Delhi University’s Sanskrit department’s project to give a chronology to ancient Indian history text has started. The project is set to challenge the Deccan College’s Sanskrit dictionary.
The Sanskrit dictionary of the department of Sanskrit and Lexicography of Deccan College in Pune was undertaken in 1948. Though the dictionary is yet to be completed, it is termed as the encyclopaedia of the language.
The project received funds from the government. But DU’s Sanskrit department aims to challenge it as the chronology to historical text like the Vedas have been given as per western historians’ interpretation of Indian history.
Explaining the reason to undertake this project, Ramesh Bhardwaj, head of the Sanskrit department in DU said, “The dictionary has not been completed but the introduction part has a section giving chronology right from the ancient text of the Vedas to the contemporary literature. However, they are influenced and written according to what the European historians like Max Muller wrote. We only want to challenge that. For instance, they put Rig Vedas at 1,400 BC but we strongly believe that it is not later than 5,000 BC.”
DU’s project is in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research and it will involve Sanskrit scholars from different parts of the country.
Explaining the relevance of the project in present times, GC Tirpathi, director of BL Institute of Indology said, “Chronology of the ancient Indian history has been topsy turvy. It has been shaped as per the political motives of European scholars. They did not want our history to be older than theirs. They did not want to believe that Rig Veda is older than the Old Testament. So, with linguistic evidence and Sanskrit language we can put ancient Indian literature in the right context.”
This is also a part of the department’s larger ‘Aryan project’, where they are trying to prove that Aryans were not invaders who came from Central Asia but people indigenous to India.
For this project, the department is also trying to rope in history, anthropology and linguistic departments, as they also serve as an important tool in form of archaeological exhibitions, geological evidences and genetics.
“I have spoken to the HOD of the history department. Once completed, the project will only be released after it has been approved by other departments,” said Bhardwaj.