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Question

What is the problem with the periodisation of Indian history that James Mill offered?


Solution

James Mill thought that all Asian societies were at a lower level of civilisation than Europe. In his prejudiced version of history, British rule represented all the forces of progress and civilisation while the period before British rule represents darkness, ignorance, despotism, religious intolerance, caste taboos, superstitious practices, etc. However, the periodisation of Indian history based only on religion is problematic for several reasons. A variety of faiths, apart from Hinduism and Islam, existed in the periods categorised as Hindu and Muslim by Mill. Also, it is not right to classify an age according to the religion of the rulers of that time.  By doing so it suggests that the lives and practices of others did not matter. Another point to keep in mind is that all rulers in ancient India did not share the same faith.

Social Science
NCERT
Standard VIII

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