Eminent Historians

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Eminent Historians
Eminent Historians.jpg
Author Arun Shourie
Country India
Language English
Publisher ASA Publications
Publication date
1998; others
Pages 271

Eminent Historians:Their Techniques, Their Line, Their Fraud is Arun Shourie's fifteenth book and was published in 1998.

It discusses the NCERT controversy in Indian politics and attacks Marxist historiography. Shourie asserts that Marxist historians have controlled and misused important institutions like the Indian Council of Historical Research, the National Council of Educational Research Training (NCERT) and a large part of academia and the media. He criticizes well-known historians like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib. Shourie argues that Marxist historians have white-washed the records of rulers like Mahmud of Ghazni and Aurangzeb. Shourie presents examples to further his argument of how many of these text books describe in great detail foreign personalities like Karl Marx or Joseph Stalin, while they often barely mention important figures of India or of the Indian states. Shourie writes that this is in contrast to Russian Marxist text books. The standard Soviet work, A History of India (1973), is according to Shourie much more objective and truthful than the history books written by Indian Marxists.[1]

This book also talks about a circular which was issued by the Communist Government in West Bengal in 1989 in which it had asked the authors and the publishers of Class IX History textbooks to make sure that "Muslim rule should never attract any criticism. Destruction of temples by muslim rulers and invaders should not be mentioned." [2]

Quotations[edit]

  • They have made present-day India, and Hinduism even more so, out to be a zoo - an agglomeration of assorted, disparate specimens. No such thing as "India", just a geographical expression, just a construct of the British; no such thing as Hinduism, just a word used by Arabs to describe the assortment they encountered, just an invention of the communalists to impose a uniformity - that has been their stance. For this they have blackened the Hindu period of our history, and, as we shall see, strained to whitewash the Islamic period. (p. x)

Criticism[edit]

Professor C.J.S. Wallia, president of the Society for Technical Communication at the University of California, Berkley[2], endorses the books thesis that a great deal of what passes for history in India is little more than militant Communist revisionism and propaganda, intentionally rendered to portray Hindus in a negative and dehumanizing manner and whitewashing the Persecution of Hindus by Islamic extremists.[3] P. Heehs cited it as an example of "reactionary orientalists' reaction against a perceived attack on Indian spiritual values".[4] Edwin Bryant cites the book as an example of Hindu nationalist criticism of Marxist historiography.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ C. J. S. Wallia, Indolink book reviews [1] Accessed 24 November 2012
  2. ^ Arun Shourie (2004). Eminent Historians. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Rupa Publications. p63.
  3. ^ Review by CJS Wallia, indiastar.com
  4. ^ "Shades of orientalism: Paradoxes and problems in Indian historiography", Heehs P, History and Theory 42 (2): 169-195, May 2003
  5. ^ Edwin Bryant (2004), The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 978-0-19-516947-8