D. N. Jha

  (Redirected from Dwijendra Narayan Jha)

Dwijendra Narayan Jha is an Indian historian, specialising in ancient and medieval India.[2] He was a professor of history at Delhi University and a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research.

Dwijendra Narayan Jha
Jha dn.jpg
Prof. Jha in November 2012
Bornc. 1940[1]
Known forAuthoring books about Indian history


Jha completed his BA (Hons.) in History at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta and then his MA in History at Patna University where he was a student of Professor R.S. Sharma.[citation needed]


Jha has repeatedly taken a position against Hindu nationalist ideology, arguing against what he claims is "communalism" and "saffronisation", especially during the 1998 to 2004 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of the Republic of India.[3] He is critical of the view that "tolerance is the very essence of 'Hinduism qua Hinduism', and has claimed presence of what he terms as Brahmanical intolerance since early India,[4] even though he is himself a Maithil Brahmin.[5]


The Myth of the Holy CowEdit

Jha has received death threats over his book The Myth of the Holy Cow in which he outlines the practice of eating beef in ancient India as documented in Vedic and Post-Vedic texts. Since Hindus traditionally consider the cow holy and deny the claims of beef consumption during Vedic period, his book caused much controversy.[1][6][7]

Criticism by Arun ShourieEdit

Jha was accused by Arun Shourie of deliberate distortion of the facts behind the destruction of Nalanda University by Islamic invaders in 12th Century AD. Shourie accused Jha of selective lifting of sources, obfuscation and intellectual compromise.[8] In an article in the Indian Express, Jha stated that Shourie was distorting what he had said, and that Shourie's allegations of plagiarism are baseless. Jha also criticized Shourie's book Eminent Historians, saying that it contains "slander" and "has nothing to do with history."[9][10]


Works by D. N. Jha:

  • 1980, Studies in early Indian economic history, Anupama Publications, ASIN: B0006E16DA.
  • 1993, Economy and Society in Early India: Issues and Paradigms, ISBN 81-215-0552-6.
  • 1997, Society and Ideology in India, ISBN 81-215-0639-5.
  • 1997, Ancient India: In Historical Outline, ISBN 81-7304-285-3.
  • 2002, Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions; paperback (2004) ISBN 1-85984-424-3
  • 2004, Early India: A Concise History, ISBN 81-7304-587-9
  • 2009, Myth of the Holy Cow, ISBN 81-8905-916-5
  • 2009, Rethinking Hindu Identity, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-84553-459-2

As editor:

  • 1988, Feudal Social Formation in Early India, ISBN 81-7001-024-1
  • 1996, Society and Ideology in India: Essays in Honour of Professor R.S. Sharma (Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi, 1996).
  • 2000, The Feudal Order: State, Society, and Ideology in Early Medieval India, ISBN 81-7304-473-2; a collection of critical essays by 20 specialists on medieval Indian society, politics, ideology and religion.


  1. ^ a b Reddy, Sheela (17 September 2001). "A Brahmin's Cow Tales". Outlook. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Why the cow is worshipped in Hindutva politics".
  3. ^ Jha, D. N. (September 1998). "Against Communalising History". Social Scientist. 26 (9/10): 52–62. doi:10.2307/3517941. JSTOR 3517941.
  4. ^ Brahmanical Intolerance in Early India, D.N. Jha, Social Scientist, Vol. 44, No. 5/6 (May–June 2016), pp. 3-10
  5. ^ A Brahmin's Cow Tales, SHEELA REDDY, Outlook
  6. ^ The Guardian (13 July 2002)
  7. ^ The Hindu (15 August 2003)
  8. ^ "How history was made up at Nalanda". The Indian Express. 28 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Grist to the reactionary mill". Indian Express. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Votes do not guide intellectuals: D N Jha". Business Standard. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015.

External linksEdit