Girish Shahane’s myth-busting explodes in his own face

On the last day of 2014, Girish Shahane decided to be a mythbuster-I’m not saying this. They are his words wherein he purports to ‘debunk significant Hindutva myths.’ Mr. Sahane attempts in his so-called expose to correct our reading of history by clearing the air which was filled with clouds of Hindutva mythology. Let us look at Shahane’s myths and try to place them in the light of history.

1. Myth of Rani Padmini

As stated by Mr. Shahane :

Rani Padmini is not mentioned in any Rajput or Sultanate annals, and there’s absolutely no historical evidence she existed. Alauddin Khilji, one of the finest generals in India’s military history, certainly required no treachery to subdue Chittor. He repelled successive Mongol invasions while conquering much of Rajasthan and Gujarat. But what has survived of him is the image of a lustful, deceitful, tyrant pitted against chivalrous Rajputs…..

I think it is relevant here to quote this excerpt from page twenty seven of The History and Culture of the Indian People [Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate]:

Alauddin Khalji’s lust for a Hindu queen is proved by the known instances of Queen Kamala Devi of Gujarat and the daughter of King Ramachandra of Devagiri.  It is to be remembered also that Abul Fazl definitely says that he gets the story of Padmini from ‘ancient chronicles’ which cannot obviously refer to the Padmavat, an almost contemporary work. On the whole it must be admitted that there is no inherent impossibility in the kernel of the story of Padmini……

Hence although the existence of Rani Padmini is not documented as a concrete historical fact, it is equally illogical to dismiss it as a myth simply because it is undocumented. Furthermore, Malik Muhammad Jayasi is celebrated as a Sufi philosopher even by the secular scholars of India. So, on what grounds Mr. Sahane is calling Padmavat a Hindutva conspiracy is best known to him.  And if he is so concerned, did Mr. Sahane take the initiative to debunk the secular myth of St.Thomas?

2. Myth of Prithviraj Chauhan

Girish Shahane:

In the hands of Prithviraj’s court poet Chand Bardai, and several later writers who embellished the narrative, the chivalrous Prithviraj defeated and imprisoned Ghuri, but generously set him free. The foe returned, attacked unfairly at night, captured and blinded the Rajput king, and took him back to his capital. Prithviraj’s companion convinced Ghuri to let the blind king demonstrate his skill as an archer. Instructed by the companion, Prithviraj killed Muhammad Ghuri before ending his own life in a suicide pact.  I grew up believing this to be historical truth, thanks to the volume of Amar Chitra Katha about Prithviraj’s life.

chavan

Mr. Sahane seems to believe that the reputed court historians of Muslim rulers like Hasan Nizami (who wrote the Taj ul-Maasir)  Ferishta ( who wrote Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim) and Al-Badāoni ( who compiled Muntakhabu-’rūkh) were story writers since it is in the works of these historians that one gets to read about Prithviraj Chauhan and his gallant clash with Muhammed Ghuri in the two battles of Tarain. If that is the case, then I suggest Mr. Sahane to go through Abu Mohamed Habibullah’s The Foundation of Muslim Rule in India, a standard work on the early medieval history of the subcontinent and learn about the Ghori-Chauhan clash instead of blaming Amar Chitra Katha.

Malik Muhammad Jayasi is celebrated as a Sufi philosopher even by the secular scholars of India. So, on what grounds Mr. Sahane is calling Padmavat a Hindutva conspiracy is best known to him.

Of course, there are some elements of folklore about Chauhan’s personal life, a feature common to all great warriors of history from Hannibal to Napoleon. But how that equals to the non-existence of the historical figure itself is for Mr. Sahane to answer.

 3. Violent Hindu rulers

Girish Shahane:

Ironically, Sri Lanka is one of the countries that Indian kings (Hindu ones at that, for in such a reckoning only Hindu kings count) have repeatedly invaded. The Cholas also launched naval expeditions against towns and regions across South-East Asia in the 11th century AD.Hindu rulers rarely hesitated to invade neighbouring domains, with all the killing and plunder associated with the business.

This practiced deception of balancing the religion-inspired wanton brutalities of Islamic invaders by trying to find similar parallels in Hindu rulers is a standard template used by most of our eminent historians who will go to any lengths to falsify the truth of medieval Islamic barbarism in India. Needless to say, one of the best practitioners of this balancing act is Romila Thapar who has been exposed by the erudite Arun Shourie in his book “Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud.”  A sample of this meticulous expose can be seen in this extract:

…. the most popular “evidence” for Hindu persecutions of Buddhism is a passage in Kalhana’s history of Kashmir, the Rajatarangini (Taranga 7: 1089 ff.), where king Harsha is accused of looting and desecrating temples. This example is given by JNU emeritus professor of ancient history, Romila Thapar, in Romila Thapar et al.: Communalism in the Writing of Indian History, p.15-16, and now again in her letter to Mr. Manish Tayal (UK), 7-2-1999. The latter letter was written in reply to Mr. Tayal’s query on Arun Shourie’s revelations on the financial malversations and scholarly manipulations of a group of historians, mainly from JNU and AMU…Note, at any rate, Romila Thapar’s total reliance on arguments of authority and status. No less than seven times does she denounce Shourie’s alleged (and unproven) incompetence: Shourie has “not the faintest idea”, is “unaware”, “untrained”, and “does not know”, and what he does is “laughable”, “a joke”, “garbage”. But what exactly is wrong in his writing, we are not allowed to know. If history is now a professional discipline, one couldn’t deduce it from this letter of hers, for its line of argument is part snobbish and part feudal (appeal to formal authority), but quite bereft of the scientific approach…….

