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Updated: Nov 25, 2021


Voices seeking rewriting of #IndianHistory are not new. For decades there have been myriad groups expressing their discontent with the mainstream history as it is taught in Indian schools and universities. Some of the most repeated criticisms include under-appreciation of ancient Indian achievements, exploitative portrayal of #caste, undue importance to #Mughals and neglect of those who resisted them, Delhi-centric narrative and oversight of histories of #Kashmir, North-East and South India, romanticisation of #precolonial inter-communal relations, airbrushing of #British atrocities and disproportionate importance to #Gandhi and #Congress leaders in the freedom struggle at the expense of revolutionaries such as #Bose and #Savarkar.

In the last few years these voices have become increasingly louder with the rise of social media and ideological state support. A strong impetus came two years ago when India’s home minister, Amit Shah called upon historians to re-write history. Yet for many professional historians such demands are puzzling, as they seem to suggest that Indian history was some sort of a static gospel. They point out that history writing is a continuous process. New research and re-examination of available evidence are always underway. This however has failed to assuage the critics who allege a systemic bias in Academia resulting in what they view as “distorted history”.

Argumentative Indians is honored to host a panel of some of India’s most eminent historians, whose well-informed views and varied perspectives can help us in understanding this subject with the nuance it deserves.

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