The book contains various aspects of Indian historical writing tradition through ages. The historiography of India refers to the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to develop a history of India. In recent decades there have been four main schools of historiography in how historians study India: Cambridge, Nationalist, Marxist, and subaltern. The once common “Orientalist” approach, with its image of a sensuous, inscrutable, and wholly spiritual India, has died out in serious scholarship.
This book scrutinises the vast corpus of Vedic texts, the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the itihas-purana traditions, the Buddhist and Jain canonical texts, hagiographies, biographies, inscriptions, chronicles and theatrical compositions like the Mudrarakshasa etc. Since independence Indian historians have revisited all the assumptions of colonial historiography; religious identities were no more the determining element. History was no longer mono-causal but multifaceted to include social and economic structures.