Rewriting Indian History
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Rewriting Indian History

October 28, 2019

Losers were no cowards. Time has come to redeem India’s past history

Amit Shah, Union Home Minister and BJP National President, speaking at a seminar on Skandagupta Vikramaditya, the 5th Century AD Emperor, held at Banaras Hindu University recently, had said that there was a need to rewrite the Indian History as it was. He urged the Indian Historians to “rewrite history from an Indian perspective” and mentioned the radical Hindu Rashtra proponent and freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar, as an exemplar of writing history from an Indian perspective. I would say rather Hindu perspective. Here is the reason:

It is an accepted fact the present history is written by Leftist, English and Mughal Historians. They are considered absolute distortion of facts of history. It is a very poor reflection, specially on the Congress Party which ruled India since Independence continuously for over 60 years, because it encouraged and patronised these three category of Historians — Leftist, English and Mughal — who ignored or marginalised the Hindu perspective of history. History of India before 10th century AD or rather before the advent of Muslim invaders into Indian subcontinent is not researched properly and, therefore, not written in proper perspective. 

As I was reading Amit Shah’s observations, I was reminded of the famous African proverb which says, “As long as history is written by hunters, Lions shall never be glorified.” It means that as long as the Lion cannot or does not write history, the hunter will keep telling only his side of the story which will be full of his heroic acts and naturally glorified. Before the Muslim invasion of India, there was multilateral history of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Kings of Indian subcontinent. But, once the Muslim invasion from North-West began in succession, the unilateral or monolithic history of India began to take shape first with the Mughal Empire and then the British Empire. 

And the Historians patronised by the Mughal Courts and the British Empire forgot about the Hindu ancient empires of Indian origin that ruled India before these foreigners came, mentioning of the early, ancient Indian History only in passing and in distortion. 

Yes, we must admit that till Britishers, accidentally or in pursuit of research on ancient history, discovered the ancient monuments from their obscure existence by excavation, we depended on our ancient scriptures and epics for tracing our ancient history — its glory and fall. It was an Englishman — James Prinsep who told us in 1837 about Ashoka who was enthroned in 268 BC.

Now a deeply contested case is going on in the Supreme Court of India, between Hindus and Muslims about the ownership of the land on which once stood the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, UP. Hindus are straining themselves to provide the Court the historical evidence — written and archaeological. But the story of the Muslim conquest as seen from Hindu point of view was never written ! Who knows, there must have been violent or peaceful resistance when the Ram Temple was demolished to build the Mosque but the Mughal Historians did not write about it. If it was written, then the Advocates arguing for the Ram Temple could have provided it to the Supreme Court Judges as documentary evidence.

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Be that as it may, a wag tells me that at the time Babur invaded that part of Indian subcontinent, the land naturally belonged to Hindus. It was forcibly taken by this foreign invader. So what is the problem? After Independence, more so after India was divided on religious basis…

It is History’s mystery and also a burden. After all, the earlier invaders of India from Alexander to the British had left the country without leaving behind any baggage of social, demographic or religious problem for the Hindu peoples of India. It is only the Mughal invaders, after ruling India for over 300 years, who left behind controversial issues which are provoking Hindu India’s historical right to redeem its past, specially relating to Hindu faith and temples that were demolished by the Mughals.

This controversy, inevitably, is also questioning India’s Secular credentials. I guess, it is for this reason, the RSS Chief recently remarked that the Western English word ‘Secular’ needs to be redefined in the Indian context. Secularism should not be a shield to prevent steps people are taking to redeem their lost heritage due to the acts of the conquerors like Mughals.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that the very first Mughal, Babur, after 72 years of India’s Independence, is remembered almost every day in this country, or at least whenever the case comes up in the Supreme Court !

Who is this Babur? Did he purchase the land in Ayodhya from the local Hindu King to build the Mosque? If so where is the sale deed — copper foil or whatever? No. He was a conqueror. Hence the whole of conquered land belongs to him and he had dealt with it as he pleased. Point, counter point. Period.

Babur’s real name was Zahir-ud-din Muhammed. He was otherwise known as Babur or ‘The Tiger.’ He was the king of Kabul. He comes from a royal lineage of Timur the lame of Samarkand from his father’s side and from his mother’s side connected to Genghis Khan of Mongol. Hence, the name Mughal. As a boy he inherited a fragment of Timurid empire known as Farghana. Born in 1484, at age 20 he made himself the King of Kabul in 1504. Though Kabul was bordering India (Punjab) of that era, his interest was in conquering Samarkand, his real inheritance. But, to India’s bad luck, he gave up hope after losing series of campaigns.

