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Book folder


by Steven W. Sowards

Readers also may be interested in current Balkan news or Web sites analyzing the Kosovo crisis. Readers are encouraged to consult the Preface for information about this site and its purposes, the Conditions of Use statement if they wish to cite the content, or the FAQ page if they have questions for the author. I recently added a bibliographic note. A German translation by Georg Liebetrau is available in hard copy.

Table of contents / complete list of the lectures
TOPIC 1: Defining the "Balkans:" An other Europe

* Lecture No. 1: Introduction to the course: The geography and ethnic geography of the Balkans to 1500
* Lecture No. 2: "Asia begins at the Landstrasse:" Comparing Eastern European and European histories

TOPIC 2: The "Old Regimes" in the Balkans before 1790

* Lecture No. 3: The principles of Ottoman rule in the Balkans
* Lecture No. 4: Hungary and the limits of Habsburg authority

TOPIC 3: The earliest national revolutions, 1804-1830

* Lecture No. 5: The Serbian Revolution and the Serbian state
* Lecture No. 6: The Greek Revolution and the Greek state

TOPIC 4: The Revolution of 1848 and its legacy

* Lecture No. 7: Nationalism in Hungary, 1848-1867
* Lecture No. 8: National revival in Romania, 1848-1866

TOPIC 5: The impact of the wider world: Economic, social, political

* Lecture No. 9: Economic and social changes in Balkan life
* Lecture No. 10: The Great Powers and the "Eastern Question"

TOPIC 6: The failure of change from above: Reform in Macedonia and Bosnia-Hercegovina

* Lecture No. 11: Macedonia and the failure of Ottoman reforms
* Lecture No. 12: Bosnia-Hercegovina and the failure of reform in Austria-Hungary

TOPIC 7: Balkan nationalisms: Serbia and Greece

* Lecture No. 13: Serbian nationalism from the "Nacertanije" to the Yugoslav Kingdom
* Lecture No. 14: Greek nationalism, the "Megale Idea" and Venizelism to 1923

TOPIC 8: World War I: Causes and legacies

* Lecture No. 15: The Balkan causes of World War I
* Lecture No. 16: The legacies of 1917 and 1919

TOPIC 9: Limitations of Western models in the interwar period

* Lecture No. 17: Nation without a state: The Balkan Jews
* Lecture No. 18: Balkan politics drifts to the Right

TOPIC 10: Balkan politics during World War II

* Lecture No. 19: The traditional regimes and the challenge of Nazism: Collaboration vs. resistance
* Lecture No. 20: The traditional regimes and the challenge of Communism: Patriotism vs. opportunism

TOPIC 11: The coming of the Cold War

* Lecture No. 21: Forging the Iron Curtain in the Balkans, 1944-1956

TOPIC 12: The Balkans in the age of bi-polar politics

* Lecture No. 22: Balkan politics in the Cold War years
* Lecture No. 23: Social and economic change in the Balkans

TOPIC 13: Explaining the revolutions of the 1980s

* Lecture No. 24: The failure of Balkan Communism and the causes of the Revolutions of 1989
* Lecture No. 25: The Yugoslav civil war


<b>A Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism </b>

<b>The Divine greatness of Bhartiya scriptures,
religion and history.</b>
(1) The unbroken continuity of Indian civilization and its history.
– A brief history of creation, and the Puranas.
(2) Bhartiya civilization after the destruction of the Mahabharat war, and the Harappan culture.
(3) The latest reproduction of the Vedas, Upnishads, grammar, and the Puranas was about 5,000 years ago by Bhagwan Ved Vyas.
– The personality of Ved Vyas.
– The significance of the history, religion and the path to God.
(4) Evidences of the Divine authenticity of Bhartiya scriptures.
(5) Divine writings cannot be analyzed in a material way.
(6) Characteristics and the origination of the myths of the world?
– The source of mythological imaginations.
(7) General theme of the Upnishads.
– The 33 celestial gods.
– General definitions of soul, maya and God.
– Illusive nature of the world.
(8) Correct understanding of the ‘self’ and ‘soul.’
(9) The terms atma and brahm in the Upnishads.
(10) A fallacy that relates to the period of the Vedas, Upnishads and the Puranas.
(11) The Divine language of Bhartiya scriptures.

History of the origin and the development
of the languages of the world;
and the origin and the development
of Greek, Roman and western religions & civilizations
from 4th millennium BC to 20th century AD.

(12) Early civilizations and the development of writing systems in the world.
– The origin of primitive writing systems.

– Sumerians and the first writing system in the world.

– The hieroglyphics, and the language and religion of ancient Egypt.

– Sumerians and Babylonians.

– Egyptian language and Egyptian gods.

– The Assyrians.

– The Semites.

(13) The origin of alphabets and the languages of the world.
– The origin of alphabets.

– Phoenician and Greek alphabets and languages.

– Descendants of Greek alphabet.

– Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and Persian alphabets and languages.

– Avesta and Pahlavi.

(14) Greek civilization, language, and literature.
– Dialects and the Modern Greek.

– Culture and literature of Greece.

– The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer.

– The origins of Homer’s mythological imaginations and the religion of Greece.

