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Forum LockedThe Indus Valley Civilisation

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Poll Question: Can India Claim the IVC as part of it's joint history with Pakistan?
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    Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 18:15
This will be the first of my series of posts at an attempt to focus more on South and SE Asian History on this forum. I figured I may as well start at the beginning, I hope you enjoy these.

(I typed it up once but then the pc crashed meaning this is my second take at this)

Background
The Indus Valley Civilisation, also known as the Harappan and possibly Meluhha, existed between 2300-1300 BCE (BC). Its golden age is said to be between 2600-1900 BCE after which time it fell into decline.
The geographical boundaries of this ancient civilisation are from Baluchistan in the west, into Gujarat in the south and to the west surrounded by the Thar Desert.
 

 
This civilisation was first described in 1844 by Charles Masson and was later discovered in an excavation campaign by Sir John Marshall during the 1920s.
 
The civilisation can be said to have 3 distinct time periods, the Early Harappan period, the Mature Harappan Period and the late Harappan period.
 
The early Harappan period, which dates from 3300 BCE 2800 BCE, has several distinctive features, such as the access to the finest lapis lazuli in the world in Afghanistan (a gem). The civilisation had domesticated crops, which included peas, dates and cotton. It also had a wide range of domesticated animals which included the water buffalo.
 

picture from  www.pbs.org

The Harappan script is also thought to have originated in this period, which is approximately the same time scripts have been found in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. This script is still not deciphered and therefore cannot be read.
 
Over 1052 cities have been found so far from the Mature Harappan period. These include the urban centres of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The layouts of the cities were of such high quality that it can be assumed that there was knowledge of urban planning with an emphasis placed on hygiene. The two mentioned cities were even laid out in perfect grid patterns. Here is a computer animation of how Mohenjo-Daro may have looked like:
 

 
The cities in the Indus Valley were also the first to have sewage and drainage systems which were more efficient than any others in the world at that time.
 
The economies of these cities were believed to have been totally built up on trade. The trade included the use of bullock driven carts and small boats. Archaeologists have found a large dregged canal and docking facility in Lothal. Here is an artists impression:
 

picture from the Archaeological survey of India
 
The Indus Valley civilisation has been found to trade with certain areas of Afganistan, Persia and Mesopotamia, where the civilisation may have been known as Meluhha.
 
By Anuj Khamar
 
(note: more information may be added later)
 
Question
So can the Indus Valley Civilisation be claimed as part of Indian history if the assumption is made that the parts in modern day India do not exist?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 20:16

Hi Anuj, I have some questions (BTW nice map)....

1.) How can Pakistan, a country created on a PURELY religious (Islamic Fundamentalism) foundation, lay claim to the Indus Valley Civilization (cradle of Vedic Civilization as we know it)?
 
2.)  How can Pakistan lay claim to the IVC when even the most remote concept of a Pakistan is less than a century old?!
 
3.) Pakistanis of today (save a small %) are a mix breed of various races whereas the IVC was mainly a Dravidian civilization with a Proto-Dravidian language base. 
 
PS.  All this makes better sense since the Brahui (a Dravidian people speaking a Dravidian language) are still found in Balochistan, unless the "pakis" are saying that their forefathers were Dravidian ofcourse.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 20:34
Well Rajput do you look at history in terms of culture or geography? For example I'm sure modern day Egyptians do not shun their history due to religion. The history is there's because their people live where 3000 years ago there was a great civilisation.

Likewise in Pakistan, it happened within it's current borders therefore it is it's history.


Also, many Pakistani's will argue that throughout history the area's within their country have existed as a a separate entity. To a certain extent this is true. There has been more times when an Indian based kingdom did not rule Pakistan than when one did.

