The History and Culture of the Indian People

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The History and Culture of the Indian People


This magnum opus is the first history of India written exclusively by her own people that vividly evokes the authentic spirit of Indian history, culture and civilization. Divided into 11 volumes under the General Editorship of Dr. R. C. Majumdar, it involves works of 80 distinguished scholars.

The History and Culture of the Indian People

Release First Volume - 1951
Type Non-Fiction Book Series
Volumes 11
Genre Non-Fiction; History
First Volume The Vedic Age; Volume 1
Author R. C. Majumdar & 80 others
Language English
Completion 32 Years
Last Volume Struggle for Freedom; Volume 11
General Editor R. C. Majumdar
Publisher Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan

The History and Culture of the Indian People is the first history of India written exclusively by her own people which brings to bear on the problems a detached and critical appreciation. A team of over sixty scholars of repute present herein a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the political, socio-economic and cultural history of the Indian people. It vividly evokes, as never before, the authentic spirit and pageant of Indian history, culture and civilization. All extent source material and researches are availed of by the authors in meticulously reconstructing the annals of the various periods. Each volume in this series is fully documented and carries numerous plates, maps and plans. It is a living record, as it were, of the whole gamut of our national life-our aspirations, striving and attainments of every sphere of human endeavour-in the course of over 5000 years to this day. This monumental project under the General Editorship of the noted historian, Dr. R.C. Majumdar, captaining a team of 80 distinguished scholars-each a specialist in his chosen field-took 32 long years for completion. [ref]

This magnum opus on the history of India is divided into 11 volumes.

General Editorship

Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar was one of the greatest historians of Bharatavarsh. Authored under his general editorship, the 11-Volume magnum opus - The History and Culture of the Indian People, provides with the first magisterial account of the history of India written by her own people.

Volumes

Volume 1 - The Vedic Age

The first volume of this history begins with an introductory section dealing with certain general topics bearing upon the history of India as a whole. Although dealing with the Vedic age, it gives the necessary geological, geographical and biological background before proceeding to the first state of human activity in India. The third section is devoted to a general consideration of the Indo-Aryans; the fourth deals with the political history of the period and the remaining sections, social and economic conditions, and religion and philosophy. In short, this volume covers, what may be regarded as, the dawn of Hindu Civilization.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Sri K.N.Dikshit
  • Sri. D.N. Wadia
  • Dr. G.P. Majumdar
  • Prof. B.K. Chatterji
  • Dr. H.D. Sankalia
  • Dr. S.K. Chatterji
  • Dr. A. D. Pusalker
  • Dr. B.K. Ghosh
  • Dr. V.M. Apte
  • Dr. M.A. Mehendale[ref]

Volume 2 - Age of Imperial Unity

Beginning with a kaleidoscopic picture of the general condition of North India in the 6th century B.C., this second volume of the History and Culture of the Indian People depicts in full detail the growth of the Magadhan empire and the Persian and Macedonian invasions; and surveys the ways of the various dynasties like the Mauryas, the Shungas, the Yavanas, the Sakas, the Pahlavas, the Kushanas, the Saka Satraps, the Satavahanas, the Chedis and the Vakatakas. New light is thrown on interesting old problems such as the Kaniska era, the Vikrama and Saka Samvat. The History of South India and Ceylon during this period is treated at length. The history of the period is rounded off with a chapter on India and the Western World, and Colonial and Cultural Expansion.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. B.C. Law
  • Dr. N. Dutt
  • Dr. R.K.Mookerjee
  • Dr. J. N. Banerjea
  • Dr. H.C. Raychaudhuri
  • Dr. A. D. Pusalkar
  • Dr. D.C. Sarkar
  • Dr. A.M. Ghatage
  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr. V.M. Apte
  • Dr. S.K. Aiyangar
  • Dr. T.M.P. Mahadevan
  • Dr. M.A. Mehendale
  • Prof. H.D. Bhattacharyya
  • Prof. H.D. Velankar
  • Prof. U.C. Bhattacharjee
  • Dr. K.R.S. Iyengar
  • Prof. S.K.Saraswati
  • Dr. Beni Prasad
  • Dr. N.R.Ray
  • Dr. U.N. Ghoshal

39 plates adequately illustrate the best specimens of the unique artistic achievements of this period. [ref]

Volume 3 - The Classical Age

In the early chapters of this Volume the authors have taken as their focal point the political history of India, the rise, decline and fall of the Gupta Empire and have brought the history of the subsequent period into perspective. Special emphasis has been laid on the work of the Chalukyas and the Pallavas in the South who took up the thread left by the Guptas in the North and achieved political unit in the Deccan and South India, thereby, envisaging the political ideal of a federation of the three regional units. The cultural movements which accompanied these events have also been traced. During this period there were established those rock like foundations which were to culminate in the highest peak of Hinduism; of these we may cite the Ramayana and Mahabharata among the epics, the vast Puranic lore, and Vishnavism and Saivism in the field of religion. Then, Sanskrit as the lingua franca of educated India cut across all disunity; but more than this, we find the cultural hands of India, stretching across her natural boundaries even as far as Central and Eastern Asia, thus establishing "Greater India".

