India's Ancient Past

India's Ancient Past☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ India's Ancient Past By R.S. Sharma ✐ – Heartforum.co.uk Based on the extremely popular school text on Ancient India by Professor Sharma prepared by him years ago and subsequently revised, this volume also addresses a number of issues which have become curr Based on the extremely popular school text on Ancient India by Professor Sharma prepared by him years ago and subsequently revised, this volume also addresses a number of issues which have become current in discussion on Ancient India today, such as the Identity of the Aryan Culture, and Historical Construction This is a volume meant for all those who want a masterly, lucid, yet eminently readable introduction to, and overview of, India s early history by one of India's Ancient MOBI :Ä the master scholars of Indian history be it students, tourists, or the interested lay reader.

Ram Sharan Sharma, commonly referred to as R S Sharma, was a historian and academic of Ancient and early Medieval India, who advocated the Marxist method He taught at Patna University and Delhi University and was visiting faculty at University of Toronto.

India's Ancient Past ePUB ô India's Ancient  MOBI
  • Hardcover
  • 387 pages
  • India's Ancient Past
  • R.S. Sharma
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 019566714X

10 thoughts on “India's Ancient Past

  1. R. Saroja says:

    This was one time prescribed text book for class XI When Janata Party came to power in 1977, this book was withdrawn as a prescribed text book of CBSE for class XI, though it continued to be published by NCERT Finally when NDA came to power it was totally withdrawn by NCERT After UPA took over also the books were not restored Now OUP publishes it.The book was controversial because of its take on caste system, beef eating in India down the ages and the archaeological evidence for mythical n This was one time prescribed text book for class XI When Janata Party came to power in 1977, this book was withdrawn as a prescribed text book of CBSE for class XI, though it continued to be published by NCERT Finally when NDA came to power it was totally withdrawn by NCERT After UPA took over also the books were not restored Now OUP publishes it.The book was controversial because of its take on caste system, beef eating in India down the ages and the archaeological evidence for mythical nature of the legends of Rama and Krishna.If this book had continued to remain the text book, the infamous Ram Janma Bhumi mobilization might never have come about.http books.google.co.in books id 47

  2. Rajat Ubhaykar says:

    R S Sharma pens a succinct, accessible history that demolishes nostalgic Golden Age depictions of ancient India and sketches a realistic picture of a most fascinating, deeply unequal and dynamic era Highly recommended

