Towards a Nationalist Narrative of India's Past including Recent Research on the Indus Civilization
Dilip K Chakrabarti
  • ISBN : 9788173056666
  • year : 2022
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
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In 1966 the famous Indian parliamentarian Ram Manohar Lohia regretted in Parliament that the minds of our children were ingrained with the belief that “India had nothing of its own; everything was either imitated or influenced by outside factors”. He called the Indian historiography ‘diseased’. His opinion was echoed by M.C. Chagla, the education minister, who advocated the idea of re-writing Indian history. Taking Dr. Lohia’s opinion as the starting point, the present volume goes on to argue that post-Independence Indian archaeologists, despite making many new discoveries, have been most unashamedly neocolonial without the least awareness of the interrelationship between archaeological data and nationalism. The volume deals with multiple aspects of this interrelationship and undertakes a critical review of the recent research on the Indus civilization, showing that the very idea of the integrity and homogeneity of this civilization, which is the fountainhead of India’s mainstream civilization, is being currently undermined by both Indian and foreign archaeologists who consider it only a veneer on top of the regional elements. Finally, the volume argues that the geographical and chronological implications of some recent discoveries conclusively underline that India’s protohistoric archaeological column and the literary column represented by the Vedic literature are inseparably linked, thus forming the first block of the seamless narrative of India’s ancient past. Contents: Preface By the Same Author 1. Introduction 2. Towards a Nationalist Archaeology of India 3. Recent Research on the Indus Civilization (c. 2010–2021) 4. Key Issues: Major Themes in Different Phases of Harappan Research 5. The Location of Harappa 6. Concluding Remarks Index About the Author: Dilip K. Chakrabarti (1941) is emeritus professor of south Asian archaeology at Cambridge University. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2019. In 2021 he received a ‘life-time achievement’ award from the UK Bengali Convention (UKBC).