Genealogy, Time and Identity: Historical Consciousness in the Deccan, Sixth Century CE- Twelfth Century CE
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Assistant Professor, Department of History, Nizam College, Osmania University
This book provides for the first time a detailed analysis of the prasasti and donative parts of the inscriptional records of different Chalukyan families that ruled the Deccan between 600 and 1200 CE. It shifts focus away from the genre of writing regional political history to the genre of writing social history at the regional level using the same genealogical sources more effectively. Through the fourfold classification of the inscriptions spread across time and space, and inclusion of some of the families of local chiefs, it has also addressed issues relating to the use of time in its varied dimensions – cyclic or mythical, linear or historical. The main argument in this book also disproves the theory that pre-colonial India had no historical consciousness. Since every individual, family and nation has a past, studying genealogies as records of the past increases understand how ruling families viewed their past, which was based on both memory and time.
‘Pariti’s analysis of the genealogical portions of inscriptions as a form of historical narrative both corrects the traditional positivist historiographical emphasis on inscriptions as primarily a source of political history and highlights the nature of traditional forms of historical consciousness that emerged from the ‘processes of constructing specific social and political identities’.’
Uthara Suvrathan, South Asian Studies