Indian Historian’s responsibility to rectify Distortions in our History

via Press Release published on January 12, 2009

New Delhi January 9:   “There is absolutely no proof that the Vedas were written in around 1200 BC and that the invading Aryans massacred the people of the Indus Valley. Unfortunately, these malicious distortions are still being taught in our schools as facts,” said Dr. B.B. Lal, former Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), on the first day of the International Conference on Indian History, Civilisation and Geopolitics 2009 (ICIH2009) which began here today

Warning that new distortions in Indian history are being created even today, Prof Lal in his paper presented to the conference said it is the duty of Indian historians to set these distortions right through cogent evidence and sustainable arguments.

Though the perception and mindset of historians play a dominant role in history writing, it is important for Indians to identify and challenge the distortions that have been deliberately introduced into their historical narrative over the centuries, he said.

In his speech, Prof. Shivaji Singh, Former Head of Department, Ancient History, Gorakhpur University, rejected the oft-repeated charge that Indians have no sense of history. “Ancient Indians had a robust historical tradition that originated in the Rig Vedic times and continued to develop and proliferate till the end of the medieval period, This tradition has created a rich and huge mass of historical literature that is unparalleled in the world,” he said.

Prof. Singh explained that the indigenous Indian sense of history is unique because its main purpose is man’s self-fulfillment and self-realisation instead of vague objective such as furtherance of freedom, rationalism and individualism that are prevalent in the West. “You have to understand that the Indian sense of history is grounded in Indian culture and it should not be judged by the yardstick of how the Westerners write their history,” he added.

Dr. Kosla Vepa, Director of the US-based Indic Studies Foundation, the organizers of the three-day meet, spoke about the demeaning condescension that many Western historians have bestowed upon India. “Books on Indian history sold abroad deliberately neglect our ancient history so as to minimize and sideline its contributions. At the same time, they try to whitewash the horrors that the British rule inflicted on India, such as the large-scale famines triggered by colonial policies. Changing the content of the text-books worldwide and especially in the West to correct these distortions should be our goal,” he said.

About the Conference

The International Conference on Indian History, Civilisation and Geopolitics (ICIH2009) is being organized at New Delhi’s India International Centre by the US-based Indic Studies Foundation in association with Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana (ABISY). The three-day Conference (January 9-11) is hosting over 100 distinguished scholars and historians from India and all over the world and has been hailed as a landmark event in the interpretation of ancient Indian history.

The Conference offers a platform for scholars and historians to challenge many aspects of ancient India history as they are taught today and expose various myths that have been presented as facts by the Raj historians of the 19th century

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