(15) Roman language and civilization.
– The development of Latin language and Romance languages.

– Classical and Vulgar Latin.

– Ancient Rome and a brief history of the Roman Empire.

– Roman gods and goddesses.

(16) The history of the origination of the concepts of the words ‘god/God’ in the West.
(17) The true definition of God.
(18) Comparisons of the western concepts of God with the celestial gods of Bhartiya scriptures.
– The two dimensions of the material space.

– The unimaginable luxuries of the celestial abodes.

– The prime gods of the celestial abodes.

– The supreme god of heaven, Brahma, and the chief god, Indra.

(19) The universal Divine religion of Bharatvarsh.
– The significance of 'fact' and 'faith'.

– What are the intuitions?

(20) Purity of the heart and non-vegetarianism.
(21) History, language and the civilization of the British Isles; and the Germanic languages.
– The Germanic languages.

– German.

(22) The Proto-Germanic language; Grimm and Bopp.
(23) The deliberate speculation of the term Proto-Indo-European language; and Sanskrit morphology.
(24) The development of the English language.
– Old English (9th and 10th century).

– Modern English (1660 onward).

– Vocabulary of Modern English.

– The latest form of the most advanced English language.

(25) The literature.
– Brief descriptions of the notable masterpieces of the literature of England, and the story of Dionysian worship by the Greeks and the Romans.

(26) Early conquests and the religion of the British Isles.
– Early invaders.

– Early religion of the British Isles.

(27) Rites and mythology of the Germanic people.
(28) Early history of England (400 to 1200 AD).

The eternity of the Sanskrit language.

(29) The eternal perfection of the Sanskrit language which is the mother language of the world.
– Languages of the world.

– Sanskrit language. How it became the origin of the languages of the world.

(30) The six unmatched features of the Sanskrit language.
1. The vowel-consonant pronunciation of the alphabet.

2. Formation of the Sanskrit words.

3. The uniqueness of the grammar.

4. The three kinds of prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Upnishads
and the Puranas) and their style of literary presentation.

5. The apbhransh Pali and Hindi languages.

6. Sanskrit, the scriptural language up till today.

The diplomatic schemes of the British during the 18th, 19th and 20th century to destroy the culture, religion and the history of Bharatvarsh, and its effect on Hindu Scholars.

(31) Organized efforts of the British to destroy our culture and religion, and mutilate our history.
– Evidence of their malicious intentions (to produce fabricated Sanskrit scriptures).

(32) First effort of Jones (1784) and the secret planning.
– Their secret planning.

– A brief review of how was it executed.

(33) Two more attempts of Jones to destroy the Divinity of Sanskrit language and to mutilate Bhartiya history.
– The statements of Jones and the fiction of Sandracottus.

– The non-credibility of the statements of Megasthenes.

(34) The fiction of Aryan invasion, introduction of English language, and the suppression of Sanskrit language.
(35) Max Müller. A paid employee, who translated the Rigved in a demeaning style. The hidden secrets of his life.
– Letters of Max Müller.

(36) Major falsehoods as promoted by the British.
(37) Asiatic Researches group of people.
– Asiatic Society of Calcutta.

– A review of the translation of Vishnu Puran by H.H. Wilson (1786-1860).

(38) F. E. Pargiter (1852-1927).
– “Ancient Indian Historical Tradition”.

– “The Purana Text of the Dynasties of the Kali Age”.

(39) How did the British fabricate and destroy the historic records of India and misguide the whole world?
– Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8th Edition (1854), Volume XI.

– Fabrications in the Bhavishya Puran.

(40) Descriptions of the kings of Magadh in the Puranas were fabricated, historic records were destroyed, and false synchronization of edicts and coins were created to connect them to Ashok of Maurya dynasty, and, in this way, misguided the whole world.
– The fabrications.

– When were these fabrications done?

– The ingenious trickeries.

– False synchronization of edicts and coins.

– They spoiled the social structure of India along with its national developments.

(41) The effect of western writers on Hindu scholars.
– S. Radhakrishnan (1888-1975).

– The derogative views of Radhakrishnan about Hindu religion and scriptures.

– His wiliness, antipathy towards our acharyas and his inclination towards Christianity.

– The reason of his being famous as an Indian philosopher.

– The writings of Radhakrishnan were more damaging to Bhartiya religion as compared to the European writers.

– His Upnishad and Gita translations.

(42) A new trend of anti-Hinduism that has developed in the name of Hinduism.
(43) The books and the encyclopedias on Hinduism that despise Hindu religion in the name of Hinduism, and the general religious writings of this age.

The most popular scientific theories of the world.
The West was bereft of the true knowledge of God;
it knew only mythologies.

(44) A review of the most popular scientific theories of the world.
(a) The evolution theory.
– General concept of the evolution theory
– Comments
– The science of instinct, desire and karm

(b) General relativity of Einstein.

© Quantum mechanics.

(d) The hypothesis of the Big Bang and the inflationary theories as postulated by George Gamow and Alan Guth, etc.
– The inflationary (or the new inflationary) theory
– Comments: The ‘Big Bang’ and the ‘inflation of the universe’ never happened

(45) The West was bereft of the true knowledge of God.
(46) The western world knew only mythologies.

