ICHR all set to document history of villages

ICHR all set to document history of villages

Project to join missing dots based on oral, folk tradition

ICHR all set to document history of villages

The Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) has decided to document the history of villages and cities on the basis of oral and material evidences.

This would include Sanskrit scriptures and other ancient literature in an effort to “join the missing links” in India’s history from its remote past.

It has also taken up a project for translation of foreign language “source” material available in non-English languages hoping to “enrich” the Indian history with newer facts and events. To start with, the translation of materials in French will be carried out.

A separate research project on documentation of the history of Indian science and technology from the “earliest times” to the beginning of the Colonial rule has also been approved by the council.

“Between the period Harappan civilisation and Brahmi script, there is a gap in our history. If the gaps are found, the script can be completed. Missing links are there in our history. The reason is that we have not done adequate exploration. So, links are missing. They have rather not been explored,” ICHR Chairman Y Sudershan Rao said when asked if the council’s effort was to re-write Indian history by joining the dots.

Elaborating on the project for documentation of the history of Indian villages and cities, the ICHR chief said a large network of research scholars across the country will be engaged to document India’s continuity of civilisation and culture from “unknown times” in the form of an encyclopedia.

“The rich heritage of Indian civilisation is available in both tangible and intangible forms. People in villages and cities have preserved and transmitted their unbroken collective memory down the generations through a number of oral and folk art forms. Most of the ancient habitats are still alive with their successors. We want to document them before they are lost with younger generations migrating,” he said.

Sanskrit scriptures, ‘Puranas’ could be a vital source as they contain records of India’s ‘Kshetra or Sthala’ (various locations), he added.

For the compilation of the “Historical Encyclopedia of Villages and Towns in India,” a committee of experts will be set up at ICHR while research projects will be offered to research scholars at universities across the country.

“We will document every thing that comes, be it some one telling a myth or folklore. Whatever they (people) know will be documented. While documenting a myth or folk lore, we will say legends said so.

People (of India) should know their history. The oral sources and fold ideas in historical research is today acceptable even in West,” Rao said, when asked whether the project could be accepted as a historical research.

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