  3. Sajith Kumar says:

    Ram Sharan Sharma R S Sharma was a noted historian who was also the emeritus professor of Patna University India s Ancient Past was a text book of history for grade 11 students until it was removed by the government around the year 2000 This book covers Indian history from pre historic times to the seventh century CE A bird s eye view of the major events is portrayed in this book Sharma uses scientific concepts to propound history, but the problem arises when he becomes selectively ratio Ram Sharan Sharma R S Sharma was a noted historian who was also the emeritus professor of Patna University India s Ancient Past was a text book of history for grade 11 students until it was removed by the government around the year 2000 This book covers Indian history from pre historic times to the seventh century CE A bird s eye view of the major events is portrayed in this book Sharma uses scientific concepts to propound history, but the problem arises when he becomes selectively rational He feels no compunction to lambast the ideas of the political party which is opposed to his leftist ideals, without an iota of evidence to prove his point Such a book exhibiting partial paralysis of logic should not be taught in schools The British set it upon themselves the tough task of attempting to draw up a history of India on modern lines, but based on flimsy references Their logic for embarking on this task was rather straightforward if you want to rule over a people, you are expected to be conversant with the past deeds of their ancestors, so that you can be a better judge in their internecine strife As soon as the East India Company consolidated its hold over Bengal, steps in this direction followed, like the establishment of Asiatic Society of Bengal With James Princep deciphering the script of Ashokan inscriptions, Indian historiography arrived in the technical sense The British were careful that their efforts of making the history of ancient India do not in any way encourage the Indians to handle the destiny of their country in their own hands To drive the point home, they made startling discoveries like Indians are fit only for being ruled and that the rulers of the country came invading across the northwest frontier Earlier Indian historians also toed this line, but the real objective description comes from Rajendra Lal Mitra It is disturbing to note here that even now, most Indian historians, including the author are not free from teachings of an alien political creed that is no longer practiced anywhere in the world R L Mitra s crowning achievement in the words of Sharma is that he found that people ate beef in ancient India See the ugly haste to link the idea to controversies raging in the modern world Sharma s another finding on Marxian lines is the outrageous suggestion that the caste system in India is not fundamentally different from the class system in Europe For leftist historians, Marx s utterance is gospel truth A nice discussion on the origins of pastoralism and agriculture is presented as a backdrop of the human migration to India Organized settlements of the chalcolithic copper stone period existed in many places An interesting point to note is that the Harappan culture, with bronze as its prime mover, did not impart the technology to its neighbours The mature Harappan phase is attributed to the period 2500 1900 BCE, but we see chalcolithic sites continue to flourish and newly established after this date Sharma doesn t venture into an unequivocal opinion on the causes of the decline of that civilization, apart from expressing his opinion of a general nature including flooding of the Indus, dip in rainfall in the area, and the closure of trade routes to Mesopotamia with the establishment of a strong kingdom at Elam in modern Iran lying on the trade route War with the Indo Aryans is definitely not cited as a reason, which puts him in great difficulty in explaining the passages in Rig Veda extolling god Indra for destroying towns purandara and conquest of dasyus The Vedic period stretches from 1900 to 1500 BCE, in which Aryans achieved prominence with the help from iron implements, horse drawn chariots and the invigorating freshness of a new world view that found expression on virgin soil They were still mainly pastoral, with a tinge of agriculture in cultivating barley The Later Vedic period 1000 500 BCE saw the establishment of sedentary janapadas towns in the Gangetic basin, with agriculture expanding to include cereals such as rice and wheat The Varna system got rigid in this period, and many Vedic deities were replaced with new or refurbished ones The octopus like grip of Brahmins in the society was bitterly resented by Kshatriyas, the community of rulers and warriors.Since works of a historical nature didn t originate in India till the advent of the Middle Ages, chronology of Indian kings are rooted solidly on the invasion of Alexander in 326 BCE, which is attested in Greek texts Reckoning backwards from this event, the births of Buddha and Mahavira are attributed to sixth century BCE However, Sharma expresses reservations about this date on the face