(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 17, 2013
DISTORTING INDIAN HISTORY
All the Perfumes of
IN the run-up to the
elections, we are being bombarded by a bizarre reconstruction
Marx had once famously
said that Men make history but not under circumstances chosen
by them. Given
that the circumstances do not favour them, did not favour them
independence when we adopted our Republic Constitution, the
RSS all along has
been attempting to create make-believe circumstances that
would be favourable
for the pursuit of its project of converting
Such a project of distorting Indian history has many problems when the RSS is confronted with evidences from recorded history. Amongst the many, one area where the RSS finds itself on a terrain that is impossible to defend is its complete absence in the Indian people’s epic struggle for freedom. Even their one time ideologue, Nanaji Deshmukh, had commented in one of his books that the RSS stayed away from the freedom struggle. In fact, their activities of whipping up Hindu communal passions ably mirrored the communal polarisation whipped up by the Muslim League and contributed to the British `divide and rule’ policy.
It has only one
claim of a link to
the freedom struggle, ie, V D Savarkar.
Hindutva tendencies, R C Majumdar, documents in his work on Penal Settlements in the
Savarkar negotiated his release from the Kalapani.
It was Savarkar who in his presidential address to the Hindu
put forward that in India there are two nations – Hindu and
Islamic. This was
full two years before Mohamad Ali
Jinnah advanced his two-nation theory and set in motion, ably
aided and abetted
by the British, the process leading to the partition of
The pursuit of this objective, amongst others like sharpening communal polarisation, requires a major re-writing of history. Media reports (June 24, 2013 Hindustan Times) that a former BJP president spoke of changing textbook syllabi, when they come to power at the centre: “We tried to do this earlier too and will try it again”. The same day Advani said that “The country still awaits the day when Article 370 (with respect to Jammu & Kashmir) would be repealed”.
The current efforts at misappropriating Sardar Patel is part of the overall objective of re-writing Indian history in order to straightjacket it into a monolithic record of the glorification of the “Hindu Nation”. In these columns in the past, we had quoted Sardar Patel’s communiqué announcing the ban of the RSS following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. This shows that Sardar Patel was completely antagonistic to the RSS vision.
However, the BJP PM
seems to be in a hurry to `create history’ is seeking to
create `make-believe circumstances’
by brazenly distorting history. Apart from trying to project
himself as the
protégée of Sardar Patel, he claimed at a rally in
Not to be left
behind, L K Advani has
joined this process of distortion of history. He quotes a book
by one MKK Nair
that claimed that Nehru called Patel a `communalist’ during
the police action in
the state of
However much they may try to distort history, in the pursuit of their project of converting the secular democratic Indian Republic into their concept of a `Hindu Rashtra’, the RSS/BJP must not be allowed to succeed for the sake of the unity and integrity of our country and for advancing the people’s struggles for creating a better secular democratic India. On this crucial issue of creating a better India for our people, however, the RSS/BJP are silent because they fully endorse the neo-liberal trajectory of economic reforms that are heaping miseries on the vast majority of our people.
(November 13, 2013)