The Cold War Era

The Cold War Era Overview This chapter provides a backdrop to the entire book. The end of the Cold War is usually seen as the beginning of the contemporary era in world politics which is the subject matter of this book. It is, therefore, appropriate that we begin the story with a discussion of the … Read more

ASHOKA, THE EMPEROR WHO GAVE UP WAR

A very big kingdom an empire The lions that we see on our notes and coins have a long history. They were carved in stone, and placed on top of a massive stone pillar at Sarnath . Ashoka was one of the greatest rulers known to history and on his instructions inscriptions were inscribed on … Read more

NEW QUESTIONS AND IDEAS

The story of the Buddha Siddhartha, also known as Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born about 2500 years ago. This was a time of rapid change in the lives of people. As you saw in Chapter 5, some kings in the mahajanapadas were growing more powerful. New cities were developing, and life was changing in the … Read more

KINGDOMS, KINGS AND AN EARLY REPUBLIC

How some men became rulers Choosing leaders or rulers by voting is something that has become common during the last fifty years or so. How did men become rulers in the past? Some of the rajas we read about in Chapter 4 were probably chosen by the jana, the people. But, around 3000 years ago, we find some changes … Read more

WHAT BOOKS AND BURIALS TELL US

One of the oldest books in the world You may have heard about the Vedas. There are four of them – the Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. The oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago. The Rigveda includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”. These hymns are in praise of various … Read more

IN THE EARLIEST CITIES

The story of Harappa Very often, old buildings have a story to tell. Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, when railway lines were being laid down for the first time in the Punjab, engineers stumbled upon the site of Harappa in present-day Pakistan. To them, it seemed like a mound that was a rich … Read more

FROM HUNTING–GATHERING TO GROWING FOOD

The earliest people: why were they on the move? We know about people who lived in the subcontinent as early as two million years ago. Today, we describe them as hunter-gatherers. The name comes from the way in which they got their food. Generally, they hunted wild animals, caught fish and birds, gathered fruits, roots, nuts, seeds, … Read more

WHAT, WHERE, HOW AND WHEN?

Finding out what happened Yesterday: you could listen to the radio, watch television, read a newspaper. Last year: ask somebody who remembers. But what about long, long ago? Let us see how it can be done. What can we know about the past? There are several things we can find out — what people ate, … Read more