A History of India by Peter Robb

By Peter Robb

A background of India explores the vital issues that unify Indian historical past and gives the reader a cosmopolitan and obtainable view of India’s dynamics from precedent days, the Mughal Empire, and the British Raj via post-1947 India. The booklet examines Indian politics, non secular ideals, caste, surroundings, nationalism, colonialism, and gender, between different matters. It additionally discusses long term monetary improvement, the effect of world alternate, and the origins of rural poverty. Peter Robb’s transparent, fluent narrative explores the interaction among India’s empires, areas of rule, customs, and ideology, and is a perfect start line for people with an curiosity in India’s previous and current.

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Hosts of local lineages eventually dissipated the vigour of the invaders, as they would undermine successive pretenders to central power. Invasion imposed unusual pressures, but also represented acute versions of the underlying problems of centralizing kingdoms, the challenge of the localities. So too would rival kingdoms constantly vie with each other, but power also oscillated between petty chiefs and larger political forces. The localities provided a basis on which empires could be built, and, once built, challenged.

It was the courtly citizen who was able to devote himself to pleasure, after having acquired learning and wealth, and before trying to achieve religious merit in old age. The citizen, a civilized and hence urban man (nagaraka), could ‘take a house in a city, or large village, or in the vicinity of good men, or in a place which is the resort of many persons’, and devote himself to festivals, social gatherings, drinking and other amusements, and to love. 7 In short, this was a world dependent upon servants and the work of others.

Read differently, the sources imply that political power had to be accommodated in the priestly theories. The king’s religious functions were vital – even if not necessary to the performance of ritual, kings had a sacred quality in their persons that was often seasonally and periodically reinforced by ritual, and they had practical importance for Brahmans 36 A HI STORY OF INDIA or other religious orders, especially as the priestly role came to be regarded as properly distinct from the role of the warrior.

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