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History

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In the Introduction to his popular book India: A History, John Keay reminds us of several key issues: that history really has two layers—the narrative of events past and the history of the historiography—the story of how history is uncovered and interpreted. Although the practice of history is based on written and sometimes oral records, “pre-history” and the undocumented narratives that run up to the present are important. India has a five-thousand-year “history” as a civilization, but scholars still cannot read the records of its earliest Harappan (Indus Valley) Civilization. So, many disciplines come into play in the actual practice of history. Finally, there are strong traditions of historical scholarship of India both within and outside the country, and these yield rich comparison and debate. Much of the exploration of the history of India must be done by reading the history books, but there are some online resources available that are useful especially for teaching.

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India: From Moghuls to Independence
This program covers the history of India from the time of Genghis Khan’s first extension of his domain beyond China. It traces the subsequent history of India: the roles of Tamerlane and his descendant Babur; Babur’s son Humayun and his grandson, Akbar; the arrival of Europeans; the flowering of Moghul culture epitomized by the Taj Mahal, and the decline; its submission to the British Empire and its reawakening at independence. (42 minutes)

Indian History
In brief, from the Government of India National Portal.

Indian Routes
Some Memorable Ventures, Adventures, and Other Happenings, in and about South Asia: A detailed timeline and "scrapbook" by Professor Emerita Frances W. Pritchett, Columbia University.

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K-12 Resources
From the University of Wisconsin’s Center for South Asia Outreach, an extensive archive of K-12 lesson plans including but not limited to an array of historical topics.

The Story of India
The Web site that accompanies the six-part PBS video series of the same name. The site and the video program are best used together, though there is much useful stand-alone information in the site.