tippoo—March to Seringapatam—Entrenched Camp of the Enemy stormed before Seringapatam—Preparations for the Siege—Negotiations—Peace—Subsequent Arrangements.

Chapter V is about Lord Cornwallis’s Financial and Judicial Reforms.

Chapter VI is about Result of Lord Cornwallis’s Financial and Judicial Reforms.

Chapter VII of this book is about Proceedings in Parliament relative to the renewal of the Company's Charter in 1793—Sir John Shore succeeds Lord Cornwallis as Governor-General—Relations of the English Government to the Nizam and the Mahrattas—Death of Mhadajee Scindia—War between the Nizam and Mahrattas—Guarantee of the Treaty of Alliance—Death of the Peshwa, and its Effects—Treaty fulfilled by Tippoo, and the Hostages restored—State of Oude—Death of the Nabob of Oude, and Succession of his Son—The young Nabob dethroned by the English on a charge of Spuriousness, and Saadut Ali made Nabob—Affairs at Madras—Death of Mahomed Ali—Lord Hobart endeavours to obtain the Transfer of part of the Nabob's Country—Dispute between Lord Hobart and the Supreme board—Capture of the Dutch Settlements.

Chapter VIII of this book is about Lord Mornington Governor-General—Agents of Tippoo at the Isle of France—Governor-General resolves on immediate War—Import of the Circumstances—Opinions in India—Nizam Ali receives more English Troops and dismisses the French—Unfruitful Negotiations at Poonah—Progression of Governor-General's Demands—War begins—Plan of the Campaign.—March of the Army—Siege of Seringapatam—Alarming Situation of the British Army in regard to Food—Seringapatam taken, and the Sultan killed—Division and Settlement of the conquered Country.

Chapter IX is about Situation of Oude, as left by Lord Teignmouth, highly satisfactory to the home Authorities—Great Changes meditated by Lord Mornington—Extirpation of British Subjects, not in the Service of the Company—Apprehended Invasion of the Afghauns—Endeavour to obtain the Alliance of Scindia—The Idea abandoned—An Embassy to the King of Persia—Insurrection by Vizir Ali—Reform of his military Establishment pressed on the Nabob of Oude—His Reluctance—He proposes to abdicate in favour of his Son—The Governor-General presses him to abdicate in favour of the Company—He refuses—Indignation of the Governor-General—He resorts to coercion on the Reform, which meant, the Annihilation, of the Nabob's military Establishment—The business of the Annihilation judiciously performed—The Vizir alleges the want of Resources for the Maintenance of so great a British Army—From this, the Governor-General infers the Necessity of taking from him the Government of his Country—If the Nabob would not give up the whole of his Country willingly, such a Portion of it as would cover the Expense of the British Army to be taken by Force—This was more than one half—The Vizir to be allowed no independent Power even in the rest—The Vizir desires to go on a Pilgrimage—The Hon. H. Wellesley sent to get from him an appearance of Consent—The Cession of the Portion necessary for the Expense of the Army effected—A Commission for settling the Country with Mr. H. Wellesley at the head—Governor-General makes a Progress through the Country—Transactions between him and the Nabob of Oude—Proposition of the Bhow Begum—Objections of the Court of Directors to the Appointment of Mr. H. Wellesley—Overruled by the Board of Control—Government of Furruckabad assumed by the Company—Settlement of the ceded Districts—Full Approbation of the home Authorities.

Chapter X is about The Nabob of Surat deposed—The Rajah of Tanjore deposed—The Nabob of Arcot deposed.

Chapter XI is about Two sets of Princes, connected with the English; one, whom they made resign both the military, and the civil powers of their government; another, whom they made resign only the military powers—Endeavour to make the Peshwa resign the military part of his government—Negotiations for that purpose from 1798 to 1802—Negotiations with Dowlut Row Scindia for a similar purpose—The dependance of all the Mahratta states expected as the effect of the resignation to the English of the military power of any one of them—Negotiation with Scindia ineffectual—War between Scindia and Holkar—The Peshwa driven from Poona—For the sake of being restored by English arms, the Peshwa consents to the resignation of his military power—A treaty for that purpose signed at Bassein—The Governor-General expects, that the other Mahratta states will not dare to quarrel with the English on account of the treaty of Bassein—Scindia assembles his troops, and marches to the vicinity of Boorhanpore—Persevering attempts to make Scindia execute a treaty similar to that of Bassein—The Peshwa restored—Probability of a war with the Mahratta Princes on account of the treaty of Bassein—Junction of the armies of Scindia and the Rajah of Berar—Scindia and the Rajah required by the English to quit their present menacing position, and replace their armies at their usual stations—Scindia and the Rajah evading compliance, the English regard them as enemies—Arguments by which the Governor-General endeavored to prove that the line of policy which led to this crisis was good—Investigation of those arguments.

Chapter XII is about Objects to which the Operations of the Army in the North were to be directed—Objects to which the Operations of the Army in the South were to be directed—Minor Objects of the War—General Lake takes the Field—History of the French Force in the Service of Scindia, and of his Possessions in the Dooab—History of the Emperor Shah Aulum continued—Battle of Allyghur, and Capture of the Fort—Battle of Delhi, and Surrender of the Emperor to the English—Agra taken—Battle of Laswaree—French Force in the Service of Scindia destroyed, and his Dominions in the Dooab transferred to the English—Operations of the Army under General Wellesley in the South—Ahmednuggur taken—Battle of Assye—Boorhanpore and Asseerghur taken—Scindia makes an Overture toward Peace—Battle of Argaum—Siege and Capture of the Fort of Gawilghur—Operations in Bundelcund—In Cuttack—in Guzerat—Negotiation with the Rajah of Berar—Treaty concluded—Negotiation with Scindia—Treaty concluded—Engagements with the minor Princes near the Jumna—Scindia enters into the defensive Alliance—Governor-General's Account of the Benefit derived from the defensive Alliances, and the Mahratta War—Investigation of that Account.

