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The Lost River Paperback – 12 Mar 2010
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Found it a most enlightening read. The way Michel Danino traces the 'lost' river's history through our ancient texts, early observations, local lore, excavations, satellite imagery, carbon dating and other modern techniques et. al. is very intriguing to say the least. Also the picture he paints of the Harappan way of life from precise ratios to civic infrastructure to dancing artifacts to the humble red 'paint/teeka' used even today is fascinating. I don't think any history book I studied in my schooling comes even remotely close. Further, for me atleast, this book busts the myth of the Aryan Invasion theory as the author claims in his other work 'Indian Culture and Indias future'. It rebuts some cogent opposing remarks raised by other indologists quite convincingly. I would like to thank Michel Danino for providing a engaging, romantic and comprehensive outline of the first Indian Civilization, which I might add is alive even today in little but manifold ways. I feel much better as an Indian after reading it. Sarasvati, the mythical 'mighty river that flows from the mountains to the sea', and immortalized in the Vedas along with Ganga and Yamuna is now as real as the heritage of the Civilization it supported! --Anish Mangal Dec 25, 2011
I love history books that are validated by data and facts. Historians and writers have too often taken their audiences for a ride, with wildly concocted theories about history. Here is a book that is different. There is lots of data and there are lots of inferences derived from the data presented. The book is written in a simple and accessible style, with plenty of pictures and tables. The story of the civilization that was the precursor of classical Indian civilization, accounts and conjectures of daily life, social structure, organization, trade, etc., are illustrated in great detail. In recent centuries, and especially in recent decades, a lot of fluff and falsehoods have been spread about Indian civilization. Many of these are combined into an Aryan Invasion Theory concocted by European and colonial era scholars who had a limited understanding of the subcontinent, but more importantly, had the responsibility to make the Europeans look like civilizing forces, rather than conquering ones. The narrow point of view this provided has had a deep impact on the racial soul of Indians, and has resulted in many younger generations not valuing the achievements of the people from who we came. On the other side, there are revisionist historians who want to claim that all invading forces were bad, and milk credence from the collective sympathy of the Indian psyche. What has been missing is a balanced view point, based on data. We need to study and understand our history for what it is. I think that this book eliminates many of these biases by providing believeable explanations and also reduces the chances of misinterpretation. First of all, it brings to light a long lost civilization and all evidences associated from the work of hundreds of scholars, stretching back four generations. It presents this in a gripping, novel-like way, while maintaining probity and coherence of ideas. Danino, early on in the book, says that the findings from the Sindhu-Satadru-Saraswati sites have not been taught in our schools. In fact, a distorted view of India's history is often what is taught in our schools. The aspirations of a nation are more often than not, rooted in its history. Questions of who we are, where we came from and what our forefathers were like aren't going to go away. Do yourself a favour if you're Indian, and arm yourself with the bare facts, and learn about the history of the subcontinent. Take a wide view of our history, and understand how science is improving our understanding. This is the only way to be at peace with the past glory we associate with Indian civilization, and also the only way to confidently stride into the future with little or no bias. --FPS Gamer Jun 11, 2013
It has been a profound experience. Truly insightful! Many of the questions answered. The lesson for the Marxist so called historians and scholars. --Atul Kumar Jul 16, 2014
About the Author
Michel Danino was born in France and decided to live in India at the age of 21. He wrote The Invasion That Never Was, a brief study of the Aryan problem in the Indian context. He is a student of Indian culture, history, and civilisation, and has worked for the protection of the Shola forests in the Nilgiris.
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It is filled with real field work in archaeology, Some of the evidence he refers to is compelling, fluid writing style makes it easier to understand general public not having much archaeological knowledge.
Must read if you want to understand recent findings and overall Indus-Saraswati or Ganga-Vindhya civilization.
This book by Michel Danino raises a lot of issues and points to several conclusions which can no longer be ignored about the questions which I have enumerated above. It is a very well researched book well worth the price that it is available at. It would add to the knowledge base of any un biased individual.
Reading this book was an eye-opener. While for normal people, the Saraswati is shrouded in myth, it was very encouraging to note that historians have more information, which seems correct and is based on intelligent data gathering, analysis and interpolation and not on superstitious/religious hearsay.
It was surprising for me to note that while Indians (may be all hindus) grow up with the myth of the Saraswati - everyone knows about it and almost all of it is factually incorrect.
What Danino does beautifully is share numerous instances of the links between what seems to be historical fact and current social memories.
This is a must read for every student who was ever taught about aryan invasion or 'Indus' valley civilization.
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