Sources of History Class 8 History Notes Maharashtra State Board
We have studied the sources of ancient and medieval Indian history. This year we are going to study the sources of Modern Indian History. Historical sources include material, written and oral sources. Similarly, sources based on modern technology such as audio, video, and audio-visual are included.
Various objects, monuments, places, coins, sculptures, etc. can be included in the material sources of history.
Buildings and Places:
The period of Modern Indian History is believed a period of Europeans, especially the British rulers, and governance of Princely States. In this period various buildings, bridges, roads, water supply systems, fountains, etc. were built. These buildings include government offices, residences of officers, leaders, and revolutionaries; palaces of rulers of princely states, forts, prisons, etc. Among these monuments, many buildings are intact even today. Some are declared as national monuments, whereas some are converted into museums. For eg. the Cellular Jail in Andaman.
While visiting these sites we get information about contemporary history, architecture, the nature of the monument, and also the economic condition of that particular period. Just as during the visit to the Cellular jail in Andaman, we get information about the revolutionary work of V.D.Savarkar; by visiting Manibhavan in Mumbai or Sevagram Ashram at Wardha we get information about the history of the Gandhian era.
Museums and History:
For the study of History various objects, paintings, photographs, and such other things are preserved in a museum. At the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, we can see different objects, and documents giving information about the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Statues and Memorials:
During the pre-independence and post-independence periods, memorials of many personalities were erected in the form of statues. These statues are also important for the study of modern Indian history. The various statues provide information about contemporary rulers and eminent personalities. The display plaque on the statues gives us information about the full name of the concerned person, birth and death details, brief information about their contribution, and a biographical sketch of the person. Just as the statues, of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Lokmanya Tilak, and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, there are memorials which are erected in memory of various events which give information about the concerned event, period, people related to the event, etc. E.g. Hutatma Smarak at various places.
The following aspects are included in the written sources of Modern Indian History.
Newspapers and Periodicals:
Newspapers provide us with information about contemporary events. Along with it, detailed analyses of a particular event, views of eminent people, and editorials are also published. We get information about the political, social, economic, and cultural happenings of that period. In the pre-independence period, newspapers like Dnyanoday, Dnyanprakash, Amrit Bazaar Patrika, Deenbandhu, and Kesari acted as important sources of awakening the minds of the people. Through the newspapers, we can study the British policies regarding India and their effects on India. During the British period, newspapers were not only the source of political events but also acted as a source of social reformation. The Nibandhmala by Vishnushastri Chiplunkar and Shatapatre written by Lokahitawadi alias Gopal Hari Deshmukh in the weekly Prabhakar comments on various social and cultural issues.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Newspapers:
In January 1920, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar started the fortnightly ‘Mooknayak’. But later, Dr. Ambedkar had to leave for higher studies in England and hence he handed over this paper to his colleagues. In April 1927, Dr. Ambedkar started the newspaper ‘Bahishkrut Bharat’. Through the medium of Bahishkrut Bharat, he wrote for the reformation of common people and bringing unity among them. Apart from this he also started two more newspapers, namely, Janata and Prabuddha Bharat.
Maps and Drawings:
The map is also regarded as an important source of history. The changing nature of a city or a particular location can be traced through maps. The Survey of India was an independent department established during the British period. Through scientific methods of survey, they have created maps of India, various provinces of India, cities, etc. Similarly, the plans designed by the architects prove important from the view of the study of the architecture of a building as well as the phases of the development process of a particular area. For example, the Department of Mumbai Port Trust has the original plan of the Bombay Port Information about the development of Bombay City can be understood through the plans drafted by architects and engineers.
The following sources are included in the oral sources of Modern Indian history.
During the period of the freedom movement, various inspirational songs were composed. At present, some of these songs are available in written form, but there are many other unpublished inspirational songs memorized by freedom fighters. Through this inspirational song, we can get information about the conditions during the pre-independence period and also the spirit behind the freedom struggle could be understood.
Powada is a source for getting information about a historical event or the work of a person. There are various Powadas composed on the freedom struggle of 1857, valor of revolutionaries during British rule, etc. These Powadas were used to create motivation and spirit among the people. Apart from the freedom movement, the Powadas were composed based on the work of Satyashodhak Samaj for awakening the oppressed classes, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, and such other events.
Video, Audio, and Audio-Visual Sources:
During the modern period, due to the development of Technology, there was a development in the art of photography, recording, Films, etc. These photographs, records, or films can be used as a source of history.
Photographs are a visual source of modern Indian history. With the discovery of the art of photography, photographs of various persons, events, objects, structures, and places were clicked. Through these photographs, we get information about the person or an event in a visual format. In the case of the medieval period, there are paintings available that depict the physical features of a person or visual description of a particular event, but the authenticity of these paintings is doubtful. Comparatively, photographs are considered to be more reliable. The photograph of a person gives information about the physical features, dressing style, etc. Photographs of an event give a visual image of the event whereas photograph of an object or a structure helps in understanding its nature.
The discovery of the technique of recording was also as important as photography. Recording is a form of audio source of history. During the modern period, the speeches of leaders or important personalities, songs, etc are available in the form of recordings. They can be used as a source of history. For example. The national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ sung by Rabindranath Tagore himself or the speeches of Subhash Chandra Bose can be used as an audio source for the study of the history of Modern India.
Films are considered a unique discovery of modern technology. In the 20th century, there was a great development in the technique of filmmaking. Dada Saheb Phalke, in the year 1913, laid the foundation of the Indian film industry. Audio-visual recordings of the Dandi Yatra, Salt Satyagraha, Quit India Movement, and such other historical incidents are available. Through these films, the events could be seen in reality.
Compared to the ancient and medieval periods, the sources of study of modern Indian history are found in abundance and variety. The archaeological sources of this period are to a great extent found in a better state. There are many written sources preserved in the archives. But while referring to the written sources, the ideology and opinions of the author regarding the particular event need to be examined. There is a great need to preserve these historical sources through which the rich tradition of history can be handed over to the next generation.
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