History, Textbooks and Distortion

In our history text books Hinduism is portrayed as full of superstition, caste system and costly rituals.

Vedic era and Vedic society

The most ancient literary evidence in Indian history is the Veda. The ancient archaeological sites are that of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Unanimously all history textbooks tell that both of them are distinct. Why they have to be distinct? Nobody knows. There is no primary evidence for the distinction of the two.

In the context of religion of Harappans, the very history textbook says that they worshiped Mother Earth, Shiva, Shiva linga and gods in the form of animals, trees and human beings.(1) I don’t know in what way this is different from Vedic worship. The Vedas too talk about Shiva, Mother Earth and gods in the form of animals, trees and human beings. Taittiriya Brahmana uses the word Shiva linga too.

There is a huge attempt to differentiate Hinduism and Shaivism. This must be due to the discovery of Shiva worship in Harappan civilization. Such attempts to differentiate Hinduism and Shaivism can be noticed in the history textbooks as well. For example, our history textbook says: Early in his life, he (Harsha) was a follower of Hinduism. Later he followed Shaivism and Buddhism.(2)

What does it indicate? A non-existent distinction between Hinduism and Shaivism is being fed into the minds of the students, the children of Hindus, the majority of this nation.

The textbook says: “After the decline of the Indus Civilization, there are evidences of some new inhabitants in north India. These new inhabitants called themselves Arya (called Aryans today) as is known through the Rigveda, the chief source of information on the history of this period”.(3)

Actually in the Rig Veda, Arya means noble. Nowhere in the text there is a reference to any community calling themselves a race named Arya. It is the recent European colonizing historians who invented a particular race named Arya for which there is no evidence of any kind but for their own writings quoting each other (like a blind led by another blind).

Let us see a sample from another textbook: “On the ruins of the Harappan civilization, a new culture developed with the coming of the Aryans. This culture is known as the Vedic culture. Vedic literature constitutes the sole source of information about this culture. Nowadays, of course, archaeology is adding to our knowledge.

“Most historians opine that the Aryans or groups of people who spoke a particular language (possibly Sanskrit) and had particular cultural practices came from central Asia. The Aryans entered India through the Khyber Pass between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE”.(4)

The Vedic literature constitutes the sole source of information. This is a vital statement with which I agree. But can anybody show a single place where Aryan invasion or migration is mentioned in the Vedas? Nowhere. It is never even mentioned in any early Sanskrit and vernacular works of India. It was just concocted by some European colonizing historians. That is all. Later while archaeological sites were found they were seen in the lens of Aryan invasion theory. But certainly we have neither got any evidence from the Vedic literature, nor from archaeology. All the attempts have only been to prove the ‘theory’ concocted already.

“The Aryans came to India in several waves and the earliest wave is represented by the Rigvedic people.” (5) This is in a special box indicating that it is a vital information about Aryan invasion theory. I was informed by TS Narendran that this is a clever response concocted by the historians to ‘refute’ the new finding that goes against the concocted major influx, from regions north and west of India.

Why such a concoction is needed at all? If a Hindu finds fault with the atrocities committed by invading Sultans or Mughals, he should be silenced by telling that Hindus too were invaders. He should understand that he should passively accept Mughal and Sultan invasion as he himself committed this fault. Thus, Aryan invasion theory was concocted by European colonizing historians to permanently defeat the Hindus or Vedic people and to hang their heads. This is still there in our textbooks.

While most of the scholars conclude the minimum date of the composition of Ramayana and Mahabharata as before 2500 years and there are ample evidences to prove it, the date given in the history textbook is 400 AD (CE).(6)

Dronacharya asked Ekalavya to cut his thumb and offer to him as Guru dakshina. This account does not represent the Vedic culture as a whole in any manner. Though Drona is a master of archery who teaches it to the students, he is not taken to be a role model character in Mahabharata. He belongs only to the enemy’s camp fighting against Dharma violating Dharma. Can you expect such a character to represent the Vedic culture as a whole? The account of Dronacharya is given in a box in the textbook and finally two questions are asked to the students. To which period do you think the story belongs to? What do you get to know about the Vedic society through this account?(7) For the first question the students are expected to answer, “Vedic period.”

Two things come to my mind.

  1. There are thousands of accounts found in our epics representing equality and universal brotherhood like Rama’s friendship with Guha, Rama’s affection to Shabari, or the story of Rantideva in which he offers everything he has, though he is suffering from hunger. Leaving all such accounts why Dronacharya account alone is given in our textbook? This agenda is only to make the Hindus who form the majority of India, feel ashamed of their own scriptures and traditions.
  2. While the account of Ekalavya is narrated in the context of Vedic culture, why the commands of Jehovah (Christian god) in Bible regarding killing of non-believers’ children and rape of their women not given or why Abraham’s marriage with his sister and Mohammed’s marriage with his daughter in law are not given while dealing with Christianity and Islam? “What do you get to know about the Biblical or Islamic society through this story?” Why such a question is not asked to the students?

