Author: D N Jha
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8173042853
This book is a substantially modified and enlarged version of the author’s Ancient India: an Introductory Outline (Delhi, 1977) and surveys the major developments in India’s social, economic and cultural history up to the end of the ancient period and the beginning of the early middle ages and explains the rise and growth of states with reference to their material basis. Special attention has been paid to the elements of change and continuity in society, economy and culture, and to the changing forms of exploitation and consequent social tensions as well as to the role of religion and superstition in society.
The book demolishes the popular historiographical stereotypes crated by the Hindu-chauvinist communal writings. It also gives the lie to the view that the Indian society has been stagnant and changeless-a view which was propagated by Western scholars in the heyday of British imperialism and continues to be peddled ingeniously in our own times.
The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, and the demolition of the Baburi Masjid are two, unforgettable milestones in the unfolding of the backward-looking Hindu revivalist and fascist politics of contemporary India.
Since both Harappa and Mohenjodaro are situated now in Pakistan, the Hindu revivalists are busy locating the epicenter of the Harappan culture in the elusive Saraswati valley.
It is a very original study, You are quite right in what you say about the myth of the golden age.
-A L Basham in personal communication
As an introduction to the social and economic history of India in its ancient period, this book serves the purpose extremely well.
-Romila Thapar in Indian Historical Review
This is certainly the best book available for readers interested in ancient Indian history.
-N Karashima, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
LIST OF MAPS
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
From Prehistory to the Harappan Civilization
The Aryans and the Vedic Life
The Material Background of Religious Dissent: Jainism and Buddhism
The First Territorial States
The First Empire
Invasions, Trade and Culture c 200 BC-AD 300
The Myth of the Golden Age