A History of Ancient and Early Medeival India date with Osmania University

I am overwhelmed”, exulted a teacher after witnessing the presentation by Professor Upinder Singh. The teacher had come with many of her students to attend the launch ceremony of the student edition of Professor Singh’s A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India on 7 August at Osmania University, Hyderabad. And she took no time to invite the author to her college to conduct a workshop for teachers on ancient Indian history.

The launch function was well attended by many from the academia, including Prof. T. Tirupati Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Osmania University, Prof. K. C. Reddy, Chairman, A.P. State Council of Higher Education, scholars and teachers not only of history but also of other humanities subjects, and students. The auditorium, which seats 250 people, was full to its capacity.

In his opening statement, Prof. K. C. Reddy, who was the chief guest at the function, said that history had mostly been written on the basis of the conviction and opinion of historians; this was, however, a book that extensively used archaeological evidence to make its point. He concluded by stating that the book is a remarkable contribution towards the development of the study of ancient Indian history.
The guest of honour, Vice-Chancellor Prof. T Tirupati Rao, thanked Pearson Education for choosing Osmania University as the venue for the event. He added that since the university is also the proud host of the 70th Annual History Congress (30 December 2009–1st January 2010), association with a book of this stature would definitely add to the university’s prestige. Quoting the importance of history as subject, he added that the book comprehensively discusses a vast span of time and space through an engaging narrative structure.

The programme began with Professor Singh’s presentation, which was as visually spellbinding as the book itself. Each of the pedagogical features of the book was present on the slides and Upinder explained the reasons for their inclusion. Professor Singh remarked that she had wanted to write a book that would interest students in knowing the subject. She said that most of the currently available (so-called) textbooks had never been written as textbooks for students fresh out of school, and were actually meant for specialized research.

Amit Kumar


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