Many incidents, based on religious and ideological bigotry and distaste have been observed around India in recent years. With their grounds lying on the historical aspect, they are falsified and displayed in terms of untrue incidents, whether related to ancient Indian mosques or Indian Muslim emperors. Amid this scenario, one should at least possess the notion that it’s a long process of historical facts being altered and presented through several mediums including media and the film industry.
After independence, some of our political thinkers placed their interest in following the policy of the British. Incentivized by the aforementioned interests, the work of misguiding the new generation was initiated in educational institutions by putting distorted history chapters in the syllabi. Professor B. N. Pandey, former Governor of the state of Odisha and a historian, published a booklet titled, “Itihas Ke Sath Ye Anyaye” (Hindi), meaning ‘Such An Injustice To History’, where he perspicuously shows how history has been distorted by the authorities through the medium of adding falsified and malicious statements in the textbooks of courses offered by our educational institutions. These statements were especially related to fraudulent accusations on Muslim emperors in Indian history like Tipu Sultan, Aurangzeb Alamgir, and many more. Moreover, apart from books, it spread through other mediums like movies, slogans raised by political parties, their leaders, etc.
A very recent example of it can be proved by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s new movie, ‘Samrat Prithviraj‘ which has its grounds on no reality, but a fictional poem, Prithviraj Raso, which entirely lacks historical references and proof. It shows that Prithviraj Chauhan killed Muhammad Ghori, whereas the reality is absolutely the opposite. It is a fact that Chauhan died in 1192 AD and Ghori in 1206 AD. Moreover, it is preserved in the old and modern historical texts that Ghori killed Chauhan after the second battle of Tarain. It is a certitude that the work has been done to give a wrong touch to medieval Indian literature and history, and has many sides and many directions.
The gap between the Hindu-Muslim community, who had settled in one place with mutual cooperation and brotherhood for centuries became very wide, due to the motives of the British. After the bloodshed of millions of people and the partition of the country, though the British brave was sent off safely, the malice between the communities is maintained even today. To please the ambition of promoting bigotry and misinformation, human lives have been taken, and hundreds of villages and cities have gone through bloodshed and massacres. The administration of the country and all the systems are contributing to this motive even today, directly or indirectly, wearing a mask. They use history as a seed of hatred to break the society, so that the organized power of the people to unite and fight against the original problem is eliminated. This plan was carried out so smoothly that today the poison of hatred, aversion, and malice has spread everywhere.
Another foremost example of how history is distorted and altered is of the renowned Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Undoubtedly, it is proven from history that Aurangzeb had ordered the demolition of the Vishwanath Temple in Banaras and Jama Masjid of Golconda, but the reason for this was something that is not talked much about. In connection to events with the Vishwanath Temple, it is told that when Aurangzeb was passing near Benares on his way to Bengal, the Hindu kings in his convoy requested the emperor to pause the journey, and stay there for a day so that their queens could go to Banares, take a bath in the river Ganga and pay a visit of obeisance to Vishwanathji’s temple. Aurangzeb immediately accepted this request because it was a matter of reverence for his subjects. A military guard was placed on the five-mile route from the convoy’s stop to Banaras. The queens went into palanquins and came back after bathing and worshiping, but a queen (the Queen of Kutch) did not return. She was searched a lot, but could not be found. When Aurangzeb came to know about it, he got outrageous and sent the big officers of his army to search. At last, those officers saw that the idol of Ganesha, which was attached to the wall is shaking. On removing the idol, they found their way to the courtroom and found the missing queen lying, crying on the stairs leading to it. She was raped and her jewellery was snatched away too. This cellar was just below the idol of Vishwanathji. The kings expressed their displeasure over this act and protested. Since it was a very heinous crime, Aurangzeb demanded strict action. On their demand, Aurangzeb ordered that since the holy place had been defiled, the idol of Vishwanathji should be installed elsewhere and the temple should be demolished, the ground, levelled, and the Mahant should be arrested. Doctor Pattabhi Sitaramayya in his famous book ‘Fathers and the Stones‘ has certified this incident on the basis of documents. Former curator of Patna Museum, Dr. P.L. Gupta has also confirmed this incident to be true.
There are a number of incidents in history, which have been distorted and could be proved untrue. Unfortunately, the events and characters of medieval and modern Indian history have been presented in such a distorted manner that the lie itself was accepted as divine truth and those who differentiate between fabrications and facts were blamed. Even today, communal and selfish elements are engaged in distorting history and giving it a wrong color. Our work is to always call humanity towards truth. Always!
Syed Ilham Jafri is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Maria Aqdas