Then, the textbook says that in the later Vedic period people worshipped new gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.(8) This statement is incorrect as all these three Gods are found in Rig Veda and they were vital too. Vitality of the gods in Rig Veda is not based on how many hymns are dedicated to them, but based on what roles they play. The word ‘new’ is used here with an agenda of making the Hindus, the majority of India, the worshipers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to hang their heads feeling shame. Why can’t Jesus be called as a recent god as he was not worshiped before two thousand years? Why can’t history textbook call Jehovah as a new god as he was not worshiped in Greek or Roman or Egyptian culture?

Buddhism and Jainism

The textbooks tell our children about the reason for the rise of Buddhism and Jainism.

“The Brahmanas took advantage of people’s ignorance. They interpreted religion for their own convenience, and increased their power and wealth”.(9)

There could be a possibility of some priests interpreting religion for their own convenience. But the above passage implying that the majority of Brahmanas interpreted religion for their own convenience is biased and without basis. Why the author does not talk at all about the atrocities of the Christian priests at the time of Dark Age in Europe? Why she does not talk about the Islamic terrorism? Why only Brahmanas? Did Brahmanas increase their power and wealth? Even if the author possesses a little knowledge of primary sources of history she cannot write like this. Most of the Brahmins belonging to that era lead a life of poverty, except for a few who were associated with the kings. What power they had? Did they rule the Kingdom and make the laws at that era?

Let us see further.

“A little before the emergence of the Janapadas, a strong reaction against priestly domination of cults and rituals was felt. Some thinkers started questioning the need of sacrifices and rituals. Some others were interested in finding answers to questions like what was the relationship between the soul or atman and the creator or Brahma. Eventually these questions became part of the later Vedic literature as Upanishads. These philosophical texts, composed around 600 BC, criticized the rituals, sacrifices and laid stress on the value of right belief and knowledge. They are the basis of Indian philosophy.

“Upanishads were accepted within the brahminic system but during the same period there were other teachings which were against the brahminic system. Of such religious sects Buddhism and Jainism were the most prominent.

“People were forced to follow elaborate and costly rituals as subscribed by the Brahmanas. Instead they wanted a simple religion without unnecessary Vedic rituals”.(10) (13)

Let us examine the above passages-

Let us examine the above passages.

  1. Rise of Upanishads does not come in the previous chapter which is about the Vedic culture. It comes in the beginning of this lesson, which is named as rise of Buddhism and Jainism. Thus, a Hindu should feel in his unconscious mind that Upanishads come in parallel to Buddhism and Jainism, and Upanishads are contradictory to the Vedic corpus.
  2. Upanishads did not evolve while need of rituals was questioned. Even to Upanishads, the Kamyakarmas (desire fulfilling rituals) are required to fulfill our desires and they are not needed in the path of liberation. That is all.
  3. “Upanishads criticized the rituals.” On reading this, a modern reader may think that Upanishads criticized them to be superstitious. But Upanishads did not criticize rituals in that sense. Upanishads too believe that the desires would be fulfilled by rituals. Mundakopanishad criticizes Kamya karma (desire fulfilling rituals) as being limited to fulfilling temporary desires and instead points out that eternal liberation can be attained only through knowledge. But for very few such passages, even Kamya karma was not criticized in the Upanishads. This is not the main subject matter of the Upanishads. Stating Kamya karma as not leading to eternal liberation is wrongly presented to the readers as the condemnation of rituals in general as superstitions.

From the before quoted passages, it also becomes obvious that the author want to portray the Upanishads, Buddhism and Jainism as belonging to the same period. But, many researchers have shown how the Buddhism and Jainism are later to Upanishads. Upanishads never talk of Buddhism and Jainism, while Buddha and Mahavira talk of Upanishadic principles. Then, why does the above passages confirms that they belong to the same period? The answer is simple. There are many common principles in all the three. Therefore, if Buddhism and Jainism are taken to be of later date, their evolution should be considered as being from the Upanishads. But the author does not want to concede that. Instead the author wants to make way for future authors to portray how Upanishads took concepts from Buddhism and Jainism. Having this in mind the author makes the three contemporary of each other.

The author completely ignores how the Vedas are the foundations of Upanishads, which they themselves acknowledge and instead concentrates on imagined contradictions between Vedas and Upanishads.

