Under fresh attack from the opposition over the destruction of over 11,000 home ministry files, the government on Monday denied any attempt to tamper with the country’s history and said it was committed to protecting the “continuity of India's glorious history".
Home minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament no file relating to Mahatma Gandhi, former president Rajendra Prasad, former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri or the last Indian viceroy Lord Mountbatten has been destroyed.
The clarification came after central ministries disposed of unwanted files over the past few weeks, sparking concerns of an effort to destroy or rewrite history.
"This is not the first time that files have been destroyed in the home ministry. Files have been destroyed during the UPA regime also. Files have been categorised as per the mandate of the manual of office procedure. It is a continuous process," Singh said in the Upper House.
“Important files after 25 years are sent to the national archives and files are destroyed on the basis of the manual," he said.
The home minister dismissed apprehensions that the NDA government had an agenda to change the history of the country and promised to provide information sought by the members on this issue.
Dismissing CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury's criticism that the home ministry had taken less than a minute to destroy each file, Singh said the assessment of files to be destroyed was carried out between August 9, 2012 and May 2, 2013 - when the UPA was in power.
Singh said files on policy-related issues or sensitive court cases are kept safely.