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Understanding Partition - Politics, Memories, Experiences

We know that the joy of our countrys independence from colonial rule in 1947 was tarnished by the violence and
brutality of Partition. he Partition of !ritish "ndia into the soverei#n states of "ndia and Pakistan $with its western
and eastern win#s% led to many sudden developments. housands of lives were snuffed out& many others
chan#ed dramatically& cities chan#ed& "ndia chan#ed& a new country was born& and there was unprecedented
#enocidal violence and mi#ration. his chapter will e'amine the history of Partition( why and how it happened as
well as the harrowin# e'periences of ordinary people durin# the period 194)*+, and beyond. "t will also discuss
how the history of these e'periences can be reconstructed by talkin# to people and interviewin# them& that is&
throu#h the use of oral history. -t the same time& it will point out the stren#ths and limitations of oral history.
"nterviews can tell us about certain aspects of a societys past of which we may know very little or nothin# from
other types of sources. !ut they may not reveal very much about many matters whose history we would then
need to build from other materials. We will return to this issue towards the end of the chapter.
Why and How Did Partition Happen?
Culminating point o a long history?
.ome historians& both "ndian and Pakistani& su##est that /ohammad -li 0innahs theory that the 1indus and
/uslims in colonial "ndia constituted two separate nations can be projected back into medieval history. hey
emphasise that the events of 1947 were intimately connected to the lon# history of 1indu*/uslim conflict
throu#hout medieval and modern times. .uch an ar#ument does not reco#nise that the history of conflict
between communities has coe'isted with a lon# history of sharin#& and of mutual cultural e'chan#e. "t also does
not take into account the chan#in# circumstances that shape peoples thinkin#.
.ome scholars see Partition as a culmination of a communal politics that started developin# in the openin#
decades of the twentieth century. hey su##est that separate electorates for /uslims& created by the colonial
#overnment in 19,9 and e'panded in 1919& crucially shaped the nature of communal politics. .eparate
electorates meant that /uslims could now elect their own representatives in desi#nated constituencies. his
created a temptation for politicians workin# within this system to use sectarian slo#ans and #ather a followin# by
distributin# favours to their own reli#ious #roups. 2eli#ious identities thus ac3uired a functional use within a
modern political system4 and the lo#ic of electoral politics deepened and hardened these identities. 5ommunity
identities no lon#er indicated simple difference in faith and belief4 they came to mean active opposition and
hostility between communities. 1owever& while separate electorates did have a profound impact on "ndian politics&
we should be careful not to over*emphasise their si#nificance or to see Partition as a lo#ical outcome of their
workin#. 5ommunal identities were consolidated by a host of other developments in the early twentieth century.
6urin# the 197,s and early 198,s tension #rew around a number of issues. /uslims were an#ered by 9music*
before*mos3ue:& by the cow protection movement& and by the efforts of the -rya .amaj to brin# back to the
1indu fold $shuddhi % those who had recently converted to "slam. 1indus were an#ered by the rapid spread of
tabli#h $propa#anda% and tan;im $or#anisation% after 1978. -s middle class publicists and communal activists
sou#ht to build #reater solidarity within their communities& mobilisin# people a#ainst the other community& riots
spread in different parts of the country. <very communal riot deepened differences between communities&
creatin# disturbin# memories of violence.
=et it would be incorrect to see Partition as the outcome of a simple unfoldin# of communal tensions. -s the
prota#onist of >arm 1awa& a film on Partition& puts it& 95ommunal discord happened even before 1947 but it had
never led to the uprootin# of millions from their homes: Partition was a 3ualitatively different phenomenon from
earlier communal politics& and to understand it we need to look carefully at the events of the last decade of
!ritish rule.
he provincial elections of 1987 and the 5on#ress ministries
"n 1987& elections to the provincial le#islatures were held for the first time. ?nly about 1, to 17 per cent of the
population enjoyed the ri#ht to vote. he 5on#ress did well in the elections& winnin# an absolute majority in five
out of eleven provinces and formin# #overnments in seven of them. "t did badly in the constituencies reserved for
/uslims& but the /uslim @ea#ue also fared poorly& pollin# only 4.4 per cent of the total /uslim vote cast in this
election. he @ea#ue failed to win a sin#le seat in the Aorth West Brontier Province $AWBP% and could capture
only two out of C4 reserved constituencies in the Punjab and three out of 88 in .ind.
"n the Dnited Provinces& the /uslim @ea#ue wanted to form a joint #overnment with the 5on#ress. he 5on#ress
had won an absolute majority in the province& so it rejected the offer. .ome scholars ar#ue that this rejection
convinced the @ea#ue that if "ndia remained united& then /uslims would find it difficult to #ain political power
because they would remain a minority. he @ea#ue assumed& of course& that only a /uslim party could represent
/uslim interests& and that the 5on#ress was essentially a 1indu party. !ut 0innahs insistence that the @ea#ue be
reco#nised as the 9sole spokesman: of /uslims could convince few at the time. hou#h popular in the Dnited
Provinces& !ombay and /adras& social support for the @ea#ue was still fairly weak in three of the provinces from
which Pakistan was to be carved out just ten years later E !en#al& the AWBP and the Punjab. <ven in .ind it
failed to form a #overnment. "t was from this point onwards that the @ea#ue doubled its efforts at e'pandin# its
social support.
he 5on#ress ministries also contributed to the widenin# rift. "n the Dnited Provinces& the party had rejected the
/uslim @ea#ue proposal for a coalition #overnment partly because the @ea#ue tended to support landlordism&
which the 5on#ress wished to abolish& althou#h the party had not yet taken any concrete steps in that direction.
Aor did the 5on#ress achieve any substantial #ains in the 9/uslim mass contact: pro#ramme it launched. "n the
end& the secular and radical rhetoric of the 5on#ress merely alarmed conservative /uslims and the /uslim landed
elite& without winnin# over the /uslim masses. /oreover& while the leadin# 5on#ress leaders in the late 198,s
insisted more than ever before on the need for secularism& these ideas were by no means universally shared
lower down in the party hierarchy& or even by all 5on#ress ministers. /aulana -;ad& an important 5on#ress
leader& pointed out in 1987 that members of the 5on#ress were not allowed to join the @ea#ue& yet 5on#ressmen
were active in the 1indu /ahasabhaE at least in the 5entral Provinces $present*day /adhya Pradesh%. ?nly in
6ecember 198C did the 5on#ress Workin# 5ommittee declare that 5on#ress members could not be members of
the /ahasabha. "ncidentally& this was also the period when the 1indu /ahasabha and the 2ashtriya
.wayamsevak .an#h $2..% were #ainin# stren#th. he latter spread from its Aa#pur base to the Dnited
Provinces& the Punjab& and other parts of the country in the 198,s. !y 194,& the 2.. had over 1,,&,,, trained
and hi#hly disciplined cadres pled#ed to an ideolo#y of 1indu nationalism& convinced that "ndia was a land of the
!he "Pa#istan$ %esolution
he Pakistan demand was formalised #radually. ?n 78 /arch 194,& the @ea#ue moved a resolution demandin# a
measure of autonomy for the /uslimmajority areas of the subcontinent. his ambi#uous resolution never
mentioned partition or Pakistan. "n fact .ikandar 1ayat Fhan& Punjab Premier and leader of the Dnionist Party&
who had drafted the resolution& declared in a Punjab assembly speech on 1 /arch 1941 that he was opposed to a
Pakistan that would mean 9/uslim 2aj here and 1indu 2aj elsewhere ... "f Pakistan means unalloyed /uslim 2aj
in the Punjab then " will have nothin# to do with it.: 1e reiterated his plea for a loose $united%& confederation with
considerable autonomy for the confederatin# units.
he ori#ins of the Pakistan demand have also been traced back to the Drdu poet /ohammad "3bal& the writer of
9.are 0ahan .e -chha 1industan 1amara:. "n his presidential address to the /uslim @ea#ue in 198,& the poet
spoke of a need for a 9Aorth* West "ndian /uslim state:. "3bal& however& was not visualisin# the emer#ence of a
new country in that speech but a reor#anisation of /uslim*majority 8C7 areas in north*western "ndia into an
autonomous unit within a sin#le& loosely structured "ndian federation.
!he suddenness o Partition
We have seen that the @ea#ue itself was va#ue about its demand in 194,. here was a very short time E just
seven years E between the first formal articulation of the demand for a measure of autonomy for the /uslim*
majority areas of the subcontinent and Partition. Ao one knew what the creation of Pakistan meant& and how it
mi#ht shape peoples lives in the future. /any who mi#rated from their homelands in 1947 thou#ht they would
return as soon as peace prevailed a#ain.
"nitially even /uslim leaders did not seriously raise the demand for Pakistan as a soverei#n state. "n the
be#innin# 0innah himself may have seen the Pakistan idea as a bar#ainin# counter& useful for blockin# possible
!ritish concessions to the 5on#ress and #ainin# additional favours for the /uslims. he pressure of the .econd
World War on the !ritish delayed ne#otiations for independence for some time. Aonetheless& it was the massive
Guit "ndia /ovement which started in 1947& and persisted despite intense repression& that brou#ht the !ritish 2aj
to its knees and compelled its officials to open a dialo#ue with "ndian parties re#ardin# a possible transfer of
Post*War developments
When ne#otiations were be#un a#ain in l94+& the !ritish a#reed to create an entirely "ndian central <'ecutive
5ouncil& e'cept for the Hiceroy and the 5ommander*in*5hief of the armed forces& as a preliminary step towards
full independence. 6iscussions about the transfer of power broke down due to 0innahs unrelentin# demand that
the @ea#ue had an absolute ri#ht to choose all the /uslim members of the <'ecutive 5ouncil and that there
should be a kind of communal veto in the 5ouncil& with decisions opposed by /uslims needin# a twothirds
majority. >iven the e'istin# political situation& the @ea#ues first demand was 3uite e'traordinary& for a lar#e
section of the nationalist /uslims supported the 5on#ress $its dele#ation for these discussions was headed by
/aulana -;ad%& and in West Punjab members of the Dnionist Party were lar#ely /uslims. he !ritish had no
intention of annoyin# the Dnionists who still controlled the Punjab #overnment and had been consistently loyal to
the !ritish.
Provincial elections were a#ain held in 194). he 5on#ress swept the #eneral constituencies& capturin# 91.8 per
cent of the non*/uslim vote. he @ea#ues success in the seats reserved for /uslims was e3ually spectacular( it
won all 8, reserved constituencies in the 5entre with C).) per cent of the /uslim vote and 447 out of +,9 seats
in the provinces. ?nly as late as 194)& therefore& did the @ea#ue establish itself as the dominant party amon#
/uslim voters& seekin# to vindicate its claim to be the 9sole spokesman: of "ndias /uslims. =ou will& however&
recall that the franchise was e'tremely limited. -bout 1, to 17 per cent of the population enjoyed the ri#ht to
vote in the provincial elections and a mere one per cent in the elections for the 5entral -ssembly.
& possi'le alternati(e to Partition
"n /arch 194) the !ritish 5abinet sent a three member mission to 6elhi to e'amine the @ea#ues demand and to
su##est a suitable political framework for a free "ndia. he 5abinet /ission toured the country for three months
and recommended a loose three*tier confederation. "ndia was to remain united. "t was to have a weak central
#overnment controllin# only forei#n affairs& defence and communications with the e'istin# provincial assemblies
bein# #rouped into three sections while electin# the constituent assembly( .ection - for the 1indumajority
provinces& and .ections ! and 5 for the /uslim*majority provinces of the north*west and the north*east
$includin# -ssam% respectively. he sections or #roups of provinces would comprise various re#ional units. hey
would have the power to set up intermediate*level e'ecutives and le#islatures of their own.
"nitially all the major parties accepted this plan. !ut the a#reement was short*lived because it was based on
mutually opposed interpretations of the plan. he @ea#ue wanted the #roupin# to be compulsory& with .ections !
and 5 developin# into stron# entities with the ri#ht to secede from the Dnion in the future. he 5on#ress wanted
that provinces be #iven the ri#ht to join a #roup. "t was not satisfied with the /issions clarification that #roupin#
would be compulsory at first& but provinces would have the ri#ht to opt out after the constitution had been
finalised and new elections held in accordance with it. Dltimately& therefore& neither the @ea#ue nor the 5on#ress
a#reed to the 5abinet /issions proposal. his was a most crucial juncture& because after this partition became
more or less inevitable& with most of the 5on#ress leaders a#reein# to it& seein# it as tra#ic but unavoidable. ?nly
/ahatma >andhi and Fhan -bdul >haffar Fhan of the AWBP continued to firmly oppose the idea of partition.
!owards Partition
-fter withdrawin# its support to the 5abinet /ission plan& the /uslim @ea#ue decided on 96irect -ction: for
winnin# its Pakistan demand. "t announced 1) -u#ust 194) as 96irect -ction 6ay:. ?n this day& riots broke out in
5alcutta& lastin# several days and leavin# several thousand people dead. !y /arch 1947 violence spread to many
parts of northern "ndia. "t was in /arch 1947 that the 5on#ress hi#h command voted for dividin# the Punjab into
two halves& one with /uslim majority and the other with 1induI.ikh majority4 and it asked for the application of
a similar principle to !en#al. !y this time& #iven the numbers #ame& many .ikh leaders and 5on#ressmen in the
Punjab were convinced that Partition was a necessary evil& otherwise they would be swamped by /uslim
majorities and /uslim leaders would dictate terms. "n !en#al too a section of bhadralok !en#ali 1indus& who
wanted political power to remain with them& be#an to fear the 9permanent tutela#e of /uslims: $as one of their
leaders put it%. .ince they were in a numerical minority& they felt that only a division of the province could ensure
their political dominance.
!he Withdrawal o )aw and *rder
he bloodbath continued for about a year from /arch 1947 onwards. ?ne main reason for this was the collapse of
the institutions of #overnance. Penderel /oon& an administrator servin# in !ahawalpur $in present*day Pakistan%
at the time& noted how the police failed to fire even a sin#le shot when arson and killin#s were takin# place in
-mritsar in /arch 1947.
-mritsar district became the scene of bloodshed later in the year when there was a complete breakdown of
authority in the city. !ritish officials did not know how to handle the situation( they were unwillin# to take
decisions& and hesitant to intervene. When panic*stricken people appealed for help& !ritish officials asked them to
contact /ahatma >andhi& 0awaharlal Aehru& Hallabh !hai Patel or /.-. 0innah. Aobody knew who could e'ercise
authority and power. he top leadership of the "ndian parties& barrin# /ahatma >andhi& were involved in
ne#otiations re#ardin# independence while many "ndian civil servants in the affected provinces feared for their
own lives and property. he !ritish were busy preparin# to 3uit "ndia. Problems were compounded because
"ndian soldiers and policemen came to act as 1indus& /uslims or .ikhs. -s communal tension mounted& the
professional commitment of those in uniform could not be relied upon. "n many places not only did policemen
help their co*reli#ionists but they also attacked members of other communities.
he one*man army
-midst all this turmoil& one mans valiant efforts at restorin# communal harmony bore fruit. he 77*year*old
>andhiji decided to stake his all in a bid to vindicate his lifelon# principle of non*violence& and his conviction that
peoples hearts could be chan#ed. 1e moved from the villa#es of Aoakhali in <ast !en#al $present*day
!an#ladesh% to the villa#es of !ihar and then to the riot*torn slums of 5alcutta and 6elhi& in a heroic effort to
stop 1indus and /uslims kill each other& careful everywhere to reassure the minority community. "n ?ctober
194)& /uslims in <ast !en#al tar#eted 1indus. >andhiji visited the area& toured the villa#es on foot& and
persuaded the local /uslims to #uarantee the safety of 1indus. .imilarly& in other places such as 6elhi he tried to
build a spirit of mutual trust and confidence between the two communities. - 6elhi /uslim& .hahid -hmad
6ehlavi& compelled to flee to a dirty& overcrowded camp in Purana Gila& likened >andhijis arrival in 6elhi on 9
.eptember 1947 to 9the arrival of the rains after a particularly lon# and harsh summer:. 6ehlavi recalled in his
memoir how /uslims said to one another( 96elhi will now be saved:. ?n 7C Aovember 1947& on the occasion of
>uru Aanaks birthday& when >andhiji went to address a meetin# of .ikhs at >urdwara .is#anj& he noticed that
there was no /uslim on the 5handni 5howk road& the heart of old 6elhi. 9What could be more shameful for us&:
he asked durin# a speech that evenin#& 9than the fact that not a sin#le /uslim could be found in 5handni
5howkJ: >andhiji continued to be in 6elhi& fi#htin# the mentality of those who wished to drive out every /uslim
from the city& seein# them as Pakistani. When he be#an a fast to brin# about a chan#e of heart& ama;in#ly& many
1indu and .ikh mi#rants fasted with him.
he effect of the fast was 9electric:& wrote /aulana -;ad. People be#an realisin# the folly of the po#rom they had
unleashed on the citys /uslims but it was only >andhijis martyrdom that finally ended this macabre drama of
violence. 9he world veritably chan#ed&: many 6elhi /uslims of the time recalled later.
Preser(ing "honour$
.cholars have also shown how ideas of preservin# community honour came into play in this period of e'treme
physical and psycholo#ical dan#er. his notion of honour drew upon a conception of masculinity defined as
ownership of ;an $women% and ;amin $land%& a notion of considerable anti3uity in Aorth "ndian peasant societies.
Hirility& it was believed& lay in the ability to protect your possessions E ;an and ;amin E from bein# appropriated
by outsiders. -nd 3uite fre3uently& conflict ensued over these two prime 9possessions:. ?ften enou#h& women
internalised the same values.
-t times& therefore& when the men feared that 9their: women E wives& dau#hters& sisters E would be violated by
the 9enemy:& they killed the women themselves. Drvashi !utalia in her book& he ?ther .ide of .ilence& narrates
one such #ruesome incident in the villa#e of hoa Fhalsa& 2awalpindi district. 6urin# Partition& in this .ikh villa#e&
ninety women are said to have 9voluntarily: jumped into a well rather than fall into 9enemy: hands. he mi#rant
refu#ees from this villa#e still commemorate the event at a #urdwara in 6elhi& referrin# to the deaths as
martyrdom& not suicide. hey believe that men at that time had to coura#eously accept the decision of women&
and in some cases even persuade the women to kill themselves. ?n 18 /arch every year& when their
9martyrdom: is celebrated& the incident is recounted to an audience of men& women and children. Women are
e'horted to remember the sacrifice and bravery of their sisters and to cast themselves in the same mould.
Bor the community of survivors& the remembrance ritual helps keep the memory alive. What such rituals do not
seek to remember& however& are the stories of all those who did not wish to die& and had to end their lives a#ainst
their will.
2e#ional Hariations
he e'periences of ordinary people we have been discussin# so far relate to the north*western part of the
subcontinent. What was the Partition like in !en#al& Dttar Pradesh& !ihar& 5entral "ndia and the 6eccanJ While
carna#es occurred in 5alcutta and Aoakhali in 194)& the Partition was most bloody and destructive in the Punjab.
he near*total displacement of 1indus and .ikhs eastwards into "ndia from West Punjab and of almost all
Punjabi*speakin# /uslims to Pakistan happened in a relatively short period of two years between 194) and 194C.
/any /uslim families of Dttar Pradesh& !ihar& /adhya Pradesh and 1yderabad in -ndhra Pradesh continued to
mi#rate to Pakistan throu#h the 19+,s and early 19),s& althou#h many chose to remain in "ndia. /ost of these
Drdu*speakin# people& known as muhajirs $mi#rants% in Pakistan moved to the Farachi* 1yderabad re#ion in
"n !en#al the mi#ration was even more protracted& with people movin# across a porous border. his also meant
that the !en#ali division produced a process of sufferin# that may have been less concentrated but was as
a#onisin#. Burthermore& unlike the Punjab& the e'chan#e of population in !en#al was not near*total. /any
!en#ali 1indus remained in <ast Pakistan while many !en#ali /uslims continued to live in West !en#al. Binally&
!en#ali /uslims $<ast Pakistanis% rejected 0innahs two*nation theory throu#h political action& breakin# away from
Pakistan and creatin# !an#ladesh in 1971*77. 2eli#ious unity could not hold <ast and West Pakistan to#ether.
here is& however& a hu#e similarity between the Punjab and !en#al e'periences. "n both these states& women
and #irls became prime tar#ets of persecution. -ttackers treated womens bodies as territory to be con3uered.
6ishonourin# women of a community was seen as dishonourin# the community itself& and a mode of takin#
Help, Humanity, Harmony
!uried under the debris of the violence and pain of Partition is an enormous history of help& humanity and
harmony. /any narratives such as -bdul @atifs poi#nant testimony& with which we be#an& reveal this. 1istorians
have discovered numerous stories of how people helped each other durin# the Partition period& stories of carin#
and sharin#& of the openin# of new opportunities& and of triumph over trauma. 5onsider& for instance& the work of
Fhushdeva .in#h& a .ikh doctor specialisin# in the treatment of tuberculosis& posted at 6harampur in presentday
1imachal Pradesh. "mmersin# himself in his work day and ni#ht& the doctor provided that rare healin# touch&
food& shelter& love and security to numerous mi#rants& /uslim& .ikh& 1indu alike. he residents of 6harampur
developed the kind of faith and confidence in his humanity and #enerosity that the 6elhi /uslims and others had
in >andhiji. ?ne of them& /uhammad Dmar& wrote to Fhushdeva .in#h( 9With #reat humility " be# to state that "
do not feel myself safe e'cept under your protection. herefore& in all kindness& be #ood enou#h to #rant me a
seat in your hospital.:
We know about the #ruellin# relief work of this doctor from a memoir he entitled @ove is .tron#er than 1ate( -
2emembrance of 1947. 1ere& .in#h describes his work as 9humble efforts " made to dischar#e my duty as a
human bein# to fellow human bein#s:. 1e speaks most warmly of two short visits to Farachi in 1949. ?ld friends
and those whom he had helped at 6harampur spent a few memorable hours with him at Farachi airport. .i'
police constables& earlier ac3uaintances& walked him to the plane& salutin# him as he entered it. 9" acknowled#ed
$the salute% with folded hands and tears in my eyes.:
*ral !estimonies and History
1ave you taken note of the materials from which the history of Partition has been constructed in this chapterJ
?ral narratives& memoirs& diaries& family histories& first*hand written accounts E all these help us understand the
trials and tribulations of ordinary people durin# the partition of the country. /illions of people viewed Partition in
terms of the sufferin# and the challen#es of the times. Bor them& it was no mere constitutional division or just the
party politics of the /uslim @ea#ue& 5on#ress and others. Bor them& it meant the une'pected alterations in life as
it unfolded between 194) and 19+, and beyond& re3uirin# psycholo#ical& emotional and social adjustments. -s
with the 1olocaust in >ermany& we should understand Partition not simply as a political event& but also throu#h
the meanin#s attached to it by those who lived it. /emories and e'periences shape the reality of an event.
?ne of the stren#ths of personal reminiscence E one type of oral source E is that it helps us #rasp e'periences
and memories in detail. "t enables historians to write richly te'tured& vivid accounts of what happened to people
durin# events such as Partition. "t is impossible to e'tract this kind of information from #overnment documents.
he latter deal with policy and party matters and various state*sponsored schemes. "n the case of Partition&
#overnment reports and files as well as the personal writin#s of its hi#h*level functionaries throw ample li#ht on
ne#otiations between the !ritish and the major political parties about the future of "ndia or on the rehabilitation
of refu#ees. hey tell us little& however& about the day*to*day e'periences of those affected by the #overnments
decision to divide the country.
?ral history also allows historians to broaden the boundaries of their discipline by rescuin# from oblivion the lived
e'periences of the poor and the powerless( those of& say& -bdul @atifs father4 the women of hoa Fhalsa4 the
refu#ee who retailed wheat at wholesale prices& ekin# out a paltry livin# by sellin# the #unny ba#s in which the
wheat came4 a middle*class !en#ali widow bent double over road*layin# work in !ihar4 a Peshawari trader who
thou#ht it was wonderful to land a petty job in 5uttack upon mi#ratin# to "ndia but asked( 9Where is 5uttack& is it
on the upper side of 1industan or the lower4 we havent 3uite heard of it before in PeshawarJ:
hus& movin# beyond the actions of the well off and the well known& the oral history of Partition has succeeded in
e'plorin# the e'periences of those men and women whose e'istence has hitherto been i#nored& taken for
#ranted& or mentioned only in passin# in mainstream history. his is si#nificant because the histories that we read
often re#ard the life and work of the mass of the people in the past as inaccessible or unimportant.
=et& many historians still remain sceptical of oral history. hey dismiss it because oral data seem to lack
concreteness and the chronolo#y they yield may be imprecise. 1istorians ar#ue that the uni3ueness of personal
e'perience makes #eneralisation difficult( a lar#e picture cannot be built from such micro*evidence& and one
witness is no witness. hey also think oral accounts are concerned with tan#ential issues& and that the small
individual e'periences which remain in memory are irrelevant to the unfoldin# of lar#er processes of history.
1owever& with re#ard to events such as the Partition in "ndia and the 1olocaust in >ermany& there is no dearth of
testimony about the different forms of distress that numerous people faced. .o& there is ample evidence to fi#ure
out trends& to point out e'ceptions. !y comparin# statements& oral or written& by corroboratin# what they yield
with findin#s from other sources& and by bein# vi#ilant about internal contradictions& historians can wei#h the
reliability of a #iven piece of evidence. Burthermore& if history has to accord presence to the ordinary and
powerless& then the oral history of Partition is not concerned with tan#ential matters. he e'periences it relates
are central to the story& so much so that oral sources should be used to check other sources and vice versa.
6ifferent types of sources have to be tapped for answerin# different types of 3uestions. >overnment reports& for
instance& will tell us of the number of 9recovered: women e'chan#ed by the "ndian and Pakistani states but it is
the women who will tell us about their sufferin#.
198, * he Drdu poet /ohammad "3bal speaks of the need for a 9Aorth*West "ndian /uslim state: as an
autonomous unit within a sin#le& loose "ndian federation
1988 * he name Pakistan or Pak*stan is coined by a Punjabi /uslim student at 5ambrid#e& 5houdhry 2ehmat -li
1987*89 * 5on#ress ministries come to power in seven out of 11 provinces of !ritish "ndia
194, * he /uslim @ea#ue moves a resolution at @ahore demandin# a measure of autonomy for the /uslim*
majority areas
194) * <lections are held in the provinces. he 5on#ress wins massively in the #eneral constituencies. he
@ea#ues success in the /uslim seats is e3ually spectacular
/arch to 0une * he !ritish 5abinet sends a three*member 5abinet /ission to 6elhi
-u#ust * he /uslim @ea#ue decides on 96irect -ction: for winnin# Pakistan
1) -u#ust * Hiolence breaks out between 1indus*.ikhs and /uslims in 5alcutta& lastin# several days and leavin#
several thousand people dead
/arch 1947 * he 5on#ress hi#h command votes for dividin# the Punjab into /uslim*majority and 1induI.ikh*
majority halves and asks for the application of a similar principle to !en#al4 the !ritish be#in to 3uit "ndia
14*1+ -u#ust& 1947 * Pakistan is formed4 "ndia #ains independence. /ahatma >andhi tours Aoakhali in <ast
!en#al to restore communal harmony
Mahatma +andhi and ,reedom Mo(ement
"n 0anuary 191+& /ohandas Faramchand >andhi returned to his homeland after two decades of residence abroad.
hese years had been spent for the most part in .outh -frica& where he went as a lawyer& and in time became a
leader of the "ndian community in that territory. -s the historian 5handran 6evanesan has remarked& .outh
-frica was 9the makin# of the /ahatma:. "t was in .outh -frica that /ahatma >andhi first for#ed the distinctive
techni3ues of non*violent protest known as satya#raha& first promoted harmony between reli#ions& and first
alerted upper*caste "ndians to their discriminatory treatment of low castes and women. he "ndia that /ahatma
>andhi came back to in 191+ was rather different from the one that he had left in 1C98. -lthou#h still a colony of
the !ritish& it was far more active in a political sense. he "ndian Aational 5on#ress now had branches in most
major cities and towns. hrou#h the .wadeshi movement of 19,+*,7 it had #reatly broadened its appeal amon#
the middle classes. hat movement had thrown up some towerin# leaders E amon# them !al >an#adhar ilak of
/aharashtra& !ipin 5handra Pal of !en#al& and @ala @ajpat 2ai of Punjab. he three were known as 9@al& !al and
Pal:& the alliteration conveyin# the all*"ndia character of their stru##le& since their native provinces were very
distant from one another. Where these leaders advocated militant opposition to colonial rule& there was a #roup of
9/oderates: who preferred a more #radual and persuasive approach. -mon# these /oderates was >andhijis
acknowled#ed political mentor& >opal Frishna >okhale& as well as /ohammad -li 0innah& who& like >andhiji& was a
lawyer of >ujarati e'traction trained in @ondon. ?n >okhales advice& >andhiji spent a year travellin# around
!ritish "ndia& #ettin# to know the land and its peoples. 1is first major public appearance was at the openin# of
the !anaras 1indu Dniversity $!1D% in Bebruary 191). -mon# the invitees to this event were the princes and
philanthropists whose donations had contributed to the foundin# of the !1D. -lso present were important leaders
of the 5on#ress& such as -nnie !esant. 5ompared to these di#nitaries& >andhiji was relatively unknown. 1e had
been invited on account of his work in .outh -frica& rather than his status within "ndia.
When his turn came to speak& >andhiji char#ed the "ndian elite with a lack of concern for the labourin# poor. he
openin# of the !1D& he said& was 9certainly a most #or#eous show:. !ut he worried about the contrast between
the 9richly bedecked noblemen: present and 9millions of the poor: "ndians who were absent. >andhiji told the
privile#ed invitees that 9there is no salvation for "ndia unless you strip yourself of this jewellery and hold it in
trust for your countrymen in "ndia:. 9here can be no spirit of self#overnment about us&: he went on& 9if we take
away or allow others to take away from the peasants almost the whole of the results of their labour. ?ur salvation
can only come throu#h the farmer. Aeither the lawyers& nor the doctors& nor the rich landlords are #oin# to
secure it.:
he openin# of the !1D was an occasion for celebration& markin# as it did the openin# of a nationalist university&
sustained by "ndian money and "ndian initiative. !ut rather than adopt a tone of self*con#ratulation& >andhiji
chose instead to remind those present of the peasants and workers who constituted a majority of the "ndian
population& yet were unrepresented in the audience.
>andhijis speech at !anaras in Bebruary 191) was& at one level& merely a statement of fact E namely& that "ndian
nationalism was an elite phenomenon& a creation of lawyers and doctors and landlords. !ut& at another level& it
was also a statement of intent E the first public announcement of >andhijis own desire to make "ndian
nationalism more properly representative of the "ndian people as a whole. "n the last month of that year& >andhiji
was presented with an opportunity to put his precepts into practice. -t the annual 5on#ress& held in @ucknow in
6ecember 191)& he was approached by a peasant from 5hamparan in !ihar& who told him about the harsh
treatment of peasants by !ritish indi#o planters.
!he Ma#ing and Unma#ing o -on-cooperation
/ahatma >andhi was to spend much of 1917 in 5hamparan& seekin# to obtain for the peasants security of tenure
as well as the freedom to cultivate the crops of their choice. he followin# year& 191C& >andhiji was involved in
two campai#ns in his home state of >ujarat. Birst& he intervened in a labour dispute in -hmedabad& demandin#
better workin# conditions for the te'tile mill workers. hen he joined peasants in Fheda in askin# the state for
the remission of ta'es followin# the failure of their harvest.
hese initiatives in 5hamparan& -hmedabad and Fheda marked >andhiji out as a nationalist with a deep
sympathy for the poor. -t the same time& these were all localised stru##les. hen& in 1919& the colonial rulers
delivered into >andhijis lap an issue from which he could construct a much wider movement. 6urin# the >reat
War of 1914*1C& the !ritish had instituted censorship of the press and permitted detention without trial. Aow& on
the recommendation of a committee chaired by .ir .idney 2owlatt& these tou#h measures were continued. "n
response& >andhiji called for a countrywide campai#n a#ainst the 92owlatt -ct:. "n towns across Aorth and West
"ndia& life came to a standstill& as shops shut down and schools closed in response to the bandh call. he protests
were particularly intense in the Punjab& where many men had served on the !ritish side in the War E e'pectin# to
be rewarded for their service. "nstead they were #iven the 2owlatt -ct. >andhiji was detained while proceedin# to
the Punjab& even as prominent local 5on#ressmen were arrested. he situation in the province #rew pro#ressively
more tense& reachin# a bloody clima' in -mritsar in -pril 1919& when a !ritish !ri#adier ordered his troops to
open fire on a nationalist meetin#. /ore than four hundred people were killed in what is known as the 0allianwala
!a#h massacre. "t was the 2owlatt satya#raha that made >andhiji a truly national leader. <mboldened by its
success& >andhiji called for a campai#n of 9non*cooperation: with !ritish rule. "ndians who wished colonialism to
end were asked to stop attendin# schools& colle#es and law courts& and not pay ta'es. "n sum& they were asked
to adhere to a 9renunciation of $all% voluntary association with the $!ritish% >overnment:. "f noncooperation was
effectively carried out& said >andhiji& "ndia would win swaraj within a year. o further broaden the stru##le he had
joined hands with the Fhilafat /ovement that sou#ht to restore the 5aliphate& a symbol of Pan*"slamism which
had recently been abolished by the urkish ruler Femal -ttaturk.
Fnittin# a popular movement
>andhiji hoped that by couplin# non*cooperation with Fhilafat& "ndias two major reli#ious communities& 1indus
and /uslims& could collectively brin# an end to colonial rule. hese movements certainly unleashed a sur#e of
popular action that was alto#ether unprecedented in colonial "ndia. .tudents stopped #oin# to schools and
colle#es run by the #overnment. @awyers refused to attend court. he workin# class went on strike in many
towns and cities( accordin# to official fi#ures& there were 89) strikes in 1971& involvin# ),,&,,, workers and a
loss of seven million workdays. he countryside was seethin# with discontent too. 1ill tribes in northern -ndhra
violated the forest laws. Barmers in -wadh did not pay ta'es. Peasants in Fumaun refused to carry loads for
colonial officials. hese protest movements were sometimes carried out in defiance of the local nationalist
leadership. Peasants& workers& and others interpreted and acted upon the call to 9non*cooperate: with colonial
rule in ways that best suited their interests& rather than conform to the dictates laid down from above. 9Aon*
cooperation&: wrote /ahatma >andhis -merican bio#rapher @ouis Bischer& 9became the name of an epoch in the
life of "ndia and of >andhiji. Aon*cooperation was ne#ative enou#h to be peaceful but positive enou#h to be
effective. "t entailed denial& renunciation& and self*discipline. "t was trainin# for self*rule.: -s a conse3uence of
the Aon*5ooperation /ovement the !ritish 2aj was shaken to its foundations for the first time since the 2evolt of
1C+7. hen& in Bebruary 1977& a #roup of peasants attacked and torched a police station in the hamlet of 5hauri
5haura& in the Dnited Provinces $now& Dttar Pradesh and Dttaranchal%. .everal constables perished in the
confla#ration. his act of violence prompted >andhiji to call off the movement alto#ether. 9Ao provocation&: he
insisted& 9can possibly justify $the% brutal murder of men who had been rendered defenceless and who had
virtually thrown themselves on the mercy of the mob.:
6urin# the Aon*5ooperation /ovement thousands of "ndians were put in jail. >andhiji himself was arrested in
/arch 1977& and char#ed with sedition. he jud#e who presided over his trial& 0ustice 5.A. !roomfield& made a
remarkable speech while pronouncin# his sentence. 9"t would be impossible to i#nore the fact&: remarked the
jud#e& 9that you are in a different cate#ory from any person " have ever tried or am likely to try. "t would be
impossible to i#nore the fact that& in the eyes of millions of your countrymen& you are a #reat patriot and a
leader. <ven those who differ from you in politics look upon you as a man of hi#h ideals and of even saintly life.:
.ince >andhiji had violated the law it was obli#atory for the !ench to sentence him to si' years imprisonment&
but& said 0ud#e !roomfield& 9"f the course of events in "ndia should make it possible for the >overnment to
reduce the period and release you& no one will be better pleased than ":.
& people.s leader
!y 1977& >andhiji had transformed "ndian nationalism& thereby redeemin# the promise he made in his !1D
speech of Bebruary 191). "t was no lon#er a movement of professionals and intellectuals4 now& hundreds of
thousands of peasants& workers and artisans also participated in it. /any of them venerated >andhiji& referrin# to
him as their 9/ahatma:. hey appreciated the fact that he dressed like them& lived like them& and spoke their
lan#ua#e. Dnlike other leaders he did not stand apart from the common folk& but empathised and even identified
with them.
his identification was strikin#ly reflected in his dress( while other nationalist leaders dressed formally& wearin# a
Western suit or an "ndian band#ala& >andhiji went amon# the people in a simple dhoti or loincloth. /eanwhile& he
spent part of each day workin# on the charkha $spinnin# wheel%& and encoura#ed other nationalists to do
likewise. he act of spinnin# allowed >andhiji to break the boundaries that prevailed within the traditional caste
system& between mental labour and manual labour. "n a fascinatin# study& the historian .hahid -min has traced
the ima#e of /ahatma >andhi amon# the peasants of eastern Dttar Pradesh& as conveyed by reports and
rumours in the local press. When he travelled throu#h the re#ion in Bebruary 1971& >andhiji was received by
adorin# crowds everywhere.
Wherever >andhiji went& rumours spread of his miraculous powers. "n some places it was said that he had been
sent by the Fin# to redress the #rievances of the farmers& and that he had the power to overrule all local officials.
"n other places it was claimed that >andhijis power was superior to that of the <n#lish monarch& and that with
his arrival the colonial rulers would flee the district. here were also stories reportin# dire conse3uences for those
who opposed him4 rumours spread of how villa#ers who criticised >andhiji found their houses mysteriously fallin#
apart or their crops failin#. Fnown variously as 9>andhi baba:& 9>andhi /aharaj:& or simply as 9/ahatma:&
>andhiji appeared to the "ndian peasant as a saviour& who would rescue them from hi#h ta'es and oppressive
officials and restore di#nity and autonomy to their lives. >andhijis appeal amon# the poor& and peasants in
particular& was enhanced by his ascetic lifestyle& and by his shrewd use of symbols such as the dhoti and the
charkha. /ahatma >andhi was by caste a merchant& and by profession a lawyer4 but his simple lifestyle and love
of workin# with his hands allowed him to empathise more fully with the labourin# poor and for them& in turn& to
empathise with him. Where most other politicians talked down to them& >andhiji appeared not just to look like
them& but to understand them and relate to their lives.
While /ahatma >andhis mass appeal was undoubtedly #enuine E and in the conte't of "ndian politics& without
precedent E it must also be stressed that his success in broadenin# the basis of nationalism was based on careful
or#anisation. Aew branches of the 5on#ress were set up in various parts of "ndia. - series of 9Praja /andals:
were established to promote the nationalist creed in the princely states. >andhiji encoura#ed the communication
of the nationalist messa#e in the mother ton#ue& rather than in the lan#ua#e of the rulers& <n#lish. hus the
provincial committees of the 5on#ress were based on lin#uistic re#ions& rather than on the artificial boundaries of
!ritish "ndia. "n these different ways nationalism was taken to the farthest corners of the country and embraced
by social #roups previously untouched by it. !y now& amon# the supporters of the 5on#ress were some very
prosperous businessmen and industrialists. "ndian entrepreneurs were 3uick to reco#nise that& in a free "ndia& the
favours enjoyed by their !ritish competitors would come to an end. .ome of these entrepreneurs& such as >.6.
!irla& supported the national movement openly4 others did so tacitly. hus& amon# >andhijis admirers were both
poor peasants and rich industrialists& althou#h the reasons why peasants followed >andhiji were somewhat
different from& and perhaps opposed to& the reasons of the industrialists.
While /ahatma >andhis own role was vital& the #rowth of what we mi#ht call 9>andhian nationalism: also
depended to a very substantial e'tent on his followers. !etween 1917 and 1977& a #roup of hi#hly talented
"ndians attached themselves to >andhiji. hey included /ahadev 6esai& Hallabh !hai Patel& 0.!. Fripalani& .ubhas
5handra !ose& -bul Falam -;ad& 0awaharlal Aehru& .arojini Aaidu& >ovind !allabh Pant and 5. 2aja#opalachari.
Aotably& these close associates of >andhiji came from different re#ions as well as different reli#ious traditions. "n
turn& they inspired countless other "ndians to join the 5on#ress and work for it.
/ahatma >andhi was released from prison in Bebruary 1974& and now chose to devote his attention to the
promotion of home*spun cloth $khadi%& and the abolition of untouchability. Bor& >andhiji was as much a social
reformer as he was a politician. 1e believed that in order to be worthy of freedom& "ndians had to #et rid of social
evils such as child marria#e and untouchability. "ndians of one faith had also to cultivate a #enuine tolerance for
"ndians of another E hence his emphasis on 1indu*/uslim harmony. /eanwhile& on the economic front "ndians
had to learn to become self*reliant E hence his stress on the si#nificance of wearin# khadi rather than mill*made
cloth imported from overseas.
!he /alt /atyagraha
Bor several years after the Aon*cooperation /ovement ended& /ahatma >andhi focused on his social reform
work. "n 197C& however& he be#an to think of re*enterin# politics. hat year there was an all*"ndia campai#n in
opposition to the all*White .imon 5ommission& sent from <n#land to en3uire into conditions in the colony.
>andhiji did not himself participate in this movement& althou#h he #ave it his blessin#s& as he also did to a
peasant satya#raha in !ardoli in the same year. "n the end of 6ecember 1979& the 5on#ress held its annual
session in the city of @ahore. he meetin# was si#nificant for two thin#s( the election of 0awaharlal Aehru as
President& si#nifyin# the passin# of the baton of leadership to the youn#er #eneration4 and the proclamation of
commitment to 9Purna .waraj:& or complete independence. Aow the pace of politics picked up once more. ?n 7)
0anuary 198,& 9"ndependence 6ay: was observed& with the national fla# bein# hoisted in different venues& and
patriotic son#s bein# sun#. >andhiji himself issued precise instructions as to how the day should be observed. 9"t
would be #ood&: he said& 9if the declaration Kof "ndependenceL is made by whole villa#es& whole cities even ... "t
would be well if all the meetin#s were held at the identical minute in all the places.:
>andhiji su##ested that the time of the meetin# be advertised in the traditional way& by the beatin# of drums.
he celebrations would be#in with the hoistin# of the national fla#. he rest of the day would be spent 9in doin#
some constructive work& whether it is spinnin#& or service of Muntouchables& or reunion of 1indus and
/ussalmans& or prohibition work& or even all these J to#ether& which is not impossible:. Participants would take a
pled#e affirmin# that it was 9the inalienable ri#ht of the "ndian people& as of any other people& to have freedom
and to enjoy the fruits of their toil:& and that 9if any #overnment deprives a people of these ri#hts and oppresses
them& the people have a further ri#ht to alter it or abolish it:.
.oon after the observance of this 9"ndependence 6ay:& /ahatma >andhi announced that he would lead a march
to break one of the most widely disliked laws in !ritish "ndia& which #ave the state a monopoly in the
manufacture and sale of salt. 1is pickin# on the salt monopoly was another illustration of >andhijis tactical
wisdom. Bor in every "ndian household& salt was indispensable4 yet people were forbidden from makin# salt even
for domestic use& compellin# them to buy it from shops at a hi#h price. he state monopoly over salt was deeply
unpopular4 by makin# it his tar#et& >andhiji hoped to mobilise a wider discontent a#ainst !ritish rule.
Where most "ndians understood the si#nificance of >andhijis challen#e& the !ritish 2aj apparently did not.
-lthou#h >andhiji had #iven advance notice of his 9.alt /arch: to the Hiceroy @ord "rwin& "rwin failed to #rasp the
si#nificance of the action. ?n 17 /arch 198,& >andhiji be#an walkin# from his ashram at .abarmati towards the
ocean. 1e reached his destination three weeks later& makin# a fistful of salt as he did and thereby makin# himself
a criminal in the eyes of the law. /eanwhile& parallel salt marches were bein# conducted in other parts of the
-s with Aon*cooperation& apart from the officially sanctioned nationalist campai#n& there were numerous other
streams of protest. -cross lar#e parts of "ndia& peasants breached the hated colonial forest laws that kept them
and their cattle out of the woods in which they had once roamed freely. "n some towns& factory workers went on
strike while lawyers boycotted !ritish courts and students refused to attend #overnment*run educational
institutions. -s in 197,*77& now too >andhijis call had encoura#ed "ndians of all classes to make manifest their
own discontent with colonial rule. he rulers responded by detainin# the dissenters. "n the wake of the .alt
/arch& nearly ),&,,, "ndians were arrested& amon# them& of course& >andhiji himself.
he pro#ress of >andhijis march to the seashore can be traced from the secret reports filed by the police officials
deputed to monitor his movements. hese reproduce the speeches he #ave at the villa#es en route& in which he
called upon local officials to renounce #overnment employment and join the freedom stru##le. "n one villa#e&
Wasna& >andhiji told the upper castes that 9if you are out for .waraj you must serve untouchables. =ou wont #et
.waraj merely by the repeal of the salt ta'es or other ta'es. Bor .waraj you must make amends for the wron#s
which you did to the untouchables. Bor .waraj& 1indus& /uslims& Parsis and .ikhs will have to unite. hese are
the steps towards .waraj.: he police spies reported that >andhijis meetin#s were very well attended& by
villa#ers of all castes& and by women as well as men. hey observed that thousands of volunteers were flockin#
to the nationalist cause. -mon# them were many officials& who had resi#ned from their posts with the colonial
#overnment. Writin# to the #overnment& the 6istrict .uperintendent of Police remarked& 9/r >andhi appeared
calm and collected. 1e is #atherin# more stren#th as he proceeds.: he pro#ress of the .alt /arch can also be
traced from another source( the -merican newsma#a;ine& ime. his& to be#in with& scorned at >andhijis looks&
writin# with disdain of his 9spindly frame: and his 9spidery loins:. hus in its first report on the march& ime was
deeply sceptical of the .alt /arch reachin# its destination. "t claimed that >andhiji 9sank to the #round: at the
end of the second days walkin#4 the ma#a;ine did not believe that 9the emaciated saint would be physically able
to #o much further:. !ut within a week it had chan#ed its mind. he massive popular followin# that the march
had #arnered& wrote ime& had made the !ritish rulers 9desperately an'ious:. >andhiji himself they now saluted
as a 9.aint: and 9.tatesman:& who was usin# 95hristian acts as a weapon a#ainst men with 5hristian beliefs:.
he .alt /arch was notable for at least three reasons. Birst& it was this event that first brou#ht /ahatma >andhi
to world attention. he march was widely covered by the <uropean and -merican press. .econd& it was the first
nationalist activity in which women participated in lar#e numbers. he socialist activist Famaladevi
5hattopadhyay had persuaded >andhiji not to restrict the protests to men alone. Famaladevi was herself one of
numerous women who courted arrest by breakin# the salt or li3uor laws. hird& and perhaps most si#nificant& it
was the .alt /arch which forced upon the !ritish the realisation that their 2aj would not last forever& and that
they would have to devolve some power to the "ndians.
o that end& the !ritish #overnment convened a series of 92ound able 5onferences: in @ondon. he first meetin#
was held in Aovember 198,& but without the pre*eminent political leader in "ndia& thus renderin# it an e'ercise in
futility. >andhiji was released from jail in 0anuary 1981 and the followin# month had several lon# meetin#s with
the Hiceroy. hese culminated in what was called the 9>andhi*"rwin Pact& by the terms of which civil disobedience
would be called off& all prisoners released& and salt manufacture allowed alon# the coast. he pact was criticised
by radical nationalists& for >andhiji was unable to obtain from the Hiceroy a commitment to political independence
for "ndians4 he could obtain merely an assurance of talks towards that possible end. - second 2ound able
5onference was held in @ondon in the latter part of 1981. 1ere& >andhiji represented the 5on#ress. 1owever& his
claims that his party represented all of "ndia came under challen#e from three parties( from the /uslim @ea#ue&
which claimed to stand for the interests of the /uslim minority4 from the Princes& who claimed that the 5on#ress
had no stake in their territories4 and from the brilliant lawyer and thinker !.2. -mbedkar& who ar#ued that
>andhiji and the 5on#ress did not really represent the lowest castes.
he 5onference in @ondon was inconclusive& so >andhiji returned to "ndia and resumed civil disobedience. he
new Hiceroy& @ord Willin#don& was deeply unsympathetic to the "ndian leader. "n a private letter to his sister&
Willin#don wrote( 9"ts a beautiful world if it wasnt for >andhi ... -t the bottom of every move he makes which he
always says is inspired by >od& one discovers the political manouevre. " see the -merican Press is sayin# what a
wonderful man he is ... !ut the fact is that we live in the midst of very unpractical& mystical& and superstitious
folk who look upon >andhi as somethin# holy& ...:
"n 198+& however& a new >overnment of "ndia -ct promised some form of representative #overnment. wo years
later& in an election held on the basis of a restricted franchise& the 5on#ress won a comprehensive victory. Aow
ei#ht out of 11 provinces had a 5on#ress 9Prime /inister:& workin# under the supervision of a !ritish >overnor.
"n .eptember 1989& two years after the 5on#ress ministries assumed office& the .econd World War broke out.
/ahatma >andhi and 0awaharlal Aehru had both been stron#ly critical of 1itler and the Aa;is. -ccordin#ly& they
promised 5on#ress support to the war effort if the !ritish& in return& promised to #rant "ndia independence once
hostilities ended. he offer was refused. "n protest& the 5on#ress ministries resi#ned in ?ctober 1989. hrou#h
194, and 1941& the 5on#ress or#anised a series of individual satya#rahas to pressure the rulers to promise
freedom once the war had ended.
/eanwhile& in /arch 194,& the /uslim @ea#ue passed a resolution committin# itself to the creation of a separate
nation called 9Pakistan:. he political landscape was now complicated( it was no lon#er "ndians versus the !ritish4
rather& it had become a three*way stru##le between the 5on#ress& the /uslim @ea#ue& and the !ritish. -t this
time !ritain had an all*party #overnment& whose @abour members were sympathetic to "ndian aspirations& but
whose 5onservative Prime /inister& Winston 5hurchill& was a diehard imperialist who insisted that he had not
been appointed the Fin#s Birst /inister in order to preside over the li3uidation of the !ritish <mpire. "n the sprin#
of 1947& 5hurchill was persuaded to send one of his ministers& .ir .tafford 5ripps& to "ndia to try and for#e a
compromise with >andhiji and the 5on#ress. alks broke down& however& after the 5on#ress insisted that if it was
to help the !ritish defend "ndia from the -'is powers& then the Hiceroy had first to appoint an "ndian as the
6efence /ember of his <'ecutive 5ouncil.
0uit 1ndia
-fter the failure of the 5ripps /ission& /ahatma >andhi decided to launch his third major movement a#ainst
!ritish rule. his was the 9Guit "ndia: campai#n& which be#an in -u#ust 1947. -lthou#h >andhiji was jailed at
once& youn#er activists or#anised strikes and acts of sabota#e all over the country. Particularly active in the
under#round resistance were socialist members of the 5on#ress& such as 0ayaprakash Aarayan. "n several
districts& such as .atara in the west and /edinipur in the east& 9independent: #overnments were proclaimed. he
!ritish responded with much force& yet it took more than a year to suppress the rebellion.
9Guit "ndia: was #enuinely a mass movement& brin#in# into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary "ndians.
"t especially ener#ised the youn# who& in very lar#e numbers& left their colle#es to #o to jail. 1owever& while the
5on#ress leaders lan#uished in jail& 0innah and his collea#ues in the /uslim @ea#ue worked patiently at
e'pandin# their influence. "t was in these years that the @ea#ue be#an to make a mark in the Punjab and .ind&
provinces where it had previously had scarcely any presence. "n 0une 1944& with the end of the war in si#ht&
>andhiji was released from prison. @ater that year he held a series of meetin#s with 0innah& seekin# to brid#e the
#ap between the 5on#ress and the @ea#ue. "n 194+& a @abour #overnment came to power in !ritain and
committed itself to #rantin# independence to "ndia. /eanwhile& back in "ndia& the Hiceroy& @ord Wavell& brou#ht
the 5on#ress and the @ea#ue to#ether for a series of talks. <arly in 194) fresh elections were held to the
provincial le#islatures. he 5on#ress swept the 9>eneral: cate#ory& but in the seats specifically reserved for
/uslims the @ea#ue won an overwhelmin# majority. he political polarisation was complete. - 5abinet /ission
sent in the summer of 194) failed to #et the 5on#ress and the @ea#ue to a#ree on a federal system that would
keep "ndia to#ether while allowin# the provinces a de#ree of autonomy. -fter the talks broke down& 0innah called
for a 96irect -ction 6ay: to press the @ea#ues demand for Pakistan. ?n the desi#nated day& 1) -u#ust 194)&
bloody riots broke out in 5alcutta. he violence spread to rural !en#al& then to !ihar& and then across the country
to the Dnited Provinces and the Punjab. "n some places& /uslims were the main sufferers& in other places&
1indus. "n Bebruary 1947& Wavell was replaced as Hiceroy by @ord /ountbatten. /ountbatten called onelast
round of talks& but when these too proved inconclusive he announced that !ritish "ndia would be freed& but also
divided. he formal transfer of power was fi'ed for 1+ -u#ust. When that day came& it was celebrated with #usto
in different parts of "ndia. "n 6elhi& there was 9prolon#ed applause: when the President of the 5onstituent
-ssembly be#an the meetin# by invokin# the Bather of the Aation E /ohandas Faramchand >andhi. ?utside the
-ssembly& the crowds shouted 9/ahatma >andhi ki jai:.
!he )ast Heroic Days
-s it happened& /ahatma >andhi was not present at the festivities in the capital on 1+ -u#ust 1947. 1e was in
5alcutta& but he did not attend any function or hoist a fla# there either. >andhiji marked the day with a 74*hour
fast. he freedom he had stru##led so lon# for had come at an unacceptable price& with a nation divided and
1indus and /uslims at each others throats. hrou#h .eptember and ?ctober& writes his bio#rapher 6.>.
endulkar& >andhiji 9went round hospitals and refu#ee camps #ivin# consolation to distressed people:. 1e
9appealed to the .ikhs& the 1indus and the /uslims to for#et the past and not to dwell on their sufferin#s but to
e'tend the ri#ht hand of fellowship to each other& and to determine to live in peace ...:
-t the initiative of >andhiji and Aehru& the 5on#ress now passed a resolution on 9the ri#hts of minorities:. he
party had never accepted the 9two*nation theory:( forced a#ainst its will to accept Partition& it still believed that
9"ndia is a land of many reli#ions and many races& and must remain so:. Whatever be the situation in Pakistan&
"ndia would be 9a democratic secular .tate where all citi;ens enjoy full ri#hts and are e3ually entitled to the
protection of the .tate& irrespective of the reli#ion to which they belon#:. he 5on#ress wished to 9assure the
minorities in "ndia that it will continue to protect& to the best of its ability& their citi;en ri#hts a#ainst a##ression:.
/any scholars have written of the months after "ndependence as bein# >andhijis 9finest hour:. -fter workin# to
brin# peace to !en#al& >andhiji now shifted to 6elhi& from where he hoped to move on to the riottorn districts of
Punjab. While in the capital& his meetin#s were disrupted by refu#ees who objected to readin#s from the Foran&
or shouted slo#ans askin# why he did not speak of the sufferin#s of those 1indus and .ikhs still livin# in Pakistan.
"n fact& as 6.>. endulkar writes& >andhiji 9was e3ually concerned with the sufferin#s of the minority community
in Pakistan. 1e would have liked to be able to #o to their succour. !ut with what face could he now #o there&
when he could not #uarantee full redress to the /uslims in 6elhiJ: here was an attempt on >andhijis life on 7,
0anuary 194C& but he carried on undaunted. ?n 7) 0anuary& he spoke at his prayer meetin# of how that day had
been celebrated in the past as "ndependence 6ay. Aow freedom had come& but its first few months had been
deeply disillusionin#. 1owever& he trusted that 9the worst is over:& that "ndians would henceforth work collectively
for the 9e3uality of all classes and creeds& never the domination and superiority of the major community over a
minor& however insi#nificant it may be in numbers or influence:. 1e also permitted himself the hope 9that thou#h
#eo#raphically and politically "ndia is divided into two& at heart we shall ever be friends and brothers helpin# and
respectin# one another and be one for the outside world:. >andhiji had fou#ht a lifelon# battle for a free and
united "ndia4 and yet& when the country was divided& he ur#ed that the two parts respect and befriend one
?ther "ndians were less for#ivin#. -t his daily prayer meetin# on the evenin# of 8, 0anuary& >andhiji was shot
dead by a youn# man. he assassin& who surrendered afterwards& was a !rahmin from Pune named Aathuram
>odse& the editor of an e'tremist 1indu newspaper who had denounced >andhiji as 9an appeaser of /uslims:.
>andhijis death led to an e'traordinary outpourin# of #rief& with rich tributes bein# paid to him from across the
political spectrum in "ndia& and movin# appreciations comin# from such international fi#ures as >eor#e ?rwell
and -lbert <instein. ime ma#a;ine& which had once mocked >andhijis physical si;e and seemin#ly non*rational
ideas& now compared his martyrdom to that of -braham @incoln( it was a bi#oted -merican who had killed @incoln
for believin# that human bein#s were e3ual re#ardless of their race or skin colour4 and it was a bi#oted 1indu
who had killed >andhiji for believin# that friendship was possible& indeed necessary& between "ndians of different
faiths. "n this respect& as ime wrote& 9he world knew that it had& in a sense too deep& too simple for the world
to understand& connived at his $>andhijis% death as it had connived at @incolns.:
2nowing +andhi
here are many different kinds of sources from which we can reconstruct the political career of >andhiji and the
history of the nationalist movement.
Public voice and private scripts
?ne important source is the writin#s and speeches of /ahatma >andhi and his contemporaries& includin# both his
associates and his political adversaries. Within these writin#s we need to distin#uish between those that were
meant for the public and those that were not. .peeches& for instance& allow us to hear the public voice of an
individual& while private letters #ive us a #limpse of his or her private thou#hts. "n letters we see people
e'pressin# their an#er and pain& their dismay and an'iety& their hopes and frustrations in ways in which they may
not e'press themselves in public statements. !ut we must remember that this private*public distinction often
breaks down. /any letters are written to individuals& and are therefore personal& but they are also meant for the
public. he lan#ua#e of the letters is often shaped by the awareness that they may one day be published.