The question was, if it is the birthplace for vedic civilisation can India claim it as part of it's own history? (if it did not exist within modern India's borders). Are there any other examples of this?
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Ok, i don't see how India couldn't. Geography has little to do with history IMO. The entire concept of a Pakistan or Republic of India is a very recent concept. To claim seperate histories for either before the creation of either is pretty stupid. The IVC played as crucial a role in the development of India as it did Pakistan, and therefore as much a part of Indian history as any.
As to the area's within their country existing as a seperate entity, the same can be said of Tamil Nadu. Is there now a "Tamil Nadu History" as well? Are Tamilians no longer allowed to consider, let's say, Asoka as part of their history? Aren't Begalis allowed to be proud of Indian conquests by Cholans abroad, or are they not allowed, because they do not share geographic boarders with Tamil Nadu? I mean, seriously, what kind of historical division is geographic boundries? Entire cultures and civilizations move. That does not change who they are and what they represent.
IVC bred Indian civilization, and except for the fact that the word "India" is used to describe a country today, Indian civilization is as much "Indian" as it is "Pakistani," if i said that right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Jun-2006 at 22:25
Quote For example I'm sure modern day Egyptians do not shun their history due to religion. The history is there's because their people live where 3000 years ago there was a great civilisation.
 
Yea but its not theirs, modern day egyptians are quite diverse, racially speaking.  And i'm sure if there was no money to be made from egyptology, the muslim egyptians would probably shun it.  By the way which egyptians are descendants of the ancient civilization? Arabs? Bedouins?  Africans?   Egyptian art depicts them as being dark skinned, so it can't be the lighter skinned ones.
 
Originally posted by AnujKhamar AnujKhamar wrote:

Likewise in Pakistan, it happened within it's current borders therefore it is it's history.

I would look at Pakistan's history from the point of origination of the state of Pakistan not anytime before this simply because the people of the IVC were not of the same racial stock as the present day Pakistanis.

Originally posted by Anujkhamar Anujkhamar wrote:

The question was, if it is the birthplace for vedic civilisation can India claim it as part of it's own history? (if it did not exist within modern India's borders). Are there any other examples of this?
 
Question is did the present day Pakistanis have anything to do with the IVC population?  Answer: Probably not
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jun-2006 at 09:09
Originally posted by AlokaParyetra AlokaParyetra wrote:

Ok, i don't see how India couldn't. Geography has little to do with history IMO. The entire concept of a Pakistan or Republic of India is a very recent concept. To claim seperate histories for either before the creation of either is pretty stupid. The IVC played as crucial a role in the development of India as it did Pakistan, and therefore as much a part of Indian history as any.
As to the area's within their country existing as a seperate entity, the same can be said of Tamil Nadu. Is there now a "Tamil Nadu History" as well? Are Tamilians no longer allowed to consider, let's say, Asoka as part of their history? Aren't Begalis allowed to be proud of Indian conquests by Cholans abroad, or are they not allowed, because they do not share geographic boarders with Tamil Nadu? I mean, seriously, what kind of historical division is geographic boundries? Entire cultures and civilizations move. That does not change who they are and what they represent.
IVC bred Indian civilization, and except for the fact that the word "India" is used to describe a country today, Indian civilization is as much "Indian" as it is "Pakistani," if i said that right.


I agree with everything you said. It's just when i was making this I remembered that a few months (or years) ago I was having this same discussion with someone and they believed that India could not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watanyaara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jun-2006 at 20:45

The country of Pakistan, though a relatively new entity in the modern political sense has had its current border with India several times throughout history and has had more of a distinct history then a shared history with the mainland Indian peninsula.  During the times of Archaemenid empires(Cyrus and Xerses) the border between the Eastern Persian satrapy and India conforms more or less to the current Pakistan India border of today with the Thar desert in the south and the Sutlej/Beas Rivers acting as the northern demarcation, the same is true during Hellenistic rule(Alexander the Great & successor), further early Arab and persian charts refer to a Al-Sindh and the lands east of that as a seperate al-Hindh or Hindustan/medieval Europeans maps show the Indus/Panjab tributaries as seperate entities, then the Gangetic plain as representing India and lastly Afghan rulers later on who again reverted back to the said border. 

