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Conference Theme

Mainly Historical Themes

  • Is it a valid premise to assume that the current history is seriously mangled and distorted? We believe an objective appraisal of Indian history as exemplified in the presentations at HEC2007 came down heavily in favour of such a proposition, but we will keep an open mind and hear those who would argue against such a thesis
  • Discuss the History of   World   democracy and India's place in such a history, the concept of the Chakravarthi, as the upholder of   Dharma but not necessarily an absolute monarch
  • Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic civilization of relevance to the current strategic environment facing India 
  • Indicate those areas of Indian history which are egregiously in error and the resulting impact on the manner in which India is viewed in the world today 
  • The British Colonial period
  • Historiography of Indian Arts
  • Provide examples of policy based on an erroneous interpretation of History 
  • Propose methodology and criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the current or future proposed narratives of Indic history
  • Discuss the present day nonchalance towards history and rekindle the interest in History
  • Discuss the Recognition and Revival of traditional knowledge systems in Republican India
  • We know the history of a country affects the economic choices it makes, but how does the economic well-being - or lack thereof -- in a country or the economic choices it makes affect the history of the civilization.
  • In the seventeenth century, as during most of the history during the Christian era, the Indian GDP according to Angus Madison comprised 25% of the world on a PPP basis. Examine the causes of the rapid deterioration in the economic well being of the subcontinent beginning after the Battle of Plassey, resulting in the First of the Great Famines of Bengal in 1777, and the death by slow starvation of 1/3rd of the population of Bengal.
  • Discuss the potential impact of the new politically correct dogma, unique to India which goes under the name of Secularism and its impact on the historiography of India and the discipline of History, and more importantly the caricaturization of the Hindu as a Saffron Fascist
  • Identity and Politics interact not only in history writing, but also in current affairs. How much of the identity politics today, including so called subaltern studies is a consequence of the massive distortion and reinventing of caste by the colonial overlord? Did the 1971 war and Pokhran I cause the large increase in funding of South Asian studies
  • Suggested List of theme titles
    1. Perceptions of 'History' (with special reference to Indian history)
    2.  History and the Historian: Judging history versus pleading history
    3. Colonial-Missionary distortions in Indian history
    4. Impact of post-modernism and post-structuralism on contemporary Indian historiography
    5.  Post-Colonial distortions
    6. Impact of history writing on identities and geopolitics today
    7. Current status of the debate on Vedic-Harappan Identity
    8. Ongoing debate on Indian history text-books in India and abroad
    9.  History of Indian Ocean Community
    10.  History of Indian Diaspora.
    11. Women in Ancient India

The Occident and the Geopolitics of India

       Discuss the extent to which the current History of India  is an Occidentalist Revision

      India and the US form the two largest English speaking regions in the world and the   2 largest  Democracies  In the past the relationship has been nevertheless a difficult one. What is the future of this relationship? in about 3 decades India will have  the largest English language publishing industry in the world. What are the  implications other than the purely commercial

      Discuss the extent of India's contribution to technology and the sciences in the past and the consequences for Indian policy makers in dealing with other civilizations and nation states. Discuss possible transfers of technology from India to Greece and later to Europe, and the impact it may have had on the resurgence of Europe, such as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. For instance there is ample circumstantial evidence that the Gregorian calendar was fixed in 1582 after the Jesuits learned about sidereal measurements and the accurate trigonometric tables from the Jyotish in Kerala.

      Discuss the potential Indic origin of the realist imperative (e.g. John Meerscheimer and Hans Morgenthau) of the Occidental in his formulation of foreign policy (It is   our contention that  the imperative  has been  a significant strand in the Indic strategic weltanschuung, ever since the time of  Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. The efficacy with which he plied his craft is attested to by the fact that he was equally trusted by both parties in the war. Is India adhering to  such Realist  impulses, or   is  it  just being pragmatic or is it being weak-kneed in its approach to the major powers  USA, China and Russia

      Discuss the implications of the Sarasvati Sindhu civilization on the posture of Pakistan, if any, and the relationship between India and Pakistan

      Encourage and report on independent studies of Mesoamerica by Indics to assess whether the Occidental has applied a similar Eurocentric approach to the historical narrative of the Incas and the Aztecs

       Discuss the various ways in which the Occidental has caricatured   the Indic such as for example by reinventing the caste system as the prime determinant of the Indic civilization.


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