Chapter XIII is about Necessity inferred of curbing Holkar—Intercourse between Holkar and Scindia renewed—Governor-General resolves to take the Holkar Dominions, but to give them away to the Peshwa, Scindia, and the Nizam—Holkar retreats before the Commander-in-Chief, toward the South—The Commander-in-Chief withdraws the Army into Cantonments, leaving Colonel Monson with a Detachment in advance—Holkar turns upon Monson—Monson makes a disastrous Retreat to Agra—The British Army from Guzerat subdues Holkar's Dominions in Malwa—Holkar by a Stratagem attacks Delhi—Brave Defence of Delhi—The Holkar Dominions in Deccan subdued—Defeat of Holkar's Infantry at Deeg—Rout of his cavalry at Furruckabad—The Rajah of Bhurtpore, one of the allied Chieftains, joins with Holkar—Unsuccessful Attack upon the Fortress of Bhurtpore—Accommodation with the Rajah of Bhurtpore—Disputes with Scindia—Prospect of a War with Scindia—Holkar joins the Camp of Scindia—The British Resident ordered by the Commander-in-Chief to quit the Camp of Scindia—Scindia endeavours to prevent the Departure of the Resident—Marquis Wellesley succeeded by Marquis Cornwallis—Cornwallis's View of the State of the Government—Of Wellesley's System of subsidiary and defensive Alliance—Cornwallis resolves to avoid a War with Scindia, by yielding every Point in Dispute—To make Peace with Holkar by restoring all the Territories he had lost—To dissolve the Connexion of the British Government with the minor Princes on the Mahratta Frontier—Negotiations between Scindia and the Commander-in-Chief—Death of Lord Cornwallis—Sir G. Barlow adheres to the Plans of Lord Cornwallis—Holkar advances into the Country of the Seiks—Pursued by Lord Lake—A fresh Treaty concluded with Scindia—Treaty with Holkar—Financial Results.

Link Problem:
It should not be called a link problem. The chapter 5 is covered under the link of chapter 4. The chapter 6 is actually spread over link of chapter 5 and chapter 6.


Footnote 1:
(return) In this article written in June 2005, I have given this opinion that the founding of America and later raising of America was never the actual motive of England. It came up as a serendipity result. All the efforts were directed to find the route to East India. J Mill has explained it in better manner.

October 24, 2007

First Post of a Successful Blog

The Worldhistoryblog has by now more than three hundred thousand (three lakhs) visitors.

In India, the first step on a journey, the first brick in the foundation, the first look at a new born child are considered most auspicious and important. It is believed that it is the first step which decides the success.

In case of World History Blog, the first post was "Society History" which referred to an open directory for history. It was posted on December 31, 2003. December 31, was the date when the East India Company of Britain was established in 1600. It was the date when the first meeting of Indian National Congress ended in 1885. In case of Miland Brown, he has posted 1094 posts till date.

Today the Open Directory project suggested by Miland Brown has 12324 entries under the category of History. It has 4207 entries under the category of Region. The category of Time period is having 5664 entries. There are 1652 topics under the Topic category.

Further, it has 53 entries on the basis of language though Vietnamese has zero entry.

The open directory project is part of AOL. In one of my email I had sought advice from Miland Brown on how to get leads on the authentic sources. He had suggested about the directories and some other sources. He was quite open in admitting that such places were the sources of getting information.

October 22, 2007

Roy Rosenzweig, The Digital Historian Passes Away

Roy Rosenzweig, an American Historian and the founding director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, died on October 11, 2007 due to lung Cancer.

I remember him for Digital History, a concept which I have learned from his essays.

The CHNM is recording remembrance at

Similarly one can record and read tributes to the American historian at History News Network

I had commented on one of his essay in November 2006 at History Writing and New Technologies.

October 01, 2007

On Receiving Ten Thousand Visitors

By now, the site meter on this blog has recorded more than ten thousand visitors. Apart from that, the average visit is of 1.2 minutes. More than 19000 pages have been visited on this blog since March 2005. Many posts have received respectable comments on their contents.

Well, what is the big deal in giving above numbers? Does it matter much to anyone? Is there any need for such a self aggrandisement?

I do not think that there is any need of such a post here at all. Even then, I have taken time to put this in writing. I had been thinking of writing about this for a month by now. Why is it so that even then I am putting it up here?

While I was thinking of writing this post, many such questions also came up that directly questioned the very logic and meaning of spending time on blogging like this. Now take up some more figures. By now I have written more than hundred posts in two years on this blog only. I have been writing on my other blogs. I have been commenting on the contents of the blogs by others. I have written on Wikipedia. Most of my posts have references and cross links. Some of them are deeply researched statements substantiated by required facts and figures. There are long narrations which had taken up three to fours hours for writing. The question had come to mind that what was the need of doing all such activities. Somewhere, a hidden voice says that I have merely wasted time and money in pursuing such an activity. However, that will not be fair if I also go along with that judgement.

