Talk:Romila Thapar

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Life[edit]

What is her education/qualification? Is she married? Does she have children? What is her political affiliation? What Indian laguages can she speak like Prakrit/Pali/Kannada/Bojpuri/Sanskrit?. Can someone with info add them please? ~rAGU (talk)

Marxist Historiography[edit]

I have added this - " E.Sreedharan in his book "A Textbook of Historiography, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2000" discusses Thapar's historical works under a chapter titled the Marxist phase of Indian History writing.He lists her name along with other renowned Marxist historians such as D. D. Kosambi, R.S.Sharma, Bipin Chandra and Irfan Habib.[1]" . Please note that the reference cited is from the book, which has been previously cited in the article. -Bharatveer (talk) 08:55, 24 June 2008 (UTC)Bharatveer (talk) 08:56, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

It's a problem to call Thapar a Marxist when she has said that she isn't, and that she believes the label is abusive. --Akhilleus (talk) 15:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia article is not calling thapar a "marxist" ; it is merely reporting that in the book

"A Textbook of Historiography, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2000" , her works are discussed under the chapter "the MArxist phase" . This shows the scholarly perception of her works. -Bharatveer (talk) 05:23, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Are you contending that a textbook written by a transit engineer is representative of the mainstream scholarly evaluation of Thapar's work? That's probably not the case. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:26, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Please dont jump to wild conclusions.-Bharatveer (talk) 05:55, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Not really an adequate rejoinder. What's "wild" about my conclusion? Take a look at E. Sreedharan--this is the gentleman who wrote the textbook, no? Is he a historian? --Akhilleus (talk) 05:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Please explain how you reached that conclusion , my dear friend. Is there any reference in that article E. Sreedharan, about his writing history books. -Bharatveer (talk) 06:09, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
By all means, then, tell us: who is this expert, E.Sreedharan, who writes history books? --Akhilleus (talk) 06:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Please note that the references from this book was used in this article before . Just wondering why questions are being raised now. Anyway , it is always good to ask questions.
This link (http://www.dawn.com/weekly/books/archive/041017/books9.htm) is a review of the book mentioned. This link (http://www.staff.brad.ac.uk/akundu/csa/csa-books.htm) shows that he has another book to his credit (Sreedharan, E., A Manual of Historical Research Methodology. Trivandrum: Centre for South Indian Studies, 2007) . Hope this information helps.-Bharatveer (talk) 06:44, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
User Doldrum deleted the entire reference completely .The title of a wikipedia need not be referenced. This clearly shows how this particular article us being protected by users doldrum and Akhilleus . I would ask some sane admins , to intervene here , as it is a clear case of WP:OWN.-Bharatveer (talk) 07:06, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
by all means, do. or you could walk over to WP:HIST and ask someone who knows something about how historians work to look at what the source says and determine whether ur interpretation of it is correct. Doldrums (talk) 07:12, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
But as you clearly know , thats not how WP works .The edit was properly referenced and the edit in question was not in anyway abusive. So please give your reasons why you deleted it. The reason you have given is extremely childish and you know it very well too. I would request you to reinstate that deleted portion and add appropriate tags , if you feel necessary -Bharatveer (talk) 07:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
the first paragraph (p. 469) of the chapter on Marxist history explains what Shreedharan is talking about, and what he is not. Doldrums (talk) 07:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Please give your reasons why you are deleting this particular edit? -" E.Sreedharan in his book "A Textbook of Historiography, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2000" discusses Thapar's historical works under a chapter titled the Marxist phase of Indian History writing.He lists her name along with other renowned Marxist historians such as D. D. Kosambi, R.S.Sharma, Bipin Chandra and Irfan Habib" . ??-07:35, 25 June 2008 (UTC)U
you're welcome to describe Thapar's work, including its Marxist underpinnings, and how it relates to the work of Kosambi and other historians. naming a chapter title in a book and listing other names in the chapter, however, doesn't cut it. Doldrums (talk) 10:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
WP welcomes any one who can edit. My edit is entirely valid. It states that this particular author list her name under "the marxist phase" .Now I can understand why you are so much worried about this edit .But thats how the truth is. Better get adjust to it.-Bharatveer (talk) 10:30, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Bharatveer, this also allows us to revert your edits. Without providing any context the content you added looks like a clumsy and politically motivated attack against Thapar. Dance With The Devil (talk) 08:10, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Guys, this google books link allows reading a few pages where this chapter lies. Read and decide for yourself. HTH. Thanks. --GDibyendu (talk) 06:01, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Bharatveer's edit, which has been restored by User:Tripping Nambiar, is not very informative. It boils down to "Sreedharan calls Thapar a Marxist." I don't see how that's useful for the reader--it doesn't tell us why Thapar might be called a Marxist, which is a fairly elastic term. And, as has been discussed before, Thapar sees the label "Marxist" as a politically-motivated attack.

From the link that GDibyendu supplied above, it appears that Sreedharan classifies a number of historians as "Marxist" or within the "Marxist phase" because they employ "analysis and explanation in terms of economic production and social classes" as "basic tenets in historical reconstruction". This is a remarkably vague definition of Marxism, and I think it's almost useless, because it's so broad as to include a huge number of academic historians (if not a majority). I don't think this edit needs to remain in the article; if it stays, it certainly needs to be contextualized better, and Thapar's comments about the political motivation of calling historians "Marxists" also needs to be in the article. --Akhilleus (talk) 15:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

This is what I tried to bring up on Bharatveer's talk page. Sreedharan fails to provide specifics as to why he considered Thapar's work Marxist historiography. If he actually provided some logical reasoning (and if Bharatveer had provided a sensible context for the Marxist label), then I wouldn't have any problem with the article. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 16:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
User Akhilleous , Sreedharan discusses only a select few (very emininent marxist indian historians). It is a very detailed anaylsis and an important one at that. Don't try "judging" Sreedharan (erroneously calling him a transit engineer, not a mainstream scholar etc). One more thing , this article definitely needs more of the "historiography" part of Romila thapar and in that subsection, this edit will definitely find its place. I would request users AkhilleousNishkid, Doldrum, Devildance etc not to WP:OWN this article.-Bharatveer (talk) 06:35, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Added Section: Criticism of Romila Thapar[edit]

Despite all the pro-Thaparism :) above, I have once again tried to add some criticism of the subject. I hope this edit doesn't get dismantled like the ones above did. Please help! Nshuks7 (talk) 06:12, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