Going
back to the original point of this thread vis a vis the Indus Valley Civilization,  while the civilization encompassed a vast area with trading colonies as far east as Gujurat(in modern day India) and west as Afghanistan, the main focus of the civilization, key urban centers and historical  geopolitical data stems from the fact that this was a river based culture/civilization centred on along the Indus River.  So while Sudan can lay partial claim to the Egyptian empire due to being the lower raparian of the Nile river, the historical fact of the matter is they have had a distinct history(nubian) and cannot lay accurate claim to that past.  They same can be stated with the Indus Valley Civilization.  The supposed dravidian origins of the IVC is also being thrown into doubt as the indus script does not match any of the proto-dravidian stylets/pictography and does not explain the fact that there are no other dravidian language groups in the entire northern subcontinental region adjacent to the region of the IVC.  While brahui was hypothosized over a 100 yrs ago of  apparently showing traces of dravidian language root in their vernecular by early British colonial archeologists, the theory is far from complete and it(Dravidian root)is estimated as being below 15% hardly making it matter of fact, the bulk of their language is derived from the Iranian branch of the Indo-European tree, one look at there phenotype(physical characteristics) and the theory looks way off for they show more in common with southern Iranian medes both in facial features and overall physique. Senior scholars are questioning the whole brahui-dravidian association in its entirety going as far a calling completely innacurrate, and the biggest impedement in the deciphering of the Indus Valley Script(Professor Dani).  Recent DNA phenotyping has also found some correlation b/w the gene pools of the inhabitants of Sindh/lower Panjab and the genetic traits of the fertile crescent(Mesopotamia-tigris/Euphrates) and with the locals of the Nile(Egypt) showing there is some genetic consaguinity(mixing and similarities).  A fact first noted by noted traveller Rudyard Kipling on his early travels.  It is a well known fact that the IVC traded with those empires from which we find out the word for cotton in ancient egypt was 'sindhus'.  But this new wave of genetic testing which will be most interesting and will go further to prove that these peoples actually underwent migration. For many years now, scientist where having difficulty in trying to solve the origins of the mesopotamian ppls as they did not match any of their surrounding ethnic groups.  The recurrent theme of the bull is further significant.  To further add to this mix, In the province of Sindh today, there are an indigenous people who live near the Indus, and along the Machhar lake who show strong egyptian like feature(specifically there eyes, shape of their skulls and boat designs) and who claim the IVC as their own.  In lieu of the history and definative uniqueness of Indian history on its own and its clearly established parameters, I dont see how the IVC can be claimed by India at all, this is something unique to Pakistan as it inherited the stem of the Indus river.   as an analogy, Pakistan does not claim heritage to ancient persepolis, gupta dynasty or to the abbasid caliphate today though there is some overlap. Hope I helped clear up some minds  Smile 


Edited by watanyaara - 28-Jun-2006 at 22:15
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Rajput
 
History is never under sole ownership. That is why india and Pakistan are both a part of British history and conversely, and allways will be.
 
It is also not inconcievable that some of those who inhabit the geographic boundaries of pakistan have some dravidian in them, maybe even you since you are an Indian and from an area that very much overlaps and is adjacent to the IVC area.
 
Sameways as Aloka said that indians can claim IVC as part of thier heritage also.
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Originally posted by watanyaara watanyaara wrote:

While brahui was hypothosized over a 100 yrs ago of  apparently showing traces of dravidian language root in their vernecular by early British colonial archeologists, the theory is far from complete and it(Dravidian root)is estimated as being below 15% hardly making it matter of fact, the bulk of their language is derived from the Iranian branch of the Indo-European tree, one look at there phenotype(physical characteristics) and the theory looks way off for they show more in common with southern Iranian medes both in facial features and overall physique.