It was then Babur turned towards India. His first entry into Punjab was on the invitation of a disgruntled Governor Daulat Khan Lodi and an uncle of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. 

It was battle of Panipat in 1526, where Babur defeated Sultan Ibrahim Lodi who was killed in the field, that enabled him to promptly occupy Delhi and Agra. Mughal empire was born, except for an interlude of 5-year rule of Sher Shah Suri.

Many Hindus often carry the grouse that conquest of India by Muslims invaders, specially Mughals and later the Westerners, specially the British, was possible because the Hindu Rajas and Maharajas of different kingdoms were not able to face the invaders in battle and in many cases did not give proper battle and in some cases they were betrayed by the traitors in their own Army. Could be true. But victory and defeat for various reasons did happen for both the invaders and the defenders. 

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However, to say Hindu Kings did not resist or simply succumbed is not true. After all, the fact that so many wars took place across the huge country itself shows that Hindu Kings did give battle. The battlefield of Panipat (in today’s Haryana where Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata was fought) itself had seen three wars — three battles in Panipat. First one in 1526 between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi. Second one in 1556 between Emperor Hemachandra Vikramaditya and Akbar the Great. Then the third one in 1761 between Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Marathas. 

History, of course, written by Mughals and the British, says the invaders had camp followers in huge numbers, possessed large park of artillery, the new fangled weapons and later even gun-powder (used in Turkey and Europe) compared to the elephants, horses and bullock carts and the conventional weapons of Hindu Kings that gave the invaders an edge. Babur himself had to face a number of Hindu Kings in battle after defeating Lodi in 1526 at Panipat. Babur knew of obstacles to Mughal supremacy and listed Hindu Kings and emperors who should be defeated. Wisely, he avoided the Vijayanagar empire that he had placed first as a great power. Instead he focussed on North India. The Hindu King of Mewar, Rajputana, Rana                        Sangram Singh. 

In May 1527 battle was fought at a place called Khanua near Agra. In this battle the small Army of Babur was “dispirited” at the prospect of an unequal fight with Rana with a huge Army. But Babur, an orator too, roused the pride of his men. He appealed to their Islamic convictions. “Since the Rajputs were infidels (in the eyes of Islam), the war was designated a jihad… death assumed the                                                                welcome guise of martyrdom.” Babur’s Muslim soldiers took an oath on the Quran to fight till they fell. Babur himself, fond of alcohol, made what for him was the ultimate sacrifice by ostentatiously abjuring alcohol. This born-again Babur won the war. 

However, we do not have a clear record relating to Rana Sangram Singh about this great encounter at Khanua because history was written by Mughals and later by the English.

This kind of vacuum that is found in the History books about Hindu India might have prompted our Home Minister,  Amit Shah, to make the observation about the need for re-writing Indian History. And why not? 

Jai Hind

e-mail:  [email protected]

15 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Rewriting Indian History”

  1. What a culture! says:

    No need to rewrite Indian History. It is evident as the daylight that Hindu kings and minor Hindu rulers were fighting with each other, fragmenting the country. See the evidence today, how the country fragmented by language, religion.state bordersand above all by the dirty politics played by politicians. That has come from the ancient heritage of fighting with one another, and deceiving each other.

  2. Strangeworld says:

    @What a culture! You have so accurately analysed! Hindus are useless race for generations ruled by unscrupulous kings ! India progressed only under mogul and colonial rule! British and Moghal rulers did a favor by ruling india! All that news about India being an advanced civilization is just a myth spread by RSS! If they were so advanced, they woukd not be open defecation for centuries!

  3. H says:

    Dear sir,
    I am waiting to read Mr TJS George’s take on this issue, it is well established the word secular was taken from the British vocabulary and very simply meant that the the people who govern do not have a say in people’s faith. This was a result of the church which used its influence in a way to interfere in everyday affairs,which gave way to the new christian group called protestants, this was when the term secular was coined. unfortunately the invaders used their faith to occupy and distort a civilization. As rightly said the word secular needs to be defined in a Indian context, The distorted and borrowed definition of secularism has led to invaders and tyrants being labelled as freedom fighters, this is what is the truth.Mr George please reply.