of excavations carried out at the historical sites of mid Gangetic basin Occupation of the sites is proved beyond doubt only from the 5th century BCE onwards, causing problems with the accepted chronology Alexander s arrival can t be moved to a later period So, if the author s objections hold water, the periods of the early Mauryas are gravely in doubt Rise of heterodox sects such as Buddhism and Jainism occurred on the cusp of change brought about by foreign invasions Alexander s attack was a fleeting moment of defeat, as the Mauryas were able to wrest the provinces back soon The death of Ashoka in 232 BCE was a pivotal point in the history of the country The pacified regime of Ashoka prepared the country for foreign hegemony The militant central Asian hordes found their entry into China curtailed by the erection of the Great Wall around this time They turned to India instead to unleash their lust for glory and riches Waves of tribes rolled out of the Khyber pass such as Bactrian Greeks, Shakas, Parthians, Kushans Yuechi and Sassanians These invaders merged harmoniously with India s customs and social s We also witness the opening up of India s caste structure to accommodate the newcomers After they were granted entry as Kshatriyas, the gates banged shut, which still remains so By the third century CE, trade and commerce declined in India, yet no credible reason is assigned for making this assertion Precious metals were rare in India and for coinage, the thrust was on foreign trade The downfall in trade dealt a crippling blow to money economy and urban way of life This indirectly led to resistance from peasants and artisans Sharma surmises that the working class might have withheld payment of taxes and grain to the state Mingled with this sorry state of affairs on the economic front was the admission of many new tribes into the caste system This upheaval is said to be the historical event that led thinkers in ancient India to remark this period as the beginning of Kali Yuga, where righteousness is eclipsed and mixing of castes take place But everything was not bleak The golden age of Hinduism was yet to be staged in the form of Gupta dynasty which lasted 160 years from the 4th to 6th centuries Literary gems like Kalidasa and Bhasa adorned their courts Sanskrit took its place as the state language everywhere of consequence in the subcontinent As the supply of coins dwindled, numerous land grants took its place Instead of payment in coins, priests and royal officials were assigned land from which they were permitted to extract revenue in the form of agricultural produce The grandees were also entrusted with administering justice in the area Feudalism was about to begin its long march to the Middle Ages However, a violent storm was brewing in the west, in the form of Islam which would destroy a large part of the country s wealth and shake its culture to its very core However, the book stops short of this.As noted earlier, leftist historians are hell bent on expounding Marxian ideas as age old truth They always try to score a point in present day political discourse by cherry picking historical facts which suit their cause The author seems to be obsessed with proving that ancient Indians ate meat We see him celebrating with people of the chalcolithic age certainly ate beef and pork, but they did not eat pork on any considerable scale p.65 They may or may not have eaten beef or pork, but why the point needs to be hammered home on the minds of children, for whom this was a text book See the reflexive recoil from asserting that pork was widely eaten This is another characteristic of the leftist historian who pampers Muslim sensitivities In another passage, Sharma says Swami Vivekananda speaks of both orthodox and beef eating brahmanas in Vedic times, and he recommends animal food for the Hindus in the modern context p.127 Whatever he might have been, Swami Vivekananda was definitely not a historian, isn t it Then again, on p.216 he virtually dances with joy with the statement that The Tamil brahmanas partook of meat and wine Sharma is entitled to his opinion, but why such unproved theories should be hoisted on young minds He is quite sure that suppression of Buddhism by Hindu rulers was due to fanaticism and bigotry, but the killer blow on Buddhism delivered by the hands of Muslim invaders was the result of tempting the invaders with riches collected in monasteries The author says, Shaivite Mihirakula killed hundreds of Buddhists, Brahmin ruler Pushyamitra Sunga persecuted Buddhists, Shaivite Shashanka of Gauda felled the Bodhi tree For their riches the monasteries came to be coveted by the Turkish invaders, becoming special targets of the invaders greed p.140 See the reluctance to spell out the religion of the Turkish invaders, while that of Mihirakula, Pushyamitra Sunga and Shashanka are cried out from the roof top The book has a structured design with neat little chapters and a mention of the chronology at the end of each chapter A few maps and monochrome plates are included to add interest An excellent index and extensive bibliography add value to the work.The book is recommended

