June 21, 2018

Indian History and the destruction of ancient Buddhist sites [Nalanda was severely damaged in a fire set by Hindu fanatics]

The Caravan

Monumental Absence
The destruction of ancient Buddhist sites
By DN Jha | 1 June 2018

Over his decorated career as a historian, DN Jha has devoted himself to examining flawed views of India’s ancient and medieval past—many of them produced by colonial thinkers—that sustain the Hindu nationalist project. One of his most notable books, The Myth of the Holy Cow, documents the widespread prevalence of beef-eating in ancient India. Another, Rethinking Hindu Identity, argues that the notion of Hinduism as a religion is a colonial construct.

Jha’s new book, Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History, is a collection of essays that, as he writes, “are addressed to the people vulnerable to the balderdash peddled by the Hindu Right.” In this essay, excerpted from the volume, he applies his characteristic combination of polemic and rigour to a greatly disregarded part of Indian history, and points to evidence that shatters the Hindutva notion of a pre-Islamic idyll on the subcontinent. [ . . . ]

FULL TEXT HERE http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reviews-and-essays/dn-jha-destruction-buddhist-sites