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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — India's Ancient Past by R. India's Ancient Past by R. 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, luc 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 the master-scholars of Indian historybe it students, tourists, or the interested lay reader. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title.
Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about India's Ancient Past , please sign up. Does it contain coloured photographs of places? Photos for whole book are published at one place only between page and Its a great book for beginner. It but it lacks some facts. It will improve your answer writing also.
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Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of India's Ancient Past. May 15, R. Saroja rated it it was amazing. This was one time prescribed text book for class XI. 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. 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. View 2 comments. Dec 29, Rajat Ubhaykar rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , must-read-at-least-once , history , india. 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! Feb 13, Sajith Kumar rated it it was ok Shelves: history. Ram Sharan Sharma R. Sharma was a noted historian who was also the emeritus professor of Patna University. This book covers Indian history from pre-historic times to the seventh century CE. Sharma uses scientific concepts to propound history, but the problem arises when he becomes selectively ratio Ram Sharan Sharma R. 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.
See the ugly haste to link the idea to controversies raging in the modern world. 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 — BCE, but we see chalcolithic sites continue to flourish and newly established after this date. 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 to 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 — 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.
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.
Rise of heterodox sects such as Buddhism and Jainism occurred on the cusp of change brought about by foreign invasions. The death of Ashoka in 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. 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 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.
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India's Ancient Past