By John Dayal
New Delhi: A quick look at Mr Modi’s special team to bring Indian history into the BJP-RSS’s definitions will make it clear that it is no simple decolonization of the history written by the Moghul scholars, the Portuguese, British and Muslim writers in the last 500 years or so.
If done with integrity, that would perhaps have brought some new research, archaeological findings and manuscripts of the past to light, and these then would be integrated with the available dates, personae and data for a comprehensive reading of India’s ancient, medieval and modern timeline.
The project is to be seen in the context of the RSS’s avowed plan to “restore” the glory of ancient India, and specially to forever banish the recurring theories that Hinduism as a Vedic religion came to India with Aryan groups over a period, and made a home here.
The BJP-RSS, and I wish to make it clear that the two cannot be separated and should be taken as one unit in matters of educational and cultural engineering, will automatically make all “Indic” faiths, including Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism and the myriad tribal religions and systems of belief, as but variations of Sanatan Hinduism, and Islam and Christianity as invaders with no contributions to the making of medieval and modern India.
The creation of Muslims and Christians as The Other is critical to the very existence of the BJP-RSS as spokesmen and representatives of the Hindu masses, the only ones.
Please remember that the BJP in its first government as NDA-I tried very hard to change the textbooks, what is now called the first phase of the suffocation of the NCERT text books. In the current NDA-II, the second phase, the rewriting of history, the restructuring of the education policy, the rewriting of text books, have all to be taken as pieces of a composite whole designed to change the mind-set and thought processes of future generations.
In effect, this is step one for creation of a generation of fascist youth, much on the pattern of Hitler Youth in 20th Century Europe, who will see the BJP and RSS as the only saviors of Mother India with everyone else as an enemy.
Necessarily, this will mean writing down, if not outright elimination, of all that was done good in the various regimes of the last 1,000 years in the Indian land mass.
The great Islamic contribution to Indian thought, architecture, city planning, poetry and literature will be made invisible. And as it is, in the preamble of the new education policy last year, there was no mention of the tremendous contribution of the Christian church and community to modern education and the Indian renaissance.
This sort of rewriting was to an extent done in Pakistan after Independence. They wrote out the contribution of Hindu kings, and later the contribution of the Congress and leaders such as Nehru and Gandhi, to the Independence struggle and the final advent of Independence in 1947. The Pakistani text books paint India as the main enemy not just of Pakistan but of Muslims.
The children brought up on such text books are now in the armed forces and other wings of the government. They see India as an enemy which cannot reach peace with its neighbours. These young people have no desire for any dialogue. “Don’t let it happen to your country,” the Pakistani intellectual had cautioned me.
Children educated on RSS-whetted texts, if not entirely fictionalized accounts of Indian past glory, will not only look at our neighbors as enemies, but also, within India, think of Muslims and Christians as aliens to be suspected, if not degraded to sub-citizenship. The founding fathers of the RSS, Golwalkar and Savarkar, had always wanted Muslims and Christians to be second class citizens in Bharat-India with no rights.
A rewriting of history, a rewriting of text books, means that the rewriting of the Constitution is but one step away. Not just Islamic of Christian contributions, but the very essence of secularism will be written out of history and of the Constitution.
This must be stopped by voting out these forces in 2019.
[DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Matters India.]