OFFICIAL DISTORTIONS OF HISTORY THROUGH NEW SYLLABI AND CHANGES IN TEXT BOOKS UNACCEPTABLE
The Indian History Congress from its very foundation nearly nine decades ago has remained committed to pursuing the cause of providing an accurate and comprehensive portrayal of the history of this country. It has, therefore, been greatly alarmed by the changes in the History syllabi and textbooks that have recently been effected by central official agencies, leading to a plainly prejudiced and irrational perception of our past.
The University Grants Commission in the draft syllabus it has framed for the Bachelor’s course for History, claims for India the “honour” of being the Aryan homeland, deems the Epics as possible historical chronicles and excludesd all reference to caste system in its ancient India portion. In fact, it expressly treats the caste system as an institution arising after the coming of Islam. The Mughal emperor Akbar along with his policy of religious tolerance between various religions is totally excluded from the syllabus. The students in the Bachelor’s course would not thus learn of any cultural or intellectual developments of the Mughal era (neither Kabir, nor Tulsidas nor Abul Fazl)!
Now the same process of misrepresentation has been introduced in the prescribed History textbooks by omitting whole sections, along with individual passages and sentences (or parts thereof) in the prescribed textbooks. These include wholesale omission of the narrative of the Mughal dynasty which gave India political unity for such a long period, and sundry other deletions of statements that are held to be inconsistent with the narrow communalist formulations favoured by the present regime. Even the narrative of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination has been trifled with.
The Indian History Congress recalls its own effort twenty years ago when it published a volume assessing critically the History textbooks then published by NCERT, pointing out their various errors and misjudgments. They were subsequently withdrawn.
It is now necessary for all historians, loyal to the rational and scientific nature and purpose of their profession, to stand up and make it clear that such distortions of History as the NCERT has now sought to spread through its deletions and revisions are simply unacceptable.
sd/- (Professor Kesavan Veluthat).
Indian History Congress
(Professor Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi) Secretary
Indian History Congress
The Indian History Congress, the only national level organization of historians in our country, has endeavoured for over seventy years to eastablish academic standards, the spirit of national unity, and the objective interpretation of history free of sectarian bias, and thus it has earned the loyalty and support of all historians of India.
Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya
The Indian History Congress has nurtured generations of scholars over the past seven decades, and remains the major platform for scholars of history in India and abroad to exchange their ideas and present their research to a larger audience.
Professor Rakesh Batabyal
The promotion of academic rigour and objectivity in the discipline of history is very crucial, particularly given the challenges across the globe and India’s internationally significant role in historical research. The Indian History Congress for several decades have provided a platform for scholars from different parts of India and the world. I wish the Congress every success in promoting these ideals.
Professor Hermann Kulke
The Indian History Congress provides a splendid occasion for historians to meet and exchange ideas and plan new scholarly initiatives. The all-inclusive nature of the Indian History Congress will ensure that an open, non-sectarian, and indeed secular approach to history will prevail and will lead to a deeper understanding and a richer appreciation of the historical process.
Professor Keith Hitchins
Founded in 1935, the Indian History Congress(IHC) is the largest association of professional historians in South Asia. It has about 35000 members of which over 2000 delegates participate in its session every year. It has been holding its sessions very regularly from its inception and publishing its proceedings every year since 1935. Its main objective is to promote secular and scientific writing of history.
© 2019 Indian History Congress. All rights reserved | Designed & Developed by Deepak
The preparations for the historic 80th Session of the IHC are underway, and I look forward to meeting all members at Kannur, Kerala, between 28th and 30th December, 2019. Prof. Ravindran Gopinath, Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, which will be hosting the Session, has appointed Dr. P. Mohandas as the Local Secretary. Details regarding payment of delegate fee have been intimated by Dr. Mohandas in his Circular dated 15/10/2019. The same is available on our website, and may be downloaded from here Local Secretary's Circular. You will also be receiving my second circular by the end of the month. Do renew your annual membership fees by 30th October, 2019. The facility of online payment has been initiated only for Annual Membership renewal. Please also remember to send in your papers by 30th November, 2019. We have a galaxy of eminent scholars who will be attending, and various special events planned. The significance of the IHC for the fraternity of historians is well-known, and so do ensure that you make your travel arrangements well in advance, so that you can also participate and enrich the annual session. We are starting a members' corner, where your books and awards will be displayed. Please send details in this regard to email@example.com.
