Deconstructing Leftist Indian History

Jaffna, in a brilliant post corrects the Marxist slant in Indian history and suggests future course of action.

The Marxist school is an effort, inadvertent or otherwise, to demolish the grand narrative in Indian history linked to Hinduism, to selectively deconstruct the past and to localize all Indian history in caste and region. India is reduced to a mere collection of castes, linguistic groups, religions and geographic regions. No underlying unity at the ideological plane is recognized except for the Buddhist interlude or Islam under the Sultanate!

The central thesis of the Marxist Indologists that no Hindu civilizational superstructure existed – as captured by Amartya Sen’s statement that “there is no Hindu civilization” – can be refuted by even a cursory study of the history of Cambodia, by which I include what is today South Vietnam and the early dynasties therein, or of Java and its neighboring regions. The study of the literature of Khmer and Javanese, not to mention the archeological finds in both places reveal the motifs of Hindu classicism first pieced together in a systematic manner in the Gupta period. 

The moment has arrived to deconstruct the Marxist school. Those who had the education and rigor to do so are few. There is a paucity of intellectual capital. I can only think of Arun Shourie, the late Sita Ram Goel  – he unfortunately did not publish a seminal work on history preferring to critique the individual Marxist historians instead, Meenakshi Jain, B. Lal and Koenraad Elst. It is time to build on this legacy. The concept of civilizational Hinduism is indeed relevant, the Marxist deconstruction notwithstanding.  [The Indian Left and History]

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