Now, coming to the assertion that people were forced to follow costly rituals, the less said the better. For one, truly costly rituals like Ashwamedha were limited to particular groups like the rulers and were optional. Rituals like Vajapeya were also optional. On the other hand, obligatory rituals like Sandhyopasana and Aupasana, which were to be performed daily were extremely simple without any cost incurred. This being the case, the assertion saying people were forced to perform costly Vedic rituals is without a basis. Moreover, the author straightway considers Vedic rituals as unnecessary, which is nothing but a subjective moral judgment, which should have no place in a proper history textbook.

Moving on, what is most glaring is the fact that these textbooks make no mention of the lofty values and thoughts found in the Vedas, though they are abundantly available.

Example: May the noble thoughts come to us from all corners (Rig Veda, 1.89.1.). May we see all the beings with the eye of love (Shukla Yajur Veda, 36.18.).One who consumes without sharing is a great sinner (Rig Veda, 10.117.6.). Whatever is mobile in the world is the dwelling place of the Lord. With this attitude of sacrifice may you live the life. Don’t be desirous of anybody’s wealth (Shukla Yajur Veda, 40.1.2.). Let assembly be common. Let the mind be common with psyche for these. Let me plan a common planning for all of you (Rig Veda, 10.191.3.). Salutations to Mother Earth. May I not harm her. May she not harm me (Taittiriya Samhita, 1.8.15.7.).

The Vedas, the repository of values are not mentioned for values anywhere in the history textbooks. What do the Vedas tell us?(11) This is a title in history book. We cannot find a title: what do the Vedas teach us? Can you find a title anywhere in our children’s textbooks “what does Bible tell us?” “What does Buddhism or Dhammapatha tell us?” It can come only as “What does Bible teach us?” You see a detailed description of teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira and Mohammed in the history textbooks of your children. But what is there about the teachings of the Vedas? Nothing. At least what is there about the teachings from Ramayana and Mahabharata? Let alone the epics be considered historical. Can you find any single moral value culled out from the epics which our ancestors considered to be their life breath and which our grannies taught us while we were children? What did they teach us about Buddha or Mahavira or Mohammed about whom we read pages after pages in our history textbooks? Are we and our children not being uprooted by the history textbooks of our own nation? There is not even a single word of appreciation about the Vedic literature in the history textbooks of our children.

Then, the 6th century BCE is called as intellectual awakening by one textbook as it is believed that Buddhism and Jainism were born in that century. This indicates that before that, people were sleeping in darkness and intellectual awakening was due to Buddhism and Jainism. Were those philosophers and writers before Buddha not intellects? Were not the Rishis of the Vedas intellects? Were Rama and Krishna not intellects? Were Valmiki and Vyasa not intellects? Were the authors of Vedangas and Upavedas not intellects?

The textbook says: “The aim of these religions is to remove the superstitious beliefs, unwanted religious rituals and the caste discrimination.”(14)

I don’t understand why Vedic rituals are stamped as superstitious and unwanted again and again? If they can be stamped as superstitious and unwanted, why not the Christian confession, Islamic Namaz and the rituals found in Buddhism and Jainism including their costly temple worships are called as unwanted or superstitious?

“In order to spread the truth he (Buddha) went from place to place”.

“The world is full of sorrow, dukkha……….this sorrow can be stopped by killing the desire.”(12)

This is the teaching of Buddha. The history textbook says that this is the truth. Why the textbook fails to call teachings of the Vedas as true. Why Buddha’s teaching alone should be called as truth. If the teachings of the Vedas should be taken as belief or superstition, why Buddha’s teaching should not be taken in that way?

The idea that all are equal was new to them (those who listen to Buddha’s talk).(15)

This is what the textbook says. The concept of equality is not new. It is there in the Vedas. The Vedas encourage us to see all classes of people as the manifests of one Divine. This is found in the Vedas in many places. E.g. Salutations to carpenters. Salutations to car makers. Salutations to smiths. Salutations to bird keepers. Salutations to foresters. Salutations to bow and arrow makers. Salutations to hunters.  Salutations to hound keepers. Salutations to dogs. Salutations to lords of dogs.

