During a panel discussion on the manner in which Indian school and university history textbooks defame the country’s revolutionary leaders, BJP MP to the Rajya Sabha Subramanian Swamy recommended that the government should rope in Rajiv Malhotra to revise the textbooks and rectify the mistakes.
His book, co-authored by Aravindan Neelakandan, is hailed as a monumental piece of research into how Western institutions have been constantly digging a schism between Hindu societies on the lines of caste and ethnicity.
The Indian-American Malhotra heads the Infinity Foundation, which strives to promote a view of Indian history and Hinduism from a non-Western perspective.
While Malhotra has been arguing for a new and correct estimation of Hinduism in India and the world, he does not criticize other religions.
One must note here that it is the same school of thought that many Indian historians adhere to. Those historians went on writing history textbooks for schools and colleges.
The books, therefore, not only obfuscates major portions of India’s history but also distorts them.
For example, entire chapters on the glory of India’s ancient empires, which were predominantly Hindu, have been omitted or substantially reduced to one or two pages in school textbooks in NCERT and ICSE. At the same time Shaheed Bhagat Singh is called a “revolutionary terrorist” and his freedom struggle as “terrorism”.
Eminent historian Yvette Rosser describes Malhotra as a “non-Hindutva Hindu”, highlighting how the latter’s view of Hinduism is free from any colour.
Perhaps this is why Swamy feels that Malhotra is the right choice to head a committee to set right India’s history textbooks.