Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History

Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History

Romila Thapar / Sep 17, 2019

Somanatha The Many Voices of a History In Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the Hindu temple of Somanatha Somnath in textbooks of the colonial period The story of the raid has reverberated in Indian history but largely during the raj I

  • Title: Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History
  • Author: Romila Thapar
  • ISBN: 9781844670208
  • Page: 109
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1026, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the Hindu temple of Somanatha Somnath in textbooks of the colonial period The story of the raid has reverberated in Indian history, but largely during the raj It was first depicted as a trauma for the Hindu population not in India, but in the House of Commons The triumphalist accounts of the event in Turko Persian chronicles becIn 1026, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the Hindu temple of Somanatha Somnath in textbooks of the colonial period The story of the raid has reverberated in Indian history, but largely during the raj It was first depicted as a trauma for the Hindu population not in India, but in the House of Commons The triumphalist accounts of the event in Turko Persian chronicles became the main source for most eighteenth century historians It suited everyone and helped the British to divide and rule a multi millioned subcontinent.In her new book, Romila Thapar, the doyenne of Indian historians, reconstructs what took place by studying other sources, including local Sanskrit inscriptions, biographies of kings and merchants of the period, court epics and popular narratives that have survived The result is astounding and undermines the traditional version of what took place These findings also contest the current Hindu religious nationalism that constantly utilises the conventional version of this history.

    Somnath temple Etymology The temple is considered sacred due to the various legends connected to it Somnath means Lord of the Soma, an epithet of Shiva. The Somnath temple is known as the Shrine Eternal, following a book of K M Munshi by this title and his narration of the temple s destruction and reconstruction many times in history. Jyotirlinga According to tradition, the Shivalinga in Somnath Basava Basava was born in CE in the town of Basavan bagewadi in north Karnataka, to Madarasa and Madalambike, a Kannada Brahmin family devoted to Hindu deity Shiva He was named Basava, a Kannada form of the Sanskrit Vrishabha in honor of Nandi bull carrier of Shiva and the local Shaivism tradition. Basava grew up in Kudalasangama northeast Karnataka , near the banks of rivers Krishna A walking tour of Chandni Chowk, oct Delhi Heritage Walks Old Delhi is a fantastic location to trace different phases of Indian history This Sunday our heritage walk focused on exploring Chandni Chowk, the main street of the city of Shahjahanabad, to understands the ups downs, changes in Mughal rule the arrival of British. Prahlaada dvaita Sri Vyaasa Trtha Sri Vysa Trtha a short sketch Sri Vysa Trtha is probably the scholar of Tattvavda held in highest esteem next to Sri Jayatrtha. The Rudra of svetasvatara upanishad and Vedas is Umapati Apr , The unborn Rudra of Svetaswatara Upanishad and Sata Rudriya hymn is Umapati Mahadeva beyond doubt Aurangzeb, as he was according to Mughal Records Introduction Aurangzeb, Emperor Shah Jahan s sixth child, was born on th October at Dohad in Madhya Pradesh, and wrested India s crown from his father before the end of June , after defeating his brother Crown Prince Dara Shukoh s armies, first at Dharmat near Ujjain th April and again at Samugarh on th May The War of Succession to the richest throne in the

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    About "Romila Thapar"

      • Romila Thapar

        Romila Thapar is an Indian historian and Professor Emeritus at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi A graduate from Panjab University, Dr Thapar completed her PhD in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.Her historical work portrays the origins of Hinduism as an evolving interplay between social forces Her recent work on Somnath examines the evolution of the historiographies about the legendary Gujarat temple.Thapar has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the College de France in Paris She was elected General President of the Indian History Congress in 1983 and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 1999.


    105 Comments

    1. Once upon a time there were no Hindus and Muslims in India but a rich and diverse culture with Turks, Persians, Arabs, Jains & Shivas. There was a temple in Somanatha dedicated to Shiva which was never actually destroyed by the Mahmud Ghazni, never once let alone seventeen times. The whole story is apocryphal, concatenated by the Colonists to foster their own take on history which was a pretty straight forward story, Muslims terrorised Hindus for centuries, forcibly converting them and destr [...]


    2. It was an incredibly slow book to read, but at the end of the day it feels like it was worth it.Romila Thapar has undertaken a painstaking trawl through various sources which talk about the Somanatha Temple in southern Gujarat. The temple shot to limelight in recent history when it became a centre-piece (and excuse) for a struggle in the late 19th Century between British India and Afghanistan according to Thapar. Popular history in India suggests that Somanatha was desecrated and its idol destro [...]


    3. Somnatha – The Many voices of a history is a detailed research work by Romila Thapar with an attempt to weave these numerous voices using a comparative outlook of an unbiased researcher to reconstruct the history of Somnatha and to place each narrative, often resembling fantasy, in their own historical contexts. Romila Thapar narrates and analyzes these accounts dividing the book in unequal distinct sections. The Turko Persian narratives typically resembles the conquerer’s voice of telling t [...]


    4. One must always revisit the "truths" of the past since they all have political motivations- in India this is true especially for all "facts" that are adduced in favor of the current Hindu right agenda.




    5. The book is very relevant in the world today when the debate of religious intolerance is of growing concern. Romila Thapar has brilliantly summarized the description of the same event: the raid of Somanath Temple in 1026 AD by Mahmud of Ghazni by various sources at various eras and how each source molded the description of the event to suit its own political agenda and the manipulation and molding continues even today, 2000 years after. Many people have reviewed the book as a slow read but I had [...]


    6. Prose is Romila Thaper like; what else one can say? Her style of trying to be empirical and staying away from popular historical myths makes reading her at time excruciating. But she always has a counter point that one can ruminate on.Now I'm left to wonder if Mahmoud of Ghazni is not that big a villain as he is made out to be in the popular history of India. But why would British, merchants and tyrants, contrive to vilify some one of that distant past. Their gains are difficult to fathom.Yes he [...]


    7. its researched all right!! What else does one expect from a historian of this stature!! However, it sets up a narrative of acceptance & doubt of the popular versions of this history- with a discernible slant of a secularist ideology & than goes about proving it tenaciously- almost flogging the hypothesis!! Not a very interesting reading- relying on the reader to be rather well informed!!Again, however, its a great research work!!


    8. This book is specifically for people interested in reading history. The author puts the facts in front of you from various texts dated around the time the events occur and then it is left to your intellect to believe what happened.Brilliantly written bereft of any emotional pleas. completely factual.


    9. It is an incredible book about different voices from history. Romila Thapar has the talent without which the liberal ideas would have been less ventilated in Indian sub continent. I would regards this attempt to explain complex relationship of politics, religion and history as one of the most intelligent and brave cultural effort




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