(The complete article can be read here.)

Speaking of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sahane narrates only a part of the story when he mentions only the Chola/Pandya invasion of Anuradhapura while cleverly ignoring the chapters from the Sinhalese historical chronicles, which speaks of the kinship early Sinhalese kings had with the same Hindu rulers who Mr. Sahane identifies as violent invaders. He chooses to ignore the fact from the Sinhalese historical chronicle Mahavamsa which speaks of the early ages of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, when King Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) was said to be friends with Emperor Asoka which led to the introduction of Buddhism by Mahinda (son of Asoka) around 247 BCE. Was that an act of violent invasion?  Throughout the ages, the Sinhala kings and their South Indian neighbours have often come to each other’s rescue in times of peril.

mahinda

More importantly, Sahane fails to provide a single verifiable source which can prove that the cultural scenario of Sri Lanka and South-East Asia was brutally stamped out by Hindu rulers as was the case with India under Islamic invaders. But then, making evidence-less assertions seems to be a feature perfected by India’s eminent historians in whose footsteps Girish Shahane faithfully follows.

4. Myth of Sanskrit

Girish Shahane:

The first person to discover this language family, William Jones, suggested back in 1786 that Sanskrit, Latin and Greek, “have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists”. He was exactly right. That source is now called proto-Indo-European, and is considered to have been spoken in the vicinity of the Black Sea around 5,500 to 6,000 years ago.In India, though, the idea is anathema that an ancestor of Sanskrit was spoken by pastoral nomads living in what is modern-day Turkey and Ukraine. For that would make Sanskrit essentially a language like many others. Which is what it is.

If Mr.Shahane cares to do some research, he can find that the methodology of today’s linguistic research is largely derived from the work carried out by the ancient Sanskrit grammarians like Panini. Experts of linguistics have nothing but words of praises for the Sanskrit grammarians and linguists who had attempted to catalogue and codify the rules inherent to Sanskrit’s proper usage.

panini

Also an important point to note here would be that European scholarship in Sanskrit which was carried by Heinrich Roth and Johann Ernst Hanxleden preceded the proposal of the Indo-European language family by Sir William Jones. The basics of modern linguistics employs many forms of the structures that evolved in the works of Sanskrit grammarians, but Mr. Sahane pooh-poohs all this without even citing one reliable source. Oh and on the so-called proto-Indo-European language, the words of perhaps one of the greatest contemporary Sanskrit linguists, Shatavadhani Dr. Ganesh should suffice: “proto-Indo-European language is a language in which there is the word “butter” but not the word “milk.”

The Sinhalese historical chronicle Mahavamsa  speaks of the early ages of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, when King Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) was said to be friends with Emperor Asoka which led to the introduction of Buddhism by Mahinda (son of Asoka) around 247 BCE

 

5. The Myth Of India’s achievements

Girish Shahane:  

In truth, almost nothing in India is 5,000 years old. … India’s major mathematical achievements originated almost exclusively in the medieval era.….

Over the past four or more decades, extensive research has been carried out by archaeologists and scholars in various other fields regarding the timeline of Indian civilisation. There are some passionate activists who advocate everything in the modern world originated in India. Sure, call them out on the basis of facts and evidence. But Shahane, you need to understand that in your childish zeal to deride even genuine Indian achievements that can be traced back to antiquity, you forget that such attempts show your own article in poor light. Consider the following examples:

1. The Śulba Sūtras which means ‘Aphorisms of the Chords’ in Vedic Sanskrit contain the earliest extant verbal expression of the Pythagorean Theorem in the world- The diagonal rope (akṣṇayā-rajju) of an oblong (rectangle) produces both which the flank (pārśvamāni) and the horizontal (tiryaṇmānī) <ropes> produce separately.1

2. Around 8th century BCE ,Baudhayana  composed the Baudhayana Sulba Sutra, the best-known Sulba Sutra, which contains examples of simple Pythagorean triples, such as: (3, 4, 5), (5, 12, 13), (8, 15, 17), (7, 24, 25), and (12, 35, 37), as well as a statement of the Pythagorean theorem for the sides of a square: The rope which is stretched across the diagonal of a square produces an area double the size of the original square.2

 

The methodology of today’s linguistic research is largely derived from the work carried out by the ancient Sanskrit grammarians like Panini

Now the Śulba Sūtras are known to have been composed around 1750–500 BCE according to well-documented historical research. So how did Mr. Sahane reach the conclusion that ‘India’s major mathematical achievements originated almost exclusively in the medieval era?’  And as usual, he fails to furnish a single shred of evidence to prove this.

Indeed, Girish Shahane’s entire piece is an elaborate exercise in stating blatant untruths–or at best, unverifiable assertions about Indian history and expecting the reader to swallow them uncritically. It is a singular feat of valour indeed except that he shouldn’t have called it Hindutva history myth-busting. Here’s an accurate title for your piece, Mr. Shahane: Five Eminent Historical lies repeated.

