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

A+| A| A-

Demystifying Indian Culture and Heritage

Indian Cultures as Heritage: Contemporary Pasts by Romila Thapar, New Delhi: Aleph Book Company, 2018; pp xl + 222, 599.


The book under review begins by focusing on the multifaceted dimensions of Indian culture through time, and urging for locating what we identify as heritage in their wider context with reference to the artisan, patron, the times that produced them, and conditions that allowed for their persistence. Usually, it is the dominant cultures across time and space that are seen as our cultural pasts, largely because their tangible imprints are easily identifiable in the material remains of past societies. However, it is suggested that this was a perspective derived from our colonial inheritance, and recent perspectives are far more inclusive of the multiplicity of cultures in our historical pasts. What is seen as the culture of the elites or “high culture” was not bounded but shaped in communication and interaction with popular culture all through. The production of objects of art provides a good instance of the meeting of the two cultures. Flowing from it, cultures of the Dasas, Avarnas, Mlecchas, Yavanas, Sakas and Turukshas need to be recognised and retrieved for a better appreciation of our vibrant pasts. Neither cultures nor civilisations were immutable islands and that imposes on us the requirement to perceive them in their interconnectedness.

Cultural Interactions

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Updated On : 24th May, 2019
Back to Top