Mumbai: Claiming that the Modi government has formed a committee with an aim to rewrite India's history which will also be integrated in school curriculum, news agency Reuters said the ambitions of those in power today is beyond holding political power.
"The government of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quietly appointed the committee of scholars about six months earlier. Interviews with members of the 14-person committee and ministers in Modi’s government suggest the ambitions of Hindu nationalists extend beyond holding political power in this nation of 1.3 billion people - a kaleidoscope of religions. They want ultimately to shape the national identity to match their religious views, that India is a nation of and for Hindus", the Reuters said in its report published on Wednesday.
The committee’s creator, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told Reuters he expects the conclusions of the committee to find their way into school textbooks and academic research. The panel is referred to in government documents as the committee for “holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world.”
The RSS asserts that ancestors of all people of Indian origin - including 172 million Muslims - were Hindu and that they must accept their common ancestry as part of Bharat Mata, or Mother India. “The true colour of Indian history is saffron and to bring about cultural changes we have to rewrite history", RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya told Reuters.
Sharma said this “Hindu first” version of Indian history will be added to a school curriculum which has long taught that people from central Asia arrived in India much more recently, some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, and transformed the population.
Sharma, a “dedicated follower” of the RSS for many years, further told Reuters he will present the committee’s final report to parliament and lobby the nation’s Ministry of Human Resource Development to write the findings into school textbooks. That ministry, which is responsible for education and literacy programmes, is also headed by an adherent of the RSS, Prakash Javadekar.
“We will take every recommendation made by the Culture Ministry seriously,” Javadekar said. “Our government is the first government to have the courage to even question the existing version of history that is being taught in schools and colleges.”
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