References:

  1. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism
  2. The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course
  • nayakan88

    I will just give one example to show why Poulasta Chakraborthy should NOT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. He tries to counter Girish Shahane’s very sane claim that the story of Prithviraj Chauhan forgiving Ghori and allowing him to return home, the subsequent “attack at night,” the supposed capture and blinding of Chauhan, and his captivity in Ghor – in short, the fanciful tale of the Prithviraj Raso – is nothing but a fairy tale. Note that Shahane is NOT denying the existence of Chauhan or his battle Ghori. He is just saying that the Raso is a fake – and that is a correct claim. This is what Shahane says about Prithviraj:

    “Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Delhi in the late 12th century AD. In 1191, the Afghan ruler Muhammad Ghuri took the fortress of Bhatinda on the border of Prithviraj’s kingdom. Prithviraj advanced towards the frontier, and met and defeated Ghuri’s army at Tarain. The next year, Ghuri returned with a stronger force, defeated Prithviraj, and had him executed.”

    “Pretty standard give-and-take for that age. In the hands of Prithviraj’s court poet Chand Bardai, and several later writers who embellished the narrative, the chivalrous Prithviraj defeated and imprisoned Ghuri, but generously set him free. The foe returned, attacked unfairly at night, captured and blinded the Rajput king, and took him back to his capital. Prithviraj’s companion convinced Ghuri to let the blind king demonstrate his skill as an archer. Instructed by the companion, Prithviraj killed Muhammad Ghuri before ending his own life in a suicide pact.”

    To counter Shahane, Chakraborthy does a lot of name-dropping:

    “Mr. Sahane seems to believe that the reputed court historians of Muslim rulers like Hasan Nizami (who wrote the Taj ul-Maasir) Ferishta ( who wrote Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim) and Al-Badāoni (who compiled Muntakhabu-’rūkh) were story writers since it is in the works of these historians that one gets to read about Prithviraj Chauhan and his gallant clash with Muhammed Ghuri in the two battles of Tarain. If that is the case, then I suggest Mr. Sahane to go through Abu Mohamed Habibullah’s The Foundation of Muslim Rule in India, a standard work on the early medieval history of the subcontinent and learn about the Ghori-Chauhan clash instead of blaming Amar Chitra Katha.”

    Pretty strong stuff, eh? So I thought I’d check it out. With a fair amount of difficulty, I tracked down the complete English translation of Farishta’s Tarikh-e-Ferishta, translated by John Briggs in 1908 (finding out that it was Briggs who did the English translation was most of the difficulty – the other translations available are in Urdu and, more recently because of an initiative by the Karnataka government, in Kannada – Ferishta was a historian for the Bahamani kings). Being so old, luckily it is available in the public domain. Guess what it says? That Shahane was right – that all this stuff about Prithviraj “forgiving” Ghori and letting him go back is a bunch of horseshit. Ferishta mentions two possible versions of what happened in the First Battle of Tarain. One is that Ghori was about to lose consciousness and fall down, when one of his loyal soldiers picked him up on his horse and took him away from the battlefield and to safety. The second is that he actually fell, but luckily in the carnage of about a 100,000 dead, nobody noticed he was lying unconscious on the field, and later at night, one of Ghori’s men looked for him in the darkness, found him, and took him back to Afghanistan.

    Secondly, when Ghori attacked again, it was NOT with a numerically superior force. He had 120,000 horse with him, as against 300,000 horse that Chauhan and his allies had. There was a war of words before the second battle of Tarain. Chauhan and his allies sent Ghori a message,
    saying, “You know what we can do. We have already beaten you badly once. Do yourself and your army a favour, and withdraw from this battle. We will let you go at this stage. Or, if you insist on war we will crush and kill you.” Ghori played scared. He said, “I am just a general of my brother, and have come here at his bidding. I will convey your message to him and tell you what he says.” The Rajputs were elated and believed they had scared Ghori. The reality was that he was scoping out their defences, and at dawn he sent advance forces across the river. In the morning, the Rajputs realized what had happened, and sounded the alarm that the enemy had slipped through. Even though Chauhan’s party had been drinking and celebrating prematurely the previous evening, they managed to, according to Ferishta, put up a good fight and rally their troops to order. The fight went on all day. Towards the end of the day, to break the deadlock, Ghori went at the head of a crack force of cavalry, around 12,000 strong, with heavy armor, of his best soldiers, and marched right through the Delhi army, wreaking havoc wherever they went. This caused chaos in the Delhi forces and they were routed. Ferishta mentions that Prithviraj was executed on the battlefield. No blind archery contest as in the Raso.

    So, the way I read it, this is not deceit. Lulling the enemy into a false sense of complacency is the done thing in warfare. Prithviraj was stupid to believe that his enemy had come all the way from Ghor just to lie down and die. He paid the ultimate price for partying the night before a major battle instead of being alert.

    Now, given that Poulasta Chakraborthy has marshalled Ferishta as a reference to back his claim that Shahane is wrong in saying that the Raso version of Prithviraj’s history is nonsense, and that Ferishta clearly contradicts whatever Chakraborthy is trying to state, I SERIOUSLY DOUBT if Chakraborthy
    has EVER READ Ferishta, Nizami, or al-Badaoni. He is probably keenly aware that few will bother to consult these references, given also that they are not easy to find (most of what I initially found were Urdu texts). He simply thought he would sound authoritative by giving the names of a few weighty books to make his point. Well, he’s been caught red-handed bullshitting, and the net result is that his words have ZERO CREDIBILITY.

    History can be such a bitch.

    • Sanjay Singh

      Don’t give distorted versions of ” Lost in Translation” works by British Raj thieves they are the same ones who gave Aryan Theory which has been debunked by science in almost of all respects. The original Urdu version itself says algins itself with Prithviraj Raso and you can research it , there is no conflict between the two. The other works may represent personal opinion only.

      • nayakan88

        Yeah, like you’ve read the Urdu version.