5onversely& the fear that a letter may #et into print often prevents people from e'pressin# their opinion freely in
personal letters. /ahatma >andhi re#ularly published in his journal& 1arijan& letters that others wrote to him.
Aehru edited a collection of letters written to him durin# the national movement and published - !unch of ?ld
Bramin# a picture
-utobio#raphies similarly #ive us an account of the past that is often rich in human detail. !ut here a#ain we
have to be careful of the way we read and interpret autobio#raphies. We need to remember that they are
retrospective accounts written very often from memory. hey tell us what the author could recollect& what he or
she saw as important& or was keen on recountin#& or how a person wanted his or her life to be viewed by others.
Writin# an autobio#raphy is a way of framin# a picture of yourself. .o in readin# these accounts we have to try
and see what the author does not tell us4 we need to understand the reasons for that silence E those wilful or
unwittin# acts of for#ettin#.
hrou#h police eyes
-nother vital source is #overnment records& for the colonial rulers kept close tabs on those they re#arded as
critical of the #overnment. he letters and reports written by policemen and other officials were secret at the
time4 but now can be accessed in archives. @et us look at one such source( the fortni#htly reports that were
prepared by the 1ome 6epartment from the early twentieth century. hese reports were based on police
information from the localities& but often e'pressed what the hi#her officials saw& or wanted to believe. While
noticin# the possibility of sedition and rebellion& they liked to assure themselves that these fears were
unwarranted. "f you see the Bortni#htly 2eports for the period of the .alt /arch you will notice that the 1ome
6epartment was unwillin# to accept that /ahatma >andhis actions had evoked any enthusiastic response from
the masses. he march was seen as a drama& an antic& a desperate effort to mobilise people who were unwillin#
to rise a#ainst the !ritish and were busy with their daily schedules& happy under the 2aj.
Brom newspapers
?ne more important source is contemporary newspapers& published in <n#lish as well as in the different "ndian
lan#ua#es& which tracked /ahatma >andhis movements and reported on his activities& and also represented
what ordinary "ndians thou#ht of him. Aewspaper accounts& however& should not be seen as unprejudiced. hey
were published by people who had their own political opinions and world views. hese ideas shaped what was
published and the way events were reported. he accounts that were published in a @ondon newspaper would be
different from the report in an "ndian nationalist paper.
We need to look at these reports but should be careful while interpretin# them. <very statement made in these
cannot be accepted literally as representin# what was happenin# on the #round. hey often reflect the fears and
an'ieties of officials who were unable to control a movement and were an'ious about its spread. hey did not
know whether to arrest /ahatma >andhi or what an arrest would mean. he more the colonial state kept a watch
on the public and its activities& the more it worried about the basis of its rule.
191+ * /ahatma >andhi returns from .outh -frica
1917 * 5hamparan movement
191C * Peasant movements in Fheda $>ujarat%& and workers movement in -hmedabad
1919 * 2owlatt .atya#raha $/arch*-pril%
1919 * 0allianwala !a#h massacre $-pril%
1971 * Aon*cooperation and Fhilafat /ovements
197C * Peasant movement in !ardoli
1979 * 9Purna .waraj: accepted as 5on#ress #oal at the @ahore 5on#ress $6ecember%
198, * 5ivil 6isobedience /ovement be#ins4 6andi /arch $/arch*-pril%
1981 * >andhi*"rwin Pact $/arch%4 .econd 2ound able 5onference $6ecember%
198+ * >overnment of "ndia -ct promises some form of representative #overnment
1989 * 5on#ress ministries resi#n
1947 * Guit "ndia /ovement be#ins $-u#ust%
194) * /ahatma >andhi visits Aoakhali and other riot*torn areas to stop communal violence
!he Myth o the &ryan 1n(asion o 1ndia
?ne of the main ideas used to interpret and #enerally devalue the ancient history of "ndia is the theory of the
-ryan invasion. -ccordin# to this account& "ndia was invaded and con3uered by nomadic li#ht*skinned "ndo*
<uropean tribes from 5entral -sia around 1+,,*1,, !5& who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark*
skinned 6ravidian civili;ation from which they took most of what later became 1indu culture. his so*called pre*
-ryan civili;ation is said to be evidenced by the lar#e urban ruins of what has been called the N"ndus valley
cultureN $as most of its initial sites were on the "ndus river%. he war between the powers of li#ht and darkness& a
prevalent idea in ancient -ryan Hedic scriptures& was thus interpreted to refer to this war between li#ht and dark
skinned peoples. he -ryan invasion theory thus turned the NHedasN& the ori#inal scriptures of ancient "ndia and
the "ndo*-ryans& into little more than primitive poems of uncivili;ed plunderers.
his idea totally forei#n to the history of "ndia& whether north or south has become almost an un3uestioned truth
in the interpretation of ancient history oday& after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been
refuted& even major Western scholars are at last be#innin# to call it in 3uestion.
"n this article we will summari;e the main points that have arisen. his is a comple' subject that " have dealt with
in depth in my book N>ods& .a#es and Fin#s( Hedic .ecrets of -ncient 5ivili;ationN& for those interested in further
e'amination of the subject.
he "ndus valley culture was pronounced pre*-ryans for several reasons that were lar#ely part of the cultural
milieu of nineteenth century <uropean thinkin# -s scholars followin# /a' /ullar had decided that the -ryans
came into "ndia around 1+,, !5& since the "ndus valley culture was earlier than this& they concluded that it had
to be pre-ryan. =et the rationale behind the late date for the Hedic culture #iven by /uller was totally speculative.
/a' /uller& like many of the 5hristian scholars of his era& believed in !iblical chronolo#y. his placed the
be#innin# of the world at 4,, !5 and the flood around 7+,, !5. -ssumin# to those two dates& it became difficult
to #et the -ryans in "ndia before 1+,, !5.
/uller therefore assumed that the five layers of the four OHedasO P ODpanishadsO were each composed in 7,, year
periods before the !uddha at +,, !5. 1owever& there are more chan#es of lan#ua#e in Hedic .anskrit itself than
there are in classical .anskrit since Panini& also re#arded as a fi#ure of around +,, !5& or a period of 7+,, years.
1ence it is clear that each of these periods could have e'isted for any number of centuries and that the 7,, year
fi#ure is totally arbitrary and is likely too short a fi#ure.
"t was assumed by these scholars many of whom were also 5hristian missionaries unsympathetic to the OHedasO
that the Hedic culture was that of primitive nomads from 5entral -sia. 1ence they could not have founded any
urban culture like that of the "ndus valley. he only basis for this was a rather 3uestionable interpretation of the
O2i# HedaO that they made& i#norin# the sophisticated nature of the culture presented within it.
/eanwhile& it was also pointed out that in the middle of the second millennium !5& a number of "ndo*<uropean
invasions apparently occured in the /iddle <ast& wherein "ndo*<uropean peoples the 1ittites& /it tani and
Fassites con3uered and ruled /esopotamia for some centuries. -n -ryan invasion of "ndia would have been
another version of this same movement of "ndo*<uropean peoples. ?n top of this& e'cavators of the "ndus valley
culture& like Wheeler& thou#ht they found evidence of destruction of the culture by an outside invasion confirmin#
he Hedic culture was thus said to be that of primitive nomads who came out of 5entral -sia with their horse*
drawn chariots and iron weapons and overthrew the cities of the more advanced "ndus valley culture& with their
superior battle tactics. "t was pointed out that no horses& chariots or iron was discovered in "ndus valley sites.
his was how the -ryan invasion theory formed and has remained since then. hou#h little has been discovered
that confirms this theory& there has been much hesitancy to 3uestion it& much less to #ive it up. Burther
e'cavations discovered horses not only in "ndus Halley sites but also in pre*"ndus sites. he use of the horse has
thus been proven for the whole ran#e of ancient "ndian history. <vidence of the wheel& and an "ndus seal showin#
a spoked wheel as used in chariots& has also been found& su##estin# the usa#e of chariots.
/oreover& the whole idea of nomads with chariots has been challen#ed. 5hariots are not the vehicles of nomads.
heir usa#e occured only in ancient urban cultures with much flat land& of which the river plain of north "ndia was
the most suitable. 5hariots are totally unsuitable for crossin# mountains and deserts& as the so*called -ryan
invasion re3uired.
hat the Hedic culture used iron P must hence date later than the introduction of iron around 1+,, !5 revolves
around the meanin# of the Hedic term NayasN& interpreted as iron. O-yasO in other "ndo* <uropean lan#ua#es like
@atin or >erman usually means copper& bron;e or ore #enerally& not specially iron. here is no reason to insist
that in such earlier Hedic times& OayasO meant iron& particularly since other metals are not mentioned in the O2i#
HedaO $e'cept #old that is much more commonly referred to than ayas%. /oreover& the O-tharva HedaO and O=ajur
HedaO speak of different colors of OayasO$such as red P black%& showin# that it was a #eneric term. 1ence it is clear
that OayasO #enerally meant metal and not specifically iron.
/oreover& the enemies of the Hedic people in the O2i# HedaO also use ayas& even for makin# their cities& as do the
Hedic people themselves. 1ence there is nothin# in Hedic literture to show that either the Hedic culture was an
ironbased culture or that there enemies were not.
he O2i# HedaO describes its >ods as Odestroyers of citiesO. his was used also to re#ard the Hedic as a primitive
non*urban culture that destroys cities and urban civili;ation. 1owever& there are also many verses in the O2i#
HedaO that speak of the -ryans as havin# havin# cities of their own and bein# protected by cities upto a hundred
in number. -ryan >ods like "ndra& -#ni& .araswati and the -dityas are praised as bein# like a city. /any ancient
kin#s& includin# those of <#ypt and /esopotamia& had titles like destroyer or con3uerer of cities. his does not
turn them into nomads. 6estruction of cities also happens in modern wars4 this does not make those who do this
nomads. 1ence the idea of Hedic culture as destroyin# but not buildin# the cities is based upon i#norin# what the
Hedas actually say about their own cities.
Burther e'cavation revealed that the "ndus Halley culture was not des* troyed by outside invasion& but accordin#
to internal causes and& most likely& floods. /ost recently a new set of cities has been found in "ndia $like the
6waraka and !et 6waraka sites by ..2. 2ao and the Aational "nstitute of ?ceano#raphy in "ndia% which are
intermidiate between those of the "ndus culture and later ancient "ndia as visited by the >reeks. his may
eliminate the so*called dark a#e followin# the presumed -ryan invasion and shows a continuous urban occupation
in "ndia back to the be#innin# of the "ndus culture.
he interpretation of the reli#ion of the "ndus Halley culture *made incidentlly by scholars such as Wheeler who
were not reli#ious scholars much less students of 1induism was that its reli#ion was different than the Hedic and
more likely the later .haivite reli#ion. 1owever& further e'cavations both in "ndus Halley site in >ujarat& like
@othal& and those in 2ajsthan& like Faliban#an show lar#e number of fire altars like those used in the Hedic
reli#ion& alon# with bones of o'en& potsherds& shell jewelry and other items used in the rituals described in the
OHedic !rahmanasO. 1ence the "ndus Halley culture evidences many Hedic practices that can not be merely
coincidental. hat some of its practices appeared non*Hedic to its e'cavators may also be attributed to their
misunderstandin# or lack of knowled#e of Hedic and 1indu culture #enerally& wherein Hedism and .haivism are
the same basic tradition.
We must remember that ruins do not necessarily have one interpretation. Aor does the ability to discover ruins
necessarily #ives the ability to interpret them correctly.
he Hedic people were thou#ht to have been a fair*skinned race like the <uropeans owin# to the Hedic idea of a
war between li#ht and darkness& and the Hedic people bein# presented as children of li#ht or children of the sun.
=et this idea of a war between li#ht and darkness e'ists in most ancient cultures& includin# the Persian and the
<#yptian. Why donOt we interpret their scriptures as a war between li#ht and dark*skinned peopleJ "t is purely a
poetic metaphor& not a cultural statement. /oreover& no real traces of such a race are found in "ndia.
-nthropolo#ists have observed that the present population of >ujarat is composed of more or less the same
ethnic #roups as are noticed at @othal in 7,,, !5. .imilarly& the present population of the Punjab is said to be
ethnically the same as the population of 1arappa and 2upar 4,,, years a#o. @in#uistically the present day
population of >ujrat and Punjab belon#s to the "ndo*-ryan lan#ua#e speakin# #roup. he only inference that can
be drawn from the anthropolo#ical and lin#uistic evidences adduced above is that the 1arappan population in the
"ndus Halley and >ujrat in 7,,, !5 was composed of two or more #roups& the more dominent amon# them
havin# very close ethnic affinities with the present day "ndo*-ryan speakin# population of "ndia.
"n other words there is no racial evidence of any such "ndo*-ryan invasion of "ndia but only of a continuity of the
same #roup of people who traditionally considered themselves to be -ryans.
here are many points in fact that prove the Hedic nature of the "ndus Halley culture. Burther e'cavation has
shown that the #reat majority of the sites of the "ndus Halley culture were east& not west of "ndus. "n fact& the
lar#est concentration of sites appears in an area of Punjab and 2ajsthan near the dry banks of ancient .araswati
and 6rishadvati rivers. he Hedic culture was said to have been founded by the sa#e /anu between the banks of
.araswati and 6rishadvati rivers. he .araswati is lauded as the main river $naditama% in the O2i# HedaO P is the
most fre3uently mentioned in the te't. "t is said to be a #reat flood and to be wide& even endless in si;e.
.araswati is said to be Npure in course from the mountains to the seaN. 1ence the Hedic people were well
ac3uainted with this river and re#arded it as their immemorial hoemland.
he .araswati& as modern land studies now reveal& was indeed one of the lar#est& if not the lar#est river in "ndia.
"n early ancient and pre*historic times& it once drained the .utlej& =amuna and the >an#es& whose courses were
much different than they are today. 1owever& the .araswati river went dry at the end of the "ndus Halley culture
and before the so*called -ryan invasion or before 1+,, !5. "n fact this may have caused the endin# of the "ndus
culture. 1ow could the Hedic -ryans know of this river and establish their culture on its banks if it dried up before
they arrivedJ "ndeed the .araswati as described in the O2i# HedaO appears to more accurately show it as it was
prior to the "ndus Halley culture as in the "ndus era it was already in decline.
Hedic and late Hedic te'ts also contain interestin# astronomical lore. he Hedic calender was based upon
astronomical si#htin#s of the e3uino'es and solstices. .uch te'ts as OHedan#a 0yotishO speak of a time when the
vernal e3uino' was in the middle of the Aakshtra -slesha $or about 78 de#rees 7, minutes 5ancer%. his #ives a
date of 18,, !5. he O=ajur HedaO and O-tharva HedaO speak of the vernal e3uino' in the Frittikas $Pleiades4 early
aurus% and the summer solstice $ayana% in /a#ha $early @eo%. his #ives a date about 74,, !5. =et earlier eras
are mentioned but these two have numerous references to substantiate them. hey prove that the Hedic culture
e'isted at these periods and already had a sophisticated system of astronomy. .uch references were merely
i#nored or pronounced unintelli#ible by Western scholars because they yielded too early a date for the OHedasO
than what they presumed& not because such references did not e'ist.
Hedic te'ts like O.hatapatha !rahmanaO and O-itereya !rahmanaO that mention these astronomical references list a
#roup of 11 Hedic Fin#s& includin# a number of fi#ures of the O2i# HedaO& said to have con3uered the re#ion of
"ndia from Osea to seaO. @ands of the -ryans are mentioned in them from >andhara $-f#anistan% in the west to
Hideha $Aepal% in the east& and south to Hidarbha $/aharashtra%. 1ence the Hedic people were in these re#ions
by the Frittika e3uino' or before 74,, !5. hese passa#es were also i#nored by Western scholars and it was said
by them that the OHedasO had no evidence of lar#e empires in "ndia in Hedic times. 1ence a pattern of i#norin#
literary evidence or misinterpretin# them to suit the -ryan invasion idea became prevalent& even to the point of
chan#in# the meanin# of Hedic words to suit this theory.
-ccordin# to this theory& the Hedic people were nomads in the Punjab& commin# down from 5entral -sia.
1owever& the O2i# HedaO itself has nearly 1,, references to ocean $samudra%& as well as do;ens of references to
ships& and to rivers flowin# in to the sea. Hedic ancestors like /anu& urvasha& =adu and !hujyu are flood fi#ures&
saved from across the sea. he Hedic >od of the sea& Haruna& is the father of many Hedic seers and seer families
like Hasishta& -#astya and the !hri#u seers. o preserve the -ryan invasion idea it was assumed that the Hedic
$and later sanskrit% term for ocean& samudra& ori#inally did not mean the ocean but any lar#e body of water&
especially the "ndus river in Punjab. 1ere the clear meanin# of a term in O2i# HedaO and later times verified by
rivers like .araswati mentioned by name as flowin# into the sea was altered to make the -ryan invasion theory
fit. =et if we look at the inde' to translation of the O2i# HedaO by >riffith for e'ample& who held to this idea that
samudra didnOt really mean the ocean& we find over 7, references to ocean or sea. "f samudra does noe mean
ocean why was it traslated as suchJ "t is therefore without basis to locate Hedic kin#s in 5entral -sia far from any
ocean or from the massive .araswati river& which form the back#round of their land and the symbolism of their
?ne of the latest archeolo#ical ideas is that the Hedic culture is evidenced by Painted >rey Ware pottery in north
"ndia& which apears to date around 1,,, !5 and comes from the same re#ion between the >an#es and =amuna
as later Hedic culture is related to. "t is thou#ht to be an inferior #rade of pottery and to be associated with the
use of iron that the OHedasO are thou#ht to mention. 1owever it is associated with a pi# and rice culture& not the
cow and barley culture of the OHedasO. /oreover it is now found to be an or#anic development of inde#enous
pottery& not an introduction of invaders.
Painted >rey Ware culture represents an indi#enous cultural development and does not reflect any cultural
intrusion from the West i.e. an "ndo*-ryan invasion. herefore& there is no archeolo#ical evidence corroboratin#
the fact of an "ndo*-ryan invasion.
"n addition& the -ryans in the /iddle <ast& most notably the 1ittites& have now been found to have been in that
re#ion atleast as early as 77,, !5& wherein they are already mentioned. 1ence the idea of an -ryan invasion into
the /iddle <ast has been pushed back some centuries& thou#h the evidence so far is that the people of the
mountain re#ions of the /iddle <ast were "ndo*<uropeans as far as recorded history can prove. he -ryan
Fassites of the ancient /iddle <ast worshipped Hedic >ods like .urya and the /aruts& as well as one named
1imalaya. he -ryan 1ittites and /ittani si#ned a treaty with the name of the Hedic >ods "ndra& /itra& Haruna
and Aasatyas around 14,, !5. he 1ittites have a treatise on chariot racin# written in almost pure .anskrit. he
"ndo<uropeans of the ancient /iddle <ast thus spoke "ndo*-ryan& not "ndo*"ranian lan#ua#es and thereby show a
Hedic culture in that re#ion of the world as well.
he "ndus Halley culture had a form of writin#& as evidenced by numerous seals found in the ruins. "t was also
assumed to be non*Hedic and probably 6ravidian& thou#h this was never proved. Aow it has been shown that the
majority of the late "ndus si#ns are identical with those of later 1indu !rahmi and that there is an or#anic
development between the two scripts. Prevalent models now su##est an "ndo*<uropean base for that lan#ua#e. "t
was also assumed that the "ndus Halley culture derived its civili;ation from the /iddle <ast& probably .umeria& as
antecedents for it were not found in "ndia. 2ecent Brench e'cavations at /ehr#arh have shown that all the
antecedents of the "ndus Halley culture can be found within the subcontinent and #oin# back before ),,, !5. "n
short& some Western scholars are be#innin# to reject the -ryan invasion or any outside ori#in for 1indu
5urrent archeolo#ical data do not support the e'istence of an "ndo -ryan or <uropean invasion into .outh -sia at
any time in the preor protohistoric periods. "nstead& it is possible to document archeolo#ically a series of cultural
chan#es reflectin# indi#enous cultural development from prehistoric to historic periods. he early Hedic literature
describes not a human invasion into the area& but a fundamental restructurin# of indi#enous society. he "ndo*
-ryan invasion as an academic concept in 1Cth and 19th century <urope reflected the cultural milieu of the
period. @in#uistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archeolo#ical and
anthropolo#ical data.
"n other words& Hedic literature was interpreted on the assumption that there was an -ryan invasion. hen
archeolo#ical evidence was interpreted by the same assumption. -nd both interpretations were then used to
justify each other. "t is nothin# but a tautolo#y& an e'ercise in circular thinkin# that only proves that if assumin#
somethin# is true& it is found to be trueQ
-nother modern Western scholar& 5olin 2enfrew& places the "ndo<uropeans in >reece as early as ),,, !5. 1e
also su##ests such a possible early date for their entry into "ndia.
-s far as " can see there is nothin# in the 1ymns of the O2i# HedaO which demonstrates that the Hedic*speakin#
population was intrusive to the area( this comes rather from a historical assumption of the Ocommin# of the "ndo*
When Wheeler speaks of Othe -ryan invasion of the land of the 7 rivers& the PunjabO& he has no warrenty at all& so
far as " can see. "f one checks the do;en references in the O2i# HedaO to the 7 rivers& there is nothin# in them that
to me implies invasion( the land of the 7 rivers is the land of the O2i# HedaO& the scene of action. Aor is it implied
that the inhabitants of the walled cities $includin# the 6asyus% were any more abori#inal than the -ryans
6espite WheelerOs comments& it is difficult to see what is particularly non*-ryan about the "ndus Halley
civili;ation. 1ence 2enfrew su##ests that the "ndus Halley civili;ation was in fact "ndo*-ryan even prior to the
"ndus Halley era(
his hypothesis that early "ndo*<uropean lan#ua#es were spoken in Aorth "ndia with Pakistan and on the "ranian
plateau at the )th millennium !5 has the merit of harmoni;in# symmetrically with the theory for the ori#in of the
"ndo<uropean lan#ua#es in <urope. "t also emphasi;es the continuity in the "ndus Halley and adjacent areas from
the early neolithic throu#h to the floruit of the "ndus Halley civili;ation. his is not to say that such scholars
appreciate or understand the OHedasO their work leaves much to be desired in this respect but that it is clear that
the whole edifice built around the -ryan invasion is be#innin# to tumble on all sides. "n addition& it does not mean
that the O2i# HedaO dates from the "ndus Halley era. he "ndus Halley culture resembles that of the O=ajur HedaO
and the reflect the pre*"ndus period in "ndia& when the .araswati river was more prominent.
he acceptance of such views would create a revolution in our view of history as shatterin# as that in science
caused by <insteinOs theory of relativity. "t would make ancient "ndia perhaps the oldest& lar#est and most central
of ancient cultures. "t would mean that the Hedic literary record already the lar#est and oldest of the ancient
world even at a 1+,, !5 date would be the record of teachin#s some centuries or thousands of years before that.
"t would mean that the OHedasO are our most authentic record of the ancient world. "t would also tend to validate
the Hedic view that the "ndo*<uropeans and other -ryan peoples were mi#rants from "ndia& not that the "ndo*
-ryans were invaders into "ndia. /oreover& it would affirm the 1indu tradition that the 6ravidians were early
offshoots of the Hedic people throu#h the seer -#astya& and not unaryan peoples.
"n closin#& it is important to e'amine the social and political implications of the -ryan invasion idea(
R Birst& it served to divide "ndia into a northern -ryan and southern 6ravidian culture which were made hostile to
each other. his kept the 1indus divided and is still a source of social tension.
R .econd& it #ave the !ritish an e'cuse in their con3uest of "ndia. hey could claim to be doin# only what the
-ryan ancestors of the 1indus had previously done millennia a#o.
R hird& it served to make Hedic culture later than and possibly derived from /iddle <astern cultures. With the
pro'imity and relationship of the latter with the !ible and 5hristianity& this kept the 1indu reli#ion as a sideli#ht to
the development of reli#ion and civili;ation to the West.
R Bourth& it allowed the sciences of "ndia to be #iven a >reek basis& as any Hedic basis was lar#ely dis3ualified by
the primitive nature of the Hedic culture.
his discredited not only the OHedasO but the #enealo#ies of the OPuranasO and their lon# list of the kin#s before the
!uddha or Frishna were left without any historical basis. he O/ahabharataO& instead of a civil war in which all the
main kin#s of "ndia participated as it is described& became a local skirmish amon# petty princes that was later
e'a##erated by poets. "n short& it discredited the most of the 1indu tradition and almost all its ancient literature.
"t turned its scriptures and sa#es into fantacies and e'a##erations.
his served a social& political and economical purpose of domination& provin# the superiority of Western culture
and reli#ion. "t made the 1indus feel that their culture was not the #reat thin# that their sa#es and ancestors had
said it was. "t made 1indus feel ashamed of their culture that its basis was neither historical nor scientific. "t
made them feel that the main line of civili;ation was developed first in the /iddle <ast and then in <urope and
that the culture of "ndia was peripheral and secondary to the real development of world culture.
.uch a view is not #ood scholarship or archeolo#y but merely cultural imperialism. he Western Hedic scholars did
in the intellectual spehere what the !ritish army did in the political realm discredit& divide and con3uer the
1indus. "n short& the compellin# reasons for the -ryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archeolo#ical but
political and reli#ious that is to say& not scholarship but prejudice. .uch prejudice may not have been intentional
but deep*seated political and reli#ious views easily cloud and blur our thinkin#.
"t is unfortunate that this this approach has not been 3uestioned more& particularly by 1indus. <ven thou#h
"ndian Hedic scholars like 6ayananda saraswati& !al >an#adhar ilak and -robindo rejected it& most 1indus today
passively accept it. hey allow Western& #enerally 5hristian& scholars to interpret their history for them and 3uite
naturally 1induism is kept in a reduced role. /any 1indus still accept& read or even honor the translations of the
OHedasO done by such 5hristian missionary scholars as /a' /uller& >riffith& /onierWilliams and 1. 1. Wilson.
Would modern 5hristians accept an interpretation of the !ible or !iblical history done by 1indus aimed at
convertin# them to 1induismJ Dniversities in "ndia also use the Western history books and Western Hedic
translations that propound such views that deni#rate their own culture and country.
he modern Western academic world is sensitive to critisms of cultural and social biases. Bor scholars to take a
stand a#ainst this biased interpretation of the OHedasO would indeed cause a ree'amination of many of these
historical ideas that can not stand objective scrutiny. !ut if 1indu scholars are silent or passively accept the
misinterpretation of their own culture& it will undoubtly continue& but they will have no one to blame but
themselves. "t is not an issue to be taken li#htly& because how a culture is defined historically creates the
perspective from which it is viewed in the modern social and intellectual conte't. olerance is not in allowin# a
false view of oneOs own culture and reli#ion to be propa#ated without 3uestion. hat is merely self*betrayal.
!HE &%3&-
hey called themselves the Nnoble onesN or the Nsuperior ones.N heir names are lost4 their tribal names are lost.
!ut when they found themselves con3uerors& they #ave themselves the name NsuperiorN or Nnoble.N
hey were a tribal and nomadic peoples livin# in the far reaches of <uro*-sia in hostile steppe lands barely
scratchin# out a livin#. hey were un3uestionably a tou#h people& and they were fierce and war*like. heir
reli#ion reflects it dominated as it is by a storm*#od or sky*#od that enjoins warfare and con3uest. his #od was
called somethin# like N6yaus&N a word related to NSeus&N NdeusN $the @atin word for N#odN%& NdevaN $the .anskrit
word for N#odN%& and& of course& the <n#lish word Ndivine.N heir culture was oriented around warfare& and they
were very #ood at it. hey were superior on horseback and rushed into battle in chariots. hey were a tribal
people ruled over by a war*chief& or raja $the @atin word Nre'N $kin#% comes from the same root word& alon# with
the <n#lish Nre#alN%. .omewhere in the early centuries of the second millenium !5& they be#an to mi#rate
southwards in waves of steady con3uest across the face of Persia and the lands of "ndia.
here& they would take on the name NsuperiorN or NnobleN to distin#uish themselves from the people they
con3uered. heir name is derived from the "ndo*<uropean root word& Nar&N meanin# Nnoble.N "n .anskrit& they
were the N-ryasN $N-ryansN%4 but that root& Nar&N would also serve as the foundation of the name of the con3uered
Persian territories& N"ran.N his concept of nobility& in fact& seems to lie at the heart of "ndo*<uropean
consciousness& for it appears in another countryOs name& N"reland&N or N<ire.N =ou can bet& however& that when a
people #o around callin# themselves superior that it spells bad news for other people.
-nd there is no 3uestion that they were bad news for the southern -sians. hey swept over Persia with li#htenin#
speed& and spread across the northern river plains of "ndia. heir nature as a warlike& con3uerin# people are still
preserved in Hedic reli#ion& the foundation of 1induism. "n the 2i# Heda& the collection of praises to the #ods& the
#od "ndra towers over the poetry as a con3uerin# #od& one that smashes cities and slays enemies. he invadin#
-ryans were ori#inally nomadic peoples& not a#ricultural. hey penetrated "ndia from the north*west& settlin# first
in the "ndus valley. Dnlike the 1arappans& however& they eventually concentrated their populations alon# the
>an#es floodplain. he >an#es& unlike the "ndus& is far milder and more predictable in its floodin#. "t must have
been a paradise to a people from the dry steppes of central -sia and "ran& a paradise full of water and forest.
When they arrived& the vast northern plains were almost certainly densely forested. Where now bare fields
stretch to the hori;on& when the -ryans arrived lush forests stretched to those very same hori;ons. 5learin# the
forests over the centuries was an epic project and one that is still preserved in "ndian literature.
he -ryans& or Hedic civili;ation were a new start in "ndian culture. 1arappa was more or less a dead end $at
least as far as we know%4 the -ryans adopted almost nothin# of 1arappan culture. hey built no cities& no states&
no #ranaries& and used no writin#. "nstead they were a warlike people that or#ani;ed themselves in individual
tribal& kinship units& the jana. he jana was ruled over by a war*chief. hese tribes spread 3uickly over northern
"ndia and the 6eccan. "n a process that we do not understand& the basic social unit of -ryan culture& the jana&
slowly developed from an or#ani;ation based on kinship to one based on #eo#raphy. he jana became a
janapada& or nation and the jana*rajya & or tribal kin#dom& became the jana*rajyapada& or national kin#dom. .o
powerfully in#rained into "ndian culture is the jana*pada & that "ndians still define themselves mainly by their
territorial ori#ins. -ll the major territories of modern "ndia& with their separate cultures and separate lan#ua#es&
can be dated back to the early jana*padas of Hedic "ndia.
he earliest history of the -ryans in "ndia is called the 2i#vedic Period $17,,*1,,, !5% after the reli#ious praise
poems that are the oldest pieces of literature in "ndia. hese poems& the 2i# Heda& are believed to represent the
most primitive layer of "ndo*<uropean reli#ion and have many characteristics in common with Persian reli#ion
since the two peoples are closely related in time. "n this early period& their population was restricted to the
Punjab in the northern reaches of the "ndus 2iver and the =amuna 2iver near the >an#es. hey maintained the
-ryan tribal structure& with a raja rulin# over the tribal #roup in tandem with a council. <ach jana seems to have
had a chief priest4 the reli#ion was focused almost entirely on a series of sacrifices to the #ods. he 2i#vedic
peoples ori#inally had only two social classes( nobles and commoners. <ventually& they added a third( 6asas & or
Ndarks.N hese were& we presume& the darker*skinned people they had con3uered. !y the end of the 2i#vedic
period& social class had settled into four ri#id castes( the caturvarnas& or Nfour colors.N -t the top of the
caturvarnas were the priests& or !rahmans. !elow the priests were the warriors or nobles $Fshatriya%& the
craftspeople and merchants $Haishya%& and the servants $.hudra%& who made up the bulk of society. hese
economic classes were le#itimated by an elaborate reli#ious system and would be eventually subdivided into a
hu#e number of economic sub*classes which we call Ncastes.N .ocial class by the end of the 2i#vedic period
became completely infle'ible4 there was no such thin# as social mobility.
"n the early centuries of @ater Hedic Period or !rahmanic Period $1,,,*+,, !5%& the -ryans mi#rated across the
6oab& which is a lar#e plain which separates the =amuna 2iver from the >an#es. "t was a difficult project& for the
6oab was thickly forested4 the -ryans slowly burned and settled the 6oab until they reached the >an#es. While
the 2i# Heda represents the most primitive reli#ion of the -ryans durin# the 2i#vedic Period& the reli#ion of the
@ater Hedic period is dominated by the !rahmanas& or priestly book& which was composed sometime between
1,,, and C+, !5. @ater Hedic society is dominated by the !rahmans and every aspect of -ryan life comes under
the control of priestly rituals and spells. "n history as the "ndians understand it& the @ater Hedic Period is the <pic
-#e4 the #reat literary& heroic epics of "ndian culture& the /ahabharata and the 2amayana& thou#h they were
composed between +,, and 7,, !5& were probably ori#inally formulated and told in the @ater Hedic Period. !oth
of these epics deal with heroes from this period and demonstrate how -ryan cultural values& as we can
understand them from the 2i# Heda & are bein# transformed by mi'in# with "ndus cultures.
What did the -ryans do with their timeJ hey seem to have had a well*developed musical culture& and son# and
dance dominated their society. hey were not #reatly invested in the visual arts& but their interest in lyric poetry
was unmatched. hey loved #amblin#. hey did not& however& have much interest in writin# even thou#h they
could have inherited a civili;ation and a writin# system when they ori#inally settled "ndia. We do not know e'actly
when they became interested in writin#& but it may have been at the end of the !rahmanic period somewhere
between )+, and +,, !5. .till& there are no -ryan writin#s until the /auryan periodTfrom 1arappa $7+,,*17+,
!5% to /aurya $8,, !5% is 3uite a lon# time. he script that the /auryans used is called N!rahmiN script and was
used to write not only the reli#ious and literary lan#ua#e of the time& .anskrit& but also the vernacular lan#ua#es.
his script& !rahmi& is the national alphabet of "ndia.
he Hedic period& then& is a period of cultural mi'in#& not of con3uest. -lthou#h the -ryans were a con3uerin#
people when they first spread into "ndia& the culture of the -ryans would #radually mi' with indi#enous cultures&
and the war*reli#ion of the -ryans& still preserved in parts of the 2i# Heda& slowly became more rituali;ed and
more meditative. !y 7,, !5& this process of mi'in# and transformin# was more or less complete and the culture
we call N"ndianN was fully formed.
H&%&PP& &-D 1-DU/ C141)15&!1*-
-lthou#h a#riculture seems to have come late to "ndia& arrivin# sometime around +,,, !5& "ndia was one of the
first re#ions to #ive birth to civili;ation. ?nly a few centuries after the first /esopotamian cities spran# up& a
people livin# alon# the northern reaches of the "ndus 2iver discovered urbani;ation& metalwork& and writin#. "t is
a mysterious civili;ation and one with no discernible continuity& for it thrived for just several centuries and then
disappeared. he "ndo*<uropean immi#rants who settled the re#ion did not adopt most of the aspects of this
civili;ation& and what precisely they did adopt is difficult to ascertain. .o while <#ypt& /esopotamia& and the
=ellow 2iver civili;ations lasted for millenia and left their mark on all subse3uent cultures& the "ndus 2iver
civili;ation seems to have been a false start.
Bor the overwhelmin# majority of human history& this early culture was truly a lost civili;ation. he mounds which
stood where #reat cities once thrived e'cited interest in observers& but no one in their wildest dreams could have
ima#ined that beneath those lar#e mounds lay cities that had been lost to human memory.
"n the 197,Os& e'cavations be#an on one of these mounds in 1arappa in Pakistan. While the archaeolo#ists
e'pected to find somethin#& they did not ima#ine that a city lay beneath the earth. -rchaeolo#ists would later
discover another lar#e city to the recovery of at least ei#hty villa#es and towns related to this newly discovered
civili;ation. hey named it 1arappan after the first city they discovered& but it is more commonly called the "ndus
2iver civili;ation. While we have stones and tools and fra#ments and bones& we really have no oneOs voice or
e'perience from the bustlin# days of the #reat 1arappan cities. We donOt know who the people were who built
and lived there. We donOt know& either& when they first built their cities4 some scholars ar#ue that 1arappan
civili;ation arises around 77+, !5& while others ar#ue that it can be dated back to 7+,, !5 or earlier.
@ike the civili;ations in /esopotamia& <#ypt& and >reece& 1arappa #rew on the floodplains of a rich and life*#ivin#
river& the "ndus. he ori#inal cities and many of the towns seemed to have been built ri#ht upon the shores of the
river. he "ndus& however& is destructive and unpredictable in its floods& and the cities were fre3uently levelled by
the forces of nature. /ohenjo*6aro in the south& where the floodin# can be fairly brutal& was rebuilt si' times that
we know about4 1arappa in the north was rebuilt five times.
he 1arappans were an a#ricultural people whose economy was almost entirely dominated by horticulture.
/assive #ranaries were built at each city& and there most certainly was an elaborate bureaucracy to distribute this
wealth of food. he "ndus 2iver valley is relatively dry now& but apparently it was 3uite wet when the 1arappans
thrived there. We know this because the bricks that they built their cities with were fired bricks4 since sun*dried
bricks are cheaper and easier to make& we can only assume that over*abundant humidity and precipitation
prevented them from takin# the cheaper way out. "n addition& many of the 1arappan seals have pictures of
animals that imply a wet and marshy environment& such as rhinoceroses& elephants& and ti#ers. he 1arappans
also had a wide variety of domesticated animals( camels& cats& do#s& #oats& sheep& and buffalo.
heir cities were carefully planned and laid out4 they are& in fact& the first people to plan the buildin# of their
cities. Whenever they rebuilt their cities& they laid them out precisely in the same way the destroyed city had
been built. he pathways within the city are laid out in a perpendicular criss*cross fashion4 most of the city
consisted of residences.
@ife in the 1arappan cities was apparently 3uite #ood. -lthou#h livin# 3uarters were cramped& which is typical of
ancient cities& the residents nevertheless had drains& sewers& and even latrines. here is no 3uestion that they
had an active trade with cultures to the west. .everal 1arappan seals have been found in e'cavations of
.umerian cities& as well as pictures of animals that in no way could have e'isted in /esopotamia& such as ti#ers.
here is not& however& a wealth of /esopotamian artifacts in 1arappan cities.
We know nothin# of the reli#ion of the 1arappans. Dnlike in /esopotamia or <#ypt& we have discovered no
buildin# that so much as hints that it mi#ht be a temple or involve any kind of public worship. he bulk of public
buildin#s in the city seemed to be solely oriented towards the economy and makin# life comfortable for the
1arappans. We do& however& have a number of tantali;in# fi#ures on various seals and statues. What we #ather
from these fi#ures $and we can not #ather much%& is that the 1arappans probably e'ercised some sort of #oddess
worship. here is& however& some sort of male #od $maybe% that has the head of a man with the horns of a bull.
"n addition& we believe from various artifacts that the 1arappans also may have worshipped natural objects or
animistic forces& but the circumstances of this worship can only be #uessed at.
We know that the 1arappans were eventually supplanted by waves of mi#rations of "ndo*<uropeans. hese new
peoples& however& did not seem to adopt the reli#ious practices of the 1arappans& so it is not possible to
reconstruct 1arappan reli#ion throu#h the reli#ion of the Hedic peoples& that is& the "ndo*<uropeans who
constructed the rudimentary "ndian reli#ion represented by the Hedas.
2i#ht at the heart of the mystery& like a person speakin# behind sound*proof #lass& are the numerous writin#s on
the artifacts that have been unearthed. 1arappan writin# was a picto#raphic script& or at least seems to be4 as of
yet& however& no one has fi#ured out how to decipher it or even what lan#ua#e it mi#ht be renderin#. he lo#ical
candidate is that the 1arappans spoke a 6ravidian lan#ua#e& but that conclusion& which may not be true& has not
helped anybody decipher the script. @ike the rest of 1arappan civili;ation& the writin# was lost to human memory
after the disappearance of the 1arappans.
-nd finally they disappeared. -nd they disappeared without a trace. .ome believe that they were overrun by the
war*like -ryans& the "ndo*<uropeans who& like a storm& rushed in from <uro*-sia and overran Persia and northern
"ndia. .ome believe that the periodic and fre3uently destructive floodin# of the "ndus finally took its toll on the
economic health of the civili;ation. "t is possible that the periodic chan#es of course that the "ndus under#oes
also contributed to its decline. -ll we know is that somewhere between 1C,, and 17,, !5& the 1arappan cities
and towns were abandoned and finally reclaimed by the rich soil they had sprun# from.
!HE C*-0UE/! *, &)E6&-DE%
"n 881 !5& -le'ander the >reat of /acedon be#an one of the #reatest con3uests in human history. -fter
con3uerin# <#ypt and defeatin# the Persian <mpire -le'ander had pushed his army to the very limits of the world
as the >reeks knew it. !ut he wanted more4 he saw that the world e'tended further. !y con3uerin# the ancient
lands of the /esopotamians& he came into contact with cultures to the east& such as Pakistan and "ndia. -fter
almost a millenium and a half& from the period of 1arappa $7+,,*17+, !5%& to the end of the !rahmanic period&
the peoples of "ndia entered into no commerce or trade with the /esopotamians. !ut startin# around 7,, !5& the
"ndians be#an to trade a#ain with the /esopotamian cities& and by the time of -le'ander& that trade was
dyanmic. Partly out of curiosity& and partly out of a desire to con3uer the enitre world within the boundaries of
the river ?cean $the >reeks believed that a #reat river& called ?cean& encircled all the land of the world%&
-le'ander and his army pushed east& throu#h northern "ran and all the way to Pakistan and "ndia. 1e had
con3uered !actria at the foot of the western 1imalayas& #ained a hu#e !actrian army& and married a !actrian
princess& 2o'ane. !ut when he tried to push on past Pakistan& his army #rew tired& and he abandoned the
eastward con3uest in 877 !5.
-le'ander only made it as far as the re#ion of >andhara& the plain which lies directly west of the "ndus 2iver.
-le'ander himself seems to have had literally no effect on "ndian history& for he left as soon as he reached the
"ndus. wo important results& however& arose because of -le'anderOs con3uests( first& from this point onwards
>reek and "ndian culture would intermi'. !ut most importantly& the con3uest of -le'ander may have set the
sta#e for the first #reat con3ueror of "ndian history& 5handra#upta /aurya $rei#ned 871*797 !5%& who& shortly
after -le'ander left& united all the kin#doms of northern "ndia into a sin#le empire.
practices of the 1arappans& so it is not possible to reconstruct 1arappan reli#ion throu#h the reli#ion of the Hedic
peoples& that is& the "ndo*<uropeans who constructed the rudimentary "ndian reli#ion represented by the Hedas.
2i#ht at the heart of the mystery& like a person speakin# behind sound*proof #lass& are the numerous writin#s on
the artifacts that have been unearthed. 1arappan writin# was a picto#raphic script& or at least seems to be4 as of
yet& however& no one has fi#ured out how to decipher it or even what lan#ua#e it mi#ht be renderin#. he lo#ical
candidate is that the 1arappans spoke a 6ravidian lan#ua#e& but that conclusion& which may not be true& has not
helped anybody decipher the script. @ike the rest of 1arappan civili;ation& the writin# was lost to human memory
after the disappearance of the 1arappans.
-nd finally they disappeared. -nd they disappeared without a trace. .ome believe that they were overrun by the
war*like -ryans& the "ndo*<uropeans who& like a storm& rushed in from <uro*-sia and overran Persia and northern
"ndia. .ome believe that the periodic and fre3uently destructive floodin# of the "ndus finally took its toll on the
economic health of the civili;ation. "t is possible that the periodic chan#es of course that the "ndus under#oes
also contributed to its decline. -ll we know is that somewhere between 1C,, and 17,, !5& the 1arappan cities
and towns were abandoned and finally reclaimed by the rich soil they had sprun# from.
"n 881 !5& -le'ander the >reat of /acedon be#an one of the #reatest con3uests in human history. -fter
con3uerin# <#ypt and defeatin# the Persian <mpire -le'ander had pushed his army to the very limits of the world
as the >reeks knew it. !ut he wanted more4 he saw that the world e'tended further. !y con3uerin# the ancient
lands of the /esopotamians& he came into contact with cultures to the east& such as Pakistan and "ndia. -fter
almost a millenium and a half& from the period of 1arappa $7+,,*17+, !5%& to the end of the !rahmanic period&
the peoples of "ndia entered into no commerce or trade with the /esopotamians. !ut startin# around 7,, !5& the
"ndians be#an to trade a#ain with the /esopotamian cities& and by the time of -le'ander& that trade was
dyanmic. Partly out of curiosity& and partly out of a desire to con3uer the enitre world within the boundaries of
the river ?cean $the >reeks believed that a #reat river& called ?cean& encircled all the land of the world%&
-le'ander and his army pushed east& throu#h northern "ran and all the way to Pakistan and "ndia. 1e had
con3uered !actria at the foot of the western 1imalayas& #ained a hu#e !actrian army& and married a !actrian
princess& 2o'ane. !ut when he tried to push on past Pakistan& his army #rew tired& and he abandoned the
eastward con3uest in 877 !5.
-le'ander only made it as far as the re#ion of >andhara& the plain which lies directly west of the "ndus 2iver.
-le'ander himself seems to have had literally no effect on "ndian history& for he left as soon as he reached the
"ndus. wo important results& however& arose because of -le'anderOs con3uests( first& from this point onwards
>reek and "ndian culture would intermi'. !ut most importantly& the con3uest of -le'ander may have set the
sta#e for the first #reat con3ueror of "ndian history& 5handra#upta /aurya $rei#ned 871*797 !5%& who& shortly
after -le'ander left& united all the kin#doms of northern "ndia into a sin#le empire.
,*%E1+- %E)&!1*-/ *, &/*2&
6iplomacy and #eo#raphical pro'imity primarily determined the forei#n relations maintained by -soka.
Particularly& the century in which& -soka lived was one of continued interactions between the <astern
/editerranean and .outh -sia. hat is why most of -sokaOs contacts were with .outh -sia and the West. "t
appears that this interest was not one sided. - fair number of forei#ners lived in Pataliputra to necessitate a
special committee under the municipal mana#ement to look after the needs of welfare of the visitors. -part from
these major factors determinin# the forei#n relations of -soka& one more parameter was the desire of -soka to
spread his policy of dhamma to distant lands.
o be#in with& -soka in his forei#n relations was a realist defeat and anne'ation of Falin#a. -lso his realism is to
be seen in -soka not anne'in# the southern kin#doms $5holas& Pandvas& .atyaputras and Feralaputras% while
bein# satisfied with theirac knowled#ement of his su;erainty. 1e probably felt that it was not worth the trouble to
anne' the small territories too.
"n other forei#n relations -soka reveals as an idealist or a monarch who wore the robes of a monk. 1e sent
various missions& thou#h not embassies& to various countries. heir main purpose was to ac3uaint the countries
they visited with his policies& particularly that of dhamma. hey may be compared to modern #oodwill missions
helpin# to create an interest in the ideas and peoples of the country from which they came. -lso& the fact that
they are 3uite unheard of in contemporary literature or in later sources would su##est that they made only a
short*lived impression.
"n spite of the above reservations& the missions must have opened a number of channels for the flow of "ndian
ideas and #oods. "t is unlikely that -soka e'pected all the kin#s who had received missions to put the policy of
dhamma into practice& althou#h he claims that his did happen. "t is curious to observe that there is no reference
to these missions in the last important public declaration of -soka& the seventh pillar edict. "n this edict -soka
mentions the success he had with his welfare services and the widespread propa#ation of dhamma but all within
the empire.
he territory immediately adjoinin# the empire of -soka on the West and that -ntiochus. here is ample evidence
of contacts of similarity in cultures. he use of Fharoshti in the .hahba;#arhi and /ansehra edicts in the north is
evidence of stron# contact with "ran. he fra#mentary -ramaic inscription at a'ila and another of the same kind
from Fashmir point to continue inter communication between the two areas.
-part from contacts with "ran& -soka <mpire was close to various >reek kin#doms. here are references to the
>reeks in the rock edicts of -soka. ?n certain occasions the word used refers to the >reek settlements in the
north*west and on others to the 1ellenic Fin#doms. -ntiochus "" these of .yria is more fre3uently mentioned. 1e
other 1ellenic Fin#s where missions were sent were Ptolemy*"" Philadephus of <#ypt& /a#as of 5yrene& -nti#onus
#onatas of /essedonia& and -le'ander of <orius.
-part from these western contacts& tradition maintains that -soka visited Fhotan. his cannot be substantiated.
?n the other hand& -soka maintained close relations with modern Aepal. radition states that his dau#hter&
5harumati was married to 6evapala of Aepal.
?n the <ast& the /auryan empire included the provice of Han#a& .ince amralipti was the principal port of the
area& "ndian missions to and from 5eylon are said to have traveled via amaralipti.
he e'tent of the influence of -sokaOs power in .outh "ndia is better documented than in north "ndia. he edicts
of -soka are found at >avimathi& Palki#nuda& !rahma#iri& /aski& yerra#udi and .iddapur& amil poets also make
references to the /auryas.
/ore "mportant were the contacts with 5eylon. "nformation is available in the 5eylonese 5hronicles on contacts
between "ndia and 5eylon. 5omin# of /ahindra to 5eylon was not the first official contact. <arlier& 6hamma
missions were sent. - 5eylonese kin# was so captivated by -soka that the top called himself as 6evanampiya.
-soka maintained close relations with issa& the ruler of 5eylon. 2elationship between -soka and issa was based
on mutual admiration for each other.
What interests of the country or the aims of -soka were served throu#h his missionsJ -soka primarily tried to
propa#ate his dhamma and may be incidentally !uddhims. 1e claimed that he made a spiritual con3uest of all
the territories specified by him as well as a few more territories beyond them. his claim definitely appears to
bean e'a##eration. here is no historical evidence to show that -soka missions did succeed in achievin# their aim
particularly when the dhamma happened to be hi#hly humanistic and ethical in nature. -fter all& -soka was
neither a !uddha nor a 5hrist to appeal to various people. Aeither a .t. Peter nor an -nanda to successful spread
the messa#e of their /asters. Aot did he possess fi#htin# men to spread his messa#e just as the followers of
prophet /ohammed. hus& when there is no follow up action after the missions visited the various parts of the
world& it is understandable that no one paid any heed to his messa#e.
<vertheless& there is one intri#uin# point about the success of his forei#n missions. "n likelihood& the history of
the !uddha and his messa#e must have spread to the various parts. What did they need toJ -lthou#h it is
difficult to answer this 3uestion& it is of importance to observe that there are certain similarities between
5hristianity and !uddhism * sufferin# of man& /ara P .atan& .an#ha /onasteries with !ikshus and /onks& and
the use of rosary by !uddhist and 5hristianOs monks.
DEC)1-E *, !HE M&U%3&/
he decline of the /aurya 6ynasty was rather rapid after the death of -shokaI-soka. ?ne obvious reason for it
was the succession of weak kin#s. -nother immediate cause was the partition of the <mpire into two. 1ad not the
partition taken place& the >reek invasions could have been held back #ivin# a chance to the /auryas to re*
establish some de#ree of their previous power.
2e#ardin# the decline much has been written. 1araprasad .astri contends that the revolt by Pushyamitra was the
result of brahminical reaction a#ainst the pro*!uddhist policies of -shoka and pro*0aina policies of his successors.
!asin# themselves on this thesis& some maintain the view that brahminical reaction was responsible for the
decline because of the followin# reasons.
R $a% Prohibitino of the slau#hter of animals displeased the !rahmins as animal sacrifices were esteemed by
R $b% he book 6ivyavadana refers to the persecution of !uddhists by Pushyamitra .un#a.
R $c% -sokaOs claim that he e'posed the !udheveas $brahmins% as false #ods shows that -shoka was not well
disposed towards !rahmins.
R $d% he capture of power by Pushyamitra .un#a shows the triumph of !rahmins.
-ll these four points can be easily refuted. -sokaOs compassion towards animals was not an overni#ht decision.
2epulsion of animal sacrifices #rew over a lon# period of time. <ven !rahmins #ave it up by the book
6ivyavadana& cannot be relied upon since it was durin# the time of Pushyamitra .un#a that the .anchi and
!arhut stupas were completed. Probably the impression of the persecution of !uddhism was created by
/enanderOs invasion who was a !udhhist. hridly& the word ObudhevaO is misinterpreted because this word is to be
taken in the conte't of some other phrase. Hiewed like this& this word has nothin# to do with brahminism.
Bourthly& the victory of Pushyamitra .un#a clearly shows that the last of the /auryas was an incompetent ruler
since he was overthrown in the very presence of his army& and this had nothin# to do with brahminical reaction
a#ainst -sokaOs patrona#e of !udhism. /oreover& the very fact that a !rahmin was the commander in chief of the
/auryan ruler proves that the /auryas and the !rahmins were on #ood terms.
-fter all& the distinction between 1induism and !uddhism in "ndia was purely sectarian and never more than the
difference between saivism and vaishnavism. he e'clusiveness of reli#ious doctrines is a .emitic conception&
which was unknown to "ndia for a lon# time. !uddha himself was looked upon in his lifetime and afterwards as a
1indu saint and avatar and his followers were but another sect in the #reat -ryan tradition. -shoka was a
!uddhist in the same way as 1arsha was a !udhist& or Fumarapala was a 0ain. !ut in the view of the people of
the day he was a 1indu monarch followin# one of the reco#ni;ed sects. 1is own inscriptions bear ample withness
to the fact. While his doctrines follow themiddle path& his #ifts are to the brahmibns& sramansa $!uddhist priests%
and others e3ually. 1is own name of adoption is 6evanam Priya& the beloved of the #ods. Which #odsJ .urely the
#ods of the -ryan reli#ion. !uddhism had no #ods of its own. he idea that -shoka was a kind of !uddhist
5onstantine declearin# himself a#ainst pa#anism is a complete misreadin# of "ndia conditions. -soka was a kind
or !uddhist 5onstantine declearin# himself a#ainst pa#anism is a complete misreadin# of "ndia conditions. -soka
was essentially a 1indu& as indeed was the founder of the sect to which he belon#ed.
2aychaudhury too rebuts the ar#uments of .astri. he empire had shrunk considerably and there was no
revolution. Fillin# the /auryan Fin# while he was reviewin# the army points to a palace coup detat not a
revolution. he or#ani;ation were ready to accept any one who could promise a more efficient or#anisation. -lso
if Pushyamitra was really a representative of brahminical reaction he nei#hboutin# kin#s would have definitely
#iven him assistance.
he ar#ument that the empire became effete because of -sokan policies is also very thin. -ll the evidence
su##ests that -soka was a stern monarch althou#h his rei#n witnessed only a sin#le campai#n. 1e was shrewd
enou#h in retainin# Falin#a althou#h he e'pressed his remorse. Well he was wordly*wise to enslave and*and*half
lakh sudras of Falin#a and brin# them to the /a#adha re#ion to cut forests and cultivate land. /ore than this his
tours of the empire were not only meant for the sake of piety but also for keepin# an eye on the centrifu#al
tendencies of the empire. Which addressin# the tribal people -soka e'pressed his willin#ness to for #iven. /ore
draconian was -shokaOs messa#e to the forest tribes who were warned of the power which he possessed. his
view of 2aychoudhury on the pacifism of the .tate cannot be substantiated.
-part from these two major writers there is a third view as e'pressed by kosambi. 1e based his ar#uments that
unnccessary measures were taken up to increase ta' and the punch*marked coins of the period show evidence of
debasement. his contention too cannot be up held. "t is 3uite possible that debased coins be#an to circulate
durin# the period of the later /auryas. ?n the other hand the debasement may also indicate that there was an
increased demand for silver in relation to #oods leadin# to the silver content of the coins bein# reduced. /ore
important point is the fact that the material remains of the post*-sokan era do not su##est any pressure on the
economy. "nstead the economy prospered as shown by archaeolo#ical evidence at 1astinapura and .isupal3arh.
he rei#n of -soka was an asset to the economy. he unification of the country under sin#le efficient
administration the or#ani;ation and increase in communications meant the development of trade as well as an
openin# of many new commercial interest. "n the post * -sokan period surplus wealth was used by the risin#
commercial classes to decorate reli#ious buildin#s. he sculpture at !arhut and .anchi and the 6eccan caves was
the contribution of this new bour#eoisie.
.till another view re#ardin# of the decline of /auryas was that the coup of Pushyamitra was a peoplesO revolt
a#ainst /auryans oppression and a rejection of the /aurya adoption of forei#n ideas& as far interest in /auryan
his ar#ument is based on the view that .un#a art $.culpture at !arhut and .anchi% is more earthy and in the
folk tradition that /aruyan art. his is more stretchin# the ar#ument too far. he character of .un#a art chan#ed
because it served a different purpose and its donors belon#ed to different social classes. -lso& .un#a art
conformed more to the folk traditions because !uddhism itself had incorporated lar#e elements of popular cults
and because the donors of this art& many of whom may have been artisans& were culturally more in the
mainstream of folk tradition.
?ne more reasonin# to support the popular revolt theory is based on -sokaOs ban on the samajas. -soka did ban
festive meetin#s and discoura#ed eatin# of meat. hese too mi#ht have enta#onised the population but it is
doubtful whether these prohibitions were strictly enforced. he above ar#ument $peopleOs revolt% also means that
-sokaOs policy was continued by his successors also& an assumption not confirmed by historical data. Burther
more& it is unlikely that there was sufficient national consciousness amon# the varied people of the /auryan
empire. "t is also ar#ued by these theorists that -sokan policy in all its details was continued by the later
/auryas& which is not a historical fact.
.till another ar#ument that is advanced in favour of the idea of revolt a#ainst the /auryas is that the land ta'
under the /auryas was one*3uarter& which was very burden some to the cultivator. !ut historical evidence shows
somethin# else. he land ta' varied from re#ion to re#ion accordin# to the fertility of the soil and the availability
of water. he fi#ure of one 3uarter stated by /a#asthenes probably referred only to the fertile and well*watered
re#ions around Pataliputra.
hus the decline of the /auryan empire cannot be satisfactorily e'plained by referrin# to /ilitary inactivity&
