'Historians Only Focussed on Mughals; Time to Write Our Own History': Amit Shah

The Union home minister's comments on rewriting history come against the backdrop of several reports claiming the 'saffronisation' of school and college curriculum.

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New Delhi: Most of the historians in India have given prominence to recording the history of Mughals only, ignoring the glorious rules of many empires like Pandyas and Cholas, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Friday, June 10.

He declared that “nobody can stop us from writing history as we are independent now.”

Asking historians to revive the glory of the past for the present, Shah, while releasing Omendra Ratnu’s book Maharana: Sahastra Varsha Ka Dharma Yuddha [Maharanas: A Thousand Year War for Dharma] said, “History cannot be created by governments but it’s built on true events.”

He urged society to take the initiative to present history in its “true form.”

“I want to tell the historians. We have many empires but historians have concentrated only on the Mughals and wrote mostly about them. The Pandya empire ruled for 800 years. The Ahom empire ruled Assam for 650 years. They (Ahoms) had even defeated Bakhtiyar Khalji, Aurangzeb and kept Assam sovereign. The Pallava Empire ruled for 600 years. The Cholas ruled for 600 years,” he said.

“The Mauryas ruled the whole country – from Afghanistan to Lanka for 550 years. The Satvahanas ruled for 500 years. The Guptas ruled for 400 years and (Gupta emperor) Samudragupta had for the first time visioned a united India and established an empire with the whole country. But there is no reference book on them,” he said.

The home minister said reference books should be written on these empires and if they are written,” the history which we believe wrong will gradually fade away and the truth will emerge.”

For this, he said, there is a need to start work by many people.

Shah said history is not written on the basis of victory or defeat but on the basis of the outcome of any event. “No one can stop us from writing the truth. We are now independent. We can write our own history,” he said.

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The Union home minister’s comments on rewriting history have come against the backdrop of several reports claiming the “saffronisation” of school and college curriculum.

For instance, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government has revised social science textbooks from Classes 6 to 10 and Kannada language textbooks from Classes 1 to 10. Chapters on revolutionary and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, Lingayat social reformer Basavanna, Dravidian movement pioneer Periyar and reformer Narayana Guru have allegedly been removed from the syllabus or severely curtailed with. Facts on Kannada poet Kuvempu were also allegedly distorted.

Meanwhile, a speech by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar has made its way to the Class 10 revised Kannada textbook.

In March this year, the Gujarat government decided to make the Bhagavad Gita a part of the school syllabus for Classes 6 to 12 across the state from the academic year 2022-23.

In March 2021, the Telegraph reported that the University Grants Commission had drafted a history syllabus for undergraduates that focuses more on Hindu mythology and religious texts and diminishes the importance of Muslim rule.

The report said that R.S. Sharma’s book on ancient India and Irfan Habib’s book on medieval India were dropped. However, books by little-known authors – some of whom are “pro-Sangh”, according to the newspaper – were included.

(With PTI inputs)