The story of civilisation || through the ages a new story of civilization
The story of civilisation: The heritage of India is the result of developments in the social, economic, cultural and political life of the Indian people over a period of thousands of years through the ages a new story of civilization.
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In this the story of civilization books, you will read about some aspects and features of these developments which are important for an understanding of India’s heritage through the ages a new story of civilization.
The Land and the People Two basic components of this heritage, which have at the same time shaped this heritage, are the I and, the natural and physical environment of lndia and the people will have inhabited this land.
The generations of people who have inhabited India during various periods of her history have interacted with their physical and natural environment. They have also interacted among themselves. Through these processes of interaction—between people and their natural and physical environment and among themselves—the people have created their history, their social, economic, cultural and political life.
These processes of interaction have been going on for thousands of years, bringing in changes in the life of the people. The world of man, therefore, has never been stationary. 'India is a vast country. It extends for nearly 300(1 kilometers from Kashmir in the north to Kanya kumari in the south and forthe same distance from its western-most parts to its eastern-most parts.
Nature has made it into a distinct geographical entity, The Himalayan ranges in the north and the sea in the east, west and south separate it from the rest of the world. The people inhabiting the country from very early times as well as people of other parts of the world have viewed it as a single integral and distinctive unit.
Through the ages a new story of civilization
These-geographical features, however, while making her a well-defined unit separated from the rest of the world, have not become a barrier to contacts with the rest of the world. Since the lime of the Old Stone Age, people from neighboring as well as distant regions have been coming into India through the mountain passes and the seas and making India their home.
The people of India have been formed as a result of these migrations over thousands of years- They are the descendants of groups of people belonging to almost all the 'racial stocks' of mankind and their admixtures who made India their home.
The main 'racial types' which have gone into the making of the Indian population are the Proto-Australoids, the Palaeo Mediterraneans, the Caucasoids, the Negroids and the Mongoloids in their varying degrees of mixtures, In historical times, the ethnic groups which have come to India and made India their home include the Indo-European speaking people (the Indo Aryans), the Persians/ the Greeks, the Kushanas, the Shakas, the Hunas, the Arabs, the Turks, the Africans and the Mongols.
During (he past few hundred years, many Europeans have also made India their home. All these 'racial and ethnic groups' have intermingled with one another and few of them can be recognized in their original form.
Thus, India has been a crucible of various 'races' and 'ethnic groups'.They have all contributed to the making of Indian history and culture through the ages a new story of civilization.
The migration of people into India has been a major factor in the development of various aspects of India's life and culture since pre-historic limes. In historical times, the importance of this factor is conspicuous in almost every period of India's history.
The people from other cultures, tradition and civilizations have brought with them their own traditions into the Heritage which got intermixed and integrated with the pre-existing traditions of India.
Similarly, people of India have gone to other parts of the world and various elements of culture carried by them have intermixed and have been integrated with the pre-existing cultures there. During the past 2000 years, the influence of various elements of Indian culture has been particularly evident in many countries of Asia.
The vastness of the country and the great variations in its geographical features —land forms, natural resources, climate and others —have provided the bases for a great variety in ways of living from very early times. Tire mountains and the river systems have been an important factor in the emergence of a number of distinct cultural zones within the country.
The Vindhya ranges, for example, divided India into north and south with the people of the Indo-European family of languages predominating in the northern, and those of the Dravidian family of languages in the southern parts of the country. These factors however, have not made any part of the country isolated from the other parts.
The story of civilisation: The physical barriers between different parts were not insurmountable even in early times when means of travel were not developed. They did not prevent the movement of the people from one part of the country to another.
Despite the Vindhya ranges, for example, the movement of people from the north to the south and vice versa has been going on from very early times. Thus while geographical factors have deeply influenced the emergence of distinctive ways of living of people in different parts of the country, the interaction between them has been going on. The availability of different natural resources in the country has also furthered links between its diverse parts, These factors have helped the processes of both unity and diversity.
The historical development of the country has brought the people together and has led to the growth of a common culture to which all parts of the country have contributed. At the same time, each part of the country has developed its own distinct identity. Because of this, the historical and cultural development of India is often described as one of unity in diversity and the culture of the country as a whole a composite one comprising distinct parts. It has never been a monolith.
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