!rahmin resentment& popular uprisin# or economic pressure. he causes of the decline were more fundamental.
he or#ani;ation of administration and the concept of the .tate were such that they could be sustained by only
by kin#s of considerably personal ability. -fter the death of -soka there was definitely a weakenin# at the center
particularly after the division of the empire& which inevitably led to the breakin# of provinces from the /auryan
-lso& it should be borne in mind that all the officials owed their loyalty to the kin# and not to the .tate. his
meant that a chan#e of kin# could result in chan#e of officials leadin# to the demorali;ation of the officers.
/auryas had no system of ensurin# the continuation of well*planned bureaucracy.
he ne't important weakness of the /auryan <mpire was its e'treme centrali;ation and the virtual monopoly of
all powers by the kin#. here was a total absence of any advisory institution representin# public opinion. hat is
why the /auryas depended #reatly on the espiona#e system. -dded to this lack of representative institutions
there was no distinction between the e'ecutive and the judiciary of the #overnment. -n incapable kin# may use
the officers either for purposes of oppression or fail to use it for #ood purpose. -nd as the successors of -soka
happened to be weak& the empire inevitably declined.
-dded to these two factors& there is no conception of national unity of political consciousness. "t is clear from the
fact that even the resistance a#ainst the #reeks as the hated miecchas was not an or#ani;ed one. he only
resistance was that of the local rulers who were afraid of losin# their newly ac3uired territory. "t is si#nificant that
when Porus was fi#htin# -le'ander& or when .ubha#asena was payin# tribute to -ntiochus& they were doin# so as
isolated rulers in the northwest of "ndia. hey had no support from Pataliputra& nor are they even mentioned in
any "ndian sources as offerin# resistance to the hated =avanas. <ven the heroic Porus& who& enemy thou#h he
was& won the admiration of the >reeks& is left unrecorded in "ndian sources.
-nother associated point of #reat importance is the fact that the /auryan <mpire which was hi#hly centrali;ed
and autocratic was the first and last one of its kind. "f the /auryan <mpire did not survive for lon#& it could be
because of the failure of the successors of -soka to hold on to the principles that could make success of such an
empire. Burther& the /auryan empire and the philosophy of the empire was not in tune with the spirit of the time
because -ryanism and brahminism was very much there. -ccordin# to the !rahmin or -ryan philosophy& the kin#
was only an upholder of dharma& but never the crucial or architecture factor influencin# the whole of life. "n other
words& the sentiment of the people towards the political factor& that is the .tate was never established in "ndia.
.uch bein# the reality& when the successors of -soka failed to make use of the institution and the thinkin# that
was needed to make a success of a centrali;ed political authority. he /auryan <mpire declined without anyoneOs
?ther factors of importance that contributed to the decline and lack of national unity were the ownership of land
and ine3uality of economic levels. @and could fre3uently chan#e hands. Bertility wise the re#ion of the >an#es
was more prosperous than northern 6eccan. /auryan administration was not fully tuned to meet the e'istin#
disparities in economic activity. 1ad the southern re#ion been more developed& the empire could have witnessed
economic homo#eneity.
-lso the people of the sub*continent were not of uniform cultural level. he sophisticated cities and the trade
centers were a #reat contrast to the isolated villa#e communities. -ll these differences naturally led to the
economic and political structures bein# different from re#ion to re#ion. "t is also a fact that even the lan#ua#es
spoken were varied. he history of a sub*continent and their casual relationships. he causes of the decline of the
/auryan empire must& in lar#e part& be attributed to top heavy administration where authority was entirely in the
hands of a few persons while national consciousness was unknown.
&so#a7s Dhamma
-EED *, DH&%M&
1. here was considered intellectual ferment around ),, !.5. healthy rivalry was apparent amon# the number of
sects such as the 5harvaks& 0ains and -jivikas& whose doctrines ran#ed from bare materialism to determinism.
his intellectual liveliness was reflected in the elected interests of the /auryan rulers. "t was claimed by the
0ainas that 5handra#upta was supporter and there is evidence that !indusara favoured the -jivikas.
hus& the <mpire of -soka was inhabited by peoples of many cultures who were at many levels of development.
he ran#e of customs& beliefs& affinities& anta#onisms& tensions and harmonies were #alore. rue& /a#adha and
the frin#es of these areas. he north was in close contact with the 1elleni;ed culture of -f#anisthan and "ran. he
far south was on the threshold of a creative efflorescence of amil culture. he ruler of such as <mpire re3uired
the perceptions were addressed to the public at lar#e. "t is in these inscriptions that the kin# e'pounds his ideas
on dhamma.
"t appears& -soka aimed at creatin# an attitude of mind amon# his subjects in which social behavior was
accorded the hi#hest place. he ideolo#y of dhamma can be viewed as a focus of loyalty and as a point of
conver#ence for the then bewilderin# diversities of the <mpire. "n a way& -sokaOs dhamma was akin to the
preamble in the constitution of "ndia.
7. - centrali;ed monarchy demands oneness of feelin# on the part of its people. he ethics of the dhamma was
intended to #enerate such a feelin#& comparable to the preamble of the "ndian 5onstitution.
8. he /auryan .ociety with its hetero#eneous elements and with economic& social and reli#ious forces workin#
a#ainst each other posed the threat of disruption. -soka& therefore& needed some bindin# factor to allow the
economic activity to proceed on an even keel and thereby ensure the security of his state.
4. -lso as the commercial classes #ained economic importance and resented the inferior social status as per the
sanctions of the !rahmins& they want over to !uddhism& which preached social e3uality. heir support to the
/auryan kin# was very vital for the peace and prosperity of the <mpire. -soka thou#ht that he could attract them
by the propa#ation of this dhamma by weanin# them away from too closely identifyin# themselves with
+. -soka felt that the aforesaid forces of contrary pulls would threaten the peace of the realm not in the #eneral
interest of his <mpire. -sokaOs dhamma therefore& was intended to serve a practical purpose.
he dhamma was not meant to be a reli#ion but what behooves a man of ri#ht feelin# to do& or what man of
sense would do. .uch bein# the nature of his dhamma& it is primarily an ethic of social conduct.
-sokaOs /oral code is most concisely formulated in the second /inor 2ock <dict.
hus saith 1is /ajesty(
OBather and mother must be obeyed4 similarly respect for livin# creatures must be enforced& truth must be
spoken. hese are the virtues of the law of 6uty $or NPeityN. 6hamma% which must be practisd. .imilarly& the
teacher must be reverenced by the pupil& and proper courtesy must be shown to relations.
his is the ancient standard of duty $or NPietyN% * leads to len#th of days and accordin# to this men must act.
he three obli#ations * of showin# reverence& respectin# animal life& and tellin# the truth * are inculcated over
and over a#ain in the edicts.
!esides& it was meant for all * !uddhists& brahmins& 0ains and -jivikas& "n the way& it was the sara or the essence
of the #ood principles of all reli#ions. -lso& while pleadin# on behalf of his dhamma& -soka passionately appealed
for toleration towards all reli#ions and a reverence for each other.
1ad this dhamma #ot anythin# to do with !uddhist principles& -soka would have openly stated so in his edicts
since he never southt to hidIhis support for !uddhism. Bor that matter& -soka did not incorporate any of the
fundamental tenets of !uddhist faith such as the Bour Aoble ruths& the chain of casualty the sacred ei#ht*fold
path& and the Airvana. he omissions& also with repeated reference to the concept of svar#a or heaven $a 1indu
belief% show that his dhamma cannot be identified with !uddhism.
.ince -sokaOs dhamma was not intended for the cause of !uddhims durin# his dharama*yatras& he not only
visited various places of !uddhist importance& but also #ave #ifts to sramanas and !rahmins. /ost of all& even
after entrustin# the propa#ation of dhamma to the 6harma /ahamatras& -soka continued to style himself as the
beloved of the devas& a 1indu concept& since there were no >ods in !uddhism at that time.
/UCCE// *, H1/ DH&%M&
-soka specifically states that his missions were sent to various places $5eylon and various Western countries% and
maintains that they were all successful. "t is difficult to accept this claim because historical evidence shows that
his officials overshot the mark. 6efinitely& there was resentment a#ainst their way of doin# thin#s. "t is known
from evidence that -soka presumed that not only he was a seeker of truth but also he did reach the truth. .uch
convictions are always harmful. /ost of all& it is important to note that there is no authentic proof that his
missions were a success. .i#nificantly& none of -sokaOs successors continued the propa#ation of dhamma. Bar
worse is the fact that in the later a#es& his pillar inscriptions came to be misunderstood as symbols of phallus.
he splendour of the O6ark 5enturiesO
he five centuries which passed between the decline of the first #reat "ndian empire of the /auryas and the
emer#ence of the #reat classical empire of the >uptas has often been described as a dark period in "ndian history
when forei#n dynasties fou#ht each other for short*lived and ephemeral supremacy over Aorthern "ndia. -part
from FanishkaOs "ndo*5entral -sian empire which could claim to be similar in si;e and importance to has china&
the parthians of Persia and to the contemporary 2oman empire this period did lack the #lamour of lar#e empires.
!ut this Odark periodO particularly the first two centuries -6 was a period of intensive economic and cultural
contact amon# the various parts of the <urasian continent. "ndian played a very active role in stimulatin# these
contacts. !uddhism which has been fostered by "ndian rulers since the days of -shoka was #reatly aided by the
international connections of the "ndo*>reeks and the Fushanas and thus rose to prominence in 5entral -sia.
.outh "ndia was establishin# its important links with the West and with .outheast -sia in this period. hese links
especially those with southeast -sia& proved to be very important for the future course of -sian history.
!ut "ndia it self e'perienced important social and cultural chan#es in this period. Bor centuries !uddhism had
enjoyed royal patrona#e. his was partly due to the fact that the forei#n rulers of "ndia found !uddhism more
accessible than orthodo' 1induism. he Hedic !rahmins had been pushed into the back#round by the course of
historical development all thou#h 1induism as such did not e'perience a decline. ?n the contrary new popular
cults arose around #ods like .hiva& Frishna and Hishnu*Hasudeva who had played only a mar#inal role in an
earlier a#e. he competition between !uddhism which dominated the royal courts and cities and orthodo'
!rahminism which was still represented by numerous !rahmin families every where left enou#h scope for these
new cults to #ain footholds of their own& of #reat importance for the further development of 1induism and
particularly for the 1indu idea of kin#ship was the Fushana rulers identification with certain 1indu #ods * they
were actually believed to attain a complete identity with the respective #od after their death.
2eli#ious le#itimation was of #reater importance to these forei#n rulers than to other "ndian kin#s. /enanderOs
ashes had been distributed accordin# to the !uddhist fashion and Fanishka was identified with /ithras but wima
kadphises and 1uvishka were closer to shiva as shown by the ima#es on their coins. 1uvishkaOs coins provide a
re#ular almanac of the icono#raphy of the early .hiva cult. he deification of the ruler which was so prevalent in
the 2oman and 1ellenistic world as well as amon# the "ranians was thus introduced into "ndia and left a mark on
the future development of 1indu Fin#ship.
-nother future of crucial importance for the future political development of "ndia was the or#ani;ation of the
.haka and Fushana <mpires had been& but were based on the lar#e*scale incorporation of local rulers. "n
subse3uent centuries many re#ional <mpires of "ndia were or#ani;ed on this pattern.
he most well*known contribution of the Odark*periodO was a course& to "ndian art. -fter the early sculptures of
the /auryas which were #reatly influenced by the "ranian style& a new "ndian style& a new "ndian style has fist
emer#ed under .hun#as and their successors in the !uddhist monuments of !harhut and .anchi which
particularly showed a new style of relief sculpture. he mer#er of the >andhara school of art& with its >raeco*
2oman style and the /athura school of art which included OarchaicO "ndian elements and became the center of
"ndo*Fushana art& finally led to the rise of the .arnath school of art. his school then set the pattern of the
classical >upta style.
@ess*well*known& but much more important for the future development of 1indu society& was the compilation of
the authoritative 1indu law books $dharmasastra%& the foremost of them bein# the code of /anu which probably
ori#inated in the second or third century -6. -fter the breakdown of the /aurya and .hun#a <mpires& there must
have been a period of uncertainty& which led to renewed interest in traditional social norms. hese were then
codified so as to remain inviolate for all times to come. "f we add to this the resur#ence of .anskrit& as testified
by 2udradamanOs famous rock inscription of the second century -6. We see that this Odark*periodO actually
contained all the element of the classical culture of the >upta a#e& hus the many splendoured and much
mali#ned Odark*periodO was actually the harbin#er of the classical a#e.
P*/!-M&U%3&- PE%1*D 89:;C - <::&D=
EC*-*M3 &-D /*C1E!3
"n the post*/auryan era $7,, !5. o 8,, -.6.% the economy moved at an accelerated tempo. .ociety witnessed
structural reorientation as si#nificant #roups of forei#ners penetrated into "ndia and chose to be identified with
the rest of the community.
he occupation of craftsmen was an important se#ement of the dayOs socio*economic milieu. he craftsment were
not only associated with the towns but also villa#es like Farimna#ar in the elen#ana re#ion of -ndhra Pradesh.
he cate#ories of craftsmen who were known in this period bear out the truth that there was considerable
speciali;ation in minin# and metallur#y. - lar#e number of iron artifacts have been discovered at various
e'cavated sites relatin# to the Fushan and .atavahans Periods. "t is surprisin# to notice that the elen#ana
re#ion appears to have made special pro#ress in iron artifacts * not only weapons but also balance rods& sickles&
plou#hshares& ra;ors and ladels have been found in the Farimna#ar and Aal#onda districts. -lso& cutlery made
out of iron and steel was e'ported to the -byssinian ports.
<3ually si#nificant was the pro#ress made in cloth*makin# and silk*weavin#. 6yein# was a craft of repute in some
south "ndian towns like Draiyur& a shurb of iruchirapalli& and -rikamedu. he use of oil was also hi#h because of
the invention of oil wheel. he inscriptions of the day mention weavers& #oldsmiths& dyers& workers in metal and
ivory& jewelers& sculptors& fishermen& perfumers and smiths as the donors of caves& pillars& tablets& cisterns etc.
-mon# the lu'ury items the important ones were ivory and #lass articles and beed cuttin#. -t the be#innin# of
the coristian era the knowled#e of #lass*blowin# reached "ndia and attained its peak. 5oin mintin# also reached a
hi#h level of e'cellence made out of #old& silver& copper& bron;e& lead and potin. - coint mould of the .atavahans
period shows that throu#h it half a do;en coins could be turned out a time.
"n urban handicrafts the pride of place #oes to the beautiful pieces of terracotta produced in profuse 3uantities.
hey have been found in most of the sites belon#in# to the Fushan and .atavahans periods. "n particular&
terracotta fi#ures of #reat beauty have been found in the Aal#onda district of elen#ana. he terracotta fi#ures
were mostly meant for the use of upper classes in towns.
his immense manufacturin# activity was maintained by #uilds. -t least to do;en kinds of #uilds were there. /ost
of the artisans known from inscriptions hailed from the /athura re#ion and the western 6eccan which lay on the
trade routes leadin# to the ports on the western coast.
he #uilds& comin# from the days of the /auryan period& became a more important factor in the urban life both in
bein# instrumental to increase in production and mouldin# public opinion. he primary #uilds of the day were
those of the potters& metal workers and carpenters. .ome #uilds or#ani;ed their own distribution system while
ownin# a lar#e number of boats to transport #oods from various ports on the >an#es.
he #uilds of the day fi'ed their own rules of work and the standards of the finished products. hey e'ercised
care re#ardin# price also to safe#uard the interest of both the artisan and the customer. hey controlled the price
of the manufactured articles. 1e conduct of the #uild members was re#ulated throu#h a #uild court. he
customary uses of the #uilds had the same force as those of laws.
he e'tensive activity of the #uilds can be known from their seals and emblems. he banners and insi#nia of each
#uild were carried in procession of festive occasions. hese prosperous #uilds in addition& donated lar#e sums of
money to reli#ious institutions and charitable causes.
.ince the activity of the #uilds was so buoyant& it appears that they attracted the attention of kin#s too. "t is said
that kin#s had financial interests in #uilds. 2oyalty invested its money in commercial activities. his naturally led
to protection bein# provided by .tate to the #uilds. 2e#ardin# the activities of #uilds& it appears from inscriptions
that they acted asbankers& financiers and trustees althou#h these activities were carried out by a separate class
of people known as sresthins. Dsury was a part of bankin# and the #eneral rate of interest was around 1+U loans
e'tended to sea*trade carried hi#her interest rate. -n authority of the day states that the rate of interest should
vary accordin# to the caste of the man to whom money is lent.
"nterestin#ly& apart from the #uilds& there were workers bodies also. he workers co*operative included artisans
and various crafts associated with a particular enterprise. he classic e'ample of this activity was the co*
operative of builders& which has its members drawn from speciali;ed workers such as architects. <n#ineers&
bricklayers etc.
he immense commercial activity was bolstered by the thrivin# trade between "ndia and the <aster 2oman
<mpire. With the movement of 5entral -sian people like .akas& Parthians and Fushans& trade came to be carried
across the sea. -mon# the ports& the important ones were !roach and .opara on the western coast& and
-rikamedu and amralipti on the eastern coast. ?ut of these ports !roach was the most important as not only
#oods were e'ported from here but a also #oods were received. -cross land& the conver#in# point of trade routes
was a'ila& which was connected with the .ilk 2oute passin# throu#h 5entral -sia. Djjain was the meetin# point
of #ood number of trade routes.
he trade between "ndia and 2ome mostly consisted of lu'ury #oods. o be#in with 2ome #ot her imports from
the southern most portions of the country. he 2oman imports were /uslims& pearls& jewels and precious stones
from 5entral and .outh "ndia. "ron articles formed an important item of e'port to the 2oman <mpire. Bor certain
articles "ndia became the clearin# house& as for e'ample& silk from 5hina because of impediments posed by the
Parthian rule in "ran and the nei#hborin# areas.
he 2omans& in return& e'ported to "ndia various types of potters found in e'cavations at places like amluk in
West !en#al& -rikamedu nevar Pondicherry and a few other places. Probably lead was important from 2ome. "t is
also presumed that the Fushans had brisk trade with the 2omans as they con3uered /esopotamia in 11+ -.6. -t
a place close to Fabul& #lass jars made in "taly& <#ypt and .yria have come to li#ht& apart from small bron;e
statues of >reko*2oman style& -nd the most si#nificant 2oman e'port to "ndia was the #old and silver coins *
nearly C+ finds of 2oman coins have been found. here is nothin# surprisin# in the lamentation of the 2oman
writer Pliny in the 1st century -.6. that 2oman was bein# drained of #old on account of trade with "ndia.
"ndian kin#doms sent embassies to 2ome the best known bein# the one sent about 7+ !.5. Which included
stran#e collection of men and animals*ti#ers& snakes& tortoises a monk and an armless boy who could shoot
arrows with his toes. his mission reached 2ome durin# the days of <mperor -u#ustus in 71 !.5.
"n the southern kin#doms maritime trade occupied the pride of place. he literature of the day refers to harbours&
docks& li#ht houses and custom offices. @ar#e variety of ships were built& both for short distance as well as lon#
distance voya#es. -ccordin# to pliny the lar#est "ndian ship was 7+ tons. ?ther sources mention hi#her fi#ures.
"n the self*same period there was a boom in trade with south*<ast -sia. his was first occasioned by the 2oman
demand for spices. >radually this trade #rew in dimensions.
he #rowin# number of stran#ers in the port towns and trade centers led to their absorbin# "ndian habits as their
numbers #rew& social laws of the day became ri#id as to be seen from the law code of /anu. Burther as
conversions to 1induism was technically impossible the non*"ndian #roups #radually #rew into separate sub*
castes. -fter all the conversion of a sin#le individual was a problem but the device of caste made such absorption
easier. /oreover the forei#ners found it easier to become !uddhists instead of -ryans. Baced one theoretical
knowled#e confined to brahmins and the other practical and technical knowled#e which became the preserve of
the professionals.
"t was durin# this period 6harmashastras came to be written. hese .hastras made the social structure to be
ri#id. -part from these writin#s poetry and drama were also popular. he outstandin# poem in amil was
.hilappadi#aram. -nother poem in amil was /anime#alai. "n .anskrit& -sva#hosa and !hasa were the two #reat
dramatists. he manuscripts of -sva#hosa were found in a monastry in urdan in 5entral -sia. !oth of his plays
deal with !uddhist themes. !hasa appeared a couple of centuries later. 1is plays are based on the incident from
the spics or historical romances around the e'ploits of kin# udayan in -vanti.
"n the field of plastic art. >reat were the achievement of this period like the stupas at .anchi and !ar hut the
caves at Farlellora and -janta. -t -mravati the #reat a#e of paintin# be#an. -lso the sculptures at -mravati show
a mastery of stone sculpture and with the mathura school of sculpture the "ndian tradition of sculpture be#an.
he boomin# trade and commerce of the period was at the base of the urban settlements that came into
e'istence. he important towns of northern "ndia were Haishali& Pataliputra& Haranasi& Fausambi& .ravasti&
1astinapur& /athura and "ndraprastha. /ost of the towns flourished in the Fushan period as revealed by
e'cavations. he e'cavations at .onkh in /athura show as many as seven levels of the Fushan are but only one
of the >upta period. -#ain in 0alandhar& @udhiana and 2opar also several sites show #ood Fushan structures. he
.atayahans kin#down also witnessed thrivin# towns like a#ar& Paithan& 6hanyakataka& -mravati&
Aa#arjunakonda& !roach& .opara& -rikamedu and Faveripattanam.
H1/!*%3 &-D 1MP&C! *, 1ndo-+ree#s
-fter -le'ander the >reat& the #reed seleukidan dynasty of Persia held on to the trans*"ndus re#ion. -fter
seleukos Aikator was defeated by 5hanra#upta /aurya in 8,8 !.5. the trans*"ndus re#ion was transferred to the
/auryas. "n mid third century !.5. the seleukidan rule was ended by two peoples. "n "ran the parthiar became
independent and their sassanians in 77) -.6. "n like manner the #reeks of !actria rose in revolt under the
leadership of 6iodotus. hese >reeks were later known as "ndo*>reeks when they #ained a foot*hold in the
"ndian sub*continent.
!actria situated between the 1indu Fush and the o'us& was a fertile re#ion and it controlled the trade routes from
>andhara to the West. he #reek settlement in !actria be#an in the +th century !.5. when Persian emperors
settled the >reek e'iles in that area.
!actria fi#ured in history with the revolt of diodotus a#ainst -ntiochus the seleukidan kin#. his breakaway of
!actria was recnised by the seleukidans when the #randson of 6iodotus& <nthymemes. Was #iven a seleukidan
bride in about 7,, !.5.
-bout the same time the seleukidan kin# defeated kin# subha#asena after crossin# the 1indu Fush in 7,) !.5.
his defeat reveals the un#uarded nature of northwestern "ndia.
hus be#ins the history of "ndo*>reeks. he history of the "ndo*>reeks is mainly #athered from their coins. his
evidence is very often confusion because many kin#s had identical names.
he son of <uthydemos& 6emetrios& 5on3uered modern southern af#hanistion and the /akran area he also
occupied some parts of Punjab. hen around 17+ !.5. the homeland of !actrians came to be ruled by <ukratides&
another branch of the !actrians. 1is son 6emetrios*"" penetrated deep into the Punjab proceedin# alon# the
"ndus& he penetrated till kutch.
he most known "ndo*>reek was /enander& whose claim rests on the !uddhist treatise the Guestions of kin#
/ilinda*discussion between menander and the !uddhist philosopher& Aa#asena and he ruled the Punjab from
5.1), to 14, !.5.
/enander not only stabili;ed his power but e'tended his frontiers. 1is coins are to be found in the re#ion
e'tendin# from Fabul to /athura near 6elhi. 1e attempted to con3uer the >an#es valley but in vain. Probabley
he was defeated by the .un#as.
-fter menander one .trato ruled. -t that time !actaria was rule by a different #roup of !actrians. Probably
/itrhadates * " of Persia anne'ed the re#ion of a'ila durin# the third 3uarter of the second century !.5.
- little later& -ntialkidas ruled from a'ila as known from the inscription from besna#ar near !hilsa. his
inscription was incised on the order of 1eliodoros& who was the envoy of antialkidas in the court of !esna#ar.
1eliodoros #ot a monolithic column built in honour of vasudeva. hus be#an the !hakti cult of Hasudeva.
he last known #reek kin#s were hippostratos and 1ermaeus& the former defeated by mo#a and the latter by
"ndo*>reek influence declined from the time !actria itself was attacked by the nomadic tribes from central -sia&
the scythians.
he penetration of "ndo*>reeks& as well as of sakas pahlavas and Fushana influenced the #overnment& society&
reli#ion literature and art of ancient "ndia. he very fact that "ndia absorbed influences of these forei#ners speaks
for the then youthful nature of "ndian civili;ation.
he e'tent of >reek influence of "ndian 5ivilisation is a most point. Whatever the >reek influence that was felt by
"ndia came in the wake of -le'anderOs invasion of the cast and the settlement of >reeks in the !actrian re#ion.
-le'ander himself cannot be re#arded as the standard bearer of the herita#e of ancient >reece. !y the time
-le'ander and his soldiers marched towards the east the culture of >reece was on the decline hence at the most
-le'ander and his men could have spread a debased version of the #reat >eek civili;ation represented by
.ocrates& Plato& Phidia& -ristotle& .ophocles& Pytha#oras and others. 6espite the fact that -le'ander and his men
could not be the true torch bearers of >reek culture to the east& the traces of >reek influence could be definitely
found on "ndia civili;ation.
alkin# of social life& a number of >reeks fi#ure as donors in the inscription of the Farle caves. he >reek mode of
wearin# hair and the habit of eatin# in a lyin# posture came into vo#ue. -lso when some of the "ndo*>reeks
settled in "ndia& they took to trade and they became affluent merchants. <ven amil literature refers to >reek
ships brin#in# car#oes& and the >reek section of Faveripatnam was very prosperous. -nd some of the amil kin#s
kept >reek body*#uards.
2e#ardin# science& contemporary writers admit the #reatness of the >reek scientists. he >ar#i .amhita admits
that the >reeks were like #ods in science and they penetrated into "ndia as far as Pataliputra. Harahmihira& durin#
the >upta a#e was in the know of >reek science and used a number of >reek technical terms in his works& "t is
also ar#ued that 5haraka was influenced by the works of 1ippocrates& the father of /edicine& but there is not
evidence to confirm this view. hus it is difficult to conjecture the e'tent to which ancient scientists of "ndia were
influenced by the scientific knowled#e of >reeks.
"n the field of art& first the "ndo*>reeks did contribute to die cuttersO art. hey showed a remarkable skill in
makin# the portraits of rulers. -lso the >reek kin#s adopt some of the indi#enous methods of mintin# the coins.
-lthou#h "ndians did not fully learn the fine art of die*cuttin#& the coins of "ndian rulers were influenced by the
>reeks. "ndian adopted the art of strikin# coins with two dies& the obverse and the reverse. .econdly& the curious
open air theatre that came into bein# in this period was directly a >reek le#acy. he term =avanika for curtain
shows that "ndian drama& at least on one point& was influenced by the >reek model& hridly& the >reek form of
sculpture influenced the >andhara art of the Fushan period. he school be#an in the Fabul valley where the
>reek influence was the ma'imum. -ccordin#ly tone author& the terracottas of toys and pla3ues were all
influenced by the >reeks.
"n the reli#ious field too& the >reek influence was felt& as borne out by /illinda*Panho and the !esna#ar
inscription. @e#ions of >reeks were converted into "ndian reli#ions of the day. ?ne >reek officer& heodorus& #ot
the relics of the !uddha enshrined in the .wat valley. !esides& 1indu icono#raphy was #reatly chan#ed because
of the "ndo*>reek influences. "t is difficult to say how many !abylonian and "ranian >ods were incorporated in
1indu reli#ions. - few deities were taken over by the Parthians and they were adopted by the Fushans. !ut it is
doubtful to say as to which of the >reek dieities were incorporated in the Pantheon of "ndian #ods.
-ll told& the >reek influence was mostly felt in art $the >an#dhara sculptures& which probably influenced the later
day /athura sculptures% and in reli#ion $#ave a fillip to /ahayana !uddhism and populari;ed the !hakti aspect of
reli#ion as pioneered by the vasudeva cult%.
he .un#a rule& e'tendin# a little over a century& is in interlude in the history of "ndia. here is nothin#
e'traordinary about the political events associated with the .un#as. he si#nificance of their history& on the other
hand& primarily consists in the place they occupy in the social and cultural history of "ndia.
he founder of the dynasty& Pushyamitra .un#a& overthrew the /auryas4 either in 1C7 !.5. or 1C4 !.5. -fter him
there were nine other rulers. -mon# them& -#nimitra& Hasumitra& !ha#vata and 6evabhumi were the prominent
ones. he names of the first two were associated with some events in political history& whereas the latter two
were known for their lon# rule& they bein# 87 and 1, years respectively.
here is some controversy about the identity of Pushyamitra .un#a. "t was stated in a .utra that he belon#ed to
a family of teachers. Patanjali claims that he was a brahminor the !hardwaja #otra. "vyavadana stated that the
.un#as were related to the /auryas. - /alavika#nimitram refers to them as brahmins belon#in# to Fashyap
-fter the overthrow of !rihadrata& Pushyamitra .un#a wa#ed a few wars to consolidate his position. <vidence
shows that Pushyamitra .un#a defeated the =avanas. his is confirmed by PatanjaliOs /ahabashva. -nd the claim
made in the 1athi#umpha inscription that Fharavela of Falin#a defeated Pushyamitra .un#a cannot be sustained
because Fharavela ruled in the second half of the first century !.5. @ater& Hasumitra& the #randson of Pushyamitra
.un#a& defeated the =avanas. his is confirmed by the /alavika#animtiram and #ar#i .amhita. !oth -#nimmitra
and Heerasena fou#ht a#ainst Hidarbha rule of the .un#as ended 5. 7+ !.5.
.ome scholars re#ard that the establishment of .un#a dynasty ws symbolic of the brahminical reaction to the
/auryan bias towards !uddhism. Pushyamitra .un#a performed the vedic sacrifices of asvamedha& and the
others like a#instoma& 2ajasuya and vajpeiya. !ut some facts of his re#ion clearly show that he did not persecute
!uddhists. he claim of 6ivyavandana& that Pushyamitra .un#a destroyed C4&,,, !uddhist stupas and
slau#htered srameans& has no corroborative evidence. "nterestin#ly& the sculptured stone #ateway and the
massive stone railin# aroused .anchi stupa were e'ecuted durin# the time of Pushyamitra .un#a. -lso the
!harhut stupa and the sculpture relatin# to 0ataka stories around it came into e'istence durin# the same period.
?ne of the donors of !harhut stupa was 5hampadevi wife of the "disha Fin#& who was a worshipper of Hishnu.
his fact bears testimony to the hi#h de#ree of tolerance prevailin# durin# the period. $-nd some minor works of
.un#a art are to be found at /athura& Fausambi and .arnath%.
"t at all there was anytin# like persecution of !uddhists durin# the days of Pushyamitra .un#a& it could be in the
conte't of /enanderOs invasion. /ay be& the !uddhists of "ndia welcomed the invasion of /enanderO and this
mi#ht have resulted in Pushyamitra .un#a wrath fallin# on the !uddhists. ?r& may be withdrawal of royal
patrona#e with the comin# of the .un#as apparently enra#ed the !uddhists and thus the !uddhists writers
present an e'a##erated account of their troubles.
he importance of the .un#as& therefore& was primarily in the conte't of cultural and social development. "n the
social field& the emer#ence of 1induism had a wide impact. he .un#as attempted to revive the caste system
with the social supremacy of the brahmins. his is more than evident in the work of /anu $/anusmriti% wherein
he reassures the position of the brahmins in the fourfold society. <ven then& the most si#nificant development of
the .un#a era was marked by various adjustment and adaptations leadin# to the emer#ence of mi'ed castes and
the assimilation of the forei#ners in "ndia society. hus we notice that !rahminism #radually transformed itself in
a direction towards 1induism.
"n the field of literature .anskrit #radually #ained ascendancy and became the lan#ua#e of the court. Patanjali
was patroni;ed by Pushyamitra .un#a and he was the second #reat #rammarian of .anskrit. Patanjali refers to a
.anskrit poet& Harauchi& who wrote in the Favya style and which was later perfected by Falidasa. .ome !uddhist
works of this a#e were written in .anskrit.
"n the field of art& there was immediate reaction a#ainst the !uddhist era of the /auryas. Aevertheless& there
were certain differences. he .un#a art reflects more of the mind& culture& tradition and ideolo#y than what the
/auryan art did. 6urin# the .un#a period& stone replaced wood in the railin#s and the #ateways of the !uddhist
stupas as noticed at !harhut and .anchi. !harhut stupa is replete with sculptures * apart from floral desi#ns&
animal& fi#ures& =akshas and human fi#ures. <ven the stone railin# around the .anchi .tupa is in rich belief work.
his a#e definitely witnessed the increasin# use of symbols and human fi#ures in architecture. !esides& the
.un#as art is a manifestation of popular artistic #enious * the artistic activity was because of the initiative of
individuals& corporation or villa#es. - part of the #ateway of .anchi was constructed by the artisans of Hidisha.
<ven temple buildin# be#an in this period. - Hishnu temple was build near Hidisha. here was an increase in the
construction of rock*cut temple as noticed in the 5haitya 1all. "n the temples and household worship we find the
idols of .hiva and Hishnu.
-ll told the importance of the sun#a dynasty lies in the restoration of 2eal politik while abandonin# the asokan
approach. "n the cultural field the be#innin#s as well as accomplishments in sculpture and architecture are of
tremendous si#nificance. "n the field of reli#ion too they not only revived the earlier tradition but also #ave an
impetus to new approaches combative towards the heterodo' sects the cult of katakana the #od of war the
resur#ence of !ha#vata cult and the supremacy of Hasudeva in the 1indu pantheon.
"n the post*/auryan era& central -sia and north*western "ndia witnessed hectic and shiftin# political scenes. he
>reat =uehi*chi driven out of fertile lend in Western china mi#rated towards the -ral .ea. here they encountered
the .akas near .yr 6arya river and evicted them. he >reat =uehi*5hi tribes settled in the valley of ?'us and
with the occupation of the !actrian lands the #reat hordes were divided into five principalities. - century later the
Fushan section or sect of =uehi*5hi attained predominance over the otheres. heir leader was Fadphises. hus
be#an the history of Fushans.
he uni3ue #eo#raphical position of the Fushans empire made it a colossus astride on the spine of -sia unitin#
the >reco*2oman civili;ation in the west the 5hinese civili;ation in the east and "ndian civilisation in the south*
he leader of the Fushans was kadphises and his rule probably be#an in 4, -.6. 1e attacked the re#ions south of
1indu Fush& con3uered Fabul and anne'ed >andhara includin# the kin#dom of a'ila. Fadphises died in 77 -.6.
or 7C -.6. !y then the Fushans had supplanted the princes belon#in# to the "ndo*>reek saka and "ndo*Parthian
communities alon# the frontiers of "ndia. he successor of kadphises was Hima*Fadphses. 1e con3uered lar#e
parts of norther "ndia. 1is coins show that his authority e'tended as far as !anaras and as well as the "ndus
basin. "n all likelihood his power e'tended as far as Aarbada and the .aka satraps in /alwa and Western "ndia
acknowled#ed his soverei#nty.
!y that time the 5hinese reasserted their authority in the north and this led to a collusion with the Fushans. he
5hinese #eneral pan*chao con3uered 5hinese urkistan and established the 5hinese authority in parthia that is on
the territory south of the 5aspian sea.
hese advances fri#htened the Fushans. "n C7 -6 Fadphises ""& claimed the hand of a 5hiese princes& an
acknowled#ement of his e3uality with the son of 1eaven. he proposal was rejected and Fadphises& dispatched a
lar#e army& !ut the army was decimated because of the difficult terrain. -nd it was easily defeated by the
5hinese. he Fushan ruler was compelled to pay tribute the 5hina and the 5hinese records so that the Fushans
continued to send missions to 5nina till the close of the century. 2ossibly the rei#n of Fadphises "" ended 5. 11,
he ne't ruler& Fanishka probably belon#ed to the little =uehi*chi section of the horde. 1is capital was
Purushapura and here he erected a lar#e number of !uddhist buildin#s. "n his early years he anne'ed Fashmir
and consolidated his rule in the "ndus and the >an#etic basin. 1is army crossed the Pamirs and inflicted a defeat
on the 5hinese. he chief of Fhotan& =arkand and the Fssh#ar were made to pay tribute. radition states that
while Fanishka was on his return from the 5hinese urkistan& he was sothered to death by his officers who had
#ot weary of his campai#ns. /ost of his time was spent on wa#in# wars.
- lar#e number of inscriptions were incised durin# the times of Fanishka and his successor. -ccordin# to
evidence& Fanishka became an active partron of the !uddhist 5hurch durin# the later part of his rei#n. -lthouth
the !uddhist records #loat over this fact and re#ard him as the second -soka& his coins prove that he honoured a
medley of #ods * ;oroastrain& >reek& /itraic& and "ndian. he prominent "ndian duty on the coins was .hiva. he
peculiar assembly of deities by the Fushans offers a #reat deal of speculation. /ay be Fansihka follwed a loose
from of Sorostrianism and freely venerated the deities of other #reeds.
-lso& Fanishka covened a council of !uddhist theolo#ians to settle disputes relatin# to !uddhist faith and
practices. he conclusions of this council were en#raved on copper sheets and preserved in the stupa of the
capital. he del#ates to the council primarily belon#ed to the 1inayana sect.
he !uddhism of this period was definitely a la' one. he /ahayana sect was popular. !ut early !uddhism was an
"ndia product and was based on the "ndian ideas of rebirth& transmi#ration of souls and the blessedness of escape
from the pains of bein#. his !uddhism was supported by a practical system of ethics inculcatin# a stoic devotion
to duty for its own sake. .uch a teachin# needed fundamental chan#es to attract the sturdy mountaineer& the
nomad horseman and the 1elloe ri;ed -le'andrian. he veneration for a dead teacher passed into a worship of
livin# seviour.
.oon the Fushan power declined. Within the Fin#dom& harm was done to the Fushan <mpire by the Aa#as and
=audheyas. - Aa#a ruler probably performed ten ashvamedha sacrifices. -part from these two communities& a
few other tribes also& like the /alavas and the Funindas& probably re#ained their importance at the e'pense of
the Fushan empire.
-part from the weaknesses to the successors of Fanishka& developments in the Persia influenced the history of
Aorth western "ndia. he Parthians were overthrown by-rdashir in 77) -.6. who established the.assanian
dynasty. 1is successors ann'ed Peshawar and a'ila durin# the middle of the 8rd century. -nd Fushan kin#s in
the north*west became the vassals of the .asssanians. he successors of Fanishka& as established today& are the
followin# ( Hashiska $1,7*1,)%& 1yvishka $1,)*18C%& and Hasudeva $c. 1+7*17)%. he history after this period is
e'tremely va#ue. ?ver the ruins of the empire& in 5entral -sia and the west& rose the .assanian empire of Persia
and in "ndia. he >upta empire.
.peakin# in #eneral about the achievement of the Fushans& the first is the economic prosperity. -s the Fushan
empire was situated in a crucial #eo#raphical re#ion. here was brisk trade. /oreover& the very area covered by
the Fushan empire helped the flow of trade between the east and the west. .ome trade routes which came into
e'istence in this period continued to serve the future also. >old coins of #reat comple'ity were issued by the
hese coins speak of the prosperity of the people. he coins of Fanishka usually show the fi#ure of Fanishka
standin# and sacrificin# at altar& and on the obverse& deities belon#in# to various reli#ions. he coins of the
Fushans also show that the Fushans were in contact with the 2omans * the wei#ht of the Fushan coins has
certain similarities with the 2oman coins. -ccordin# to the author of the Periplus #od and silver species were
imported at !ary#a;a $!roach%.
-s re#ards art and literature& we have to state that their #reatest contribution was the >andhara art. "t was in
this period that the stone ima#es of the !uddha and the !odhisattavas were craved out. he chief of 3uality of
this art is the blendin# of !uddhist subjects with >reek forms. "ma#es of the !uddha appear in the likeness of
-pollo& and the=akshakubera is posed in the fasino of Seus. he imprint of this school of art is still to be found in
/athura and -marvati. "ndeed& the carvin# of ima#es and the buildin# of temples was not ne#lected in earlier
days& but under the Fushans they attained a refinement. he 5haitya built at Peshawar was as hi#h as four
storeys. Ba*1ien& passin# throu#h >andhara& durin# the fifth century& praised the ima#es of the !uddha&
!odhisattavas and numerous other deities. he early rulers fostered the 1ellenistic art of >andhara and also the
!hikshu !ela& and from this place artistic products were sent to .arasvati and .arnath. Fanishka was a #reat
builder * tower at Peshawar& a new city in a'ila& a town in Fashmir and fine buildin#s and sculptures at /athura.
"t was at the last place a portrait stature of Fanishka has been found but its head is not there. Burther& the die*
en#ravers employed by the Fushans were far from ne#li#ible. - special note is to be taken of coina#e. he
Fushan coins became the prototypes for many varieities of coins of =adheyas& the imperial >uptas& some kin#s of
Aepa and several Fin#s of 5hedi. <minent !uddhist writers * Aa#ajuna& -sva#hosha and Hasumitra were the
names associated with Fanishka. he first was a poet& musician& scholar and a ;ealous !uddhist monk. 5haraka
was the court physician of Fanishka.
&ndhra /ata(ahanas
*%1+1- >
$a% -itrareya !rahmana puts the -dhras beyond the pale of -ryanism.
$b% Aasik Prasasti lays claim to >autmi as a brahamana.
$c% Puranas called them their services to -ryanism they were * admitted to the -ryan folk after their services to
-rynanism * there is a reference to them in the -soka inscriptions as well as by /e#asthenes.
$d% .ome call them !rahmins * some& mi'ed !rahmins of Aa#a ori#in& a3nd some& protectors of !rahmins&
$e% Aumismatic evidence points to the ori#in in Western 6eccan and /adhya Pradesh. <pi#raphic and literary
evidence points to their western ori#in * the fi#ure of the founder of the dynasty is found in paition in western
$f% <pi#raphic evidence refers to them as .atavahanas& not as -ndhras.
$#% Possibly& -ndhra is the ribal name ( .atavahana& the dynastic name& and satakarni& the .urname.
/*U%CE/ >
$a% Puranas * mention 8, kin#s&.
$b% -itrareya !rahmina.
$c% @iterary sources ** >unadhyaOs !rihatkatha. -nd @eelavati& which deals with the military e'ploits of 1ala.
$d% Aasik inscription of >autami !alsari.
$e% 1athi#umpha inscription of Fharavela for inferrin# the date of the first ruler.
$f% .anchi inscription e'tent of the .atavahanas kin#dom till /alwa.
$a% he founder war one .imukha * probably the first century !.5. * supplanted the lin#erin# .un#a and Fanva
rulers * rule of the dynasty was for 8,, years. .imuka was succeed by Frishna or Fanha.
$b% he ne't known kin# was .atakarni * the kin#dom e'panded * probably defeated by Fharavela * performed
-shvamedha Pratishthana was the capital * confusion after him. Fshaharatas or sakas occupied parts of
$c% 1ala is the 17th in the list of Puranas * his book is saptasataka * deals with both erortic and philosophical
themes. >undhayaOs !rihatkatha deals with the rivalry between Prikrit and .anskrit.
$d% !e#innin# from 7+ -.6. to 7+ -.6. there was confusion * saka eruption.
$e% he #reatest ruler was >autamiputra .atakarni. 1e was the 78rd accordin# to Pupranas * around 77 -.6. the
Aasik inscription of his mother talks of his bein# the destroyer of .akas& =avanas and Fshaharata * also says that
he crushed the pride of Fshatrias * overran konan& .aurashtra& !ihar and /alva. - Philanthropist& he maintained
-rya 6harma * put an end to Harna * .ankara * some re#ard him to be Hikramaditya. !uilt the city of !enakataka
and assumed the titles of 2aja 2aja and .vamin.
$f% he ne't known ruler was Pulumayi "" around 9) -.6. * first ruled -ndhra country * Haijyanti and -maravati
famous cities * .atavahanas a naval power * probably overseas colonisation * lar#e number of inscription.
$#% he ne't know ruler was Hasishtiputra !atakarni of sri Pulumayi * married the dau#hter of 2udradaman& a
.aka ruler ** however 2udradaman twice defeated him. -lso& .ri Pulumayi lost to 5hastana& son of !hosmotika.
$h% Ae't known ruler was =ajna .ri .atakarni * around 1), -.6. * /alva& Fathiawad and Aorth Fonkan *
inscription found in Fonkan and Frishna * coints found in >ujarat and Fathiawad * defeated Fshatapas.
$i% -fter the declined .alankeyanas ruled over the .atavahana territory.
$1% he Hery area over which they ruled was important connectin# link between link between northern and
southern "ndia * -ndhras were instrumental in spreadin# -ryan culture to the south.
$7% heir coloni;in# activities spread to .outh*<ast -sia * influence of -maravati sculptures on .outh*<ast -sian
$8% hey did maintain contact between "ndia and the Western world in matters of trade.
$4% hey were instrumental in curbin# the penetration of .akas further into south.
$+% .ome of the later southern dynastic like "kshvakus& Fadambas& arikutakas and -bhiras continued the
.atavahan tradition and the Pallsvas and the 5halukya claimed the tradition of .atavahanas.
he #overnment if the .atavahana kin#dom was or#ani;ed on the traditional lines. he kin#dom was divided into
0anapadas& which were further sub*divided into aharas. <ach ahara was under an -mataya. he basic unit of the
ahara was the #rama with the villa#e headman called #amika. 5entral control was maintained over the provices.
Princes were #enerally made viceroys. -nd the kin#s did not assume hi#h*soundin# titles. hey were e'pected to
maintain dharma.
a'ation was not burden some. he state derived its income from crown lands& court fees& fines and ordinary
ta'es on lands. he e'traordinary ta'es of the /auryan period were not imposed. "n #eneral& 5entral control was
not hi#h because feudal traits emer#ed in the .atavahana period. he feudal chiefs like maharathas
mahasenapatis and mahabhojas issued their own coins.
he area under the satavahanas in #eneral witnessed considerable prosperity. here was brisk trade. !roach was
the most important port and it had a vast and rich hinterland. Pratishthana produced cotton cloth. a#ara and
Djjain produced muslin. he chief imports were wines& copper& tin& lead and #old and silver coins. -nother
important port was kalyan mentioned in the Perilus. he other ports were .opara& >oa and pi#eon islands. Within
the kin#dom there were important cities like a#ara& Prathishthana& Aasik& 0unnar and 6hanyakataka. Foddura
and 5hinna#anjam were the important ports on the east. he #eneral life led by the people was similar to the one
portrayed in HatsayanaOs Fama*.utra.
<vidence also shows that a #ood number of people emi#rated from the 6eccan to coloni;e the re#ions in .outh*
<ast -sia
he .atavahanas and .hiva were worshiped. .aptasataka reveals the worship of many 1indu deities.
Haishnavasim and .havism #rew popular. >autamiputra*.atakarni claimed himself to be the protector of
brahmins. he Aaisk prasasthi states that Harnashrama 6harmawas maintained.
!uddhism too was popular. !oth the sakas and .atavahanas encoura#ed !uddhism. Dshavadata mare several
#rants to !uddhist monks. .ome of these #rants were renewed by >uatamiputra .atakarni. !uddhist
momuments and stupas came into e'istence at Aasik& Hidisa& !hattiprolu& >oli& >hantasala and -maravati. "t was
at the last plece that most probably human fi#ures were carved out for the first time. -nd the stupa at this place
had a marble railin# with relief sculptures. - vaijayanti merchant was responsible for enrichin# Farle and Fanheri
!uddhist caves. /erchants from Aasik contributed to the caves at Hidisa and !harhut. "n brief cave architecture
and buildin# of stupas witnessed certain development under the auspices of the satavahanas4 and the donations
or the merchants belon#in# to the #uilds prove the commercial prosperity of the area.
<mcoura#ed by wealth the kin#s patroni;ed literature and architecture. 1ala was an authority on the Puranas. 1e
was the author of .apta*.ataka. "t is said that 1ala paid as much as 4, million pieces of #old for four kavyas.
@eelavati deals with the military campai#ns of 1ala.
he kin#s encoura#ed architecture. he five #ateways at .anchi the rock*cut 5haity*halls of !haja& Farle& Aasik
and Fanheri and the stupas at -maravati& !hattiprolu& >oli and >hantasala were built in this period. he capitals
of the pillars in Farle caves are elaborately sculptured. he dome and the base of the -maravati stupa is
elaborately sculptured. 0ataka stories were incised on marble slabs. he upper part of the dome is a beautiful
floral desi#n. "t is #enerally said that its construction be#an durin# the tCime of >autamiputra .atakarni and was
completed durin# the time of =ajna .ri .atakarni. /ost probably two -janta Brescoes $9th and 1,th% came into
e'istence durin# this period.
he satavahanas were#reat e'cavators of cave temples and the ma#nificent temples of <llora and -janta were
the continuation of the .atavahana tradition to which all /iddle "ndian dynasties in succeedin# a#es claimed
historic relationship. he basic tradition in /iddle "ndia is of the .atavahana empire. -s in the north it is of the
/auryan. Brom the point of view of historic continuity it is important to remember this primary fact as up to 3uite
recent times the traditions flowin# from the satavahanas were livin# factors in "ndian history.
he .atavahana administration was very simple and was accordin# to the principle laid down in 6harmashastras.
he kin# laid no claim of divine ri#ht. hey had only the most modest title of rajan. hey had no absolute power.
heir power was checked in practice by customs and shastras. he kin# was the commander of war and of threw
himself into the thickest of the frays.
- peculiar feature of the .atavahana administration was the presence of feudatories of different #rade. he
hi#hest class was that of petty princes bearin# the kin#ly title raja and strikin# coins in their own names. Ae't in
rank was the maharathi and mahabhoja. !oth titles from the be#innin# were hereditary and restricted to a few
families in a few localities. Probably mahabhoja ranked hi#her than that of maharathi.
he mahabhojas were the feudatories of .atavahanas. hey were primarily located in western 6eccan. hey were
related by blood to the feudatory maharathi. "t is definitely known that the maharathis were the feudatories of
.atavahanas. hey also #ranted in their own name villa#es with physical immunities attached to them. he
maharathis of the chitaldru# enjoyed the additional privile#e of issuin# coins in their own name.
owards the close of the .atavahana period two more feudatories were created /ahasenapathi and them
!arrin# districts that were controlled by feudatories& the empire was divided into janapadas and aharas& the latter
correspondin# to modern districts. he division below that of ahara was #rama. Aon*hereditary #overnors were
subject to periodical transfers. here were other functionaries like #reat chamberlain store*keepers treasurers
and dutakas who carried royal orders.
he #overnment lived from hand to mouth. he ta'es were neither heavy nor many. he sources of income were
proceeds from the royal domain& salt monopoly ordinary and e'traordinary ta'es both soldiers and officials were
paid in kind. he .atavahana administration was very simple and was accordin# to the principle laid down in
6harmashastras. he kin# laid no claim of divine ri#ht. hey had only the most modest title of rajan. hey had no
absolute power. heir power was checked in practice by customs and shastras. he kin# was the commander of
war and of threw himself into the thickest of the frays.
- peculiar feature of the .atavahana administration was the presence of feudatories of different #rade. he
hi#hest class was that of petty princes bearin# the kin#ly title raja and strikin# coins in their own names. Ae't in
rank was the maharathi and mahabhoja. !oth titles from the be#innin# were hereditary and restricted to a few
families in a few localities. Probably mahabhoja ranked hi#her than that of maharathi.
he mahabhojas were the feudatories of .atavahanas. hey were primarily located in western 6eccan. hey were
related by blood to the feudatory maharathi. "t is definitely known that the maharathis were the feudatories of
.atavahanas. hey also #ranted in their own name villa#es with physical immunities attached to them. he
maharathis of the chitaldru# enjoyed the additional privile#e of issuin# coins in their own name.
owards the close of the .atavahana period two more feudatories were created /ahasenapathi and them
!arrin# districts that were controlled by feudatories& the empire was divided into janapadas and aharas& the latter
correspondin# to modern districts. he division below that of ahara was #rama. Aon*hereditary #overnors were
subject to periodical transfers. here were other functionaries like #reat chamberlain store*keepers treasurers
and dutakas who carried royal orders.
he #overnment lived from hand to mouth. he ta'es were neither heavy nor many. he sources of income were
proceeds from the royal domain& salt monopoly ordinary and e'traordinary ta'es both soldiers and officials were
paid in kind.
$1% "t was the emer#ence of Hakataka power in the Hindhya area some where about the middle of the third
century that brou#ht about the downfall of the .atavahanas. !ut an empire so firely established in its home
domains does not break down with the fall of a dynasty. he 2astrakutas and the 5halukyas in the >odavari
valley and the Pallavas in the south ori#inally the viceroys of the .atavahanas& claimed successtion to the empire
with in their own territorial limits as the Hakatakas claimed it to the north of the Hindhyas. he >an#as and the
Fadambas were also the inheritors of the tradition and as the Hijayana#ar emperors claimed in time to be
5halukya 5hudamanis& or the crest jewels of the 5halukya dynasty and as the #reat kin#s of >ujarat e3ually
claimed succession from the 5halukyas& the imperial tradition of the .atavahanas may be said to have been
carried forward at least to the be#innin# of the seventeenth century.
$7% he rise of the .atavahanas si#nified that the economic revolution of the >an#etic re#ion was repeated
allover "ndia. -dded to this because of the peculiar #eo#raphical terrain of the 6eccan peninsula a number of
small kin#doms came into e'istence but not any bi# empire.
$8% .ince the .atavahanas had controlled part of the 6eccan and part of northern "ndia& they acted as the
couriers of -ryanism to southern "ndia.
$4% "t is intri#uin# to note that the .atavahana inscriptions were primarily in pali but not in .anskrit indicatin# it
look lon# time to establish .anskrit lan#ua#e as the lan#ua#e of the elite althou#h people professed -ryanism
much earlier.
$+% he administrative structure of the .atavahana is a revealin# one because it was not a hi#hly centrali;ed
administration and it conceded the emer#ence of feudalism. Beudal chiefs like /ahara this mahasenapatis and
mahabhojas issued their own coins.
$)% he artistic e'cellence that was achieved under the ae#is of the .atavahanas had a tremendous si#nificance.
!uddhist mouments came into e'istence at Aasik& Hidisha& !hattiprolu& >oli& >hantasala and amaravati. /ost
probably human fi#ure was first carved out at -maravati and -maravatiOs sculptures influenced .outh*east -sian
$7% Dnder the ae#is of the .atavahanas trade was #iven a boost. he important pores were Foddura and
5hinna#anjam on the east and Falyan& .opara& >oa and Pi#eon islands on the West coast. -nd some of the
important commercial centers were a#ara& Pratishthana& Aasik& 0unnar and 6hanyakataka.
!HE &+E *, +UP!&/
;eore the +uptas
When the last of the /auryan kin#s was assassinated in 1C4 !5& "ndia once a#ain became a collection of
unfederated kin#doms. 6urin# this period& the most powerful kin#doms were not in the north& but in the 6eccan
to the south& particularly in the west. he north& however& remained culturally the most active& where !uddhism
was spreadin# and where 1induism was bein# #radually remade by the Dpanishadic movements& which are
discussed in more detail in the section on reli#ious history. he dream& however& of a universal empire had not
disappeared. "t would be reali;ed by a northern kin#dom and would usher in one of the most creative periods in
"ndian history.
!he +upta Dynasty 8<9:-??:=
Dnder 5handra#upta " $87,*88+%& empire was revived in the north. @ike 5handra#upta /aurya& he first con3uered
/a#adha& set up his capital where the /auryan capital had stood $Patna%& and from this base consolidated a
kin#dom over the eastern portion of northern "ndia. "n addition& 5handra#upta revived many of -sokaOs principles
of #overnment. "t was his son& however& .amudra#upta $88+*87)%& and later his #randson& 5handra#upta ""
$87)*41+%& who e'tended the kin#dom into an empire over the whole of the north and the western 6eccan.
5handra#upta "" was the #reatest of the >upta kin#s4 called Hikramaditya $Nhe .un of PowerN%& he presided over
the #reatest cultural a#e in "ndia.
his period is re#arded as the #olden a#e of "ndian culture. he hi#h points of this cultural creativity are
ma#nificent and creative architecture& sculpture& and paintin#. he wall*paintin#s of -janta 5ave in the central
6eccan are considered amon# the #reatest and most powerful works of "ndian art. he paintin#s in the cave
represent the various lives of the !uddha& but also are the best source we have of the daily life in "ndia at the
time. here are forty*ei#ht caves makin# up -janta& most of which were carved out of the rock between 4), and
4C,& and they are filled with !uddhist sculptures. he rock temple at <lephanta $near !ombay% contains a
powerful& ei#hteen foot statue of the three*headed .hiva& one of the principle 1indu #ods. <ach head represents
one of .hivaOs roles( that of creatin#& that of preservin#& and that of destroyin#. he period also saw dynamic
buildin# of 1indu temples. -ll of these temples contain a hall and a tower.
he #reatest writer of the time was Falidasa. Poetry in the >upta a#e tended towards a few #enres( reli#ious and
meditative poetry& lyric poetry& narrative histories $the most popular of the secular literatures%& and drama.
Falidasa e'celled at lyric poetry& but he is best known for his dramas. We have three of his plays4 all of them are
suffused with epic heroism& with comedy& and with erotics. he plays all involve misunderstandin# and conflict&
but they all end with unity& order& and resolution.
he >uptas tended to allow kin#s to remain as vassal kin#s4 unlike the /auryas& they did not consolidate every
kin#dom into a sin#le administrative unit. his would be the model for later /u#hal rule and !ritish rule built off
of the /u#hal paradi#m.
he >uptas fell prey& however& to a wave of mi#rations by the 1uns& a people who ori#inally lived north of 5hina.
he 1un mi#rations would push all the way to the doors of 2ome. !e#innin# in the 4,,Os& the 1uns be#an to put
pressure on the >uptas. "n 4C, they con3uered the >uptas and took over northern "ndia. Western "ndia was
overrun by +,,& and the last of the >upta kin#s& presidin# over a vastly dimished kin#dom& perished in ++,. -
stran#e thin# happened to the 1uns in "ndia as well as in <urope. ?ver the decades they #radually assimilated
into the indi#enous population and their state weakened.
1arsha& who was a descendant of the >uptas& 3uickly moved to reestablish an "ndian empire. Brom ),)*)47& he
ruled over an empire in northern "ndia. 1arsha was perhaps one of the #reatest con3uerors of "ndian history& and
unlike all of his con3uerin# predecessors& he was a brilliant administrator. 1e was also a #reat patron of culture.
1is capital city& Fanauj& e'tended for four or five miles alon# the >an#es 2iver and was filled with ma#nificent
buildin#s. ?nly one fourth of the ta'es he collected went to administration of the #overnment. he remainder
went to charity& rewards& and especially to culture( art& literature& music& and reli#ion.
