ICHR plans to hold exhibitions on country’s ‘unexplored dynasties’ | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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ICHR plans to hold exhibitions on country’s ‘unexplored dynasties’

Jan 30, 2023 08:27 AM IST

ICHR will unveil the exhibition, “Glory of medieval India: Manifestation of the explored Indian dynasties” on January 30 at Sahitya Akademi in Delhi.

New Delhi: The Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) is set to take “unexplored dynasties” of India between the eighth and the 18th centuries to educational institutions through physical and virtual exhibitions to demonstrate the “glory of medieval India”, officials aware of the matter said.

ICHR will unveil the exhibition, “Glory of medieval India: Manifestation of the explored Indian dynasties” on January 30 at Sahitya Akademi in Delhi. (HT) PREMIUM
ICHR will unveil the exhibition, “Glory of medieval India: Manifestation of the explored Indian dynasties” on January 30 at Sahitya Akademi in Delhi. (HT)

ICHR will unveil the exhibition, “Glory of medieval India: Manifestation of the explored Indian dynasties” on January 30 at Sahitya Akademi in Delhi. It will stay on display till February 6, said Umesh Kadam, member secretary of ICHR. He said that the exhibition will then be taken to schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

The exhibition is a part of ongoing activities by ICHR to revisit India’s history. The council in 2022 launched a project to “rewrite” India’s history using sources available in vernacular languages and scripts, and announced a project with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to trace the history of India’s contribution in the field of science and technology. It had launched a book titled India: The Mother of democracy.

Explaining the idea behind taking the exhibition to education institutions, Kadam said that the council wanted to create a discourse of revisiting medieval India among students.

“These dynasties have not been made a part of the actual academic world. Even if they are there in the textbooks they are mentioned in passing references, including the Maratha and Vijayanagara dynasties. They are not being taught as a part of full-fledged courses. Therefore, it is important to make students aware about them through different mediums including exhibitions,” he said.

“We want to develop students’ interest in understanding the past of India and its glory, the scientific temperament, the intellectual pursuit, and trade and commerce,” Kadam added.

Some experts said that medieval history in India is largely dominated by the Mughals and the Delhi Sultanate. Harita Arora, a senior history teacher at a Delhi government school in Jaunapur, said, “It is correct that many dynasties have not been given enough space in our school textbooks and even if they are there, they are in passing references only. Since the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasis on ‘know your India’, it is important that students should be told and taught about these local dynasties . Unless they know about these dynasties, they won’t be able to know about the diversity of India.”

The exhibition will consist of 50 panels covering 50 different dynasties from across the country set in medieval India. These will include the Utpala and Lohara dynasties of present-day Kashmir, Somvanshi dynasty of present-day Odisha, Ahom dynasty of Assam, and the Oiniwar, Sena, Soomra, Khaba, and Shilahara dynasties, among others.

Kadam said that the council will be highlighting the culture and different achievements of these dynasties in terms of archaeological, architectural, epigraphical, and technological development, apart from their expertise in fields such as numismatics and water conservation.

ICHR will soon write to the University Grants Commission (UGC), and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), asking them to inform all colleges and universities about the initiative. “We will try to cover as many educational institutions as possible. The council will also release a virtual edition of the exhibition on ICHR website. The educational institutions that will not be able to organise the exhibition physically due to any reason can showcase the digitised edition to the students,” Kadam said.

Awadhesh Kumar Sah, an assistant professor of history at Delhi University, said: “If they are presenting the history of these dynasties with scientific temperament and authentic data and facts, it will definitely be beneficial for students. However, it should not be done merely to create an alternate narrative.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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