While talking about the causes for the decline of Buddhism, the textbooks never mention the debates between the Vedic people and the Buddhists. It never mentions about the great Kumarila or Prabhakara or Shankara. Nor does it talk about how Buddhism declined due to corruptions in its monasteries. According to the textbook, “Hinduism became purified and reformed under the Gupta kings.” What does it mean? I don’t know in what way Hinduism became purified. Some say that it got reformed through the expansion of its temple worship. This may be true. But purification…..? I don’t understand. Please explain if anybody knows.(16)

Christianity and Islam

Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus, who is acknowledged as the son of God by all Christians. This is the definition of Christianity in the textbook.(17) See the word ‘acknowledged’ carefully. Here the word ‘believed’ is not used. Generally regarding Hinduism wherever some thought of Hinduism is dealt it is stated as a belief. But the Christian belief of the only son of the only God, which is responsible for several genocides and mass murder throughout the history in many places is not considered as a mere ‘belief’ but as an acknowledgment. Acknowledgement means recognizing some existing reality.  The word acknowledged is carefully used so that the faith of only son of the only God should enter into the unconscious mind of our children, the Hindu children.

While the textbook talks about the spread of Christianity it just says that the popularity of Christianity was such that eventually almost the whole of Europe adopted Christianity as the state religion. Here there is not even a single mention or even a hint about the forcible conversions and the atrocities committed by Christians for the spread of Christianity, which run page after page in the primary sources of history. All these are brushed aside.

Under the title ‘impact of Monasteries,’ they are glorified to the sky, while ignoring their excesses. For example, it is mentioned that some of these monasteries later developed into famous universities; they provided shelter to travelers and food and clothing to the poor; and how the nuns educated the children, and treated the sick and the wounded.(18) But, there is not even a single hint of atrocities committed by those in these monasteries. Church was responsible for several rapes and genocides. Church was responsible for the persecution of the scientists like Galileo and Copernicus and the philosophers like Bruno. Church was a very great hurdle for the development of great arts and sciences in Europe. Rule of church is called as Dark Age in western history. In the name of the only son of the only God, church committed innumerable blunders in the Dark Age which is an open page in European history. But regarding these things not even a single hint is found in our history textbooks. What is found instead is the below statement:

“In the Medieval period, everything revolved around religion. People were taught not to think about the world, but to concentrate on God. However the Renaissance thinkers believed that human life in this world was of great importance”.(19)

On the other hand, when it comes to the Vedic priests, these very textbooks casually use descriptions like ‘Interpreters of scriptures for their own benefits’, ‘the ignorant people to gain wealth and power’, etc.9 The Vedic rituals are further described as superstitious,14 meaningless,13 unnecessary10 and expensive.10

The textbook says, “Muhammad also forbade idol worship, and stressed the importance of good and kind behavior.”(20) Forbidding idol worship and good and kind behavior are put together, so that the student, a Hindu child, our child should understand in his unconscious mind that idol worship is not a good and kind behavior.

It is well known from the primary sources that Mahmud Ghazni was a terrible mass murderer. He destroyed the temples and looted the riches in temples like anything. People were murdered and temples were plundered and demolished. Even now the remains found in the places like Somnath can tell the story of Ghazni Mahmud. Let us see how he is eulogized in the history textbook that our children are learning.

“He (Mahmud Ghazni) was an efficient administrator and promising statesman.

“Mahmud was a pragmatic ruler………he wanted to build a large and well equipped army to expand his kingdom and also to protect it from enemies in Central Asia. Therefore he invaded Indian temple towns, as their great wealth could fulfill his monetary needs”.(21)

This is what we learn about our invaders, plunderers and rapists.  Malik Kafur’s massacres and plunders from the temples like Srirangam and Madhurai in South India were horrible to say the least. Yet no mention of it in the textbooks. Then, in a chapter(22) which details about Akbar for several pages, there is only one line mention about Maharana Pratap Singh who was an embodiment of selflessness and self-sacrifice and who worked hard for this nation throughout his life. That the Rajputs of Mewar rallied behind Maharana Pratap, the valiant son of Udai Singh and the Moghul army defeated the Rajputs, this is the only information we get there.

The textbooks further say that the Bhakti saints preached against rituals and idol worship (23). This is incorrect. Most of the Bhakti saints actually promoted idol worship and rituals. It was they who predominantly protected and propagated idol worship. Most of the Hindus today are connected to one or the other Bhakti Movement. To undermine this, the textbooks try to show Bhakti movement as being contradictory to Vedas, notwithstanding the fact that Bhakti movement itself acknowledges that their base was Vedas! The agenda behind such faulty portrayal appears to be the intention to link Bhakti with Islam and show the former as evolving from the latter, which actually has no basis in reality.

Conclusion

Ancient cultures were demolished. Many temples were destroyed. Many genocides were conducted. Many scientists were killed in the name of religion throughout Europe. The Cultures of Rome, Persia, Egypt and Greece were destroyed by Christianity and Islam. India was overrun by Islamic and European invaders to uprooted Indian life, culture and education system. Yet, there is not even a hint of all these things in our history text books, while the poor Vedic priests alone are targeted. While Hinduism is portrayed as full of superstition, caste system and costly rituals, the textbooks teach about how morality was brought by Buddhism and Jainism, how Islam introduced devotion and brotherhood, and how Christianity taught charity and service!

