Idea of History
History comes from Greek ‘historia’, meaning ‘a learning or knowing by inquiry or investigation’.
History is the study of the past, and Herodotus has been called the “father of history.”
The study of History covers all aspects of human society including.
- Social Economic
New Social History
Social History is the history of the entire society in which we study the daily life of common people.
- The social and economic relationship between the people.
- Class of labours
- Religious affairs
Social History is notable during the 1960s by the British historians, Edward Thomson, Eric Hobsbawm, Harold Parkin.
History of Sports
- Sports and games are the national identities.
- Football and Cricket – England
- Rugby – USA
- Kabaddi and wresting – North India
- Archery – Bhutan
- Mohan Bagan club of Calcutta (India) won the India Football Association shield in 1911 defeating the British East York’s Regiment.
- Symbolic statement was given by Swami Vivekananda “the Bengal youth could get to heaven playing football”.
- Boria Majumdar – Twenty Yards of freedom. (The Book dealing with the social history of Cricket.)
- Kaushik Bandyopadhyay – Khel Jakhon (Playing Football)
- Ram Chandra Guha – Corner of a foreign field
(He suggests the game is the possibilities of opening international and political relations through cricket)
- The games Dice and Chess were immensely popular.
- Other games were – cattle-fighting, rowing, tug of war, and stick fights.
- Wrestling – Hindu Mela was a political and cultural festival started in 1867 in Calcutta. It was marked by regular exhibitions of stick fighting and wrestling.
- Two Bengali Wrestlers were – Jatindra prasad (Gobor) Guha and Phanindra Krishna.
- Football: Football arrived in India from England.
- Football was played regularly by European settlers and soldiers in Kolkata, Barrackpore and Dum Dum at the beginning of the 19th century.
- It is likely that the first football match was played at the Esplanade Maidan during the second week of April in 1854 AD.
- The first Bengali to play the game was Nagendra prasad Sarbadhikari.
- Koushik Bandyopadhyay has done interesting research on the history of football.
- Cricket: A village in southern England introduced cricket to the world in the 17th century.
- In 1792 AD, they set up the first cricket club – the ‘Calcutta Cricket Club’ (C.C.C.). In those days, the British played while the Bengalis watched.
- Soon, the Bengalis were drawn to the game. In the early days, they used to bowl underarm.
- Nagendra prasad Sarbadhikari was the first Indian over-headbowler.
- Sarada Ranjan Ray, Principal of the Vidyasagar College, Kolkata, appreciated the importance of cricket and he, along with Dukhiram Majumdar and others, took the initiative to popularize the game among the Bengali youth.
- Sarada Ranjan formed the ‘Town Club’.
- Hockey: British army officers introduced hockey among the Indian ‘Rangers Club’ in Kolkata made the game popular in the city.
The history of food habits
- In the earliest stages of creation, man has been a food-gatherer, not a producer of food. Large and small groups of people moved around the forest in search of food.
- Man depends on trees, fish from rivers and seas as well as animals hunted forests.
- Gradually man learnt to cultivate different types of grass. These were, actually, primitive forms of crops like wheat, barley, rice, millet, rye or maize.
- Around this time, man learnt to build permanent homes as well as do livestock farming. He learnt to tame animals such as sheep, goats, pigs and cattle. Meat and milk from animals were now included in his list of food.
- “Rasagolla: Bengal’s Magic Invention” by Haripada Bhowmick provides a detailed history of the popular sweet, Rasagolla.
(Note: – The spongy white rasgulla have been introduced in West Bengal in 1868 by a Kolkata-based confectioner named Nobin Chandra Das.)
- Professor Niharranjan Roy has collected food habits of Bengali from the ancient book “Charyapada”.
- K.T. Achaya – Indian Food: A historical companion
History of Music and Dance
- Music, possibly, had its birth in the number of sounds strewn in nature, coupled with rhythms of various kinds.
