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

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Social Change in Ancient India

Social Change in Ancient India D N Jha Ancient Indian Social History by Romila Thapar; Orient Longman,
NEARLY three decades ago Arnaldo Momigliano observed: ''When a man writes in chronological order, but without explaining the facts, -we call him a chronicler; when a man collects all the facts available to him but does not order them systematically, we set him aside as muddle-headed". Unfortunately a major bulk of historical writing produced so far on early India does not rise above the level of mere chronicling of events, or "muddle-headed" history based on uncritical reliance on the, sources. Not surprisingly, works on ent Indian social history have often achieved academic prestige and recognition by no more than providing dry descriptions of the food habits, entertainment, status of various varna groups and position of women, primarily on the basis of literary references unrelated in time and space. Most of the Indian historians have thus failed to go beyond the traditional Anglo-Saxon notion of social history and the corpus of literature on the subject has therefore remained bogged down largely to the visible and surface manifestations of the country's social system without going into its inner dynamics.

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