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Portraits of a Nation: History of Ancient India (Regional National History) Hardcover – 1 Jun 2010
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This kind of constructive work, and I include Michel Danino's just released book on Sarasvati is what we need more. Simply to react to other people's work and engaging in polemics doesn't build anything. It seems appropriate as a text book with supplementary reading. After reading the entire book Dr. N.S. Rajaram wrote, "Because of its recent history of colonization, Indian history has suffered more distortions and misrepresentations than that of other great civilizations. At the same time, because of its great antiquity as well as abundant literary and archaeological records, correcting these distortions has proven a major challenge. Portraits of a Nation- History of Ancient India by Kamlesh Kapur addresses this challenge admirably by taking a multidisciplinary approach to history by looking at natural history, genetics, and archaeoastronomy in addition to the usual sources like archaeology and literary records. In the process, the author succeeds in building sound foundation in historiography not only for her book but for all future students of Indian history. It is an invaluable source on ancient India that no library should be without." --Dr. N.S. Rajaram Adjunct Professor of Science and Philosophy Center for Indic Studies University of Massachusetts
"Portraits of a Nation -- History of Ancient India" is a timely book. Recent archaeological findings, scientific analysis and reconstruction of the movements of ancient people using DNA studies have shown that the assumptions on which ancient India and her civilization were studied in school textbooks for several decades were incorrect. Kamlesh Kapur's pioneering book brings together latest scholarly findings to provide a rational understanding of Indian civilization. I recommend it strongly for use in schools and for self-study." --Subhash Kak, Oklahoma State University, and co-author of "In Search for the Cradle of Civilization"
India being the oldest living civilization today, and Indian diaspora increasing dramatically in the United States, a need for an authentic book with accurate and contextualized information has long existed. Portraits of a Nation History of Ancient India is a very timely book that meets that need. --Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D. Director, Center for Indic Studies University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 285 Old Westport Road Dartmouth, MA 02747
About the Author
Kamlesh Kapur, an educator and researcher, has a Masters in Economics from Punjab University, and a Masters in Education from St.John`s University, USA. She was among the first twenty women to be directly selected in the Indian Central Services. Kamlesh Kapur has had a long association with secondary school students. For over twenty years she taught World History and Global cultures using various prescribed textbooks. After completing a comprehensive review of the Indian history sections of these textbooks, she found numerous inaccuracies and outdated theories. She spearheaded the movement for correcting the content and developing an appropriate program of study based on recent discoveries emanating from various fields of research. She has a long term commitment for preparing young students for multiethnic demography in all the countries. She has also prepared lessons and techniques for teaching subjects such as Cultural Diversity, Pluralism and Multiculturalism.
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Unfortunately I found some factual errors in the book which can be corrected in a new edition: for example, the book says the battle of Ten Kings happened in Kurkshetra; indian itihas reports it to have taken place on the banks of the river Ravi. The book says that Vivas Manu had five children Ila, a daughter, and four sons Pururavas , Ayus, Nahusha and Yayati. My understanding is that Pururava was the son of Ila and Buddha II who together established lunar dynasty in Pratisthan, presentday Allahabad at the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. And Ayu was the son of Pururava, Yayathi is the grand son of Ayu. Also something is wrong in the dates calculated for Krishna's trips to Hastinapur and Balrama's pilgrimage. These dates are in 3067 BC, and the arrival dates are later than departure dates. Either the astronomical calculations are wrong or the people who published these dates forgot that in reporting events in BC, the dates go backwards. These are only some of the inaccuracies I happened to run into. The author should thoroughly check for other errors before the next version is published.
Nevertheless I believe that the book will be very useful to students and others interested to learn an accurate description of the historiography of ancient India.
The book is replete with facts and sufficient references to establish authenticity. It is not a hidden fact that there are certain think-tanks funded to re-interpret our past, this book is an excellent response and puts all such aspersions to rest.