1 – Distorting Indian History – S.L. Bhyrappa

Dr. N.S. Rajaram Introductory Note – N.S. Rajaram

In a previous column a comparison was drawn between S.L. Bhyrappa’s controversial Kannada best seller Aavarana and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, both of which refer to political distortion of history. Where Brown uses the idea for narrative purposes, it forms the central theme of Bhyrappa’s novel. In the climactic scene of Aavarana that comes towards the end of the novel, the protagonist Lakshmi-Razia boldly confronts government appointed committee of education officials (including the minister who bears resemblance to the late Arjun Singh) denouncing them as cowards and falsifiers of history. It is interesting to note that this is a fictionalised account of Bhyrappa’s own experience a few years earlier. Here is his own account written originally in Kannada (Vijaya Karnataka; Sunday, October 8, 2006.) We are grateful to Sandeep Balakrishna of Seriously Sandeep for the English version.

Background: A year or so before his famous novel Aavarana appeared, its author S.L Bhyrappa had prepared the ground for the controversy that was to follow by noting how the fanatical Tipu Sultan had been glorified as a freedom fighter and tolerant ruler by ‘secular’ writers bent on whitewashing his record. The article was titled: “Nationalism can never be strengthened by projecting historical lies.” This led to discussions in which noted literary personalities, dramatists and hundreds of readers participated enthusiastically. What is given below is Bhyrappa second article written in response to his secular critics like Girish Karnad whom he had earlier criticized for whitewashing fanatics like Tipu Sultan and Tughlaq. Bhyrappa had titled his article: “What would be the fate of the truth if a historian seeks advantages like a fiction author?” Here is Bhyrappa’s article, slightly abridged and edited. 

Dr. S.L. BhyrappaDistorting Indian History – S.L. Bhyrappa

I am grateful to Shri Girish Karnad, Sumatheendra Nadig, Dr. Chidananda Murthy, Dr. Suryanath Kamath, Dr. S. Shettar, Shathavadhani R. Ganesh and others who responded earnestly to my article under the title “Nationalism can never be strengthened by projecting historical lies.” To continue the discussions about Mohammed Bin Tugalak and Tipu Sultan would be just an exercise in extracting more details. What we really need to do is to analyze the present political attitudes in teaching history. In order to do this, let me first present what I learnt of the nature of the prevailing political control through my own experience.

During the year 1969 – 70 the Central Government under Mrs Indira Gandhi established a committee under the Chairmanship of G. Parthasarathy, a diplomat close to Nehru-Gandhi family. Its task was to integrate the nation through education. At that time I was a reader in Educational Philosophy at NCERT and was selected as one of the five members of the committee. In our first meeting Mr Parthasarathy, as Chairman of the committee explained the purpose of our committee in typically diplomatic language: “It is our duty not to sow the seeds of thorns in the minds of the growing children which will grow up as barriers to national integration. Such thorns are found mostly in the history courses. Occasionally we can find them in language and social science courses also. We have to weed them out. We have to include only such thoughts that go towards inculcating the concept of national integration firmly in the minds of our children. This committee carries this great responsibility.”

The other four members were nodding respectfully. But I said, “Sir, I am unable to understand your words. Will you please explain with a few illustrations?” The Chairman responded: “Ghazni Mohammed looted the Somnath Temple, Aurangzeb built mosques by demolishing the temples in Kashi and Mathura, he collected jizya — is it possible to build a strong India under the present circumstances by conveying such useless facts? What purpose do they serve, other than generating hatred?”

“But are they not historical truths?” I persisted.

“Plenty of truths are there. Using these truths judiciously is the wise way to teach history,” he retorted. The remaining four members simply nodded their heads saying “Yes, yes.” But I was not prepared to let him off.

“You yourself gave examples of Kashi and Mathura. Even today, lakhs of pilgrims from all corners of the country visit these places every year. They can see for themselves the huge mosques built using the walls, pillars and columns that once belonged to demolished temples. They can also see a recently built cow shed like shack in a corner, behind the mosque, that serves as their temple. All these pilgrims are distressed to witness such awful structures. They describe the plight of their temples to their relatives after they return home. Can this create national integration? You can hide such history in the school texts. But can we hide such facts when these children go on excursions and see the truth for themselves? Researchers have listed more than thirty thousand such ruined temples in India. Can we hide them all?…”

Mr. Parthasarthy interrupted me and asked: “You are a professor of philosphy. Can you please tell us what is the purpose of history?”

“Nobody can define the purpose of history. We do not know how the things will shape up because of the development of science and technology in the future. Some western thinkers might call it the philosophy of history. But such thoughts are futile. Our discussion here should be — what is the purpose of teaching history? History is seeking out the truths about our past events, learning about ancient human lives by studying the inscriptions, records, literary works, relics, artefacts etc. We should learn also not to commit the same blunders that our predecessors committed. We have to imbibe the noble qualities that they adopted; historical truths help us to learn all these things.”

