POL­I­TICS OF HIS­TORY

The Sangh Pari­var is at war with In­dia’s his­tory, which is in no small mea­sure aided by the Bri­tish rulers’ in­ter­pre­ta­tions and in­ter­ven­tions. The Som­nath tem­ple and Babri Masjid con­tro­ver­sies are cases in point.

FrontLine - - ESSAY - BY

A.G. NOORANI

HIS­TORY has played havoc with In­dia’s na­tion­al­ism and its sec­u­lar ideal, in re­cent decades es­pe­cially. The sport con­tin­ues still to ex­act its grisly toll, blessed by men in the apex of power. In his very first speech to the Lok Sabha as Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi moaned over 1,000 years of servi­tude, not 200 years un­der Bri­tish rule.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween Hindu na­tion­al­ism and In­dian na­tion­al­ism could not have been ex­posed more clearly. Rahul Ma­ha­jani re­ported in Mid-day of Au­gust 24, 2018, on the modus operandi of the hate group that is ac­cused of be­ing privy to the con­spir­acy to mur­der the ra­tio­nal­ist Dr Naren­dra Dab­holkar. It is said to have re­cruited trained and young men by “feed­ing [them] one-sided his­tory” dur­ing treks, vis­its to old forts and through lec­tures. These lec­tures would start with the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by Mughals and then slowly make their way into cur­rent af­fairs.

Bri­tish rulers played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the mak­ing of In­dia’s his­tory. It was based on crass ig­no­rance and was of­ten mo­ti­vated. The great Hindu civil­i­sa­tion and cul­ture were ridiculed, and Mus­lims were de­nounced as op­pres­sors from whom Hin­dus were lib­er­ated.

In Au­rangzeb: The Man and the Myth (Pen­guin Ran-

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