The basic Brahui physical type is Veddoid of South Asia whose features consist of wavy to curly hair, dark brown skin color and a slender body. They've started to intermarry with the pathans and baloch of the area so they may look different now, but I'll show you real authentic brahui if I can get my hands on pictures, they are probably as dravidian as they come.

 
Originally posted by Malizai Malizai wrote:

History is never under sole ownership. That is why india and Pakistan are both a part of British history and conversely, and allways will be.
 
Malizai but the difference is that the British don't claim to be related to or a part of Indian culture.  Pakistan has much of the area where the IVC originated from but that doesnt give Pakistan the sole right to the civilization.
 
Originally posted by Malizai Malizai wrote:

It is also not inconcievable that some of those who inhabit the geographic boundaries of pakistan have some dravidian in them, maybe even you since you are an Indian and from an area that very much overlaps and is adjacent to the IVC area.
 
I don't have a problem with the notion that I have some dravidian in me, lets face it nobody has seen their ancestors, the point is that Pakistanis will never accept your comments and its more of a racial question when you bring up the IVC.  Pakistanis today are mix breeds of countless invaders and muhajirs from all over the globe.  Take for example afghanistan, during their war with the Soviet Union countless mujahids crossed into afghanistan to aid your people and married into the afghans, thus changing the racial makeup considerably and similar is Pakistan's dilemma.


Edited by Rajput - 28-Jun-2006 at 21:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2006 at 06:24
Originally posted by watanyaara watanyaara wrote:

The country of Pakistan, though a relatively new entity in the modern political sense has had its current border with India several times throughout history and has had more of a distinct history then a shared history with the mainland Indian peninsula.  During the times of Archaemenid empires(Cyrus and Xerses) the border between the Eastern Persian satrapy and India conforms more or less to the current Pakistan India border of today with the Thar desert in the south and the Sutlej/Beas Rivers acting as the northern demarcation, the same is true during Hellenistic rule(Alexander the Great & successor), further early Arab and persian charts refer to a Al-Sindh and the lands east of that as a seperate al-Hindh or Hindustan/medieval Europeans maps show the Indus/Panjab tributaries as seperate entities, then the Gangetic plain as representing India and lastly Afghan rulers later on who again reverted back to the said border. 

Going
back to the original point of this thread vis a vis the Indus Valley Civilization,  while the civilization encompassed a vast area with trading colonies as far east as Gujurat(in modern day India) and west as Afghanistan, the main focus of the civilization, key urban centers and historical  geopolitical data stems from the fact that this was a river based culture/civilization centred on along the Indus River.  So while Sudan can lay partial claim to the Egyptian empire due to being the lower raparian of the Nile river, the historical fact of the matter is they have had a distinct history(nubian) and cannot lay accurate claim to that past.  They same can be stated with the Indus Valley Civilization.  The supposed dravidian origins of the IVC is also being thrown into doubt as the indus script does not match any of the proto-dravidian stylets/pictography and does not explain the fact that there are no other dravidian language groups in the entire northern subcontinental region adjacent to the region of the IVC.  While brahui was hypothosized over a 100 yrs ago of  apparently showing traces of dravidian language root in their vernecular by early British colonial archeologists, the theory is far from complete and it(Dravidian root)is estimated as being below 15% hardly making it matter of fact, the bulk of their language is derived from the Iranian branch of the Indo-European tree, one look at there phenotype(physical characteristics) and the theory looks way off for they show more in common with southern Iranian medes both in facial features and overall physique. Senior scholars are questioning the whole brahui-dravidian association in its entirety going as far a calling completely innacurrate, and the biggest impedement in the deciphering of the Indus Valley Script(Professor Dani).  Recent DNA phenotyping has also found some correlation b/w the gene pools of the inhabitants of Sindh/lower Panjab and the genetic traits of the fertile crescent(Mesopotamia-tigris/Euphrates) and with the locals of the Nile(Egypt) showing there is some genetic consaguinity(mixing and similarities).  A fact first noted by noted traveller Rudyard Kipling on his early travels.  It is a well known fact that the IVC traded with those empires from which we find out the word for cotton in ancient egypt was 'sindhus'.  But this new wave of genetic testing which will be most interesting and will go further to prove that these peoples actually underwent migration. For many years now, scientist where having difficulty in trying to solve the origins of the mesopotamian ppls as they did not match any of their surrounding ethnic groups.  The recurrent theme of the bull is further significant.  To further add to this mix, In the province of Sindh today, there are an indigenous people who live near the Indus, and along the Machhar lake who show strong egyptian like feature(specifically there eyes, shape of their skulls and boat designs) and who claim the IVC as their own.  In lieu of the history and definative uniqueness of Indian history on its own and its clearly established parameters, I dont see how the IVC can be claimed by India at all, this is something unique to Pakistan as it inherited the stem of the Indus river.   as an analogy, Pakistan does not claim heritage to ancient persepolis, gupta dynasty or to the abbasid caliphate today though there is some overlap. Hope I helped clear up some minds  Smile 