“What if this search for truth hurts the feelings of the minority? Can we divide society? Can we sow the seeds of poison?” He tried to stop me with these questions.

“Sir, the categorisation on the lines of majority and minority would itself be dividing the society, or at least a step towards dividing the society. This idea of ‘seeds of poison’ is prejudiced. Why should the minority think of Gazni Mohammed and Aurangzeb as their own people and heroes? Mughal kingdom was destroyed by the religious bigotry of Aurangzeb. It was at its height in Akbar’s time because his policy of tolerance led to religious and social harmony. Can’t we teach such lessons to children without offending the historical truths? Before teaching the lessons to be learnt from the history, should we not explain the historical truths? This idea of hiding true history is driven politics. This trend will not last long. Whether they are minority or majority, if the education does not impart the character to face the truth with emotional maturity, such education is meaningless and also dangerous.” I replied.

Parthasarathy agreed. He said he appreciated my scholarship and the ability to think clearly. During the lunch break he called me aside, indicated his closeness to me by placing his hand on my shoulders. He then said with a winning smile: “What you say is correct academically. You go and write an article about what you said. But when the government formulates a policy covering the whole nation, it has to consider the interests of all the people. Intellectually pure principles do not serve any purpose.”

Next day when we met, I stuck to my stand. I argued that history that is not based on truth is futile and dangerous. I did not budge even when Parthasarathy showed his irritation on his face. The morning session closed without arriving at any conclusion. Parthasarathy did not speak to me again. We met again after a fortnight. The committee had been re-structured, without me. In my place was a lecturer in history by name Arjun Dev known for his leftist leanings. The revised text books of science and social studies published by NCERT and the new lessons that were introduced in these texts were written under his guidance. These are the books which were prescribed as texts in the Congress and Communist ruled states or they guided the text-book writers in these States.

Later, I (Bhyrappa) commented on this in a speech I gave at Alwas Nudisiri, in October 2005:

Prof. R.S. SharmaProf. Satish ChandraIn the NCERT books for XI standard, the Ancient India part is written by the Marxist historian R.S. Sharma and the Medieval India part is by Satish Chandra, also a Marxist. When examined, one can observe that how members belonging to this group had a scheme to brainwash the minds of growing children. According to them Ashoka preached to respect even (stress is mine) Brahmins by advocating the quality of tolerance. He had banned the ritual of sacrificing the animals and birds. When the performance of yagnas was stopped due to this ban, Brahmins lost their share of dakshina (cash gifts) and their livelihood was affected. The Maurya empire disintegrated after Ashoka and many parts of this kingdom came under the rule of Brahmins.

How childish can one be — to claim that a highly influential religion that had spread all over India and even beyond declined because dissatisfied Brahmins were deprived of their dakshina (cash gifts)? Their other claim is that Muslims demolished temples to loot the riches and wealth accumulated in these temples. This explanation is supposed to rationalize their actions. In some other context they may even say the looting may be according to the laws of Shariat which again paints the events as legally sanctioned. [Sic: Churches in India own huge tracts of prime land. By this logic, it is perfectly legitimate to take this land and use it for other purposes! – NSR]

Dr. B.R. AmbedkarActually, Buddhism did not disappear from India after Ashoka. The truth was told by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, a Buddhist himself. In the section, the decline and fall of Buddhism (Writings and Speeches, Volume III, Government of Maharashtra, 1987, pp 229-38) he noted that after Muslim invaders destroyed the universities of Nalanda, Vikramasheela, Jagaddala, Odanthapura etc., followed by brutal killings of the Buddhist monks, forced the survivors to escape to Nepal, Tibet and other neighbouring countries to save their lives. As he wrote, “The roots of Buddhism were axed. Islam killed Buddhism by killing priestly class of Buddhism. This is the worst catastrophe suffered by Buddhism in India.”

Like the Devil quoting scripture, Marxists quote Ambedkar whenever it is convenient for them to denigrate Hinduism, but ignore his inconvenient words like “the decline of Buddhism in India is due to the terrifying actions of Muslims.” R.S. Sharma the author of NCERT text on Ancient India, New Delhi, 1992 p 112 writes, “Buddha viharas attracted Turkish invaders because of their wealth. They were the special greedy targets for the invaders. Turks killed many Buddhist monks. Despite these killings, many monks escaped to Nepal and Tibet.”

