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Sumir Sharma

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About Sumir Sharma

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    Ludhiana, Punjab, India

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  1. Some Secondary and Primary Sources on Indian History

    Interesting question. I would have thought there must be some history teachers who have produced materials for their students whose students and parents came from India. I used to know a teacher called Frank Roberts from London who produced some good materials on India. Spartacus published three short books on Indian history written by British teachers. They are not currently online. However, when I get time, I will put the one that I did on the web. Hi John, It is really a long to time to respond to you and even more fascinating is to pick an old thread to do that. Anyhow, I am catching up with you people and I am here in response to the query raised by Andy Walker given above. I have also developed a website which I am going to use for my students. There will be lot of material in Hindi, which I am afraid will not be useful for people here. However, I am also be developing the contents in English for some of my students. I am working on a different paradigm but anyhow, I am mentioning it here because somewhere I was made to tread the path of ICT after reading about the activities of the teachers while exchanging their views. It was other thing, University Grant Commission, the main body in India, directing the quality of the education in India, had been talking about the ICT in 2004 when you invited me to this forum. India is having a dedicated satellite Edusat, and a television broadcasting channel like Gyandarshan Well, I may not be using some archival material but, let us see, what I am going to do during this session with this website. The site url is sumir.co.in One thing more, I will be basically catering to the requirements of the students of Punjab University Chandigarh at Undergraduate level and Post graduate. Here in India, the syllabus is decided by the university. In case of India, the syllabus remains same for years to together. Anyhow, that is a different issue.
  2. Working of Ideology in History Writing