I must say in response to above statements, that in these two years, I have learned a lot. I believe that I have received a recognition also for my activity. I might have spent time which could have been utilized somewhere else. I could have saved some money also. But, I have learned a lot from this activity. I may not have received any recognition by people who matters for me, or who could promote my career or my place in the society but even then I have won many admirers and even critics. Secondly, when I started this activity, I was really happy. There was a different kind of feeling when I created this blog in hurry. I had been thinking of making a blog for more than six months. It was somewhere in the middle of 2004, I learned about blogging. I came on the cyberspace somewhere in the beginning of 2004 when I wrote on BBC/history site. I was well received there but soon BBC barred my entry to that portal. I lost whatever I had written there. But therein came a surprise. Some of the bloggers had picked my writings on BBC and placed it on their own blog. When I started blogging, I placed the copies of those postings on this very blog after giving due acknowledgement.

Before creating the blog, I came to realize about the significance of this device and activity through education forum. I must say that it was the teachers on the education forum discussing about e-learning, ICT and related topics which framed my understanding of the real core of this activity. I believe that in my success here, it is the success of education forum and to be precise of John Simkin who had virtually lifted me to the forum.

The format, contents, and display are also not my own creation. The template is given by the googles. But the contents are somewhere influenced by the activity as performed by Miland Brown on World History Blog. I have modified it and I believe that my blog is having its own character and shape but I must accept that somewhere, I am influenced by the activity as performed by Miland Brown on his blog. The idea of writing this post had been laid by him also. When I started blogging in February 2005, Miland Brown had already received more than six thousand visitors. Whenever I visited his blog and looked at the site meter and number on it, I became envious and jealous. I came across other blogs also which proudly displayed the number of visitors on their site. I had seen many respectable sites proudly displaying the number of visitors on their site. There was even a discussion on education forum on this issue. One thing is there that this particular number, that is number of visitors on the site is an important bench mark in the field of Information Technology, ITES and the very activity of blogging. There are sites like technorati which are totally devoted to maintaining such records. One can learn from there that there are sites and blogs which receive a huge rush of visitors to their site and people visit them every day. The advertisement decisions are based on figures generated by the number of visitors to a site. Hence, the very fact that a particular figure has been reached by a site has great value in the concerned field. Well, it was in those day, when I started blogging that one day Miland Brown announced proudly on his blog that he had crossed 10K mark. Presently his site meter is reading more than 2.8 million visitors. Now doubt, after that I came across many such bloggers, who had commemorated and celebrated the occasion when the number of visitors crossed a particular number on their site or blog. I believe that the decision of writing this post had been taken there and then and when I myself have reached this submit, though in two years, then I become authorized to write this post.

I am however not much happy with this figure. Firstly, I think that I should have crossed this figure within a year. Kenith Jones of Civil War Memory had reached this figure in less than a month. Secondly, the total is not created because of overall contents of the blog. It is three or four posts which have contributed to this number. I must reveal that it was in the month of June 2005, when I made a post on availability of short stories by Dhanpat Rai (Munshi Premchand). From that day onwards, the site meter had started galloping. Even now everyday, I receive visitors looking out for links for the short stories by Munshi Premchand. No doubt, It is quite surprising for me. There are many factors and figures which could be made out into a research paper which could be useful for publishers of hindi stories, hindi newspapers and cyber activity people. I even suggest to those who have read up to here that they may put a similar post on their blog and check the result on their own. The second post, which had become hyper activity around September 5, 2007, was a post on S. Radhakrishnan. The third most surprising post which regularly receive visitors are the posts on Teej. I am really amazed to learn that how much this festival is popular especially among the people living in other countries. Recently, the very first post on this blog which is about cell phones, which was not at all meant for this blog, had started receiving visitors. I think that use of cell phones in educational institution is definitely becoming a portent social issue.

I had desired to write on some issues in this posts. But I will not discuss it here. I believe that the rate at which I am receiving visitors, I will soon cross fifteen thousand mark before February 2008 which is the month of anniversary for this blog. I will like to discuss some important issues about which I have become aware through the experience of blogging at that time. Secondly, I believe that I must do some research and give some useful figures.

At the end, I would also like to declare that it is through blogging I have come to learn about using internet in the right manner. Here I will suggest to those who uses search engines for locating the desired information that they may use search engines for blogs also.

September 16, 2007

The Indra Gandhi National Centre for the Arts - IGNCA

The site says:
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Department of Culture, and envisioned as a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts. ‘The Arts’ as a wide spectrum, encompassing subjects from archaeology to dance and anthropology to the photographic art, enveloping them in a complementary and non-demarcated vision. In its functioning, the IGNCA has met its mandate and continues to work in this direction."

It is stated on the site that it has six functional units viz Kalanidhi, Kalakosa, Janapada Sampada, Kaladarsana, Cultural Informatics Lab, and Sutradhara. Apart from that, there is Digital Library in addition to Kalanidhi which is also library sources. Further, there is a link to Newsletter which in itself is storehouse of culture and heritage of India. One can find many reports on different festivals, rites and folk’s faith practices.

The site also has given links to some saleable items which are about the heritage and cultural activities of India. Then there are resources for learning Hindi. It contains links to additional sites.

I am exploring this site from time to time. I have found that it is one such online source on India which can be explored by the researchers interested in South Asian history. It contradicts my repeated groaning that there are very few and restricted online resources on internet. That is other thing, that while giving links to other sources, it has given links to the online activities of other countries, a thing which should have taken place in India also.

I hope those interested in research in South Asian History will not be disappointed as they would get many leads as well raw data ready for processing for their different questions.