Brilliant post, and welcome to our forumClap

I have one thing i need to run past you. Why does Pakistan not claim heritage to the Gupta dynasty? Do they also not claim heritage to Maurya? It strikes me as odd as you find Indians learning the history of the entire subcontinant, including Pakistan, and yet you find Pakistani's at ease with only learning what is within there current geographical boundries.
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Pakistani history does actually claim Chandragupta Maurya (since he lived in Taxila for a while).
But, History as a subject usually deals with World History. Pakistani History is taught in a subject called "Pakistan Studies".
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watanyaara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2006 at 20:26
I know, SmileI took Pak studies long long time ago(ages ago!!), i think it was called Pak/Islamiyat, and later on did my undergraduate degree in history where along with my batch did a special presentation on the Indus Valley Civilization on power point.  I've kept the interest ever since those days and regularly read up on it, also, a friend of mine studies in Hamburg is currently the Director of South Asian History so he regularly sends me tid bits of updates here and there :)
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That would be great.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watanyaara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2006 at 13:36
Originally posted by Anujkhamar Anujkhamar wrote:


Brilliant post, and welcome to our forumClap

I have one thing i need to run past you. Why does Pakistan not claim heritage to the Gupta dynasty? Do they also not claim heritage to Maurya? It strikes me as odd as you find Indians learning the history of the entire subcontinant, including Pakistan, and yet you find Pakistani's at ease with only learning what is within there current geographical boundries.
 
I dissagree, in our history curriculum we covered a vast array of topics from the Kushans, Mauryan, Aryan,Sikh, British Colonial rule which overlaps with the history of India.  We also covered the world wars/European and colonial history, Japanes/Chinese history, American, Central Asia/South American as well as Russian and toped it off with Islamic history so it was quite extensive.  Obviously the emphasis was placed on Pakistan specific history but we did have a fair amount of exposure to local and world history.  hope that helps clear it up a bit.  and BTW thanks for the welcome :)Smile


Edited by watanyaara - 01-Jul-2006 at 13:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2006 at 19:09
Originally posted by watanyaara watanyaara wrote:

Originally posted by Anujkhamar Anujkhamar wrote:


Brilliant post, and welcome to our forumClap

I have one thing i need to run past you. Why does Pakistan not claim heritage to the Gupta dynasty? Do they also not claim heritage to Maurya? It strikes me as odd as you find Indians learning the history of the entire subcontinant, including Pakistan, and yet you find Pakistani's at ease with only learning what is within there current geographical boundries.
 