The contributors to this Volume are:

  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Prof. R. Sathianathaier
  • Prof. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri
  • Dr. M. A. Mehendale
  • Dr. G.V. Devasthali
  • Dr.K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Prof. H.D. Velankar
  • Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt
  • Dr. U.N. Ghoshal
  • Dr. A. D. Pusalkar
  • Dr. J.N. Banerjea
  • Dr. T.M.P. Mahadevan
  • Dr. A.M. Ghatage
  • Prof. U.C. Bhattacharjee
  • Prof. H.D. Bhattacharyya
  • Dr. Nihar Ranjan Ray
  • Prof. S.K. Saraswati
  • Dr. D.C. Sircar

39 plates adequately illustrate the best specimens of the unique artistic achievements of this period. [ref]

Volume 4 - The Age of Imperial Kanauj

The history of the period covered by this volume revolves round the pivot to Kanauj from which it derives its name. The part played by Kabul and Zabul in resisting Muslim infiltration has for the first been brought into proper perspective. The Nagara and Dravida types of architecture take definite shape. The monolith Kailasa temple at Ellora remains an unique achievement with no parallel in the history of Indian architecture. The volume ends up with a brilliant chapter on the trans-oceanic cultural activities of the period. A comprehensive index, exhaustive bibliography, chronology, genealogy and maps complete the uniqueness of the volume.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. A.S. Altekar
  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr. D.C. Ganguly
  • Dr.D.C.Sircar
  • Prof. R. Sathianathaier
  • Dr. G.V.Devasthali
  • Prof. H.D.Velankar
  • Dr. A.D. Pusalkar
  • Dr. H.L.Jain
  • Dr.K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Dr. U.N.Ghoshal
  • Dr. J.N.Banerjee
  • Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt
  • Prof. H.D. Bhattacharyya
  • Dr. T.M.P.Mahadevan
  • Prof. U.C.Bhattacharjee
  • Sri.J.S.Taraporewala. [ref]

Volume 5 - The Struggle For Empire

Roughly covering the period from A.D. 1000 to 1300, this volume the fifth in the series, deals with the transition period that marks the end of independent Hindu rule and the beginning of the dominance of Turkish tribes over a large part of India. The unsuccessful efforts of the Turkish invaders in North India, of the Chalukyas in the Deccan, and of the Cholas in South India, as well as of individual rulers, both in the north and in the south, which characterise this period, account for the title The Struggle for Empire of this volume. Altogether this volume gathers for the first time the history of not less than fifty dynasties and their success in the fields of art and architecture, literature, law and administration. There is an elaborate treatment of Sanskrit and a Sanskritic and Dravidian literature in the chapter on "Language and Literature", in which Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Telugu make their first appearance. The volume is profusely illustrated with fifty seven text-figures, fifty seven plates and two maps. At the end appears an exhaustive bibliography, chronology, genealogy and a comprehensive index.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. D.C.Ganguly
  • Sri. Nihar Ranjan Ray
  • Dr. Paramatma Saran
  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr. D.C.Sarkar
  • Dr.A.B.M. Habibullah Dewan Bhadur
  • Prof. R.Sathianathaier
  • Dr.U.N.Ghoshal
  • Dr. A.D.Puslakar
  • Dr. R.G.Harshe
  • Dr. K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Prof. N.N.Das Gupta
  • Dr. T.M.P.Mahadevan
  • Sri M.W.Mirza
  • Sri. S.K.Saraswati
  • Dr.S.Krishnaswami Aiyanagar
  • Dr.M.A.Mehendale
  • Prof.H.D.Velankar
  • Dr.S.K.Chatterji
  • Dr.H.C.Bhayani
  • Dr.H.L.Jain
  • Prof.U.C.Bhattacharjee. [ref]

