The history of a nation is important. The sense of history in the people of a country is equally important. A country that rests on the pile of guilts of its own historical sense can never prosper; and we have too much to learn from the countries like America and China and even Japan, in this context. The history of India is very important for the world and the world, with due regard, acknowledges it more often. However, our very own countrymen, fellow Indians or certain degree, feel ashamed of our own history and they disregard it as the works of so ‘perfected fiction’ created with due diligence that ‘historians’ have all the right to reject our very own history and ‘they’ are okay with this injustice. Romila Thapar’s work, The History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, is a work of distortions more than being a work of history because she has used the space available to her to vent out her ‘anger,’ naive ‘prejudice,’ and propaganda instead to teaching the kids what our real history is. Unfortunately, we have been teaching the same to our children all the way – eminent historian Romila Thapar says so and it has to be! Fortunately, there are whimpers about changes that are coming in our education policy and I am very hopeful that our history gets a rewriting.
The problems with Romila’s books are many. In this particular case, there are a lot of confusions that she creates in her writings in The History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. She writes like a fiction writer herself, very much ‘supposing’ what could be instead of stating what the ‘facts’ with historical sense are. Interestingly, the author rejects all the ‘carefully’ written records of our ancient history because, to her delusional sense of history, those records are ‘too perfect’ to be history. What she ‘thinks’ and ‘supposes’ can be history but what we have been witnessing cannot be.
She has also added too much fuel to the British-proposed concocted theory of Aryan migration that has still been creating the Aryan-Dravidian rift in India, among Indians. Even after the recent excavations and DNA testing of the samples found in Rakhigarhi, neither Romila nor her publishers have issued any clarifications in the book or anywhere for that matter. Such is their service to the cause of Indian History.
For her, Ramayana is a myth but Ravan was a man living in some forest and Ram was a cruel king who wanted to conquer Ravan just because he was uncivilised. What justice is this to the cause of history? What will we teach our children by teaching them these baseless and absurd theories? Historians like her choose what suit their agenda to be factual and ignore what might hit their very soul of propaganda.
I am very disappointed even with the very writing style of her history. She has written it as if she is writing an opinion piece of history rather than telling the readers ‘what actually happened’. Her idea is to pass her own judgements on the historical records that others recorded because her limited wit does not allow her to record or analyse the timelines to geographical locations to propagate something that might be useful to the historical causes of our nation. I would strictly advise not reading her book if you are interested in our history. Yes, you can read her book if you want to waste your time reading a book that promises you history but offers you opinions and that also, lopsided. All the best!
First and foremost a poet, Alok Mishra is an author next. Apart from these credentials, he is founder & Editor-in-Chief of Ashvamegh, an international literary magazine and also the founder of BookBoys PR, a company which helps writers brand themselves and promote their books. On this blog, Alok mostly writes about literary topics which are helpful for literature students and their teachers. He also shares his poems; personal thoughts and book reviews.