The History of India goes by its own significance. It abounds with great men and great events.
The civilisation of India is as old as the civilisations of the Nile Valley and Mesopotamia. The Vedas of India are the most ancient literature of the Aryan race.
India’s Buddha is the only human being recognized as God. Ashok is regarded as the greatest monarch in human history. India is the birth place of four great religions. Some of India’s monuments are the wonders of the world. And, India’s contributions to human history have been invaluable.
The distinction of Indian History lies in its continuity. There were countries with glorious past. But that past has no connection with their present history. For example, the modern Egyptians are not the desendants of the builders of the Nile Civilisation. There are other countries like the United States of America which are great in modern times.
But they have 110 past history to be proud of. In these respects, India is different. Her history is old. It is also continuous through ages. Today’s Indians are the descendants of the Indus Valley people and the Rig-Veda Aryans. The culture of the land is a synthesis of the Tribal, the Dravidian and the Aryan ways of life.
There were countries like ancient Greece or Rome which became highly civilised. But their civilisations mainly centered round one race, one language and one faith. On the other hand, Indian civilisation grew with many races, many languages and many religions. The history of India, therefore, breathes a spirit of tolerance.
Indian History also bears a morale. Outside her frontiers, India seldom tried for brute political domination. On the other hand, her cultural expansion proved a boon to Asia. Buddhism went out of this country not merely as a religion but also as a force of civilisation. From the days of Buddha and Ashok till today, India’s message of peace and non-violence has influenced others. India’s religion, philosophy, art and ideas spread over most countries in a peaceful way. Side by side, India showed remarkable toleration to other cultures.
For the people of India their history carries deep meaning. The country is permanent while man is momentary. For generations of men, history preserves the story of the country. History binds the people in unity. It also reminds the people of their strength and weakness. It carries lessons regarding success and failure. It also works as an inspiration in days of danger. In fact, it was the faith in India’s historic greatness which inspired Indians to fight for independence.