BJP distorts facts in process of rewriting history

New Delhi, Feb 13 Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention during the debate on the motion of thanks on the presidential address to the joint sitting of the budget session in the two house of Parliament on Thursday-February 7- was very combative and challenging. Modi accused the Congress for many failures and also faulted the country’s oldest party for being responsible for the partition of India in 1947 and allowing Pakistan to have a part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Modi told the Congress leaders in the Lok Sabha:”Even after 70 years, 125 crore Indians are daily facing the consequences of the seeds of poison you sowed then.” Another notable feature of the Prime Minister’s over 70 minutes intervention was that if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had been allowed to become the country’s first Prime Minister entire Kashmir would have been with India. Modi held country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru responsible for many ills from which the country was suffering.

Media has called the Prime Minister’s intervention, that did not take note of the points raised by the opposition leaders and did not bother to reply to them, as the election speech for the coming assembly elections and the general elections. A close look at the intervention and a crosscheck of facts from documents and archival material of that time reveal that the Prime Minister was seriously short on the knowledge of history. Modi was wrong on several counts particularly on facts.

On the issue of partition, the Prime Minister was far from facts when he held the Congress alone responsible for the partition. What does he think of the role of Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah? What has he to say on the call for Muslim League’s “Direction Action?”  Was he absolving Mohammad Ali Jinnah from the responsibility of partition? How does he see the role of the British in the partition? Indeed a bizarre interpretation of the events from a Prime Minister on the floor of Parliament.

The Prime Minister must know that Patel, who was the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister, was the first to give an assurance to Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten that the Congress would accept the partition. Subsequently Nehru too had agreed to the proposal. Mahatma Gandhi had reluctantly, accepted it at last. There is absolutely no room for ambiguity on this issue.

Similarly on Kashmir, the Prime Minister was wrong on facts. All the available accounts of the invasion of the state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1948 and the documentary evidence clearly states that it was almost impossible to prolong the war between the two newly created countries. Both Patel and Nehru were of the same view. In fact, Patel was ready to give Kashmir valley to Pakistan in exchange of either East Pakistan or Pakistan’s acceptance of Hyderabad and Junagadh to the Indian Union.

In his dislike bordering hatred of Nehru and Nehru-Gandhi family, the Prime Minister tries to obliterate facts and ignore historical evidence making him a laughing stock. But what is indeed unpardonable that the Prime Minister distorts history and ignores facts on the floor of the two houses of parliament where spoken words are statements of truth. Even an ordinary member of parliament (MP) is expected to speak truthfully as it is a constitutional responsibility. Parliamentary debates are the valuable sources for research writings and historical material.

Research scholars are going to refer to Modi’s speech in their research books and scholarly papers and that would be a sacrilege. History is not going to pardon him.

From times immemorial, humans including rulers have aspired to make history by their endeavours and achievements. History after all is a saga of quests, successes, achievements, accomplishments, human developments, failures, miseries and evolution.

It is an absolutely valid exercise. History has been rewritten many a times but after a thorough research based on new findings and new source material.

The Rashtray Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) has never been shy of making its goal of rewriting Indian history pubic. The Sangh has been crying wolf about the grave injustice done by left-leaning or Communism-inspired historians in their respective treatment of Hindu kings or social and economic history of Hindus.

During the first BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, attempts were made to rewrite history but much could not be achieved because the BJP was heavily dependent on its allies to politically survive. After the massive victory of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, demand for rewriting of history became louder and the Modi government along with other BJP-led state governments took steps to prepare the pitch for rewriting of history.

Tradition of history writing in India is not particularly very old because historians of ancient India have often to look for authentic sources found is ‘Shilalekhs’ and literature including poetry of those times. Vedas, Upnishads, Purans and similar other literature became the valuable sources for the history writing.

Instead of written history, memory often became the carrier of history creating many myths and folklores in the process. Absence of facts makes history writing much more difficult because a historian has to struggle to chaff out facts from fiction. While interpretations could differ from a historians to another but facts remain sacrosanct.

The RSS-BJP’s mission of rewriting Indian history particularly of the freedom struggle and post-independence India seems to be a project to undermine the role of the Congress and create a place for it in the freedom movement saga. Modi is an instrument to achieve it.

It would have been far better if Modi had sought to create history than contributing to rewriting of history.

Unfortunately, it is a conspiracy and a crime against people because credibility is being destroyed in the process.