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Books > History > The Battle For Ancient India (An Essay in the Sociopolitics of Indian Archaeology)
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The Battle For Ancient India (An Essay in the Sociopolitics of Indian Archaeology)
The Battle For Ancient India (An Essay in the Sociopolitics of Indian Archaeology)
Description
Preface

This volume is rooted in my Colonial Indology: Sociopolitics of the Ancient Indian Past (1997) and demonstrates in the context of Indian archaeology how the grip of "colonial Indology" is still an intellectual force cutting across the national boundaries. Among the archaeologists at least this trend of thought has been more visible in the post-1947 period than in period preceding it. This book also shows how the various current debates regarding Indian archaeology and ancient history end up by being an issue of "progress versus reaction" or "secularism versus communalism" and how such assertions are only a reflection of the political expediency of the concerned scholars.

In its quest to underline the various sociopolitical subtexts of opinions in the field of modern Indian archaeology, the book clearly focuses on how these opinions have taken birth and evolved and what exactly is their academic basis. Unless we are aware of the socio-political ramifications of our archaeological opinions, it is unlikely that we shall be able to form our own conclusions about them.

This book was written in September-December of 2006, and I am deeply thankful to Dr. Rakesh Tewari and Professor Nayanjot Lahiri for kindly going through the manuscript and offering suggestions. The responsibility of all shortcomings rests with me. I am especially indebted to my colleague Dr. Cameron Petrie who kindly procured for me a copy of S.K. Chatterji's Modern Review article. It is dedicated to my wife and daughter, both of whom have always striven hard to make my academic life smooth and even. My daughter also took upon herself the duty of taking down my field dictations and doing photography in the field.

From the Jacket

A number of issues regarding the study of ancient India have recently emerged in the public domain. The most important of them are the Sarasvati Project, Aryan invasion theory, the textbook controversy in India and California and the language of the Indus civilization. The intensity of debate on each of these issues is reminiscent of religious clashes. Much of this debate is also not limited to professional historians and archaeologists. The mass of data and opinions, which are currently available on the internet and have frequently been published in the media, can no longer be ignored by anybody interested in ancient India. Some professional analysis of this development has long been called for. This book is in response to this need. It first states the author's position on each of these issues, but more importantly, critically examines their rationale. By studying the socio-political implications of some of the current assumption of Indian archaeology and by noting their associations with different scholars and scholarly groups, it demonstrates that even the apparently remote conclusions about India's prehistoric, protohistoric and early historic past have sub-texts of various kinds and that these sub-texts have different socio-political implications and agendas.

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Professor of South Asian Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology of Cambridge University. He has been awarded D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) by M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, where he delivered the University's Convocation Address in 2006. The Asiatic Society (Calcutta) awarded him its S.C. Chakrabarti Memorial Medal in 2007.

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsvii
1Introduction 1
I. The Theme 1
II. The Author's Own Approach and Beliefs 3
III. The Idea of India as a Colonized Land throughout History 9
2 'Sunrise' in the West: Different Strands of Indian Prehistoric and Proto-historic Studies 35
I. The General Background 35
II. The Theme of 'Sunrise in the West' 39
III. Comments on Certain General Trends of Publications in Indian Prehistory and Protohistory 42
3.The Sociopolitics of the Indus Civilization Studies 51
I. The Framework of the Ancient Indian 51
Past before the Discovery
II. The Discovery and the Early Hypotheses of the Excavators0 54
III. The Period between the Discovery and Associated 57
Reports, and the Publication of Marshall's
Mohenjodaro Report in 1931: R.P. Chanda
IV. The Formulation of the Dravidian Hypothesis: Suniti Kumar Chatterji 64
V. Observations on Chanda and Chatterji 67
VI. John Marshall's "Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization" (1931) 68
VII. The Basic History of the Idea of Harappa-Vedic Relationship: B.N. Datta to P.V. Kane and Others 69
VIII. More on the Dravidian Premise or the Question 83
of the Dravidian Authorship of the Indus Civilization
IX. The Current Politics of the Indus Civilization Studies 90
4 The Sociopolitics of Some Debates in Early Historic Archaeology103
I. The Literature on the NBP 103
II. The Beginning of Writing 106
III. The Role of Iron in the Second Urbanisation112
5Summary and Discussion 117
Appendix 153
Bibliography 159
Index 167