Dr Adiga is an independent scholar and she specialises in Ancient Indian history and has done research on the early medieval history of Karnataka. Her PhD thesis on the socio-political history of Southern Karnataka under the Western Gangas was later published by Orient Blackswan as The Making of Southern Karnataka: Society, Polity and Culture in the Early Medieval Period (AD400-1030) in 2006. Subsequently she has availed of a Post-doctoral Research Associateship from the ICHR (1998-2000) and the UGC (2004-2009) during which her research focus has been on gender, kinship, family and violence in the early medieval period in Karnataka.
Professor Ishrat Alam is the former chairperson and co-ordinator at the Centre of Advanced Study in the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. He is an experienced professor with a record of working in the higher education and curriculum development. He has been a recipient of the Netherlands Government Reciprocal Fellowship. He has worked as a managing Editor for the Indian Historical Review on behalf of the Indian Council of Historical Research. He has also been a part of the editorial Board for Studies in People’s History, by SAGE Publications and the Indian Journal of History of Science, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Calcutta, and at Department of History, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, He has been a member-Secretary of the ICHR, and a member of Research Council for National Commission for History of Science, Indian National Science Academy. He has given a series of lectures in various states across the country on various aspects ranging from Technology and Society in Pre-Modern India, Palaces, Gardens and Water Bodies in the 17th Century to social transformations in Medieval India and Tolerance as essence of Secular Democracy Apart from being associated with the Indian History Congress, he has also chaired sessions in the section of Medieval India at the U.P History Congress and the Andhra Pradesh History Congress as well as the Punjab History Conference. He has edited many volumes which include Blending Nation and Region, Essays in Honour of Late Professor Amalendu Guha eds. Sajal Nag and Ishrat Alam, (Primus books, 2018); The Varied Facets of History, Essays in Honour of Aniruddha Ray eds. Ishrat Alam and Syed Ejaz Hussain, (Primus Books, 2011). He has published several articles and has contributed in various works including, History of Technology in India, Medieval Period, ed. Harbans Mukhia, Vol. II, Indian National Science Academy.
Professor Salil Mishra is Dean at the School of Law, Governance and Citizenship, Ambedkar University. He is also a Professor at the School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University. He has been a Professor of history at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). He was a visiting researcher at the Centre for History of Emotions in Max-Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. Apart from being associated with the Indian History Congress, he has also chaired sessions in the section of Modern India at the U.P History Congress and the Andhra Pradesh History Congress as well as the Punjab History Conference. He has authored works which include A Narrative of Communal Politics, Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39, monograph titled “Emotions in Politics and Politics of Emotions: Making of a Muslim Nation in Colonial India, 1937-46.” He has co-edited the volume, Towards Freedom, a collection of documents on the freedom struggle for the year 1942, Oxford University Press. He has published a series of research articles in books and journals on various themes pertaining to communal and identity politics, Indian National Movement, Partition of India and politics of Hindi-Urdu Languages. A number of his articles have been extensively published in various newspapers including the Deccan Herald, The Economic Times and the Times of India. He has also published works in Hindi.
Prof. Margit Koves is currently at the Department of Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian Studies in the University of Delhi. She is affiliated as a fellow with research institutions like the Indian Historical Research Council, the Indian Philosophical Research Council and the Indian Sociological Research Council. The research of Prof. Koves is diverse has ranged from comparative studies in Hindi and Hungarian Literature, impact of Hungarian language in India and religious, philosophical and historical studies. She has many research papers to her credit, of which include “Hungarian Studies in India: Hungarian Language and Culture in Delhi University” (THL2 Journal of Teaching Hungarian as a 2nd Language and Hungarian Culture), “Hungarian Responses: Between Support and Disagreement” (Insurgent Sepoys: Europe Views the Revolt of 1857 ed. Shaswati Mazumdar) and “Lukács and Fascism” (Social Scientist). Her diverse interest in research is best highlighted by her two monographs titled The English Curator and the Buddhist Doctor: Charles Fabri's Identities in India (1997) and Telling Stories of Partition and War: Saadat Hasan Manto and Istvan Orkeny (1998) published by the Centre for Contemporary Studies, NMML, Delhi. She has also edited a volume of papers titled Buddhism among the Turks of Central Asia (2009) and co-edited a reader on Fascism with Shaswati Majumdar titled Resistible Rise: A Fascism Reader (2005). She has also translated many literary works from Hungarian to Hindi, key works include the Abhineta ki Mrityu and Dasa ādhunika Haṅgārī kavi with Girdhahra Rathi.