September 08, 2007

Indian Academy of Sciences: A Part of Indian Heritage

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Indian Academy of Sciences was founded by Noble Prize winner in Physics Dr. C. V. Raman in year 1934. As a student of history, I find the years 1922 to 1936 as a period of heightened Indian Nationalism. I understand that some of the scholars would frown at my comment. The years from 1922 to 1928 is generally identified as the years of subdued activities by the Indian National Congress. However, I have found that if you adopt only that angle to study the Indian period of nationalism, then you do injustice to the Bhartiyata. This was the period, which the people of Subaltern group had tried to study for tribal movements. Secondly, it was the period of ‘organized revolutionary’ movement well represented by Hindustan Socialist Revolutionary Party identified with people by Chander Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh etc. No doubt, those who adopted this period (1919 to 1947) as Gandhian Era, they rather identify it as the period of heightened communalism. Anyhow, here I am just making post to emphasis the availability of the website of Indian Academy of Sciences. The rest of the issues which I have touched upon, are the main themes on which I have discussed on this blog upto this day. May be, whereas I have called my blog as discussing the philosophy and methodology of History, HNN blog Cleopatra has included it in the list of Regional History.

Coming back to the site of Indian Academy of Sciences, it introduces itself as

"The Academy, founded in 1934, aims at promoting the progress and upholding the cause of science in pure and applied branches. Major activities include publication of scientific journals and special volumes, organizing meetings of the Fellowship and discussions on important topics, recognizing scientific talent, improvement of science education and taking up other issues of concern to the scientific community."

Further, it is not only for this, it is being mentioned here. It is mentioned here, as it is been said on the site itself that:

"The Academy's journals are 'open access' and full text is available as PDF files on each journal's website. See the Publications page for links to the journals and other Academy publications (including the newsletter Patrika, annual reports, and documents)."

No doubt, the open sources available on the site are related to General Science, however, the Current Sciences Journal has many articles related to Indian research scenario, education policy and such related issues.

September 06, 2007

Hungary and History of Science

History of Science is among the latest and well founded stream of history. I am not much conversant with the topics of the history of science. I know only this much that in the university syllabus there is one paper by that name. Secondly, I am made to prepare notes for the development of medicine, art and music for the social history paper which I have not developed even to my own satisfaction. It is other thing, that most of the training in history is in the field of the political history which is not being relegated to second place by established historians in post modernistic period. However, being the student of student or field of knowledge, if you come to learn about a new thing or development in the field of your own interest then you are bound to become attentive when you are laying the fundamental basis of learning that new stream. (No doubt, I am now more involved in learning about digital history. Should it be called digitization of history or hacking of history sources?)

Recently, I came across a new fact, (new at least for me) that how Hungary holds an important place in the development and history of science. For me, Hungary was always read as Austro Hungarian Empire. If any thing had to be said about it, then it was Habsburg family, their relation with other royal families of Europe and extend of their properties in different parts of Europe. In case of Hungary, the only thing which was learnt was that in the middle of nineteenth century, they took place a revolt for separate identity for this region.

Kindly read on the following facts given by Mr. Akshay Kumar and Ms. Seema Goswami in one of the course material of Indra Gandhi Open University, New Delhi.

" … some of the twentieth century most exceptional scientists and mathematicians – Theodor von Karman, George de Hevesy, Michael Polanyi, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Newmann, Edward Teller, Fejer, Haar, Riesz, Koing, Rado etc came from Hungary."

Further, the reason of such effloresce was the tradition of tradition of competition at high school graduate level. The main role was played by one competition named Eotvos Competition organised in honour of a physicist Baron Lorand Eotvos.

The second important institution instrumental in development of mathematicians in Hungary was "Journal" a mathematics problem magazine edited by Laszlo Racz.

Well, it is only this much for Hungary in the history of science. I was just overwhelmed by this fact while making some searches on the net for the names given above, I was just flabbergasted to learn that there is so much to learn about this field. All these facts, though they belong to different field of knowledge but it definitely form the part of historic evaluation wherein one tries to study the activity to man on the basis of the records. It had raised so many question about the actual definition of sources in the field of history.

I am writing down whatsoever is coming to my mind on the issue of the actual nature of the sources in history and the field of study in history but here I have only squeeze out a assemblage or rather an assortment of words which I hope will convey to the one who is interest in pure history the nature of inquiry in the field of history as well as history of science.

Just to wind up without reaching a conclusion, I was earlier highly impressed by the achievement of Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo and Raphel who belonged to Florence (They were raised there and patronized there though they were born at different places.) in one country. However, I now find that it is not one place or Grecian or Roman lineage which is impressive but there are other places and institutions at different places which had added to the chapters of the achievement of humanity.

September 04, 2007

Seeking History for Understanding Present

"Seeking History for Understanding Present" is what a teacher of the philosophy of history while explaining the aim of the history would tell his students while teaching his/her class.

Well, here, I would not this unexplainable proposition. It is matter of the premises and submit from where you evaluate the sources of history.

I am here is reference to one of the post titled "Sources on 1857" posted on November 16, 2006. It was a result of a set of emails on H-Asia List and in a way a remix of articles which had appeared elsewhere. However, it received very good response. Various websites even made comment on it and gave the post a link on their site. It had also received and still receiving regular visits which I learn from the site meter installed in the site. It has also received three very relevant comments. One of the comment was by a blogger Sachin who has not made his blog public. His comment was titled "How to read 1857 today: The Relevance of 1857." As he has denied visit to his site, I am not able to confirm about his identity. However, a large part of his exposition is in line with the historic facts and interpretation.

Apropos, now, I intend to comment on the contents of the comment of Sachin. Here I am just reproducing the comment as a separate post. There are two reasons behind it. Firstly, the comment by Sachin is too long in itself. Now if I add my views on his comments, the post will become too long. It will not sustain the casual reader. Secondly I believe that it may attract the attention of Sachin and he may like to come back again or at least contact me.

