• History is an Unending Dialogue between the Past and the Present

    Excerpts from Talking History

    Romila Thapar in conversation with Ramin Jahanbegloo & Neeladri Bhattacharya

    October 5, 2017

    Ramin Jahanbegloo, in his introduction to this book of conversations, says, "When… we study Professor Thapar's analyses of early India, we do not have a sense of historiography as a positivistic science, but that of history as an unending dialogue between the past and the present. As a result, this continuous process of interaction between Thapar the historian and the life and mind of those about whom she writes is not solely a reflection on the historical data or events, but also a way of mirroring today's Indian society — the context in which she thinks and works."

     

    Here are two excerpts from the book. The first is from "The Function of a Historian":

     


    The second is from "Communal Ideologies in India":
     

     


     

    Romila Thapar is professor emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has researched and written extensively on early Indian history, including its historiography.

    Ramin Jahanbegloo is professor, vice dean, and executive director of Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana.

    Neeladri Bhattacharya is a professor at the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

    Talking History has been published by Oxford University Press, 360 pages, priced at Rs 795.

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