Volume 6 - The Delhi Sultanate

This Volume deals with the period from the accession of the Khaljis on the throne of Delhi to the First Battle of Panipat which laid the foundations of the Mughul Empire. The Muslim Sultans of Delhi never ruled over even a major part of India, except during two brief periods of about twenty years each. For the rest, the history of India was really the history of a large number of independent States under both Hindu and Muslim rulers. That India has not shared the fate of other countries in Asia overrun by Muslim forces in chiefly due to these states, and hence their history has been dealt with in some detail. The period witnessed the settlement of Muslims on a large scale in India. The period is also remarkable for the rise of a number of religious leaders like Ramananda, Kabir, Chaitanya and Nanka who ushered in a new phase of mystic devotionalism in Indian religion, the influence of which may still be felt. Special chapters have been devoted to the Islamic political theory and administrate organization as well as the social condition of Indian Muslims.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr.S.Roy
  • Dr.A.K.Majumdar
  • Dr.P.M.Joshi
  • Sri S.Dutta
  • Dr.H.A.Mehendale
  • Dr.S.K.Chatterjee
  • Dr.M.Ishaque
  • Dr.U.N.Ghoshal
  • Sri S.K. Saraswati
  • Sri.N.B.Ray
  • Dr.N.Venkataramanayya
  • Dr.I.H.Qureshi
  • Dr.A.D.Pusalkar
  • Dr.K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Dr.D.C.Sarkar
  • Dr.M.W.Mirza
  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr.Hameeduddin. [ref]

Volume 7 - The Mughal Empire

This Volume deals with the period extending from the first battle of Panipat (1526) in which the Mughul ruler Babur of Kabul defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last Sultan of Delhi, to the death of Aurangzib (1707) who had extended the Mughul empire to the southernmost limit of India. The History of the Mughul Empire forms a memorable chapter in the history of India. The volume contains the life and activities of a number of distinguished personalities such as Sher Shah, Akbar, Nur Jahan, Aurangazeb, Shivaji and Guru Govind Singh, a galaxy of Pathan, Mughul and Indian heroes and heroines, who have shed lustre on the Age. The life and activities of a forgotten Hindu hero, Himu, have been brought to light in this volume. Hemachandra was the first and the last Hindu who assumed the imperial status in North India after the defeat and death of Prithviraja nearly eight hundred years before. A critical account has been given of the rise of two great military powers in India - the Marathas and Sikhs - and the beginnings of the settlements of the Europeans - who were defined to overthrow the Mughul power and play a dominant role in Indian history.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr.R.C. Majumdar
  • Sri A.L.Srivastava
  • Dr.S.Roy
  • Dr.J.N.Chaudhuri
  • Prof.Abdur Rashid
  • G.S.Sardesai
  • Dr.H.R.Gupta
  • Dr.A.K.Majumdar
  • Sri.Raghuvir Sing
  • Dr.N.Venkataramanayya
  • Prof.Rao Sahib C.S.Srinivasachari
  • Prof.Sri Ram Sharma
  • Dr.S.K.Chatterji
  • Dr.M.G.Bhagat
  • Prof. G.S.Talib
  • Dr.S.G.Malshe
  • Prof.S.A.Gavaskar
  • Sri.K.R.S.Iyengar
  • Dr.S.V.Joga Rao
  • Prof. S.Srikanta Sastri
  • Dr.S.K.Nayar
  • Dr.S.H.Ritti
  • Dr.Abdus Subhan
  • Dr.B.B.Majumdar
  • Dr.M.W.Mirza
  • Dr.P.N.Chopra,
  • Prof.S.K.Saraswati
  • Dr.Ashok Kumar Das.

77 plates (5 in colour) adequately illustrate the best specimens of the unique artistic achievements of this period. [ref]

Volume 8 - The Maratha Supremacy

It deals with the period from the death of Aurangzib (1707) to the third Anglo-Maratha (1818). It was an eventful period that witnessed the end of Muslim rule, the rise and fall of the Maratha empire and the foundation of British empire in India. With the death of emperor Aurangzib vanished the glory and prestige of the Mughal empire. The governors of distant provinces assumed indigence for all practical purposes. The Rajputs, the Sikhs, the Jats, the Bundelas and the Marathas all started thinking in terms of independence and challenged the might of the empire. The Marathas proved the most successful of the lot, liberated their homeland and carried the war into the enemy's country. Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath set on the bold adventure of participating in the imperial affairs by the treaty of 1718. Under his son and grandson, Peshwa Baji Rao and Balaji Rao, participation made way for direction and control. All this while, the British were pushing forward their conquests from the East and the South, and it was clear they would one day clash with the Marathas for supremacy. British diplomacy created disarray among Maratha chiefs and fought them separately. A sleepy, inert, feudal society was overpowered by an aggressive imperialism. The self-sufficient economy based on domestic consumption was shattered first by the extraordinary privileges the British conquerors claimed for themselves, and later by the unequal competition of the Industrial Revolution of the West.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr.R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr.B.P.Sakshena
  • Dr.V.G.Dighe
  • Dr.K.K.Datta
  • Dr.H.R.Gupta
  • Sri.Raghubir Singh
  • Dr.J.N.Chaudhuri
  • Dr.S.V.Puntambekar
  • Dr.A.C.Banerjee
  • Prof. Rao Sahib C.S.Srinivasachari
  • Sri.A.P.Das Gupta
  • Dr.S.N.Sen
  • Dr.N.K.Sinha
  • Dr.S.N.Qanungo
  • Dr.D.N.Banerjee
  • Dr.Ramanlal C.Shah
  • Dr. R.V.Herwadkar
  • Prof. K.R.Srinivasava Iyengar
  • Dr.S.V.Joga Rao
  • Prof. S.Srikantha Sastri
  • Prof.S.K.Nayar
  • Prof. A.N.Jafree
  • Sri Ram Panjwani
  • Sri Abdus Subhan
  • Sri S.A.Upadhyaya
  • Prof. Radha Kamal Mukherjee [ref]