You need to discuss these edits first. "Criticism" based on sources such as Koenraad Elst doesn't add anything useful to this article, in my opinon. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:14, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Negationism is not a valid source for criticism? Coming from an independent as well as professional historian, both of which were cited in above discussions. Nshuks7 (talk) 06:22, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for replying to myself :) but can't help wondering why the above discussion led to complete elimination of Arun Shourie's criticism? I understand two points in favor of this: (1) he is not a notable historian and (2) one book of his is alleged to be self published. All the same, Shourie has been an editor of The Indian Express, a notable publication in India with a record of fearless mainstream journalism. As such his views should be incorporated, right? What am I missing here?
Secondly, if there has been a lot of controversy surrounding her work and speech, it ought to find a mention as it has been a significant feature of her public life -- keeping in mind that this is a biographic article. The fact is that almost every debate/dialog she has been involved in has ended in her favor, both in terms of outcome and in terms of public/intellectual support. The latter ought to find a place in her bio, which cannot be done unless the fact of controversy is mentioned. Again, am I missing something here? Nshuks7 (talk) 07:28, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Request for user --Akhilleus to cite reasons for undoing an entire section. As an academic and published historian, counter-views and criticisms from valid sources should stay on page. Specifically, Koenraad Elst has been deemed useful in discussions above. Nshuks7 (talk) 09:10, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I am not aware of the past debate but I reverted the most recent addition of the section, since its relevance to Thapar's biography seems a huge stretch (Elst criticizing Thapar for influencing Spear into not criticizing Aurengzeb adequetely + a quote about Elst writing about Spear writing about Aurengzeb's activities; how is that relevant or due here ?! ) and the indiastar link failed WP:EL requirements, especially for a BLP. Without having looked for sources myself, I would guess there are academic and ideological critiques of Thapar (as would be true for any prominent historian) and it would be prefectly fine to include such properly sourced and notable views in the article; however till such sources are located we should not settle for less direct or credible material just for the sake of having "criticism". Abecedare (talk) 09:39, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The "past debate" is up above :) I read through it and it does not dispute Elst's validity.
Point taken, Abecedare. However, the indirectness could have been stated in a more direct way, hence an edit would have sufficed: no need to remove the whole section. Also, out of curiosity, does it not bother you that an "eminent historian's" bio has no section on criticism? Nshuks7 (talk) 09:50, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll read the whole debate some other day when I have more time; but to address your last question: In most cases I hate seeing "Criticism" sections in articles about people, or even books, movies etc. You'll hardly ever find such fenced off negative evaluations in other encyclopedias or obituaries, and so far as wiki bios are meant to be a summing up of a persons life and work (living obituary, if you will), I think such sections are signs of bad writing, and reflect an unhappy compromise reached by a committee of wikipedia writers. Of course it is both fair and important to include well sourced and notable (even biased!) reviews of a person's life and work in their wiki bios; but such (positive and negative) critiques should ideally be integrated into the article body, giving each aspect due weight. That said, I don't see myself as King Canute standing in the way of adding Criticism sections to any biographical article as a matter of principle. My reason for reverting the addition in this specific instance was, as stated above, its relevance, and dueness. Abecedare (talk) 10:22, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I understand; sometimes there is undue noise in such sections, and indeed there are cases when articles on unpopular figures have larger sections on criticism than the person themselves.
On the other hand -- provided that the section is well composed (which I hope you will help me in) -- it is an invaluable resource to the reader in setting up the dialectic. Likewise, in the case of Romila Thapar, I had to look very very hard to find the counterpoint to her writings. To my surprise even Google did not throw any light on scholarly disagreements with Thapar. Then I found out that actually much of her work is a critique on past historians (I have added that line in the section above the Criticism section). Once again, if you find any POV in my writing, please edit, but at the same time, please don't drop the section altogether. Nshuks7 (talk) 10:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Nshuks, I have again undone your addition for reasons explained below:

Although works of Romila Thapar have met with unequivocal plaudits from the historians in particular, she has also met with criticism from other quarters, specifically extremist Hindu organizations and members of the Indian right wing.

No citation supporting "unequivocal plaudits from the historians" + characterization of critics. Remember, that sourcing requirements don't dissappear just because the statement being made is largely positive; also the currency on wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.

Apart from the above, Koenraad Elst, a Belgian writer and orientalist without any institutional affiliation, wrote a book titled Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam, in which he cites Thapar as having co-authored a "Negationist" view in "Penguin History of India" where the influence of Islamic rule on India had been blunted, as in: "Aurangzeb's supposed intolerance is little more than a hostile legend based on isolated acts such as the erection of a mosque on a temple site in Benares."

This is simply false! Thapar wrote the first volume of the Penguin's A History of India (also known as The Penguin History of Early India in later rewritten editions) that covered the time-period till 1526, i.e. the pre-Mughal period, so obviously she did not "co-author" the statement Elst/you ascribe to her. The second volume of the book was written by historian Percival Spear, and contains (approximately) the quote you cite; of course the quote by Spear is irrelevant in Thapar's bio.

Where Aurangzeb is well known as an intolerant Mughal emperor who enforced the Shariah on non-Muslims during his rule.

This sentence is a perfect example of original research, whereby you contradict a statement by a published historian without citing a source. Note that, even with sourcing and proper attribution such a statement would probably constitute synthesis - but the whole issue is moot, since the Aurengzeb issue itself is irrelevant here.
Even your other addition to the article, "In her works, she has also struck down Indian historians such as K. A. Nilakanta Sastri and R. C. Majumdar, when in Early India she says that their views "were biased by nationalistic sentiments" is phrased inappropriately (struck down?! are we talking about historians or WWE  ?). I'll reword the sentence for now, but we need an in-line citation, if it is to be retained.
I trust that you are editing in good faith, but currently you don't seem to have got the hang of sourcing, neutral wording requirements. So, I would highly recommend that you compose and dicuss any further additions to the article here on the talk page, before adding them to them to the article. I hope you take my critique and advice in the positive spirit it is intended. Cheers. Abecedare (talk) 03:42, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Nshuks, I had intended to edit your statement, "In her works, she has also struck down Indian historians such as K. A. Nilakanta Sastri and R. C. Majumdar, when in Early India she says that their views "were biased by nationalistic sentiments", but having looked at the source (Chapter 1, "Perceptions of the Past" in Early history: From the Origins to AD 1300) I see that the quote is a mis-characterization of the content by selective and incorrect quote-mining (in fact the phrase "were biased by nationalistic sentiments" doesn't seem to appear in the book. Are we looking at different editions ? I am referring to the 2004, University of California Press, ISBN 0520242254 edition; what edition did you pick the quote from ? )
In the chapter, Thapar discusses and contrasts different viewpoints on Indian history, including those of European historians who instinctively used the framework of the Roman empire and Greek culture; some Indian historians who "were either participants in the national movement for independence or influenced by it"; as well as communal histories, Marxist histories, the mix-up between language and race; the contrast between "administrative histories" focused on rulers and dynasties and social histories looking at the peoples and society etc. There well may be material to be culled from this 37 page chapter that can be included in the biography (although it may be better placed in an article about the book, if someone want to create it), but doing so will require careful organization and thought. If you are interested in doing so here on the talk page, I will be happy to help. Abecedare (talk) 04:11, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
You are correct that I am an amateur at wiki-references :) unfortunately I also do not have a copy handy. Please follow this [1] to the phrase "Prominent among them, and expressing varying degrees of nationalist sentiment were R. Mitra, R. G. Bhandarkar, [...] R. C. Majumdar,..". Even the Google books view is unfriendly so I rest my case. If you could reproduce the relevant para from what Google says is Page 16 of the book, we could be a little more clear. Nshuks7 (talk) 11:55, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Snippets can be deceptive :)
You can read more of the book here, including the full page 16. Also, do read the first few pages of the chapter and section to understand the context. Abecedare (talk) 15:29, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
It's alright now, have my copy with me :) Here's the complete paragraph:

"Most India historians of the early twentieth century were either participants in the national movement for independence or influenced by it. Prominent among them, and expressing varying degrees of nationalist sentiment, were R. Mitra, R. G. Bhandarkar, R. C. Dutt, A. S. Altekar, U. N. Ghoshal, K. P. Jayaswal, H. C. Raychaudhuri, R. K. Mookherjee, R. C. Majumdar, K. A. Nilkanta Shastri and H. C. Ojha. Historical interpretation often drew from existing views but could be changed to what was now regarded as a legitimate nationalist interpretation. Nationalist historians tended to endorse the more favorable views from colonial readings of the early past, but criticized the unfavorable."

As for the context, it is basically one of showing how every historian of the past has had some monkey on their back -- you can't miss the context: the chapter is titled "Perceptions of the Past" :) The colonial historians were biased by their aim of administration and the local ones by their nationalist zeal.Nshuks7 (talk) 17:16, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Also, please comment on why Arun Shourie's criticism was removed? I couldn't locate a reason in the discussion above. Nshuks7 (talk) 17:34, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
For that matter, why is Praful Bidwai relevant enough to quote? He happens to have held a "correspondent" rank in the same organization where SHourie was an editor. Nshuks7 (talk) 05:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

2 reverts, I don't want to take a chance. I read up on Wiki policies: should I add a "Reception" section instead of "Criticism"? Nshuks7 (talk) 05:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

The lack of response is disappointing. I will make the above said edits in 1-2 days. Please let me know your concerns. I will post the edits here before changing the article. Nshuks7 (talk) 05:48, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
It appears that there is an partisan attempt to suppress criticism. When scores of blogs and papers have been dedicated to criticize Romila, while scores of academics protested her US Lib of Congress inclusion etc why is it inappropriate represent that here unless someone has a very ugly ego problem? 99.225.173.99 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:50, 16 February 2010 (UTC).
I would have to agree this article is censored by her Marxist myrmidons who come up with any trivial excuse to keep criticism of this person far away. My inclusion of criticism by Shourie was immediately removed by Regents Park because he said he was not a historian. You do not have to be a historian to note that persons who said the holocaust didn't happen are wrong. Shourie is not a soldier but he uncovered corruption in the military (Bofors) in fact he uncovered several scandals in areas which he was not a participant. Hence you do not have to be a historian to uncover a scandal in history. Aside from that I referenced the link to Shourie which itself had the references to works he did uncovering her whitewash of Indian history. But this is not good enough for Regents Park. Then maybe he would like to also have Shourie's page removed because that is what I was referencing. In fact I am sure that he would like to have Shourie's page removed to protect his lovable object Romila. Now I understand why the media is saying that wikipedia is dead, people like Regents Park killed it. We should petition google and Bing not to list entries from wikipedia in their serps because they are no longer of value to the user. van Lustig (talk) 18:29, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The content you added was unsourced. Please see WP:V. — goethean 18:35, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
To a neutral reader the point is very clear from the discussion above: "do not criticise Romila; she is a holly cow". It is very clear that few biased guys are just trying to do it in a honorable way! Grow up. I would read criticism all over the web.

~rAGU (talk)

"marxist"[edit]

Sreedharan says:

By the Marxist Phase (of historians) is not meant that the writers were all Marxists but that they more or less adopted materialistic interpretation as a method of understanding the historical phenomena. Their interpretation derived from the historical philosophy of Karl Marx, particularly dialectical materialism.

And Thapar says:

A historical study is not a juxtaposition of islands or fragments of historical facets which are lined up: political, environmental, technological, economic, social, religious and other histories. A historical analysis requires recognizing the fragments, but relating them to a whole that determines what causes events, and formulating an explanation.

So while Thapar says she's not "a Marxist", that does not mean she is refusing a Marxist reading; also, Sreedharan's publisher is notable (Orient-Longman), and E. Sreedharan is "with the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India and the Centre for Policy Research". I do not understand the problem here. Nshuks7 (talk) 22:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that we don't label a person L just because we find a source that says that the person is L. Instead, if the source is reliable and the opinion is notable, we state the the person is considered L by the given source with proper attribution, explain the reasons and significance of the opinion etc.
By the way, your juxtapositions of the quotes to claim that Thapar is accepting that hers is a Marxist reading, is simply wrong; but since this a not a forum, and such discussion will be of no value to the article given WP:NOR, I'll desist from entering that irrelevant debate. Abecedare (talk) 22:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
You can keep reverting the article, I can keep on adding the references. I have already established the notability AND reliability of the source. AND I am adding to the reference base. How many references is enough for you? Thank you for sparing the debate :) Nshuks7 (talk) 22:41, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
How many references are enough for what statement ? Abecedare (talk) 22:45, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
What's the heading here? What revert are we talking about? Nshuks7 (talk) 22:46, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
  1. E. Sreedharan is "with the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India and the Centre for Policy Research
  2. Burjor Avari, Department of History & Economic History, Manchester Metropolitan University
  3. Gregory D. Alles, Chairperson Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Western Maryland College