        • Sanjay Singh

          show me one Historian who says there is conflict between the 2 works

          • nayakan88

            I do not need to show you ANYTHING. There is a translation of Ferishta, who is considered an eminent historian of his time, by John Briggs, which does not corroborate the Chand Bardai fairytale.

            If YOU WANT TO CLAIM that John Briggs is a liar and a fraudster, and has done so out of bad motivations, then the onus is upon YOU to PROVE YOUR OUTLANDISH CLAIMS. Until you prove your case beyond a doubt, your claims about Briggs’ translation being false are simply your own personal opinion – and I don’t care to waste my time proving someone’s personal opinion wrong. My belief that the Raso is a fake is based on a translation that has stood the test of time – in all these years, no one has proved that Briggs’ translation of Ferishta is factually incorrect – so I don’t need to go around verifying anything. Those who make extraordinary claims must supply extraordinary evidence.

            Show me indisputable proof that Briggs’s translation is NOT AUTHENTIC – in a respected, peer-reviewed historical journal. Your own opinions, or the wild ravings of someone in a “Hindu nationalist” website, do not constitute proof.

          • Sanjay Singh

            I asked you to prove your case, as you are the one who has outlandishly claimed to read and arrived at a conclusion and now trying to escape his own cage. If you have authenticity , go ahead prove your claims and how me one historian who agrees with you which will prove me wrong automatically be default.Pointing it back will only make you look weak, its sign of being defensive, using big words won’t change the reality that British invented the myth of Aryans and later themselves rejected it.Why should I trust them?ou mean to say fr all these centuries no historian has actually said the both works are contradictory?You mean to say for all these centuries no historian has actually said the both works are contradictory? It’s upto you go ahead and prove me wrong or else consider the matter settled.I wont bother replying to whining.I have raised a valid question to defeat a rationalist at his own game:) Jai Hind.

          • nayakan88

            Dude, you are wasting ink. The issue is very simple.

            John Briggs is the authority. If you claim he lied, PROVE IT. Period. Otherwise don’t talk.

          • Sanjay Singh

            I am only questioning the work TRANSLATED by John Briggs which in turn happens to be in Farsi/Urdu.. so how does one lie in a translation, infact you agree with him and in he agrees with the original work, John Briggs is out of context, if what you have read is correct and true how come no other historian supports the claim which you have made, that there is contradiction between the 2 works which automatically makes one work FALSE? Show me one historian who supports this? It’s that simple or don’t give arguements which are are not supported by the academic community. The real question is how come no historian supports your claim of the contradiction between the 2 works, the language of translation of the literature being irrelevant.If you cannot answer my question, it means your original comment has lost it’s validity.Qiestionable at the best.Don’t expect me to answer back unless you have one yourself. No time for time wasters.
            Game.Set.Match

          • Sanjay Singh

            And since Brigg’s work also has been neglected by the academic community in terms of the right questions raised and answering the contradiction, I also have no reason to believe it as well.

          • nayakan88

            Show you one historian? OK, read Romila Thapar’ “A History of India,” Penguin Press, in which she clearly states that Prithviraj was killed in the second battle of Tarain. That is a direct contradiction with the Raso.

            Game. Set. Match.

          • Sanjay Singh

            I have already read it and she has not supported anything like that.Qupting the text”.Prithviraj Chauhan and his friend Chandar stabbed each other to save themselves from Ghori’s gaurds.During his capture in Ghazni, Ghori had used extremely hot iron rods to make prithviraj Chauhan blind. But still Prithviraj Chauhan killed Ghori with the help from his friend Chand Bardai(Chandar) and his shabdbhedi badvidya.”

            This can also be found in A History of India Volume I by Romila Thapar, A History of India Volume II by Percival, Spear Early Chauhan Dynasties by Dashratha Sharma. Thank you.

            When you have nothing to say you lie. Lol. Enough of this stupidity, I have quoted from the same book.

          • nayakan88

            I am afraid you are the one lying to prove your point. My kindle copy of a Romila Thapar’ History of India Part 1 has only this to say about the Raso:

            “The last of the Chauhan kings, Prithviraja III, has become a romantic hero owing to the manner in which he wooed and won the daughter of the king of Kanauj. A long epic poem, Prithvirajaraso, composed by the bard Chand Bardai, narrates the incidents of this Lochinvar story. The daughter of the king of Kanauj was to marry and as was customary among princesses a svayamvara was held, where the eligible suitors were assembled at her father’s court and she was expected to choose her husband from amongst them. But she had set her heart on the gallant Prithviraja, who unfortunately was the enemy of her father. The king of Kanauj, in order to insult Prithviraja, had not only failed to invite him to the svayamvara but had placed a statue of Prithviraja in the position of a doorkeeper in his court. To the bewilderment of those present, the princess of Kanauj rejected the princes assembled and instead placed a garland, indicating her choice, around the statue’s neck. Before the courtiers realized what had happened, Prithviraja, who had been hiding in the vicinity, rode away with the princess and took her to his kingdom, where they were married. But they did not live happily ever after. Their happiness was marred by the second invasion from the north-west –that of Muhammad Ghuri –for Prithviraja was defeated in battle and killed.”

            It appears you are quoting from a different book and claiming that it is from Romila Thapar’ book.

          • nayakan88

            And there is NO mention of any blinding of Prithviraj or the rest of the Raso fairytale. That is ALL Thapar says about Prithviraj. Clearly you are dishonestly quoting from a different book. Even the style of writing in the passage you quote is so different from Thapar’. I doubt if you’ve ever even seen the book.