  4. Hashin Jithu says:

    It s an accessible and interesting book, despite being adopted as a textbook for history.This is a wonderful primer on the ancient history of India This should give an overall idea about India from antiquity to around 7th century A.D.Best part is that Sharma takes an economic approach to History that is if a king or someone character acted in certain way, Sharma wouldn t attribute it to the idealism of the king Instead, he will look for a economic or political reason that made him act th It s an accessible and interesting book, despite being adopted as a textbook for history.This is a wonderful primer on the ancient history of India This should give an overall idea about India from antiquity to around 7th century A.D.Best part is that Sharma takes an economic approach to History that is if a king or someone character acted in certain way, Sharma wouldn t attribute it to the idealism of the king Instead, he will look for a economic or political reason that made him act that way.That s sort of a thumb rule or sanity check in history This book passes that basic test But if you need a comprehensive, unbiased view of History, you may have to look elsewhere.This is a short, general introduction to where we come from If you are looking for nuances, this isn t the right place to look for it

  5. Nick says:

    Passable This book was recommended to me in a reading challenge This was my second book on the history of ancient India of this year This book is part of my effort to understand Indian history in sequential order.As a lot of reviewers have commented that this book was recommended for classroom study and it shows It had a promising start but it was downhill to mediocrity after that The first few chapters were very good A very good description of early human life of India The places pointed Passable This book was recommended to me in a reading challenge This was my second book on the history of ancient India of this year This book is part of my effort to understand Indian history in sequential order.As a lot of reviewers have commented that this book was recommended for classroom study and it shows It had a promising start but it was downhill to mediocrity after that The first few chapters were very good A very good description of early human life of India The places pointed out shoddily on the map gives detailed info about the expanse of human life in early Indian history You can t help but wonder whether Indus Valley was start or culmination of a very large civilization The book has a rather good commentary about the start, middle and end of IVC as well as how life in general might have been during these times A lot of info to gain if one is studying with attention.Unfortunately, it s all rather downhill after that After the first few chapters, the books devolve into what seems like a collection of facts with a healthy scattering and bias of a particular ideology A great emphasis is laid on Aryan invasion theory and it appears the author doesn t miss any chance to prove beef and pork consumption The narrative starts to appear as a lecture and you can t help but wonder whether this is the reason why you in the past akin to students today considered history boring and something that has to be crammed up.To be fair to the author, the latter chapters do give a lot of factual knowledge and author s narration is relatively good but if you aren t a school students and in spite of efforts of the Indian education system, still a history buff, I am pretty sure you must have read better books.My verdict It s passable In fact, over this, I would recommend the other book India The Ancient Past A History of the Indian Subcontinent from c 7000 BCE to CE 1200 that I read on Ancient India But I would urge members of Goodreads to recommend good books on ancient India This one could be given a miss

  6. Anubha (BooksFullOfLife, LifeFullOfBooks) says:

    Re read this book, quite forgot how all encompassing this book is, factual but covers literally everything about ancient India Interesting summation of various conflicting views as well ________________________________________A very easy and concise writing on all early Indian history

  7. Ramachandra Bhakta says:

    No doubt the book is wonderfully sequenced and written in a language that can be understood pretty easily, but at the end of the day, it s just a continuation and propagation of the British view and understanding of Indian history It brings with itself the same problems that Indian histories written by British imperialists bring with them It measures Indian concepts with foreign parameters and standards.The same old Aryan theory, which is in fact a hypothesis, finds mention in the Book Like m No doubt the book is wonderfully sequenced and written in a language that can be understood pretty easily, but at the end of the day, it s just a continuation and propagation of the British view and understanding of Indian history It brings with itself the same problems that Indian histories written by British imperialists bring with them It measures Indian concepts with foreign parameters and standards.The same old Aryan theory, which is in fact a hypothesis, finds mention in the Book Like most Indian historians who lean to the Left, Mr Sharma too mixes up Aryan tradition with Vedic tradition and speaks in line with European historians and indologists who look at Aryans as some different race who originated somewhere in Europe and then later on migrated to the sub continent and raided the Dravidians.Little attention is paid to explain deeply concepts of Jatis, Varna, etc which are all original Hindu concepts Brahmanism is made to look like some evil force that divided the society and suppressed the lower castes Buddhism, of course, is revered by the author and considered better than Hinduism like most Marxist historians The Book is a compendium of major historical events from ancient India at its best based on the research done by European and British scholars

  8. Manish Dubey says:

    Anyone who wants to know the History of India should start from this book Its authentication comes from the fact that it already was part of NCERT syllabus, before being withdrawn by the newly installed Right wing government The narration is very gripping and without periods Its not storylined like the works of John Keay in India A History , but presents the events taking into account other historians details Many times throughout the books, some facts which are debatable are put as such Anyone who wants to know the History of India should start from this book Its authentication comes from the fact that it already was part of NCERT syllabus, before being withdrawn by the newly installed Right wing government The narration is very gripping and without periods Its not storylined like the works of John Keay in India A History , but presents the events taking into account other historians details Many times throughout the books, some facts which are debatable are put as such.Overall, the book provides the basic knowledge without leaving necessary details It is also recommended for the civil service aspirants

  9. Sreedevi Sakura says:

    Woah It really is a fascinating book Anyone who wants to know about our country s ancient times just pick it up and start written in a simple scholarly manner it is a pleasure to read Hope Everyone finds it as interesting as I did D

  10. Ramaprasad Kv says:

    What do I think My review of just one section from this book on how some sweeping statements are made in this book What do I think My review of just one section from this book on how some sweeping statements are made in this book

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