- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
The Rough Guide History of India Paperback – 1 Nov 2002
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers also shopped for
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
To paraphrase a wise observation - we will only know where we are heading if we know where we have come from - is in part the inspiration for this series of national histories. In addition to that understanding, it was the conviction of series editor, Justin Wintle, that increasing globalization makes it ever more essential to understand our own history and the history of other nations, neighbouring or worlds away. This text provides a clear and concise overview of India's often tortuous political narrative, while providing in-depth information on the country's ancient and complex cultures. Covering the history of India from the Indus Valley Civilization to present day, its continuous time-line is complemented with sidebars on the Bhagvad Gita, Hinduism, the Taj Mahal, the Nehru-Gandhi famiy and a host of other topics.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
During the second half of the 19th century, the industrial revolution which generated railways, electricity, the telegraph, the telephone and radiotelephony set the technological foundation for a political revolution, both in Britain and its colonies. These inventions, and the spread of anti-imperialist ideas in the wake of World War I, set the stage for the downfall of the British Empire in India and elsewhere. The Indian National Congress, founded by upper-class Indians towards the end of the 19th century, steadily became a powerful vehicle of Indian nationalism. It achieved its aim of full independence in 1947 but only after agreeing, reluctantly, to the partition of the erstwhile Indian empire into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, whose eastern wing would emerge as Bangladesh in 1971.
Today the Republic of India has more than a billion inhabitants spread across some three million square kilometres. Containing a wide variety of races, languages and religions, it is the worlds most complex political-administrative entity. Wherever there is diversity, there is tension latent or overt. In the Indian subcontinent, the north-south divide is sustained partly by the Vindhya-Maikal mountain range, which runs west to east. Then there is the continual refrain of Hindu-Muslim tensions within India itself, despite the formation of the Muslim-majority states of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Most recently, the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has threatened to escalate into nuclear war. Seen in the longer perspective, however, Indias history seems more like one of absorption and amalgamation rather than exclusion and rejection. Invaded and conquered by successive waves of outsiders, those cultures have enriched the subcontinents indigenous society, resulting in a pan-Indian identity.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Rough Guide to India displays this complex history in a easy to follow format, as well as focusing on key peoples, subjects, and events. Excellent as stepping stool for further research or for learning about Indian History for the first time.
But you also need to be careful. The presentation is out of touch with archaelogical findings and interpretations of the last 50 years or so. For instance, it refers to Aryan invasion theory, which has been abandoned by every historian, because there is no evidence of a massacre at the sites. The extent of the Sindhu-Saraswati civilation (Indus Civilation), 2.5 million square kilometres, mapped by the ASI is not mentioned.
It also makes some religious booboos. For instance, talking of the Shiva Linga, it tells us that Hindus worshipped a 'phallus' at Somnath. Shiva Linga actually refers to an oblong stone, which symolises Shiva, as any Hindu scriputre will tell you.
So buy it, but read it with caution.