Indian Tradition | Aster Classes

Historiography Chapter 2 : Indian Tradition

Complete the sentence by choosing a correct option.

1._____________was the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. 

  • Alexander Cunningham 
  •  William Jones 
  • John Marshall
  • Friedrich Max Muller

_______________translated the Sanskrit text of ‘Hitopadesh’. 

  • James Mill 
  • Friedrich max Muller 
  •  Mountstuart Elphinstone 
  • Sir John Marshall

_______________translated the Sanskrit text of ‘Hitopadesh’. 

  • James Mill 
  • Friedrich max Muller 
  •  Mountstuart Elphinstone 
  • Sir John Marshall

Identify the wrong pair in the following, correct it and rewrite.

‘Who were the Shudras’ – Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar 

‘Stri-Purush Tulana’ – Feminist writing 

‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ –  Marxist History  

Grant Duff – Colonial History


The correct pair is ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ – Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Explanation – Nationalist historiography led to the movement by the Indian people against the British rule. Related to this, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar wrote the book called ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ which explains in detail about the revolt of 1857 which Indians fought against Britishers.

Explain the following with its reason. 

1.Writing of the regional history received a momentum. 


The writings of Indian historians who were trained in the British educational system show an inclination to restore the pride in the ancient glory of India and the self- esteem of the Indian readers.

The nationalistic historiography helped in the triggering of the independence movement of the Indian people against the British.

In this aspect, the book, ‘The Indian War of Independence, 1857’, written by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is of great importance.

Also, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, who criticised the prejudiced history of ancient India written by British Officers, inspired the nationalistic writings in Maharashtra.

Thus, nationalistic historiography provided momentum to the writing of regional histories, which drew the attention of historians to the geographic conditions and history of south Indian regions.

2.Bakhar is an important type of historical documents.


Bakhar is a historical document of the medieval period.

It is important because it contains the history of kings, battles, great men, historical events and many more.

It is considered to be a part of Marathi literature and is of various types, examples- Sabhasad Bakhar, Panipatachi Bakhar, etc.

Answer the following in 25-30 words. 

1.Which things are included in the descriptions by Emperor Babur in his autobiography ?


Emperor Babur wrote his autobiography titled ‘Tuzuk-i-babari’ in which he gives us details about the battles he fought during his reign.

Also, he included what he observed during his journey to various cities and regions like the customs, traditions, local economy, etc.

2.What is the contribution of Svatantryaveer Savarkar to nationalistic historiography?


Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as ‘Svatantrya veer Savarkar’ contributed greatly to nationalistic historiography by writing about the regional history which is based on the struggle of the Indians against the British rule of the particular region.

Because of this, historians started taking into consideration the history of south India and other geographical locations.

Write detailed answer to the following question : 

1.What is Marxist History? 


The Marxist theory is the school of historiography which considers the effect that occurs from the particular social event and its significance in the society.

The Marxist writings include the need for the means and the modes of production and industrial relations.

In India, the Marxist writings include the caste system as the main theme, and the changes happened in the caste system.

The Indian scholars who adopted a Marxist method of writing history are – Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Ram Sharan Sharma, SA Dange, etc. Comrade Dange wrote the book titled ‘Primitive communism to slavery’ which considers the Marxist method of writing history.

2.What is the contribution of Itihasacharya V.K. Rajwade to historiography  ?


Itihasacharya V.K. Rajwade wrote history on various topics in Marathi. He also compiled, edited and wrote various scholarly works. He contributed to historiography through various means such as:-

(i) He suggested that the individual should write his own history.

(ii) According to him, history should include all the aspects of the past human societies.

(iii) History should be collected from the various sources which should be authentic in nature.

Complete the Following Chart.

1.Complete the following chart.

James Mill ‘The History of British India’ 
James Grant Duff_____________
_______________‘The History of India’ 
S.A. Dange _____________
_______________‘Who were the Shudras’


James Mill ‘The History of British India’ 
James Grant DuffA History of Mahrattas
Mount Stuart Elphinstone‘The History of India’ 
S.A. Dange “Primitive Communism to Slavery”
Dr . BR Ambedkar‘Who were the Shudras’

Complete the following concept chart . 


Purpose of HistoriographyDescriptions of the Battle fought by BaburHistory Of kashmirThe reigh of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja
Ziauddin BaraniEmperor BaburkalhanaKrishnaji Anant Sabhasad
Tarikh I Phiruz-ShahiTuzuk – i – BabariRajtaranginiSabhasad Bakhar           

Explain the following concept. 

1.Orientalist historiography. 


Orientalist school of historiography includes the thoughts of the Europeans who showed interest in the civilisations, and the countries of the east as they encouraged and respected their history too. These scholars came to be known as the Orientalist.

Their focus was on Sanskrit literature, Vedic culture, and traditions.

They found the similarities between the Sanskrit and the European languages which helped them in formulating the belief that ancient language is the mother of all the Indo-European languages.

The notable Orientalist is Friedrich Max Muller who expressed his interest in Sanskrit literature and translated the Sanskrit text of ‘Hitopadesh.’

2.Nationalistic historiography. 


Nationalist historiography is one of the schools of historiography which includes all those historical writings which are related to India’s war of independence, and the related events.

These are the writings of the Indian historians who wrote about the nationalistic movement held in different parts of India.

They wanted to reveal the ancient history and the golden era of India.

They opposed those British scholars who wrote about the history of ancient India in a biased manner and for avoiding the objective truth of the historical events.

Some of the notable scholars under Nationalistic historiography are Mahadev Govind Ranade, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Radha Kumud Mukherjee and many more.

3. Subaltern history. 


The term subaltern means ‘bottommost ranks.’

It was Antonio Gramsci who considered important that history should also include the bottommost rank of the society.

Thus, subaltern school of historiography came into existence.

Subaltern history became an important academic school of historiography after Ranjit Guha included this concept in his writings.

Before this, this idea of including bottommost ranks in the history was taken into consideration by the scholars like Mahatma Phule.

The term ‘shudras’ or the ‘atishudras’ is used for the bottommost rank. The writings of the BR Ambedkar also consider the subaltern school of historiography in his book entitled ‘who were called the shudras’ and ‘The Untouchables.’


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