Tag Archives: Arun Shourie

How History Was Unmade At Nalanda! D N Jha

This response to Arun Shourie by DN JHA is the complete original, of which a shorter version was published in The Indian Express today.

Ruins of Ancient Nalanda University

Ruins of Nalanda University

I was amused to read  ‘How History was Made up at Nalanda’ by Arun Shourie who has dished out to readers his ignorance masquerading as knowledge –  reason enough to have pity on him and sympathy for his readers! Since he has referred to me by name and has  charged  me with fudging evidence to distort the historical narrative of the destruction of  the ancient Nalandamahavihar,  I consider it necessary to rebut his allegations and set the record straight instead of ignoring his balderdash.

My presentation at the Indian History Congress in 2006 (and not 2004 as stated by Shourie), to which he refers, was not devoted to the destruction of ancient Nalanda per se – his account misleads  readers and pulls wool over their eyes.  It was in fact focused on the antagonism between the Brahmins and Buddhists  for which I drew on different kinds of evidence including myths and traditions. In this context I cited the tradition recorded in the 18th century Tibetan  text, Pag-sam-jon-zang by Sumpa Khan-Po Yece Pal Jor,mentioned by B N S Yadava in his Society and Culture in Northern India in the Twelfth Century (p.346) with due acknowledgement, though in his pettiness, Shourie is quick to discover plagiarism on my part! I may add that “Hindu fanatics” are not my words but  Yadav’s which is why they are in quotes. How sad that one has to point this out to a Magsaysay awardee journalist! Continue reading How History Was Unmade At Nalanda! D N Jha

The New Footsoldiers

The Ideological and institutional Incorporation of Dalits  Into Hindutva maelstorm

There are many lower orders in the Hindu society whose economic, political and social needs are the same as those of majority of Muslims and they would be far more ready to make a common cause with the Muslims for achieving common ends than they would with the high caste hindus who have denied and deprived them of ordinary human rights for centuries.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and Speeches Vol 8., P. 359

(“[U]ntouchability, is a kind of disease of the Hindus..it is a mental twist.. I do not know how my friend is going to untwist the twist which the Hindus have got for thousands of years unless they are all sent to some kind of hospital.’

Dr B.R.Ambedkar , 1954 , Quoted in Bhagwan Das, 95 :53).

Introduction

Dalits, or ex ‘untouchables’, comprising one-sixth of India’s population, a majority of whom still live at the bottom of the social hierarchy called caste system live a precarious existence. The plight of this section – which is routinely discriminated against and subjected to overt-covert violence of many forms – has of late been much discussed in the international fora as well. Continue reading The New Footsoldiers