Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said the Britishers have left India and it is time to write history from the Indian perspective. “In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intention of getting rid of any remnants of the colonial past, the most important is freeing history from that. Veer Savarkar tried it for the first time by calling the 1857 revolt as the first war of independence,” he said at a book release function in Delhi.
The “non-violent struggle” had a big contribution to India’s freedom but the current narrative that there was no role of others is not correct, Mr Shah said.
“If the parallel stream of armed revolution had not started it would have taken several more decades for independence,” Mr Shah said. “We have to understand that we have not got freedom as a grant, it has been achieved after the sacrifice and bloodshed of lakhs of people. Today when I see the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose installed on Kartyavapath, it gives me lot of satisfaction,” he said.
Mr Shah’s remarks came at the launch of a book — “Revolutionaries, The other story of how India won its freedom” by Sanjeev Sanyal.
“The word ‘other story’ is the summary of this book. Because one story has been established in public under one narrative. One perspective has been imposed on the public through history writing, and education. I do not say that the non-violent struggle has no role in the freedom struggle, or is not a part of history. It is a part of history and has a huge contribution,” Mr Shah said.
But non-violent movement or armed revolution, both had their foundation in the revolution of 1857 and it is the responsibility of the government as well as the historians to keep the true historical facts in front of the new generation, he added.
“Britishers left India but history was written through their prism. The confusion persists still,” the minister said, calling upon students and teachers of history to search for 300 people who made India a great country. “People say history has been distorted till date due to various reasons but now nothing can stop us from writing it in the right way,” he added.
History, he said, has to be removed from the stream of extremists versus moderates and made realistic.
Denying claims that the Mughals were the first empire that ruled India for more than 200 years, Amit Shah said, “Every time we have been told that the Mughals were the first Empire, but that isn’t the case! There have been empires that have ruled this country for more than 200 years”.