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Book Reviews

Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders till 1206 AD – my review

The premise is both interesting and valid. Hindu resistance to early Muslim invasions is not a subject that has received a lot of attention from our prominent historians. It is a fact that it took a few centuries for Islamic invaders to establish a permanent foothold, and eventually empire, in India and the subject deserves its due recognition; that is something this book seeks to remedy.
The book suffers from a few faults though. The first is the paucity of epigraphic evidence from Indian sources: we just weren’t good at recording history for posterity. Most of the information in here comes from Arab, and later, Persian authors and chroniclers. These data necessarily suffer from bias, cherry-picking, and lack of accuracy. The second is the author’s attempt to explain the reasons for the eventual failure of the Rajputs to keep the invaders at bay. This is where the book really gets off the rails and we are treated to harangues about loss of moral fabric (re: Khajuraho et al) and similar other tropes. The author’s claims that Indian society was a just, peaceful utopia before the invasions began do not ring true and tend to reveal his agendum behind it all.
Still, it is a book worth reading even with all the typos and spelling errors and what not; this is not information that is provided in mainstream texts, and most of it is not generally available or known. But someone proofread it, please!

About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders till 1206 AD – my review

  1. History is written by the victors, of course. I wonder whether the lack of written Indian evidence might in part be due to its being destroyed by the Muslim conquerors? Impossible to say, i suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Mick Canning | 09/07/2019, 1:02 PM
    • On the contrary, there is ample evidence from Muslim chroniclers that books were burned by the thousands. Entire libraries were turned to ashes. That said, some evidence would still have survived of the practice of recording history were widespread which it was not, unfortunately. Most “evidence” comes from narratives written by Chinese pilgrims and Muslim travelers and so on, with scant rock carvings and bronze plates &c filling up a few blanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      Posted by hbhatnagar | 09/07/2019, 7:14 PM

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