Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti (BISS) has started district-based initiative to compile the history of the country. The initiative began from Meerut Prant where the committees for it have been formed in all the 14 districts. ‘Itihas Divas’ was celebrated in all the districts. It is first of its kind effort in the country.
It was the late Baba Sahab Apte who stressed way back in 1960's that history of Bharat should be written from Bharatiya perspective. He passed away in 1972. His mantle was taken over by Shri Moropant Pingle, another RSS stalwart. Work was started in 1973 under the name 'Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna'. Later, the word 'Samiti' was replaced with the word 'Yojna'. The aim was to write history of all the districts and pilgrim centres scattered in Bharat. Today, the Samiti covers 272 of 650 administrative districts all over the country. But unlike 29 administrative states, the Samiti has divided Bharat into 42 Prants.
The Samiti has been endeavouring to celebrate 'Itihas Divas' in as many districts as possible in order to inculcate a sense of history among Bharateeyas. In its well considered opinion, history consciousness is necessary to tie the people to their moorings. Meerut Prant has now become the first Prant not only to form the committees in all the 14 districts, but also is able to organise ‘Itihas Divas’ in all of them.
‘Itihas Divas’ celebrations began from Meerut. On May 10, the day War of Independence commenced in 1857, a full day national seminar was organised focusing on the global influence of that event. Dr Satish Chandra Mittal, the eminent historian who hails from Saharanpur, which is part of Meerut Prant, and is the all Bharat president of BISS, presided over the seminar. Balmukund Pandey, the Bharatiya organising secretary of Itihas Sankalan Samiti addressed the gathering. Historians from a number of provinces including Karnataka (from where Prof Mahadev Swami of Mysore University came and spoke on events taking place in the down-south during 1857), Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and UP attended the seminar.
Dr Mittal and Shri Pandey were also present at the national seminars held in Ghaziabad, Bijnor and Baghpat. At Baghpat, District Magistrate also took part in the programme as guest of honour.
Full-day national seminars were also held at Sambhal, Bulandshahar and Amroha. At these places, Prof. Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma of Gorakhpur University and Prof. Surendra Hans, both national secretaries of BISS delivered the keynote addresses. Single-session seminars took place at Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Saharanpur, Hapur, Noida, Moradabad and finally at Rampur on December 8. Prof. Vasudev Sharma, Prof. Ashok Rustagi, Ajay Mittal and Ramautarji, the provincial organising secretary of Meerut were key participants and speakers. Dr Vighnesh Tyagi, HoD History, Meerut College, Meerut and general secretary of Meerut Prant made a whirlwind tour of almost all the districts along with Ramautarji in order to make the series of Itihas Divas celebrations a success. The total number of participants in all these seminars comes to 2,066.
The work of compiling district-based history in Meerut Prant has already begun.
Dr Vighnesh Tyagi has done research work on Meerut and Ghaziabad districts. His work on Sambhal is also progressing. Some other compilations from other learned historians from the province are also in the pipeline. The idea is to bring to light the district histories from the advent of Kaliyug, i.e., from 3102 BC till 1950 says Shri Balmukund Pandey.
The so-called Aryan Invasion Theory has been conclusively dumped now and research on the now-extinct Saraswati River has flourished. The focus is also on the scientific and other achievements of ancient Bharat as also its persistent resistance to foreign invaders. The BISS has also brought to the fore the underlying basic unity of Bharat transcending diversities of castes, creeds, colour and languages. According to Shri Pandey, the BISS is also working in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal. Among the 90-odd books published so far by it The Date of Birth of Buddha and Search for the Year of Bharata War are the most sought after.
Ajay Mittal from Meerut