The Times reported that a group of 250 Indian historians are protesting against the rewriting of India's history textbooks to conform to what they say is the ideological bias of the ruling party.
The newspaper said in a report that deleting sections on topics including India's Muslim rulers was part of the partisan agenda of Narendra Modi's government to remove chapters that do not fit with the larger ideological orientation of the current ruling regime.
The report added that history lies at the heart of the culture wars in India as politicians are still arguing over figures from the past. For the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the period that deserves the most glorification is the period of ancient Hindu India, while the period of Muslim Mughal rule extending from the 16th to the 19th century is condemned by this party.
Erase the history of the Mongols
The report emphasized that erasing previous chapters on the Mongols from the new editions of history and political science textbooks for secondary schools issued by the National Council for Educational Research and Training has already been done.
Also gone is the reference to the deadly riots in Gujarat in 2002, which took place when Modi was ruling the state. The textbooks included mentioning that about a thousand Muslims were killed at the time, and references to Mahatma Gandhi's hatred of Hindu nationalists and the desire for unity between Hindus and Muslims also disappeared.
The report indicated that the protest of historians may not have an effect given that these changes have already taken place, adding that BJP leaders have previously spoken publicly about their desire to rewrite history as they see it, instead of portraying it by historians who belong to what they see. It is the liberal and secular elite.