Principal Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance Sanjeev Sanyal Thursday argued that that Indian history needs to be revisited and rewritten to help future generations appreciate the true history of India.
Speaking at the 14th Netaji Subhash Memorial Lecture at FICCI, Sanyal said India needs to “begin to revisit its own history. And, what better place to start than by starting with the story of India’s freedom struggle."
He said that if one reads the conventional, official history books, one will get the impression that India’s freedom struggle was a uniquely peaceful one. “Basically, we gently suggested to the British that they should leave, and they politely left," he said.
However, he said that there is a completely different story to be told about an armed resistance to the British going back over a long period of time.
“This is not to suggest that the non-violence movement did not play a role, it did. But there was an armed resistance too. And, that story was just as important but unfortunately, sadly rubbed out of the usual narrative," he added.
Sanyal said that false narratives never get replaced merely by criticism and it can only be replaced by a new narrative, which needs to be written down. Changes in the textbooks can only happen at the end of this process. Somebody has to actually write down the alternative story, he said.
“But the writing of the new narrative itself takes effort and we are not, I am afraid, putting up enough effort into this. Please take up one section of Indian history and simply look at the evidence and rewrite it," he suggested.