ICHR seeks to ‘clear distortions in history’
The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) on Monday organised a conference aiming to “clear distortions” in Indian history.
Titled ‘Indian History: Emerging Perspectives’, the conference was inaugurated on Monday and was attended by ICHR’s new chairman Arvind Jamkhedkar.
The keynote address was delivered by Padma Bhushan awardee Ramachandran Nagaswamy, a historian and an archaeologist.
Nagaswamy said there is an urgent need to study scriptures such as the Upanishads and the teachings of Buddha, Asoka and Manu, among others, in order to understand the theories that permeate the country.
He also said, “When we talk of secularism in modern times, we mean only anti-Indian ‘ism’ and portray minority virtuosity.”
“But all the great thinkers of India like Buddha, Asoka, Manu and other ‘sutrakaras’, for thousands of years, thought of equality,” he said.
“One of the greatest rulers of India was Asoka Maurya who lived in the 3rd century and in whose time there was all round prosperity and humanism... In his edit he expressively states that they were not quite successful, so he reflected and decided to propagate Dharma among the people..” he said.
However, the term was dismissed as a religious one and an imported term — secularism — has been “pumped” into our minds, he said.
He also presented a paper titled ‘Listen to the voice of your ancient leaders’ at the event.
“Failure to grasp the real import of the ancient thought makes some influential historians say the Vedic system is caste oriented,” states the paper.
The event was coordinated by Dr Michel Danino, Indologist and guest professor, IIT Gandhinagar, and the member secretary of ICHR Rajaneesh Kumar Shukla.