Since BJP came to power in 2014 with full majority, the echoes of reclaiming our history from left-liberal intelligentsia have been prominent in public debate. However, the governments, as well as the historians of the country are yet to produce a path breaking work.
Except a few books like biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar- one of most controversial and much maligned figures of Indian history, any significant work to remove the Marxist distortion is yet to be done.
Historians alone cannot be blamed, as the intellectual ecosystem (media, academics, and writers) is still dominated by the left. Given the fact that most prominent universities of India are public, the leftist academics would dominate them till retirement. Similarly, the publishing houses are still run by old elites.
Therefore, reclaiming our history from Marxist historians will be a long process and will require time. Modi government is encouraging the historians to work in the direction.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while speaking at a seminar in BHU, said that it is important to reclaim our history and write it from our ‘perspective’. Blaming British for distorting our history is not a good solution, we are a free nation, and free to write history from our own perspective. Kings like Skandagupta Vikramaditya, who saved India from barbarian Hun attack, do not find prominent place in our history. In a 30 minute speech on “Guptavansheak Veer: Skandagupat Vikramaditya (Brave ruler of Gupta Empire: Skandagupta Vikramaditya)”, Amit Shah spoke at length about the Gupta empire and the need to reclaim our history.
Amit Shah mentioned that great Empires of India and pointed towards the need to make a reference material for these Empires. “We have not been able make reference material about Gupta Empire, thousands of years of history of Magadha Empire, Vijaynagar Empire, sacrifice of Maratha Empire, the valour of Shivaji, the fight of Maharana Pratap is yet to be documented properly,” said, Amit Shah.
The 30 minute speech is available on the following link:
He also paid tribute to Savarkar for writing a book about First War of Indian Independence in 1857. Before the painstaking work by Savarkar, the 1857 war was known as Sepoy Mutiny. In fact, the leftist historians of the country still use the term (Sepoy Mutiny) in their books.
Shah repeatedly said that, instead of blaming Mughal, British, and Marxist, we need to research and reclaim our history. There are 25 Empires and 200 individuals whose contribution to Indian history is immense; without these people and empires, India would not have survived. We should research and write about these people and empires and recognize their contribution to India and world.
Indian history is severely distorted as foreigners ruled us for almost 800 years. First, Muslim invaders came to country and established their rule. They interpreted the ancient Indian history by their own standards and made it the official version.
After British took over from Mughal, they started rewriting Indian history to suit their narrative. The transition of the British East India Company’s rule to the rule of the British crown further magnified the need to introduce a British inclined education system. This education system was used to create human resource required to aid British imperialistic rule over India. Different commissions were set up for this purpose.
T.B. Macaulay, who is considered to be the for-bearer of the western style of education, had indicated towards the biases that still prevail in Indian education system. “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be Interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, -a class of persons Indian in Blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.”
After British left India, the Marxist historians took over and inserted Marxist bias. The most prominent Indian historians whose book is standard textbook on Indian history have accepted that they belong to Marxist school of historiography. Romila Thapar (Ancient History), Satish Chnadra (medieval history), and Satish Chnadra (India’s struggle for independence) have certified themselves as Marxist.
Indian history is inserted with Mughal, British, and Marxist biases. We need to reclaim Indian history and write it from Indian perspective. As Amit Shah said, the historians do not need to get in confrontation with old school historiography but to rewrite history in constructive way with Indian perspective.