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ISSN: 2332-0915


Chota Nagpur - An Untold History: A Socio-Historical Analysis

Ambrish Gautam

It is customary with historians to divide the history of a country into the historic and the pre historic periods. The historic period of India has been dated to be the seventh century B.C. by Dr. V. Smith, apparently rejecting the earlier events on the ground that no fixed dates can be assigned to them. On the same principle, the historical period of Chota Nagpur will be dated from the later part of the 16th century A.D., when in the 30th regnal year of Emperor Akbar’s reign, i.e., 1585 A.D. a detachment was sent to Chota Nagpur under Shahbaz Khan Kambu; while the excessively date-minded scholars would prefer to begin regular history of this plateau from the year 1765, when the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was conferred upon the East India Company. Indus Valley and Chotanagpur: Sir John Marshall, while dealing with the extent of the Indus civilization eastward does not seem to have taken into his consideration the pre-historic relics of Chota Nagpur, discovered between the years 1915 and 1920, and published in the Journal of the B and O Research Society by Rai Bahadur Roy. The late learned Director-General of Archaeology in India, however, admits that no effort has yet been made to trace the Indus valley civilization eastward. Nevertheless, the learned Archaeologist frankly recognizes that “it is difficult to believe that while the Punjab and Sind were in possession of this highly advanced culture, the valleys of the Jamuna and the Ganges, of the Narmada and Tapti could have been far behind them” . Yet here in the Gangetic valley, Sir John stops and does not condescend to come down a little to the south to this plateau to find in this country more implements that he could expect. It may not seem to be a startling revelation to the readers to assume that the pre-munda traditional people, the asuras of chota Nagpur belong to the same race as the “ Proto-Mediterraneans,”and of the same type of culture as that of the indus valley, through in a miniature scale. In fact, if we compare the sites and the finds, unearthed at Mahenjodaro and at Harappa with those in Chota Nagpur, we cannot fail to be impressed with the idea that the pre- Munda Asuras might represent the same age and culture of people, or, as some advocates of the theory of migration would prefer to think an earlier batch of immigrants to chota Nagpur.