(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday said there was a need to rewrite history from the Indian point of view.
He also said the First War of Independence in 1857 would have been regarded as a revolt had it not been for Veer Savarkar, who called it the first freedom struggle. The BJP leader’s remarks about the Hindutva icon came two days after the Maharashtra BJP unit said in its election manifesto that the party would ask the Center to confer the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
“Had it not been for Veer Savarkar, the 1857 ‘kranti’ (revolt) would not have become history and we would have been seeing it from the British point of view,” the home minister said.
“It was Savarkar who gave the name First War of Independence to the 1857 ‘kranti’, otherwise, our children would have known it as a revolt,” he said, inaugurating a two-day international seminar on ‘Guptvanshak-Veer: Skandgupta Vikramaditya’ at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi. Bharat Adhyayan Kendra of BHU organised the event.
Shah appealed to Indian academics to stop blaming British historians and Leftists for writing the ‘wrong history of India’.
“How long you will keep criticising the British and the Leftists for injustice to Indian history? Who stopped you from writing history based on truth,” Shah said, adding that there was a need to write India’s glorious history, which had suffered injustice, based on facts and truth.
He asked the historians to write the history of 25 such kingdoms and 200 such great personalities who were overlooked by historians. “Forget who wrote what. Don’t get into controversy. Write history from the Indian point of view,” Shah said.
Discussing the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, Shah said both took Indian culture to the great heights across the world. He said the Indian boundary extended up to Afghanistan during the reign of Skandagupta, which he described as a golden era. There were world class facilities in various fields, including military, literature and history, in the Gupta ruler’s time, the home minister said.
Congress district unit chief Prajanath Sharma said that the BJP was trying to tear the pages of history. “Everyone knows about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. They are trying to saffronize the whole of Indian history,” he said.
Prof Rajiv Kumar Srivastava, who teaches History at BHU, said, “Recognition of 1857 mutiny as the first war of Independence changed the direction of the freedom movement.”
First Published: Oct 18, 2019 03:03 IST