Indian Historiography

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By the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, we see the introduction of a new perspective in Indian historiography. This came from Indian scholars who had received western education and were challenged as well as troubled by the distortion of the Indian past prevalent through the writings of colonial scholars. Most historians of the time were either participants of the national movement or were influenced by it and so they took upon themselves the responsibility of righting the wrongs of the Europeans with regard to the interpretation of Indian history. They also brought a nationalist flavour to the historiography of the time. This group of historians, thus, came to be known as the nationalist historians.
These historians disapproved
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They stressed on Indian expertise in administration. Devdatta Ramakrishna Bhandarkar (1875- 1950) was one such historian who published books on Ashoka and ancient Indian political institutions. Other notable writers were Hemachandra Raychaudhuri (1892-1957), who wrote on the time of the Bharata war (10th century) to the end of the Gupta empire and also, R.C. Majumdar (1888-1980) who was the general editor of the multi-volume publication History and Culture of the Indian…show more content…
Basham whose book, The Wonder That Was India (1951) was an early attempt at extending the parameters of Indian historiography. His book surveyed the different facets of ancient Indian culture without the prejudices that marked earlier European works.
By the 1980s, there was another spur in Indian history writing that were influenced by the earlier nationalist historians. This genre of history is often referred to as communal history as it overplays myths and legends, while censuring all critical studies of the Brahmanical social structure and even support the caste system laid out in the manusmriti. The communal writers are heavily influenced by Hindutva ideologies and heavily criticise eminent historians that adhere to objective standards of historiography.
On the other hand, historiography in India also had positive spur with many eminent historians committed to adhere to scientific and objective criteria in order to write commendable books and articles that re-examine the Indian past and attempt to present it in the finest way. Of these, Romila Thapar is most notable. Other distinguished historians include R.S. Sharma, Upinder Singh, Irfan Habib and Bipin Chandra among others. Thus, historiography in India has indeed been changing and developing over the years and it will probably continue to remain transient as change is in fact the only thing constant in
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