K. S. Lal

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Kishori Saran Lal ( किशोरी शरण लाल ) (1920–2002) was an Indian historian. He wrote many historical books, mainly on medieval India. Many of his books, such as History of the Khaljis and Twilight of the Sultanate, are regarded as standard works.[1][2][3]

Career[edit]

He obtained his Master's degree in 1941 at the University of Allahabad. In 1945 he obtained his D.Phil. with a dissertation on the history of the Khaljis. This dissertation formed the basis for his book History of the Khaljis. He started his career as a Lecturer of History in the Allahabad University, though he served in this position only for a brief period.

From 1945 to 1963 he was with Madhya Pradesh Educational Service and taught at the Government Colleges at Nagpur, Jabalpur, and Bhopal. In 1963, he joined University of Delhi as a reader and taught Medieval Indian history in its History Department.

For the next ten years, starting 1973, he was the Professor and Head of the Department of History, first at the University of Jodhpur (1973–79), and then at the Central University of Hyderabad (1979–83).

Besides his mother tongue Hindi, he was fluent in Persian, Old Persian, Urdu, and other languages.

He was placed as part of the NDA, and made the chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) and also placed on the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Committee to draft the model school syllabus on Indian History.[4]

Works[edit]

Legacy[edit]

His work has been referred and used by historians, authors, such as Andrew Bernstein,[5] John Esposito,[6] Saiyid Nurul Hasan,[7] Koenraad Elst, Ibn Warraq,[8][9] Robert Spencer,[10] and others.

Lal's early books were not controversial, but some of his later works were criticized by Irfan Habib. The criticism mainly included allegation of being a spokesman for the RSS.[4] Lal noted: "As usual these [my books] have been reviewed in journals in India and abroad, bestowing both praise and blame as per the custom of the reviewers. However, during the last fifteen years or so, some of my books have received special attention of a certain brand of scholars for adverse criticism."[11] The controversy surrounding these events is reflected in the theme of the discourses of his books which allegedly describe Muslims as foreigners, destructive barbarians and immoral degenerates,[12] [12] Lal himself disputes these allegations, citing, in turn, that the ICHR has always been dominated by historians with a strong leftist bias and that the current controversy is "merely the outcome of an exaggerated sense of pique on the part of the excluded Left wing".[13]

Recently, historian Jeremy Black in his book Contesting History: Narratives of Public History (2014), remarked his writings to be "recent good works".[14]

See also[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Comment by Muhammad Habib on the jacket of the book "History of the Khaljis AD 1290-1320" by K.S. Lal. K.S. Lal: Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India
  2. ^ Times Literary Supplement, London, December 19, 1968. A.A. Powell, Review of The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 58, No.2, (1995), pp. 397-8. Peter Jackson in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain, Third Series, Vol. 4, Part 3, November 1994, pp. 421-23.
  3. ^ Meenkakshi Jain 2002 Medieval India
  4. ^ a b Delhi Historian's Group, Section 2. Part 3
  5. ^ Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas, p.79
  6. ^ The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, p.281, Oxford University Press, 30-Mar-1995
  7. ^ Studies in archaeology and history: commemoration volume of Prof.S. Nurul Hasan, p. 116
  8. ^ Defending the West: a critique of Edward Said's Orientalism, 2007
  9. ^ Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy, p. 116
  10. ^ A Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't, p.226, Regnery Publishing, 08-Aug-2007
  11. ^ Lal, K.S. Theory and Practice of Muslim State
  12. ^ a b India: International Religious Freedom Report 2005
  13. ^ The Hindutva takeover of ICHR,Hinduonnet
  14. ^ Contesting History: Narratives of Public History, p. 183, A&C Black, 13-Mar-2014

References[edit]