Who can stop us from writing history, asks Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said that “history cannot be created by governments” and urged society to take the initiative to present history in its true form. Lamenting that many battles fought by the Indian kings against invaders have been forgotten, Shah said that those battles – like the ones undertaken by the Ahom kings in Assam and Shivaji-led Marathas in the north-western region – have brought India where it is now.

“It is a fact that some have distorted history. They have written whatever they had to. But who can stop us (from writing it on our own)? Nobody can stop us. History is not created by governments, but it’s built on true events,” the home minister said while releasing the book ‘Maharanas: A Thousand Year War for Dharma’ by Omendra Ratnu at the NDMC Hall on Friday.

Shah said no one can stop the process of writing about these battles for the next generation. The efforts to bring out the facts through new history books should be “bigger and more intense than those who spread lies” so that it “can be effective”, Shah said.

In the wake of both the RSS and the BJP alleging that history books were created by Left historians and those who had ignored the contributions of Hindu kings and kingdoms, Shah has been urging writers and filmmakers to work on “bringing out the truths”. The home minister was present at the screening of television serial ‘Vidrohi’, based on the life of Odia freedom fighter Buxi Jagabandhu, in April and he also attended a special screening of ‘Samrat Prithviraj’, a biopic of ruler Prithviraj Chauhan last week in the national capital. He had earlier urged filmmakers that more such films and serials on unsung heroes should be made.

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However, Shah warned, that although books like ‘Maharanas’ – it tells the stories of “the resistance of Mewar Kings for one thousand uninterrupted years to Islamic invaders of various hues” – would trigger debates through which youngsters will learn about India’s glorious past, it will take a long time to establish them.

“If we begin researching and writing down history, it will start debates, and the younger generation will start discussions. But it’s a long journey…Many significant events were forgotten as the dust of time fell on them. We have to unearth them and bring them before the people to awaken society,” he said, adding that the battles of the kings who had succeeded in keeping the invaders out are not even recorded properly.

He urged the authors to write books on dynasties like Pandyas, Ahoms, Chalukyas, Mauryas, Guptas, etc., saying that those who wrote history overlooked these dynasties. “There are no reference books either. I want to say, one should give up making comments on it, but write on them to bring out the real history before the people. Gradually, the history which we consider false will disappear on its own,” he said.

Although the government has started initiatives in documenting “actual history”, the exercise will only be successful when society takes it up as a mission, Shah said. “Had Veer Savarkar not been there, I can tell you, the truth about 1857 would not have come out,” he added.

“…revolutions which might have been defeated at that time, have the potential of awakening society and people. Padmavati’s sacrifice had given energy to women and men to live their lives keeping their heads high…Documenting history is important because the outcome of the events or revolts is immaterial, it should be weighed on the impact it has brought on people,” Shah said.

“The invaders had finished the language, culture and traditions of the regions they attacked, but they had to stop here in India…I can say with pride that whoever fought for India and sacrificed for India would be resting in peace now, because we are making them proud after so many years,” Shah added.

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