  4. Whatculture! says:

    @H I live in the West in a country where the main religion is Christian and what you say in regards to protestants is stuff and nonsense, Yes, the Catholics defined the social and religious pathways, but that was a long time ago. Protestant faith was born -because as the name indicates, it was as a result of protests to Catholics Diktat. To befair, even Ireland where, the Catholic clergy ruled for centuries, Catholic diktat is going away with the election of a half-Indian gay Varadkar as its PM who has introduced refors. Your observation is tinged with ignorance and misconception, as any new definition of secular will not find favour with the Muslim Community who form a sizeable chunk of Indian population. Because, secular means , the state has no religion-BJP’s Hindutva goes out of the window, and secularism also means no relgion enjoys a special status, which Muslims have as they have their own personal laws,
    In all, sheer hubris and misplaced proposition by that BJP Hindutva advocate Amit Shaw. Congress iss no better.

  5. What a culture! says:

    I should have added above that In all Western countries, the majority inhabitants are Christians, and yet they do not get any privileges. Every one regardless of their religion and origin are treated equally and hence, they are really secular, unlike in India where Muslims are placed in a special and privileged category with their own personal laws. BJP or Congress will not dare to change this.

  6. strangeworld says:

    Os, @H blames the ‘invaders’, even after India has entered 70 years as an independent country! He should blame the leaders who promised a new future when the country became independent in 1947.Besides his ignorance in regards to protestant faith, he thinks that a new definition of secularism can be defined in Indian context. The separation of state and its institutions and religion already exists in India forming the basis of secularism. But in practice the state discriminates religions, in the sense that one religion -Islam is given a rather special status in India. How does this square up with new definition of secularism? With a Muslim population second to only Indonesia, Amit Shaw who wants ‘one country and one language’ wants to rewrite Indian History defining secularism,with Islam enjoying a special status. Sounds bonkers!!

  7. JustSaying says:

    Well written article. No doubt, India was devastated by tyranny of both Mughals & East India Company. Present & future generation should know the barbaric act committed against the local population. We need bold and audacious writers like you to put forth honest opinion and views of our history without distorting the facts. Obviously, this land has seen several golden eras under various dynasties.

  8. Padmini says:

    Hindus are Hypocrites.

  9. Haran says:

    padmini ?!

  10. HALLIHAIDA says:

    @WhatCulture, what do they call u in the west, a WOG, DARKIE OR NIGGER? What do you see when u look in the mirror? A WHITE MAN?

  11. What a culture! says:

    @Haida. I can see why you are called uncleaned humans. You defecate on footh paths, spit on the streets and adulterate food. Dishonest Indian, You should be ashamed. Your halli is a pile of manure as human wastes on piled up every where. Still you salivate for Western goods. Hypocrite cretin. Your Rupee bills are s a waste paper as your officials want Dollars for bribes! I can see why cannot spell or read. Ignorant sod.

  12. Citizen says:

    https://youtu.be/rb7wy49VHXI

    Watch this, don’t comment like fools with half knowledge, especially this strange Bhakt from strange world, listen to historian

  13. Tausif says:

    Mr.Ganapathi your article shows your radicalization towards Hindu supremacy.
    Don’t forget to mention Buddhists ethnic cleansing by earlier Hindu kings.

  14. Giri Gowda says:

    We highly appreciate Mr. Ganapathi for writing this well researched article… Hindus are real secular by nature… This British & its proxy Congress Government has betrayed Hindus by pushing their unwanted Secular agenda by demeaning Hindu Society with their twisted History… It needs to be corrected..

  15. Rahul says:

    Gengiz Khan, Taimur lang and Babur together beheaded around 80 million people Hindu men but what happens to Men were merciful compared to face of the women! Tgey were raped in public by their army and pdoduced mill s of children with no known father and later told as slaves in the Islamic world ! Similar was the action of our own Tippu in the local scale! So, when Subramanian swamy says Indian Muslims have Hindu genes there is a high degree of possibility that their great great grand mother may be a Hindu victim! Now we all want to forget about today’s Muslims as they can’t be identified with Baburs ancestry! But when we see support to terrorism or hatred towards Hindus, it is possible that the Baburs or Tippu’s genes may be the culprit ! They cant be subdued

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