The Battle For Ancient India (An Essay in the Sociopolitics of Indian Archaeology)

Item Code:
IDK201
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2008
ISBN:
9788173053412
Size:
9.0" X 5.8"
Pages:
183
Price:
$30.00   Shipping Free
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Preface

This volume is rooted in my Colonial Indology: Sociopolitics of the Ancient Indian Past (1997) and demonstrates in the context of Indian archaeology how the grip of "colonial Indology" is still an intellectual force cutting across the national boundaries. Among the archaeologists at least this trend of thought has been more visible in the post-1947 period than in period preceding it. This book also shows how the various current debates regarding Indian archaeology and ancient history end up by being an issue of "progress versus reaction" or "secularism versus communalism" and how such assertions are only a reflection of the political expediency of the concerned scholars.

In its quest to underline the various sociopolitical subtexts of opinions in the field of modern Indian archaeology, the book clearly focuses on how these opinions have taken birth and evolved and what exactly is their academic basis. Unless we are aware of the socio-political ramifications of our archaeological opinions, it is unlikely that we shall be able to form our own conclusions about them.

This book was written in September-December of 2006, and I am deeply thankful to Dr. Rakesh Tewari and Professor Nayanjot Lahiri for kindly going through the manuscript and offering suggestions. The responsibility of all shortcomings rests with me. I am especially indebted to my colleague Dr. Cameron Petrie who kindly procured for me a copy of S.K. Chatterji's Modern Review article. It is dedicated to my wife and daughter, both of whom have always striven hard to make my academic life smooth and even. My daughter also took upon herself the duty of taking down my field dictations and doing photography in the field.

From the Jacket

A number of issues regarding the study of ancient India have recently emerged in the public domain. The most important of them are the Sarasvati Project, Aryan invasion theory, the textbook controversy in India and California and the language of the Indus civilization. The intensity of debate on each of these issues is reminiscent of religious clashes. Much of this debate is also not limited to professional historians and archaeologists. The mass of data and opinions, which are currently available on the internet and have frequently been published in the media, can no longer be ignored by anybody interested in ancient India. Some professional analysis of this development has long been called for. This book is in response to this need. It first states the author's position on each of these issues, but more importantly, critically examines their rationale. By studying the socio-political implications of some of the current assumption of Indian archaeology and by noting their associations with different scholars and scholarly groups, it demonstrates that even the apparently remote conclusions about India's prehistoric, protohistoric and early historic past have sub-texts of various kinds and that these sub-texts have different socio-political implications and agendas.

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Professor of South Asian Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology of Cambridge University. He has been awarded D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) by M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, where he delivered the University's Convocation Address in 2006. The Asiatic Society (Calcutta) awarded him its S.C. Chakrabarti Memorial Medal in 2007.

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsvii
1Introduction 1
I. The Theme 1
II. The Author's Own Approach and Beliefs 3
III. The Idea of India as a Colonized Land throughout History 9
2 'Sunrise' in the West: Different Strands of Indian Prehistoric and Proto-historic Studies 35
I. The General Background 35
II. The Theme of 'Sunrise in the West' 39
III. Comments on Certain General Trends of Publications in Indian Prehistory and Protohistory 42
3.The Sociopolitics of the Indus Civilization Studies 51
I. The Framework of the Ancient Indian 51
Past before the Discovery
II. The Discovery and the Early Hypotheses of the Excavators0 54
III. The Period between the Discovery and Associated 57
Reports, and the Publication of Marshall's
Mohenjodaro Report in 1931: R.P. Chanda
IV. The Formulation of the Dravidian Hypothesis: Suniti Kumar Chatterji 64
V. Observations on Chanda and Chatterji 67
VI. John Marshall's "Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization" (1931) 68
VII. The Basic History of the Idea of Harappa-Vedic Relationship: B.N. Datta to P.V. Kane and Others 69
VIII. More on the Dravidian Premise or the Question 83
of the Dravidian Authorship of the Indus Civilization
IX. The Current Politics of the Indus Civilization Studies 90
4 The Sociopolitics of Some Debates in Early Historic Archaeology103
I. The Literature on the NBP 103
II. The Beginning of Writing 106
III. The Role of Iron in the Second Urbanisation112
5Summary and Discussion 117
Appendix 153
Bibliography 159
Index 167
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