This is only a sample. I have used only study material from sixth and seventh standard textbooks of history. Just imagine, what an average Hindu child’s mindset will be after learning this kind of history from third standard till tenth? While an average Hindu child will learn to look down upon everything Hindu and look up to everything alien to Indian civilization, an average Christian or a Muslim child will unconsciously imbibe how it is their duty to uplift the poor ‘superstitious’ Hindus by contributing towards making India pan-Christian or pan-Islamic country.

Abbreviations

LV- Vipul Singh, Anuradha Mukherjee, Jasmine Dhillon, Social science, History, Geography and Civics, VI standard, Longman Vistas.

FM6- Sucharita Basu, Frank Modern Certificate, History and Civics, VI standard, Frank Bros & Co. Macmillan.

FM7- Sucharita Basu, Frank Modern Certificate, History and Civics, VII standard, Frank Bros & Co. Macmillan.

S.S. et.al, “A prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes. Evaluating demic diffusion scenarios.” In proceedings of the National academy of sciences, 24th Jan 2006 vol 103, No 4. Pp. 843-48.

TN6- Mathematics, Science and Social science, Term II, Vol2, VI standard, Tamilnadu textbook and educational services corporation, Department of School Education.

TN7- Mathematics, Science and Social science, Term II, Vol2, VII standard, Tamilnadu textbook and educational services corporation, Department of School Education.

References

  1. LV (Page number 23)
  2. FM6 (P: 121)
  3. LV (P: 27)
  4. FM6 (P: 77)
  5. LV (P: 28) & SS
  6. LV (P: 28)
  7. LV (P: 29)
  8. FM6 (P: 82)
  9. FM6 (P: 87)
  10. LV (P: 38)
  11. LV (P: 28)
  12. LV (P: 40)
  13. TN6 (P: 102)
  14. TN6 (P: 105)
  15. TN6 (P: 108)
  16. FM6 (P: 92)
  17. FM7 (P: 2)
  18. FM7 (P: 5)
  19. FM7 (P: 113)
  20. FM7 (P: 11)
  21. FM7 (P: 19)
  22. FM7 (P: 78)
  23. TN7 (P: 174)
rr@gmail.ore'
Dr Rangan was awarded the Yoga-vidya-varidhi (a doctoral degree in Yoga) from SVYASA, Bangalore. He also has a master’s degree of management from SIMS, Pune. He is well versed in Vedas, Vedic Sanskrit, Upanishads and epics. He is founder president of WEBOLIM which conducts several Ramayana classes throughout the globe. He runs two vedic schools, one in Bangalore and other one in Faizabad.
  • Prakash Khanchandani

    Wonderful facts and presentation! Thank You.

    If all the commentators here can also provide their grievances on the following “Write to PM” link:
    https://pmopg.gov.in/pmocitizen/Grievancepmo.aspx

    it might really help to get the textbooks corrected or atleast we would have done some of our part to bring this to the notice of the government. I have already done my part and have provided this link -http://indiafacts.org/history-textbooks-distortion/ in the grievance comments.

    If more people are demanding this, we might be able to gather the attention. I understand they might already be knowing this but still it does not harm to go the official route and exhaust every possible channel 🙂

  • Anuj

    Well explained article.Cant believe that the School textbook says that Mahmud Ghazni was a good man.Hope that Dr Rangan sir continues to publish more article explaining the truth on ancient and medieval India.This article should reach more people so that people will get to know the truth

  • Mrithunjayan T

    Another important observation from this article is that of the textbook statement that Harsha followed Hinduism initially and later Shaivism and Buddhism. Dr. Rangan has rightly pointed out the skirmish perpetrated by the textbook authors.

    I would like to add that statements like these serve a large purpose and would like to synthesize some of the ideologies from Rajiv Malhotra’s work, “Breaking India”.

    Malhotra has shown how G.U.Pope saw Shaivism as an “approximation to, but not an equal of, Christianity” (Kindle location 1070). I come from the land of the Dravidians and know the nefarious schemes at work here. The missionary zeal and their nexus with Dravidian movement is very strong. Under the garb of indigenous Dravidian movement, the missionaries are trying to subvert Shaivism and alienate it from mainstream Hinduism.

    It does not stop there. They are trying to digest Shaivism under the Christian ethos. This is a fact and all work is being done in this direction.