Hence, Firstly read through the comment of Sachin. I would like to add, that it can be useful for students or general public to carve out a speech out of his article. This comment is also available in the comment section of the above mentioned post.

How to read 1857 today: The Relevance of 1857 a comment by Sachin

2007 is the 150 anniversary of India’s First War of Independence and there is a flurry of activities on this issue. Several seminars and discussion panels are being organized and papers being presented on 1857, recorded as a turning point in Indian history. For most of the work being done on 1857, the underlying theme appears to be biased or limited in their scope and readings. Some, written by Eurocentric/British historians describe 1857 as a "Sepoy Mutiny" while those of the "Swadeshi and feudal mindset" tend to overplay the role of the feudal princely estates and "Rajwadas". Their heroes such as Jhansi ki Rani and Tatia Tope are often represented as front line heroes of 1857, such perceptions have been perpetuated by pop-history readings through sources such as "Amar Chitra Katha". Other wrong representations have been made by over playing the issue of greased cartridges, religion, caste and creed. The term, "National Rebellion" was used for the first time in the British Parliament debates where the attempts by the ruling parties to underplay the uprising as a simple "mutiny" were contested by the opposition parties, who wanted the rebellion to be put down with the severest possible means.
Though the exact events of 1857 are important to understand, it is even more important to contextualize 1857 in today's India. Right across different ruling class parties there has been a serious attempt to water down the relevance of the 1857 uprising, both in terms of its scope and relevance to our present times. The CPI (M) oriented camp of historians have even gone to absurd lengths to force down their own concepts of modern political thought by insisting that 1857 contained within it the idea of "Nation State". Nevertheless, all the ruling class parties seem to converge on one point that, 1857 was an anti imperialist struggle which was successfully concluded in the 1947 Independence of India.
The primary point of the thesis being outlined is that 1857 was definitely an anti-imperialist struggle, but its tasks have not been completed as yet, since 1947 was only a formal Independence and India is still in the grip of neo-colonialism and its policies are still being dictated by the imperialist powers and its agents. These current economic, social and political policies can clearly find their roots in the brutal suppression of the 1857 and the rise to power a class of Indians who aided the British in ruling India till 1947 and continue to aid and assist foreign imperialist interests even today.
In the first place: 1857 was largest ever armed uprising in the British colonial empire, and the impact of the uprising was such that it shook the foundations of the empire.1857 was a peasant rebellion, the underlying cause was the increasing land settlement laws being introduced by the British. In earlier times, before the British implemented the idea of land settlement; land was an inalienable right and the zamindar, feudal lords and the king had only rights over revenue collection. By introducing the principle of "Eminent Domain" the British had in one stroke reversed centuries of security over land tenure granted to the peasant. The principle of "eminent domain" declares the "ownership" of all land to reside in the crown, thereby allowing the eviction of rightful owners from their land, with only the need to pay due compensation. The growing insecurity of the peasantry over the probable loss of land quickly engulfed the regions of North India and even bringing the sepoys into the fray. Since the sepoys employed by the British army were peasants, they could directly relate to the issue of growing insecurity over land rights and took up the cause for armed resistance. In the second place: it was only after the initial success of the peasantry and the sepoys that the feudal estates such as Jhansi came into play, for most of the feudal estates, it was a struggle against the increasing strangle hold of the British and to retain their dominion and their alignment with the peasantry was taken after due thought and consideration. They assumed that the whole of British India would rebel successfully and after kicking the British out, they would continue to rule. These feudal estates did not enter the fight with any sense of any progressive values which would have led to the emancipation of the toiling peasantry. In the third place and most the important point, is to be able to understand and place 1857 within the context of our current era. There is little point in us celebrating 1857, if it does not carry some relevance for us today. The most important lesson that we can get from readings on 1857 is the "institutionalization of traitors". Traitors have always been the part and parcel of history, be it Jai Chand or Mir Jaffer, but eventually they get relegated to a foot note of history. It is only after 1857, we can clearly find, that those who sided with the British in defeating the Indians were felicitated, given appointments in administration, business contracts, judiciary, land, zamindari, princely tutelages, "Rai Sahib Titles, provided secure residences (the concept of "civil lines" came up only after 1857). The lesson to be learnt is that it is this class of traitors, who first of all took sides with the British in defeating our people, also took over as the rulers of India in 1947 and continue to rule over us even today. We can even directly trace numerous families such as the Scindias and many other "Maharajas" who continue to rule India today. All such families who claim the title "Maharaja" were those who either continued to sit quietly on the sidelines during the war or they actively supported the British in quelling the rebellion and for that favour, were bestowed with numerous privileges by the British. Not one among these traitors of the feudal brigade have had the courage to speak up against their ancestors or retune the land and estates bestowed upon them by the British. It is their tacit support of the imperialist powers that have ensured their retention in the current political arena even today. It is this class and their obvious alignment towards propagating and protecting the interest of western economy and politics, which has ensured that agents of foreign capital such as World Bank continue to dominate the political and economic agendas of our country. It is this class of traitors who enabled the British to rule over India for the next 90 years till 1947 and then were left to rule as British colonial agents till today. It is these very same families who continue to rule as Shaheed Bhagat Singh called them, "The Black British" (Kaale Angrez).
If we see the economic, social and political policies of our current times we can see that they favour the developed and nations at the cost of the Indian polity. In each and every point of intervention, whether it is the support for multi national corporations to find India a point of cheap labor, or the development of SEZs (tax and customs duty free zones), or recent shameful statements by Man Mohan Singh in Oxford, where he praised colonial rule over India! Is our PM blind or illiterate that he does not know about the devastation of Indian business and economy by British colonialism? The problem is not in incorrect assessment of the ills of the colonial rules, the point to note is that this class of people have aligned themselves with the ruling class interests of the developed nations and not with the toiling Indians.
Lets take a small case to explain: It is India's open door iron ore export policy which is enabling Mittals and TATAs to buy European steel mills. Since European mines are now almost depleted and will soon lead to a closure of the steel mills in Europe their mills are up for grabs. The terms of sale inset on the buyer showing a guaranteed supply of iron ore. So TATA and the Mittals have bought Corus and Arcelor, with the assurance given by the Indian government that they will be given captive mines for exporting ores in Orissa!! Great news, first the Europeans colonized us and raped us and our economy, now that their economy is facing a meltdown, here comes the native cavalry to their support. How are all these insane policies being implemented? Why must Delhi never be cleaned for its citizens, but more than 300000 slum dwellings be demolished for beautifying Delhi for the 2010 Common Wealth Games, it is a shame and a blot on the nation's people.
Traveling down U.P., Bihar, M.P., Haryana, A.P. and almost any other corner of India one has to only see the manner in which the policemen treat the "poorer natives" of this country, exactly as they did during the British Colonial era, the same goes for the administration and the Judiciary. It is quite common to see the police hanging working class people upside down and beating the soles of their feet, false encounters, custodial rape and deaths, false cases being framed.. These remnants of the Raj still continue and are being perpetuated by the same class of people who traditionally sided with the stronger side and oppressed the weak. An oppressive and arrogant administrative machinery acts as a very effective tool in suppression any form of dissent which directly affects their economic stakes and greed for more profits.