The truth about the creation of the universe as in the Upnishads and the Bhagwatam; actual age of the Universe; the uninterrupted Ganges valley civilization of 1,900 million years; and the chronology of the history of Bharatvarsh sinces its origination.

(47) Creation of the universe and the development of life and civilization on the earth planet according to the Upnishads and the Bhagwatam.
– Aim of creation.

– Duration of creation.

– Powers involved in the creation.

– Forces that keep the universe running.

– Procedure of the creation of the universe.

– The functioning of a planetary system.

– Life on the earth planet.

(48) The exact calculations of the age of Brahma and the existing manvantar according to the Bhagwatam.
(49) Actual age of the universe.
– Critics can’t be appeased.

(50) History of the uninterrupted Ganges valley civilization of India for 1,900 million years according to the Bhagwatam.
(51) The beginning of kaliyug. (3102 BC)
1. Astrological.

2. Others.

(52) The dynasties of Magadh after the Mahabharat war and the important historical personalities (Gautam Buddh, Chandragupt Maurya, Jagadguru Shankaracharya and Vikramaditya).
(53) Chronological chart of the history of Bharatvarsh since its origination.

The eternal Divinity of Bhartiya scriptures
and the Sages and Saints who revealed them, and the characteristics of the happenings that are described in the Upnishads and the Puranas.
(54) Classifications of Bhartiya scriptures.
(55) The Divinity of Bhartiya scriptures.
(56) The descension of Ved Vyas.
(57) The references and the stories of the Upnishads and the Puranas are supernatural happenings.
– There are three dimensions (material, celestial and Divine) and two kinds of space (material and celestial) in this brahmand.

– The events described in our Upnishads and the Puranas are of seven kinds.

(58) Age of the Vedas and the Puranas.
(59) The Vedas, Upvedas and Vedangas.
– Brahman and aranyak.

– The Upvedas.

– The Vedangas.

– Vyakaran (Sanskrit grammar).

(60) Period of Panini and the Sutras, the Sages and Saints who were produced by Brahma; and the Smritis.
– Period of Panini and the Sutras.

– The eternity of Sages and Saints who were produced by Brahma.

– Smritis.

(61) Darshan Shastras.
– Significance of the Darshan Shastras and their period.

– Brahm Sutra.

(62) The Jain and Buddh religions.
(63) The Upnishads.
1. Ishopnishad.

2. Taittariya Upnishad.

3. Shvetashvatar Upnishad.

4. Tripadvibhushit Mahanarayanopnishad.

5. Gopal Poorv Tapiniyopnishad.

(64) The Puranas, the Itihas, and the avataras (descensions) of God.
– Allegorizing a Divine event is a spiritual transgression.

The universal religion of the Upnishads, Gita and the Bhagwatam which Bharatvarsh has introduced for the whole world. The eternal significance and the true form of bhakti; philosophy of the Divine descensions (avatars);
the supreme Divine love glory of Bhagwan Ram and Krishn;
and the teachings of the historical Saints
and the acharyas of India.
(65) The true path to God and Sanatan Dharm.
– What is Sanatan Dharm?

– God and His path of attainment are both eternal.

– The definition of bhakti (devotion).

– The eternal significance of bhakti.

– God is realized with His Grace and His Grace is received through bhakti.

– Forms of God and Their Divine abodes.

– Kinds of Divine liberation.

(66) The philosophy of the descension (avatar) of God, and Bhagwan Ram and Krishn
(67) The Divine teachings of the Upnishads, Gita and the Bhagwatam (as followed and expounded by all of the Saints and the acharyas).
– The Gita.

– The Bhagwatam.

(68) The definition of spiritual transgressions.
(69) The recognition of a true devotee of God (gyani or bhakt), be he a sanyasi or a family man.
(70) Saints, acharyas, their teachings and their religion.
– The common source.

– The Divine forms of one single God.

– Clarification of the philosophical differences related to soul, maya and God.

– The gist of their teachings.

Abbreviations and Scriptural Bibliography


A Marxian view on Indian social system
By R. Narayanan

S.A. Dange: India: From Primitive Communism to Slavery: Roza Deshpande; pp. 260; Rs. 250

Comrade Dange, whose birth centenary was celebrated in the year 1999, provides an elegant analysis of ancient treatises to reflect on the origin of family, village community, Vedas and the state. For him, the influence was clearly the Engels’ book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. It is of course not an easy thing to interpret the ancient history, ancient events and literature, using a lens of political, economic development theory. He analyzed the ancient epics to illustrate how the creation of private property has a direct relation to the needs and the emergence of the state.

The first draft of the book, India: From Primitive Communism to Slavery, was written in Yerawada Jail in the period of October 1942 to January 1943. It was a painful task for him. However, what has come out is phenomenal not merely because of the details of various vedic literatures provided, but also because of the way it was presented so that the readers can easily understand and assimilate. The fact that the book is written for comrades gets reflected in the simplicity in the language used, despite it analyzing various Sanskrit literature, which under the varna system, unfortunately, was used by many as instruments of exclusion. The book, first published in 1949, has since gone through seven editions. It can easily be claimed that this work was the first ever in this country to interpret the Indian history using the Marxist framework, especially in matters of the origin of the State, private property and family. The book was written with Marxist readers in mind, and aimed at making them identify Indian history with the Marxist concepts of dialectics and historical materialism. The primary objective of the book was to understand the stages and periods of the history as per the laws of history ‘discovered’ by Marx.

