15 April, 2021

Facile Spring

This is a book which aspires to have a reach. Alas, that aspirational reach exceeds its author’s intellectual grasp.

Facile Spring
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

‘Classical India’ and the ‘Golden Age of India’ are sobriquets once used for the Gupta era (300-600 AD), an age that produced outstanding literature, sculpture, architecture and so much else. It is not clear why Abraham Eraly’s new book brings more than a millennium within the ambit of ‘Classical India’. This makes the scope of The First Spring highly ambitious, including in it India’s sprawling landscape, polity and society, economy and everyday life, philosophy and literature, even arts and religion, across 1,300 years and more.

Unfortunately, this is compromised by unsubstantiated generalisations, by an ignorance of archaeology and the kind of information it has yielded on many of the issues examined here, and by a complete disregard for some segments of the India it claims to describe.

Anyone with a working knowledge of ancient India would be appalled, for instance, by the book’s characterisation of classical Indian civilisation as essentially Buddhist. Is this a...

In this article:

More from Nayanjot Lahiri


Latest Magazine

April 19, 2021
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section