Bharateeya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana
to announce the convening of an
envisaged as the first in a series of Conferences each with a
dominant theme. The theme of this conference is Distortions in
Studies Foundation, California, & ABISY Delhi
International Centre, 40 Lodi Estate, New Delhi
Call For Papers:
Abstracts of papers for presentation at the conference are invited.
Deadline for Abstracts of Papers September 30 , 2008
Deadline for full length papers October 30, 2008
Rs. 500/- per person up to October 15, 2008. Late Registration:
Rs. 600/- after October 15, 2008 and Rs. 100 for Students and local
delegates. Please send your registration fee either by cheque or through
a bank draft in the favour of ‘……………………………………………….’ payable at Delhi.
have the honor and privilege to cordially invite you to participate in
an International Conference on Indian History scheduled at India
International Centre, 40 Lodi Estate, New Delhi - 110003 on January
is quite clear that the Geopolitical and Strategic Environment facing
India during the early decades of the 21st century remains a
challenging one. It is imperative that we seriously ponder the causes
that led to such a situation and identify remedial measures that could
Whatever the geopolitical situation, it is indeed a product of
historical development. Responsible particularly are the strategic
choices that our policy-makers made after India became independent in
us narrate the developments from the beginning. During the period of
authoritarian colonial regime the Colonial overlord was extremely
solicitous in shielding the Indians from the burden of making choices
relative to their own governance. In the aftermath of the gaining of
independence, India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
fashioned his own unique response to these challenges by formulating a
non-alignment policy premised on the reality that the world had to
contend essentially with two superpowers. The fact of the matter,
however, was that he leaned heavily towards the western alliance and
this continued at least till the end of his tenure in office.
was only during subsequent years and decades that India and the Congress
Party interpreted the policy of non-alignment as if it were a canonical
principle of Indian foreign policy. In other words, there is ample
evidence that at least in the conception of Pandit Nehru, non-alignment
was a means to an end rather than an end in itself, a subtlety that was
frequently forgotten during subsequent decades.
What was Jawaharlal Nehru's set of assumptions that led him to formulate
the non-alignment policy? He had a developed sense of history, no doubt,
but a sense of history almost wholly western in its inspiration. As a
result, the India that he 'discovered' was India of the western
imagination, not Bharat of indigenous conception. India, to him, was 'an
ancient palimpsest on which layer upon layer of thought and reverie had
been inscribed, and yet no succeeding layer had completely hidden or
erased what had been written previously'. Nehru correctly emphasized the
accretion of cultures in India, but he failed to recognize the original
spirit of Indic civilization. He could not see that this ancient
palimpsest he was talking about had, in fact, an original inscription
engraved on it so deeply that layer upon layer of subsequent engraving
could neither hide nor erase it.
a student of Indian history, Jawaharlal Nehru was aware of Kautilya's
geopolitical strategy described elaborately in his Arthasastra. But,
instead of following this active 'Chanakya-niti', the perception that
emerged in the Western capitals was that, he chose to adopt a moralistic
tone in India's conduct of foreign policy.
vision of the Arthasastra is truly breath taking, its practical utility
timeless and the clarity of its exposition unique. 'The Theory of
Dvadash Rajya Mandalam' (The Circle 12 Kings) and 'Shadagunyam'(Six
styles of Diplomacy) have eternal relevance. The techniques of
manipulating public opinion and creating disinformation, propounded by
Kautilya anticipated modern intelligence systems by several centuries.
It is not surprising then, that the lessons taught by that Master
strategist, Kautilya alias Chanakya, should have served as an
appropriate example for India in the fashioning of its own modern
Probably all would have been well, or so we think, had India adhered to
Chanakyan principles at least in dealing with potential adversaries and
against those who would attempt to belittle India's role in world
affairs, but we are cognizant of the fact that there are no easy
solutions. Alas, the sad reality is that it is Pakistan, not India,
whose geopolitical strategy is inspired by Kautilya's principles!
such a scenario, a logical question is whether such a laissez faire
attitude towards the conduct of foreign policy stems from the propensity
to amnesiacal bouts that the Indic periodically inflicts upon himself
when it comes to his/her history?
This brings us to the motivations for holding the conference. There is
widespread nonchalance to the history of India amongst the body politic
and a certain amount of disdain that the ancients have anything to teach
us. Few amongst the educated elite take the trouble to connect our
History with the strategic environment today, The general tendency of
Indics is to blame themselves for whatever happens in such sweeping
terms that it is difficult to suggest a remedial path.
hope the present International Conference would go a long way to
dispelling such attitudes. The underlying premise for studying strategic
choices in the same venue as History is that the study of history
provides valuable lessons to making such choices. But, if the history is
distorted one can make false conclusions and the resulting choices may
be suboptimal or even worse.
conference has basically two objectives. One is to increase awareness of
strategic thinking and to show that a strategic approach based on
long-term objectives is key to creating an environment for a
civilization in which the future is less threatening and offers greater
and better choices. The second objective is to increase awareness of the
importance of learning the accurate history of India and its impact on
the future choices that a country can and should make in its vital
Hopefully, the conference would provide an occasion for questioning the
established narrative of Indian history, present new research, uncover
new facts, examine the relevance to the current strategic environment
and propagate the correct history to the public at large and eventually
influence those who would make policy for India.
addition to Indologists, historians, and the community of think tanks
specializing in strategic issues, the contents of the conference are
equally relevant to parents of school-going children, community and
educational leaders, and public service professionals. Cultural
self-esteem among impressionable young minds is a direct derivative of
incorrect history taught in schools. Also the representation of the
community in the media and in public space is a consequence of the same.