All three are in agreement, with Shreedharan giving an overarching explanation to the current phase of historiography - pretty much where Thapar left off in the introduction to her revised edn. Early India. Now is there is still some problem with the marxist label or should I get more references? Nshuks7 (talk) 23:05, 6 April 2009 (UTC) Also, the juxtaposition above is not for the article, it is to illustrate Sreedharan's point, based on which I had placed the Marxist tag. I can gather that Sreedharan is praising (as you say) the people mentioned; so why do you revert the Marxist tag over and over? And why should we care whether Sreedharan is praising them or denigrating them. He says they are a Marxist phase, so do many others. Nshuks7 (talk) 23:37, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Again, please read my comment above. I'll quote the relevant bits:
The problem is that we don't label a person L just because we find a source that says that the person is L. Instead, if the source is reliable and the opinion is notable, we state the the person is considered L by the given source with proper attribution, explain the reasons and significance of the opinion etc.
I don't know how I can explain that any better. If you still have a question on this specific issue, it may be better to post it at WP:NPOVN or WP:BLPN, or start an RFC (although that will be an overkill). Abecedare (talk) 23:41, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it'll be an overkill too. What I want to figure out is why it is so sticky? I mean, it's just a label, it's a label that has been confirmed by many sources, many appreciative sources, sources whose credentials are not questionable. Are you saying that the historians mentioned are not Marxist? Despite the references I have given? Nshuks7 (talk) 23:46, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
"Are you saying that the historians mentioned are not Marxist?" That is exactly the wrong question for us to consider (see WP:NPOV), as I have tried to explain multiple times above!
Let me try one last time: I am sure we can find sources that say that a Prime Minister of India (call him/her X) was corrupt/weak/ignorant etc. Even if we have multiple such sources from historians, journalist etc, we cannot say on wikipedia that "The corrupt prime minister X..." The same would hold true even if the label under consideration was "honest" instead of corrupt. Of course we are free to explain and discuss what historians etc though of the PM and why, as long as we comply with WP:RS, and WP:DUE.
Now please re-read my statement, "we don't label ... significance of the opinion etc." and see if it makes sense. Else, I'll again recommend using WP:NPOVN or WP:BLPN. Abecedare (talk) 00:09, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Interesting discussion, thought I too could contribute. Abecedare your logic sounds good. But don't you think your logic needs to be applied uniformly in all cases?. Look at the lines which you have shown so much concern about, it says "were under severe criticism from the Hindu right". Now if you can't label somebody as 'Marxist' "even if we have multiple such sources from historians, journalist", then by the same yardsticks you cannot call somebody as "Hindu right". Your logic is good, but looks like it is stretched too wide in one side. Regards nihar (talk) 04:19, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Nihar, I agree with you! The sentence, as it stands makes little sense. It states, "... were under severe criticism from the Hindu right." without specifying:
  • What time period does "were" refer to ?
  • What were Thapar and others being criticized for ? Just saying that A criticized B is pretty thin information for the reader.
  • Who are these Hindu right and who labeled them as such ?
These are the reasons I added a [clarification needed] note to the sentence (which Nshuks inexplicably removed once before I reverted back). Hopefully one of us will read up the sources and help spell out the answers to the above questions and others that may arise in the process. The only reason I didn't remove the sentence in toto (like I removed the tagged-on Marxist label), is that it does not seem to raise the same WP:BLP concerns that we try to be particularly wary of. I hope you'll join in and help improve this article. Cheers. Abecedare (talk) 05:02, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
One more comment. Although I am not supportive of a general label being used in a vague sentence like that, but what makes us so touchy about the word 'Marxist'. I fail to understand why it constitutes blp. Romila Thappar has many times been candid about her ideological leanings. She has said and written many times that she has been inspired and influenced by Marxist doyen Kosambi's writings and his contributions to ancient Indian history.
If somebody were to be called a 'Gandhian scholar' would it be perjorative in any sense. Similarly 'Marxist' is not a perjorative term. As Mukul Dube puts it in the letter written in support of Romila Thappar in Kluge Chair controversey, "Is it a crime to be a Marxist?" Regards nihar (talk) 06:36, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
One suggestion to Nshuks7, why don't you explicitly quote the historians and sources rather than using a label they have used. The quotations would set the context of such terms and what such observations are based on nihar (talk) 06:45, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think that is called for in this article. Maybe on an article on Indian historiography, but in this context it's just an adjective that I thought was appropriate (and without any negative connotations) — inserting the complete quotations in the body of the article would be an overkill. Hence I have left explicit quotations in the references section. Perhaps Marxist is frowned upon here :) We can leave it at that.
So going by Abecedare's first post, the re-write of the last line can be:Noted Indian historians like Romila Thapar, R.S. Sharma, Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra and Arjun Dev — whose text books had been prescribed in schools for a long time, and who, together, form the Marxist phase of Indian historiography according to their peers — were under severe criticism from the Hindu right. Nshuks7 (talk) 07:14, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
No, that is worse than what we have at present! It clarifies none of the issues mentioned above, while mischaracterizing the source ("form the Marxist phase"), misattributing the classification ("according to their peers"), and contravening WP:SYNT to boot. Note that I have previously pointed out similar issues with your editing of this article [2], [3], two months back. Abecedare (talk) 14:40, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Making the most of the attention around this issue, can we discuss (1) inserting the Arun Shourie/Op-ed criticisms and (2) adding the bit about Thapar's view on "nationalist historians" — which I believe is an important fact since she almost dismisses the works of Indologists/Indian historians preceding her (other than Kosambi, of course). Nshuks7 (talk) 07:09, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Please keep the discussion focused. As I told you just yesterday: "If you are interested in reopening that question, start a new section on the talk page, and ping the editors previously involved." Abecedare (talk) 14:40, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Marxist historian[edit]

Please note that the label 'Marxist' should be applied with care. Ms. Thapar is a historian and is notable as a historian and does not self-identify as a 'Marxist'. If others label her as a 'Marxist historian' then that labeling should be in the context of her work and not used in a general sense. Either way, the usage as written in this article is not proper because

  1. it implies that the Hindu right was critical of Marxist historians of which Ms. Thapar just happened to be one. This is not borne out by the source provided (where the term 'Marxist' is not used).
  2. the two sources (Dalrymple and Sreedharan) do not adequately support the claim that she is a 'Marxist historian'. Dalrymple merely quotes Naipaul as saying Romila Thapar's book on Indian history is a Marxist attitude to history. That is clearly a personal opinion, and second hand to boot, and anyway only refers to her book rather than to her. Sreedharan includes her as a historian in his categorization of the 'Marxist phase of of historians' and then clarifies that by Marxist he doesn't mean that the historians were marxists but that he uses the term for historians who adopted materialistic interpretation as a method of understanding historical phenomena.

In other words, the use of the term 'Marxist' in a general sense is incorrect and not supported by the sources provided. This is not a question of POV censorship but rather a question of using sources correctly and avoiding labels that are not explicitly attached by reliable sources. --RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 19:18, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Please note that it is not a question of censorship of POV but rather a question of context and reliable sources. In general, unsourced material can be deleted and it is the responsibility of the person adding the material to provide adequate sourcing (see WP:V for our policy on verifiability and WP:BLP for issues pertaining to BLPs). If you intend adding reliable sources in the form of footnotes, that is good. But, please add material only when you provide those sources, not before. --RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 22:00, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources for the term 'Marxist Historian'[edit]

1) George Thompson writing on Thomas McEvilley, says that the latter supports the view that Thapar's works were Marxist http://www.springerlink.com/content/jk216x2499w12730/

2) Daud Ali's review of A History of India: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=333711 interprets many of Thapar's views/ works as Marxist.

