Historiography in the Modern Period :

Historiography in the Modern Period : In the 20th century the Indian archaeological exploration and research started under the British rule. A number of ancient sites were excavated under the supervision of Sir Alexander Cunningham, the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. He chose mainly the sites mentioned in the Buddhist texts for this purpose. Harappan Civilisation was discovered during the tenure of Sir John Marshall. Because of this discovery the antiquity of Indian history could be traced to 3rd millennium B.C.E. or even earlier.

Many British officials in India wrote about Indian history. Their writings display a strong influence of the colonial policies of the British.

Three Volumes of ‘The History of British India’, written by James Mill were published in 1817. This was the first book on Indian history written by a British historian. It clearly reflects an absence of objective perspective and prejudice about various aspects of the Indian culture. ‘The History of India’, written by Mountstuart Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay (now Mumbai) was published in 1841.

The period of Maratha Empire is very important in the Indian history. Grant Duff’s name stands out among the British officers who wrote about Maratha history. He wrote the book entitled, ‘A History of Mahrattas’. This book is published in three volumes. Grant Duff’s writing also shows the British inclination of condemning Indian culture and history. Similar tendency is witnessed in Colonel Todd’s writings about Rajasthan’s history. The two volumes written by William Wilson Hunter on Indian history show a somewhat impartial treatment of the subject.


Nilkanth Janardan Kirtane and Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade were two Indian historians who took upon the task of exposing the limitations of Grant Duff’s writings.

SSC 10th History, Maharashtra Board, 2019 - 2020.
Chapter 2. Historiography : Indian Tradition
1. Complete the sentences by choosing the correct option.

(1) ........ was the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India.

(a) Alexander Cunningham
(b) William Jones 
(c) John Marshall 
(d) Friedrich Max Muller

(2) ............ translated the Sanskrit text of ‘Hitopadesh’.

(a) James Mill
(b) Friedrich max Muller 
(c) Mountstuart Elphinstone 
(d) Sir John Marshall

(B) Identify the wrong pair in the following, correct it and rewrite.

(1) ‘Who were the Shudras’ - Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
(2) ‘Stri-Purush Tulana’ - Feminist writing
(3) ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ - Marxist History
(4) Grant Duff - Colonial History.

Answer: The incorrect pair is: 

The Indian War of Independence, 1857 - Marxist History

The Appropriate Pair is: 

The Indian War of Independence, 1857 - Nationalistic Historiography. 

2. Explain the following with its reason.


3. Answer the following in 25-30 words.


4. Write detailed answers to the following questions :


5. (a) Complete the following chart.
James Mill
‘The History of British India’
James Grant Duff
..............................
..................
‘The History of India’
S.A. Dange
..............................
..................
‘Who were the Shudras’

Answer: 

James Mill
‘The History of British India’
James Grant Duff
'A History of Mahrattas'
Mountstuart Elphinstone
‘The History of India’
S.A. Dange
'Primitive Communism to Slavery'
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
‘Who were the Shudras’

(b) Complete the following concept chart.



Answer: 



6. Explain the following concepts.

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