It is only in reading 1857 and contextualizing it within the current ills that plague India, that we can clearly see that the roots of this oppressive and anti-people administration, development policies and continuing poverty, lie within our current ruling classes who learnt to fear the strong and oppress the weak in 1857. It is only then, will we be able to understand the struggles in Kalinganagar, Nandigram, Sigur, Barnala, Gurgaon, Amritar, Narmada basin, Pen Tehsil, Telangana, Bajhera Khurd, where the peasantry is still fighting to complete the unfinished tasks of the martyrs of 1857.

Sources on 1857
Comment of Sachin in the Comment section of Sources on 1857 in fourth part.

H-Asia of H-NET

August 29, 2007

J. F Richards Passes Away

Sanjay Subramaniam of Los Angles reported on the H-Asia list of that John Folson Richards had expired on August 23, 2007. He suffered from the cancer of prostrate and breathed his last in Durham, North Carolina. Prof. Richards was born on November 8, 1938. He had retired in 2006 from Duke University of North Carolina.

In an obituary written by Frank Conlon, another established scholar on South Asian studies, gave an elaborate list of work of John F. Richards in a chronological order in which he had also incorporated the works mentioned by Sanjay Subramaniam.

The list of works by John F. Richards is reproduced below.

"The Islamic frontier in the East: expansion into South Asia" _South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies_ (Australia) 4 (Oct 1974) 91-109.

Mughal administration in Golconda_ (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975) ISBN: 0198215614

"The seventeenth century concentration of state power at Hyderabad", _Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society_ 23: 1 (Jan 1975) 1-35

"The Hyderabad Karnatik, 1687-1707", _Modern Asian Studies_9:2 (Apr 1975) 241-288

"Symposium: the contributions of Louis Dumont: Introduction by J.F. Richards and Ralph W. Nicholas _Journal of Asian Studies_35: 4 (Aug 1976) 579-650

"The imperial crisis in the Deccan," _Journal of Asian Studies_35:2 (Feb 1976) 237-256

_Kingship and authority in South Asia_ (Madison: University of Wisconsin, Department of South Asian Studies, 1978) Publication series (University of Wisconsin--Madison. Dept. of South Asian Studies) no. 3.

"Mughal retreat from coastal Andhra", _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_ 1 (1978) 50-68

"Banditry in Mughal India: Historical and Folk Perceptions" [with Velchuru Narayana Rao]. _Indian Economic & Social History Review_ 17 (Jan. 1980) 95-120.

"The Indian empire and peasant production of opium in the nineteenth century", _Modern Asian Studies_15:1 (Feb 1981) 59-82

_Precious metals in the later medieval and early modern worlds_ (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1983). ISBN: 0890892245

_Global deforestation and the nineteenth-century world economy_ edited with (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1983) [Duke Press policy studies] ISBN: 0822304821

"Norms of comportment among Imperial Mughal officers" pp. 255-289 in Barbara Daly Metcalf, editor, _Moral conduct and authority: the place of adab in South Asian Islam_. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984) ISBN: 0520046609

"Kinship and pargana in eighteenth century Khandesh" [with Stewart Gordon] _Indian Economic & Social History Review_22 (Dec. 1985) 371-397

"Changes in the land and human productivity in northern India, 1870-1970" ,[with Edward Haynes and James Hagan], _Agricultural History_59: 4 (Oct 1985) 523-548

_Document forms for Official Orders of Appointment in the Mughal Empire / translation, notes, and text_, E.J.W. Gibb memorial" series. new ser., 29/ Cambridge: Trustees of the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial, 1986 ISBN: 0906094143

The Imperial monetary system of Mughal India_ (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987). ISBN: 0195619536

"The Imperial capital" [concerning Fatehpur-Sikri] pp. 65-72 in Michael Brand and Glenn D. Lowry eds., _Fatehpur-Sikri_ [International Symposium on Fatehpur-Sikri, 1985: Harvard University]. (Bombay: Marg Publications, 1987)

