The National Perspective
Dr. Misra?s monograph deals with a specific period limited in its time-span. But the perspective he provides in processing this period is pertinent to the entire panorama of Indian history. For long, India has been depicted as a no-man?s-land which invader after invader has claimed as an easy prize, and into which diverse races, religions, and cultures have acquired an equal legitimacy. Dr. Misra rejects this perspective effectively and forcefully when he portrays India as the homeland of an ancient people who are united by a distinct and deeply spiritual culture, and who are prepared to fight and defy death in defence of their patrimony. The national perspective that thus emerges from Dr. Misra?s monograph is relevant not only to a correct reading of India?s past but also to a correct appraisal of India?s present-day politics.
This national perspective on India?s history had been alive and active in our national consciousness all through the long-drawn-out struggle against Islamic imperialism, though it had expressed itself more as a religious and cultural idiom than as a political ideology. It had come into sharp focus in course of the Swadeshi Movement (1905-09) when the brave resistance offered by the Rajputs and the turning of tables by the Marathas and the Sikhs, had become a backdrop for the freedom fight being waged against British imperialism. The residues of Islamic imperialism like the Aligarh school of Muslim politicians had taken fright at this re-affirmation of the national perspective, and sought protection from the British against the rising tide of Indian nationalism.