!ecause of e'tensive trade& the culture of "ndia became the dominant culture around the !ay of !en#al&
profoundly and deeply influencin# the cultures of !urma& 5ambodia& and .ri @anka. "n many ways& the period
durin# and followin# the >upta dynasty was the period of N>reater "ndia&N a period of cultural activity in "ndia and
surroundin# countries buildin# off of the base of "ndian culture. his medieval flowerin# of "ndian culture would
radically chan#e course in the "ndian /iddle -#es. Brom the north came /uslim con3uerors out of -f#hanistan&
and the a#e of /uslim rule be#an in 11,,.
DEC)1-E *, !HE +UP!& EMP1%E
he last #reat kin# of the >upta was .kanda >upta was ascended the throne about 4++ -.6. <ven durin# the
later years of Fumar >uptaOs rei#n& the empire was attacked by a tribe called Pushyamitra but it was repulsed&
-nd immediately after the accession of .kanda >upta& 1unas made inroads& but they too were repelled.
1owever& fresh waves of "nvaders arrived and shattered the fabric of the >upta <mpire. -lthou#h in the be#innin#
the >upta kin# .kanda >upta tried effectively to stem the march of the 1unas into "ndia& his successors proved
to be weak and could not cope with the 1una invaders& who e'celled in horsemanship and who possibly used
stirrups made of metal& -lthou#h the 1una power was soon overthrown by =asodharman of /alwa& the /alwa
prince successfully challen#ed the authority of the >uptas and set up Pillars of victory commoratin# his con3uest
$-6 +87% of almost the whole of northern "ndia. "ndeed =asodharmanOs rule was short lived& but he dealt a severe
blow to the >upta empire.
he >upta empire was further undermined by the rise of the feudatories. he #overnors appointed by the >upta
kin#s in north !en#al and their feudatories in .amatata or south*east !en#al broke away from the >upta control.
he later >utpas of /a#adha established their power in !ihar. !esides& the /aukharis rose to power in !ihar and
Dttar Pradeshand had their capital at Fanauj. Proabably by -6 ++, !ihar and Dttar Pradesh and passed out of
#upta hands. -nd the rulers of Halabhi established their authority in >uajarat and Western /alw
-A?1<2 5-D.< (
-fter the rei#n of .kanda >upta $4)7 -6% any >upta coin or inscription has been found in western /alwa and
.aurashtra. he mi#ration of #uild of .ilk weavers from >ujarata to /alwa in -6 478 and their adoption of non*
productive professions show that there was not much demand for cloth produced by them. he advanta#es from
>ujarat trade #radually disappeared. -fter the middle of the fifth century the >upta kin#s made desperate
attempts to maintain their #old currency by reducin# the content of pure #old in it. he loss of western "ndia
complete by the end of the fifth century& must have deprived the >utpas of the rich revenues from trade and
commerce and crippled them economically& and the princes of haneswar established their power in 1aryana and
then #radually moved on to Fanauj.
he causes of the downfall of disappearence of the >uptas were basically not different from those that brou#ht
the end many ancient and medieval dynasties. ?ver and above the usual causes of administrative inefficiency&
weak successors and sta#nant the fall of the >uptas( dynastic dissensions& forei#n inassions and some internal
6=A."5 6"..<A."?A. -A6 W<-F 2D@<2. (
here is evidence to show that followin# the death of Fumara#upta and .kanda#upta& there were civil wars and
stru##les for the throne. Bor instance& wehave the successors of !uddha#upta& hi#hli#htin# the rule of more than
just one kin#. hose were Hinaya#upta in !en#al and !hanu#upta in "ran.
-bsence of law of primo#eniture alon# with stron# centrali;ed authority in ancient and medieval periods led to
chaos. hus we see that the resources of the empire were frittered away in petty s3uabbles and wars for the
!esides circumstances weakenin# the >upta monarchy& the very personalities of the later >upta Fin#s
contributed to the ultimate fall of this dynasty. hey were not only men of weak character but also some of them
followed pacifies that affected other spheres of administration& particularly that of military efficiency.
B?2<">A "AH-."?A.(
Borei#n invasions was the second major factor in the decline and disappearance of the >utpas. he invasion of
barbaric tribe Pushyamitra was not the decisive. - far more important invasion was that of the White 1uns& who&
after settlin# in the ?'us vally& invaded "ndia. Birst appeared durin# the rei#n of !udha#upta. -#ain they
reappeared under the command of oramana who anne'ed a lar#e portion of the north*western re#ion includin#
parts of /oder D.P. 1e followed by hisson& /ihirakula& who became the overlord of north "ndia. "ndeed he was
defeated by =ashodharman of /alwa but the repercussions of these invasions were disastrous for the >upta
"A<2A-@ 2<!<@@"?A. (
-s a result of the weaknin# of 5entral -uthoriy a number of feudal chieftans& principally those of the north*
western re#ion& assumed the status of independent rulers mi#ht more some names in this re#ard such as
/aitrakas $of Fathiawar%& Panivarajaks $of !udndhelkhand%& Dnchkalpas& @a'man in -llahabad. <tc.
-fter the rei#n of !uddha#upta& the status of certain& #overnors of Aorth !en#al and =amuna * Aarmada area
around /a#adh too assumed independence and became to be known as the later >uptas.
!y fat one of the most important rebellions was that of =ashodharman of western /alwa who became
independentand established his kin#dom. 1e defeated /ihirakula and sesms to have made e'tensive con3uests
from the 1imalayas to !rahamputra. 1owever& his empire did not last very lon#. Aevertheless& it set a pattern for
other feudal cheiftans& who in due course& broke away from 5entral authority.
@ast but not the lest& we mi#ht note that the chan#e in the >upta polity from one of militancy to that of pacifism
#reatly affected the composition of the empire. We do have instance some of the later >upta kin#s who chan#ed
from 1induism to !uddhism and this was reflected inmate total military inefficiency of the later >uptas.
-part from these three major #roups of causes& that led to the final disappearance of the >upta empire& it is to be
borne mind that no empire after the /auryas was a reality. Her often they were total fictions. With the
disappearance of the /auryan empire no empire in its full connotation came into e'istence in "ndia since we had
no tradition like that of the >reeks where it is held that the .tate comes into e'istence for the necessities of life
but continues to e'ist for the #ood of life& and man& by nature& is a political animal. .omehow& after the /auryan
era the thinkin# of "ndia became apolitical. he first factor that contributed for this outlook of "ndians was the
emer#ence of feudalism about which evidence is there from the days of the .atavahanas. his tendency #rew in
the 5hristian ara and was firmly established by the seventh century -6.
-lon# with this development one more saboteur of political consciousness was the reli#ious perception of ancient
"ndians. !e#innin# before the 5hristian are it came to be #radually established that the kin#ship has its own
dharma known as rajya*dhrma while the people had a handul of dharmas like varnashrama dharma and the
#rihadharma. -ll these dharmas led the individual loyalty or perception towards a non*political entity. his
thinkin# is #iven reli#ious sanction by the priestly order. his thinkin# is #iven reli#ious sanction by the priestly
order of the day. hus the .tate never was the architectonic factor in the life of ancient "ndian e'cept durin# the
/auryan era. "t is this perception of ancient "ndia that made the emer#ence and disappearance of hundreds of
.tates mere non*events.
P*/!-+UP!& PE%1*D 8?::-@?: &ADA=
he political scene in "ndia from the decline of the >uptas until the rise of 1arsha was bewilderin#. @ar#e scale
displacement of peoples continued for some time. .mall kin#doms vied with each other for the herita#e of
>uptas. Aorthern "ndia was divided into four kin#doms of later >uptas of /a#adha& the /aukharis& the Push*
abhutis and the /aitrakas. he /aukharis first held the re#ion of western D.P. around Fanauj. >radually they
ousted the later >uptas and made them move to /alwa. he pushyabhut is ruled to haneswar north of 6elhi.
hey had a marria#e alliance with the /aukharis. -fter the death of the last /aukhari kin#& probably the
/aukhari kin#dom and that of pusyabhuti were united into one kin#dom. Probably the /aitrakas were of "ranian
ori#in and ruled in >ujarat. hey developed Hallabhi as their capital which became an important center of
learnin#. ?n the periphery of these four kin#doms a number of small principalities were continuously fi#htin# with
each other. -ll the kin#doms came into prominence after the 1uninvasion since it left a political vacuum in
northern "ndia.
-lthou#h the political picture was discoura#in#& there were a few formatives trends in this period. he >upta
imperial tradition seems to have continued. Aumerous inscriptions of kin#s reveal that the kin#s claimed descent
from the >upta Hakataka dynasties. "n the same period even the character of the 1un invaders underwent
chan#e. ormana was no sava#e but a 1induised frontier kin# attackin# a decayin# empire. 1e ceased to be a
forei#ner. 1is successor& /ihirakula& was undoubtedly one of the known tyrants of history. @et by !aladitya >upta&
the last #reat monarch of the imperial dynasty& the rulers of north "ndia combined to attack him and overthrow
his power in a #reat battle of +7C -.6. he hun dynasty ended with it.
-fter this event the kin#doms of the a#e carried on the traditions of the empire. "n and around the Hindhyas the
Hakatakas rules with effective authority. "n the >an#etic valley the /aukhari kin#s consolidated their rule. rue&
the imperial tradition was under eclipse& but the country& as a whole was peaceful and prosperous and it was not
subject to anarchical disruption.
he university of Aalanda flourished in the si'th century. .aintly .thiramati was its head in the middle of the si'th
century. 6harmapala& who e'tended his patrona#e to the university in the latter half of the century was an
eminent scholar. -s a matter of fact& Aalanda witnessed its #olden period in this period.
"t is also to be kept in mind that classical .anskrit reached its perfection in the si'th century. !haravi&
Fumaradasa and 6andin amon# the poets and Hishkhadatta amon# the dramatists lived in the si'th century -.6.
.ome historians ascribe the development of "ndian mathematics and astronomy to the si'th century. Harahamira
is said to have died in +C7 -.6. -ryabhata was born in 47).
"t can e3ually be said that philosophy& lo#ic and mimamsa matured durin# this period. !uddhist and 1indu
systems of lo#ic witnessed their #olden a#e. "t is also noteworthy that vernacular literatures be#an to #row.
Prakrit evolved into a literary lan#ua#e possessin# its own #rammars. "t was this development that enabled
2ajasekhara and other to create classical literature of Prakrit in the ne't century.
hus the old view that the si'th century was a period of anarchy and the a#e of 1arsha that followed it was the
last #low of ancient period& cannot be sustained. ?n the other hand the si'th century was a #erminal period
which sowed the seeds of later developments.
P)&CE/ &-D &%E&/ 1- &-C1E-! 1-D1&
1. -"1?@< near !adami with rock cut and structural temples of Western 5halukya period& is favous for the
temples of Hishnu& @adkhan and 6ur#a. "t furnish e'amples of a well developed 6eccan style of architecture. he
other three styles of ancient "ndia bein# Aa#ar 6ravidian and Hesara. "t is also famous for its inscription or
Prasasti composed by 2avikirti& the court poet of Pulkesin "". his prasasti mentions the defeat of 1arsha by the
5halukya kin#& Pulkesin ""& a r rare event of a Aorthern emperor or ruler bein# defeated by a ruler south of
7. -51"511-2- identified with modern 2amna#ar in !areily district of D.P. was the capital of Aorth Panchala in
the first half of first millennium !.5. <'acavation #rove that it had moats and ramparts around it& it has revealed
terracottas of the Fushan period& and also remarkable siries of coins of second century -.6. "ts importance lies in
the fact that it was on the important ancient "ndian northern trade route linkin# a'ila and "nidraprastha with
Fanyakubaj and .ravasti& 2aj#riha and Pataliputra indicatin# that trae could be one of the reasons for its
8. -0-A- near -uran#abad $/aharashtra%& is famous for wonderful !uddist caves& and also paintin#s probably
e'ecuted only b the !uddhist monks. Paintin#s of e'ceptional skill belon# to the period between 7nd century !.5.
and 7th 5entury -.6. ?ne of the cave well depicts the reception of a Persian mission in the 5halukya court of
Pulkasin "" indicatin# cultural and commercial contacts with the Persian empire.
4. -ADP- in Aarmada valley mentioned in the Aasik inscription $dated 11+ -.6.% of >autami !alasri& mother of
the .atvahana ruler .ri .atakarni $5irca 77*9+ -.6.% was con3ured bythe latter from the sakas& and was a bone
of contention for lon# between the .akas and the .atvahanas. he sakas were responsible for drivin# the
.atavahanas. "nto the south *eastern and western direction. "n other words& -nupa si#nifies the earlier homeland
of the .atvahanas.
+. -P-2A-F- $-paranta%& identified withk Fonkan& i.e. Aorth western re#ion of the 6eccan& was a bone of
contention between the sakas and the .atavahanas and is mentioned in Aasik "nscription $dated circle 1++ -.6.%
of >autami !alasri. >autamiputa stakarni con3uered it from the.akas. -ccordin# to the /ahavamsa& the third
!uddhist council deputed >reat elder 6haramarakshita to do missionary work in -parantaka re#ion. @iteracy
evience locates the -bhiras in this re#ion& who probably were responsible for identifyin# @ord Frishna as the diety
of cowherd and milk*maids.
"n matters relatin# to trade and commerce it was famous for the production of cotton te'tiles in ancient times
and ated& as the hinterland for the ancient ports of !harukachechha and .opara.
). -2"F-/<6D near Pondicherry& known to the periplus as podoka& wa port of call in .an#am imes $7,, !.5.% on
the route of /alaya and china. 2ecent e'cavation durin# which a veryrich treasure of 2oman beads& #lass and
coins& and of 2oman and south "ndian Pottery were found have proved that it was once a prosperous settlement
of Western tradin# people& includin# the 2omans.
he favourable balance of Payments position ejoyed by "ndia in its trade with 2ome is amply revealed by the rich
haul of 2oman #old coins.
7. -=?61=- also known as -*yu*te or -bhur of .aketa on the river .arya $/odern >ha#hra% in Bai;abad district
of D.P. was the earliest capital of the Fosala 0anapade and was the seat of the epic hero& 2ama. "t is also known
for its short .anskrit inscription of kin# 6handeva of Fosal $belon#in# probably to the first century !.5.% which
refers to the conductin# of two -svamedha sacrifices by kin# Pushyamitra. Brom the economic view*point it was
located on the important trade of amralipti*2aja#riha*.ravasti which passed via -yodhya.
C. -/2-H-" near modern Hijayawada $-ndhra Pradesh%& is famous for its stupa and as an art center flourishin#
under the .atavahanas and the pallavas. .econd century works of art khow mastery of stone sculpture. -mravati
bas*reliefs have the representation of ancient "ndian vehicles * the boat or the ship or the cart& and of a forei#n
mission $like the -janta cave paintin#s% of marchants bein# received by a kin#. "n ancient times is was an
important center of trade& and ships from here sailed to !urma and "ndonesia.
"t is maintained by some scholars that a human fi#ure& for the first time& that a marble stone relief was e'ecuted.
9. -."F- $Probably on the left bankof the river Frishna%& is mentioned in the Aasik inscription $dated circe 11+
-.6.% of >autami !alasri& it was con3uered by the .atavahana rular >autamiputra .atakarini $VVV% he latter
fact reveals that >autamiputra .atakarni #ained a stron#er hold of southern "ndia which proved beneficial
because of the continuin# .aka pressure even after his victory a#ainst the .akas. Fin# Fharavela of Falin#a also
made a claim of its con3uest.
1,. -H-A" $western /alva% one of the 1) 0anapadas of )th century !.5. with its capital at Djjain4 stru##le dhard
a#ainst /a#adhan imperialism but in vain. -ccordin# to !uddhist traditions& -soka& the /auryan ruler& served as
the Hiceroy of -vanti& while he was a prince.
.ince /alwa re#ion is important politically& and economically it became a bone of contention between the .akas.
-nd the .atavahanas& 2ashtrakutas and Pratiharas in ancient "ndia. "t is throu#h this re#ion that the
importanttrade routes from eastern and western "ndian passed Hia Djjain to the important Western ports
!harukachchha $!roach% and .oparaka $.opara%.
11. -A>- one of the 1)th 0anapadas of 1)th century !.5. @ay to the east of /a#adha with 5hampa& near
!ha#alpur& as its capital. .ome of the -n#a monarchas& like !rahmadatta& appear to have defeated their /a#adha
contemporaries. .ubse3uently& however& /a#adha emer#ed supreme leadin# to the establishment of the first
empire of ancient "ndia. "n other words& the con3uest of -n#a by /a#adha was one of the steppin# stones for the
/a#adhan <mpire.
17. !-21D in central "ndian is famous for !uddhist .tupa and stone railin#s which replaced the wooden ones in
the .un#a period. !arhut sculptures depict the visit of kin# -jatasatru to the !uddha. !arhut alon# with .anchi
and !odh*>aya represent the first or#ani;ed art activity of the "ndian people as a whole. Burthermore& all these
clearly indicate the transition of sculpture from wood to stone.
18. !-2=>-S- ?2 !1-2DF-5151- $!roach% was the oldest and lar#est northern most entrepot on the mouth of
the Aarmada river in modern /aharashtra. "t handled the bulk of the trade with western -sia $0ataka stories and
the Periplus mention it%. "t was also one of the district head 3uarters of the .aka rulers. -ccordin# to 0ain
traditions& it was the capital of the .aka empire. "t was international trade that mode !ary#a;a important in
ancient "ndia.
14. !-2!-2"5D/ was an important port in the "ndus delta& receivin# 5hinese furs and silks throu#h !acteria for
e'port to the West. "t added to the #rowin# prosperity of "ndia in the first century -.6.
1+. !-6-/" $/?6<2A A-/< B?2 H--P"% in !ijapur district was founded by pulkesin " as an early capital of the
Western 5halukyas. "t as a hill*fort and an e'3uisite cave temple of lord Hishnu e'cavated durin# the rule of
/an#lesh& the 5halukya ruler. 1uen*tsan# visited it.
1). !?61*>-=- situated si' miles south of >aya in !ihar on the western bank of the Ailajan river& was the place
where the !uddha attained enli#htenement. "t was part of the /a#adha janapada.
17. !-A-H-." $north kanara in Farnataka% also known as Haijayanti& was the capital of the Fadambas who were
defeated by the 5halukya kin# Firtivarman durin# the last 3uarter of the )th century -.6. -ccordin# to the
5eylonese chronicles -shoka sent a mission to 6eccan with the /onk 2kshita who went as far as !anavasi.
1C. !2-1/->"2" in 5hitaldur# district of Farnataka& is remarkable for its continuity of cultural herita#e e'tendin#
from Aeolithic $stone*a#e culture% to me#alithic $early historic culture*8rd century !.5. to "st century !.5. with
possible links with /editer anean and 5aucasian /e#aliths% revealin# ancestory worship and animism pointin# to
the practice of cist and pit burials. "t is the site of one of the two minor rock edicts of -skoka. hese edicts
su##est the provability of -shoka enterin# the .an#ha as a full monk after two and a half years of his conversion
to !uddhism.
19. !D2S-1?/ in Fashmir Halley near .rina#ar& is associated with me#alithic settlements $datin# 74,, !.5.%
where the people lived on a plateau in pits usin# tools and weapons of stone $a'e% and bones. $he only other
site which has yielded considerable bone implements is 5hirand& 4, km. West of Patna on the northern bank of
the >an#es and usin# coarse #rey pottery. he information that we #ather from the two places& recently
discovered& throws li#ht on the proto*histroy of "ndia%.
7,. !-/"=-A an important !uddhist and >andhara -rt center in -f#hanistan in the early 5hristian centuries& has
tall rock*cut !uddha statues. he ancient trade route linkin# north western "ndia with 5hina passed throu#h it. "t
was the capital of the 1unas in the +th and the )th centuries -.6.
71. !<@D2 with a #roup of 1oysala monuments includin# the famous 5hennakesava temple $built around 1117
-.6.% represents an art which applies to stone the techni3ue of the ivory worker or the #oldsmith.
77. 51"6-/!-2-/ a town in south -rcot district in amilnadu is famous for its #reat 1indu .iva emple
dedicated to Aataraja& i.e. .iva in his aspects of cosmic dance. he Aataraja sculptures are esteemed as
teh#reatest specimens of sculpture in the world. -lso& 5hidambaram bears evidence to the birth as well as the
development of .haivism to be#in with insouthern "ndian and its conse3uential spread to the whole of "ndia.
78. 51<6" ?2 51<" one of the 1) 0anapadas of )th century !.5. rou#hly corresponds to modern !undelkhand
and adjacent tracts. "t lay near the Fanuna& its metropolis was suktimati to .ottihivatina#ar.
74. 5--/P- the capital city of the -n#a 0anapada on the border of !en#al was of #reat commercial importance in
ancient times4 for it was a river port from which ships would sail down the >an#es and the coast the south "ndia&
returnin# with jewels and spices which were much in demand in the Aorth. !y /auryan times& with the eastward
e'pansion of -ryan culture& amralipti replaced in in importance. -n interestin# feature of this is the fact that a
1indu Fin#dom with the same name came into e'istence in the mainland of .outh east -sia. "ndeed it is difficult
to say how e'actly this name came to be transplanted in .outh*east -sia.
7+. 6-.-PD2- modern /andasor in western /alwa& was disputed between the .akas and the .atavahanas. "ts
famous .iva temple of the #uild of .ilk weavers& was built durin# the rei#n of kumar >upta " $414 -.6.*4++ -.6.%
the institution that is responsible for buildin# the .iva temple indicates the clima' of "ndian tradin# and
commercial activities in ancient "ndian. "t also reveals that manufacture of silk was no lon#er the secret monopoly
of 5hina and it had taken roots in "ndia by the +th century -.6.
7). 6<H-F- modern 6okak in Aow#on# district in -ssam& a frontier country which paid tribute to .amudra#upta
claimin# the payment of tribute by Famarupa #oes alon# with 6evaka. 1owever& it is to be borne in mind that
1arisenaOs Prasasti is of doubtful historical validity. he one si#nificant thin# that is known is the fact that no ruler
of the northern "ndia could ever con3uer the -ssam re#ion but instead !urma con3uered it and it was wrenched
from !urma by the !ritish in 1C79 by the reaty of =andavoo.
77. 6<?>-21 in 0hansi district of D.P. is famous for its 6asvatara Hishnu temple belon#in# to the >upta period.
he temple may be considered as most respresentative and well known e'ample of the early sikhara style of
temple architecture in e'ample of the early sikhara style of temple architecture on the panels of its walls.
6eo#arh is one the temples with which be#an the temple architecture of "ndia. "n particular& the .hikhara is the
uni3ue feature of the northerntemples compared to those of southern "ndian.
7C. 6W-2-F- @e#ends associate this place to=adavas after the battle of Furukshetra. -ccordin# to mytholo#y
6waraka was destroyed by the hu#e tidal wave as per the forewarnin# of @ord Frishna. "n very recent times 6r.
..2.2ao with the cooperation of the 6epartment of ?ceno#raphy& did carry out under*sea e'plorations. .ome
artifacts includin# stone anchors have been found datin# back to the 1arappan period. he e'ploration is still
79. <@@?2- With three distinct #roups of rock*cut architecture associated with !uddhism& 0ainism and
!rahmanical 1induism& is famous for its temple of Failash $.iva% Nan entire temple comple' completely hewn*out
of the live rock in imitation of a distinctive structural formN. he temple ws built by the 2ashtrakuta kin# Frishna "
$7+C*778 -.6.% and is one of the most ma#nificent e'amples of 6ravida architecture with its four principal
characteristic components& vi;. Himana& /andapa& nandi mandapa and #opuram. he <llora sculptures are
famous for their liveliness.
8,. <2-A !esna#ar district $/adhya Pradesh% is famous on account of <ran "nscriptions dated +1, -.6. his
inscription mentions the practice of .ati& first of its kind. "t is also famous for its colossal board& the ;oomorphic
incarnation of @ord Hishnu.
81. <@<P1-A- beautiful little island off !ombay& with latest cavetemples in <llora style was famous for their
sculpture& especially the #reat rimutti fi#ure of .iva& emblem of the /aharashtar >ovt. representin# the hi#hest
plastic e'pression of the 1indu concept of divinity.
87. >-A61-2- with a'ila and peshwar as two capitals& in earlier and later ancient periods was one of the 1)
0anapadas $)th century !.5.% onthenorth*western frontier of "ndia. Dnder the Fushans it become a popular center
of /ahayana !uddhism and >andhara art* "ndian ima#es both secular and reli#ious $the !uddha and @ord
Frishna% but in lon# floatin# #arments& as is the tradition of early >reek sculpture. "t was a meetin# #round for
several civili;ations and mercantile communities belon#in# to different countries.
88. >?2-1->"2- - hill fortress on the modern !arabar hills in the >aya district of !ihar& was attacked by Fin#
Fharavela of Falin#a in the Cth year of his rei#n. his fact is known from the 1athi#umpha "nscription of kin#
84. >-A>-"F?A6*51?@-*PD2-/ was capital city of the #reatest 5hola ruler 2ajendra 5hola " $1,17*1,44 -.6.%
who built it after the successful 5hola military camai#n upto the bank of the river >an#es in 1,71*77. 5urrently
the city lies inruins and its enormous tankshas dried up.
8+. >"2A-2 hill near 0ana#arh in >ujarat& where a /auryan #overnor is said to have built an artificial lake& known
as .udarsana lake which 2udradaman& the .aka ruler renovated. 2udradamanOs .anskrit "nscription was located
here and it is the first .anskrit inscription "t had been a sacred place to the 0ainas since remote times because
0ain shrines are also located here.
8). 1-."A-PD2- aim district /eerut in D.P. $known as -sandivant% was the capital of the ancient tribe of the
Furus. @ater the floods destroyed it. 2ecent e'cavations prove that the people of this re#ion used iron by about
7,, !.5. that is the -ryans had learnt the art of makin# iron which revolutioni;ed the whole socio*economic
pattern of -ryan communities. "t was this fact that lay at the base of the <conomic 2evolution that "ndia passed
throu#h between 1,,, !.5. to ),, -.6. with far too many conse3uences like the emer#ence of an empire&
various kinds of #uilds& brisk trade both with in and with out the country and links with buth .outh*east -sia and
the 2oman empire.
87. 1-1">DP1- on Ddai#ir hill& three miles from !huvaneshwar in the puri district of ?rissa& is famous for an
inscription in post*ashokan character& en#raved inside the elephant cave. "t depicts the meteoric and da;;lin#
carer of 0aina kin# Fharavela& the 8rd ruler of the 5ate dynasty. "t also refers to the buildin# of an e3ueduct in
Falin#a by one of the Aanda rulers of Pataliputra. he importance of this inscription lies in the fact that it is the
first important si#n*post in fi'in# the chronolo#y of ancient "ndia.
8C. 1-"@!"6 is famous for 1oysalesvara temple $1oysala period% desi#ned and built by Fedoroja& the master*
buildin# of Aarasimha ". he infinite wealth of sculpture over the e'terior of this temple makes it one of the most
remarkable monuments of the world. Fnown as 6waramudra it was the capital of the 1oysalas.
89. "A62-P2-.1- identified by 0ain scholars with the site around the enclosure of the Purana ?ila $6elhi% one
of the sites of painted >rey Ware $1,th century !.5.% finda& was the le#endry capital of the Pandava brothers of
the epic /ahabharata& which they lost to the Fauravas havin# been defeated in the #amblin# match. -fter the
second battle of arain $1197% /oh. >auri appointed ?utbuddin -ibak as his deputy at "ndraprastha which
became a base for -ibakOs successful operations a#ainst north "ndian states.
4,. FD2- one of the 1) 0anapadas of )th century !.5.& was in the nei#hbourhood of 6elhi. -mon# its towns may
be mentioned "ndraprastha and 1astinapur. his place clearly brin#s home the truth to us that /ahabharata was
not purely fictional story but some amount of historical evidence is embedded in the story. -s a matter of fact&
Hasudeve Frishna is now known as a historical personality as borne out by the writin#s of patanjali and other
sources of evidence.
41. F-0-A>-@- in 2aj mahal district in <astern !ihar& where kin# 1arsha $),)*)47 -.6.% held his court while
campai#nin# in eastern "ndia.he 5hiense pil#rim 1uen*san# first saw 1arsha here.
47. F-P".- "t is the re#ion near Fabul& probably Fipin as referred to by 5hineses writers. he presidin# diety of
the city accordin# to 5hiense writers was ;eus. he >reek #od. he #old and silver coins issued by the >reek
kin#s have been discovered from this re#ion in bi# numbers. he >reeks were the first to issue #old coins in
"ndia. hese coins testify to the #rowin# trade links between "ndia and 5entral -sia and 5hina and also with the
2oman world. Bar more important is the fact that these coins testify to the #owin# worship of Hasudeva*krishna
or the !ha#avata cult which later repened as Haishnavism.
48. F"P"A is identified with Fapisa or Fafirstan in Fashmir. "t indicated the wide re#ion know in earlier times as
the /ahajanapada of Famboja. "t was ruled by the .akas& the Fushans and the 1unas in succession. he name
Famboja reappears as the name of kamboja& an important of the mainland of .outh*<ast -sia.
44. F-/P"@=- was the capital of southern Panchalas& one of the tribal communities of the -ryans. his fact proves
that the -ryans& to be#in with in "ndia& lived as various tribes. he tribes were in constant war with eachother
culminatin# in the emer#ence of the /a#adha <mpire.
4+. FD.-/61H-@- $Patliputara% >ar#i*.amhita alludes that in the 7nd century !.5. the =avanas $"ndo*
!acterians% havin# reduced .aketa& Panchala& and /athura reached kusumdhvana. 6emetrios& was& most
probably& the =avana leader. 1e was defeated or he retired withouth fi#htin#.
4). F-." one of the 1) 0anapadas of the )th century !.5. with its capital of the same name. "t was also called
Haranasi $)9%. "t #reatly prospered under the rule of !rahmadatta.
47. F?.-@ one of the 1) janapadas of the )th century !.5. had three different capitals $.aketa& -yodhya and
.ravasti% in three different periods. "t re#ion rou#hly corresponded to modern oudh.
4C. FD."A->-2 $Fusinara J% moder Fasia& in >orakhpur district in DP was a small town where the !uddha
attained /ahaparinirvana. "t was one of the two capitals of the /all 0anapada in pre*!uddhists times. "t was
visited by -shoka and the 5hinese pil#rim Ba*hien.
49. F-A=-FD!0- $Fanauj% on the bank of river >an#as in DP rose to prominence durin# the time of /ukhar is&
1arsha and >ujara*Pratiharas. Dnder the pratiharas& Fanauj successfully resisted the -rabs. "n the 9th century
-.6. "t was disputed amon# the Palas of !en#al& Prathiharas& and the 2ashtrakutas. "t was situated on a very
important trade*route linkin# north*Western re#ions of "ndia with Praya#a& Fasi& Haishali& Pataliputra& 2aja#riha&
+,. F-D.-/!" identified with the villa#esof Fosam near -llahabad was one of the earliest cities& so prominent
that -nand& the !uddhist monk& thou#h it important enou#h for a !uddha to die in. 2ecent e'cavation it here
unearthed historically and culturally important terracotta fi#ures. "t was built in the shape of a trape;ium and was
the capital of the vastse 0anapada. ?ne of the -shokan Pillars was located here. "t was also an inscription of the
Fushan monarch.
),. F-2A-*.DH-2A- ( refers to the re#ion of !en#al and some parts of !ihar and ?rrisa& fuled by sasanka in the
early 7th century -.6. 1arsha con3uered the re#ion from him after )19 -.6.
)1. F-A1<2" "n hana district near !ombay& has rock cut 5haitya shrines with elaborately decorated railin#s
belon#in# to the third century -.6. ?ne inscription of the last #reat ruler of the .atavahana dynasty. =ajnasri
.atakarni is found here. Fanheri !uddhist ank inscription makes mention of /atiemonial relationship between
the .akas and the .atavahanas. "t was the chief center of !uddhism in 2ashtrakuta times. Baint traces of the art
of paintin#s may be traced in the caves of Fanheri.
)7. F-A51" modern canjeevaram& south*west to /adras is reckoned amon# the seven sacred cities of the
1indus. "t was an important center of 0aina culture in the first half of the first millennium -.6. "t was one of the
south "ndian kin#doms con3uered by .amudra#upta. "t was visited by 1uen*san#. "t rose to prominence in 7th
century -.6. Dnder the Pallava kin#. "t possesses the famous Failashnath temple $built by Pallava Fin#
Aarsimhavarman * ""% and Haikuntha perumalla $constructed sometime after the kailashnath%. he Failashnath
temple is a landmark in the development of dravida temple style with its characteristic components*vimana&
mandapa #opuram and an array of vimanas alon# the walls of the court& i.e. peristyle cells.
)8. F-H<2"P--A-/ known as Puhar& was the 5hola capital and chief port in .an#am period $7,, !.5.* 8,,
-.6.% with a lar#e colon#y of forei#ners. "t was an important trade center. .hips sailin# from here to .outh*<ast
-sia. - lon# poem on this 5hola capital is the part of the famous .an#am work pattupattu $en "dylls%.
)4. FD2DF.1<2- near haneswar& to the north of 6elhi in 1aryana& was the site of the #reat battle of
/ahbharata. his battle fou#ht between the Fauravas and the Pandavas& formed the basis of the story of the
#reatness of "ndia epics the /ahabharata. "t is in this #reat war that Frishna prached his #ospel of the >ita& to
the Pandava hero -rjuna who saw his own elders and kishmen arran#ed himself for the fith and then early
decided to renounce and retire. Frishna #ave him the messa#e of disinterested perfomance of duty i.e.
renunciation in action but no renunciation of action. hat a #reat war ws fou#ht between the cousin brothers *
Fauravas and Pandavas is 3uite possible.
)+. /-A=-F1< $modern /alkhed in 1yderabad re#ion% was the capital of 2ashtrakuta -mo#havarsha " in the
9th century -.6.
)). /-1-!-@"PD2-/ is today a tiny coastal villa#e )+ kms. south of /adras. his port*city was founded by
Pallava kin# Aarasimhavarman in the 7th century -.6. Pallava kin#s created an architecture of their own which
was to be the basis of all the styles of the south. "n fact /ahabilipuram& the Pallava art with its monolithic
temples $rathas% and rocks sculptured in the shapes of animals with a wonderfully broad and powerful naturalism&
with whole cliffs worked in stone frescoes& immenspictures unparalleled at the time in all "ndian in their order
movement and lyrical value. he 6escent of the >an#es& the uni3ue masterpiece of Pallava art was surely one of
the most remarkable compositions of all time $in which is portrayed the >an#es comin# down to earth& with #ods&
animals men and all creation in adoration%. he shore temple built by 2ajasimha represents one of the earliest
e'amples of structural temples. the Pallvava monuments at /ahabalipuram symboli;e not only the transition from
rock*architecture to structural stone temples but also si#nificantly the completion of the N-ryanisationN of .outh
"ndia durin# the Pallava period.
)7. /-61=-/"F- is identified with Aa#ari near 5hitor in 2ajasthan. Patanjali alludes to=avana $"ndo*!acterian%
invasion of /adhyamika.
)C. /D.1"F-. on the lower "ndus with its capital at -lord. Was the #reatest principality at the time of
-le'anderOs invasion. "ts kin# mousikanas submitted to -le'ander after brave resistance.
)9. /-"PD2 modern /andawar in district !ijnor of DP was a center of 1inayana !uddhist studies in the )th and
7th centuries -.6. 1uen*san# stayed here for some time.
7,. /-6D2-" popularly known as the city of festivals& was the seat of the 8rd .an#am and was till the 14th
century the capital of the Pandyan kin#dom which had sea*borne brade with 2ome and >reece. "t is famous for
the /inakshi temple.
C,. /-551- or /atsaya& was one of the 1) janapads. he /atsyas ruled to the west of the 0amuna and south of
the Furus. heir capital was at Hiratna#ar $modern !airrat near 0aipur%.
C1. /-@@- was one of the 1) 0anapadas of the1)th century !.5. he territory of the /allas was on the mountain
slopes probably to the north of the vijjain confederation. hey had to branches with their capitals at Fusina#ar
and Pawa. !ut in pre*!uddhist time the /allas were a monarchy.
C7. /DS"2". modern can#anors in Ferala at the mouth of the river Periyar& an important port in .an#am period
$7, !.5. * 8,, -.6.% abounded in ships with car#oes from -rabia and 2oman world. @ater literature speaks of
2oman settlements and a temple was built here ni honour of -u#ustus.
C8. A->-20DA-F?A6- is Frishna Helley& harboured a Aeolithic community with stone*a'e*culture and primitive
mode of a#riculture. With a few classical accidental lookin# sculptures in proves trade and culture contacts with
the 2oman world. .urvival of a !uddhist stupa proves it to be a !uddhist center in early 5hristian centuries. he
be#innin# of 1indu temple architecture in south "ndia are best traced in the remains of the early brick temples of
the "kshavakus e'cavated here anticipatin# the Aa#ara& 6ravida and Hasars styles.
C4. A-."F $also known as Aaiskya and >ovardhan% is famous for e'3uisite rock*cut !uddhist temple $of the
period 7nd !5 * 1st -.6.% with an en#raved iscription of >autami !alsari recordin# the achievement of the
.atavahanas ruler >autamiputra .atakarni%. - lar#e board of silver coins bearin# the name& the titles of
Aahapana were discovered at 0o#althambi very close to the Aasik su##estin# the defeat of the .aka ruler bythe
.atavahana kni#. "t is also famous for the 5haitya and Hihar as pan*du*lonea.
C+. P"1DA6- on the >odavari& was the capital of the -vapeople or the -vamukta which was con3uered as
C). P-6/-H-" was Aa# capital is >walior re#ion. "ts kin# >anapati Aa#a was defeated by .amudra#upta.
C7. P2-".11-A- $Paithan% at the mouth of the river #odavri in the -uran#abad district of /aharashtra& was
the capital of .atavahana kin#s. "t was an important commercial mart linked with .ravasti.
CC. PD2D.1PD2- $modern Peshawar% was the capital of FanishkaOs vast empire and the center of >andhara art.
"t became the chief center of !uiddhist activity and studies with buildin# of number of hu#e 5haityas and viharas
and with one stupa. he 5hiense pil#rims refer to a many storied relic*tower in which some relics of !uddha were
enshrined. "t is here that the icons of !uddha and other 1indu #ods were first finely carved. "n provided the
meetin# place of the marchants of "ndia& 5hina& central -sia& Persia& and the 2oman world.
C9. P--6-F-@ near -ihole !adami is famous for ma#nificentrock*cult and sculptures temples in 5halukya and
Pallava style. he number of such temples is ten * four in the northern style and si' in southern. /ost famous of
these temples is lokesvara temple $now called Hirupaksha%.
9,. P-A51-@- was one of the 1) janapadas of the )th century !.5. "ts area correspondent to modern
!undelkhand and the portion of the 5entral 6oab. "t had two divisions northern and southern& the >an#es
formin# the boundary line. heir capitals were -hicchatra and Fampilya respectively. ?ne of the early Panchalas
kin#s& 6urmukha& is credited with con3uests in all directions.
91. PD.1F-@-H-" i.e. the Ncity of lotusesO in -f#anisthan to the north of the river Fabul $modern 5harasadda% in
the district of Peshawar was con3uered by -le'andar. "t was the old capital of western >andhara. - #old coin
$belon#in# to the 7nd century !.5.% with the city #oddess $@akshmi% holdin# a lotus in her ri#ht hand and an
appropriate Fharoshthi le#end NPakhalavati devataN had been discovered here pointin# to the popularity of "ndian
#oddess. "t remained under the rule of the "ndo*>reeks& the sakas and the Fushana. "t was an important link in
"ndiaOs trade relations with central -sia and 5hina.
97. 2-0->2"1- moder 2aj#ir& near Patna in !ihar was and ancient capital of /a#adha under !imbisara and
-jatsatru. "t was here that first !uddhist council was held after the death of !uddha. he cyclopean walls of the
this old commercial town are amon# themost remarkable finds in "ndia.
98. .-F-@- modern .ialkot& capital of /enander& was the refu#e of !uddhist monks. "t was here& accordin# to
!uddhist tradition& that Pushyamitra .un#ha declared to #ive an award of 199 dinars for the head of a !uddhist
94. .-A51" (near !hopal famous for a !uddhist stupa and for one of -shokaOs /inor Pillar <dicts. .anchi
sculptures alon# with !harhut >odh*>aya represent the first or#ani;ed art activity of the "ndian People. here are
reliefs of the 0atkas on the stone walls around the stupa. .anchi revealed historically important inscription of the
.atavahanas and the >upta kin#s. Fakanodbota probably was the ancient name for .anchi& which was inhabited
by the tribal people Fakar& and was con3uered by the .amudra#upta.
9+. .2-H-." moder .aket*/ahet on the borders of the >onda and the !ahraich districts of D.P. ?n the river
2apti * "t was a famous center of trade in ancient times& from where three important trade routes emanated
linkin# it with 2aja#riha& Pratishthana& and a'ila. "t was one of the early capitals of the 0anapad of Fosal. @ater& it
served as the provincial head3uarters of the >upta kin#s. Ba*hien visited it.
9). .-F<- re#ion around -yodhya& was invaded by =avanas $"ndo*!acterin% is attested to by Patanjali.
97. .-2A-1 near Haranasi& is the place where the !uddha delivered his frist sermon in the 6eer park& this event
bein# known as the Nurnin# of the Wheel of @awN. "t is the site of the famous -shokan Pillar of Polished sand*
stone whose lion capital was adopted by the people of Bree "ndia as the state emblem. "t was also the famous
seat of >upta sculpture. >upta plastic art reached its perfection e.#. the seated !uddha in preachin# posture.
9C. .2-H-A-*!<@>?@- in 1asan district of Farnataka& is famous for the monolithic statue of >ometeswara* C+fit.
1i#h& erected in 9C, -.6. by 5hemundya 2ai& the chief minister of the >an#a kin# 2achmal.
99. .?P-2- port town known to the Periplus and ptolmey& carried most of the ancient "ndian trade with forei#n
countries4 #radually it be#an to lose its importance to !ery#a;a and !arharium* "st century -.6. onwards. "t ahs
survived as a villa#e 4, miles north of !ombay.
1,,. ?.-@" $6hauli% near !huaneshwar in Puri district of ?rissa& was the seat of one of the /auryan
viceroyalties as well as one of the fourteen major rock edicts of -shoka. he osali rock edict refers only to the
con3uered province.
1,1. 2"PD2" now villa#e near 0abalpur& was the capital of the Falachuri dynasty. he Falachuri kin#s became
independent in 1,th century -.6. "n 1989& ripuri had the distinction of bein# the venue of the +4th session of
"ndian Aational con#ress.
1,7. -/2-@"P" amluk in the /idnapur district of Western !en#al was one of the most important port*towns of
ancient "ndia. ?utlet to south*east -sia when there was trade boom.
1,8. -A0?2< is famous for 2ajarajeswava or !rihadeswara temple of lord .hiva which is the lar#est and tallest
of all "ndia temples with its vimana towerin# to a hei#ht of nearly 7,, feet over the >arbha#riha with Pyramidal
body in thirteen tiers. "t was the seat of 5hola #overnment in the 9th century -.6. and later of an independent
kin#dom after the fall of ther Hijayana#ar <mpire. Wei#ht of the cap C, tonnes. 5onceived on a #i#antic scale.
.tone relief as minute as that of jewelers.
1,4. 1-A<.W-2 near Furukshetra& to the north of 6elhi in the province of 1aryana& was the capital of the
Pushyabhuti dynsty. he kin#dom of thanesar emer#ed into a powerful state under 1arshaOs $),)*)47 -.6.%
father& Prabhakarvardhan who was in constant warfare a#ainst the 1uns on the frontier and with the rulers of
/alwa. 1arsha shifted his capital from haneswar to Fannauj. -ccordin# to 1eun*san# the people of this city
were specially inclined to trade. hus thanesar was a principal center of trade. "t was attacked by /ahmud of
>ha;ni in 1,14 -.6. it is here that ahmad .hah -bdali first defeated the /aratha army in 17+9 bodin# to the
/aratha collapse at Panipat in 17)1.
1,+. D00-"A in /adhya pradesh was the capital of -vanti $)th century !.5.% and 5handra#upta ""& and was one of
the provincial capitals of the /auryas. "t was the modal point of two ancient trade routes& one from Fausambui
and the other from /athura& its chief e'ports bein# a#ate& jasper and carnelian. "t has an observatory built by
/aharaja .avai 0ai .in# "" $1)C)*1748%.
1,). D2-"=D2 also known as -ra#aru&on the river Favari& was for some time the .an#am chola capital& was
famous for its pearls and muslin& the latter bein# as think as the slou#h of the snake.
1,7. D-2/<2D2 is a villa#e of amil Aadu where nearly two hundred inscriptions belon#in# to Pallava and
5hola periods indicatin# the nature and workin# of the villa#e administration have been found. -ccordin# to
Dttarmerur inscriptions Pallava and 5hola villa#es enjoyed ma'imum of autonomy inadministrative matters with
popular villa#e assemblies like the Dr& .abha& /ahasabha or Aa#aram lookin# after the villa#e affains without any
interference from royal officers. he villa#e of Dttarmerur was divided in thirty wards.
1,C. H-.>D@/- modern !asim in the -hoka district in the .outh of -janta& was the capital of a 0unior branch of
the Hakatakas who are mentioned in the -janta cave inscriptiona Ao. WH".
1,9. H"6".- modern !esna#ar& near !hilsa& in <ast /alwa& was a part of .un#a empire with -#nimitra& the sone
of Pushyamitra .un#a as viceroy. he Hidisa #uild of ivory worker was famous for these workers carved the stone
sculpture on the #ateways and railin#s surroundin# the .anchi .tupa. "t indicates commercial prosperity. "t was
also famous for the >aruda Pillar "nscription which testified its erection by a >reak ambassabor named 1eliodorus
in honour of Hasudeva Frishna& the #od of the !ha#avatas.
11,. H-".1-@" indentified with modern !asali in /u;affarpur district of !ihar& was apulent and prosperous town in
the !uddhist period. he second !uddhist 5ouncial was held here. "t served as the capital of lichchavis. @ater&
-jatsatru anne'ed it to this kin#dom. -mbapali& the famous charmin# courtesan& lived here and hosted to the
!uddha at one time and later she became a convert to !uddhism.
111. H<A>" $in -ndhra Pradesh% one of the south "ndian kin#doms probably joined the .an#ha con3uered by
.amudra#upta. "t was the capital of the eastern 5halukyas& and was disputed between the 5halukyas and the
.anskrit is a remote cousin of all the lan#ua#e of <urope eceptin# the Binnish& 1un#arian& urkish and bas3e.
-round 7,,, !.5. an ancestral #roup of dialects arose amon# the tribesmen of .outh 2ussia.
With Panini $probably 4th century !.5.% the .anskrit lan#ua#e reached its classical form. "t developed a little
thense forward e'cept in its vocabulary. he #rammer of Panini& -sthadhyayi& pre*supposes the work of may
earlier #rammarians. @atter #rammars are mostly commentaries on Panini& the chief bein# /ahabashya by
Patanjali $second century !.5.% and the !anaras*commentary of 0ayaditya and Hamana $seventh century -.6.%.
"t was from the time of Panini onwards that the lan#ua#e be#an to be called .amskarta& perfected or refined& as
opposed to Prakras $natural%& the popular dialects which had #rown over time. "n all probability& Panini bsed his
work on the lan#ua#es as it was spoken in the north west. !e#innin# as the lin#ua franca of the priestly class& it
#radually became that of the #overnin# class also. he first important dynasty to use .anskrit was that of the
.akas of Djjain and the inscriptions of 2udraman at >irnar. ?therwise& the /aurya and the other important
dynasty till the >uptas used Prakrit for their official pronouncements.
he @an#ua#e of the 2i# Heda was already archaic when the hymns were composed and the ordinary -ryan spoke
a sompler ton#ue& moer closely akin to classical .anskrit. !y the time of the !uddha themasses were speakin#
lan#ua#es which were much simpler than .anskrit. hese were the prakrits. he ordinary speech of -ncient "ndia
has been preserved forus lar#ely throu#hthe unorthodo' reli#ions. /ost inscriptions of pre*>upta time are in
Prakrit. he women and humbler characters of the .anskrit drama are made to speak in formali;ed prakrit of
various dialects. - few of secular literary works were composed in Prakrit.
5lassical .anksrit increasin# became thelan#ua#e of brahmins and the learned few. "ts use was restricted to
certainoccasions such as issuin# of proclamations and durin# the performance of Hedic ceremonies. "n the towns
and villa#es a popular form of .anksrit& known as Prakrit& came into the e'istence. here were a breat number of
local variations. he chief western variety was called .huraseni and the eastern variety& /a#adhi& Pali was
another popular lan#ua#e based on .anksrit. "t& too& was used in the same reli#ions as Prakrit. he !uddha& to
reach more people& tau#ht in /a#adhi.
.peakin# of literature& the four Hedas and the !rahmins and Dpnishadas have some literary 3ualities. .ome
hymns of the 2i# Heda and some parts of the early Dpnishadas have some merit. ?therwise& they are mostly dry
and monotonous.
"n the 1,7C hymns of the 2i# Heda there is a #reat variety of styled and merit. he hymns contain many
repetitions and the majority of them have the sameness of outlook. - number of hymns show deployment feelin#
for nature& as for e'ample& the hymns to Dshas. - few vedic hymns are primarily secular& as for e'ample the
>amesterOs @ament.
Hery tittle of liverary 3uality is there in the later Hedic literature the -therva veda mostly a monotonous collection
contains a few poems of #reat merit. he prose !rahmanas& thou#h written in simple and strai#ht forward
lan#ua#e have little literary merit.
hus the earliest "ndian literature is to be found in the /ahabharata and the 2amayana. he /ahabharata
consistin# of 9,&,, stan;as& is probably the lon#est sin#le poem in the worldOs literature. "#norin# the
interpolations& the style of the /ahabharata is direct and vivid thou#h consistin# of repeated clinches and stock
epithets& typical of epic literature every where. he chief characters are delineated in a very simple outline but
with an individuality which makes them real persons.
he other epic 2amayana also contains interpolations but they are much briefer and are mostly didactic. he
main body of the poem #ives the impression of bein# the work of one author whose style was based on that of
the other epic to show some kinship to that of classical .anskrit poetry. he style of the 2amayana is less ru##ed
than that of the /ahabharata. "t is a work of #reater art and it contains many dramatic passa#es and beautiful
descriptive writin#.
he earliect survivin# .anskrit poetry is that of the !uddhist writer -shva#hosa who probably lived in the "st
century -.6. 1e composed the !uddha*5haritra in a comparatively simple classical style. he >irnar inscription of
2udradaman& dated 1+, -.6. is the earliest survivin# e'ample of .anskrit prose.
he earliest survivin# prose stories are a few narrative episodes in the !rahmanas followed by the pali 0atakas. "t
was in the >upta period that ornate .anskrit prose was developed. he chief writers in this style were 6andin&
.ubandhu and !ana.
5hronolo#ically pali is the first .anskrit lan#ua#e and various Prakrits oppeared later. <ven the meanin# of the
word OPaliO underwent chan#es. "n the final sta#es the word NPaliN meant lan#ua#e of the te'ts of heravada
!uddhism. he ripitaka meanin# three baskets are books which consist of the canons of the heravada sect. ?ne
part of it deals with the monastic discipline. he second part lays down principles of !uddhism. -nd the last part
deals with various subjects like ethics psycholo#y theories of knowled#e and metaphysical problems.
!esides the canonical literature& there was also non*canomical literature in pali. "n pali liberature the earlieat
works relate to the 0ataka stories. he early poetry consisted of a few verses from the son#s of the older monks
and Auns& a collection of poems ascribed wron#ly to the #reat disciples of the !uddha in the early days of the
order. he style of these is simpler then .anskrit literature and su##ests influence of popular son#. he book
milinda panda is the most important one. "ts subject matter is the dialo#ue between /ilinda and monk Aa#asena
over some problems of the !uddhist faith. his particular kind of canonical literature in pali was practised in
5eylon also. he classical works 6epavamsa and /ahavamsa& the two #reat chronicles of 5eylon and also some
#rammatical metrical and le'ico#raphical te'ts were written in pali.
Aow for the word NPrakritN. "t stands for all the middle "ndo*-ryan speeches which belon# to an era between
.anskrit on the one hand and -ryan lan#ua#es it has sectarian value since it was e'clusively used as the speech
of the 1inayana !uddhism.
Brom the earliest times to the first century -.6. inscriptions were composed e'clusively in Prakrit. -soka left
behind 8, inscriptions in Prakrit. <ven in literature prakrit came to be used particularly in plays. -nd prakrit itself
consists of different dialects. here were several other prakrits of lesser importance. !y the time of the >uptas
the prakrits were standardi;ed and had lost their local character. he vernaculars had already developed beyond
them. What panini did for .anskrit others did dor the Prakrits and they be#an to resemble more the lan#ua#es
actually were based on the conventions of dramatic theory and they never represented popular life. Aow did they
reflect in any way the lin#uistic conditions of society. .ome plays are composed e'clusively in Prakrit and they are
technically called sttakas. he Farpuramanjari $about 9,, -.6.% 2ajasekhara depictin# love between man and
woman is the most important work of this type.
5ontinutin# the secular aspect of Prakrit lan#ua#e a number of stan;as were written both on love and ma'ims.
he most remarkable amon#st such te'ts is the >atha .aptasati of 1ala one of the .atavahana rulers. his book
consists of 7,, stan;as about love depictin# the varied phases of .outh "ndian rural life. he kin# probably ruled
in the "st century -.6. he poems are notable for their consciseness and for their #reat economy of words and
masterly use of su##estions. .ome poems contain simple and natural descriptions and references to the lives of
peasants and the lower class. /ore important is the fact that narrative literature and epic poems are fairly
e'tensive in Prakrit. he most noteworthy amon# themare the !rihatkatha of >unadhya composed in Paisachi
dialect and .etubandha of Pravarasena.
-part from secular literature prakrit was used for reli#ious literature also like the 0aina canonical works. "t was
durin# the +th century -.6. that most of the 0aina canons were written down. "n prakrit literature the 0aina
writin#s have very little literary the poetry of the 0ainas is better than prose. "ts poetry is written in lively
vernacular style.
Burthermore it is to be stated here that scholars treated -pabhramas as a kind of Prakrit. "t boasts of e'tensive
literature particularly narrative stories. he first writer to make use of it was -sva#hosa. he others who followed
the e'ample were !hasa $8rd century -.6.% and later Hisakhadatta and kalidasa.
"n the -pabhramsa the meter doha was adopted as powerful form of e'pression of reli#ious and philosophical
thou#hts. !oth 0aina monks and contemporary writers of antrik !hddhism utili;ed this meter. "ncidentally stray
poems dealin# with morals ma'ims ethics reli#ious discourses and le#enos were commonly written in
-pabhramsa. -mon# the 0ains the columinous te'ts on the life and activities of 0aina heroes were written in
-pabhramsa. "t may be noted here in the end that -pabhramsa& .anskrit and Prakrit had a #reat influence both
on >ujarati and 1indi as late as the 1)th century.
Buthermore Prakrit is of lin#uistic importance since it is illustrative of the lin#uistic evolution from Prakrit to
-pabhramsa and finally to a new re#ional lan#ua#e. -pabhramsa meanin# fallin# down was a corrupt form of
Prakrit dialect. "t is believed to have ori#inated in the north*west and traveled from that re#ion alon# with the
mi#rant people who scattered and settled incentral and western "ndia after the 1una invasions. he Prakrit as
used by 0ains was #reatly influenced by -pabhramsa. "t is here that the link between the older and the new
lan#ua#es of /aharashtri and >ujarati is evident.
amil was the oldest spoken literary lan#ua#e of south "ndia that is .outh of Ail#iris. <vidence as it is shows that
there was a body of literature in amil which has had unbroken development over 7, centuries the first period of
that literature is associated with the san#am ara. amil tradition refers of three literary -cademic $.an#ams%
which met at /adurai. he first was attended by #ods and le#endary sa#es but all its works have perished. ?f the
second only one survives*olkappiyam the earliest survivin# amil #rammar. /unch of the literary writin#s of this
period have perished. @e#endry and traditional accounts mention the loss of many te'ts on the occasion of a
delu#e. odayOs e'tant body of san#am literature is but a fraction of a vast literature.
he book -#attiyam presumed to be written by .t. -#attiyar is present in small shreds of sutras here and there
as 3uoted by medieval commentators.
he second well*known work was olkappiyam. "t was written by olkappiyar who was supposed to be a disciple
of -#attiyar alon# with eleven other scholars. "t is a work on amil #rammar literature tradition and sociolo#y.
olkapiyam lays down #rammatical rules #overnin# the literary compositions. his book is the fountain of all
literary conventions in amil literature. -ll later chan#es and innovations occurred only under the sanction of
permissive clauses incorporated indue places in that work.
he poets of the third .an#am worte <ttuto#ai $ei#ht antholo#ies%. hese antholo#ies contain well over 7&,,
poems ascribed to more than 7,, authors.
he other major collection of the .an#am works is the pattuppattu of en dyle. hey are lon# poems.
-fter the period of the ei#ht antholo#ies amil literature reveals the influence of .anskrit. "t also reveals 0aina
influence. he classical work revealin# these features is iru Furral sometimes called the !ible of amil land. "t
consists of series of metrical proverbs and many aspects of life and reli#ion.
-nd by the )th century -.6. -ryan influence had penetrated the whole of amil land. 1er kin#s and chiefs
worshipped and supported the #ods of 1induism 0ainism and !uddhism. amil poets book to writin# lon# poems
which they called by the .ilappadikaram $the 0ewelled anklet%. - little later oppeared /animekali attributed to the
poet sattanar of /adurai. his book reveals !uddhist influence.
-nd the books .ilappadikaram and /animekalai belon# to the early centuries of the 5hristian ere. hey were
attributed to "lan#o adi#al and .at anar. he former book has been referred to by kin# >ajabahu of 5eylon who
ruled in the second half of the second century -.6.
/animekalai abounds in fine poetry and its dramatic element is handled with mastery. -lso this book #ives us
#limpses of the development of fine art in the an#am a#e.
Probably sattanar the author of /animekalai was a !uddhist. - #ood deal of social and historical information is
found in this work just as in silappadikaram. -dded to this book has a peculiar #race which makes it uni3ue in the
books of amil literature.
-nd it is alsoheld by scholars that in the a#e prior to the imperial pallavas many amil works were written like
kural. he chief 3uality of the .an#am works is their adherence to standards and literary conventions. Fural by
thirulluvar has been translated into many lan#ua#es both "ndian and forei#n.
he end of the .an#am era may be said to herald the birth of a new amil literature. his new a#e witnessed
devotional poetry on .hiva and Hishnu. he a#e of the .an#am literature was reli#ious but stran#er to the !hakti
cult. he writin#s of the -lvars and Aayan are in the later period were 3uite distinct. !oth of them be#an some
where in the +th or the )th century -.6.
he !uddha(
R he !uddha also known as .akyamuni or atha#ata.
R !orn in +)8 !5 on the Haishakha Poornima 6ay at @umbini $near Fapilavastu% in Aepal.
R 1is father .uddhodana was the .aka ruler.
R 1is mother $/ahamaya& of Fosala dynastry% died after 7 days of his birth. !rou#ht up by stepmother >autami.
R /arried at 1) to =oshodhara. <njoyed the married life for 18years and had a son named 2ahula.
R -fter seein# an old man& a sick man& a corpse and an ascetic& he decided to become a wanderer.
R @eft his palace at 79 in search of truth $also called M/ahabhinishkramana or he >reat 2enunication% and
wandered for ) years.
R -ttained M<nli#htenment at 8+ at >aya in /a#adha $!ihar% under the Pipal tree.
R 6elivered the first sermon at .arnath where his five disciples had settled. 1is first sermon is called
M6harmachakrapracartan or Murnin# of the Wheel of @aw.
R -ttained /ahaparinirvana at Fushina#ar $identical with villa#e Fasia in 6eoria district of DP% in 4C8 !5 at the
a#e of C, in the /alla republic.
!uddhist 5ouncils(
R Birst 5ouncil( -t 2aj#riha& in 4C8 !5 under the 5hairmanship of /ehakassaapa $kin# was -jatshatru%. 6ivided
the teachin#s of !uddha into two Pitakas*Hinaya Pitaka and .utta Pitaka.
R .econd 5ouncil( -t Haishali& in 8C8 !5 under .abakami $Fin# was Falasoka%.Bollowers divided into
.thavirmadins and /ahasan#hikas.
R hird 5ouncil( -t Pataliputra& in 7+, !5 under /o#aliputta issa $Fin# was -shoka% "n this& the third part of the
ripitaka was coded in the Pali lan#ua#e.
R Bourth council( -t Fashmir $Fundalvan%& in 77 -6 under Hasumitra $Fin# was Fanishka& Hice*5hairman was
-shwa#hosha%. 6ivided !uddhism into /ahayana and 1inayana sects.
!uddist @iterature( "n Pali lan#ua#e.
Hinaya Pitaka( 2ules of discipline in the !uddhist monasteries.
.utta Pitaka( @ar#est& contains collection of !uddhas sermons.
-bhidhamma Pitaka( <'planation of the philosophical principles of the !uddhist reli#ion
R 0ainism founded by 2ishabha.
R here were 74 irthankaras $Prophets or >urus%& all Fshatriyas. Birst was 2ishabhnath $<mblem( !ull%.
R he 78rd irthankar Parshwanath $<mblem( .nake% was the son of Fin# -shvasena of !anaras.
R he 74th and the last irthankar was Hardhman /ahavira $<mblem( @ion%. 1e was born in kunda#ram $6istt
/u;affarpur& !ihar% in +99 !5.
R 1is father .iddhartha was the head of 0natrika clan.
R 1is mother was rishla& sister of @ichchavi Prince 5hetak of Haishali.
R /ahavira was related to !imbisara.
R /arried to =ashoda& had a dau#hter named Priyadarsena& whose husband 0amali became his first disciple.
R -t 8,& after the death of his parents& he became an ascetic.
R "n the 18th year of his asceticism $on the 1,th of Haishakha%& outside the town of 0rimbhik#rama& he attained
supreme knowled#e $kaivalya%.
R Brom now on he was called 0aina or 0itendriya and /ahavira& and his followers were named 0ains. 1e also #ot
the title of -rihant& i.e.& worthy.
R -t the a#e of 77& he attained death at Pava& near Patna& in +77 !5.
R /ahavira preached almost the same messa#e as Parshvanath and added one more& !rahmcharya $celibacy% to

