Roshen Dalal

Manimekalai: Seeking the ultimate beyond gender

GUEST COLUMN Draupadi, Kunti, Sita, are the names we usually come across in the context of the epics. The strong women in the epics of south India are less well known. The Shilapaddikaram, a Tamil verse epic composed by Ilango Adigal, narrates the story of Kovalan and Kannaki, a married couple. Kovalan fell in love with the dancer Madhavi...

The restoration of a mosque

GUEST COLUMN In the light of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhumi dispute, it would be interesting to read about an early king of Gujarat, who insisted on restoring a mosque that had been destroyed. The Dharma Shastras, the ancient law books, state that it is the duty of the king to protect his subjects. Thus the Manu Smriti says, “The...

Christopher Columbus and the Caribbean Islands

GUEST COLUMN  Roshen Dalal Monday, 08 October 2018 | Dehradun– Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) is the English version of the Spanish name Cristobal Colon, and the Italian Cristoforo Colombo. His voyages of exploration were sponsored by Spain, and he made four of these in his attempt to reach India, searching for gold and spices. Though he never arrived in India, his...

Rakhigarhi-what does the DNA sample prove?

GUEST COLUMN Monday, 10 September 2018 | Roshen Dalal | Dehradun– Rakhigarhi, an archaeological site in Hisar district of Haryana, has been in the news lately. Excavations at the ancient site of Rakhigarhi reveal a number of mounds, dating from pre and early to mature Harappan times (the period for the mature Harappan civilisation is from 2600-1900 BCE). Adding together the...

LEARNING FROM HISTORY: HIROSHIMA AND MEMORIES OF THE BOMB

Monday, 06 August 2018 | Roshen Dalal | in Guest Column |Dehradun– What is the point of knowing about the past? This was a question often put to me as a teacher. Why do we need to know about it at all? Considering how different versions of the past are put forward and misused to prove some point or the other,...

GUEST COLUMN : THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE

Thursday, 26 July 2018 | Roshen Dalal | Dehradun— Very often history focuses on catastrophic events, but across the world, there are more periods of peace than of war. And even during the fiercest wars there have there have been times of empathy and peace. Among the most notable was that of the Christmas Truce of World War I. World War I...

ARCHAEOLOGY AND GARBOLOGY: FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT

Archaeologists are trained to explore and excavate ancient sites. Some sites have monuments that can be seen above ground, but the older the site, the less you will see on the surface. Over time, buildings crumble and collapse, wind and rain add to the destruction, and finally what one will see today is what looks like an earthen mound....

GUEST COLUMN: 10,000 YEARS AGO: WAS LIFE SO VERY DIFFERENT?

Today we live in a digital age with instant communication across the world. Yet some essentials of the way we live date back to very early times. Even 10,000 years ago people must have got up in the morning, had a wash, eaten a meal, and then done some kind of work, before eating and sleeping once again. By...

THE HARAPPAN CIVILISATION: ITS SUB-CULTURES

Every person in India has heard and read about the Harappan Civilisation, but very few are aware of its sub-cultures. This Harappan Civilisation lasted from about 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE and evolved from earlier settlements in the area. It extended over almost 1.3 million square kilometres, and had several large cities with baked brick structures and an intensive...

LANGUAGE AND THE HANDAXE

Monday, 09 April 2018 | Roshen Dalal | Dehradun– How do you make a handaxe? And what relationship does a handaxe have with language? The Stone Age handaxe had a broad base and ended in a point, and this point as well as the sides, were sharp, and could be used for cutting or chopping.  It was quite a complicated tool, made...