Thus, for all of the above reasons and many more there is a veritable
need from all quarters, scholars and general public alike to come
together and effect a joint program of correction and propagation of the
true history of the subcontinent.
interested authors to submit presentations in related areas including
but not restricted to, the following
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 the presentations at HEC2007 came down heavily in
favor of such a proposition, but we will keep an open mind and hear
those who would argue against such a thesis
Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic
civilization of relevance to the current strategic environment
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
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 sytems in Republican India
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
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.
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
The Occident and The Geopolitics of India
Discuss the extent to
which the current History of India is an Occidentalist Revision
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 weltanschauung, 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
the implications of the Sarasvati Sindhu civilization on the posture
of Pakistan, if any, and the relationship between India and Pakistan
European, American (E&A) history and the influence of such a History
on modern Indic ethos lead to misinterpretation of ancient history.
Probing E&A history and the inaccuracies there will give a bigger
picture of the influences on Indic history. Examples of such
inaccuracies include suppression of the Meso- American civilization
in North American (or Australian) history. This, may be a wise step
by adopting an 'offence is the best form of defence'. In any event,
a thorough grasp of the History of the Occidental People &
their record of depredations over vast areas of the globe is
an essential weapon in the armoury of the Indic people as they
compare the records of the various civilizations.
Encourage and Report on independent study 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.
the manner in which Indian Literary and Scientific historiography
has been characterized by the Occident and the almost total
ignorance of the works of such stalwarts as Bhartrihari among
the youth of India today.
The Goan inquisition
and its impact on Indian society, especially in the Konkan area
The trials, tribulations ,contributions, their future and their future
interaction with the Mother Civilization . What do we know about the
first Indo- Americans
Women in Indian History
from ancient times to the
modern era and their status through the ages
Interactions between China ,India and the Rest of Asia
encourage participants, individual presenters as well as those
interested in developing a session as session chairman to think out of
the box while approaching these topics. We would like to focus on topics
that need an interdisciplinary approach which might have a greater
chance of leading to unorthodox solutions.
paper submission is not necessarily required to participate in the
session deliberations. You may choose to contribute ad-hoc to the
discussions, or submit a poster that we will exhibited in the hallways
and be part of the plan for propagation among students and general
public including the media. Conference attendance is highly recommended
but not mandatory to be a valuable asset to the session deliberations.
You may submit your paper which will be tabled at the session in
absentia, and deliberated upon by the session participants.
Additional Notes for
Those who would be interested in developing a session on these or
related topics should contact me ASAP, so that we can plan for the
sessions. Those who are in academia should bring it to the attention
of students, so that we can organize funding for some of the
participants. we will be approaching a number of people to investigate
their interest in developing a session, but please do not hesitate
to approach the names at the bottom especially if this a subject you
are deeply interested in.
A Possible taxonomy
(7000 BCE-4000 BCE)
maturation of Civilizational Values (4000 BCE -2000 BCE) includes the
Sarasvati Sindhu Civilization.(the Brahmana Era, the Sutra era, the
flowering of the Civilization
Development of the Sciences and the Arts
issues related to History and historiography
Preliminary issues: Historical reality and
openly justified by the so-called ‘motivated’ and ‘committed’
is judging history (on the basis of data and evidence) not pleading
history (to promote any ideology).
Colonial-Missionary distortions of Indian history.
C. Post-colonial diversification of distortions, impact of
post-modernism and post-structuralism.
Contemporary contending paradigms of Indian history: Western Elitist
(which is almost a Colonial-Missionary legacy), Secular-Marxist,
Subaltern, Deconstructionist, and other post-modern and
post-structuralist paradigms like that of the Annales School.
E. Post-colonial geopolitics and Distortions of Indian history.
politics and distortions of Indian history (Ref.: subaltern paradigm).
G. There is a
continuity of Indian historical tradition from the earliest times to the
present, distinguishing Gaathaa, Naaraashanshee, Aakhyaana, Puraan.a and
Itihaasa as graded levels of more and more reliable universal history.
Why particularize it as ‘Hindu nationalist’ paradigm?
politics of history,
history more and more objective by adopting con-disciplinary approach
as, for instance, correlating early historical processes with natural
processes (geological, genetic, etc),
Hypothetico-Deductive approach (in place of the current Inductive),
Indian history in terms of Indian ideology and Indian world-view.
Philosophy and Guide to Conference Sessions
I can answer any of your questions, feel free to give me a call at
925-998-2529 (mobile). You can reach me via e-mail by replying to this
Looking forward to your early response, which in turn will help us to
organize a fruitful conference.
Ph.D. Indic Studies Foundation Inc.
International Conference Convenor
Kosla Vepa Ph.D. Director, Indic Studies Foundation Inc.
925-998-2529 (mobile) E-Mail:
- 273008. +91- 9792250787, 9335449829
Session Planning Co - Chairmen
:467, Sector-12A, Gurgaon, Haryana India +91-9910464100 Email:
Fund Raising Committee
Previous Conferences on
HEC2007 (proceedings available) , Dallas, Tx
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