Themes in Indian History Part-I

Unit 1 :The Story of the First Cities:Harappan Archaeology Broad overview

Unit 2 :Political and Economic History: How Inscriptions tell a story.

  • Broad overview:
  • Political and economic History from the Mauryan to the Gupta period Story of discovery:
  • Inscriptions and the Decipherment of the script. Shifts in the Understanding of political and economic history.
  • Excerpt: Ashokan inscription and Gupta period land grant [Video by Mayank Mishra KV CMM Jabalpur]
  • Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by historians.

Unit 3 : Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata

  • Broad overview:
  • Issues in social history, including ca ste, class, kinship and gender
  • Story of discovery:
  • Transmission and
  • publications of the Mahabharata
  • Excerpt: from the Mahabharata, illustrating how it has been used by historians.
  • Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing social history

Unit 4 :A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa Broad overview:

  • a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism (Puranic Hinduism)
  • b) Focus on Buddhism.
  • Story of discovery: Sanchi stupa. Excerpt: Reproduction of sculptures from Sanchi.
  • Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been interpreted by historians, other sources for reconstructing the history of Buddhism.

Themes in Indian History Part-II

Unit 5 : Medieval Society through Travellers’ Accounts Broad Overview

  • outlines of social and cultural life as they appear in traveller’s account.
  • Story of their writings: A discussion of where they travelled, what they wrote and for whom they wrote.
  • Excerpts: from Al Biruni, Ibn Battuta, Francois Bernier.
  • Discussion: What these travel accounts can tell us and how they have been interpreted by historians.

Unit 6 : Religious Histories: The Bhakti-Sufi Tradition Broad overview:

  • a. Outlineofreligious developments during this period saints.
  • b. Ideas and practices of the Bhakti-Sufi
  • Story of Transmission: How Bhakti-Sufi compositions have been preserved.
  • Excerpt: Extracts from selected Bhakti-Sufi works.
  • Discussion: Ways in which these have been interpreted by historians.

Unit 7 : New Architecture: Hampi broad over view:

  • a. Outline of new buildings during Vijayanagar period-temples, forts, irrigation facilities.
  • b. Relationshipbetweenarc hitecture and
  • the political system
  • Story of Discovery: Account of how Hampi was found.
  • Excerpt: Visuals of buildings at Hampi
  • Discussion: Ways in which historians have analyzed and interpreted these structures.

Unit 8 : AgrarianRelations:TheAin-i- Akbari Broad overview:

  • a. Structureofagrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • b. Patterns of change over the period.
  • Story of Discovery: Account of the compilation and translation of Ain I Akbari
  • Excerpt: from the Ain-i-Akbari.
  • Discussion: Ways in which historians have used texts to reconstruct history.

Unit 9 : The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles Broad overview:

  • a. Outline of political history 15th -17th centuries
  • Discussion of the Mughal court and politics.
  • Story of Discovery: Account of the production of court chronicles, and their subsequent translation and transmission.
  • Excerpts: from the Akbarnama and Badshahnama
  • Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the text store construct political histories.

Themes in Indian History Part-III

Unit 10 : Colonialism and RuralSociety: Evidence from Official Reports Broad overview:

  • a. Lifeofzamindars, peasants and artisans in the late 18th century
  • b. EastIndiaCompany, revenue settlements in various regions of India and surveys Changes over the nineteenth century
  • Story of official records:
  • An account of why official investigationsintoruralsocietieswere undertakenandthetypesofrecordsan dreportsproduced.
  • Excerpts: From Fifth Report, Accounts of Frances Buchanan – Hamilton, and Deccan Riots Report.
  • Discussion: What the official record s tellanddonottell, and how they hav e been used by historians.

Unit 11 : Representations of 1857 Broad overview:

  • a. The events of 1857-58.
  • b. VisionofUnity
  • c. How these events were
  • recorded and narrated. Focus: Lucknow
  • Excerpts: Pictures of 1857.Extracts from contemporary accounts.
  • Discussion: How the pictures of 1857 shaped British opinion of what had happened.

Unit 12 : Colonialism and Indian Towns: Town Plans and Municipal Reports

  • History of towns in India, colonization and cities, hill stations, town planning of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.
  • Excerpts: Photographs and paintings. Plans of cities. Extract from town plan reports.
  • Focus on Calcutta town planning
  • Discussion: How the above sources can be used to reconstruct the history of towns. What these sources do not reveal.

Unit 13 : Mahatma Gandhi through Contemporary Eyes Broad overview:

  • a. TheNationalistMovement 1918 -48.
  • b. ThenatureofGandhian politics and leadership.
  • Focus: Mahatma Gandhi and the three movements and his last days as “finest hours”
  • Excerpts: Reports from English and Indian language newspapers and other contemporary writings.
  • Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.

Unit 14 : Partition through Oral Sources Broad overview:

  • a. The history of the 1940s.
  • b. Nationalism,
  • Communalism and
  • Partition.
  • Focus: Punjab and Bengal
  • Excerpts: Oral testimonies of those who experienced partition
  • Discussion: Ways in which these have been analyzed to reconstruct the history of the event

Unit 15 : The Making of the Constitution an overview:

  • a. Independenceandthen new nation state.
  • b. Themakingofthe Constitution
  • Focus: The Constituent Assembly Debates
  • Excerpts: from the debates.
  • Discussion: What such debates reveal and how they can be analyzed.