A Change.org petition signed by 50 prominent Indian historians seeks a change in the Leftist retelling of India’s history that dominates the current discourse. The petition has been filed in response to what it calls a “well-orchestrated campaign to create a bogeyman”.
Do you know why this petition is significant? There are seven arguments in the petition. Here is what they collectively point at. Remember, the expunging begins at the school level.
1. Many history textbooks, especially NCERT ones, try to deliberately raise suspicion in the minds of young readers about India’s ancient history.
The first point in the petition draws attention to the deliberate portrayal of India as a society that rejects inclusive culture. Take a look at this screenshot taken from an NCERT textbook. Note how they put the word achievements in double quotes.
The text that follows the above unnecessarily makes pointed attacks at India’s ancient system of land grants to Brahmins.
2. Scientific achievements of ancient Indians is often underplayed by ‘liberal intelligentsia’, even mocked at.
Writer Rajeev Srinivasan pointed out in an article that “a famed sarkari historian claiming on a BBC programme that a certain ‘Saint’ Thomas could have arrived in Kerala” without providing any evidence is as much a myth as is some flying chariot.
At the same time, this genius proved that India did have a role in the formulation of Pythagoras theorem:
3. “Hindu identity has been a pet aversion of this School.”
Writing in the Scroll, an ‘eminent historian’ even – without himself producing a shred of evidence – sidelines Rani Padmini as a mythical figure, insults Prithviraj Chauhan and humiliates India’s ancient history.
This is how he makes fun of the Rajput ruler:
4. “A refusal to acknowledge the brutality of many Muslim rulers and their numerous Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and occasionally Christian and Muslim victims.”
Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India 17 times and massacred many at the Somnath temple in Gujarat. NCERT books are either COMPLETELY SILENT about it or make a passing reference only.
There is no mention of Bakhtiyar Khilji, the one who destroyed Nalanda University and burned its library down.
Alauddin Khilji’s general Malik Kafur captured, looted and mercilessly killed people during his Deccan expedition. The NCERT textbooks make no mention of him and instead puts this inane question. (Kafur was a slave.)
Nadir Shah killed over a lakh people in Delhi but NCERT books only talk about the loot.
5. “A neglect of tribal histories…”
There is very little information on the rich tribal histories of India such as those in Northeast, the Andamans and the central Indian planes in the history textbooks taught in schools and colleges.
Revolutionary leaders such as Birsa Munda find no mention in books largely because he opposed conversions by the British.
6. The petition points at the “biased and defective use of sources”. The Aryan invasion theory is one example.
The theory as well as the dating of the composition of Rig Veda was propounded by British-era historians such as Mortimer Wheeler and continues to be supported blindly by Leftist historians.
This is how shamefully the Leftists distorted facts in the NCERT chapter on 1857 first war of Independence.
And do you know, the Cambridge History Collection HAS NO BOOK on India’s ancient history but has one each on medieval and modern history?
8. “Left-Liberals prefer to dismiss dissenting Indian historians as ‘Nationalist’ or ‘communal’.”
When the UPA government, supported by Left-Liberals came to power in 2004, they removed historian Meenakshi Jain’s book on medieval India as part of “de-saffronisation” plans just because it explained the first encounter of Islamic culture with Hindu culture as two evolved civilisations.
At the time of writing this article, 525 more signatures were needed to reach the target of 5000.