    That is an idea that has long occurred to me when thinking about historical "conspiracies." How can we say they are plots cooked up by people over long periods of time when the players are constantly changing, some dying off while new ones come on the scene? I have tried, while researching a subject, to insert myself back in time amongst the known conspirators in order to "get into their minds." The only way I know how to do that is to follow the money in their lives. From my own experience I realize that people have as much freedom as their family station and ability to earn money allow them to have. Therefore, I find it essential to know the background and financial status of each person in a particular event; I do genealogical charts on them, trace their educational endeavors, friends, associations and then compare that with what they may have said in public or what has been written about them. It's a time-consuming way to evaluate their true role in history. Since I live in Texas, I have found Texans to be most intriguing, and that is where my research began almost 20 years ago. Why have Texans played such an inordinantly significant place in American history? Beginning with the innocuous Colonel House on down to two Bush presidents? That is the primary focus of my work, including of course the assassination of John Kennedy on Texas soil. What motivated these men (and women) and how can we analyze them in terms of how it happened and why? I recently posted one of my articles on my website, which I entitled "Tilting at Oil Wells." I liked the combined imagery of two overweight Texas oil men, Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson, riding broken-down steeds, attempting to destroy communism, financed by their own luck at striking oil in their East Texas backyards. I have long wanted to write a book, but after working as a researcher for another author, I realized the impossibility of tying myself down to one philosophy of a person. People are living human beings, who change from day to day. All we can do sometimes is just relate the facts as they happened--all the facts--in order to get some type of grasp over the why. Linda, The 'follow the money' is a major tool to get to core of the past activity around a person and group. I fully agree with you. I consider it as a tool to get back into the right flow of forces in order to understand the activities of man. It helped me to understand many topics in a better manner. I was able to recollect the war of succession among the princes of Shahjahan more when I read about the finances of Aurangzeb. Well, the same matrix can help to understand more about the role of East India company in India. I believe that this factor does not remain confine to a single person. It effects the nation. I believe and many South Asian historians also approve this interpretation that actual force to National Struggle for Freedom in India took birth when they developed the economic understanding of the British rule in India. It started with Poverty and Un-British Rule in India by Dada Bhai Naoroji. It was followed by India Today by R P Dutt. What I mean to say, this rule of 'follow the money' squeeze out the sense out of the insipid documents. Recently, I was studying the role of Indigo Revolt on the development of the Indian Nationalist thought among the young Bengalis like Surendra Nath Banerjea. Therein, the fact which emerged was that it was organized by the villagers around the revenue collection and actual output of the harvest. It is not clear how had they concluded that in order to pressurize the planters, they had to hold back the revenue first. It is shown by some scholars that this revolt helped to frame the ideology of young Bengalis. However, I am gradually developing shift in perspective. I am afraid that John may not like it but this money based evaluation or to be exact the Marxist economic determinism theory in explaining the development in history is bit restricted approach. A man is just not a struggling machine for 'food, shelter and cloth'. Well, I may be doomed in saying this but when I read Indian history, I feel like saying that India had not remained under subjugation for 200 hundred years only. She had suffered subjugation for 2000 years. See, Darius was followed by Alexander, Then came Sakas and the Parthians, Then came Kushans, and Huns. Then, after a brief gap, came the Arabs, then the Turks. The Turks continued for full eight hundred years. Now the question comes, If the money factor was bringing the invaders to India, then why was not India able to counter the invaders. Why did India not develop invaders mind set. I see it different way. The work of ruling and defending was the responsibility of Kashtriyas. Neminath, a distant cousin of Krishna, the master strategist, was a Prince, but he renowned the world and became a Nirgranthi. Then Parashavnath, followed the same course. Mahavira, left his throne to became Jain. Similarly, Sidhartha abandoned the royalty became Buddha. Then, Chandragupta, left the throne to became a Jain. Even Kautilya, the strategist who is considered by many scholars a step ahead than Mechieaveli, became an Aajivika along with Emperor Bindusara. Asoka adopted the invaders mind set but changed the course and became Buddhist follower. When the Grecian attack took place, there was no one in India to stop them, Then a continuous wave of invaders came and one of the reason was the fertility of the India soil or the Indian money and trade. Now, herein the story does not ends here. I am unable to understand that why the house of Ambar gave their daughter to the family of Akbar. (Recently many honour killings had taken place here in India and in many of them, Rajputs were involved.) Was it the money or some conspiracy? I doubt, that the revolt of Prince Kuarau was not a simple episode. Prince Khurram, the future Shahjahan, the younger brother of Kusrau, killed Kusrau and his nephew and Jahangir did not raise a voice. Was there a conspiracy? Now in above two paragraphs, the money factors can be traced. But there is some more set of factor of Human existence which have directed the course of history. I can bring out similar examples in American history also. I keep on reading about Civil War of 1860 and till this day I am not able to convince myself of actual process in history that caused 1860 December 'Declaration of Secession'. Read that event with the events of 1789. You will find the difference. Well, following the money device helps to understand some forces as they work out themselves to draw the canvas of Human History. But there are some more factors. It is the play of Three Factors: POWER, MONEY AND KNOWLEDGE' but there is Human factor over and above the genome mapping of this species and the supreme above them is the time. If you are a Hegelian, then Thought and Time have yet to reveal themselves. I really like history.
  3. Blogs on History

    I had started a blog titled Dictionary of History of India. It was started with an idea of providing the list of the short answers which forms the part of the question papers at different levels including schools, colleges as well as selection tests in India. No doubt, the contents are guided by the syllabus of College level History papers and Selection tests to various examinations in India. The blog is developing into a good form. I have made it a point to give links to the original sources which are being made available by online archives and library. That is adding some value to it. I believe that the contents can be used as ready material for the quiz programmes also.
  4. India Year Book

    John, It seems that there is some dissatisfaction with the contents of the above post. Kindly ask some thing specific. I must substantiate that the India Year Book is published by Publication Division. It is a department of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India which is a Central government ministry. The book contains the details about the policy decisions of all the government of India departments. It also gives a detailed statistics of the previous years. No doubt, it is not an history book but it is definitely an authentic source of information about India. On the other hand it can be good source on social and economic developments in India. I had seen some teachers writing and discussing about the history of India. They had been discussing the ICT resources as well making some websites about the specific events. I understand that there are topics about the post colonial period also. For that purpose, I had suggested this source which is now available online free of cost. I take this opportunity to share that Year Book 2010 is also available. I must add that the book is in pdf and by clicking on the link you are asked to save the whole file on your computer. It is a reliable source and there are no cause of fear of any damage to the user's device on downloading. The site is maintained by NIC that is National Informatics Centre which can be accessed at www.indiaimage.nic.in. The url of Publication Division is http://www.publicationsdivision.nic.in/. I am looking forward to your comments.
  5. India Year Book