While the book does a splendid job in analyzing different vedic and post-vedic literature, it fails to provide a wider spectrum to the history of the state. It has based itself in the base structure- super structure tool of analysis where economics become the basis for all changes in the super structure. The role of the concepts of purity and pollution in influencing the emergence of a strong community that has apparent organic structure using a powerful varna system has been underplayed, and in fact has been subsumed in the class based analysis. The book, nevertheless, provided the base document for later historians to comment upon and work on.

Expectedly, it has been critiqued by many, some merely because it had come from Marxist bank of literature while others because the work ignores multiple perspective to the Indian history. The fact however is the book could not be ignored. The book happened to become the book of critics. The treatment and the characterisation of the Mahabharata war, the emergence of household community and village community have been critiqued by later historians. Even Marxist historians like Dr Kosambi have provided an interesting and elaborate critique to this book. And of course the book was not well taken by non-Marxists when the author described various events in the Indian history as forms of class struggle, abiding by the theories of social development enunciated by Marx. However, there was no disagreement that the book was taken seriously by all.

The book, especially the new edition with an introductory note by Bina Deshpande, provides an interesting reading. One should not forget that the book was written in 1949, a time when the history was nothing but biographies of powerful rulers. This book provided a link between the ancient literatures and the then existing political theories. The book analyses even the linguistics of terms used in Vedas, while analyzing the views of Vedic scholars such as Lokmanya Tilak, Rajwade and Kunte. The author’s treatment of Mahabharata and the way he linked the great war with the end of kinship relationship and the full fledged rise of the class state was unjustifiably good. The book may be of limited use to new history students who now read new history books such as From lineage to State by Romila Thapar, but the book definitely will open them to new ways of looking at a historical event. For general readers, it could have become a bestseller, if only the publisher had packaged it properly.

(Roza Deshpande, Vichar Bharati Prakashan, Royal Status, 33, Bhalchandra Road, Dadar, Mumbai-400 014)

Could be very useful book in debunking the myths of how colonial raj brought all these goodies to India.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Full text mirrored at

<b>Khanna, Vikramaditya S., "The Economic History of the Corporate Form in Ancient India"  (November 1, 2005)</b>.
Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=796464

The corporation is the most popular form of business organization. Moreover, as the economies of emerging markets leap forward the popularity of the corporate form continues to grow. In light of its widespread appeal, one is naturally inclined to inquire more about the corporation and how it developed over time. Many questions can be pondered including: where did the corporate form originate; how old is it; has the corporation taken the same form everywhere or have there been local variations; and what are the pre-conditions for the development of the corporate form. All these questions are important not only for their own intrinsic value, but also because of the insights they provide about the development of the corporate sector in emerging markets and about the prospects for convergence, of one kind or another, in corporate governance. Indeed, a series of important papers by Henry Hansmann & Reinier Kraakman and other authors examine these questions both in Rome and in Medieval Europe. The aim of this paper is to explore a number of these questions by examining the economic history and development of the corporate form in Ancient India. The paper finds considerable evidence that urges us toward a significant revision of the history and development of the corporate form.

The examination reveals that business people on the Indian subcontinent utilized the corporate form from a very early period. The corporate form (e.g., the sreni) was being used in India from at least 800 B.C., and perhaps even earlier, and was in more or less continuous use since then until the advent of the Islamic invasions around 1000 A.D. This provides evidence for the use of the corporate form centuries before the earliest Roman proto-corporations. In fact, the use of the sreni in Ancient India was widespread including virtually every kind of business, political and municipal activity. Moreover, when we examine how these entities were structured, governed and regulated we find that they bear many similarities to corporations and, indeed, to modern US corporations. The familiar concerns of agency costs and incentive effects are both present and addressed in quite similar ways as are many other aspects of the law regulating business entities. Further, examining the historical development of the sreni indicates that the factors leading to the growth of this corporate form are consistent with those put forward for the growth of organizational entities in Europe. These factors include increasing trade, methods to contain agency costs, and methods to patrol the boundaries between the assets of the sreni and those of its members ( i.e., to facilitate asset partitioning and reduce creditor information costs). Finally, examination of the development of the sreni in Ancient India sheds light on the importance of state structure for the growth of trade and the corporate form as well as on prospects for some kind of convergence in corporate governance.


