India's Stories From Indian Perspectives

Courtesy:- Subhash Kak / Swarajya Magazine.

Ancient Indian temples are some of the greatest artistic achievements of mankind, celebrated the world over, but not enough has been done to understand their history.

Searching through the uncertainty and confusion of the present, knowledge of the past provides illumination, which is why history is important. We not only need the history of kings but also of education, and of art and architecture.

In recent years, textbooks have created a false picture of how education worked before the arrival of the British, and it was accepted that Indians had been largely illiterate. This changed when Dharampal (1922-2006) wrote The Beautiful Tree, which, using British documents from the early 1800s, showed that pre-British education was fairly universal, indeed more so than what Europe had in that period.

Dharampal explains that the temple and the mosque of each village had a school attached to…

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