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History of India

June 2nd, 2013

Here is the history retold in a blog that I follow… (Totally copy pasted).

“History is something which has been interpreted, misinterpreted and reinterpreted several times according to the need. Here is my version of history. I don’t qualify to interpret history but here we live in the world where one only needs power to “propagate” their own versions, not necessarily true.
Disclaimer: The entire post is based on commonly available sources like Google and Wikipedia. Intentionally so, to break the hegemony of scholarly text which are often subjected to the comments “I have not read anything of that sort. It must be some skewed version”.
Unfortunately I have met quite a few people who believe there was one glorious golden period in Indian history what one misses is the point that before 1947 there was no “India”. The credit for the conceptualization of India has to go to the Britishers who united several warring states. Then the immediate argument would talk about the Islamic rule in India prior to which India had this hypothetical Golden Period, which was essentially Hindu.
This narrative also talks about how a new religion (Islam) invaded India. But consider this Islam first came to India in 7 Century AD through trade (Even according to the not so scholarly Wikipedia). This was probably before many of today’s Islamic countries knew Islam. Breaking another myth that Islam came through forcible conversions, it actually spread through trade. Coming to the eulogized Vedic Heritage, Vedas and Upanishads were actually written by the Aryans, who migrated to Indo-Gangetic region from the Eurasian regions. Now how do we call one migrant tradition as own and one as foreign?
Talking about this “Only Hindu” period, the Jews arrived in India 2500 years before and they are the said to be among the first converts to Christianity. Quoting Wikipedia “World’s oldest existing church believed to have been built by Thomas the Apostle in 57AD called Thiruvithamcode Arapally is in Tamil Nadu.”
From 600-300BC the region had Kasi, Kosala, Kamboja, Anga, Magadha, Chedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Surasena, Assaka, Vajji, Gandhara etc. All of them warring with each other. Now I again fail to understand how we were “one”. Another point to be noted is that each kingdom was trying to invade the other and in the process destroying the city, its temples, its public spaces etc. Again I fail to understand why only the Islamic rulers figure in the list of invaders, when we were always invading and destroying each other. Then there were the Greek and Persian invasions followed by the Maurya Empire. One point to be noted that the Mauryan Empire which we take pride in claiming Hindu was essentially Buddhist, i.e., Ashoka and his progeny spent major part of their life to spread Buddhism. And no, Buddhism is not “Hindu” it’s main point was to oppose the divisions in Hinduism, which were so prime to existence. So, unfortunately Buddhism cannot be claimed as Hindu. 230-700BC is considered to be the golden age when Andhra region was ruled by Satavahanas, Kharavela worked for spreading Jainism, Kushanas ruled till Tajikistan ( Now we  can either claim Tajikistan as Indian or accept it was just the matter of kingdoms and nothing Indian about it).  Then there were Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas at different times in the south. There were north western hybrid kingdoms which were a mixture of Indo-Greeks, Indo- Parthians, Indo-Sassinids. Particular mention of Sassinid empire which extended to current day Baluchistan and due to the intermingling of Cultures arose the Indo-Iranian culture. This was a contemporaneous kingdom of the eulogized Golden Gupta Empire. So the Pakistan and Baluchistan which we want to run and grab as Indian were not under one kingdom even during the “Golden Age”. Unfortunately even the Wiki map of Gupta Period says that it didn’t include the southern states, so for all practical purposes if one wants to establish the “Golden Period” one has to be ready to for go the southern states and the coveted Kashmir. This was followed by Harsha’s kingdom, Vijayanagara empire, Ganga dynasty, Gurjara Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas, Rajput kingdoms.
This was followed by the by what is pictured as the “Foreign Invasion” and Islamic Rule. I wouldn’t spend too much as already much has been done to soil this time. But I think all the Indian trumpet blowers have to be thankful to Islamic rule without which one would never have India in Current Shape.
To end, history has been interpreted as per the need but whether we like it or not we have all been a group of warring kingdoms and India was not even a concept.

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