India is a country of considerable historical antiquity with a long and successful history of trade. For the researcher, this makes it an enviable environment in which to study the development of business organizations. The analysis in this paper suggests that Ancient India had many different forms of business organization including the sreni. <b>Moreover, the sreni can be dated from a period much older than many would expect for the development of the corporate form – from at least 800 B.C. and perhaps even earlier. This predates, by centuries, the earliest Roman proto-corporations. Further, the sreni was also in continuing and expanding use until 1000 A.D. </b>and was utilized for many different kinds of purposes including business, municipal, social and religious activities. The sreni was clearly one of the most important institutions of Ancient India. When we examine the details of its formation, governance and regulation we find that its development corresponds well to more modern theories about the development of the corporate form. In particular, the sreni grew as trade expanded and as the supply of the monitoring methodologies needed for its development arose. Moreover, when the features of the sreni are compared to those of more modern Anglo-American corporations we find a significant amount of similarity. The members of the sreni faced many similar concerns to those we face today and they found quite similar ways of addressing those concerns. However, when we examine sreni development more closely we find a number of interesting results. The sreni grew the fastest in the state structure where there was an intermediate level of centralization and considerable deference to the sreni in managing its internal affairs. Although trade grew under other structures too, it was the relatively less centralized Gupta Empire that saw the greatest advances in trade. Of course, other factors also influenced the development of trade in Ancient India, but these results are interesting nonetheless. Moreover, the development of the sreni provides some more fodder for the debate about convergence or path dependence in corporate governance. Overall the ability of the sreni to survive and develop in a predictable fashion through so many centuries and such differing environments in Ancient India attests to its resilience and adaptability. Moreover, the Ancient Indian sreni forces us to  evise our conceptions of when corporations developed to a much earlier time period. Indeed, much can be learned about the corporation from the Ancient Indian sreni.


Email address for VIKRAMADITYA S. KHANNA
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Law School <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
India's Ancient Past-R.S. Sharma


In this engaging narrative the author provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the history of early India. Beginning with a discussion on frameworks of the writing of history the book sheds light on the origins and growth of civilizations, empires, and religions. It covers the geographical, ecological, and linguistic backgrounds, and looks at specific cultures of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Vedic periods, as well as at the Harappan civilization.

The author discusses the rise of Jainism and Buddhism, Magadha and the beginning of territorial states. The period of Mauryas, Central Asian countries, Satvahanas, Guptas, and Harshavardhana are also analyzed. He highlights important phenomena such as the varna system, urbanization, commerce and trade, developments in science and philosophy, and cultural legacy. He also examines the process of transition from Ancient to Medieval India and addresses topical issues such as the origin of the Aryan culture.

This insightful and lucidly written book, by one of the best-known scholars of ancient India, will be indispensable for students and teachers of ancient Indian history courses.

Review Comments 
'The narrative is highly readable, demarcating the major periods of social formation, political and cultural evolution, underlying which is a judicious use of all available sources and their relative importance for each period.' -R . Champakalakshmi, Economic and Political Weekly
Author Details
R. S. Sharma Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University of Patna. He is also the Founder Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kautilya for the 21st century</b>
By M.V. Kamath
Relevance of Kautilya for Today: Dr K.S. Narayanacharya; preface by S. Gurumurthy; Kautilya Institute of National Studies, Mysore, pp 146, Rs 150.00

One of the saddest aspects of our educational system today is the near total neglect of our ancient history and the deliberate disconnect with our thinkers and philosophers. It is as if our "secular" scholars are ashamed of their own past. Vedic mathematics is laughed at. If authentic claims are made that such concepts as gravitation and the value of pi were common knowledge centuries ago eyebrows are raised. Kalidas, Panini, Bhasa, Bana, Varahamihira and Bhartrahari remain faint memories.

Ask any present day graduate whether he has heard of Charaka, Sushruta, Bhaskaracharya or Lilavati, one can only expect blank looks. It is seldom realised that even in the Ramayana and Mahabharata there are innumerable references to technology, arts, sports, music, dance, architecture, weaponry, defence, textiles, navigation and metallurgy. In which other country in the world would one come across the existence of the kind of iron pillar that one finds in India close to the Qutub Minar? In its own way India excelled in many fields including—and that should not come as a surprise—politics and governance. Forget Bhishmaparva in the Mahabharata, think of Chanakya also known as Kautilya, much closer to our times and the Arthashastra for which he is justly known. And we get a wholly new introduction not only to what makes true Indian culture, but how it ruled India in ancient times. The stress was not on religion but on dharma, that elusive word which lays down what is right. In ancient Indian civilisation, on the accepted principles of war morality, of war ethics, a king could not wage a war against another simply because he had a large army.

As Gurumurthy notes in his excellent preface, the Shantiparva in the Mahabharata insists that conquest should be according to dharma, that empire did not mean imposition of the language or the government system of the conqueror on the conquered country but something nobler. The victors were mandated to worship at temples of the defeated people and even wear the dress of the defeated and adopt the local culture. One could fight someone only if he was similarly equipped, and killing a soldier who was already in combat with someone else was considered totally unethical. Even Kautilya, who is often wrongly regarded as the Indian equivalent of Machiavelli, had laid down that a conqueror should not covet the territory, wealth, son and wife of the slain in battle. That is why there have never been Hindu Ghazni Mohammads or Central Asian Babars or their Mughal descendants.

