D. N. Jha

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Dwijendra Narayan Jha (born c. 1940 died 4 February 2021) is an Indian historian, specialising in ancient and medieval India. He was a professor of history at Delhi University and a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research.


  • For the upper classes all periods in history have been golden; for the masses none.
    • quoted from Arun Shourie (2014) Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. HarperCollins
  • The truly golden age of the people does not lie in the past, but in the future.
    • quoted from Arun Shourie (2014) Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. HarperCollin
  • "The Hindutva forces, in their bid to aggravate religious conflicts in the country, argue that Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam and Christianity in the past and therefore they have to be reconverted so as to take them back into the Hindu fold. But such an assertion has no basis in our history. The idea that the Muslims were destroyers of 'Hindu' temples and that they converted 'Hindus' to Islam by force is extremely tendentious and is largely unfounded."

Quotes about Jha[edit]

  • We have already encountered D.N. Jha, and seen how he concocts ‘evidence’ and distorts sources in his textbook on ancient India.... Given what we have seen of Marxist historians even in this brief book, the brazen-faced distortions – to the point of falsehood – do not surprise me. What does surprise me is that no one looked up either the source that Jha had cited or the text.... That these eminences were in control of journals, of history congresses, and university departments, had another immediate consequence: no one dared question their work. They hadn’t to explain their ‘theses’, they could serve up any concoction as ‘evidence’. In regurgitating the same assertions, they convinced themselves that they were being consistent; in arriving at the same reductionist explanations for diverse phenomena, phenomena millennia apart, they convinced themselves that they were fortifying the theory. In fact, all they were doing was repeating themselves. There was nothing new to be learnt as it had all been explained before! In a word, unquestioned, above being challenged, they slipped into shoddiness, and thus stagnation – Jha’s Address is an illustration of the kind of drivel that came to pass as scholarship.
    • Arun Shourie (2014) Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. HarperCollins
    • D.N. Jha replied to Shourie's criticism in the article Grist to the reactionary mill, 2014
  • During the Government-sponsored scholars’ debate on the evidence for the demolished Ayodhya temple in 1990-91, Jha was a member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee’s delegation against the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Like then, his intervention now in the debate on the purported tolerance and the very existence of “Hinduism” is not an impartisan source from which debaters could borrow authoritative arguments; it is itself one side of the polemic. Which is permitted, but should be kept in mind by the reader.
    • Review by Elst, Koenraad of D.N. Jha: Rethinking Hindu Identity, London/Oakville: Equinox, 2009. 100 pp., $85 HB, $28,95 PB. Published in Journal of Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press, August 2011, p.872-874., quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2012). The argumentative Hindu. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan.

External links[edit]

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