Who were these Turks? Hindus? Here the clever Marxist Sharma has hidden the fact that these ‘Turks’ were Muslims who destroyed these religious places as dictated by Sharia (Islamic Law). He tries to hide this fact by calling Muslims of Turkey with only the tribal name Turkish. At the same time they (he and others) write that Buddhism declined during Ashoka’s reign because of Brahmins who were deprived of their dakshina (monetary gifts). One should appreciate their sophistry — hiding the truth about Turks being Muslims, but creating the falsehood that Brahmins deprived of dakshina were responsible for the decline of Buddhism after Ashoka. Latin rhetoricians called such a tactic suppressio veri, suggestio falsi. – Folks Magazine, 20 May 2012

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21 Responses

  1. Mr Bhyrappa is absolutely on target hitting the nail on its head. Many historians under the coersion of political lunatics made terrific alterations in history concealing facts,thus history at times seem to be read like novel of fiction.why they sell conscience for favour and fame is a mystery in history.They are the ones feeding young students with non- historical fictions in place of facts.so long as they cave in to any wilfully and mighty government,history will tread on in darkness rather than in light.!

    • It is high time to correct the books of history by bringing facts and facets. Congress communists and communalists tarnished indian ancient history and are responsible for distorted history. Great writers like Dinanath Batra Byrappa are doing a yeomen job to India and hindus at large. Kudos to both and other true historians like BB Lal

  2. I still remember the social science lesson and was in very great confuse who these turks are.. later some time I referred turks word in a discussion and no one among the forum got the Real.meaning.. alas.. why so much backstabbing the brahmin community..what they have done to harm.. ?oh..the answer for this question is already sown by this marxchist ideology.. there is no difference between Brahmins and Jews.. foreign invaders very harsh on this community and still it continues.. leave aside Hinduism.. it’s not brahmin property.. if u hate brahmin exile them and give them small portion of land.. why the so called left, secularism and Marxist barks on them for every thing.. omg..I believed Buddhism was brought down by Shankaracharya for these many days.. what this hell.. backstabbing..

  3. Congress destroyed the truth now they have face for their sins

  4. I am amazed to read the above. Thanks for giving us the information. I’ll try to circulate the text. You have done a great job. Carry ON. Our children to the facts, from the History. Good work.

  5. Such a monumental destruction of historical truths by congress led government.

  6. Dear Bhyrappa,
    Excellent you are and excellent your arguments in dealing with Parthasarthi.Redicalism was started during Khalifa time .Mohandas Karamchand Gandhiji wanted Khalifa Law in the country.we are thankful to Great Vallabhbhai Patel.who opposed.Gandhiji was recieving Antar atma ki awaz which was nothing but ear prompting by the Ghost may be saintly, coming out of the graveyard.It was not the voice of Prabhu Ramchandra.or Dwarkadhish.
    During the time of Acharya Vallabhacharya who was given recognization by Mysor king,
    One great incident had happened.Two Muslim Fakir had put mystical Magical yantra at the gate of Agra Darvaja , Who ever brahmins were. had to pass through the gate there shikha used to dis apear and beard like muslim mulla was coming on there face instantly. Seeing this miracles All the Kashi Brahmins went to Shri Mahaprabhuji Vallabhacharya who was in Vrindavan, and nerrated the problems.Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya was in direct contact with Shrinathaji who was avatar of Goverthan dharine swarup of lord Shri Krishna, Shreenathaji gave sudarshan chakra spells and yantra form to Mahaprabhuji, who had pasted that yantra on Delhi Darwaza, underneeth when any muslim used to pass there beared used to go and shikha was coming on the face.Matter became verymuch sensitive among people, and finally Ruller had to ORDER both the side to remove both yantra.
    Remembering this incident I had prepared same anciant yantra or 4’x3′ size sudershan chakra Gift to Shri Narendra Modiji for his safty.Now I will tell you why.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhiji was wanting one soul of the country.It is always good presumption that country should have one soul and one God.Everybody knows Dayanand saraswati founded Aryasamaj from where the congress parti has taken birth.Dayanand saraswati transleted all the four veda with predominantly theam as God is one only and veda is mentionimg one God only.His many transletion is wrong.Only Karnataka brahamins can understand when I say his translation is wrong.His argument is very much deceiving, That vedas mentioned about one God only.Because then there is room for propagation Islam , Look we also say Only one Allah has build this world.while veda mentioned different God wirh different specialiry.fire god is different from wind God, Bharav name is not in vedas.Now Gandhiji though was vaishnava genarali beliver of lord Krishna and lord Rama.because he was born in the sect of Pranami Dharma predominantly worshiper of lord Krishna.During the tine of Aurangzeb he invited Pranami Dharma Gurus and pandits for dharma sansad in which they had to accept the belief that lord Krishna and Lord Rama have no difference from Allah because of fear of killer Aurangzeb.So Gandhiji got confused and started telling Ram and Rahim are one only.Lord Ram is gau brahaman pratipalak Nobel king, While otherside ………
    Chandrakant Krishnakant Dave