.ocial and 5ultural Dprisin#
!rahmo .amaj(
R Bounded by 2aja 2am /ohan 2oy in 1C7C.
R 5ritici;ed .ati Pratha& casteism and advocated widow remarria#e.
R 1e was opposed to .anskrit system of education& because he thou#ht it would keep the country in darkness.
R ?ther important leaders were 6evendranath a#ore $father of 2abindranath a#ore% and Feshap 5handra .en.
-rya .amaj(
R Bounded by .wami 6ayanand $or& /oolshankar% in 1C7+.
R 1is motto was M>o back to the vedas P M"ndia for the "ndians. 1e disre#arded Puranas& idol worship& casteism
and untouchability. 1e advocated widow remarria#e.
R 6ayanands views were published in his famous work& .atyarth Prakash. 1e also wrote Heda !hashya !humika
and Heda !hashya.
2amakrishna /ission(
R Bounded by Hivekanand $earlier& Aarendranath 6utta% $1C)8 E 19,7% in 1C97& 11 years after the death of his
#uru 2am Frishna Paramhans.
R Hivekanand attended the Parliament of 2eli#ion at 5hica#o in 1C98.
R "rish woman /ar#aret Aobel $Fnown as sister Aivedita% populari;ed it.
=oun# !en#al /ovement(
R Bounded by 1enry @ouis Hivian 6ero;io $1C,9*81%. 1e was a teacher in 1indu 5olle#e in 5alcutta.
R 1e ur#ed the students to live and die for truth. 1e also supported womens education and their ri#hts.
Heda .amaj(
R Heda .amaj called !rahmo .amaj of .outh. .tarted by .ridharalu Aaidu.
R 1e translated books of !rahmo 6harma into amil and ele#u.
6harma .abha(
R "nitiated by 2adhakant 6eb in 1C8,.
R Was opposed to reforms and protected orthodo'y& but played an active role in promotin# western education
even to #irls.
R .tarted by >opal 1ari 6eshmukh. -dvocated western education and a rational outlook. 1e advocated female
education for the upliftment of women.
R -s a votary of national self*reliance& he attended 6elhi durbar in 1C7)& wearin# handspun khadi cloth.
.ervants of "ndia .ociety(
R Bormed by >opal Frishna >okhale in 191+.
R "t did notable work in providin# famine relief and in improvin# the condition of the tribal.
2adhaswami /ovement(
R Bounded in 1C)1 by a banker of -#ra& ulsi 2am& popularly known as .hiv 6ayal .aheb or .wami /aharaj.
R he sect preached belief in one supreme bein#& the >urus supreme position and a simple social life for the
believers $the .atsan#is%.
heosophical .ociety(
R Bounded by Westerners who drew inspiration from "ndian thou#ht and culture.
R /adam 1 P !lavatsky laid the foundation of the movement in D. in 1C7+. @ater& 5ol./... ?lcott of the D. -rmy
joined her.
R "n 1CC7& it was shifted to "ndia at -dyar $amil Aadu%.
R -nnie !esant was elected its president in 19,7. .he founded the 5entral 1indu 5olle#e in 1C9C& which became
!anaras 1indu Dniversity in 191).
>overnor >enerals of "ndia
@ord William !entinck $1C7C E 1C8+%(
R 5arried out the social reforms like Prohibition of .ati $1C79% and elimination of thu#s $1C8,%.
R /ade <n#lish the /edium of hi#her education in the country $-fter the recommendations of /acaulay%.
R .uppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
R 5harter -ct of 1C88 was passed4 made him the first >overnor >eneral of "ndia. !efore him& the desi#nation was
>overnor >eneral of !en#al.
.ir 5harles /etcalfe $1C8+ E 1C8)%( -bolished all restrictions on vernacular press $called @iberator of the Press%.
@ord -uckland $1C8) E 1C47%( he most important event of his rei#n was the Birst -f#han War& which proved to
be a disaster for the <n#lish.
@ord <llenborou#h $1C47 E 1C44%
@ord 1ardin#e " $1C44 E 1C4C%
@ord 6alhousie $1C4C E 1C+)%(
R ?pened the first "ndian 2ailway in 1C+8 $from !ombay to hane%.
R @aid out the tele#raph lines in 1C+8 $Birst was from 5alcutta to -#ra%.
R "ntroduced the 6octrine of @apse and captured .atara $1C4C%& 0aipur and .ambhalpur $1C49%& Ddaipur $1C+7%&
0hansi $1C+8% and Aa#pur $1C+4%.
R <stablished the postal system on the modern lines throu#h the len#th and breadth of the country& which made
communication easier.
R .tarted the Public Works 6epartment. /any brid#es were constructed and the work on >rand runk 2oad was
started. he harbors of Farachi& !ombay and 5alcutta were also developed.
R /ade .himla the summer capital.
R .tarted <n#ineerin# 5olle#e at 2oorkee.
R <ncoura#ed science& forestry& commerce& mineralo#y and industry.
R "n 1C+4& 9Woods 6ispatch was passed& which provided for the properly articulated system of education from
the primary school to the university.
R 6ue to "shwar 5handra Hidyasa#ars efforts& remarria#e of widows was le#ali;ed by Widow 2emarria#e -ct&
4iceroys * 1ndia
@ord 5annin# $1C+) E 1C)7%(
R he last >overnor >eneral and the first Hiceroy.
R /utiny took place in his time.
R ?n Aov& 1C+C& the rule passed on to the crown.
R Withdrew 6octrine of @apse.
R he Dniversities of 5alcutta& !ombay and /adras were established in 1C+7.
R "ndian 5ouncils -ct was passed in 1C)1.
@ord <l#in $1C)7 E 1C)8%
@ord @awrence $1C)4 E 1C)9%(
R ele#raphic communication was opened with <urope.
R 1i#h 5ourts were established at 5alcutta& !ombay and /adras in 1C)+.
R <'panded canal works and railways.
R 5reated the "ndian Borest department.
@ord /ayo $1C)9 E 1C77%(
R .tarted the process of financial decentrali;ation in "ndia.
R <stablished the 2ajkot colle#e at Fathiarwar and /ayo 5olle#e at -jmer for the "ndian princes.
R Bor the first time in "ndian history& a census was held in 1C71.
R ?r#anised the .tatistical .urvey of "ndia.
R Was the only Hiceroy to be murdered in office by a Pathan convict in the -ndamans in 1C77.
@ord Aorthbrook $1C77 E 1C7)%(
@ord @ytton $1C7) E 1CC,%(
R Fnown as the Hiceroy to reverse characters.
R ?r#anised the >rand M6elhi 6urbar in 1C77 to decorate Gueen Hictoria with the title of MFaiser E " E 1ind.
R -rms -ct$1C7C% made it mandatory for "ndians to ac3uire license for arms.
R Passed the infamous Hernacular Press -ct $1C7C%.
@ord 2ipon $1CC, E 1CC4%(
R @iberal person& who sympathi;ed with "ndians.
R 2epeated the Hernacular Press -ct $1CC7%
R Passed the local self E #overnment -ct $1CC7%
R ook steps to improve primary P secondary education $on William 1unter 5ommissions recommendations%.
R he " Bactory -ct& 1CC1& aimed at prohibitin# child labour.
R Passed the libert !ill $1CC8% which enabled "ndian district ma#istrates to try <uropean criminals. !ut this was
withdrawn later.
@ord 6ufferin $1CC4 E 1CCC%(
R "ndian Aational 5on#ress was formed durin# his tenure.
@ord @ansdowne $1CCC E 1C94%(
R "" Bactory -ct $1C91% #ranted a weekly holiday and stipulated workin# hours for women and children& althou#h
it failed to address concerns such as work hours for men.
R 5ate#ori;ation of 5ivil .ervices into "mperial& Provincial and .ubordinate.
R "ndian 5ouncil -ct of 1C97 was passed.
R -ppointment of 6urand 5ommission to define the line between !ritish "ndia and -f#hanistan.
@ord <l#in "" $1C94 E 1C99%(
R >reat famine of 1C9) E 1C97. @yall 5ommission was appointed.
@ord 5ur;on $1C99 E 19,+%(
R Passed the "ndian Dniversities -ct $19,4% in which official control over the Dniversities was increased.
R Partitioned !en#al $?ctober 1)& 19,+% into two provinces 1& !en#al $proper%& 7.<ast !en#al P -ssam.
R -ppointed a Police 5ommission under .ir -ndrew Bra;er to en3uire into the police administration of every
R he risin#s of the frontier tribes in 1C97 E 9C led him to create the Aorth Western Brontier Province$AWBP%.
R Passed the -ncient /onuments Protection -ct $19,4%& to restore "ndias cultural herita#e. hus the
-rchaeolo#ical .urvey of "ndia was established.
R Passed the "ndian 5oina#e and Paper 5urrency -ct $1C99% and put "ndia on a #old standard.
R <'tended railways to a #reat e'tent.
@ord /into $19,+ E 191,%(
R here was #reat political unrest in "ndia. Harious acts were passed to curb the revolutionary activities.
<'tremists like @ala @aipat 2ai and -jit .in#h $in /ay& 19,7% and !al >an#adhar ilak $in 0uly& 19,C% were sent to
/andalay jail in !urma.
R he "ndian 5ouncil -ct of 19,9 or the /orley E /into 2eforms was passed.
@ord 1ardin#e $191, E 191)%(
R 1eld a durbar in dec& 1911 to celebrate the coronation of Fin# >eor#e H.
R Partition of !en#al was cancelled $1911%& capital shifted from 5alcutta to 6elhi $1911%.
R - bomb was thrown at him4 but he escaped unhurt $6ec 78& 1917%.
R >andhiji came back to "ndia from ..-frica $191+%.
R -nnie !esant announced the 1ome 2ule /ovement.
@ord 5helmsford $191) E 1971%(
R -u#ust 6eclaration of 1917& whereby control over the "ndian #overnment would be #radually transferred to the
"ndian people.
R he #overnment of "ndia -ct in 1919 $/onta#ue E 5helmsford reforms% was passed.
R 2owlatt -ct of 19194 0allianwala !a#h /assacre $-pril 18& 1919%.
R Aon E 5ooperation /ovement.
R -n "ndian .ir ..P..inha was appointed the >overnor of !en#al.
R - Womens university was founded at Poona in 191).
R .addler 5ommission was appointed in 1917 to envisa#e new educational policy.
@ord 2eadin# $1971 E 197)%(
R 2owlatt act was repeated alon# with the Press act of 191,.
R .uppressed non*cooperation movement.
R Prince of Wales visited "ndia in Aov.1971.
R /oplah rebellion $1971% took place in Ferala.
R -hmedabad session of 1971.
R Bormation of .waraj Party.
R Hishwabharati Dniversity started functionin# in 1977.
R 5ommunist part was founded in 1971 by /.A.2oy.
R Fakory rain 2obbery on -u# 9& 197+.
R 5ommunal riots of 1978 E 7+ in /ultan& -mritsar& 6elhi& etc.
R .wami .hraddhanand& a #reat nationalist and a leader of the -rya .amajists& was murdered in communal or#y.
@ord "rwin $197) E 1981%(
R .imon 5ommission visited "ndia in 197C.
R 5on#ress passed the "ndian 2esolution in 1979.
R 6andi /arch $/ar 17& 198,%.
R 5ivil 6isobedience /ovement $198,%.
R Birst 2ound able 5onference held in <n#land in 198,.
R >andhi E "rwin Pact $/ar +& 1981% was si#ned and 5ivil 6isobediance /ovement was withdrawn.
R /artydorm of 0atin 6as after )4 days hun#er strike $1979%.
@ord Willin#ton $1981 E 198)%(
R .econd 2ound able conference in @ondon in 1981.
R ?n his return >andhiji was a#ain arrested and 5ivil 6isobedience /ovement was resumed in 0an 1987.
R 5ommunal -wards $-u# 1)& 1987% assi#ned seats to different reli#ious communities. >andhiji went on a epic
fast in protest a#ainst this division.
R hird 2ound able conference in 1987.
R Poona Pact was si#ned.
R >overnment of "ndia -ct $198+% was passed.
@ord @inlith#ow $198) E 1944%(
R >ovt. of "ndia -ct enforced in the provinces. 5on#ress ministries formed in C out of 11 provinces. hey
remained in power for about 7 years till ?ct 1989& when they #ave up offices on the issue of "ndia havin# been
dra##ed into the "" World War. he /uslim @ea#ue observed the days as M6eliverance .ay $77 6ecember%
R 5hurchill became the !ritish P/ in /ay& 194,. 1e declared that the -tlantic 5harter $issued jointly by the DF
and D.& statin# to #ive soverei#n ri#hts to those who have been forcibly deprived of them% does not apply to
R ?utbreak of World War "" in 1989.
R 5ripps /ission in 1947.
R Guit "ndia /ovement $-u#ust C& 1947%.
@ord Wavell $1944 E 1947%(
R -rran#ed the .himla 5onference on 0une 7+& 194+ with "ndian Aational 5on#ress and /uslim @ea#ue4 failed.
R 5abinet /ission Plan $/ay 1)& 194)%.
R <lections to the constituent assembly were held and an "nterim >ovt. was appointed under Aehru.
R Birst meetin# of the constituent assembly was held on 6ec. 9& 194).
@ord /ountbatten $/ar.1947 E -u#.1947%(
R @ast Hiceroy of !ritish "ndia and the first >overnor >eneral of free "ndia.
R Partition of "ndia decided by the 0une 8 Plan.
R "ndian "ndependence -ct passed by the !ritish parliament on 0uly 4& 1947& by which "ndia became independent
on -u#ust 1+& 1947.
R 2etried in 0une 194C and was succeeded by 5.2aja#opalachari $the first and the last "ndian >overnor >eneral of
free "ndia%.

