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A campaign to ‘correct distortions introduced by leftist historians’ in ancient Indian history

A campaign to ‘correct distortions introduced by leftist historians’ in ancient Indian history

NEW DELHI: A clutch of organisations are getting together to organise a mega ‘Run for Own History’ campaign in Delhi to push for revision of ancient Indian history and “correct distortions introduced by leftist historians”. ‘Run for Own History’ is likely to be organised in the Capital towards the year end or on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, convenor Lalit Mishra told ET.

The campaign comes amid a raging debate on growing intolerance in the country and protests by a parade of luminaries from various fields returning their awards and levelling allegations that the Modi government has not done enough to bridge the communal chasm. It appears to be in keeping with the longstanding demand of the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to “Indianise” Indian history. “The core agenda of the campaign is to review, debate and correct ancient Vedic history wherein some people are playing the role of blockers,” said Mishra.

“Along with historians, scholars from many other fields shall join us,” he added. The organisations associated with the campaign include the key organiser World Brahman Federation, Wider Association for Vedic Studies and student organisations such as Bharat Nirman Sangh, while Indian American author and Hindu activist Rajiv Malhotra and Toronto-based Professor Azad C Kaushik have also pledged their participation. Mange Ram Sharma, chairman of the World Brahman Federation said the Delhi-based organisation held a seminar in the Capital two weeks ago where it decided to organise the ‘Run for Own History’ campaign.

“This will be a mega event where we hope to initiate deliberations that will compel the government to effect course correction and rectify this mistake in our history writing and distortions like Aryans came from outside India,” said Sharma.

He said the organisers also met some ministers in the Modi government to discuss the plans for the campaign, which, he said, the Federation wants to turn into a global movement.

“We hope to gather over 10,000 scholars and students for the campaign and are already engaging with our associates in universities in India and in countries like USA, Canada, Mauritius etc,” said Sharma. The organisers said a review of books by “leftist” historians is on the agenda of the campaign and petitions to this effect have already been circulated on social media.

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Mishra said petitions are also being sent to Penguin India for recall and revisiting of certain history books by leftist authors. Penguin India, however, told ET that it has received no such petition so far. In response to an email query from ET, Malhotra said that while he did not believe in bans or recalls of books, he is likely to participate in the event.

“If the organisers invite me to speak on the subject, I will be glad to present my scholarship. I do not believe in bans or recalls of books… I do believe in debates and arguments on the works of scholars, including my own and that of others,” said Malhotra.

He further said that there are numerous errors and omissions in the work of leftist historians which should be discussed in serious forums.

“This has not happened. There is a shouting match instead. I hope this can change without acrimony. I only believe in history scholarship that can be established based on empirical evidence and can withstand cross examination by all serious scholars from all sides. If/when such forums emerge, I would be glad to participate,” said Malhotra Prof Kaushik, who teaches at the University of Guelph in Canada and is also associated with the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) there, also confirmed his participation in the event. “I will definitely be there in India refor it and in fact we will also hold similar campaigns in both USA and Canada to drive home the point how Indian education is disconnected with Indian culture,” Kaushik told ET over phone from Toronto.

The Wider Association for Vedic Studies will also join hands for the history campaign “in the interest of Vedas”, said Prem Deoli, the secretary of the Delhi-based organisation. “We are mobilising support for this important campaign and will lend full support to it so that we can check the distorted view of history that has been presented to us by people backed by a certain government,” said Deoli. “We want to hold a major deliberation, a ‘chintan’ and a run to correct these distortions,” he said. At university level, organisations such as the Bharat Nirman Sangh have already sprung into action in this regard. Sarvesh Tiwari from Allahabad said that campaigns have begun across universities in Allahabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Faizabad and other areas to generate awareness about the campaign.

ET
7 Nov, 2015,

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