Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 02:01:34 UTC 2017

Dear Prof. Paturi,

I beg to differ.  You said

 I can say with certainty that ancient India was never imagined during or
> later to the independence movement, either by the educated Indians or by
> the common public as an India without wars or without harsh punishments or
> without harsh ways of crime control etc. ​

​A few years ago, I had the ​honour to attend a private dinner with one of
India's ambassadors to a European country, together with his lady wife.
During the dinner conversation, Madam Ambassador insisted that there had
never been any conflict in ancient India, that India was a land of peace
and harmony and always had been.  I mentioned several wars in pre-modern
India, but she contradicted me.  I hardly knew what to say, so I stuttered,
"what about the arrival of Islam?"  She said, "when the Muslims arrived, we
welcomed them with open arms as our brothers."  Her husband did not
contradict her.

I do not know what history books this distinguished lady had at school, and
she was not a scholar.  It doesn't matter really.  But she stands as a
clear example of a point of view that certainly exists in the minds of some
people, regardless of social station.


Professor Dominik Wujastyk <http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


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