The BJP is rushing to revise Indian history for school children
A story is being made. Or rather, we should say remade, for the textbooks in the four BJP-ruled states. Himachal Pradesh, Madhya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The RSS game plan of rewriting the of India, up to the present times is taking shape. Despite the controversy surrounding the project, operation write history is progressing in full swing.
First step in resculpting Indian history been to discard the Aryan race, which has been in vogue for center. According to this perspective, – people from the south of the Caspian Sea – had migrated to northern pushing the original Dravidians to south. The Aryans settled down in earth, and, to a lesser extent, in an India.
Devendra Swarup Aggarwal, President of Deendayal Institute, is shaping the project: “The entire race theory has to be rejected the frame-work of Indian history. Race the historical evolution of one has to find out a new alternate which will represent the history the Indian viewpoint.”
What are the sources of this alternate history? Explains Aggarwal: “Discovery of the Mahabharata civilisation in certain manuscripts of Arthshastra has revealed that pre-Turkish period has been conveniently ignored by those who had written Indian history earlier.”
The new history textbooks in the BJP states are also going to focus on the scientific and technological achievements in ancient India, an aspect that has “ignored” so far. The complete subscripts of Kautilya’s Arthshastra had not been available until 1909. The text appeared in print for the first time in 1910. They highlighted the scientific and technological aspects of ancient Indian civilization.
Historians associated with the project wish to focus more attention on the long neglected facets of history as humanism, religion and culture than class and caste distinctions which, they feel, have been given undue weight age. By doing so, they want to disprove the Marxist view which, according to them, “solely focuses on the economic criterion while looking at the ancient history of India”. Charges Thakur Ramsingh of Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samity (BISS): “The Marxist school of historians applied Marxist theory to interpretation of Indian history. They have a one sided view of history which rejects the ethnic and religious factors. They are very powerful factors and by ignoring them, you cannot wish them away.”
Some BISS scholars feel that the story of the commoner is largely missing from the bulk of Indian history. Most textbooks contain accounts only of well known rulers and families, wars and battles, religious heads and literary epics;
The social and economic history of the masses finds no place in them. Thus, a large body of historical data contained in popular sources such as oral traditions,
Folklore’s and folk songs have remained untapped.
To achieve the colossal task, the BISS has divided India into four zones: southern, western, central and northeastern. Volunteers, guided by full and part-time organizers, will gather information from these zones. Prajnam Bharati, the body entrusted with the task of writing the new history books, will coordinate the work of Deendayal Institute, the BISS, and Vidya Bharati (a voluntary agency associated with the project). Some of them, especially those for primary schools, will be replete with stories, anecdotes, and a profusion of color illustrations. The process has already begun and the volunteers are working full steam.