October 25, 2008

Alberuni on Indian Historic Thinking and Historiography

“The Hindus do not pay much attention to the historical order of things; they are very caeless in relating the chronological succession of things, and when they are pressed for information and are a loss not knowing what to say, they invariable take to tale-telling”. Alberuni (As described in Sachau, Alberunis India, Vol. II, P. 10 and quoted in Rama Shankar Tripathi, History of Ancient India, 1992, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi.)

Motive of above Reference:
I found the need of quoting the above statement of Alberuni many a time while discussing Indian historiography and historic thinking in India. Somehow, I did not get hold of this quotation. I presently do not remember that if I had made any effort to locate the above quotation on internet but, I did not find this quotation whenever I found the need of quoting it. I have read R. S. Tripathi during my college days but I did not remember that it was written. Recently I came across a copy of it and located this above quotation in the very first chapter.

I believe, those who are interested in Indian history may be equally interested in the quotation. Secondly, it is one of the purpose of this blog to collect such quotations which have need for those engaged in the craft of history writing and teaching. I also aim at identifying some highly significant sentences written by established scholars and bringing it on this blog. Therefore, I am writing this quotation here in a form of a post.

It is mere a quotation. However, the scholars know the great significance in field of history of India and Orientalist studies.

External Reference:

  • Abu Rayhan Biruni

  • (Here you can access the book by Dr. Edward C. Sachau Vol. I)
  • One Check Books Google here

  • A Side Talk
    (I have a funny story revolving around this quotation concerning the thesis of one of a scholar. Unfortunately that is not meant for this blog.)

    October 08, 2008

    Captain Indra Passes Away

    On October 6, 2008, Captain Indra Rani Jhansi Regiment of INF alias Laxmi Panda had passed away. With her, the tragic aspect of Indian History and history writing have been fixed for its one sided emphasis.

    Laxmi Panda was denied her dues till the end. The tragic story was that she was not given her dues because of red tapism. She was denied her dues because she did not have any jail record.

    With her demise, the conspiracy theory and Indian history re-writing case has become more strong. One can not deny the place of eminence given to those people who had remained with non-violent Gandhian course of struggle for independence. However, it is wrong to deny the place to those struggles which had been undertaken with the same spirit with which satyagrahis had exerted. But alas, History is mistress of the power that matters.

    However, it was the present Honourable President Pratibha Patil, who helped her to get her dues. But alas, she had suffered much by that time and did not learn even that her status had been restored. After Jalianwala Baugh episode, wherein, a local deputy commissioner failed to understand the real nature of the contributions of such freedom fighters, it is the second case which has come to light. These cases emphasis that India needs to re-examine its historiography and records. Presently when the country is again engulfed in communal mind set, there is need to find a common glue which only a right course of history writing can provide.

    The Hindu

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