Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Center for Ancient History and Culture organizes PURATATTVAM, a lecture series on Examining the Evidence: The Story of Ancient India by Dr. Raj Vedam on 8 January 2020.
Exciting new findings related to India’s distant past are being reported by geneticists, paleontologists, and archaeologists, opening the need to re-evaluate the current narratives on Indian history. Our history textbooks have not kept pace with the archeological findings, but retain an outdated history and prehistory over-reliant on divisive “oppressor-oppressed” sociological Etic models. Dr. Vedam, the speaker will present the primary methodologies employed in the narration of the Indic civilization such as the moot Harappa/Aryan periodization imposed on Indian prehistory, its attendant consequences, and the Eurocentric narrative that Indians got their knowledge of math and astronomy from Babylonians and Greeks. Each contentious issue will be outlined and the claims presented from existing narratives. Using the latest published scientific research and textual internal sources, the speaker will highlight evidence that shows the need to re-evaluate and calibrate the existing narratives. The range of topics covered will be from archaeology, genetics, astronomy, linguistics, and other fields, and span various time-periods. The session will be concluded with tracing the impact of Indian knowledge systems on the ancient and medieval world, all the way to colonial and present times, again showing the need to re-visit existing narratives. The talk will highlight the use of an evidence-based methodology to validate claims in Indian history while employing the powerful value of an Emic lens.
About the Speaker
Dr. Raj Vedam is an M.Tech from IISc, Bengaluru, and a Ph.D. holder in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University, USA. As a scientist, he researches the roots of modern sciences, mathematics, and technology. His research has led him to study not only the histories of India, but also those of Babylon, Greece, Egypt, Rome, China, Hittites, Mitanni, and Arabs. Dr. Vedam proposes that an evidence-based narrative of Indian history is vitally needed to correct several speculative and damaging mainstream narratives of Indian history. Towards that, he bases his talks and workshops on published scientific literature from various fields.