    Therefore, i even wonder if the textbooks are written in such a way to “implant” themes projecting Shaivism as different from Hinduism. Such as ideology would certainly help the missionaries in their “just” cause. We do not have foolproof evidence, but given the holy nexus of missionary and leftists, such a conjecture may not be far fetched.

  • Maha Lakshmi

    Very happy to read such a good article about our history academic text books. As a parent when we were reading standarad 5, 6, 7, history textbooks, I had a very difficult time when explaining the kid as the concepts in the text books are not true. Especially when explaining about the Aryans and Dravidans from history text kids themselves ask so many questions, eg. how can the textbook say that Vedhas are brought from central Asia? I strongly request all the students of CBSE, ICSE, State, or Matric board to read and follow this page/blog. The author has given a clear vision and eye opening. We should be proud of our nation, its history and culture,such change should be brought to our history text books.

  • Raman Ramanathan

    A very good article, that attempts to open the eyes of Indians who have been fed, for the past several decades, with textbooks that are the product of Macaulay. It is high time that we wake up. We take pride in everything English and find nothing good in our culture. Hats off to the author for this awakening piece. Realizing this is just only a sample of study material from sixth and seventh standard textbooks of history, no wonder, leave alone todays’ children, even the parents strongly believe there is nothing worthwhile in Vedas and take pride in apeing the west in day to day rituals and practices. Author’s longing for re-establishing the greatness of our culture and India’s status comes out clearly in this piece. It is high time we Indians wake up.

  • Vichinthitha

    We have been discussing the fraud perpetrated by the ‘Seculars’ for quite some time now. It is precisely for this reason that we wanted a nationalist government instead of fraudsters. It has been three years now; if history textbooks that are closer to truth are not introduced even in the fourth year, it shows we Hindus are ineffective in standing up to falsehood and we deserve to be losers. But the loss will be for the entire humanity.

  • Mrithunjayan T

    my posts are flagged as spam and hence reposting it as multiple pieces…

    These Historians find fault only in Hindu religion and every other religion is treated with utmost respect and reverence as the author has pointed out.

    The textbook authors praise of a “classless society” in the Moghul and Sultanate ruler even as the invaders imposed Jizya (religious tax), burnt libraries, vandalized temples and intruded in every walk of the Hindu life! For them, having slaves (every Islamic invader had 1000s of them) is still considered classless.

    These panegyrics who muzzle their way into inventing “falsehoods” relating to Vedic culture – such as the mythical Aryan Invasion theory or an Aryan-Dravidian divide etc – remain eerily silent about inconvenient facts about other religions and their textbooks. I thank the author for his forceful commentary on this important topic.

    In fact, I had posted the Sura that contains these inconvenient verses, but this web site detected as spam and did not allow me post the actual references.

    Therefore, I urge people to read Abrahamic scriptures to understand how advanced and secular our Vedic scriptures have been!

  • Baranidar Haran

    This is an excellent and authentic article by Dr.Ranganji. The solution for this issue is to introduce a mandatory subject “religion” similar to European countries. This would imbibe more confidence about one’s religion(particularly a Hindu student) and he/she can easily ignore these concocted charges on Hinduism/Vedic Religion.

  • Mrithunjayan T

    my posts are flagged as spam and hence reposting it as multiple pieces…

    The authors of these textbooks are essentially the Macaulay’s Children -leftovers from a despotic era – who find nothing good in the indigenous culture. Full credit to the author for such a bold rebuttal to our text books. This is long overdue as is the revision of our textbooks.
    An apologetic Indian in place of a proud citizen is the byproduct of our textbooks and many an awards have been doled out by the Congress regime as a “reward” for the textbook writer’s stellar job.
    Lastly, for those who show their angst against Modiji for not fixing the rotten textbooks of our country, one should remember that the “Award Wapsis” cried afoul when the previous government attempted a change and the scheme had to be rolled back.
    We need a foolproof mechanism to revert our textbooks and reinstate pride and faith in our native culture. We need to offer every bit of our support in this struggle and articles such as this by Dr. Rangan Ramakrishnan, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the Ramayana and the Vedas, are an extremely important step in the right direction!

  • Mrithunjayan T

    ok…my posts are flagged as spam and hence reposting it as multiple pieces…

    The numerous skull towers built by Khiljis, Moghuls (including Babur, Akbar), genocide (loss of nearly 80 million lives during the Sultanate rule – Refer K.S.Lal’s Growth of Muslim population in Medieval India ); Akbar’s Harem of 5,000 women (as quoted by Abul Fazl); Babur’s idol breaking in Urwa (as quoted in Baburnama), the destruction of tens of thousands of temples by Aurangzeb, Khiljis (do I need to provide reference for this?); enslaving millions of Indians (the word Hindukush is so called because Indian slaves would die in volumes in those mountains, when taken as slaves to be sold in the Central Asian markets) are often brushed aside. The Jauhars of the Rajput women or the burning of Nalanda Library by Bhaktiar Khilji and other cultural and civilian annihilation would often not find a place in our “glorious” textbooks.