Just think of Prithviraj Chauhan and how he treated Mohammad Ghori after defeating him and how Ghori in turn dealt with Chauhan when he became victorious. It is not that Kautilya was unaware of evil. If anything he was down to earth, earthy. He laid down, for example, that no army or government can do without an effective and large force of secret service. A government, he insisted must necessarily subscribe to the belief that there is always evil in life, public, private, organised or individual and accept the fact that the base elements of greed, vulgarity, treachery, jealously, betrayal and lust for power are part of human nature.

Again it was not cynicism but a knowledge of human nature that was behind his theory that "neighbouring states are by nature to be treated as enemies"—and don't we all have reason to remember that even in this day and age? Kautilya rightly demanded that "internal treachery should be put down with a heavy hand".

Does one remember Afzal Guru? How should one tackle internal enemies? Kautilya makes his point very clearly when he says that "where outside enemies have an understanding with local, internal enemies or internal traitors, intrigues will be of far reaching consequences, as local enemies and outsiders join in a common programme of destruction".

Kautilya must have had the attack on the Indian Parliament in mind when he made his point. He classified foreign agents and spies as "thieves and barbarians" who should always be watched. Kautilya distinguished between Counselling Ministers (mantris) and Executive Ministers (Amatyas) and he even laid down their qualifications only to specify that a Prime Minister should have both their wisdom. As he saw it, diplomatic power was superior to army power and hence his laying down the importance of right counselling, right guidance and sastraic knowledge. A good king needed a Preceptor to connect him with the people. Kautilya was as much an idealist as he was a practicalist.

According to him an ideal preceptor should come from a family well-known for character, learning and experience in the sciences of administrative principles, grounded well in the Vedas and its auxiliary sciences of interpretation while the king should treat him as "his teacher, father and master".

There aren't many books dealing with Kautilya's Arthashastra which makes Prof. Narayanacharya' s work worthy of a good deal of attention. There are in all ten chapters, each one dealing with one specific subject. Beginning with a definition of artha and the relationship between dharma, artha and the state craft bound by dharma, Prof. Narayanacharya deals with the concept of state, justification for the evolution of professional guilds, secularism in the Kautilyan set-up, miscellaneous applications of the Kautilyan principles for today's life, espionage and military matters, the use of magic and occult practices and even wonders whether the measures advocated by Kautilya are actually practicable now.

Undoubtedly, Kautilya it was who, for the first time, endeavoured to re-interpret and re-orient the Indian perspective of power so as to make it capable of handling the barbaric warfare model of the Hellenistic and Abrahamic civilisations. Perhaps, as Gurumurthy notes, with the experience gained by the invasion of the Greeks Army led by Alexander, Chanakya could foresee the need for the Hindu civilisation intrinsically bound by the rules and norms of dharma, to modulate their war methods and internalise newer ideas and norms. One only wishes that the author placed Kautilya in the times in which he lived to give the reader a better framework to view Kautilya's thesis. But that does not lessen the value of scholarship displayed in this well-researched book. Kautilya stands tall even now and his tantra makes sound sense as we watch our Ministers handle international affairs so cavalierly.

(Kautilya Institute of National Studies, Mysore-570 005.) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
From Pioneer, 31 May 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Each fort has a story to tell

Madhukar S Orchha

<b>The Forts of Bundelkhand, Rita Sharma, Vijai Sharma, Rupa, Rs 795</b>

At long last there is a book on Bundelkhand. Rita and Vijai Sharma deserve our congratulations. It is a labour of love to have authored this splendid coffee table book.

<b>Although this region is in the heartland of the country, it is a little known area in central India. During ancient times, before the coming of Islam, this region was known as 'Jajakabhukti'.

When the Bundelas conquered this region, the name was changed to Bundelkhand. They spoke a western Hindi dialect called Bundeli. Bundeli is spoken in the southern most part of this region. To the north, lies the Kanauji dialect and to the northwest, the region of the Braj Bhasha-speaking districts. All three dialects are similar. In medieval times, they were widely used for writing poetry. Alas, these dialects are now in a state of decline, having been overtaken by modern Khari Boli Hindi.</b>

When India became independent in 1947, there were two parts to Bundelkhand. The Jhansi division of the United Provinces was referred to as British Bundelkhand and the rest, comprising more than a dozen princely states, was known as Native States Bundelkhand.

<b>Today, British Bundelkhand is a part of Uttar Pradesh, and most of Native States Bundelkhand are part of Madhya Pradesh. Together they make a total of 13 districts, all of them south of the Yamuna and north of the Narmada, east of the Chambal and West of the Tauns. These districts are Chhatarpur, Damoh, Datia, Pana, Sagar, and Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, and Banda, Chitrakut, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, Lalitpur, and Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh.</b>

Rita and Vijai Sharma, IAS officers of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, are familiar with Jhansi, where they have been stationed.<b> It is not possible to include all the big and small forts of Bundelkhand in one book, as there are more forts per square kilometre than in any other region in India. Other forts that need mention are listed below: In the district of Datia, the fort at Indergarh and the magnificent fort at Seondha. The latter, is situated on the banks of the river Sindh, and is a jewel among forts.</b>

In Tikamgarh, there are picturesque forts at Baldeogarh, Mohangarh, Jatara, Ramgarh and Khargapur. There is no mention of the Dhubela and Rajgarh forts in Chhatarpur district. Khimlasha fort in Khurai Tehsil of Sagar district, too, needs to be mentioned, thanks to its ancient roots. In the next edition, I am sure the authors will include these and other forts.