          • Sanjay Singh

            Oh really I suggest you read other books I have quoted above then, also I know for a fact Raso has been mentioned and quoted by Thapar only in the book you have just dishonestly edited the text, Raso is used as a historical doscument and in fact supports the claim Phrithviraj was taken as a prisoner and Ferishta is proved FALSE then and there only, historians take the middle way but your comments are still questionable—“A History of India,” Penguin Press, in which she clearly states that Prithviraj was killed in the second battle of Tarain — Let me give you the link to the book and lets see how you cleverly omitted the word “later” which puts your comments and Feristah’s version in a dilemma and also proves that Romila does not support the contradiction presented by Ferista.https://books.google.co.in/books?id=bBXLCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT260&lpg=PT260#v=onepage&q&f=false as you can see she clearly uses the Raso as a source for Prithviraj’s life events and Raso has not been questioned in any way whatsoever.You are just trying to make it up as the author has taken the middle way.
            Still no support for you and your arguements. Show me one historian who outrightly says there is contradicition between the two and please dont show me edited text from books to suit your arguements , I have seen enough cheats like you.

          • Sanjay Singh

            Either show up with a concrete “unedited” text or shut up.

          • nayakan88

            Hello my dear chap,

            I suggest you watch your language. You don’t know me from Adam, so do not go around calling me a cheat, etc.

            I have not edited the text. I quoted verbatim what is in Romila Thapar’s book “A History of India – Volume 1.”

            You, in your google books link, are NOT QUOTING FROM THE SAME BOOK. You are quoting from a different book, also published by Penguin, titled, “The Penguin History of Early India – From the Origins to AD 1300.” As it happens, I do have the paper copy of the same book, and indeed it says that “Prithviraja was defeated in battle and later killed.” But the book I am referring to DOES ONLY STATE that “Prithviraja was defeated in battle and killed.”

            I have not edited anything. For some reason known only to herself, Thapar has chosen to use the word “later” in one book and not in another. Verify this for yourself before you go around calling strangers cheats.

            But this is beside the point. Shahane’s point was that Ferishta would substantiate the Raso, and the one translation of Ferishta I have read says Ghori killed Prithviraj immediately.

            You either agree with Shahane or not. If you agree with Shahane, then Ferishta is not lying.

            Then we are talking only about whether Briggs’ translation of Ferishta is true or false. I have not seen anyone claim it is a fake. If you wish to claim so, show me the proof. Show me one reliable authority who says that Briggs’ translation of Ferishta is false.

            Otherwise you don’t have a case here.

          • Sanjay Singh

            Lol, talk about getting defensive, did I hit a sore spot.You are only
            arguing based upon a technicality, a word omitted in one version,or you
            are editing it, because the author and the publisher is same, nothing
            concrete.Either ways, Hey Mister, the one historian who has quoted
            differently does not seem to have the credibility I was looking for, as I
            had said show me one historian who outrightly claims the contradiction
            or you admit Ferishta’s work has been disapproved by your own quoted
            historian in another book, so I requote my argument –

            I am only questioning the work TRANSLATED by John Briggs which in turn
            happens to be in Farsi/Urdu.. so how does one lie in a translation,
            infact you agree with him and in he agrees with the original work, John
            Briggs is out of context, if what you have read is correct and true how
            come no other historian supports the claim which you have made, that
            there is contradiction between the 2 works which automatically makes one
            work FALSE? Show me one historian who supports this? It’s that simple
            or don’t give arguements which are are not supported by the academic
            community. The real question is how come no historian supports your
            claim of the contradiction between the 2 works, the language of
            translation of the literature being irrelevant.If you cannot answer my
            question, it means your original comment has lost it’s
            validity.Qiestionable at the best.Don’t expect me to answer back unless
            you have one yourself. No time for time wasters.

            Ferishta
            says he was killed immediately while Thapar follows every version she
            can, but now you have work to do again. I have once again disapproved
            your only one historian who is following both versions and also included
            Raso as a genuine work in her books, so my dear she is not questioning
            anybody. Your arguments are falling apart as you fluctuate back and
            forth from Ferishta to Sahane(which itself is a contradiction killed in
            battle and captured-big difference, the events after capture that have
            no written record, leaves scope for everything), to Briggs, it seems
            your mind is not able to comprehend the question I have put forward, a
            translator merely translates the work, he/she does not neccesarily agree
            with it.Ferishta has been proven wrong by your Romila Thapar only(refer
            to the original comment) and thereafter she refuses to comment on later
            events.Now the one historian you have shown seems to have no fixed
            conviction about Raso, so I repeat myself: Show me one Historian who
            outrighlty claims there is contradiction? or else move along? Do you get
            it?
            My question still stands.
            It’s safe to conclude now. Game.Set.Match.

            Consider this as my last comment to an “exposed” Nehruwadi.Jai Hind.Technicalities.tuts

          • nayakan88

            Sorry, you have exposed nothing except your colossal inability to understand simple logic.

            The burden of proof is upon you. Ferishta says Prithviraj was killed in battle.

            Raso says Prithviraj killed himself later after killing Ghori.

            There is no proof of the events described in the Raso. There is no evidence of any existence of Prithviraj’s existence after the second battle of Tarain.

            If you wish to say that Ferishta’s account is wrong, that Prithviraj was alive after the second battle of Tarain, YOU have to prove your case.

            If you wish to say that Ferishta did not say that Prithviraj died in the second battle of Tarain, that Briggs lied, AGAIN, YOU have to prove that statement.

