ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Demythologising Early Indian History

Sukumari Bhattacharji ANCIENT Indian historysocial, religious and cultural is a happy hunting ground for many authors. Today the craze is more noticeable because many authors of a particular political complexion have an axe to grind and the subject offers them an opportunity to twist the existing data in order to propound their theories. Ancient Indian history is a very handy peg on which one can hang chauvinism, fundamentalism, seemingly innocuous vested political interests and presentation of warped social values. The stated aim of some of these authors is to re-interpret ancient Indian historical material, but research or cultivation of history is really of secondary importance, the ulterior motive is to select, reject and present data suitable to their perspective and frequently this is the glorification of the reactionary elements in Indian history.

Understanding Caste

grand themes like metropolitan exploitation of the colonies" (p 30). (See p 135 for a rather disparaging remark of Keynes on this matter.) But in regard to the Council bills, for his lectures at Cambridge and London on the Indian monetary system, was Keynes not aware of Goschen's unequivocal assertion in his report to the Mouse of Commons in 1876 that these bills affected India's ability to import silver, or of the series of articles on silver and the home charges that Bagehot wrote at that time (reprint published by H S King, London, 1877)? Bagehot had no hesitation in calling these charges "tribute", for "such economically it is". Among the effects of imposing a tribute on the industry of a dependent country, Bagehot gave the first place to driving away all cosmopolitan capital which can carry on business elsewhere. And, as a rule, the effect of the tribute will be to lower prices. Given the usual assumptions of classical economics, the employment effect had to wait for recognition till Keynes's General Theory, though some empirical studies of the early 19(X)s were pointing to it. Marshall too had referred to them in memoranda and oral evidences submitted to various enquiry bodies during the 1880s and the 1890s. Speaking before the Gold and Silver Commission, he stated categorically that "I consider that this [Council bills representing payments fixed in gold) is a disturbing element in the trade of India". In the controversy with Ohlin on reparations (Economic Journal, 1929) Keynes refused to perceive the shifts of purchasing power associated with international transfers. That the process of effecting these large transfers (laying aside for analysis their specific content) relentlessly over decades generated massive secular deflation and arrested growth was never recognised.

Economic Rights of Ancient Indian Women

Sukumari Bhattacharji A perusal of various ancient texts indicates that there has never been a time when women's labour at home, however heavy, was regarded as productive. Women's sole worth lay in their reproductive role and even there she was seen as the 'field', the 'harvest' belonging to the seed owner This article examines the literature of the Dharmasutra, including the two epics, briefly touches Buddhist and Jain literature and ends with a closer look at the later Dharmasastras, It focuses on the economic rights of maiden daughters, women at marriage, women after marriage, wives, widows, unchaste women and prostitutes.

New Education Policy and Sanskrit

New Education Policy and Sanskrit Sukumari Bhattacharji The Vishva Hindu Parishad has brought out a pamphlet criticising the New Education Policy for its supposed neglect of Sanskrit THE Vishva Hindu Parishad has brought out a 16-page booklet Nai Shiksha Niti Ka Sanskrit par Prahaar (The New Education Policy's blow to Sanskrit'). As is expected, this pamphlet has a big lOm' on top; the author is Acharya Ramnath Suman, the great councillor, Vishva Hindu Parishad. It was published from New Delhi a few months back.

Motherhood in Ancient India

This paper examines the role of women as mothers in ancient India as revealed in the various texts and locates society's attitude to women in material production. The woman was the human counterpart of land in a patri- archally organised agricultural society

Early Subordination

Early Subordination Sukumari Bhattacharji The Perfect Wife: The Orthodox Hindu Woman According to the Stridharmapaddhali of Tryambakayajvan by I Julia Leslie; Oxford University Press, 1989; Rs 225.
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