History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2009: Q.6 (b)
Q.6 (b) Assess Kalhan’s view on history.
Kalhan in prologue of his book Rajatarangini expresses his view on history. Giving a brief introduction of early historians and their work, he argues why his “Rajtarangini”as history is better than the previous texts.
Kalhan expressed the following view in history:
(1) A good history has power to take the person into past and explore in a way like eye witness. That history involves a superior kind of creativity which retains its relevance even after many centuries.
(2) Historian should be appreciated who honestly judges the past incidents; unaffected by his personal likes & dislikes.He says that history must be unbiased.
(3) That quality of a good historian is adorable which exceeds the value of nectar’s stream because that immortalizes the body of glory, of self and of other.
(4) Kalhan criticized his earlier historians. He explained that there were many missing and even wrong things in early history books.
He criticised Suvrat’s writing which had manifested the early history in concise form because his writing style was so compact and critical that it remained incomprehensive and even misguiding for many.
Kalhan criticized the text “Nripavali” for lack of historical content. He blames that the book is more like a literature and less like a history.
(5) After criticizing early historians, Kalhan explain his extensive study. According to him, history should be written only aftet comprehensive study.
(6) Kalhan displayed surprisingly advanced technical expertise according to his period. For example: He gives importance to viewing the inscriptions recording construction of temples and other architectures, by inspecting several kinds of grant plates given by ancient kings and by studying several other texts, for writing history books.
(7) Not only had he described the events in Rajatarangini, but he had also tried to understand and explain the conditions of that time.
Hence, Kalhan’s view on history was qualitatively much ahead of his time and despite few inconsistencies in Rajatarangini, it is of high historical importance.