Archive for April 2nd, 2018

Guwahati: A city shaped by time, and the Brahmaputra

April 2, 2018

Mint’s Sunday edition keeps coming with history gems.

Ibu Sanjeeb Garg (Income Tax Commissioner) has a piece on Guwahati’s history. We know little about history of Indian cities and even lesser on cities in North East.

These lines are from a rock inscription found in the Nilachal Hills, a few kilometres from Guwahati. It reads: “This cave (-temple) of the illustrious Lord Balabhadra has been constructed by Maharajadhiraja Sri Surendra Varman.”

The inscription is estimated to date back to the 5th century AD, which makes it one of the earliest found in North-East India. Interestingly, it refers to a temple dedicated to Balabhadra, a god of the Vaishnavite pantheon, but the location of the temple—the Nilachal Hills—was largely the site with a Shaivite tradition. Notably, the inscription also helped historians establish the line of the Varman kings. (It mentions a “Surendra Varman”).

For the rest of us, though, it signalled something else—the existence of a city, Guwahati, for more than 1,500 years of recorded human history. The Nilachal rock inscription is incontrovertible proof that Guwahati has been home to a sizeable settlement for at least two millennia. The North-East has rarely figured in the imaginations of the bulk of Indian historians, and yet it has stood the test of time in its voyage through the ages.

Lots of stuff in the piece on Guwahati’s history..

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Bank examiners’ expertise and their role in monitoring and disciplining banks during the panic of 1893

April 2, 2018

Profs Charles Calomiris and Mark Carlson in this paper (ungated older edition) figure whether bank examiners and their inspection add value:

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