    The latest version is also available now. It can be accessed at India 2009.
  6. India Year Book

    I desire to introduce the forum to one of the important source of information on India from post colonial period. It can be accessed at the following link. India Year Book 2008, Publications Division of India. I am sure that it will satisfy the need of the members who may like to teach or prepare lessons about the India for the period after 1947. It is published by Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Boradcasting, Government of India. It is in pdf format and spread over 1186 pages. It is the most authentic source of reference on different aspects of Republic of India as it has developed after 1947. The book is available in India for Rs. 300 in paperback form, which roughly comes out to be three to four pounds if we take one Sterling Pound equalent to Rs 80. However, from the link, anyone can obtain the book. One download can be useful for next two to three years. Regards Sumir
  7. Some Secondary and Primary Sources on Indian History

    Dear Dan, First of all I regret the inordinate delay in replying back. I must accept that I have not learned about Mr. Hiro. Hence, I can not comment much in it. I will definitely try to get hold of a copy of his works as you have shown great interest in it. Further, As I have pointed out earlier and I have been making this point on my blog also, that in case of Indian cyber space, there seems to be lukewarm response to democratization of knowledge, using of internet for learning and teaching purpose and also for sharing purpose. I believe this observation is definitely true in case of social sciences. In case of technical sciences, as many IITs are associated with ERNET, you find them doing some good work but as they talk too much technical things that it is beyond the comprehension of users like us who do not have training in field of computers. In case of my sumir-history.blogspot.com blog, I have marked a category Classic Books and Primary sources, wherein I am collecting books. I also bring your attention to arvindguptatoys.com site, wherein you can find good books by D. D. Kosambi and some other books also which I had not studied and which were published in 1947. Now let me refer to the following two points. “I am just wondering what would be the reasons for the lack of any mention or citing of Hiro in the two websites? Would he be considered "too radical"? Would it have to do with expatriate status? etc, etc, etc....... I raise the question because of what is to me the really exceptional quality of Inside India Today as an historical account and source for people interested in India and South Asia” As I have already mentioned, that as I do not know much about Hiro, I can not comment much. But I would like to start a discussion when, as I believe, that secondary school student in Britain (Kindly refer to http://historyinnews.blogspot.com/2008/08/...llabus-uk.html) are going to learn about the British Indian Empire history, wherein the categorization like Radical Historians, Cambridge School Historians, Subaltern Historians, Marxist Historians (JNU, Jamia Milia Islamia, S. Gopal (s/o of S. Radhakrishana) and Tara Chand) Nationalist Historians like R. C. Majumdar, Ishwari Parsad, A. L. Srivastva are debated. The revisionist aspect as being suggested by Ramajanambhomi controversy can be taken up also. Similarly, such question which I and R. K. Khanna had raised, that can there be two histories about Indian subcontinent for a period between 1909 and 1947 that is from Communal Award in Morle Minto Reform to Mountbatten proposal, one which can be taught in Pakistan and other in India. There in one can answer the question "How was it that, by 1900, Britain controlled nearly a quarter of the world?" Believe, being a student of history, I am talking as a history student only.
  8. Philosophy of History: Quotations

    On link here, John Steven Kreis has given a list of more quotations which substantiate the above list.
  9. Some Secondary and Primary Sources on Indian History

