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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

Canons To The Right

The Indian Right is bedevilled by a lack of intellectual tradition

Canons To The Right
Jitender Gupta
Canons To The Right
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The battle between the Left and the Right over the interpretation of history is not a fight between equals. On the Left are ranged heavyweight historians with years of proven scholarship and international reputation: Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Bipan Chandra and R.S. Sharma. On the Right, there are no historians but BJP politicos, pro-government bureaucrats and RSS ideologues who are fighting the battle.

The Hindutva brigade is sadly short of historians to claim as its own. So they hark back to the past and name some medieval and British chroniclers as their examples of fine scholarship. Chinese traveller and chronicler Hiuen Tsang, British Colonel James Todd, who wrote the Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Sir William Jones, who founded the Asiatic Society in the late 18th century. The only heavyweight Indian name that enters the RSS list of acceptable historians is the late R.C. Majumdar, who did some pioneering work on ancient India and edited the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan series on Indian history.

Among contemporary historians, the big name ranged on the...
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