- Sounds made by the mouth, whistling or humming tunes were enriched by clapping, foot-tapping in pre-historic ages and, later, by beating drums and such other instruments. Various ceremonies and rituals prompted the man to use music.
- The ancient man considered natural phenomena such as storms, rain and thunder expressions of divine power.
- He sought to appease these powers or the deities through ritual or ceremonial music and dance.
- Of course, such musical and dance forms have evolved greatly over the ages and have grown with the addition of themes and musical instruments.
History of Films
- The camera is the only next after the Printing machine.
- Cinema started its journey on 28th December 1895 AD, at D’hotel café in Paris with the help of two brothers Auguste Lumiere and Louis Lumiere.
- The cinema come to India 17 years later and was called it bioscope. In Bengali was called the picture or ‘motion picture’.
- On 21 April 1913 AD, ‘Olympia Theatre’ in India showed the first Indian silent film, Raja Harishchandra. Dadasaheb Phalke directed and presented it. It was truly a pioneering moment for Indian cinema.
- Notable books on the subject include
- ‘Films, People and Something More’ by Rittwick Kumar Ghatak,
- ‘About Films’ by Satyajit Ray
- ‘How Cinema has Evolved’ by Farhana Mili.
The history of clothes and dresses
- The man was not used to wearing clothes in primitive times. He learnt to cover his body with animal skin and barks of trees in the Old Stone Age.
- Weaving came into existence in the New Stone Age.
- Cotton and silk were now used to make clothes.
- With the evolution of civilization, man concentrated more on weaving and wearing better and proper clothes.
- Three separate sections
- Mesopotamia first makes yarns, to weave and colour textiles.
- The Indus Valley Civilization saw people using cotton and woollen garments.
- As climates varied across the world, so did the clothes worn by ancient men and women.
- Each society or community had various classes of people who were used to wearing different kinds of clothes.
- Bengal, which generally had a moderate climate, saw the upper classes wearing refined or luxurious garments.
- The women of Bengal owe much to the ladies from the Tagores of Jorasanko; the latter majorly contributed to modernizing women’s fashion in Bengal.
- The evolution of clothes and fashion in Bengal is written by Malay Roy.
History of architecture
- The history of architecture, too, goes back to many eras. Civilization nurtured knowledge and
wisdom in man which he used to build a variety of objects.
- Large buildings and architectural constructions are examples of man’s creativity.
- The wealthy section of ancient Sumerians used to construct mammoth palaces.
- Each town had its own resident deity and huge temples were built in His name.
- These were known as ‘Ziggurats’. Each Ziggurat, boasting of an eye-catching architectural style, had a sky-high dome and innumerable rooms.
- An endless number of books have been written on the architectural styles and splendour of pyramids in Egypt, the enormous temples in ancient Greece – especially the ‘Parthenon’, the ‘Colosseum’ in Rome, and the colossal temples and palaces built in ancient India.
- Amiya Kumar Bandyopadhyay, Tarapada Santra, Hitesh Ranjan Sanyal and Ratanlal Chakraborty have done commendable research on the architectural patterns and artistry of Bengal temples.
History of Women
- The study of contemporary history is incomplete without the history of women.
- It is a much researched and much-written topic across the world.
- Earlier, women had very little existence of their own.
- Religious theorists dictated that women should be governed by their parents in childhood, by their husbands in youth and by their sons in old age.
- They have done away with the shackles of bondage and exerted their right, having made their presence felt in the fields of education, culture, politics, administration, religion, sports and in all aspects of human life.
- We are proud of the contributions of women such as Queen Didda, Sultan Razia, Queen Lakshmi Bai, Durgavati, Matangini Hazra, Golda Meir, and Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Indira Gandhi.
- We bow our heads at the sacrifice made by freedom fighters Pritilata Waddedar, Bina Das and Shanti-Suniti.
- Important books on this subject are
- ‘Women in Modern India’ by Nira Desai,
- ‘Women in Modern India’ by Geraldine Forbes
- ‘The Indian Women: From Purdah to Eternity’ by B. R. Nanda.