16-AUG-2018: Audrey's lecture held on history of Indo-Islamic rule
ALIGARH August 16: Noted historian Dr Audrey Truschke, Assistant Professor of South Asian History, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA delivered another lecture on 'Becoming Indian Kings : Sanskrit Literary Histories of Indo-Islamic Rule' at the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. Professor Emeritus Irfan Habib presided over the lecture session.
Professor Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (Chairman, Department of History) said the talk is a study of parallel Sanskrit sources in interpreting Indian History which are part of Dr Audrey Truschke's forthcoming book.
Dr Truschke explained the scope in historical research by analysing Sanskrit sources on Muslim incursions in India. She said that neglecting Sanskrit sources is an extension of the 'Orientalist bias' of considering Indian histories either non-existent or 'unreal'. She pointed out that the 'kavya' genre of Sanskrit literature is a substantial source for understanding Indian response to Muslim migrations of 12th century.
She further discussed the three sources ? Jayanaka's Prithvirajavijaya (1911), Gangadevi's Madhuravijaya (1380) and Nayacandra's Hammiramahakavya, on which her project is based. The three sources, according to her, depicted different terminologies of references to Ghurids.
Dr Truschke established the dangers of placing these histories as narratives of violence and bloodshed instead of focusing on cross-cultural interactions and promoting non-sectarian histories. She said that the case study of these sources attempted to locate alliances in the past beyond religious identities and provide fresh perspectives to look at the past.
The lecture was followed by a question-answer session.
In his concluding remarks, Professor Irfan Habib presented a critical assessment of the sources and highlighted the importance of criticism of kings citing Alberuni's criticism of Mahmud's bloodshed during conquests. He pointed out the presence of conflicts between different identities along with civilisational reconciliation in the Sanskrit sources in the backdrop of Muslim arrivals in India.
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Aligarh Muslim University