The History and Culture of the Indian People

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The History and Culture of the Indian People is a series of eleven volumes on the history of India, from prehistoric times to the establishment of the modern state in 1947. Historian Ramesh Chandra Majumdar was the general editor of the series, as well as a major contributor. The entire work took 26 years to complete. The set was published in India by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.

Quotes[edit]

The Vedic Age[edit]

Volume 1: The Vedic Age [Prehistory to 600 B.C.]
  • The history of India is not the story of how she underwent foreign invasions, but how she resisted them and eventually triumphed over them.... To be a history in the true sense...the work must be the story of the people inhabiting a country. It must be a record of their life from age to age presented through the life and achievements of men whose exploits become the beacon lights of tradition...the central purpose of a history must...be to investigate and unfold the values which age after age have inspired the inhabitants of a country to develop their collective will...such a history of India is still to be written. ... I had long felt the inadequacy of our so called Indian histories...for many years, I was planning an elaborate history of India in order... that the world might catch a glimpse of her soul as Indians see it.
    • The History and Culture of the Indian People: Volume 1, The Vedic Age: Foreword, K M Munshi, quoted in in: S. Balakrishna, Seventy years of secularism. 2018.
  • “On the whole ... the language of the first nine Mandalas must be regarded as homogeneous, inspite of traces of previous dialectal differences... With the tenth Mandala it is a different story. The language here has definitely changed.”
    • B.K. Ghosh in The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Max Müller, Weber, Muir, and others held that the Punjab was the main scene of the activity of the Rgveda, whereas the more recent view put forth by Hopkins and Keith is that it was composed in the country round the SarasvatI river south of modem AmbAla.”
    • The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996.
  • That age [of the Rigveda] is not known with even an approximate degree of certainty.
    • A.D. Pusalker , The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996. quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993)

The Classical Age[edit]

Volume 3: The Classical Age [320-750 A.D.]
  • In the seventh century A.D., these two kingdoms formed parts of India both politically and culturally, being Indian in language, literature and religion and ruled over by kings who bore Indian names.
    • On kingdom of Zabul (Jabala) in Afghanistan.
    • Majumdar, RC . The Classical Age. quoted in Misra, R. G. (2005). Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders up to 1206 A.D. p.32

The Struggle for Empire [edit]

Volume 5: The Struggle for Empire [1000-1300 A.D.]
  • It is legitimate to conclude...that northern India was fully aware of the grave peril caused by the menace of Islam, and her people gave practical evidence of their love for their country and religion by willingly offering to sacrifice their lives in the bleak hills of far distant Afghanistan.
    • DC Ganguly, Struggle for Empire. also quoted in Misra, R. G. (2005). Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders up to 1206 A.D. p.129

The Mughul Empire [edit]

Volume 7: The Mughul Empire [1526-1707]
  • I would not care whether truth is pleasant or unpleasant, and in consonance with or opposed to current views. I would not mind in the least whether truth is, or is not, a blow to the glory of my country. If necessary, I shall bear in patience the ridicule and slander of friends and society for the sake of preaching truth. But still I shall seek truth, understand truth, and accept truth. This should be the firm resolve of a historian.
    • Jadunath Sarkar. Quoted in R.C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. 7, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1984, pp. xiii (quoted from a Presidential speech given at a historical conference in Bengal, 1915)

Quotes about the work[edit]

  • A standard work of many volumes commissioned in the 1950s to celebrate India's liberation from foreign rule and foreign scholarship.
  • The first volume of the first genuine history of India.... [and that it] is likely to remain for many generations the most important of all histories of India, and, indeed, renders all others obsolete if not superfluous.
    • M.F. Ashley Montagu M.F. Ashley Montagu, Review in: Isis, Vol. 43, No.1 (Apr., 1952), pp. 75-76. in a review in the Isis journal

External links[edit]


  • Volume 1: The Vedic Age [Prehistory to 600 B.C.]
  • Volume 2: The Age of Imperial Unity [600 B.C. to 320 A.D.]
  • Volume 3: The Classical Age [320-750 A.D.]
  • Volume 4: The Age of Imperial Kanauj [750-1000 A.D.]
  • Volume 5: The Struggle for Empire [1000-1300 A.D.]
  • Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate [1300-1526]
  • Volume 7: The Mughul Empire [1526-1707]
  • Volume 8: The Maratha Supremacy [1707-1818]
  • Volume 9: British Paramountcy and Indian Renaissance, Part 1 [1818-1905]
  • Volume 10: British Paramountcy and Indian Renaissance, Part 2 [1818-1905]
  • Volume 11: Struggle for Freedom [1905-1947]