3) Economic and Political Weekly Jan (2000) Gopal Guru and V.Geetha refers to Thapar as a " Marxist Historian" in a discussion of Dalit culture. - Bharatveer (talk) 10:03, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

More sources[edit]

1). Thapar is quoted as one of the marxist historians in the entry "Hinduism" of a "A Dictionary of The Marxist Thought"(Tom Bottomore et al, 1983, Harvard Univeristy Press, p.204)
2.Ronald Inden in his "Imagining India[1990:pp. 154-156, 197] refers to Thapar as a marxist scholar.
3.Shankar Goyal discuss thapar's interpretations of ancient india in the sections on Marxist Historiography in his book "Recent Historiography of Ancient India, Kusumanjali Prakashan: Jodhpur (1997)
4.Ravi Shanker Kapoor refers to thapar as a "Leftist Historian" in his book " More Equal than Others - A study of the Indian Left, Vision Books: New Delhi (2000)

--Bharatveer (talk) 12:24, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Comment I'll need to look at the references in detail to see what they say and what context they say it in, so please be patient till after the holiday weekend (US)! I'll try to check the online ones later today.--RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 15:04, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
User:Regentspark, Did you complete the 'checking'??- Bharatveer (talk) 06:43, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The quote from George Thompson writing on Thomas McEvilley [4]] says this much.

McEvilley knows that Romila Thapar is "an Indian historian reviled by some Indian scholars for her acquiescence to many western points of view" (658). But in characterizing her in this way ("acquiescing to western points of view"!), he tacitly embraces the view of the "scholars" who also have attacked her for publishing in so-called "Marxist" journals. He does not seem to be aware of the long chronicle of ghastly attacks that scholars of all ethnicities have had to endure in this nationalist "war of independence." This is an instance where McEvilley's Pyrrhonism--his deep suspicions regarding authoritarianism--is sadly absent. At times, he seems utterly naive about what goes on in Indian popular discourse.

Does it mean that Thomas McEvilley "supports the view that Thapar's works were Marxist". Bharatveer is just a POV pusher. 220.227.207.32 (talk) 15:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Responses to sources[edit]

  1. Imagining India: “This feudal characterization has nearly displaced the older, dynastic history, finding its way into textbooks written for both Indian and Western audiences (Thapar, 1966: I) Inden is talking about the characterization of Indian history as having a protracted feudal nature. While the section is entitled “neo-Marxist History”, I don’t see how it characterizes Thapar as a Marxist. Rather, Inden is looking at Indian history through a neo-marxist lens and is using a textbook by Thapar as an example of the characterization of the feudal nature of India’s development. In the second reference (p.197), it is unclear whether Inden is referring to Thapar, or others, as a Marxist.
  2. Daud Ali: (A book review, BTW). Ali says that while "she drew considerably from Marxist approaches", she "differed from them through .....". Later: that she was "inspired by Marxist approaches" but "not bound to them". In an even later section, Ali says "Early India, like its predecessor, has not been written as a partisan or exemplar of any single historiographical position—". This source is quite definitely saying that she is NOT a Marxist historian.
  3. Shankar Goyal: I think we've talked about the difference between using a Marxist approach (which could apply to almost any historian) and being a Marxist. I'm not going to bother with this reference or the Kapoor reference.
  4. Thompson on McEvilley: adequately addressed by 220.227.207.32 above.
  5. Bottomore: I could not find a description of Thapar as a Marxist historian in the Hinduism section (in the 1991 edition).

Summary: None of these references comes even close to identifying her as a Marxist scholar. On the contrary, one gets the impression that she draws from multiple traditions in her histories. Perhaps I am wrong but I get the feeling that the sources listed above merely happen to have the terms 'Marxist' and 'Thapar' in close proximity and that you haven't taken the trouble to read the references in sufficient detail. I don't mind doing it once but it takes time to get hold of sources and read the material and I don't intend doing this again. I suggest we close this chapter completely and all of us move on to something more meaningful. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 17:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced BLP information and protection[edit]

For the last time, any text in a BLP needs to be properly sourced. Please find a proper source for 'Marxist historian' before re-adding it. There are strict rules for BLPs and I will protect the page if unsourced information is added. --RegentsPark (My narrowboat) 22:33, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

NCERT controversy[edit]

I have edited the section to add context and details to the sentence dealing with the NCERT controversy. I have tried to focus on Thapar's role, since this is her bio, but the description may still be too long, given its relative importance. Any suggestions to shorten or improve it are welcome. Abecedare (talk) 23:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I am note sure what User:MrinaliniB found objectionable in the edits describing the NCERT controversy, so here is my motivation for making the changes:
As discussed above with User:Nihar S, the previous version ("Noted Indian historians like R.S. Sharma, Romila Thapar, Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra and Arjun Dev whose text books had been prescribed in schools for a long time were under severe criticism from the Hindu right.") did not lay the context and specify:
  • What time period does "were" refer to ?
  • What were Thapar and others being criticized for ? Just saying that A criticized B is pretty thin information for the reader.
  • Who are these Hindu right and who labeled them as such ?
So the new version I wrote (1) provides the context, (2) specifies what changes were made to Thapar's textbook, and what she though of the changes, (3) describes what other historians had to say, and (4) what was the government's stated justification and response to the historians. Each of these points is sourced; and I avoid using labels like "Hindu right", which are unjustified without proper attribution.
If you have suggestions to further improve the section, those are welcome too. Keep in mind though that this is a biography of a living person, so any proposed edits need to be properly sourced, neutrally worded, given due weight, and, as far as possible, focused on Thapar - and not the general controversy (which is covered in the linked NCERT controversy article). Abecedare (talk) 23:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for addressing this matter, Abecedare. I completely agree that MrinaliniB's version provides no context of the alleged objections from the Hindu right. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 02:17, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

This is completely biasied, one-sided and pro-Romila Thapar. This is not a neutral text. Others - like Nshuks - have been sidelined and prevented from making their changes. I would encourage the Indian journalists to cover this episode - the hijacking of Wikipedia by biased ideologues--Lankaputran (talk) 17:07, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

If you think the text is biased, suggest changes with proper sources and we can calmly discuss the issue. Simply using sock accounts, edit-warring, violating BLP and throwing wild bad-faith accusations is hardly a recipe for getting your point across. Abecedare (talk) 17:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It seems that either Romila herself has deputed some of her henchmen to keep her page on wiki clean or some ldeological merceneries have taken it upon themselves to remove any trace of criticism of their Goddess. For Christ's sake, this is a biographical page and not a paen to Romila. Who are you all to decide whether the critics of Romila are worthy enough to be called critics. Fact of the matter is - it is an information page and any refrence to Romila cannot stand completed without a refrence to criticism her work has attracted, from whatever quarter. What is more shameful is that even the old discussion page which contained quite a lot of material on the history of Romila Thapar page edits have been removed altogether.