<b>An important question that emerges after reading this book is what is going to be the fate of these forts. The climate of central India is quite different from that of Rajasthan. There is far more rainfall in this region. The Rajasthan forts and palaces are located in a dry region and are, therefore, better preserved. In central India, greater rainfall plays its role in the destruction of masonry buildings. What then, is the solution to preserving them? </b>The Government has neither the resources nor the will to spend money on their maintenance.

The Madhya Pradesh Government has given Rajgarh fort to the Oberoi Group of Hotels to run as a Heritage Hotel. Formerly a section of this fort housed a primary school. The Oberoi Group is slated to spend a fair amount on its rehabilitation.

The Devigarh fort in Mewar is an excellent example of restoration work done on an old structure, with a very successful hotel having come up there. This could act as an example for the leasing of forts in Bundelkhand, which could save them from eventual decay and destruction.

If fort-hotels were allowed, many tourists, both Indian and international, would patronise them, and local people would get better employment opportunities. Money spent on renovation and repair, would then give a new lease of life to these old forts. And the story would have a happy ending.


Maybe the Well-off Modern Indians will let these go way to make way for a new India.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The wages of calumny </b>

The British colonial regime helped the missionaries in converting tribals. They thought the Christian hillmen would be a valuable prop to the state in time of nationalist uprising, writes BB Kumar

Changing Gods: Rethinking Conversion in India, Rudolf C Heredia, Penguin, Rs 350

Changing Gods: Rethinking Conversion in India is written by Rudolf C Heredia, "a committed Christian believer and a professional social scientist", as the author claims to be. Proselytisation is a part of the Christian's ordained duty and the author, himself a Jesuit priest, takes a stand as expected.

The book begins with a threatening note about the existing controversy centred around conversion by comparing it with the nuclear war situation of the Cold War era, wherein the protagonists achieved the balance of terror with their nuclear policy of 'mutually assured destruction' (MAD), thus rejecting saner option of a mutually agreed disarmament under the then existing realpolitik framework and living in the dangerous possibility of a 'nuclear winter' due to any mishap or miscalculated brinkmanship.

Drawing a parallel, Heredia notes: "Today religious extremism and fundamentalism is whipping another wave of terror that seems unbalanced and uncontrollable." He believes that a "parallel to the MAD approach is grossly inadequate", and suggests: "Rather, we need to step back from the brink with a determined religious disarmament, not to dismiss or negate religion but to disarm and discard the aggression and violence of those who indulge in, and those who seek to contain this religion-inspired madness."

Who are the extremists in the author's view? Islamists? No. He even objects the jihadis being labelled as Muslim extremists. Christian terrorists of the North-East? NSCN militants, who have issued decree to Hindu, Buddhist and pagan villagers of Changlang and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh "to convert to Christianity or face capital punishment"? Christian terrorists who are terrorising and forcibly converting Hindu tribals - Tripuris, Reangs and others? Not at all. Then, who are targeted? They are those who are opposing conversion to Christianity, even indulging in re-conversion, ghar-wapasi.

Heredia writes about the "central paradox of Hindu tolerance", "orthodox social practice contradicting it", "the egalitarian possibilities in the Hindu theory of tolerance" being overwritten by the "hierarchical realities of caste" and Hindu tolerance being a "reconstruct of renaissance". On the other hand, he writes about "liberal Islam" and the "social liberation theory of Islam". He has a romantic view of Islamic tolerance, countering what DS Margoliouth and Sir William Muir wrote in Prophet Mohammed's biographies.

The massacre of Bengali Hindus in Tripura during the TNV movement was a "national uprising" for Rieveh Cunvilleh, an American Church leader and director of the Bible Society of India. He hoped that such political upheavals would make the tribals more receptive to the Gospel. He hailed tribal assertion for rights and freedom in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and elsewhere.

Christianity is accepted as a major factor by some Naga intellectuals in their struggle for 'sovereignty'. Heredia neither mentions this aspect of the promotion of terror in the name of conversion, nor about the Church's asking for foreign intervention in India. Instead, he prefers to talk about "religious phobia that the hate-mongers have created".

These words and the value-loaded phrases, such as "conversion as freedom/ conversion is freedom", "conversion as liberation", "conversion as tolerance" become meaningless as the Church indulges in caging in by terrorising and luring, rather than allowing freedom.

According to Mills, the reasons behind rapid conversion of Ao Nagas into Christianity were (i) the expectation of the miraculous results and (ii) the fear of hell-fire. The missionaries promised miracles, and appealed to baser sentiments of greed and fear.

A threatened Chang Naga once said: "Who knows what they (missionaries) say is really true? No one has come back from the dead to tell them what the next world is like. Even if their words are true, am I a coward that I should fear to join my parents and suffer whatever torments they may be suffering? If they can bear, cannot I?" The threat, however, worked and people converted even in old age.