            Else both are baseless statements.

            I have nothing to prove.

            I am glad you will say nothing more, because I have no time for time-wasters and people who make baseless statements either.

          • Sanjay Singh

            I repeat and shall keep repeating my comment from now as you cannot understand my statement,

            how can a translator lie, Briggs is out of question,

            Secondly, you named a historian who has no convictions about your original comment either,

            Ferishta saying Prithvi Raj was killed in the battle, disproved by Romila herself in another book of her(ironically same name, same publisher, same paragraph and she mentions RASO in the both)which adds to Raso’s case more than anything else.

            https://books.google.co.in/books?id=bBXLCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT260&lpg=PT260#v=onepage&q&f=false

            Now you showed Thapars book as evidence or source which I gleefully countered,your entire argument is either based upon Ferishta whose work is not even mentioned by Romila Thapar or you just rely on a technicality of omitting a word.

            Raso has same credibility as the Ferishta unless you can travel back in time.

            Without any evidence for a position of certainty where equal evidence (or lack thereof) exists for a position of uncertainty(after the capture) your argument falls apart.

            Ferishta saying Prithvi Raj was killed in the battle, disproved by Romila herself in another book of her(ironically same name, same publisher, same paragraph and she mentions RASO in the both)

            Show me something else or else shut up? Burden is upon you to start this thread and asking me to prove? When you have nothing to say, you just point back?

            Next time don’t show me historians who have no convictions about anything and follow everything.

            Show me one Historian who outrightly claims there is contradiction between the two, and one of them is FALSE(which you have FAILED to do so far).

            Now I am a staunch believer of the NCERT books and Chakraborthy’s views(and his references). Thank you for the time wasted.I wont bother to comment now.

          • nayakan88

            Dude,

            Give you one word and you want to construct a novel out of it?

            Thapar has disproved NOTHING that Ferishta said. You place so much emphasis on the fact that Thapar included the word “later” in one version. But what does later mean? Does it have to mean all this romantic poppycock of Prithviraj being taken to Ghor, blinded, using an archery contest to kill Ghori? Later can even mean 1 hour after the battle was over.

            Thapar, by only mentioning the swayamvar of Sanyogita and not all the post-battle fairytales of Bardai, has made it clear which parts she agrees with and which she considers myth. Maybe she added the word “later” to indicate clearly that Prithviraj did not die fighting like a Rajput would like, but instead was executed as a captured prisoner. So I don’t necessarily see a big change in her position at all. And I don’t see that this affects her credibility as a historian at all.

            In fact, that a historian of her stature would choose to exclude the suspect parts of Bardai’s poem just reinforces her standing as an objective historian. For no one is saying everything in Bardai’s poem is wrong. Everyone acknowledges that, for example, Prithviraj was a real king. Thapar has only mentioned the Raso to indicate the influence of Chauhan on folklore, not to say that everything in the Raso is true.

            But such subtleties are obviously beyond you.

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  • Sree Charan R

    Well,some scepticism here!
    “In truth, almost nothing in India is 5,000 years old.”
    This statement would outright rejected by modern scholars as igno’rant’ .
    Sorry, in TRUTH- and this TRUTH is not an ideology-there are many things in India which is 10000( and not 5000!) years old, scientifically dated and agreed by Historians(and not the class of pseudo-historians based on outdated ideologies!) . Do people understand that, today, it is agreed that (by scientists)–
    1)India is the oldest civilization in the world
    2)India has the MOST peaceful (READ relatively peaceful) history and the most intellectually productive history in the world- this is not a chauvinistic exaggeration, but TRUTH.
    ‘Evidences’ for Indian Mathematics(let me make one thing very clear- If Mathematics is Queen of Sciences, then India is the Queen of Mathematics.Period) are already presented here before, which are generally agreed and appreciated–there is going to be a workshop happening in Chennai Mathematical Institute this month about ‘How calculus was invented in India and ‘exported’ to Europe.
    Regarding Sanskrit, there are no controversies today-only ideologies, few jokers preach based on there own ignorance, and that ‘ignorance’ should be ignored at best.This wonderful book explains it all- “The Wonder That Is Sanskrit” by Dr.Sampadanand
    And the most important, unfortunately–“in India myth is treated as History and History is considered as myth.” This situation, is fortunately changing, for the better!! And, truth, whatever distortions it may face by pseudo-intellectuals with there regular brigade of ‘evidence’ will finally come out, and is coming out regardless of our misconceptions about it.
    http://www.dli.gov.in/rawdataupload/upload/insa/INSA_1/20008276_77.pdf

  • SP

    The Myth of Rani Padmini : / (PC says) although the existence of Rani Padmini is not documented as a concrete historical fact, it is equally illogical to dismiss it as a myth simply because it is undocumented /
    so it should not be treated as a historical fact. right?

    Myth of Prithviraj Chauhan: / (PC says) But how that equals to the non-existence of the historical figure itself is for Mr. Sahane to answer /
    Well Shahane did say “Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Delhi in the late 12th century AD. In 1191″, never disputed his existence, he disputed just his stories and PC seem to agree there.