Reaction of these ideological mercenries completely mirror those of their Gods. Anything which they are uncomfortable with is immediately denounced as fascist, reactionist and God knows how many 'ists'. Likewise, rather than discussing on merit, all criticism is dismissed as those coming from sock accounts, edit-warring, violating BLP and throwing wild bad-faith accusations blah blah. It is real real shame that the ostensible progressives are the most thin skinned and unscrupulous of the entire lot. Puruvara (talk) 07:08, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


I agree with Puruvara.

Abecedare, Nishkid64, RegentsPark et al had censored the debate, blocked edit access to numerous individuals on the false charge of sock accounts, edit-warring, violating BLP etc and have effectively ensured a narrow ideological point of view backed with a selective set of citations alone. I intend to review the issue next month during the holidays and introduce edits supported by a broader list of academic/journalistic citations. The ideal article would need to retain the current Leftist/Marxist appreciation of Romila Thapar's undoubted scholarship but also provide space for alternative scholarly critiques of Romila Thapar. The latter has been censored by the current group in the current version of the encyclopedic entry.

The onesided coverage of the NCERT and California Text Books controversy is a case in point. --Dipendra2007 (talk) 17:03, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Puruvara

~rAGU (talk)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number (about 100) selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Penfding changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 23:48, 16 June 2010 (UTC).

Aryan Invasion Hypothesis[edit]

Why there is no section on Arayn Invasion theory for which Ms. Thapar was on news? Agreed, she recanted her position later on the face of mounting evidence. But the page would be more complete and accurate with that history. She is a historian and I don't think one should suppress the (academic) history of a historian! :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.254.154.29 (talk) 11:23, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Could you show a source for what you say?-Civilizededucationtalk 08:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Romila Thapar, "Archaeology and Language at the Roots of Ancient India," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay, Vol. 64-66 1989-1991.

http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_051220.htm http://www.indoaryans.org/romila-thapar-aryans.html http://vishalagarwal.voiceofdharma.com/articles/indhistory/thapar.htm

paraphrasing from here 1966 text.. "“The Harappa culture lasted for about a thousand years. By 1500 B.C., when the Aryans began to arrive in India, the Harappa culture had collapsed. Why did this happen? The cities may have been destroyed by floods, which came regularly; or there may have been an epidemic or some terrible disease which killed the people. The climate also began to change and the region became more and more dry and like a desert. Or else the cities may have been attacked and were unable to defend themselves.” "

here is the recant:

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1720/17200150.htm

excerpt:

"Historians initially accepted the invasion theory and some even argued that the decline of the Indus cities was due to the invasion of the Aryans, although the archaeological evidence for this was being discounted. But the invasion theory came to be disc arded in favour of alternative theories of how the language, Indo-Aryan, entered the sub-continent. In 1968, I had argued at a session of the Indian History Congress that invasion was untenable and that the language - Indo-Aryan - had come with a series of migrations and therefore involving multiple avenues of the acculturation of peoples. The historically relevant question was not the identity of the Aryans (identities are never permanent) but why and how languages and cultures change in a given area." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.254.147.109 (talk) 16:28, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

It says here that she supports the migration theory, along with Dwijendra Narayan Jha - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2847821/Right-wing-historian-Frawley-insists-Aryans-indigenous-India.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.188.112.2 (talk) 22:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

romilla thapar=controversial historian not noted historian[edit]

their are two ways of getting famous and mrs thapar knows one way better than the other. She is never refereed as a noted historian,her theory sucks badly the theory of supposed Chandragupta low origin drew critics from much better historians like RK mookerjee http://ancientwonders.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/rare-in-millions/.

see the book written by romilla thapar the reason of conversion of chandragupta according to her is chandragupta supposed lower caste which is not confirmed on the other hand legendary historian Helena Blavastky, GRS MEAD, COL JAMES TOD, RC majumdar all have confirmed the Kshatriya origin of Chandragupta Morya(or maurya). — Preceding unsigned comment added by ASHOKBINDUSARA (talkcontribs) 11:30, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

A forum post does not qualify as a reliable source. Also your wording in the edit looks like original research, and is not worded in a neutral way. Please refrain from reinserting until discussion has formulated a consensus. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:37, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


http://books.google.co.in/books?id=-5irrXX0apQC&pg=PA188&dq=chandragupta+morya+romilla+thapar&hl=en&ei=2YIAToWVEc7RrQe14fz6DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false then read the real book as well , it is available fully on google books, i died laughing reading the theory according to which chandraguta was a vaishya hahahahahahahASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 11:40, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


in india anyone who is anti-hindu is given the award if i am not wrong this sick historian was given padma bhushan by congress govt who has always indulge in the politics of minority or muslim appeasement. even ladies such as teesta are given padma shri by our govt.In india awards dont mean greatness awards mean how much political you can become, all 3 gandhi-nehru family awarded bharat ratna(the one who imposed emergency as well).ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 11:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Could you please relax a bit in your editing style? You seem too immensely personally involved in the subjects you edit, and as such unable to edit in a neutral fashion. The book you linked is a book by Thapar herself, so it does not in any way support the claims of criticism you make in your edit. You will need to cite the critics themselves. And the criticism needs to have been published in a reliable source. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


the so called kluge prize was started as recently as 2003 and just because it offers 1 million dollar dont make any historian noted. Helena Blavastky who is often criticized for her ARYAN theory dont need any kluge prize to show the world her talent. Similarly Newton dont need any nobel prize to become great.

Even obama has won nobel prize, i have searched the winners list and unfortunately none of them stand a chance against COL JAMES TOD the historian/achaelogist who was in team of british india scholars to discover the lost Maurya empire , and who also headed intelligence dept of east india company.

kluge prize only have one thing in common with nobel prize that is prize money but money cant buy talent ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 11:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=XNxiN5tzKOgC&pg=PA104&dq=chandragupta+maurya+kshatriya+majumdar&hl=en&ei=HIYATtKQNITprAf_i_WhDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

book written by greatest indian historian whose books are advised in most colleges in india, the man who was responsible to sum up the whole freedom fighting movement by pandit nehru himself but who parted ways because of congress party attempt to distort the historyASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 11:54, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


for foreign historians i cannot refer any name better and more reliable than COL JAMES TOD because he is not only a historian but a discoverer too who has discovered many sites in india with historical importance , his point was Chandragupta Moriya belong to Kshatriya but because of their conversion to buddhism, the brahmins of india degraded them as shudra but later they integrated with RAJPOOTs who are nothing but solar kshatriya. Vishnu Purana too mentions about one Moru of morya dynasty who will restore the Kshatriya rule over India and here is the link from one more noted historian-http://books.google.co.in/books?id=rjrsY2Ivo3wC&pg=PA378&dq=helena+blavatsky+morya+kshatriya&hl=en&ei=gnYATtnpJsvqrQej2-WyDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

these are enough to nail the kluger prize(just 6 years old) winner and also to asses her real knowledge about history.ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 12:02, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article807232.ece

here is the anti-hindu historian or leftish historian called romilla thapar, indian english media who has repo of being anti-hindu and to appease muslims too will show only the opinions of fake historians such as romilla thapar, now i am going to present the evidence of a canadian expert archaelogist who proves that temple was beneath mosque


http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/mar/18up.htm ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 12:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

this shows the leftish,anti hindu view of these fake historian who have never read any books themselves.