Aewspaper 0ournals
AewspaperI0ournal BounderI<ditor
!en#al >a;ette$17C,% $"ndias first newspaper% 0.F.1ikki
Fesari !.>.ilak
/aharatta !.>.ilak
.udharak >.F.>okhale
-mrita !a;ar Patrika .isir Fumar >hosh and /otilal >hosh
Hande /ataram -urobindo >hosh
Aative ?pinion H.A./andalik
Favivachan .udha !hartendu 1arishchandra
2ast >oftar $Birst newspaper in >ujarati% 6adabhai Aaoroji
Aew "ndia $Weekly% !ipin 5handra Pal
.tatesman 2obert Fni#ht
1indu Hir 2a#havacharya and >...-iyar
.andhya !.!.Dpadhyaya
Hichar @ahiri Frishnashastri 5hiplunkar
1indu Patriot >irish 5handra >hosh $later 1arish 5handra /ukherji%
.om Prakash "shwar 5handra Hidyasa#ar
=u#antar !hupendranath 6atta and !arinder Fumar >hosh
!ombay 5hronicle Biro;e .hah /ehta
1industan /././alviya
/ooknayak !.2.-mbedkar
5omrade /ohammed -li
ah;ib*ul*-khla3 .ir .yyed -hmed Fhan
-l*1ilal -bdul Falam -;ad
-l*!ala#h -bdul Falam -;ad
"ndependent /otilal Aehru
Punjabi @ala @ajpat 2ai
Aew "ndia $6aily% -nnie !esant
5ommonweal -nnie !esant
Pratap >anesh .hankar Hidyarthi
<ssays in "ndian <conomics /.>.2anade
.amvad Faumudi $!en#ali% 2am /ohan 2oy
/irat*ul*-khbar 2am /ohan 2oy $first Persian newspaper%
"ndian /irror 6evendra Aath a#ore
Aav 0eevan /.F.>andhi
=oun# "ndia /.F.>andhi
1arijan /.F.>andhi
Prabudha !harat .wami Hivekananda
Ddbodhana .wami Hivekananda
"ndian .ocialist .hyamji Frishna Herma
alwar $in !erlin% !irendra Aath 5hattopadhyaya
Bree 1industan $in Hancouver% arak Aath 6as
1industan imes F./.Pannikar
Franti /irajkar& 0o#lekar& >hate

