Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History

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Penguin Books India, 2008 - India - 260 pages
A Sober, Analytical Demonstration Of The Various Tellings Of The Sack Of Somnath & [Explores] Not Just The Politics Of Memory, But Also How Remembrances Play On The Certitude Of Facts Shahid Amin In Outlook In 1026, Mahmud Of Ghazni Raided The Temple Of Somanatha. The History Of This Raid And Subsequent Events At The Site Have Been Reconstructed In The Last Couple Of Centuries Largely On The Basis Of The Turko-Persian Sources. There Were Other Sources That Also Refer To Events At Somanatha Throughout A Period Of Almost A Thousand Years, But These Have Rarely Been Quoted When Reconstructing This History. Until Very Recent Times, There Were Few Attempts To Either Juxtapose Or Integrate These Other Texts In Order To Arrive At A More Complete Understanding Of The History Of Somanatha. Such Sources Include Local Sanskrit Inscriptions, Biographies Of Kings And Merchants Written From A Jaina Perspective, Epics Of Rajput-Turkish Relations Composed At Various Rajput Courts And Popular Narratives Of The Activities Of Pirs And Gurus, All Of Which, In Some Way, Have A Bearing On The History Of Somanatha. This Book Is An Attempt To Draw Together These Numerous Voices, To View The Sources Comparatively, But Above All To Place Each Narrative In A Historical Context. This Also Involves Exploring Why A Particular, And Often Distinctive, Perspective Was Adopted By Each. It Suggests A Different History Of Somanatha From The One That Has Been Projected Through The Last Two Centuries. It Also Effectively Underlines The Significance Of Examining The Historical Perceptions Of How Authors Present Events, Both In The Narratives Written In The Past And In The Interpretations Of Past Events In Present Times. A Remarkable Example Of Assiduous And Open-Ended Historiography Hindustan Times

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The Setting
The TurkoPersian Narratives 38
Sanskrit Inscriptions from Somanatha
Biographies Chronicles and Epics
The Perceptions of Yet Others
Colonial Interpretations and Nationalist Reactions
Constructing Memory Writing Histories

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