Blavatsky hardly qualifies as a reliable source on this subject. And all your other links still fail in regards to the fact that they do not mention Thapar at all. If they just discuss the disputed subject, then it would be synthesis to claim that she has been criticised. You need to specifically find reliable sources that mentions Thapar and which criticises her specific theories. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:21, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


OMG helena is hardly a reliable source according to you on this subject but a second grade historian like romilla thapar is more authorative on this subject you must be joking then what about COL JAMES TODD who was with east india company discovery team and who is credited with the discovery of lost ancient empires according to him morya are mori rajpoots and rajpoots are upper caste kshatriya. And what about RC MAJUMDAR plz search this man name the man who is considered the doyen of Indian historian who died in 1980s , he too agreed with major historians that Chandragupta Morya was a kshatriya and not a low caste man. And second thing if helena is not a reliable source can you describe it how maybe she is not an indian means she is not reliable and this theory is as disgusting as thapar theory.Has thapar got any expertise in archaelogical field then according to that even thapar is not reliable as she is only a simple historian and therefore col james tod observations must be considered as most accurate that too proves thapar completely wrong.ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 12:58, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


if you can show the achievements of the person concerned then also shows the criticism and the low points of his/her career and the theory of low origin of chandragupta is debatable though it is tilted towards Kshatriya origin because the evidence of Kshatriya evidence are much much older than that of those who mention him as shudra or low caste and second thing noted historians have conceded to the fact that Chandragupta was a kshatriya and it should be mentioned that how a leftist historian views are dominated by her disgusting nature of appeasing muslims or lower caste people of hindus.ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 13:02, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

You completely misunderstand the nature of my objections. I am not well versed in the historical matter being disputed, nor have I claimed to be because that is not what I have objected against. My objection is solely based Wikipedia policy regarding this article. You wrote in your edit that Romila Thapar was "heavily criticised" for some of her theories. This claim warrants an inclusion of a source that specifically mentions Romila Thapar and her theories, that is mentions her by name and credits her theories! This is what you have failed to do so far. This is a biographical article about Romila Thapar, not about the specific historical subject which you keep bringing up. Take that discussion to the appropriate articles like Rajput or Kshatriya, where I am sure you will find knowledgeable editors willing to listen to your objections. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
And no, it should definitely not be mentioned "how a leftist historian views are dominated by her disgusting nature of appeasing muslims or lower caste people of hindus", because that is an entirely inappropriate wording, which are not neutral or encyclopedic in any way, and clearly betrays your bias. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:20, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


this is very very old saying that TRUTH HURTS, have i not given the link in which mrs thapar is claiming that their was no temple beneath the mosque, hey just wait a minute, mrs thapar is a historian right then who the hell is she to decide whether their is temple or not a historian cannot tell that at all. These are all muslim appeasement politics search for muslim appeasement politics in INDIA you will get 100s of such examples of muslim and low caste appeasement politics and second RAJPUTS ARE KSHATRIYA but all kshatriya are not rajput.Rajput is subcaste of Kshatriya their are many other kshatriya castes as well.ASHOKBINDUSARA (talk) 13:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

ASHOKBINDUSARA: Telling everyone what's what, and how things are doesn't help. You will lose your audience. Let's go back to basics. Below, type a sentence that you want to appear in the article. And with it, give the source that supports it. Then wait for feedback. Let's see how that goes. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

edit by User:SpacemanSpiff[edit]

Hi,

The source is part of judgement of High Court of Allahabad. The statements that are made to say that Romila Thapar is influenced by Marxist views are by Prof. D Mondal, dept. of Archeology, Allahabad Univ who himself is a member of Communist Party(as said by himself in the court). How is it unreliable? ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 21:19, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

That is not the kind of source that can be used to attach a tag like this. Find scholarly sources that actually analyze her work and then we can discuss. —SpacemanSpiff 21:23, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

I reverted this edit because it clearly misrepresented the sources. First of all "Romila Thapar's work as a historian is criticized as amongst those influenced by Marxism by Hindutva groups, political party BJP and bloggers" should be specified to the specific critics, and each criticism, if notable and reliably sourced, should be mentioned specifically. Also the claim that "She accepts that historians of her generation have left leaning social views" is taken completely out of context from the interview in The Economist, "Indian textbooks, Cows and votes, Rewriting history for schools": "Mr Joshi blames Romila Thapar, a historian, for the beef-eating blasphemy. He says she is one of a Marxist-sympathising group of historians who have given India's textbooks an anti-nationalist slant for the past 30 years. Miss Thapar acknowledges that her generation of historians came from the political left but says their views reflect their background in the social sciences more than their politics. She accuses Mr Joshi of wanting to take history “back to nonsensical fantasy". Please use direct quotations and remember to provide sufficient information about the context of the quotation. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:30, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Well I made another edit as per your suggestion which is reverted again by User:RegentsPark. If the paragraph looks incoherent, it does not mean the whole substance is just to be reverted. The learned Wikipedians too can reword it, especially after reliable sources have been referred, without stretching this discussion any further, which is not how this looks like.
So now I have to rewrite the whole thing again in spite of the fact that the edit clearly refers reliable sources. There are allegations, thus criticism/controversy and there are some views from Romila Thapar on the substance of criticism, not exactly rebutting everything alleged in some order in some well defined way, but just indicating her viewpoint. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 07:46, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
So could the edits be included now? ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 12:37, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you could try to explain what you're trying to say. --rgpk (comment) 13:13, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
There are well-sourced allegations/criticism mentioned in the edit that was reverted. "Some of Romila Thapar's work as a historian is criticized as amongst those influenced by Marxism by Hindutva groups, political party BJP and bloggers." as per sources.
The other line is a criticism and then a quote about her published book.
The last line explains her viewpoint on substance of allegation as 'Marxist' historian.
Which part of the edit is not clear? ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 14:38, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. Perhaps it is just me but your edits came across as incoherent. So, what you're trying to say is that some Hindutva groups claim that she is a Marxist influenced historian? First, why is this notable enough to include in an encyclopedia and second why is this a criticism? I'll take a look at your sources. --rgpk (comment) 14:55, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
There are many who do. Some communist chap has given deposition in courts as such. It is not something new. Criticism part here is that a historian is not normally(as per me) assumed to be influenced by political views in writing.
The other criticism is about raids on Hindu temples, which she says is about iconoclasm(but not communal) and economics only, which is controversial as per mentioned sources. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 15:08, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Why are the edits yet to be placed back? The criteria for reversion is not clear still. Are there some standards on Wikipedia that state that Iconoclasm against Hindus is not anti-Hindu? ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 18:38, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry. I haven't had the time to look at this in detail. Let me remind you, however, that this article is covered by WP:BLP. If you want to call someone 'anti-hindu' in a blp, you'll need to look well beyond what a few hindutva groups say. Also, if you want to call someone a marxist scholar, you'll need viable academic references, not blogs or statements made by political and religious groups. Meanwhile, there is no hurry. I'll take a look (over the next couple of days) or perhaps someone else will chime in. --rgpk (comment) 19:47, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not calling 'someone' anti-Hindu, I am asking if there is such a policy in Wikipedia if iconoclasm against Hinduism is not considered as anti-Hindu.
I am not calling 'someone' Marxist scholar, the edit is well referenced and it is an allegation as mentioned in the sources, please read it again. Criticism is therefore that she is influenced by Marxism, neither an exclusive fact of this article nor 'mine'. The references are not websites/blogs but reports that note so. Again, these are well-referenced sources, not blogs/political-party-statements. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 20:37, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

