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An Entirely New History of India

An Entirely New History of India by Francois Gautier looks at India from pre-historic times till today

Well known Indologist and journalist, Francois Gautier has come out with another book – An Entirely New History of India. For decades, the French journalist has been writing on Hinduism – picking up the choicest of stories, controversies and anecdotes and trying to mend an errant foreign narrative.

Brought out by Garuda Books, An Entirely New History of India, is about straightening the widely-debated numerous narratives of Indian history. He himself unabashedly says that much of Indian history currently being taught to Indians has been written with a foreign Christian perspective that could not digest that a civilization existed much before theirs.

Gautier talks about his book in this video. Do check it out here.

The book gives an account of the research and thought of Gautier from pre-historic times till today. Interestingly, he has chosen all those bits and pieces that have been controversial – information that has been written to suit a colonial perspective. The other portions he has selected are those where the Marxist thought has picked up Indian history from a foreign narrator's perspective.

Gautier looks at the evidence at hand.

  • He talks about the Ashok Pillar as evidence of Indian metallurgical skills.
  • He de-codes whether India had mastered riding the horse or whether the Europeans brought horses to India during an invasion.
  • In this book he also talks about the great warriors – Alexander and Ashoka and demystifies the history and stories surrounding them.
  • Gautier also talks about the times during Aurangzeb's reign and decodes the Mughal king's attitude and actions towards his subjects.
  • He feels that Indian history books are but mere references to numerous Indian kingdoms like the Cholas, and the Vijayanagar and Bahamani empires.
  • He talks about the Vedas which he dates as 5,000 years old and not 1,500 as mentioned by German scholar Max Mueller.

Through this book, Gautier has opened up his lens not to focus on specific subjects or portions of Indian history but to look at India's history in its entirety. An Entirely New History of India, also breaks the stereotypes and conventional images about India that are nurtured by many. Instead, the book speaks about an India that was rich and liberal with democratic values which have held the test of time.