It is a hurried comment. There is no fresh explanation in it. It is a short book. The writer has written it nicely. The author has given links to two It is a hurried comment. There is no fresh explanation in it. It is a short book. The writer has written it nicely. The author has given links to two online resources. ...more
Basham's book is recommended for students and aspirants who prepare for Civil Services in India. It is presumed that those who work on that line, theyBasham's book is recommended for students and aspirants who prepare for Civil Services in India. It is presumed that those who work on that line, they might have read this book.
Secondly, he was the guide for PhD of Romila Thapar another renowned historian of Ancient India.
The book definitely gives a fresh look to Ancient India. Generally, you find very few books nicely written on the period of Ancient India. Some of the other books contain too many references to the facts and figures written in Sanskrit that it is not useful for every one. Secondly, the chapter making is different from other books. The contents fulfil the need of the students about whom it is referred above. On the whole, it is one of the popular books till this day.
On the other hand, the author had failed to suspend his racial bias while writing about Ancient India. Some of the commentators and reviewers have already raised some issues. A historian is not expected to be judgemental which interpreting. Alas, Basham made many judgemental remarks. While discussing Yogasutra, he sarcastically commented on the existence of Sushma Nadi. Similarly, while talking about Soma, one can guess that what can be a remark of a Western scholar. Therefore, while calling it one of the best books on ancient India for the students, I have given only three stars. It is best because one can find reference to answers to numerous Multiple Choice questions which appears in the examination in a single book. One can prepare a good note on Ancient literature on Buddhism from the contents provided in this book. That is the importance and value of the book. One can gather many references to numerous terms related to the society and those terms are not fully understood at present. However, this book is not a good source on the political history of India. For that, one needs to take help of other books.
One should not wonder if some of the reviewers and especially the Indian reviewers criticise it. From Kapil, to Gautam, to Patanjali, to Panini, to Aryabhata, to Sankaracharya to later times the people like Satyendra Bose, J Bose, Meghanath Jha, C. V. Raman, or for that purpose, Narain, a twenty nine year old young man whom the Western World knew as Vivekananda, the disciple of Ramakrishna on whom even Max Muller wrote a biography, to the present day intellectually awake Indians who fully understand the Western Philosophy, Basham made some amusing judgemental remarks. If someone gives him one star, I will not be surprised. But, I will like to respect the intellectual mind of any race, as it the heritage and culture of Indians like Varamahir who was ready to respect Romanav chart to correct the Solar chart, Basham definitely deserve the respect. ...more