    Thanks for these very interesting links. Are you aware of any teacher created web based activities on Indian history? First of all I provide an update on Digital Library of India. The new url is as here. The library has an ambitious plan of bringing one million books available in different languages of India online. Some of them are already uploaded. I have given some comments on the library in my blog. Secondly, Prof. R. K. Khanna, an alumni of Guru Nanak University Amritsar as well as HOD, DAV College Jalandhar is regularly bringing posts on Indian History especially Punjab History. I have learned about using blogging from you people. You may take pride in the fact that Prof Khanna learned blogging from me. The contents of the blog are their own introduction. I hope you may find his dissertations and write ups quite useful as they follow the rules of history writing by giving the references from where the fact is being borrowed. He may not write each post like that but even then all his posts are authentic in nature. That is other thing that he has written recently on League of Nations which I leave to you to evaluate. Thirdly I will like to direct you attention to Arvind Gupta Toys. The link will again take you to my blog from where you may visit his site. It is one of website dedicated to school students teaching aids. If you explore his site, you will learn about his profile. He is a regular feature on UGC programmes on Gyandarshan, a TV channel of government of India dedicated to spread of education in India. If you permit me to say it then I believe that my blogs, especially sumir-history is definitely turning up a good source on Indian history though I have intended to make a blog on Philosophy, methodology and digital history in subject of history. I have collected some blogs and websites which I believe are work of teachers in India. But I have not fully checked them. Whenever I get time, I comment upon them on my primary blog. I must add that learning from you people I had also developed some blogs for my students. I am not all that successful as some of the forum members are successful in using blog as a teaching tool. However, I am still pursuing it. Now, the present academic session in India is closing. In the next session I will adopt some different strategy to motivate my students. Only one of my student has launched his blog. Secondly gradually I am going to convert the contents into Hindi and PUnjabi. Actually the language is becoming a problem. Well that is a different story.
  10. Student Question:British Empire

    Hi Andy Walker, Well, it is really two years by now that this question remains here. What was your answer anyhow? Kindly do not get amused. I believe being a teacher you might have given a responsible answer. But, let us take up this question as teachers first and then history teacher. Here, by history teacher, I must qualify that we have to check our biases and follow a definition as per which it is claimed that a historian does not have any nation. The whole world is his nation. I believe that the student somewhere desired to ask, "Is the history of British INDIAN Empire something British people today should be proud or ashamed of?" Now if the student had in his mind the American colonies then I believe that British historians look at it from different angle the movement they have raised the question that why did the American brother parted ways? In case of African regions, I am constrained to say less because I have not read much. Well in case of India, the answer can never be yes or no. It is not that I am shy of stating my version. I believe that in case of history any value judgement should be carried with great care. You may say Yes or No, but this would be a value judgement. Secondly, I believe the question comes under the category of generalization which I believe only an established historian should try to answer. I as a history teacher, may try to undertake a discussion on it only. But I will never pass a judgement in terms of yes or no. However, Here I would like to direct the attention of the interested readers to some of my posts on my blog which was actually written on BBC/History. The posts are available at "What would have happened, had british supported the war efforts CSA during the Civil War? (Note this question was asked by a british citizen on BBC site.) Then read the next post which was again a question asked by a British citizen on the BBC site. The question was "Can India be regained again?"
  11. The Digital Library of India provides some primary and original sources on India. One should also check ERNET. The above efforts are a part of on going ICT projects in India under Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and University Grant Commission. The different links on the above mentioned portals can also help as resources in learning about different educational and cultural aspects of India. They may be highly useful for the teachers taking up assignments on South Asian region.
  12. Google Print

    I am wondering that what are the views of the forum member on Google Print. As far I am concerned, it is nearly a week that I am checking different aspects of Google Print. I am really excited and happy. As a teacher, I find that it is a good source. Secondly, even MSN is also coming with similar work. The details about them can be accessed at following link www.bl.uk/news/2005/pressrelease20051104.html. (Borrowed from blog of Miland Brown.) Similarly, another source on orginal and primary sources for History students and teachers are available at Digital Library of India. One should also check ERNET. The Google people have referred to above links in order to present their case and counter the accusation against those who have objected to their activity under Google Print.
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