By Peter Robb

ISBN-10: 0333691288

ISBN-13: 9780333691281

A historical past of India explores the relevant subject matters that unify Indian historical past and gives the reader a worldly and available view of India’s dynamics from precedent days, the Mughal Empire, and the British Raj via post-1947 India. The publication examines Indian politics, non secular ideals, caste, setting, nationalism, colonialism, and gender, between different matters. It additionally discusses long term financial improvement, the effect of worldwide alternate, and the origins of rural poverty. Peter Robb’s transparent, fluent narrative explores the interaction among India’s empires, areas of rule, customs, and ideology, and is a perfect start line for people with an curiosity in India’s earlier and current.

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These developments built upon the so-called smarta religion of the reforming Vedic priesthoods, originally a minority, to create a theistic (effectively, a monotheistic) religion – the God being Vishnu in these early texts. It emphasized not sacrifice but worship and devotion (puja and bhakti). Subsequently the traditions continued to evolve as a religion based around the worship of deities. It was adopted by courts and households, focused in temples, and repeatedly caught in popular imagination through buildings, pilgrimages, rituals, recitals, dance and drama.

As the early texts were more recently re-examined, three points were repeatedly made that had long been implied in some form. Firstly, there were accusations (mostly but not only from Westerners) about Brahmanical dominance and the sapping effect of religions so deeply concerned with renunciation and contemplation. Secondly, there were contrary claims (mostly but not only from Indians) that such a long religious and intellectual tradition marked the superiority of Indian morality and spirituality.

However, the trend was towards subsuming them under state rule. All governments of India, as they sought to expand revenue, tried with greater or lesser success to develop independent central records, and to bypass or co-opt local intermediaries, and overcome local resistance. They imposed overarching supralocal structures and principles, at least within the heartlands of their empires. Over the last 150 years, increasing production for sale and export has similarly required and facilitated the expansion of capitalist management and modern forms of government.

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A History of India by Peter Robb

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