Syllabus of History class XII
Themes in Indian History Part-I
1. The Story of the First Cities: Harappan Archaeology
Broad overview: Early urban centres.
Story of discovery: Harappan civilization.
Excerpt: Archaeological report on a major site.
Discussion: how it has been utilized by archaeologists/historians.
2. Political and Economic History:
How Inscriptions tell a story
Broad overview: Political and economic history from the Mauryan to the Gupta period.
Story of discovery: Inscriptions and the decipherment of the script. Shifts in the understanding of political and
Excerpt: Asokan inscription and Gupta period land grant.
Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by historians.
3. Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata
Broad overview: Issues in social history, including caste, class, kinship and gender.
Story of discovery: Transmission and publications of the Mahabharata.
Excerpt: From the Mahabharata, illustrating how it has been used by historians.
Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing social history.
4. A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa
(a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaisnavism, Saivism.
(b) Focus on Buddhism.
Story of discovery: Sanchi stupa.
Excerpt: Reproduction of sculptures from Sanchi.
Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been interpreted by historians, other sources for reconstructing the history of Buddhism.
Themes in Indian History Part-II
5. Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i- Akbari
(a) Structure of agrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries.
(b) Patterns of change over the period.
Story of Discovery: Account of the compilation and translation of Ain-i-Akbari.
Excerpt: From the Ain-i-Akbari.
Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the text to reconstruct history.
6. The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles
(a) Outline of political history c. 15th-17th centuries.
(b) Discussion of the Mughal court and politics.
Story of Discovery: Account of the production of court chronicles, and their subsequent translation and transmission.
Excerpts: from the Akbarnama and Padshahnama.
Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the texts to reconstruct political histories.
7. New Architecture: Hampi
(a) Outline of new buildings during Vijayanagar period — temples, forts, irrigation facilities.
(b) Relationship between architecture and the political system.
Story of Discovery: Account of how Hampi was found.
Excerpt: Visuals of buildings at Hampi.
Discussion: Ways in which historians have analysed and interpreted these structures.
8. Religious Histories: The Bhakti-Sufi Tradition
(a) Outline of religious developments during this period.
(b) Ideas and practices of the Bhakti-Sufi saints.
Story of Transmission: How Bhakti-Sufi compositions have been preserved.
Excerpt: Extracts from selected Bhakti Sufi works.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been interpreted by historians.
9. Medieval Society through Travellers’ Accounts
Broad Overview: Outline of social and cultural life as they appear in travellers’ accounts.
Story of their writings: A discussion of where they travelled, why they travelled, what they wrote, and for whom they wrote.
Excerpts: from Alberuni, Ibn Batuta, Bernier.
Discussion: What these travel accounts can tell us and how they have been interpreted by historians.
Themes in Indian History Part-III
10. Colonialism and Rural Society: Evidence from Official Reports
(a) Life of zamindars, peasants and artisans in the late 18th century.
(b) East India Company, revenue settlements and surveys.
(c) Changes over the nineteenth century.
Story of official records: An account of why official investigations into rural societies were undertaken and the types of records and reports produced.
Excerpts: From Firminger’s Fifth Report, Accounts of Francis Buchanan-Hamilton, and Deccan Riots Report.
Discussion: What the official records tell and do not tell, and how they have been used by historians.
11. Representations of 1857
(a) The events of 1857-58.
(b) How these events were recorded and narrated.
Excerpts: Pictures of 1857. Extracts from contemporary accounts.
Discussion: How the pictures of 1857 shaped British opinion of what had happened.
12. Colonialism and Indian Towns: Town Plans and Municipal Reports
Broad Overview: The growth of Mumbai, Chennai, hill stations and cantonments in the 18th and 19th century.
Excerpts: Photographs and paintings. Plans of cities. Extract form town plan reports. Focus on Kolkata town planning.
Discussion: How the above sources can be used to reconstruct the history of towns. What these sources do not reveal.
13. Mahatma Gandhi through Contemporary Eyes
(a) The nationalist movement 1918-48,
(b) The nature of Gandhian politics and leadership.
Focus: Mahatma Gandhi in 1931.
Excerpts: Reports from English and Indian language newspapers and other contemporary writings.
Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.
14. Partition through Oral Sources
(a) The history of the 1940s;
(b) Nationalism, Communalism and Partition.
Focus: Punjab and Bengal.
Excerpts: Oral testimonies of those who experienced partition.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been analysed to reconstruct the history of the event.
15. The Making of the Constitution
(a) Independence and the new nation state.
(b) The making of the Constitution.
Focus: The Constitutional Assembly debates.
Excerpts: From the debates.
Discussion: What such debates reveal and how they can be analyzed.