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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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Modern Historians of Ancient India

Modern Historians of Ancient India

(p.6) 2 Modern Historians of Ancient India
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The British interpretations of Indian history served to denigrate the Indians and their achievements, and justify the colonial rule. A few of these observations appeared to have some validity. Like, in comparison to the Chinese, Indians did not show any strong sense of chronology. However, generalizations made by colonialist historians were by and large either false or grossly exaggerated, but served as good propaganda material for the perpetuation of the despotic British rule. Most historians were guided by the nationalist ideas of Hindu revivalism, but there was no dearth of scholars who adopted a rationalist and objective approach. In the interpretation of history, there was a continuing struggle between colonialism and nationalism. However, the situation has undergone a change. The struggle now is between communalism and irrationalism, on the one hand, and rationalism and professionalism, on the other.

Keywords:   Indian history, colonialist historians, British rule, Hindu revivalism, colonialism, nationalism, communalism

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