    • The Unvarnished Truth!

      You should get on twitter and tweet all this so that it reaches a bigger audience.

      All the best.

  • Mrithunjayan T

    ok…my posts are flagged as spam and hence reposting it as multiple pieces…

    Dr. Rangan has done a wonderful job demolishing the ivory tower built by 70 years of Socialist and Marxist historians. Such factual rebuttals are absolutely vital to do course correction of our history textbooks.
    The author’s rebuttal of these textbooks using Drona’s Ekalavya example is superb. The Leftist historians, much like the proverbial “Devil quoting the Scriptures”, take examples from the Vedas, or the Hindu epics only to denigrate Hinduism. Numerous positive examples from the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Upanishads are often ignored, as the author has pointed out.

  • Nithya

    A crisp and to the point write up by the author. The current generation that goes to school is really at a risk of getting a wrong image of Hinduism as a religion. There would be a clear mismatch of what is learnt at school through books and what is thought at home about the culture and epics. Though the same risk was there before also, our parents had a good knowledge about the epics for their values and could teach the kids then…Those who did not have this privilege would have felt ashamed of the Hindu religion and happy to declare themselves as an atheist. Serious thought has gone in the framing of these text books to deter the minds of the youngsters, which must have been done otherwise..Hope the current govt takes a corrective step asap.

  • Rajik Rajeswari

    A superb article. Each of his arguments are backed by strong evidences. It is simple and straightforward.
    In the name of secularism the left is destroying the nation. Most of our educational institutions are controlled by the left and this can be seen in our history books.
    the same history books that talk pages and pages of the Mughal dynasty, talk hardly a few pages about Marathas.
    The cholas, pandyas and pallavas who ruled the south for centuries are not even worthy of a mention in the textbooks.
    The valiant and the bravest of the brave Sikhs of Punjab and their inhuman torture by Mughals or the rajputs or the ahom dynasty of Assam are kindly forgotten.

    Any correction made to the history would be quickly termed as saffronization of texts. It is high time students are taught to evaluate history with facts and sources rather than plainly accepting it as such.

    The discussion should be carried forward.
    Please read the following article about height of secularism.
    “Ram’s name removed in Bengali textbooks.”

  • Vaishali Ranganathan

    A very well written article with complete proofs of content.
    Personally, I think that religion has no place in a history textbook, except for the cursory mention of its positive and negative social effects. But yes, as the authors says, most Indian history textbooks demean the Hindu Culture, while uplifting the status of other religions, which if you have an interest in religion, will know isn’t true. It makes sense for them not to mention the details of other religions, as we are discussing the history of India, but false allegations and accolades aren’t the way to go. History is a collection of facts, where opinions don’t play a role. Justifying an action of someone else is also not the job of the author, but is still seen, as in the example of Ghazini. It is echoed in the article that the authors of the textbooks have given opinions and judgements in place of facts and information, which leads to brainwashing of the impressionable young minds of the country.
    Another well quoted example was of the Vedas. The author appears to be well versed in the Vedas and hence is quoting them proficiently throughout. And to have someone like that on the board of writers of a textbook would be well advised as it’ll help the authors get a clear picture of the history given to us by the Vedas. The teachings of the Vedas are never mentioned, while the teachings of the holy books of the other languages are. If the point of a chapter was to teach religious teachings, shouldn’t it mention all the religions? And if it indeed is portraying teachings, shouldn’t they get the facts right before publishing it? History, after all, is nothing without facts. Again, what are religious teachings doing in a history textbook?
    The point of India being a secular country is to respect all religions. But if this is the kind of ‘information’ (I’m using the word loosely here) that is relayed to the children of the country, is that really possible? Hopefully history will be taught as history to the coming generations and not as the opinions of a few.

