Romila Thapar: Eminent Historian’s continuing fraud
The 27 October edition of Hindu published a report titled ‘Academics must question more’ in which ‘eminent’ historian Romila Thapar questioned why Delhi’s intelligentsia were not opposing the changes about to be made in the education system. Specifically she is worried about recent remarks made by Dr. Subramanian Swamy about burning history books penned by eminent historians like her.
Although it is inappropriate in a democracy for leaders to demand burning of books, and so far the government has not conceded to this dreadful demand, it is strange that such fear is coming from Ms.Thapar whose ilk was famous for silencing any dissenting and truthful voice against their ideological spin on history.
One must credit experts like Arun Shourie whose book “Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud” has done a beautiful job of exposing the art of disfiguring Indian history as done by leftist ideologues like Thapar. A sample of this meticulous expose can be seen in this extract:
Next to the Pushyamitra fable, the most popular “evidence” for Hindu persecutions of Buddhism is a passage in Kalhana’s history of Kashmir, the Rajatarangini (Taranga 7: 1089 ff.), where king Harsha is accused of looting and desecrating temples. This example is given by JNU emeritus professor of ancient history, Romila Thapar, in Romila Thapar et al.: Communalism in the Writing of Indian History, p.15-16, and now again in her letter to Mr. Manish Tayal (UK), 7-2-1999. The latter letter was written in reply to Mr. Tayal’s query on Arun Shourie’s revelations on the financial malversations and scholarly manipulations of a group of historians, mainly from JNU and AMU…Note, at any rate, Romila Thapar’s total reliance on arguments of authority and status. No less than seven times does she denounce Shourie’s alleged (and unproven) incompetence: Shourie has “not the faintest idea”, is “unaware”, “untrained”, and “does not know”, and what he does is “laughable”, “a joke”, “garbage”. But what exactly is wrong in his writing, we are not allowed to know. If history is now a professional discipline, one couldn’t deduce it from this letter of hers, for its line of argument is part snobbish and part feudal (appeal to formal authority), but quite bereft of the scientific approach.
(For more information click here.)
Her standing and influence as a historian was largely based on repeating the discredited theory of Aryans invading India. As previously proved by NS Rajaram Ms.Thapar hardly knows any Sanskrit, let alone Vedic Sanskrit, and her entire research on India is built on 19th century translations of Vedas and the Puranas, done mostly by colonial era scholars who gave these a racial interpretation. As expected this theory of the Aryan invasion collapsed under rigourous scientific scrutiny.
This meticulous report more than anything explains the falsification of AIT. The relevant portion is given below:
…It was the publication in 2011 of a path-breaking study that ultimately sealed the fate of the Aryan Invasion or Migration theory…The authors, by analysing genomes of 571 individuals representing 73 ethno-linguistic groups, also ruled out Eurasian gene flow during this time period, concurring with the finding of another study that such an event could not have happened before 12,500 years. Moreover, argued the scientists, 3500 years ago India was a already a densely populated region with well-established agricultural practices and therefore the Eurasian migration would have had to be immense in order to explain the fact that half the Indian population is derived from ANI. The Aryan Migration event of 1500 BCE has also been questioned based on an authoritative haplogroup U linkage study wherein scientists found an extensive and deep late-Pleistocene link between Indians and Europeans, suggesting a coalescence near the time when Asia was initially being peopled……..
It has also been shown that the gateway to the subcontinent, the Hindu Kush – where the earliest archaeological evidence of human remains dates back to 26,500 years before the Rig Veda – was a confluence of gene-flows in the early Neolithic period as opposed to an indigenous population…..The verdict of population genetics is clear, and profound, as pointed out subsequently by the lead author of the Nature study Dr Lalji Singh himself: “There is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India. It is high time we re-write India’s prehistory based on scientific evidence.”
Prof Thapar, though, is dismissive of the overwhelming scientific evidence that negates the Aryan Migration event. Time waits for no one, least of all junked theories. Scientists, having pointed out that the Müllerian Aryan Invasion – or the Romilian Aryan Migration – never happened, have returned to their garages.
That was strike one.
Another highlight of Ms.Thapar’s career as a historian was her attempt to prove the non-existence of a temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya. During the 1998-2004 reign of the BJP government, in 2003, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) employed a large number of Muslims in its excavation of remains in Ayodhya to obstruct the predictable allegation of acting as a Hindu nationalist front. The findings confirmed those of the excavations in the 1950s, 1970s and 1992: a very large Hindu religious building stood at the site before the Babri Masjid and in 2010 the Allahabad High Court accepted these findings by India’s apex archaeological body.
The Hindu report also mentions:
Tracing the lineage of the modern public intellectual to Shamanic philosophers of ancient India, Prof. Thapar said the non-Brahminical thinkers of ancient India were branded as Nastikas or non-believers. “I am reminded of the present day where if you don’t accept what Hindutva teaches, you’re all branded together as Marxists,” she added.
There it is, like most of the leftist historians, Ms. Thapar promotes the idea that somehow she and her fellow distortionists are similar to the dissenting savants of the ancient time.
First and foremost, the word Nastika, is often translated into English as atheism, while it has no such meaning in Indian Philosophy. Jainism denies a formal God, but does not deny godhead; every liberated soul is divine. In Mahayana Buddhism, Bodhisatva is worshipped as God. Even the pro-vedic Sankhya and Mimamsa schools do not believe in God and should by Western sorting be atheistic, but in India they are treated as Astika or in Thapar’s terms Brahmanical. This is because in Indian Philosophy the term Nastika is used for one who does not accept the authority of the Vedas.
Secondly almost all the ancient Indian philosophers like Buddha, Kapila and Charvaka operated in the Vedic framework but did not consider learning the Vedas as a prerequisite to realize the enlightened truth. Ms. Thapar should know that a celebrated verse of the Veda holds thus: Yatra vedaa aveda, meaning when the Vedic seeker of Truth finally realizes the Truth, the Veda (in the sense of the book/mantras) itself must be discarded. In that sense the Nastika savants were more in proximity with the Brahminical thinkers, in contrast to Ms. Thapar’s claims.
In fact Vidyaranya, the notable 14th century Vedic philosopher, in his magnum opus Sarvadarshansamgraha, (which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure) dedicated the first chapter to the philosophy of Charvaka and indeed made a very strong argument in favor of materialism.
Last but not the least if you had read the Upanishads Ms.Thapar you would have realized that the so-called Brahmanical sages like Nachiketa, Sulabha and Janaka advanced their viewpoints by questioning and debating unlike your Marxist kind which believes in imposition of untruth and inhibition of truth.
And that was strike three. But do not worry; you are not yet out Ms. Thapar. People of your stature are needed in the public sphere to show how ideology and political connections can take precedence over the correct interpretation of history. What else can explain your inclusion as one of the members of the high profile Delhi Urban Heritage Foundation or DHUF? Isn’t it due to the courtesy of Najeeb Jung, the eminent Lt. Governor of Delhi, who heads this high profile foundation?
As far as I’ve read the DHUF has decided to undertake the renovation and landscaping of the following two sites:
1. Lado Sarai Tomb
2. The former Viceregal Lodge at Delhi University.
I am no academician but I will exercise my democratic right (yes Ms Sagarika they are still intact) to ask this relatable question: Why is the DHUF not interested in the restoration and landscaping of scores of Hindu temples, Jain basadis and a number of Gurudwaras in Delhi which are said to be of historical importance?
And in conclusion do not worry Ms. Thapar. Hopefully the history books penned by you and your kind will not be set on fire. After all we need to learn from the mistakes of our past and what can be a better example than the ideological invectives your lot presented as history?