How Sanskrit and Persian gave way to English in the Indian Sub-continent
The Anarchy, the latest book by William Dalrymple, has been seen as an “ energetic pageturner” in The Guardian and stayed for some time on top of the Asian Age Bestseller list. The book portrayed how the British India Company was a pre-cursor to multinationals.
Dalrymple himself is a recorder of history around the Indian subcontinent, has reviewed another book which shows how conquest linguistically over rides the existing culture and languages Richard M. Eaton’s India in the Persianate Age 1000–1765.
Recently Darlymple wrote, while discussing Eaton’s book, in The Spectator : “By 1264, a bilingual inscription carved on a newly founded mosque in Veraval, near the great Hindu temple of Somnath in Gujarat, gives a picture of a town where two worlds were coming into intimate contact. The Persian text refers to the deity worshipped in the mosque as Allah, and describes the patron who raised it as ‘the sultan of sea-men, the sun of Islam and the Muslims’. By contrast, the Sanskrit text identifies the deity worshipped in the mosque as Visvanatha (‘lord of the universe’) and Sunyarupa (‘one whose form is the void’) and Visvarupa (‘having various forms’), while the patron is described as dharma-bhandaya — a supporter of dharma, the righteous cosmic order of justice and duty, as understood in classical Indian thought.”
Read further to see how English overthrew Persian in the later period of Indian history in Dalrymple’s review in The Spectator.
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