I dissagree, in our history curriculum we covered a vast array of topics from the Kushans, Mauryan, Aryan,Sikh, British Colonial rule which overlaps with the history of India.  We also covered the world wars/European and colonial history, Japanes/Chinese history, American, Central Asia/South American as well as Russian and toped it off with Islamic history so it was quite extensive.  Obviously the emphasis was placed on Pakistan specific history but we did have a fair amount of exposure to local and world history.  hope that helps clear it up a bit.  and BTW thanks for the welcome :)Smile

But do they teach Mauryan, Gupta, and British history as part of Pakistani history, or do they label it world history? Because i don't see why Pakistan couldn't consider Mauryan, Guptan, etc., history as part of Pakistani history just the same as i can't see how India can't teach Indus Valley civilization as part of Indian history. If they do teach Mauryan and Guptan dynasties as part of Pakistani history, how about Cholan, Cheran, and etc? Do they leave those out? Cause i can consider those a part of Pakistani history too.



Edited by AlokaParyetra - 01-Jul-2006 at 19:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote K. V. Ramakrishna Rao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jul-2006 at 04:55
The question "Can India Claim the IVC as part of it's joint history with Pakistan?" has been pre-determined, leading and suggestive one.
 
The same question could have been posted in other ways also:
 
Can Pakistan claim IVC as part of its joint history with India?
 
Can Pakistan claim IVC separate as part of its joint history with India? (Remember Mortimer Wheeler's "5000 yeasrs History of Pakistan" to please Pakistan)
 
Can Pakistan claim IVC ignoring India? (See the Pakistan year books).
 
Can Pakistan claim its history going back to 5000 years? (It has also claimed that the ocean below it should be named "Pakistan ocean")
 
 
History is not what was written or is written, but it is actually what had happened in the past.
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Originally posted by K. V. Ramakrishna Rao K. V. Ramakrishna Rao wrote:

 
Can Pakistan claim its history going back to 5000 years? (It has also claimed that the ocean below it should be named "Pakistan ocean")
  
Now thats an enlightened idea. River Indus is in Pakistan anway. Only a small part enter Bharat, and that does not belong to you as it is.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jul-2006 at 11:21
Quote But do they teach Mauryan, Gupta, and British history as part of Pakistani history, or do they label it world history? Because i don't see why Pakistan couldn't consider Mauryan, Guptan, etc., history as part of Pakistani history just the same as i can't see how India can't teach Indus Valley civilization as part of Indian history. If they do teach Mauryan and Guptan dynasties as part of Pakistani history, how about Cholan, Cheran, and etc? Do they leave those out? Cause i can consider those a part of Pakistani history too

The Pakistani history books I've read generally claim all north Indian and Afghan empires as part of pakistani history, but not south Indian.

- All empires/states that have occupied (part of) north india that is. Not just originated.

EDIT: They also claim south indian muslim states such as Mysore.



Edited by Omar al Hashim - 07-Jul-2006 at 11:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jul-2006 at 11:49
Okay to try to end the confusion.
In Pakistan History is split between two subjects,
History: World History mostly, with some Pakistani History overlapped.
Pakistan Studies: Its History section deals with most of Sub Continental History.
 
The Cirriculum is slightly different amongst different boards,  but generally Pakistan Studies history section begins with the Persian Empire. All that came before it is dealt wih in "History".
 
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jul-2006 at 12:26
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Quote But do they teach Mauryan, Gupta, and British history as part of Pakistani history, or do they label it world history? Because i don't see why Pakistan couldn't consider Mauryan, Guptan, etc., history as part of Pakistani history just the same as i can't see how India can't teach Indus Valley civilization as part of Indian history. If they do teach Mauryan and Guptan dynasties as part of Pakistani history, how about Cholan, Cheran, and etc? Do they leave those out? Cause i can consider those a part of Pakistani history too

The Pakistani history books I've read generally claim all north Indian and Afghan empires as part of pakistani history, but not south Indian.

- All empires/states that have occupied (part of) north india that is. Not just originated.

EDIT: They also claim south indian muslim states such as Mysore.



That would make more sense apart from the South Indian muslim states. Why stop at only the muslim states if they are going to consider any at all?


Edited by Anujkhamar - 07-Jul-2006 at 12:27
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