Dr. Bishnupriya Basak is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology, Calcutta University. She has been a recipient of many grants and awards, including a post-doctoral Visiting Fellowship in the UK, awarded by the Nehru Trust for Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2001), the UK Travel Award from the Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2009) a research grant from Society of Antiquaries of London (2015) among various others. Her specialization is in Bengal prehistory but she also researches extensively on Archaeological theory, history of Indian archaeology and Heritage studies. She currently has a project on ‘Tracking ancient migration routes and cultural connections in Northeastern India’ under the UGC-UPE 2 scheme of India Looking East of the University of Calcutta. She is also on the editorial board of peer- reviewed journals like Public Archaeology. She has also reviewed papers for peer-reviewed journals like ‘Quaternary International’ and is a regular reviewer of research grants awarded by the Indian Council of Historical research (ICHR).
Prof. Sudha Pai retired as Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Political Studies and as Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in January 2016. Her research interests include Dalit Politics, State Politics in India, Agrarian Politics, Globalization and Legislative Governance. She has been member of many projects including SIDA and UNIRISD and was Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti, New Delhi from 2006 to 2009 where she completed a book project Developmental State and the Dalit Question: Congress Response. This project was published as the Developmental State and the Dalit Question in Madhya Pradesh: Congress Response (2010) by Routledge. Her recent work Constitutional and Democratic Institutions in India: A Critical Analysis (2020) which provides critical insights on the constitution and the democratic institutions of India. Prof. Pai has also edited and coedited numerous volumes of paper on the history of politics in contemporary India. The edited volumes include titles like Handbook on Politics in the Indian States Regions, Political Parties and Economic Reforms (2015), Interrogating Reorganization of States: Culture, Identity and Politics in Independent India (edited with Asha Sarangi, 2011), Developmental State and the Dalit Question in Madhya Pradesh: Congress Response (2010) and Political Process in Uttar Pradesh: Identity, Economic Reforms and Governance (2007). Apart from her academic contributions she is also head of a think-thank named PRAMAN (Policy Research and Management Network) at Gurgaon, which undertakes research on aspects of Public Policy such as Health, Education, Agriculture and India's foreign policy. She also regularly contributes to leading national newspapers such as The Indian Express, The Economic Times and websites such as thewire.in. on contemporary politics and public policy.
Professor Shireen Moosvi is a well known historian who has specialised in Economic History of India. Though her primary work revolves around the economy during the period of the Mughal Empire, but she has also contributed much to the proper understanding of the economy of the Modern and Colonial period in India as well. Having taught at Aligarh for more than four decades, Professor Moosvi has been a Senior Fulbright Fellow, US (1983-84), a Resident Fellow at Bellagio Centre, Milan, Italy sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation in 1990-91, a National Career Awardee 1986-89 by UGC, and a Visiting Fellow to many other Universities and academic institutions. After having been an ordinary member of the Indian History Congress for decades, she has served it as its Sectional President (1996) and General President in 2016-17. She continues to serve it as its Publication Incharge, and helps bring out the Proceedings of the Congress since a number of years. Amongst other honours, she has also been a member of Central Advisory Board of Archeology (CABA) for three terms, viz., 2005-09, 2009-14 and 2014-19. Amongst her many publications, which includes around hundred research papers, she has authored 3 books, 2 monographs and 4 edited works. Her edited Agrarian Poverty in Colonial Uttar Pradesh: The Dufferin Inquiry, 1887-88, published by Primus in January 2023. Her basic work is Economy of the Mughal Empire, 1595 A Statistical Study published by OUP initially in 1987. However her most popular work is Episodes in the Life of Akbar Contemporary Records and Reminisces, published by NBT in English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi and Malayalam versions. Since long Professor Moosvi is also involved in countering the growing communal writings in Indian history and has been actively involved as Secretary, Aligarh Historians Society, a body which has been holding seminars, symposiums and publications on secular scientific history.