  7. First of all a true Brahman would not use animals in yagya. Who banned which ‘brahman’ for such practices is a big question. Many original Vedic practices had become distorted due to the illegal migrations of mlecchas into Aryavart. Ashok, Guptas, Sakyas (Buddhas’s clan), all those whose language was Pali and Prakrit, Yavana (westerners) etc. all fall into this category of mlecchas. The original Brahmans like Adi Shankracharyaji were having a hard time maintaining some semblence of law and order and sanity. Books like Mantra Vigyan tell us how mantras etc. work. Since these were the foundation of ancient Vedic education system and therefore entire society and varnashram one can easily guess how degenerated everything had become. The example of Chamar kings is one such, that tells us that it is not necessary that kshatriya clans are always rajas or that whoever is a raja is automatically a kshatriya. Mantra Vigyan tells us that those people who specialise in a particular set of mantras and get siddhis of a certain level are called kshatriyas. Same thing for Brahmans, Vaishyas and Ksudras. Varnas are based on Varnamaalaa. Va (vayu)+ Arna (inner rivers of energy) that help a person develop in mantra siddhi were the foundation of ancient Vedic society. (in brief).
    The word ‘Aswa’ has been translated incorrectly as horse. It means ‘sun’ as explain by Dr. Subhash Kak et al. Yagyas were done to interact with certain astronomical phenomena, involving sun and other cosmic bodies. Sun also refers to inner surya chakra and nadi that as supposed to be made powerful. Involving any animal therefore is out of the question. Some people translate things out of context and get them wrong. In ancient Vedic verses they say the Mahishi (chief queen) sleeps with horse in a yagya. But interpreted correctly one can see that a Mahishi is a mantra visharad who says mantras to affect her inner surya and therefore the outer surya and environment as well. This also tells us that ‘chief queens’ were not a kings wives as we understand the word today. They may or may not have had a physical/personal relationship. They were all mantra visharadas who worked and practiced together to get mantras and yagyas perfected. Therefore it would also be incorrect to label Sita, Draupadi, Kaikeyi etc as mere women or ‘abala naris’.

  8. Beginning with the G. Parthasarathy Committiee under the aegis of Indira Gandhi, S. L. Bhyrappa talks of how Truth was murdered to arrive at India’s “History”. An excellent read.

    We had seen this “Indira Gandhi Time Capsule” disease in the Pranab Da Mukherjee Gee “retrospective taxattion” 2013 Loka Sabha that stood up unanimously (BJO doyens included) to expurgate Shankar’s cartoons published in 1948 from NCERT (already anti Dharmic) History Text Books!

    However, Byrappa himself falls into error. Budhism was not eradicated by Islam. It was eradicated in India in the back lash to tyrannical Ashokan (Imperial) Budhism under the Brahmin persecuting Chakra of Ashoka Varsha. It prospered elsewhere where it was taken by Brahmins such as Kaushika (to Tibet) Kashyapa (as Zen Budhism to China) and Bhardhwaja (to Japan) under the benign Saffron Swasthika of Bharatha Varsha (Arya Dharma)

  9. sir i feel parthsarthy which bhyrappaji mentioned is diff one

  10. Is there a country in the world where history is distorted like this? How much role Hindus play in this distortion?

  11. This article just reinforces the fact the abysmal damage that these deplorable Leftist Historians have done to Indian political & cultural history & they continue to do so in collusion with the cartel nurturing evil intents.

  12. Truth needed to be exposed. And its being exposed none other than Shri N S Rajaram. I will keep all this what I read hear and will tell my kids about the truth … and truth about the history written by “real Marxist Historians”.

  13. TED talks are very good . Here Rajesh Rao describes Indus script as a linguistic code rather than just symbols as proposed by Witzel and others.

  14. http://richarddawkins.net/articles/575190-nalanda-and-the-pursuit-of-science
    Extract From Amartya Sens lecture to Indian Science Congress in Chennai, some yrs back

    Nalanda was violently destroyed in an Afghan attack, led by the ruthless conqueror, Bakhtiyar Khilji, in 1193, shortly after the beginning of Oxford University and shortly before the initiation of Cambridge. Nalanda university, an internationally renowned centre of higher education in India, which was established in the early fifth century, was ending its continuous existence of more than seven hundred years as Oxford and Cambridge were being founded, and even compared with the oldest European university, Bologna, Nalanda was more than six hundred years old, when Bologna was born.

    Yes , the Turk was Bakhtiyar Khilji, in 1193, Even the leftist , who has his own idea of justice has mentioned the name.

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