RSS-BJP bid to distort history inflicts immense damage on character and identity of India

RSS and BJP leaders like Amit Shah must realise that distorting history without analysing it in the backdrop of social science would prove to be disastrous for the country

Representative (courtesy: DW)
Representative (courtesy: DW)

Arun Srivastava

Decrying modern Indian history and accusing eminent historians of distorting historical facts has turned into an obsession for BJP leaders and cadres. Every individual in the party, right from the lower level to the top leaders, is busy finding fault with history and dictating an infantile discourse about its content and politico-religious contour.

Ever since Narendra Modi came to occupy the office of the Prime Minister, the new breed of Sangh Parivar historians, who have very poor knowledge of history, have sprung up on the academic horizon of India and started dictating how to ‘correct’ history. The crescendo has reached a peak. The BJP’s cadre and leaders are raring to show their intellectual acumen by rectifying the leftist distortions.

Their acquiring academic expertise primarily owes to the guidebook on history made available to them by the RSS leaders. Obviously, it provides an insight into the educational pursuit of the RSS leadership. So far as RSS leaders are concerned, history should be judged from a religious perspective. There is no place for realism. Most of their discourses are based on hearsay.

They condemn Muslim rulers as invaders. This perception has been created by the RSS for the consumption of the common Hindus. They feel that anything said against the Muslims would be easily acceptable to the Hindus.

Though RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is not tired of playing gimmicks, like claiming that Hindus and Muslims have the same DNA, the fact remains that they do not subscribe to such thoughts.

It is a historical fact many Muslim kings had their own kingdoms or ruled over the parts of India even before Mughals descended on India. Yet another fact which cannot be ignored is that most of the Mughal kings assimilated with the prevailing Indian culture and became an integral part of the country.

Barring a few, no one looted the country and returned back to the places from where they had come. Moreover, it is not as if Hindu kings did not rule the country.

Unfortunately, the RSS and the new ‘historians’ reject or discard these bare facts.

Recently, while speaking at a seminar in Banaras Hindu University, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about the need to “rewrite history” from an “Indian point of view” and went on to ask: “Who is stopping us from amending history”.

The question which arises is that how could he come to the conclusion that history which is being taught does not represent the “Indian point of view”?

Facts are fact and it depends on individual historians how he analyses and interprets a particular incident based on the available basic materials. A historian does not survive in the world of fantasy. Saffron historians may contest the old findings, but they cannot distort the facts.

Amit Shah’s comments will simply encourage the new ‘historians’ to play down the correct and right information and facts. Glorification of India’s ancient past by right wing writers is based on the texts of epics and religious books. They simply narrate the incident and don’t analyse them from proper perspective.

The RSS and for that matter leaders like Amit Shah must realise that distorting history without analysing it in the backdrop of social science would prove to be disastrous for the country. Maybe the RSS and BJP would benefit electorally by arousing the Hindutva fervour, but it would inflict immense damage to the character and identity of India.

(IPA Service)

Views are personal

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