5onstitutional 6evelopment
2e#ulatin# -ct& 1778(
R <nd of 6ual #ovt.
R >overnor of !en#al to be the >overnor E >eneral of !ritish territories of "ndia.
R <stablishment of .upreme 5ourt in 5alcutta.
Pitts -ct of 17C4(
his -ct #ave the !ritish >overnment a measure of control over the companys affairs. "n fact& the company
became a subordinate department of the .tate.
-ct of 17C)(
R >overnor >eneral #iven the power to over*ride the 5ouncil and was made the 5ommander*in*chief also.

5harter -ct of 1798(
R 5ompany #iven monopoly of trade for 7, more years.
R "t laid the foundation of #ovt. by written laws& interpreted by courts.
5harter -ct of 1C18(
R 5ompany deprived of its trade monopoly in "ndia e'cept in tea and trade with 5hina.
5harter -ct of 1C88(
R <nd of 5ompanys monopoly even in tea and trade with 5hina. 5ompany was asked to close its business at the
R >overnor >eneral of !en#al to be >overnor >eneral of "ndia $1st >overnor >eneral of "ndia was @ord William
5harter -ct of 1C+8(
R he -ct renewed the powers of the 5ompany and allowed it to retain the possession of "ndian territories in trust
of the !ritish crown.
R 2ecruitment to 5ivil .ervices was based on open annual competition e'amination $e'cludin# "ndians%.
>overnment of "ndia -ct& 1C+C(
R 2ule of 5ompany in "ndia ended and that of the 5rown be#an.
R - post of .ecretary of .tate $a member of the !ritish cabinet% for "ndia created. 1e was to e'ercise the powers
of the 5rown.
R .ecretary of .tate #overned "ndia throu#h the >overnor >eneral.
R >overnor >eneral received the title of Hiceroy. 1e represented .ecretary of .tate and was assisted by an
<'ecutive 5ouncil& which consisted of hi#h officials of the >ovt.
"ndian 5ouncil -ct& 1C)1(
R he <'ecutive 5ouncil was now to be called 5entral @e#islative 5ouncil.
"ndian 5ouncil -ct& 1C97(
R "ndians found their way in the Provincial @e#islative 5ouncils.
"ndian 5ouncil -ct& 19,9 or /orley*/into -ct( "t envisa#ed a separate electorate for /uslims.
>overnment of "ndia -ct& 1919 ?r /onta#ue*5helmsford 2eforms(
R 6yarchy system introduced in the provinces. he Provincial subjects of administration were to be divided into 7
cate#ories( ransferred and 2eserved. he ransferred subjects were to be administrated by the >overnor with
the aid of ministers responsible to the @e#islative 5ouncil. he >overnor and the <'ecutive 5ouncil were to
administer the reserved subjects without any responsibility to the le#islature.
R "ndian le#islature became bicameral for the first time& it actually happened after 198+ -ct.
>overnment of "ndia -ct& 198+(
R Provided for the establishment of -ll*"ndia Bederation consistin# of the !ritish Provinces and the Princely .tates.
he joinin# of Princely .tates was voluntary and as a result the federation did not come into e'istence.
R 6yarchy was introduced at the 5entre $<#& 6epartment of Borei#n -ffairs and 6efence were reserved for the
>overnor >eneral%. Provincial autonomy replaced 6yarchy in provinces. hey were #ranted separate le#al identify.
R !urma $now /yanmar% separated from "ndia.