Conversion creates acute 'two world' situation, social divide and tension among the converts till the number of traditional religion is drastically reduced. It destroys social egalitarian ethos, the belief system, cultural heritage and the traditional wisdom. The missionaries destroyed excellent tribal institutions and crafts such as Naga Morungs and Phom woodcraft. The vast diversity of pagan religion and culture perished under the steamroller of Christianity. And yet Heredia has the temerity to plead for conversion in the name of "multi-cultural and pluri-religious richness".

David Scot, Johnstone, Dalton and other British colonial functionaries helped the Church's conversion work in the North-East, Jharkhand and elsewhere. The Christian hillmen "would be a valuable prop to the state" in time of nationalist uprising, they believed.

Heredia pleads for conversion "to relieve them from the oppression of caste/Brahminic hierarchy and oppression and to provide them egalitarian alternative to the same". Yet another claim is "conversion as a gateway to self-respect". These tall claims should be judged in the light of what the missionaries as collaborators of colonial powers have done globally, in Asia, Africa, America, and to converted Dalits in India. Moreover, the recent St Stephen's College controversy relating to reservations for 'Dalit Christians' exposes the 'egalitarian' claims of the Church.

While pleading for conversion, Heredia parades colonial myths and misinterpretations fabricated by the colonialists, missionaries, Marxists 'liberals' and brain-washed Indian intellectuals. Besides, the book promotes the racist interpretation of Indian society, myths of core-fringe conflict, isolation, exploitation, oppression and hegemony, thereby promoting social divide theories. Heredia also writes about Dalit marginalisation and tribal isolation, ignoring the caste-tribe continuum under the sanatan framework.

The British colonial regime and the missionaries evolved strategies to win India for Christ. Education was definitely one of the most important tools. Thankfully, Alexander Duff's prediction - "education would be the time bomb ticking at the roots of Hinduism and would blow it to bits" - didn't materialise, and the Indic religion survived the missionary onslaught. The battle, however, is not yet over.

The reviewer is editor, Dialogue
-- The writer is editor, Dialogue
"invading the sacred" by Krishnan Ramaswamy; Antonio de Nicolas; Aditi Banerjee;

There is a description of this book in www.medhajournal.com. This book deals with the bogus decriptions of Hinduism by American religion scholars.
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jul 13 2007, 06:26 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jul 13 2007, 06:26 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Google e-Book: Indo-Aryans_Rajendralal Mitra_1881

Has good description of Hindu architecture and customs etc.
Our Oriental Heritage.
VOL-II (1935)



download pdf or view text

"the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within"

Will Durant Search
Joseph Atwill - Caesar's Messiah - The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (download)
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Download the pdf version.

Hellenism in Ancient India- GK Banerjee


Hellenistic India
Syllabus and course outline Ancient History course


A synopsis of history studies in UK. Take a look at subjects on India over various years since 1995.

Hinduism and Buddhism in Greek Philosophy

Article written in 1954!
Mt Holyoke College resources on Indian history

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Sep 25 2007, 02:15 AM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Sep 25 2007, 02:15 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hinduism and Buddhism in Greek Philosophy

Article written in 1954!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->            Orphism and Hinduism have much in common. Just as
        the  Brahmins  kept  the  belief  of the  shamans  or
        medicine  men of the Vedas  that man could  become  a
        god, but  <b>attempted  to achieve  this  union  not  by
        drinking the intoxi-
        cating soma but by abstinence  and ascetic  practices
        so Orpheus purified  the old Dionysiac  religion  and
        substituted  asceticism  for drunkenness.</b>(32) The aim
        of Orphism seems to be the liberation of the soul from
        the chains of the body, and this is to be achieved by
        asceticism  but  man must  pass  through  many  lives
        before he achieves  final freedom.  This is very far,
        indeed,  from  genuine  Greek  religion  of  any
        period,(33) but almost exactly  the predominant  view
        of the Upani.sads. Even the metaphors  in which  this
        conception  is  clothed  are  the  stock  Hindu  and
        Buddhist metaphors-the wheel of life in the Upani.sads
        appears  as  the  "sorrowful  weary  wheel"  of
        Orpheus.(34) <b>It has been  remarked  that  the aim  of
        Orphism, the realization by man of his identity  with
        God,would have appeared  blasphemous  insolence  to a
        sixth-century Athenian.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Manoj Rakshit Publications. By Yashodharman.

All books can be downloaded free of cost, or read online.

They have a lot of material.

Hindi Books: http://www.yashodharman.org/hindi/hindi_me...t_pustakein.htm

English Books page http://www.yashodharman.org/english/books_...d_published.htm
english catalog:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Arise Arjun: Awaken my Hindu Nation
Ayodhya Shri Raam Mandir: Facts that did not reach you all
Christianity in a different Light: Face behind the Mask
Gita for Today 
Judaism Christianity Islam Secularism Hinduism
New Light on History of BhaaratVarsh(Do your History textbooks tell you these Facts?)
Popes Saints Cardinals Archbishops Bishops (mostly in Book 10)
That Unknown Face of Christianity
Muslim BhaaratVarsh: Expect this to happen to you pretty soon
Religions that teach Hatred & Enmity: Sanaatan Dharm does not
Christ or Krishn?

also have Tamizh and Kannada books.


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