OK. I looked at your sources. Reference 21 (Business Standard) is a news story which says that some blogs describe her as a "high priestess of indian marxism". No. 22 says that an Indian minister says that she is a marxist historian. In the Indian express article, someone named A. R. Brannon labels her a marxist historian. The last article is an opinion piece. I see no scholarly sources that label her a marxist or as anti-hindu. About interpretations of history, it is hardly surprising that not everyone accepts her version of history, there is rarely one single version of any history, but battles over history are best fought out in their own articles. Attempting to use a blp as a wedge to discredit particular historians or as a means to try to paint them in a negative light is not the way to fight these battles. --rgpk (comment) 19:06, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

First of all, these are not my 'personal' opinion - these are reports, from reliable sources as noted above, that say so, and these are mentioned in 'Criticism' section. Please refrain from personal allegations. Reliable sources are clearly present. Is there a rule that on a BLP in criticism section, only scholarly sources are needed and reliable sources are not good enough, and those who present reports from reliable newspapers are to be assumed as biased?
According to yourself there are different versions of history so how come criticism of her Marxist version is absent on her BLP page is beyond my common sense. I am not sure how material mentioned in Criticism section can be considered as 'a means to paint in negative light', 'wedge to discredit particular historians', 'fight battles', nor I understand how Criticism discredits by itself. Are there no criticism section ever in a BLP article?
The Marxist allegation is very clear. As far as being anti-Hindu is considered, it was not 'my allegation'. There is are reports from reliable sources of criticism explicitly, there are two sources mentioned here, for her book that considered iconoclasm against Hindus was not communal and was for only economic reasons. That is why I asked if there exist some WP:commonsence where it would be assumed that iconoclasm against Hindu is not anti-Hindu and therefore criticism mentioning iconoclasm as not communal is to be played-down/ignored? I don't think so. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 19:37, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
ThisThat, if you believe it is important to point to her, um, anti-hindu histories, then the right page is the articles for those histories. You can't go around labeling a person a this or a that (pun unintended) based on the ramblings of non-scholars.--rgpk (comment) 19:50, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
So now you are synthesizing what is clearly mentioned in reliable sources according to your own understanding into 'ramblings of non scholars' etc. Where does my or your personal opinion come in the substance of criticism? The matter was present in reliable sources.
What are the non-scholars that you talk of and by which standard it is so that in criticism section only scholar's views are to be considered not other personalities? ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 19:55, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
ThisThat, the non-scholars are the bloggers mentioned in the various articles. Thapar is a historian, so it makes sense to present views about her as a historian from other historians. Bloggers, I'm sure, blog all kinds of stuff and can't particularly be considered reliable identifiers of the nature of her scholarship. The 'reliable sources' you provide are second hand reports of what some non-scholars have apparently said about her and can't possibly be used in a WP:BLP. Like I say, you'll need impeccable sources if you want to label her as being 'anti-hindu'. --rgpk (comment) 20:02, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
My suggestion is that you take this to specific article talk pages. For example, if there is a topic where Romila Thapar says X, and other historians criticize X as being a "leftist or Marxist interpretation of history", then that should properly go in the subject article. If, somewhere else, Romila Thapar says Y, and other historians say that the interpretation X results out of an apparent anti-Hindu bias, then say that in the subject article. Labeling someone a this or a that in pure general terms, even if hiding behind the words of bloggers, is not something that should go in a blp. --rgpk (comment) 20:07, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Okay I understood that bloggers calling her names is immaterial, however notable, is not notable and you would only need ironclad references from other historians. So please present standards by which reports of some non-historians can be ignored in criticism section, however notable, because they would be not impeccable.
Whether I want to label her as anti-Hindu is immaterial here, please refrain from making personal assumptions. The reliable sources clearly mention criticism. Please also mention standards for your suggestion 'if there is a topic where Romila Thapar says X, and other historians criticize X as being a "leftist or Marxist interpretation of history", then that should properly go in the subject article.' & not otherwise. The reliable sources clearly say what is mentioned in the edit. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011
Please read WP:BLP and, in particular the section on Criticism and praise. You have to understand that simply finding a reliable source that says that someone says that she is a anti-hindu marxist is not enough to include that in the article. (I also suggest a read of WP:TE). Regards. --rgpk (comment) 20:34, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Views on revitionist[edit]

User:Vanamonde93 I don't disagree with the current version except the link to nytimes which is not mentioning thapar at all, I am just replacing it with the link of /old.himalmag.com/himal-feed/54 it is detailed, related with the event and reliable source as well. Also, current quote on this section is "She questioned whether the changes were an, "attempt to replace mainstream history with a Hindutva version of history", with the view to use the resultant controversy as "election propaganda."... It should also add "She considered both BJP and Congress jumping "onto the same bandwagon".." Because her view was not limited with one governmental party. Bladesmulti (talk) 03:28, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

You can fix any links you want; I have a problem with your other change. Thapar does not mention the BJP by name; all she says is "Hindutva" version, so we should certainly not delete that. Vanamonde93 (talk) 04:11, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ E. Sreedharan (2004). A Textbook of Historiography, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2000. Orient Longman. pp. 469–492. ISBN 8125026576.