image caption: Gurmukh Singh

RSS Myth of 12,000 years of Indian Civilisation Exploded by 100 Indian Scholars

  • - Guru Nanak Sahib started the process to disperse the fog of Vedic myths, primitive and cruel practices, social inequalities and divides (ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਦ ਜਗ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ।).

In 2016, the BJP government set up a Committee for holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years. Many scholars felt that the study was politically motivated.

To counter possible distortion of Indian history by this government Committee, almost 100 concerned experts in genetics, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, history and the social sciences started their on study to pre-empt and counter RSS attempts to distort, rewrite and glorify 12,000 years of so called Indian civilisation. These scholars led by linguist Ganesh N. Devy have prepared a report with the title 12,000 Years of India: Report on the Civilisation and Histories of India since Holocene, which they said would portray what the history of India actually is. To quote Ganesh N. Devy:- When the State supports genetic testing for purity, or appoints a committee to rewrite history when the government appoints people only from the north &mdash no Dalit, no Muslim, Christian or Sikh, no women to this (government) committee &mdash and it is not unlikely that such a report (of the government committee) might end up in NCERT textbooks and the next generation of Indians will grow up thinking about the past very differently, it becomes necessary for a collective of historians, linguists, etc, to come together and present a report on what the history actually is.

The historical fact is that there was no one Indian civilisation as such, not even under Ashoka, but many diverse civilisations, cultures and languages. There was no concept of one country called India. Bharat was an area in Northern India. Guru Nanak Sahib was one of the earliest visionaries who saw Hindostan as one country of diverse cultures and religions with some sort of emerging commonality.

The Indian sub-continent of the dark ages was a very different place with hardly any concept of nationhood. That was one reason why it was so easy for invaders and later, Western colonialists, to take over the highly fragmented sub-continent where hundreds of princedoms fought each other over women and land. Even small bands of plunderers from the North-West returned to their countries with loot, women and slaves. That is until the foundation of the Khalsa Panth in Punjab. Concepts like dharam yudh for the weak and defenceless and martyrdom for awakening public conscience were almost alien concepts until the arrival of Guru Nanak Sahib.

This intervention by scholars in different fields is most welcome and timely to prevent the spread of RSS nationalist propaganda. Otherwise, as is the Sikh experience, state scholars do distort history in books to please their political s. These books are approved by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and are prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from classes I to XII. For example, Guru Tegh Bahadur &ndash The True Story published by the Sikh Missionary Society UK was made necessary by such NCERT distortion of Sikh history about the life, martyrdom and massive contribution to the liberation of Indian (and global) thought by the Guru.

So far there are impartial and alert scholars and journalists in India, there is hope.

Gurmukh Singh OBE

Principal Civil Servant Retd.