"The Seventeenth-Century Crisis in South Asia," _Modern Asian Studies_24:4,(1990) 625-38

"Agricultural impacts in tropical wetlands: rice paddies for mangroves in South and Southeast Asia" [[. 217-233 in Michael Williams, ed, _Wetlands: A Threatened Landscape_ (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991) ISBN: 0631166149

_The Mughal Empire: New Cambridge History of India_ Vol 1:6 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). ISBN 0521251192

_Power, administration, and finance in Mughal India_, (Aldershot; Brookfield, VT: Variorum, 1993) [collected studies CS419. ISBN 0 860783669

"Historic land use and carbon estimates for South and Southeast Asia, 1880-1980" With Elizabeth Flint; edited by Richard C. Daniels (Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1994) Available on internet as part of CDIAC numeric data and computer model products ; NDP-046 AVAILABLE IN PRINT ALSO; Electronic access available at: [Initial link] PDF Version at <>.

"The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526" in _Money and the market in India, 1100-1700_ edited by Sanjay Subrahmanyam, (Delhi; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) ISBN 0195633032

"World Environmental History and Economic Development" in _A survey of ecological economics_ / edited by Rajaram Krishnan, Jonathan M. Harris and Neva Goodwin (Washington, DC : Island Press, 1995.) ISBN: 1559634103; 1559634111 (pbk).

"Early modern India and world history" _Journal of World History_8:2 (Fall 1997) 197-209

"Only a World Perspective Is Significant: Settlement Frontiers and Property Rights in Early Modern World History in" _Earth, air, fire, water: humanistic studies of the environment_ edited by Jill Ker Conway, Kenneth Keniston, and Leo Marx. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, c1999). ISBN: 1558492208 (cloth); 1558492216 (pbk)

"Opium and the British Indian Empire: The Royal Commission of 1895" _Modern Asian Studies_36:2 (May 2002) 375-420

"The opium industry in British India" _Indian Economic & Social History Review_, 9:39 (2002)149-18

"The Mughal Empire" In _The magnificent Mughals_, Edited by Zeenut Ziad, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0195794443

"Kinship and Pargana in Eighteenth-century Khandesh" [with Stewart Gordon] in _The eighteenth century in Indian history: evolution or revolution?_ / edited by P.J. Marshall, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 0195659813

_The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World_. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003) ISBN: 0520230752

"The opium industry in British India" in Sanjay Subrahmanyam, _Land, Politics and Trade in South Asia_ (New Delhi; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) ISBN: 0195667077

"Warriors and the state in early modern India", _Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient_ (Leiden) 47:3 (2004) 390-400

H-NET Asia
Email dated August 25, 2007 of Sanjay Subrahmanyam.
Email dated August 27, 2007 of Frank Conlon.

March 15, 2007

IPTA: The People Theatre Group

The form of history which a country generally administer to the citizens is mainly political history. However, there is a form of history, which is without politics. Such a history has two main genre viz. Social history and economic history. The sources of such histories are bit different from the usual form of sources. On feature is common among such sources. They are the form of the activities of the people without the support of the government or the motivating factor behind such activities of the people are the people themselves.

During the freedom struggle of India, it was not only the political parties like Congress party, Unionist Party, Muslim League, Communist groups et al, which undertook the awareness and mobilization among the people. The writers association and Indian People’s Theatre Association were such responses during the freedom struggle of India were not political in nature as such but they were goaded to participate in the freedom struggle under the urge of national spirit. After the Independence they continued with their existence. They are working for the uplifting the society and bringing out the vices of the society through the medium of performing arts.

Indian People’s Theater Association is quite active and pullulating with life. They have their own website. They have given a brief history of the origin of Indian People’s Theatre Association. Apart from that they have also given profile of the present generation befittingly nurtured by pioneers of the association. However, there is dominance of one group among them. Even then, such activities and their records are essential to understand the social, socio-religious and socio-economic perception of the contemporary times. It is being done through the literature. However, through the performing art, they touch the perception of the society in a more effective manner. No doubt, the medium of cinema and television are more effective because of the technological advances and reach. But the people of theatre are more sensitive and responsive to issues which the general public face in day to day life. The people associated with the theater with such issues which are definitely a major raw data for the historians and even for the administration.

The introduction to the IPTA activities is quite portent with meaning and tells about the matter with they deal and the goal which they try to achieve. The following lines are taken \ from the site itself.

"The Indian People's Theatre Association was formed during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Upon its formal inauguration in 1943-44, IPTA took upon itself the challenge to bring theatre to the people with the objective of building awareness about social responsibility and national integration. IPTA soon became a movement and swept the length and breadth of India with its socialistic and nationalistic fervour."

Apart from the added information, the schedule of regular activity, which constitutes of regular staging of the plays, is displayed on the main page of the site. There is additional links on poetry, gallery and reviews. The quantity of information and write ups are not substantial in nature but they can be used to form a contour of the social perception of the Indians in present day scenario. The literary figures like Javed Akhtar, Santosh Bajpai etc are associated with the organization. It seems that they have not given attention to provide good additional information on the site. They could enrich this site by providing authentic information about the past days and make it more useful for the people who can be benefited from them. May be, they are not yet taking cyber space more seriously. It is hoped that when they are already here on the cyberspace, they may come up with good essays on different aspect of the Indian society as well as information which has historic value.

