Social Scientist. v 3, no. 33 (April 1975) p. 14.


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E M S NAMBOODIR1PAD

Some Problems of Indian History

ALTHOUGH historians claim to be 'impartial', 'objective' and interested only in ^discovering the truth5, their work invariably reflects the point of view of the particular class or group with which they are associated. There are historians who represent the viewpoint of particular religious communities, regional, linguistic or cultural groups, each with its own approach to the problems of the history and culture of India.

The conflicting interests represented by historians therefore produce their own particular versions leading to the emergence of corresponding schools of history: like that which lauds the greatness of the Aryan civilization to the exclusion of all others; or decries the Aryan civilization while lauding the Dravidian. Thus we have communal or religious historians who look at India's past and present from the Maratha or Islamic angles, for example.

Historians other than those guided by the theory of historical materialism are handicapped by the fact that they do not see the history of human society as one of man's struggle against nature in the course of which he enters into mutual relations with other members of society. Nor do they perceive that these mutual relations become what are known as relations of conflict between the exploiting and exploited classes. In the celebrated words of the founders of historical materialism,



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