Aational -ctivities Part "

he "ndian Aational 5on#ress(
R Bormed in 1CC+ by -.?.1ume& an <n#lishman and a retired civil servant.
R Birst session in !ombay under W.5.!anerjee in 1CC+ $77 dele#ates attended it%.
R "n the first two decades $1CC+ E 19,+%& 3uite moderate in its approach and confided in !ritish justice and
R !ut the repressive measures of the !ritish #ave rise to e'tremists within 5on#ress like !ipin 5handra Pal& !al
>an#adhar ilak and @ala @ajpat 2ai $@al& !al& Pal%.
Partition of !en#al(
R !y @ord 5ur;on on ?ct 1)& 19,+& throu#h a royal Proclamation& reducin# the old province of !en#al in si;e by
creatin# <ast !en#al and -ssam out of rest of !en#al.
R he objective was to set up a communal #ulf between 1indus and /uslims.
R - mi#hty upsur#e swept the country a#ainst the partition. Aational movement found real e'pression in the
movement a#ainst the partition of !en#al in 19,+.
.wadeshi /ovement $19,+%(
R @al& !al& Pal& and -urobindo >hosh played the important role.
R "A5 took the .wadeshi call first at the !anaras .ession& 19,+ presided over by >.F.>okhale.
R !onfires of forei#n #oods were conducted at various places.
Bormation of /uslim @ea#ue $19,)%(
R .etup in 19,) under the leadership of -#a Fhan& Aawab .alimullah of 6haka and Aawab /ohsin*ul*/ulk.
R "t was a loyalist& communal and conservative political or#ani;ation which supported the partition of !en#al&
opposed the .wadeshi movement& demanded special safe#uards to its community and a separate electorate for

6emand for .waraj(
R "n 6ec 19,) at 5alcutta& the "A5 under 6adabhai Aaoroji adopted M.waraj $.elf*#ovt% as the #oal of "ndian
.urat .ession of "ndian Aational 5on#ress $19,7%(
R he "A5 split into two #roups E he e'tremists and he moderates& at the .urat session in 19,7. <'tremists
were led by !al& Pal& @al while the moderates by >.F.>okhale.

"ndian 5ouncils -ct or /into /orley 2eforms $19,9%(
R !esides other constitutional measures& it envisa#ed a separate electorate for /uslims.
R -imed at dividin# the nationalist ranks and at rallyin# the /oderates and the /uslims to the >overnments side.
>hadar Party $1918%(
R Bormed by @ala 1ardayal& araknath 6as and .ohan .in#h !hakna.
R 1G was at .an Brancisco.

1ome 2ule /ovement $191)%(
R .tarted by !.>.ilak$-pril& 191)% at Poona and -nnie !esant and ...ubramania "yer at -dyar& near /adras
$.ept& 191)%.
R ?bjective( .elf E #overnment for "ndia in the !ritish <mpire.
R ilak linked up the 3uestion of .waraj with the demand for the formation of @in#uistic .tates and education in
vernacular lan#ua#e. 1e #ave the slo#an( .waraj is my birth ri#ht and " will have it.
@ucknow Pact $191)%(
R 1appened followin# a war between !ritain and urkey leadin# to anti*!ritish feelin#s amon# /uslims.
R !oth "A5 and /uslim @ea#ue concluded this $5on#ress accepted the separate electorates and both jointly
demanded for a representative #overnment and dominion status for the country%.

Aational -ctivities Part ""

-u#ust 6eclaration $1917%(
R -fter the @ucknow Pact& a !ritish policy was announced which aimed at 9increasin# association of "ndians in
every branch of the administration for pro#ressive reali;ation of responsible #overnment in "ndia as an inte#ral
part of the !ritish empire:. his came to be called the -u#ust 6eclaration.

2owlatt -ct $/arch 1C& 1919%(
R his #ave unbridled powers to the #ovt. to arrest and imprison suspects without trial for two years ma'imum.
his law enabled the >overnment to suspend the ri#ht of 1abeas 5orpus& which had been the foundation of civil
liberties in !ritain.
R 5aused a wave of an#er in all sections. "t was the first country*wide a#itation by >andhiji and marked the
foundation of the Aon 5ooperation /ovement.
0allianwala !a#h /assacre $-pril 18& 1919%(
R People were a#itated over the arrest of 6r. Fitchlu and 6r. .atyapal on -pril 1,& 1919.
R >eneral ? 6yer fires at people who assembled in the 0allianwala !a#h& -mritsar.
R -s a result hundreds of men& women and children were killed and thousands injured.
R 2abindranath a#ore returned his Fni#hthood in protest. .ir .hankaran Aair resi#ned from Hiceroys <'ecutive
5ouncil after this.
R 1unter 5ommission was appointed to en3uire into it.
R ?n /arch 18& 194,& .ardar Ddham .in#h killed ?6yer when the later was addressin# a meetin# in 5a'ton 1all&

Fhilafat /ovement $197,%(
R /uslims were a#itated by the treatment done with urkey by the !ritish in the treaty that followed the Birst
World War.
R wo brothers& /ohd.-li and .haukat -li started this movement.
Aon*cooperation /ovement $197,%(
R "t was the first mass*based political movement under >andhiji.
R 5on#ress passed the resolution in its 5alcutta session in .ept 197,.

5hauri E5haura "ncident $1977%(
R - mob of people at 5hauri E 5haura $near >orakhpur% clashed with police and burnt 77 policemen on Bebruary
+& 1977.
R his compelled >andhiji to withdraw the Aon 5ooperation movement on Beb.17& 1977.
.imon 5ommission $1977%(
R 5onstituted under 0ohn .imon& to review the political situation in "ndia and to introduce further reforms and
e'tension of parliamentary democracy.
R "ndian leaders opposed the commission& as there were no "ndians in it.
R he >overnment used brutal repression and police attacks to break the popular opposition. -t @ahore& @ala
@ajpat 2ai was severely beaten in a lathi*char#e. 1e succumbed to his injuries on ?ct.8,& 197C.

@ahore .ession $1979%(
R ?n 6ec.19& 1979 under the President ship of 0.@.Aehru& the "A5& at its @ahore .ession& declared Poorna .waraj
$5omplete independence% as its ultimate #oal.
R ?n 6ec.81& 1979& the newly adopted tri*colour fla# was unfurled and an.7)& 198, was fi'ed as the Birst
"ndependence 6ay& was to be celebrated every year.
2evolutionary -ctivities(
R he first political murder of a <uropean was committed in 1C97 at Poona by the 5hapekar brothers& 6amodar
and !alkishan. heir tar#et was /r.2and& President of the Pla#ue 5ommission& but @t.-yerst was accidentally
R "n 19,7& /adam !hikaiji 5ama& a Parsi revolutionary unfurled the fla# of "ndia at .tutt#art 5on#ress $of .econd
R "n 19,C& Fhudiram !ose and Prafulla chaki threw a bomb on the carria#e of kin#ford& the unpopular jud#e of
/u;affapur. Fhudiram& Fanhaiyalal 6utt and .atyendranath !ose were han#ed. $-lipur 5ase%.
R "n 19,9& / @ 6hin#ra shot dead 5ol.William 5ur;on Whyllie& the political advisor of 9"ndia ?ffice: in @ondon.
R "n 1917& 2asbihari !ose and .achindra Aath .anyal threw a bomb and @ord 1ardin#e at 6elhi. $6elhi
5onspiracy 5ase%.
R "n ?ct& 1974& a meetin# of revolutionaries from all parts of "ndia was called at Fanpur. hey setup 1industan
.ocialist 2epublic -ssociationI-rmy $1.2-%.
R hey carried out a dacoity on the Fakori bound train on the .aharanpur*@ucknow railway line on -u#. 9& 197+.
R !ha#at .in#h& with his collea#ues& shot dead .aunders $-sst. ..P. of @ahore& who ordered lathi char#e on @ala
@ajpat 2ai% on 6ec.17& 197C.
R hen !ha#at .in#h and !atukeshwar 6utt threw a bomb in the 5entral -ssembly on -pr C& 1979. hus& he&
2aj#uru and .ukhdev were han#ed on /arch. 78&1981 at @ahore 0all $@ahore 5onspiracy 5ase% and their bodies
cremated at 1ussainiwala near Bero;epur.
R "n 1979 only 0atin 6as died in @ahore jail after )8 days fast to protest a#ainst horrible conditions in jail.
R .urya .en& a revolutionary of !en#al& formed the "ndian 2epublic -rmy in !en#al. "n 198,& he masterminded
the raid on 5hitta#on# armoury. 1e was han#ed in 1988.
R "n 1981& 5handrashekhar -;ad shot himself at -lfred Park in -llahabad.
Aational -ctivities Part """

6andi /arch $198,%(
R -lso called the .alt .atya#raha.
R -lon# with 7C followers& >andhiji started his march from .abarmati -shram on /arch 17& 198, for the small
villa#e 6andhi to break the salt law.
R 1e reached the seashore on -pr.)& 198,.
R 1e picked a handful of salt and inau#urated the 5ivil 6isobedience /ovement.
Birst 2ound able conference $198,%(
R "t was the first conference arran#ed between the !ritish and "ndians as e3uals. "t was held on Aov.17& 198, in
@ondon to discuss .imon commission.
R !oycotted by "A5& /uslim @ea#ue& 1indu /ahasabha& @iberals and some others were there.

>andhi "rwin Pact $1981%(
R /oderate .tatesman& .apru& 0aikar and .rinivas .hastri initiated efforts to break the ice between >andhiji and
the #overnment.
R he two $#overnment represented by "rwin and "A5 by >andhiji% si#ned a pact on /arch +& 1981.
R "n this the "A5 called off the civil disobedience movement and a#reed to join the second round table
R he #overnment on its part released the political prisoners and conceded the ri#ht to make salt for consumption
for villa#es alon# the coast.

.econd 2ound able 5onference $1981%(
R >andhiji represented the "A5 and went to @ondon to meet !ritish P./. 2amsay /acdonald.
R 1owever& the session was soon deadlocked on the minorities issue and this time separate electorates was
demanded not only by /uslims but also by 6epressed 5lasses& "ndian 5hristians and -n#lo E "ndians.
he 5ommunal -ward $-u# 1)&1987%(
R -nnounced by 2amsay /c6onald. "t showed divide and rule policy of the !ritish.
R <nvisa#ed representation of /uslims& .ikhs& "ndian 5hristians& -n#lo "ndians& women and even !ackward
R >andhiji& who was in =eravada jail at that time& started a fast unto death a#ainst it.
Poona Pact $.eptember 7+& 1987%(
R -fter the announcement of communal award and subse3uent fast of >andhiji& mass meetin# took place almost
R Political leaders like /adan /ohan /alviya& !.2.-mbedkar and /.5.2ajah became active.
R <ventually Poona pact was reached and >andhiji broke his fact on the si'th day $.ept 7+& 1987%.
R "n this& the idea of separate electorate for the depressed classes was abandoned& but seats reserved to them in
the provincial le#islature were increased.

hird 2ound able 5onference $1987%(
R Proved fruitless as most of the national leaders were in prison. he discussions led to the passin# of the
>overnment of "ndia -ct& 198+.
6emand Bor Pakistan(
R "n 198,& "3bal su##ested that the Brontier Province& !aluchistan& .indh and Fashmir be made the /uslim .tate
within the federation.
R 5haudhary 2ehmat -li #ave the term Pakistan in 1978.
R /ohd. -li 0innah of !ombay #ave it practicality.
R /uslim @ea#ue first passed the proposal of separate Pakistan in its @ahore session in 194,.
he 5ripps /ission E 1947(
R "n 6ec. 1941& 0apan entered the World War E "" and advanced towards "ndian borders. !y /arch 7& 1947&
2an#oon fell and 0apan occupied the entire . < -sia.
R he !ritish #ovt. with a view to #ettin# co*operation from "ndians sent .ir .tafford 5ripps& leader of the 1ouse
of 5ommons to settle terms with the "ndian leaders.
R 1e offered a draft which proposed dominion status to be #ranted after the war.
R 2ejected by the 5on#ress as it didnt want to rely upon future promises.
R >andhiji termed it as a post dated che3ue in a crashin# bank.

Aational -ctivities Part "H

he 2evolt of 1947 P he Guit "ndia /ovement(
R 5alled the Hardha Proposal and @eaderless 2evolt.
R he resolution was passed on -u#.C& 1947& at !ombay. >andhiji #ave the slo#an M6o or 6ie.
R ?n -u# 9& the 5on#ress was banned and its important leaders were arrested.
R he arrests provoked indi#nation amon# the masses and& there bein# no pro#ram of action& the movement
became spontaneous and violent. Hiolence spread throu#hout the country.
R he movement was however crushed.

he "ndian Aational -rmy(
Bounded by 2asbehari !ose with 5aptain /ohan .in#h.
R ..5.!ose secretly escaped from "ndia in 0ain 1941& and reached !erlin. "n 0uly 1948& he joined the "A- at
.in#apore. here& 2asbehari !ose handed over the leadership to him.
R he soldiers were mostly raised from "ndian soldiers of the !ritish army who had been taken prisoners by the
0apanese after they con3uered ..<.-sia.
R wo "A- head 3uarters were 2an#oon and .in#apore $formed in .in#apore%.
R "A- had three fi#htin# bri#ades named after >andhiji& -;ad and Aehru. 2ani 0hansi !ri#ade was an e'clusive
women force.

he 5abinet /ission Plan $194)%(
R he stru##le for freedom entered a decisive phase in the year 194+*4). he new @abour Party P/.@ord -ttlee&
made a declaration on /arch 1+& 194)& that !ritish 5abinet /ission $comprisin# of @ord Pethick @awrence as
5hairman& .ir .tafford 5ripps and -.H.-le'ander% will visit "ndia.
R he mission held talks with the "A5 and /@ to brin# about acceptance of their proposals.
R ?n /ay 1)& 194)& the mission put towards its proposals. "t rejected the demand for separate Pakistan and
instead a federal union consistin# of !ritish "ndia and the Princely .tates was su##ested.
R !oth 5on#ress and /uslims @ea#ue accepted it.

Bormation of "nterim >overnment $.ept 7& 194)%(
R !ased on 5abinet /ission Plan& an interim #overnment consistin# of 5on#ress nominees was formed on .ept.7&
194). 0.@.Aehru was its Hice*President and the >overnor*>eneral remained as its President.

0innahs 6irect -ction 2esolution $-u# 1)& 194)%(
R 0innah was alarmed at the results of the elections because the /uslim @ea#ue was in dan#er of bein# totally
eclipsed in the constituent assembly.
R herefore& /uslim @ea#ue withdrew its acceptance of the 5abinet /ission Plan on 0uly 79& 194).
R "t passed a M6irect action resolution& which condemned both the !ritish >overnment and the 5on#ress $-u# 1)&
194)%. "t resulted in heavy communal riots.
R 0innah celebrated Pakistan 6ay on /ar 77& 1947.

Bormation of 5onstituent -ssembly $6ec 9& 194)%(
R he 5onstituent assembly met on 6ec 9& 194) and 6r.2ajendra Prasad was elected as its president.
/ountbatten Plan $0une 8& 1947%(
R ?n 0une 8& 1947& @ord /ountbatten put forward his plan which outlined the steps for the solution of "ndias
political problem. he outlines of the Plan were(
R "ndia to be divided into "ndia and Pakistan.
R !en#al and Punjab will be partitioned and a referendum in A<BP and .ylhet district of -ssam would be held.
R here would be a separate constitutional assembly for Pakistan to frame its constitution.
R he Princely states would enjoy the liberty to join either "ndia or Pakistan or even remain independent.
R -u#.1+& 1947 was the date fi'ed for handin# over power to "ndia and Pakistan.
R he !ritish #ovt. passed the "ndian "ndependence -ct of 1947 in 0uly 1947& which contained the major
provisions put forward by the /ountbatten plan.

Partition and "ndependence $-u# 1947%(
R -ll political parties accepted the /ountbatten plan.
R -t the time of independence& there were +)7 small and bi# Princely .tates in "ndia.
R .ardar Hallabh !hai Patel& the first home minister& used iron hand in this re#ard. !y -u#ust 1+& 1947& all the
.tates& with a few e'ceptions like Fashmir& 1yderabad and 0una#arh had si#ned the "nstrument of -ccession. >oa
was with the Portu#uese and Pondicherry with the Brench.

1ndian -ational Congress
Year Venue President
1886 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji
189 !ahore "
19#6 Calcutta "
188$ %adra& Badruddin 'yyabji ()i&t %u&lim *re&ident+
1888 Allahabad ,eor-e .ule ()ir&t /n-li&h *re&ident+
1889 Bombay 0ir William Wedderburn
189# Calcutta 0ir 1ero2e 0.%ehta
19#5 Banara& ,.3.,o4hale
0urat, %adra& 5a&behari ,ho&h
19#9 !ahore %.%.%al6iya
1916 !uc4no7 A.C.%ajumdar (5e8union o) the Con-re&&+
191$ Calcutta Annie Be&ant ()ir&t 7oman *re&ident+
1919 Amrit&ar %otilal Nehru
!ala !aj9at 5ai
Abdul 3alam A2ad (youn-e&t *re&ident+
192: Bel-aon %.3.,andhi
1925 3an9ur 0arojini Naidu ()ir&t ;ndian 7oman *re&ident+
1928 Calcutta %otilal Nehru ()ir&t All ;ndia .outh Con-re&& 1ormed+
1929 !ahore <.!.Nehru (*oorna 07araj re&olution 7a& 9a&&ed+
191 3arachi
=allabhbhai *atel (>ere, re&olution on 1undamental ri-ht&and the National /conomic
*ro-ram 7a& 9a&&ed+
Delhi, Calcutta (0e&&ion Banned+
19: Bombay 5ajendra *ra&ad
196 !uc4no7 <.!.Nehru
19$ 1ai29ur <.!.Nehru ()ir&t &e&&ion in a 6illa-e+
198 >ari9ura 0.C.Bo&e (a National *lannin- Committed &et8u9 under<.!.Nehru+.
199 'ri9uri
0.C.Bo&e 7a& re8elected but had to re&i-n due to 9rote&tby ,andhiji (a& ,andhiji
&u99orted Dr.*attabhi 0itaramayya+. 5ajendra *ra&ad7a& a99ointed in hi& 9lace.
19:# 5am-arh Abdul 3alam A2ad
19:6 %eerut Acharya <.B.3ri9lani
19:8 <ai9ur Dr.*attabhi 0itaramayya.