Writing The History of India and The History of Islam
This chapter examines two series of textbooks commissioned by Osmania University that asserted the importance of Islam to the history of civilization and the importance of Muslims to Indian history. The History of India (Tārīkh-i Hind), written by Sayyid Hashmi Faridabadi, and The History of Islam (Tārīkh-i Islam), by Abdul Halim Sharar, asserted the importance of Islam to the history of civilization and the importance of Muslims to the history of the nation. Both books underscore the extent to which the intellectuals associated with Osmania University accepted and engaged in shaping modernizing and nationalist narratives. In these projects, emphasis was consistently placed on recovering the secular achievements of a Muslim past that would serve India's new national purposes. This chapter explains how the school's intellectuals both defined the purposes of history writing and decided which narrative traditions were of use to advancing the secular purposes of an Osmania University education.
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