Volume 9 - British Paramountcy And Indian Renaissance - Part 1

This volume deals with the political history and economic conditions of India from 1818 to 1905. It describes the nature of British rule in India for nearly a century after the British had become the dominant political power. It is not mere chronicle of events nor a kind of Gazetteer giving meticulous details of administration. It also seeks to draw in true colour the colonial imperialism and the economic exploitation which formed the real back-ground of British rule in India in the nineteenth century. The wars in the Punjab, Sindh and Burma have been dealt with in detail in order to show that they were prompted by the deliberate policy of expansion, and the two wars against Afghanistan, whose cost was borne by India, were the direct consequences of British imperialism. Care has been taken to show that not withstanding all these evils the British rule in India has conferred many benefits and does not suffer in any way in comparison with foreign rule in any age or country. The book is not designed to be an indictment, but a dispassionate judgment, of British rule in India.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. K.K.Datta
  • Sardar K.M.Panikkar
  • Dr. Raghubir Singh
  • Dr. S.B. Chaudhuri
  • Dr. A. Tripathi
  • Dr. P.N.Chopra
  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr. A.K.Majumdar
  • Dr. D.K.Ghose. [ref]

Volume 10 - British Paramountcy And Indian Renaissance - Part 2

The ninth volume of this series deals with the political history and economic conditions of India from A.D. 1818 to 1905. The tenth volume, deals with the other important aspect of the history of the Indian people during the same period, laying special emphasis on the Renaissance in the 19th century which has transformed India from a Medieval to a Modern country. It begins with a short account of the general conditions of the Indian people at the beginning of the 19th century and then proceeds to show how English education was gradually introduced to India in spite of the opposition of early British rulers. 

This volume deals with the history of the Indian people and of the great movements and personalities in India during the nineteenth century in a manner that has not been attempted in any previous history of India.

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr.K.M.Munshi
  • Dr.K.K.Datta
  • Dr. M.Wahid Mirza
  • Dr. S.K.Chaterji
  • Sri.K.P. Kulkarni
  • Dr.S.V.Joga Rao
  • Sri T.K.Parameswaran Nair
  • Dr.K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Sri V.N.Datta
  • Dr. A.K.Majumdar
  • Dr.D.K.Ghose
  • Sri S. Srikantha Sastri [ref]

Volume 11 - Struggle For Freedom

This, the concluding volume of the History and Culture of the Indian People, deals with the momentous period in the history of Modern India beginning with the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal in 1905 and ending with the achievement of freedom from British yoke in 1947. The main emphasis is naturally laid on the struggle for freedom in various shapes and forms, such as the constitutional agitation by the Indian National Congress, Home Rule Movements of Besant and Tilak, Revolutionary Movements by Secret Societies (miscalled Terrorism by the British Government), the Non-violent Non-co-operation and Civil disobedience by Mahatma Gandhi, the Quit India Movement ending in the great upsurge of 1942, and the armed invasion of the Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National Army) of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Co-operation with the forces of Japan. All these narrated in great details along with the vain attempts made by the British rulers to pacify the country by grants of successive doses of reforms in 1909, 1919 and 1953. A critical appraisal of the different forms of India's struggle for freedom with special reference to the value of their contribution towards its ultimate success is a special feature of this volume. [ref]

The contributors to this volume are:

  • Dr. R.C. Majumdar
  • Dr. Srikumar Banerjee
  • Prof. S.K.Saraswati
  • Dr.S.B. Chaudhari
  • Dr. P.N.Chopra
  • Dr. Tapankumar Ray Chaudhari
  • Dr. A.K. Majumdar                      

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