Issues

Saffronised Historians

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“Poona-based P N Oak, who still labours under the hallucination that the Taj Mahal was built by a Hindu king and not by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan”

Historian D N Jha has given a tart rejoinder to Arun Shourie’s biased article, “How history was made up at Nalanda” (Indian Express, 28 June). His well-worded and powerful reply, “Grist to the reactionary mill: Arun Shourie’s attempt to associate Bakhtiyar Khilji with the destruction of the university of Nalanda” has appeared in the same paper on 9 July.

The problem with the likes of Arun Shourie and Sitaram Goel of Delhi (who calls himself a “historian”) is that they’re too saffronised, a fact corroborated by the late Akhilesh Mishra in one of his columns in The Asian Age in 2003. These self-proclaimed “historians” tend to look at history through the prism of Hinduism and have been rabidly prejudiced against anything even remotely related to Muslims and Islam. It’s a well-known fact that the Indian history is undocumented and whatever little is documented is in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit and even Rekhta (early Urdu). I’m afraid, these gentlemen are unable to understand any of the aforementioned languages. Yet they go by the populist beliefs and notions of the Hindu masses and condemn all that’s Islamic. Shourie is no better than the Poona-based P N Oak, who still labours under the hallucination that the Taj Mahal was built by a Hindu king and not by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan who, according to Oak, distorted Tejo Mahal to Taj Mahal! Bizarre, to say the least. Fortunately, students of history don’t refer to these bigots’ convoluted historical interpretations.

But no wonder if tomorrow they muscle their way into history books in the upcoming Hindu Rashtra. Shourie is a BJP-sponsored historian.

Sumit Paul
sumitmaclean@hotmail.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2014 on page no. 2

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