As R. J. Evans warns ("In Defense of History", p. 14), practicing historians may not have a God-given monopoly of pronouncing sensibly on historical matters. Indeed, current historical beliefs and concepts, however dominant and fashionable in the academies, have to be judged on their own merits, and should not be accepted uncritically simply because they are espoused by a majority. Moreover, amateur researchers are generally less driven by vested interests and their work often displays a freedom of spirit not always characteristic of syndicated writers. Stalwarts such as Charles Darwin were amateurs.

        I am a great admirer of Sir Isaac Newton whom I rank above Albert Einstein. Another of my heroes is the British mathematician Arthur Cayley who at one stage refused a University post that demanded a religious oath. For the next fourteen years he practiced as a lawyer in London. Cayley published between two to three hundred academic papers during this period. My admiration for two other British scholars, Sir William Tarn and Arnold Toynbee, is for their wide knowledge of both the West and the East. They were also not paid historians. I admire Jimmy Wales, the proud amateur who created the Wikipedia. He is celebrated as a champion of internet-enabled egalitarianism and I admire his anti-credentialist approach to knowledge. The notion of 'cloistered virtue' is plainly outdated in this age of science. However, in my view, the Wikipedia is nearly useless on ancient Indian history. It is also very confusing and illogical on the history of the Roman Empire and early Christianity.

        In my humble opinion the study of history is mainly an activity of the reasoning mind and I naively believe that a precise knowledge of true history ultimately has a healing effect on society. History should never be tailored to suit utilitarian goals as G. M. Trevelyan proposed. Instead, all thinking individuals should fearlessly strive to “put false coins out of circulation”.

           My main argument is that Palibothra of Megasthenes was not Patna as Sir William Jones suggested, but was in the north-west of India. Kohnouj near Jiroft may have been Palibothra of Megasthenes. Another Mauryan stronghold may have been Deval near Karachi. Patali 28°19'58" La., 57°52'16" Lo near Kohnouj and Dvaravati (Djiroft) may have been the ancient Patala. This is now southeast Iran but was once a part of 'India'. Although there is not a single archaeological proof of Jones’ conjecture, the Chinese evidence being very late and as such irrelevant, Indologists stick to it as a bad habit that has become entangled with false nationalistic pride.

        I have also maintained that Gautama Buddha belonged to the Gandhara area, not Punjab. This is vindicated by the recent discoveries at Mes Aynak in Afghanistan.

        In my opinion the footprints of Jesus and St. Thomas have to be sought in Mes Aynak which is in Gandhara. Jesus was not born in 0AD and he was Amyntas of Galatia of Phrygia whose rule ended about 25 B.C. Amyntas of Galatia may have fled to India and ruled as Amyntas Nikator. In my scheme St. Thomas is the great hermaeus Soter and St. Paul is Asinius Pollio. Today Christopher Woods of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies finds my views unacceptable, but this may change in the future.       

        I was awarded a Ph. D. degree by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1973 for mathematical studies on Cherenkov radiation. I am greatly indebted to my supervisor, the late Prof. S. Dattamajumdar, for inculcating the basic dos and don'ts of research and enlightening me about the researcher's tryst with antinomian worlds. He created a stir in 1947 by publishing a class of exact solutions of Einstein’s equations for the case of electrostatic fields (with or without spherical symmetry). These solutions lead to the now-famous Dattamajumdar-Papapetrou model of static universe and stars. Later, Prof. Dattamajumdar worked under the Nobel Laureate Prof. P. A. M. Dirac of Cambridge. I also had the good fortune to commune with such great teachers as Rev. Franz Goreaux, a student of Georges Lemaître who had also worked with Albert Einstein. Lemaître gave one of the first rigourous solutions of Einstein's equations and put forward the 'The Big Bang' hypothesis. Einstein himself could not give any exact solution of his equations. Father Goreaux and Prof. Dattamajumdar introduced me to the charmed worlds of physics and mathematics and, in a way, changed my life.

        I am a life member of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institution, Pune, and the Indian Society for Greek and Roman Studies, Bareilly. I have published a book entitled “Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander”, reviews of which are available at http://www.classics.und.ac.za/reviews/05-19pal.htm and http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2007/2007-12-39.html . Another book in Japanese entitled “Gotama Buddha in West Asia” is published by Toho Shuppan, Osaka. The book entitled “The Mystery of Buddha” by T. Sato is mainly based on my work. I am married and my other interests are physics, metaphysics, literature and music. My e-mail address is ranajit_2002@yahoo.co.uk . 

 

Life of Newton Bangla