History in India is focused overwhelmingly on the speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, and within them, on the people of the North (Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh). But India is less a country, and more a continent, a bit like Western Europe. How would it look if the history of Europe discussed only the exploits of the Greeks and Romans, ignoring the Germanic and Celtic tribes? The Celts lived in northern Italy, France, Iberia and Britain before the armies of Rome conquered them. Germanic chiefs repeated the cycle once the Roman Empire began crumbling. The Lombards, Franks, Visigoths and Saxons played a crucial role in the evolution of European culture.
One of the reasons I started this blog is to record the history of my own people (the Dravidian Telugu speaking people). As the government and media are dominated by conservatives (who believe that there is no such thing as a Dravidian language family, and everything stems from the North), it is difficult to convince many in the South that they have their own heritage to be proud of. This denial is couched in the form of religious (Dravidian history being a myth created by British missionaries to attack Hinduism) or patriotic sentiment (linguistic identity being harmful to national unity).
I had mentioned the presence of a 5th century BCE Iron Age settlement in my city. But it isn’t the only one. Here’s a list of the sites in and around Hyderabad prepared using books, websites and newspaper reports. Unfortunately, many of them are threatened on account of the ignorance that South Indians demonstrate with regard to their own past. The British administration did not discriminate between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian (or for that matter, Austro-Asiatic and Sino-Tibetan) prehistory. That is no longer the case with Central Governments being increasingly Hindi-centric. The state governments are apathetic and watching ancient monuments (such as the beautiful megaliths or dolmens of the Southern Neolithic Period, associated with the rise of Dravidian people) disappear.
List of megalithic sites:
- Moula Ali
Image Attribution: The image above is sourced from Wikimedia Commons and credited to James Fergusson, a Scottish historian and architect.
- History of Telangana edited by V Ramakrihna
- Archaeological Survey of India