March 11, 2007

Historical Sources Online by Spinning Clio

Marc Comtois has prepared a weblography which I have been exploring for some time. I have already made a comment on him on the side bar of this blog. I had first come across his work at Introduction to Historical Methods: Index. It was back in 2005 when I first read this article. No doubt, it has been identified and well recognized by the rest of the world.

However it was only later I identified that the author of Spinning Clio was Marc Comtois.

No doubt, on his blog Spinning Clio, he has given a list of links on history related sources. In the Weblography, he has prepared a separate sheet on the links. It is done with great imagination. Some may find it too restricted. It is the interest of the author which has guided the compilation of the list. I find it quite exhaustive. I find it a good starting point for the beginners. It fulfills the need of main purpose of using Internet. The Internet is a vast place. The information is available on Internet. But where is it? How can one find the desired information and a dependable information? I believe these are the issues which come up when you start using Internet as a teaching and research tool. The list prepared by Marc Comtois is one of the best example, or rather a model, wherein the Internet can be effectively used as a teaching and research tool. No doubt, this is not the only list on the net. The HNN bloggers have prepared similar list. They regularly update it. Then there is example of Miland Brown. He has his own model which he executes with great commitment and consistency. Then, there is a group of Digital Historians who are also very effective in showing how the digital world can be useful for the scholars of social sciences. I have commented on them earlier. I have been using the list of Marc Comtois also but never commented on it. Here I fulfill it. I share with rest of the world the sources which I have been using for exploring the web for my subject History.

For Picture of Muses of History:
Spinning Clio
The Nine Greek Muses by Heather Clegg-Haman. (Special note: The references given for links to the Muses is not correct on this site. It seems it is mere a clerical mistake while preparing the manuscript.)

February 09, 2007

World History view on ICHR Website

World History Blog: Indian Council of Historical Research

Miland Brown has identified the website of the prestigious ICHR.

He has commented thus:
"Unfortunately, there is not a lot of full-text journals or books here. However, the site does have an index of several of the journals as well as a listing of books and conference proceedings from the organization. As such, this may prove to be a good starting point for researching Indian history."

Well it is true for most of similar sites being displayed by the India government. Same thing can be said about Digital History of India.

I have been pointing out this shortcoming. It was emphasized by pointing out the format of available sources on India on some foreign sites wherein in even Government of India has colloborated or sought assistance. It is really surprising to watch, that when it comes to launching of similar information and material on internet, the Indian Government always remain short of the desired standard. Why do they remain short of right planning and the right model?

Miland Brown has made such comments about the ICHR site. I have pointed out the similar thing while commenting on Microfiliming of Indian Publications wherein some of the sources were made available to general public. Then again, I pointed it out in case of Social Scientist Journal.

On the other hand some Indians on their own have done the better job while making blogs and Website about Historic research and making of the information available on cyberspace. The two examples which can be quotes here are of Arvind Gupta and Raman Kaul. (Both of them are engineers.)

If people remember, in July 2006, while blocking some sites, they blocked the whole domain. This is the way they work.

There is need that the expert from various fields should also be joined with the people who are deputed to use IT technology for the benefit of communication. There is need to visualize the actual aim of making the website and then displaying it on cyberspace. If some one points out that not enough sources are available, then it is

February 02, 2007

Remembering Shrada Ram at Phillaur.

Here are photographs of bust of Shradha Ram Phillauri at crossing of Nawanshar Phillaur.

Shradha Ram was the writer of the most famous Hindu prayer "Om Jai Jagdhish Hare, ... Shradha Bhakti Badayia. However, the prayer has undergone numerous interpolations and now it is attributed to Shivananda. It is probably the first just prayer which was written in pure Hindi. Most of the prayers and Chalisas are written in Bruj Bhasha or Khaddi Boli. However, it is strongly contended by the Hindi scholars.

Shradha Ram was writer of the Hindi novel Bhagmati. It is probably the first novel to be written in Hindi. However, the Hindi scholars also deny this status to this work. This novel has shown the social and cultural scenario of India in nineteenth century colonial India.

Shradha Ram was the writer of Punjabi Vartak, titled "Punabi Batcheet", the Punjabi grammer which is still being taught in PSEB affiliated schools. However, nowhere, the name of this writer is projected in the text books of Punjab.

Shradha Ram was banned from entering Phillaur. This has been mentioned in the book by Kenneth W. Jones. It is believed that he was the first revolutionary of Punjab and probably of the whole India who tried to start an armed revolutionary movement. Later the similar movement was started by Bengalis in Post Wang Bang movement of 1905. However, there is no written record available. According to oral history, the CID had shadowed Shradha Ram for his activities. But it is not corroborated by established historians.

The name of wife of Shrada Ram was Mehtab Kaur. The name of his wife suggests that she was a non-Brahmin lady whereas, Shrada Ram was a Brahmin. It is recorded in book published by Arya Samaj Punjab late back in 1980 as per the records maintained by Ashwani Kaushik of Phillaur (Billa, son of Kalu Ram). He belonged to Marud Joshi of Brahmins. However, the author of this post is yet not able to counter check this information from any established source or record.

The temple where Shrada Ram lived in Phillaur is still there in Passian Chowk Phillaur. The author of this post will bring out more facts about Shrada Ram and the photograph of the Temple (Mandir) in his next post.

Editing Log:
March 15, 2007:
Added the title Punjabi Batcheet.
Added the gotra Marud Joshi। Refer to Kenneth Jones, Socio Religious Reform Movement in British India, page 106.
March 19, 2007:
Changed the spelling to 'bust' pointed out on Wikipedia wherein an article titled "Phillaur" has been substantiated by the blogger giving link to this site.

January 23, 2007

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