Monday, 24 October 2016

History of India

  • James Mill (1773–1836), in his The History of British India (1817), distinguished three phases in the history of India, namely Hindu, Muslim and British civilisations.
  •  This periodisation has been influential, but has also been criticised for the misconceptions it gave rise to. 
  • Another influential periodisation is the division into "ancient, classical, medieval and modern periods", although this periodisation has also been criticised.
  • Romila Thapar notes that the division into Hindu-Muslim-British periods of Indian history gives too much weight to "ruling dynasties and foreign invasions", neglecting the social-economic history which often showed a strong continuity.
  • The division into Ancient-Medieval-Modern periods overlooks the fact that the Muslim conquests occurred gradually during which time many things came and went off, while the south was never completely conquered.
  • According to Thapar, a periodisation could also be based on "significant social and economic changes", which are not strictly related to a change of ruling powers.