Criticism: you are not studying Ancient India!

I do not see why I have to study the history of the last 4000 years to understand modern India. To the extent past becomes relevant (my research into some particular question will tell me whether the past is relevant, if so which part of the past is relevant, and how far I need to go in understanding the issue I want to understand), only to that extent do I need to study the past. The general statement ‘we are what we are because of the past’ is true. But this is also a general statement. How far into my ‘past’ do you need to go in order to understand my present? That depends on which part of the present you want to understand and what this ‘understanding’ means in the context of your research. The same applies to a study of cultures and societies.

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