There was held a surprise meeting of so-called historians on February 5, 2016, at Mumbai’s Yashavantrao Chavan Centre. It was surprising because it was not an academic exercise but a political one. The meeting was held by Sharad Pawar, by using controversial MLA Jitendra Awhad’s ‘Forum for Secular Democracy’, as a front.
The conclusion of the meeting revealed a deep rooted conspiracy to use Leftist academicians and so-called historians to wedge a divide in society and put up an influence on social psych to create hatred among the sections of society. More irritating is the direct call by Sharad Pawar to write new books and articles to put up new perspective of the Bharateeya history—his own perspective. He called upon these historians to present Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a pro-Muslim leader and not a Hindu King. He blamed that the Modi Government and the BJP Governments in many states are re-writing the history books to ‘enforce’ Hindu Rashtra! From where he got this idea remains a mystery.
Conspiracy to divert attention
Pawar is losing his clout as a politician and is largely being marginalised to a certain section of the community within Maharashtra due to his ever divisive politics. His right hands, Chhagan Bhujbal and Sunil Tatkare are facing court inquiries for corruption charges and his own nephew may have to go to jail soon for the same charges. Bhujbal’s nephew has recently been arrested by Enforcement Directorate for disproportionate assets and is still in jail.
A think tank professional observed that the Fadnavis Government is doing a good job. “Fadnavis has been successful in directly being connected with masses with many developmental schemes. The speed of work, planning and handling skills of Fadnavis Government are being appreciated by the masses of the State—rural and urban alike. Pawar’s and Congress’s divisive unproductive politics is getting marginalised day by day. They are not being able to fight this developmental politics and this type of manipulative games are their last resort. This may result in increased marginalisation of Pawar and company and Congress too, if they push this agenda further as the new generation is increasingly aware of these games,” said the high ranked editor on condition of anonymity.
BJP’s chief spokesperson in the State, Madhav Bhandari also pointed out some facts. Bhandari says that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had declared himself as the founder of “Hindavi Swarajya” (a kingdom of Hindus) which is a historically recorded fact. “The idea of secularism was itself generated in the western globe at the end of nineteenth century. It was not there at the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Hence implanting this idea on Shivaji Maharaj is an unscientific and totally political one. This attempt to re-write history is meridian of this politics of hatred. It’s the same thing as the myth of “Hindu Terrorism” put up by Pawar few years ago. Moreover, Pawar had himself acknowledged the fact that he was never recognised for trustworthy politics and the people of the state had always known him as a king of manipulations,” said Bhandari.
Although the organiser of this meeting, Awhad, who worked as a front for Pawar, claimed that the meeting was attended by over 70 well known academicians from across the nation, barring one professor from JNU, all the historians were from within the State—some are known for their open allegiance to Left ideology and others are related to frontal organisations put up by Pawar in the State and mainly known by the people for their books putting up distorted versions of history openly without any proofs, just trying to create hatred among the sections of the society.
Awhad himself conducted an open hatred campaign against a particular community few months back while opposing prestigious “Maharashtra Bhushan” award to ‘Shivshahir’ Babasaheb Purandare. He is also facing corruption charges himself. The person has nothing to do with history or academics. Academicians are expressing surprise and anger how any writer, historian or academician can attends a meeting organised by such a person who has a clear divisive political agenda.
—Rajesh Prabhu Salgaonkar