In our growing up years, considering history or language for further studies was never a choice for able group. Applied Science, if not basic science, if not commerce ... all fails.. then arts. This was the hierarchy. As a mainstream kid, I followed the conservative approach. Terming the subjects which were lowest in hierarchical order as "most boring" was one such conventions. Strictly followed that too. Never imagined myself to be studying history in future.
Continued with my Science, obtained doctorate from one of the premier institutes of India. Suddenly my life came to a halt when I became mom and decided to take a career break. Those years gave me an opportunity to put my hands in those areas which I would have never ventured otherwise. To engage myself in free time, I became member of discussion forums ranging from political discussion to TV soaps. (Trying to figure out logic in those irrational plots was a challenge on its own :) ).
There was a hot political discussion during the time, when judgement for Ram JanmaBhumi / Babri Masjid was to be announced. A commenter came with an allegation, Hinduism is not all that non violent as people consider it to be. He produced the evidences from a History book from Wendy Doniger. One of the accusations were how Hindus destroyed Jainism in Karnataka. When I read it, I refused to believe it. There are so many Jain pilgrimage places in Karnataka. How can one trust such a theory? I challenged the authenticity of his statements. But he did not budge. He replied, "At least, I am backing up my argument by some source. All you are saying is, I had a picnic near a derelict". That was a slap. Actually, I did not know any source to back up my statement, as I had never considered studying history before. I took his challenge and looked for sources to support my argument.
Landed up with an article from Seetaram Goel. He did acknowledge; Jainism suffered under Veerashaivas (first blow to my belief), but he mentioned Veerashaiva was a community away from Hindus which got influenced by Muslim Sultanet (not too convincing argument). Wendy Doniger's (she has referred to Romila Thapar) argument was not convincing either. Painting one community as the oppressor and other as a poor victim (not revealing details of the conflict) looked one sided. I just felt, both the authors were more loyal to their ideology (left or right wing) than history. My further posts are about Indian history as understood by a non history student. (Rather a science student, trying to understand the sequence and consequence rationally). I am presenting what I read and what I inferred without getting biased (according to me). End of the day; my blog, my mess.