    The Myth of a Non-Violent India : / (PC conveniently changed this heading to ” Violent Hindu rulers” . he says..) when King Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) was said to be friends with Emperor Asoka /
    Asoka was a Buddhist king after he converted! But anyways, thinking entire history of indian subcontinent was very peaceful is ridiculous. There were many dynasties that arose, expanded and died. All that did not happen by peaceful land exchange because of emigrants. Asoka himself fought kalinga war

    The Myth of Sanskrit : /All PC talks about it how Sanskrit is awesome and PIE language sucks/
    Which again is not a proof against wide consensus among linguists about PIE being ancestor of Sanskrit. Obviously Sanskrit can be a better language than its ancestor, just like humans are smarter that Australopithecus.

    The Myth of a 5,000-year-old civilization: /(PC conveniently changed this heading to “The Myth Of India’s achievements”.)/
    PC never refuted Girish Shahane’s claim that nothing in India is 5k years old.

    • Arpana Udupa

      One sane voice amidst insanity!!! I agree that this sub-continent has much to offer and a great history, but history when studied by historians should not be biased and romanticised. PC is showing bias on one side, as can be seen in all his articles- hinduism and sub-continent under hindus was great and everything else is bullshit!! Its the same feeling Nazi’s had about themselves too! What you are doing is the same that any conquering community will do after victory- colour history!

      On the violence by Hindu kings, please come to Karnataka. I will take you to all the Jain temples destroyed by Hindu kings, which are still scattered across the state without an idol or after being replaced with a hindu god! Imagine a temple with distinct Jain architecture with a hindu idol inside!! This history has been factually elucidated and infact is the story of line of one of the most celebrated writer of Karnataka and Jnanpith awardee Shivram Karanth! He was also known as the writer who wrote based on facts in Karnataka! I can give you a lot of links, books, historical antecedents..but will you believe me? Just to show you what buddhists and jains think of what hinduism did, please do check these links below. Sounds exactly like hindus complaining against muslims!! Also Buddhism and Jainism are separate religions and not part of hinduism!

      http://bapumraut.blogspot.in/2013/02/how-adi-shankara-destroyed-buddhism-and.html

      http://jainhistory.tripod.com/dare.html

      https://karthiknavayan.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/ow-the-buddhists-and-jains-were-persecuted-in-ancient-india/

      • si91

        Did you even read the links you cited? They recycle the same selective quotations about Harsha of Kashmir, Shashanka, Pushyamitra Sunga, and Mihirakula that are used by Marxists and Dalit/Dravidian separatists to distort Hindu history and portray Buddhists as helpless victims of “Brahminical” aggression, which is a blatant distortion of history that ignores the context behind these supposed persecutions. Often, these supposed persecutions are clearly exaggerations, like Shashanka’s supposed cutting down of the Bodhi Tree. What these “sources” ignore is that Xuanzang’s account that mentions Shashanka’s cutting down of the tree also mentions that it grew back overnight, meaning it was clearly a self-contradictory account at best or a myth at worst. The links mention Mihirakula’s persecutions, but forget to mention that he did so only after asking the Buddhist monks in his kingdom to educate him on Buddhism. They made the mistake of sending a novice monk to serve his needs,and Mihirakula persecuted them in response to this insult, not because he was a religious bigot. Indeed, the very fact that he wanted monks to teach him about Buddhism suggests otherwise.

        As far as Pushyamitra Sunga is concerned, his supposed persecutions of Buddhists described in the Ashokavadana do not stand up to scrutiny due to lack of archeological evidence. At best, he withdrew royal patronage for Buddhists. Additionally, the same Ashokavadana describes Ashoka engaging in a mass-killing of Ajivikas in the exact same way that Pushyamitra supposed mass-murdered Buddhists, which sheds doubt on the authenticity of the account, especially considering that the story of Pushyamitra’s “persecution” contains a mythical element about a Buddhist Arhat magically creating monk heads for people to give to Pushyamitra and reap rewards without killing. Harsha of Kashmir is another favorite punching bag of these “sources” yet they ignore that Kalhana refers to him as “Harsha the Turk” because his persecution was inspired by Muslim Turks, who also served as his enforcers for these persecutions. Your “sources” even contradict each other, as one says that Shankaracharya was responsible for the elimination of Buddhism in India (a laughable claim, as Shankaracharya was a monk with no military force behind him) and the other denies this, saying that the persecutions were merely done in his name by later kings. Well, which is it? This is precisely the sort of twisted, anti-Hindu pseudo-history that this article is criticizing, and yet you shamelessly spread this poorly-sourced, propagandist drivel that draws from bigoted, agenda-driven Pakistani websites like rupeenews and pakistanpatriot. Shame on you!

    • Sanjay Singh

      First of all, its not PC is contesting anything hes simply implying that:

      The Myth of Rani Padmini : / (PC says) although the existence of Rani Padmini is not documented as a concrete historical fact, it is equally illogical to dismiss it as a myth simply because it is undocumented and the only evidence which comes about her existence is from MUSLIM scholars only, to question her identity is to question Padmavat itself or anything which has happened in history without a retina scan to be false(yes sarcasm included), it is well known fact the actual historians did no exist in ancient India and history was passed down in verbal and poetic treatise forms.

      Myth of Prithviraj Chauhan: / (PC says) But how that equals to the non-existence of the historical figure itself is for Mr. Sahane to answer /
      Well Shahane did say “Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Delhi in the late 12th century AD. In 1191″, again the evidence provided by Muslim courtesans themselves(Why would a courtesan provide such accounts of valour and bravery for a supposed enemy of his King?)