  • Sudesh Krishnan

    Without realizing, these history textbooks do tend to subtley shape our ideas. I remember a time in 2011 when the central government elections took place; I supported Congress simply because they were a “secular” party. For some reason I also decided it would be a travesty if a non secular party like “BJP” ever came to power. Growing up, I realised how much of a secular party Congress truly was. Their secularism simply meant minority pleasing. Our history books for some inexplicable reason tend to paint the Mughals as just and wise rulers. Especially Akbar. Back in school I thought he was a tolerant, Noble leader. But the reality is he too was a big tyrant mercilessly killing Hindu kings and destroying Hindu structures. The point I am trying to put forth is our history text books don’t exactly make us Indians feel proud about our Hindu culture and tradition. Instead it makes us feel a little “ashamed”. They talk about the worst aspects in detail; (read : caste system and its unfairness, sati, dowry) aspects which the Vedas don’t encourage at all ( a point they conveniently ignore) but still hold Hinduism accountable for it. A lot of my Hindu friends in school went hipster after these lessons and began labeling themselves atheists and agnostics. They never talk about how much a liberal and all encompassing the Hindu way of life is. I could go on quoting more and more. I was fortunate enough to stumble across these false facts in our textbooks at a very young age. Else today I too wouldn’t be that proud of my Hindu identity. This article is wonderfully written and thoroughly researched. Hopefully the present govt. brings forth these changes in our textbooks ASAP.

  • Sunitha Thiyagarajan

    An excellent eye opener which throws light on the plight of the Hindus in their own land. So painful to know how the Hindus kids are made to feel inferior about their own culture though theirs’ was the most profound, logical,scientific, tolerant religion. Kudos to the author. Hoping to see a revamp in our educational system during Modiji’s govt which otherwise can’t be seen.

  • Varshini Venkatesh

    An excellent article written immaculately that rightly hits the source which has to be doubted. Hope Modi Government soon looks into this!
    This irony prevailing in India has to be eradicated. It is sad when today’s youngsters revere Akbar who has been potrayed by the historians as the one who abolished tax for hindu pilgrimage being in Hindu Rashtra whilst Veer Shivaji who shattered the Mughal rule in India recieves no / less lime light . Hope this plight changes for good very soon.
    Thanks to the author for bringing out this issue that demands a rightful answer.

  • Rakesh Ramesh

    Jai Sitaram. Wonderful article. We once had a debate in our class regarding why Dronacharya – ‘an epitome of Dharma’ demanded such a thing and some argued that this is the standard of Hinduism and that they were better off being atheists.
    I feel Modiji must take the right step and correct the inaccuracies in these textbooks so that people might not make remarks like that.
    Hoping for a Hindu Rashtra very soon.
    Jai Sitaram

  • RVDRT

    Amazingly well written-!!!
    An eye opener on how our culture is eradicated from the roots – from the minds of our children through education for which we are paying money in thousands and lakhs in the form of fees.
    Dr. Ranganji is an unique scholar of unique blend of both Eastern wisdom- especially the knowledge of Vedas(which are the basis of Hindu Dharma and infact Dharma as a whole) and he also understands the philosophy and books of Christianity, Islam and Buddhishm/Jainism. So he is able to compare and contrast things very beautifully and he is nailing them with the
    exact quotations and references.
    What an agenda the bookmakers had when they had specified “Costly rituals”, “Superstitious beliefs”, “India was attacked for their survival monetary needs – by Ghazni as if justifying that”, “what does bible teach us?”. How many subtle, cunning, poisonous words to instill the hatred and shame feeling about our religion in the young minds.This is totally misleading and turning our own against us.
    Of all the religions this is the one religion which genuinely lives for the feeling of “Lokas samastas sukino bhavantu”. One interesting video of this author is found in this link in youtube which detaily talks about Hindu Nationalism. – A must watch for Hindus to know more about their own cultural heritage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iAffFU0764

    Salutations to the author for this work.

    More and MOre Ranganjis are needed to wake up India..- the land of Refuge even for enemies.

  • SM

    Wonderful article. 70 years is already too late. Modi Govt. has no spine to do any thing concrete for Hindus. I hope education ministry take notice of Rajiv Malhotra’s work and take his advise and service to overhaul history books at all levels.

  • onlooker

    let us rewrite the history with truth

  • Megh

    Thank you for this article.

  • Kevin McAvoy

    Good essay.
    Correcting history textbooks is vital to India.
    It’s up to the public to elect a government that will take on the job.
    I suspect the majority of the citizens are too busy trying to put food in their mouths to pay attention to their children’s school history books.

  • Audit Uscirf

    NDA1 tried to correct History textbooks but NDA2/Modi is not even trying. Far worse, Modi govt is towing previous regime’s academic/textbook policy. This historic inaccuracy will not be corrected unless people, particularly blind modi bhakts, demand course correction.

    NDA1 lacked parliamentary majority so they had coalition aDharma excuse but Modi has no such excuse.

  • Karthick

    As long as we have English as our link language, there is no end to this.

  • Ananth Sethuraman

    Thank you for this article.