ICHR set to get scholars sceptical of 'European models'

  • Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 01, 2015 02:48 IST

If historians have believed that Aryans came from outside India, the Indian Council of Historical Research is set to see a new team that may not agree.

Scholars who question 'European models' to study India will soon be on the body, after the old council with many left-liberal scholars expired on December 22.

Veteran Cambridge archaeologist Dilip Chakrabarti is likely to be on the new team. Academics say he has been a critic of left historians. His book Colonial Indology questioned the western premise of looking at India in terms of essences. Another probable is French origin scholar Michel Danino, who admires ancient Indian science and faults Romila Thapar and DN Jha for having ignored it. He says there is no archaeological evidence of Aryan migration. But why is it important? Critics of Hinduism like Jyotiba Phule and the Dravidian movement had held that Hindu Aryans were outsiders and the low castes "indigenous". The RSS believes that Hindus were the indigenous people of India.

Theoretical physicist MD Srinivas, who has worked on the history of science, expert on India's historical ties with south-east Asia, Sachchidanand Sahai, Buddhist studies' scholar KTS Sarao, former Hansraj college teacher Sharadendu Mukherjee - who has written on Kashmiri Pandits and Bangladeshi Hindus - and Meenakshi Jain, who authored an NCERT medieval India textbook in the Vajpayee days, are also on the list.

Retired Manipur professor Gangumei Kamei, once a BJP poll candidate, also figures in the list.

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