Aditya Mukherjee is a distinguished historian of Contemporary and Modern Indian history known for his secular credentials. He was Professor of Contemporary Indian History, Centre for Historical Studies and Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College and JNU. He is the Editor of the ‘Sage Series in Modern Indian History’ published by SAGE publications, (fifteen monographs already published) and was editor of the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru (2009-11).He has also been a Member of the Council of The Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) for a number of years.He specializes in Economic History, particularly business history and the political economy of post-colonial development. He was President of the Indian History Congress for Modern India, 2007-8 and has been Visiting Professor at Duke University, U.S.A., 1986; JSPS fellow and Japan Foundation Fellow at University of Tokyo, Japan,1996 and 1999-2000 respectively;Visiting fellow at the Institutes of Advanced Study at Lancaster, UK and at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Nantes, France, 2010 and Visiting professor at La Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy, 2013. His numerous publications include books like India's Struggle for Independence, Viking, 1988, Penguin, 1989, 58th reprint in 2014, and India Since Independence, Penguin, 2008, both co-authored and translated into five languages. Other works of his are Imperialism, Nationalism and the Making of the Indian CapitalistClass 1927-1947, Sage, 2002, RSS, School Texts and The Murder of Mahatma Gandhi: The Hindu Communal Project, Sage, 2008, He has also co-authored A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress, 1964-1984, Vol.V,(editor),Academic Publishers, New Delhi, 2011.
Professor Manvendra Kumar Pundhir has been teaching at Aligarh Muslim University since 1999. Having specialised in the regional history of Rajasthan and the economic history of that region during 18th Century, he subsequently took up the field of Medieval Indian Architecture, and has contributed much to the understanding of Mughal sub-imperial monuments of the Agra region. He has also developed interest in Medieval Archaeology, having been incharge of the Archaeology section of the Department of History at AMU. Professor Pundhir is presently (2022-23) elected as President, UP History Congress and has since long been associated with World Archaeology Congress (WAC). He is a member of the International Association of Historians of Asia, and editor of two journals, viz., Indian Jounal of Archaeology, and Ateet: Indian Journal of History and Archaeology. He is also on the editorial board of Journal of History and Sociology of South Asia, JMI, and Lynien: Journal of Cultural and Historical Studies, Udaipur University.
Professor Kesavan Veluthat is a former Professor in the Department of History from the Delhi University (2009-2016) and Chairman of the Department of History, Mangalore University. He has been a visiting professor at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris; Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris as well as Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. In 2008 he completed a major research project funded by the Ford Foundation known as the, "Historical Atlas of South India". He has given lectures as well as presented papers in conferences across the country, as well as internationally in Columbia University, New York, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and in Germany in the Universities of Kiel, Erfurt, Freiburg and Tubingen. He has been associated with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in assessing universities and colleges in India. Apart from being associated with the Indian History Congress, he has also chaired sessions at the Andhra Pradesh and the Punjab History Congress. His major works include, Brahman Settlements in Kerala: Historical Studies, (Kozhikode, Sandhya Publications, 1978; revised and enlarged edition, Cosmo Books, Thrisssur, 2013); The Political Structure of Early Medieval South India, (New Delhi, Orient Longman, 1993; second revised edition, New Delhi, Orient Blackswan, 2012); Kerala Through the Ages, (Thiruvananthapuram, Department of Public Relations, Government of Kerala, 1976) with M. G. S. Narayanan, et al. He also has edited several volumes including, Kerala State and Society in Pre-modern South India, ed., with R. Champakalakshmi and T. R. Venugopalan (Cosmo Books, Thrisssur, 2002); The Early Medieval in South India, Oxford University Press, (New Delhi, 2009; first paperback edition, 2010; sixth edition, 2014); Irreverent History: Essays for M. G. S. Narayanan, ed., with Donald R. Davis, Primus Books, Delhi, 2014. He has also authored several books in Malyalam which deal with history and literature in Malyalam, and has edited a Latin-Malyalam dictionary volume.
