ICHR controversy (Part 1 of reply to Mr. Dougal)

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 5 04:46:09 UTC 2000

----Original Message Follows----
From: Sundeep Dougal <holden at GIASDL01.VSNL.NET.IN>

SD1:Has  Mr. Aggarwal perhaps read _Investigative Journalism...
VA1: The book is not accessible to me right now but the response to its
citations by you is fairly simple. See below.
SD2:Only 5? Laxmi Srinivas, I am sure, is capable of making many
...........1. Kosambi's _Myth & Reality_.........
Shourie starts by accusing in Chapter 15, that Lord Indra
has been called ' "rowdy and amoral" ' without evidence (p. 156)
Perhaps Shourie was in too much of a hurry to have missed out
the details on pp 19 & 24 of _M&R_? .............

VA2: Shourie is here criticizing the work "Ancient India- An introductory
outline" (1997) and not Dr. Kosambi's work, as is clear from the footnote on
Page 157 of 'Eminent Historians'. Therefore, V Jha's remarks are
mischievous. To continue with Shourie's citations from Jha's book (Pg.
numbers from D. N. Jha's book are in the fns and I have added them in

" Lord Indra is rowdy and amoral (pg. 18). The God Krishna has a rather
questionable personal record (pg. 91). Lord Shiva is just a development of
Phallic cults (pg. 90). Bhakti is just the reflection of the complete
dependence of the serfs or tenants on the landowners in the context of
Indian feudal society (pg.xvii)."
I need not comment on these statements of the Secularist Historian D. N. Jha
In short, you have been taken for a ride and Shourie's criticism stands.
2. Kalidasa (see pg 6&7 of the Sahmat booklet)
Shourie argues while that the Soviet historians appreciated the
Indian Civilization in full measure, the Indian Marxists exerted to
belittle them as much as they could, that while, e.g. K.Anatova,
G.Bongard-Levin & G.Kotovsky recognised Kalidasa as 'one
of the pearls of ancient Indian Literature' etc. the Indians _in
contrast_ did not.
(Pg 174-177 where he discusses D.N.Jha's work)

VA3: The SAHMAT booklet is again innaccurate. Shourie *does not* state or
imply any such thing in pages 174-177 of his book!!! There is no mention of
Russians in these pages except for the last short sentence which has nothing
to do with Levin etc. However, the Soviet Historians are mentioned in the
following chapter and I will deal with the matter in my next post. Here,
Shourie is merely referring to Dr. D. N. Jha's thesis (and the arguments
given by Dr. D. N. Jha to justify it) that the 'Gupta age was not the Golden
age of India.' You may read the details of this thesis in Chapter 8 of
Ancient India In Historical Outline; D. N. Jha; Manohar (Publisher); New
Delhi; 1998
Compare Shourie's book with the original by D N Jha and you will see that
Shourie's criticism stands.

SD4: One may justifiably, and only incidentally wonder why he doesn't
discuss the 'other eminence' R.S. Sharma on Kalidasa. Could it be
that because his _Ancient India_ states, inter alia: 'Kalidasa wrote
_Abhijnananshakuntalam_ .................
VA4: Because the entire chapter 15 of Shourie's book deals with D N Jha's
text only. Dr. Ram Sharan Sharma or Dr. Dharmanand Kosambi have not been
invoked. Therefore, the comments of the SAHMAT booklet are misleading, as is
often the case with the works and articles of 'secularist'/Marxist authors.

In the passing, I mention that SAHMAT means "Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust"
and is named after 'Safdar Hashmi" who was murdered allegedly by Congress I
goons. The trust has been, at times linked to CPI(m) and at other times to
Congress I and once, even to the BJP--an indication of the changing
political equations in India. Cn send you URL's for a further elaboration on
this privately.

Rest in the next post........

Best regards from a fellow Dilliwalla

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