      The Myth of a Non-Violent India : / (PC conveniently changed this heading to ” Violent Hindu rulers” . he says..) when King Devanampiya Tissa (250–210 BC) was said to be friends with Emperor Asoka /
      Again, you are taking the word peaceful and non violence in an objective way, right to the core of its definition and even an act of killing an ant would make India’s history violent.Would you like a king who cannot fight or even defend?True, if you look,the world over the history is based upon territorial disputes, plotting ministers, overthrowing of kings and fighting wars but how does it justify the brutality of Islamic rulers like Babur’s tower of skulls,destruction of Somnath temple six times in a row,cuttng the hands of labourers who built Taj Mahal, at best you can quote the Kaling war and brutalities against Jains and Buddhists, which are historically disputed, all I know is these religions are offshoots of the main religion in India and this is the reason why Buddhism, Jainism still exist peacefully in India while Buddha statues are being destroyed and monks are setting fire to themselves somewhere else in Asia.I again quote PC” Sahane fails to provide a single verifiable source which can prove that the cultural scenario of Sri Lanka and South-East Asia was brutally stamped out by Hindu rulers”

      The Myth of Sanskrit : /All PC talks about it how Sanskrit is awesome and PIE language sucks/

      Again,what has Sahane given to validate his claims, a British era writer whom gave the Aryan Theory, which has been debunked on almost all the points it hinges on and of course, if Aryans didnt bring this with them then who did? Obviously, people are underestimating that langauges can be invented, the seals found in Harappa are the proof that a civilization existed pre-2500 BC periods as well, we dont know where it started?India today article clearly states that the aryans were not ancesotrs of Indians simply based upon genetics.Francois Gautier cites recent research which indicates that the script on the Indus seals is of Sanskrit lineage. This proves that the people of Harappa belonged to a much older Vedic age.There was a belt stretching from India to the Mediterranean inhabited by a people who spoke related languages, known as the Indo-European languages. Sanskrit is the oldest known language in this family and may appropriately be called as the Mother of Indo-European languages. English is an Indo-European language.This totalydebunks what Sahane has said.

      The Myth of a 5,000-year-old civilization: /(PC conveniently changed this heading to “The Myth Of India’s achievements”.)

      What is there to refute when it is infact 5000 years and older, no to be misled by British Historians once again who could not put Indus Valley into a Biblical Timescale scheme.Here’s a brief History of India by another gora, since you have a habit of following your colonialists:

      http://www.ancient.eu/india/

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  • teritho

    Kudos to Poulasta Chakraborthy for this well written, to the point article. Thank you for this gem sir.

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      These people are to be busted in the popular media.They have grown in the shadow of colonialism and have lost the ability of free thinking which is the greatest gift of Hindu civilization

  • Rajiv Sharma

    I am not sure why there is so much anti-Hinduism emanating from leftist scholars of Hindu origin. Some of it can be seen in leftist Christian scholars against Christianity but nothing compared to the hatred shown by the likes of Romila Thapar, JNU professors, and leftist schooled at Oxford / Cambridge such as Girish Shahane. They shamelessly distort and even make up facts to suit their arguments. Part of the explanation is the inferiority complex ingrained in English educated people, who do not understand Hindu heritage and culture and were brought up to respect everything English. Part of it is the leftist’s feeling of being enlightened which is proven by going overboard in the denunciation of their own religion. Some part has to be the sixty plus years of the Congress rule where anti-Hindu leftists were given plum positions and Padma Shri by the anti-Hindu Congress party. Yet, I am not satisfied that I understand this phenomenon.

    • kill bill

      They are tutored and cultured to think themselves as below human and then support specific agendas of their handlers… they could be capitalists or even misisonaries who have a NEED to colonise otherss with their IDEA…
      See in the history of India’s civilization, we could have seen such macaulay putras time and again……While I broadly agree to countering these folks on FACTS and what they believe is science of history…. ( recorded facts vs handed down ove years by word of mouth)…we need to get over this seckular-myth busting , countering point by point time and again for each and every dumbo…… Coz it wil ldrain us all out…. Hinduism is time adn afagin self refreshing .. and with the coming of moresainly figures, we will have a an interpretation as ssuitable to the time….

  • charan

    Another beautiful article, Thank you.Your intellectual rebuttal of all-unfortunately, too many-of the pseudo intellectuals is fantastic.
    Adding some information, known to me, to the article–
    Regarding Indian Mathematical achievements, it is better to read what David Mumford- a great contemporary mathematician- has to say,
    http://www.dam.brown.edu/people/mumford/beyond/papers/2010c–PassagesIndia-journal.pdf
    http://www.ams.org/notices/201003/rtx100300385p.pdf
    Even Manjul Bhargava, a Fields Medallist, in his interview, enumerates this point strongly.Even Astronomy, the oldest science, in India dates back to 1000 B.C.(Astronomer Parasara is an example-http://insaindia.org/journals/ijhs/Vol49_3_1_RN_Iyengar.pdf)
    It seems that Indians appreciate their past- and even present- only when “others” praise them, a contagious trait of ‘Western Universalism’ that needs to be overcome.India-from eons- was always known to the world as “The Land Of Wisdom”; even though the world agrees that India is indeed the “Cradle of Civilization” modern (read Westernized) Indians seem to have a problem in accepting it!
    About Medieval Islamic History of India, there is a popular book by S.L.Bhyrappa-Avarana, in Kannada- which deals with the ideologies in History in a fine manner.
    Unlike many other civilizations, and countries, Indian History was (and is!) not only limited to
    ‘his-story’, but even women have a very significantly prominent role to play- both intellectually and politically; enough of ideologies while speaking about Indian women-but those pseudo-intellectuals need time to digest the facts!!
    Thank You