Professor Irfan Habib is Emeritus Professor of Department of History of AMU he also held the post of Chairman in the same department. He served as coordinator of Centre of Advanced Studies in Department of History of AMU. He was appointed as the Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He was General Secretary, Sectional President and General President in 1981 and Vice-President in 2006 of Indian History Congress. He delivered Radhakrishnan Lecture at Oxford and he was recognized by the international community as Corresponding Fellow of British Royal Historical Society. He was bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 2005. He has authored and edited many books and research papers on various fields of Indian and World History. The Agrarian System of Mughal India is one of his widely acclaimed works. He edited works like People’s History of India Series and UNESCO publications and The Cambridge Economic History of India, Vol. Ifor this work he was awarded Watumull Prize.
Dr Syed Jabir Raza retired as Professor of Medieval Indian History from the Centre of Advanced Study Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University(Aligarh) in 2020. During the decades before his retirement from teaching at Aligarh, he extensively worked on the Ghaznavid rule in Northern India, in particular, its administrative, fiscal and military features. His researches on elephants and other animals in Ghaznavid armies are path breaking, so is his command over Ghaznavid epigraphical sources and their import. He has also contributed innumerable research papers on other dynasties covering the Delhi Sultanate: especially those on the system of rule, warfare and socio-cultural life in the period have received widespread recognition and are widely cited. He is one of the few historians of India today who has mastered both Arabic and Classical Persian which has helped him decipher not only the Arabic and Persian inscriptions of the Medieval period,but interpret them in the light of rare archival textual sources. He was a part of the team of scholars sponsored by ICHR to collect Indo-Persian Epigraph of Early Medieval India. He is at present editing a number of Indo-Persian texts of the sultanate period, and his critical edition of Isami’s Futuh us Salatin is expected to published soon. Another of his monograph which due to be released soon is on the Iqta, as it was under the Delhi Sultans. Professor Raza was at SOAS for six months as Charles Wallace Fellow, India where he also delivered a number of lectures on the history of Delhi Sultanate. Between 2015-17 he was elected as EC member, UP History Congress, where in 2018 session he was also elected as President Medieval India Section.
Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi is a Professor at Aligarh Muslim University. He was Charles Wallace Fellow 2007, SOAS, London and Visiting Fellow, Maison Des Sciences De L'Homme, Paris in 2008. Since 2013 he is one of the Visiting Fellows of The Shiah Institute, London. Between 2017 and 2020 he was the Chairman and Coordinator of the Centre for Advanced Studies in History. He is also a former Coordinator of the Musa Dakri (University) Museum at Aligarh Muslim University. At present he is the President of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology, Treasurer of Aligarh Historians Society. He was also an Executive Member of the Executive Committee of the Indian History Congress and before that, the President of the Medieval India Section of the Indian History Congress during its 2013–2014 session. In 2018 he had been elected as the General President UP History Congress session held in Lucknow. He was also chosen Sectional President Bengal Itihas Sansad (2019) and Punjab Historical Conference (2017). He holds a PhD on the urban middle class in Mughal India from Aligarh Muslim University and his research interests focus on the history and archaeology of mediaeval India, and on the Mughal dynasty in particular. He is the author of Fathpur Sikri Revisited (Oxford, 2013), and History Through Archaeology (2019). The second revised edition of Fathpur Sikri Revisitedwill be published soon. He has contributed chapters to books including Religious Movements and Institutions in Medieval India (Oxford, 2009) and Religion in Indian History (Chennai, 2007) and authored more than 50 papers published in reputed journals. His forthcoming books , one on Middle Classes under the Mughals, and another on Medieval Archaeology has been accepted by Primus India to be published soon. As Chairman of the Department of History, AMU, he also brought out a two volume Catalogue of the Archaeological Holdings of the Department of History AMU, as a facsimile print of a 17th Century Persian manuscript, Tazkira i Pīr Hassu Taili. He delivered the SC Misra Lecture during the 73rd session of IHC at Mumbai University on Medieval Indian Architecture. At AMU, where he teaches Medieval Indian History, he introduced new post graduate courses on Medieval Archaeology, a subject generally not taught elsewhere. Since 2020 he has been active in organising online lectures, talks and discussions on various aspects of Indian History, specially Medieval India which have been very well received the world over.