South Asia: a historical narrative
Oxford University Press
, Sep 1, 2003
- 267 pages
This book highlights, for the first time in South Asian historiography, the physical conditions and geological events that created this subcontinent 50 million years ago. Those events led to the emergence of one of the first human civilizations in the Indus valley. It also explains why, for five thousend years, the South Asians did not invade other lands but were constantly invaded themselves. All of them settled down and made the subcontinent their home except Britain and its merchants who came by sea, remained off shore, siphoned its wealth, and left it in tatters when they departed. The impact of the rise of European sea power on the subcontinent has been highlighted, and, for the first time, it has been strategically explained why the sea-faring colonial powers wanted to establish strong forts on the Afro-Asian coasts and how great empires of India and China remained unable to dismantle those forts that eventually led to the crumbling of those empires. This book reflects two different historical narratives - Hindu and Muslim - and offers a balanced and objective view of one of the longest uninterrupted histories of the world by carefully considering the historical circumstances that created not only differences but also similarities in the experiences of the people of South Asia. Drawing on new evidence and research, it provides a fresh perspective on the politics of historical narrative.