It is widely acknowledged that an idea expressed in one language, if translated into another, its Meaning and its associated understanding undergo change. The English word History is ordinarily translated as Itihasa in the Sanskrit-rooted Indian languages. In the Euro-American Tradition history is traced to the Greek word historia, learning by “enquiry”, narration of what is learnt. Words like narrative, story and Account are closely linked to history. Itihasa literally mans what indeed happended. Its cognates in Indian languages are iivrtta, upakhyana, gatha and purana. That these words are closely related to narrative, story and past Events are obvious.
Chattopadhyaya has tried to argue in this book that the modem Scientific concept of history, though has its undeniable importance, should not be understood in a dehistorised manner. The modem concept of history should not be confused with the Ancient or even the Medieval concepts like purana, puravrtta, itihasa and upakhyana. Our modes of understanding and action should not be telescoped into theirs. This distinction squarely rests on the Difference between age-specific social conditions and their influence on human ideas, ideals, languages, rather modes of speech, and actions. An attempt has been made to show how literature in its wider sense, comprising epochbound beliefs, myths, customs, conventions, social Movements and other forms of culture enter into historical narrative. In the name of contemporanity of history, its very temporality or time-bound Character can hardly be denied. Chattopadhyaya argues that history emobodies a sort of interepochal Dialogue (samtap) which, like different forms of Science and arts, are endlessly updatable.