New PDF release: Alberuni's India

By Edward C. Sachau

In 1017 CE, on the behest of Sultan Mahmud of Persia, Alberuni, often referred to as Al-Biruni, travelled to India to profit concerning the Hindus and to debate with them questions of faith, technological know-how and literature and what shaped the very foundation in their civilization. He remained in India for 13 years, his exploration and examine of the rustic gave solution to a scholarly paintings that, in its profound figuring out of virtually all features of Indian existence, remained unrivaled for 8 hundred years.

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No one thought of politicians as selfless people who wanted to make Pakistan a better place to live in. Neither did I take much interest in social work or charity. Sure, I attended fundraising dinners every now and then, but hardly ever because I was touched by the cause of a particular charity; more because of the social occasion. I hardly ever gave zakat, feeling I had done my duty to society once I had paid my taxes. Despite this, it was around this time I began to contemplate that there could be a God.

For how could there be any reconciliation between the inherited traditional life which. despite all its frugalities. carried with it the treasure of an eternal meaning and the modern European world which. as it so palpably demonstrates. is a force oriented entirely to this world. towards possessions and enjoyments. and in every way contemptuous of the sacred? These splendid men of the now dying generation. whom I had once known had indeed been conquered outwardly. but inwardly they remained free; the younger generation.

That they feel no need to borrow from anybody else's culture. Colonialism only works if the colonizers are convinced of their superiority and the colonized of their inferiority. In contrast. the legacy of British colonialism is still strong amongst older or retired army officers and bureaucrats. the Pakistani military and bureaucracy being originally colonial constructs. There is an ingrained inferiority complex. I remember a serving lieutenant-general saying to me: 'But. Imran. my dear chap. ' I am sure a lot of people who wear Western clothes in Pakistan would like to wear shalwar kameez.

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Alberuni's India by Edward C. Sachau


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