Varanasi: Amid a row over the BJP suggesting Veer Savarkar’s name for the Bharat Ratna, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said had it not been for him, the First War of Independence in 1857 would have been regarded as a revolt.
Stressing the need to rewrite history from India’s point of view, Shah credited Savarkar for calling the 1857 rebellion as India’s first independence struggle.
Shah said had it not been for him, the rebellion of 1857 would have become history and India would have seen it from the British point of view.
His remarks came two days after the Maharashtra BJP unit said in its election manifesto that the party would ask the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
“Had it not been Veer Savarkar, the 1857 ‘kranti’ (revolt) would not have become history and we would have been seeing it from the British point of view,” the Home Minister said.
“It was Savarkar who gave the name First War of Independence to the 1857 ‘kranti’, otherwise, our children would have known it as a revolt,” he said, inaugurating a two-day international seminar here on ‘Guptvanshak-Veer: Skandgupta Vikramaditya’ at Banaras Hindu University. A large number of historians, scholars and political thinkers from India and abroad attended the seminar.
Referring to eminent historians in the audience and on the dais, he said, “It is my request to all that there is a need to rewrite the Indian history from India’s point of view but without blaming anyone.”
“It is our responsibility to write our history. How long are we going to blame the British? We don’t have to dispute anyone, only write what is truth and it will stand the test of time,” the Union Home Minister said.
The Gupta period is called the golden period of Indian history and Skandagupta is known for fighting against Hunas.
Shah also praised Madan Mohan Malaviya for founding a university where “Hindu dharma and sanskriti” were propagated even after so many years.
He said Skandagupta Vikramaditya needed to be brought on top of our history as he fought and won the war which even Rome lost against the alien enemy.
He re-formulated the revenue collection method, administration and municipality, Shah said, adding that it was believed that the Gupta ruler stayed at Ghazipur in this Poorvanchal region and worked from here, he said.
He urged the historians to write more about great rulers like Skandagupta and Chandragupta, who had been not been given “enough due in the existing documented history”.
Shah, who released a book based on the life of Skandagupta, regretted that the today’s generation was “not aware” of the contribution and valour of Skandagupta because of lack of documentation.
He said the Indian boundary extended up to Afghanistan during the reign of Skandagupta and this was the golden era in terms of art.
“Literature, military, culture and art were world-class and we should acknowledge it. The country got best astrologers during this period and India was freed of invaders from Kashmir to Kandahar. We need to establish the contribution of Skandagupta to our history,” he said.