ICHR controversey

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 1 07:14:59 UTC 2000

In the latest controversy over the withdrawal of books by ICHR, the
secularist press is projecting Dr. Panniker as a victim who is a neutral
historian. I suggest that list members read this interview by Dr. Panniker
himself and decide if such a person is capable of writing an objective work
of history:
The interview clearly states that Dr. Pannniker applies the Marxist
methodology in his work. In any case, the ICHR is bringing out a white paper
on the issue and let us see what it says. The prima facie reasons stated by
B R Grover (as reported in the press)for the withdrawal of the volume are
quite sloppy, but the cloud of suspicion on Sarkar/Pannikker's volume
remains if his interview is read carefully.
Laxmi Srinivas: As somebody asked on another list: for Ram's sake what
has Arun Shourie, an investigative journalist turned
BJP politician, got to do with Indian history?
Vishal replies: One does not have to be a Historian to expose nepotism, self
aggrandization at the expense of others, misappropriation of funds,
suppression of historical evidence, slander of Professional colleagues (I
can post numerous examples of this, including the ones in the works of D N
Jha and R S Sharma upto 1998 and 1999 if the listmaster permits). The
EMINENT HISTORIANS's only response to Shourie's books have been abuses
(specifically from Pannikker) or platitudes like "History is a Professional
Field" (eg. Romila Thapar, copy of a personal letter written by her in my
possession) which is just a haughty dismissal of what their opponents have
to say. For that matter, why doesn't Ms. Srinivas herself reads the book
with an open mind and points out 5 blatant errors in the work of Shourie
where he has criticized these eminent Historians, rather than making clearly
non relevant retorts. Please read the *relevant* review of the book *EMINENT
HISTORIANS* at the following website:

This recent controversy is another instance of how Western Acedemicians are
often mislead by one sided reporting by the 'Secularist' press.
L. Srinivas: Perhaps the presumption is that it is sufficient to be
a Hindu to be able to write on Indian history.
VA: That is your own presumption, and a clear demonization of people who
present a view countering yours. Perhaps you are unaware that one of the
first books of Arun Shourie was "Hinduism: Causes and Consequences" and this
book is one of the most damning indiction of Hinduism (and Advaita Vedanta
interpretations of the Prasthana Traya in particular) that I have read.
L. Srinivas: In electronic forums, I keep coming across lists of
names of scholars, professionals in their field,
whose writings are to be avoided. Mr Agarwal's post is no exception to this
VA: Please re-read my original post. Nowhere have I said that we should not
read their publications. I myself read them and this should be evident to
L. Srinivas:Is this perhaps a new kind of 'denial of service'
VA: As Shourie has shown, the EMINENT HISTORIANS have procrastinated
projects for decades and have produced next to nothing but at the same time,
they have *graciously* accepted hefty 'honorariums". As an Indian, I am
enraged that so much of the Indian tax payer's money has been siphoned off
by these people. I suggest that these EMINENT HISTORIANS should be tried in
the court of law.
L. Srinivas said:
Professor Sharma's zeal in fighting the obscurantist,
revivalist and communal approach to history is best
seen in his role in the recent controversy centering
around Ayodhya. His Communal History and Rama's
Ayodhya (1990, rev 1992) exposes the hollowness of the
claims of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and successfully
unmasks the political design behind their arguments
which has led to the obfuscation of Indian archaeology
and history.
Prof DN Jha, an anti communalist scholar, is a
professional historian with many publications to his

VA REPLIES: Apparently you are refering to publications like
1. "Ramajunmabhumi-Babri Masjid: A Historian's report to the Nation" (1991)
by R. S. Sharma, D N Jha et al
and allied publications like:
2.Mandal, D. 1993: “Ayodhya- Archaeology After Demolition”; Tracts for the
Times/5; Orient Longman Limited; Hyderabad
Such publications continue to pour in as I write
The nature of the list does not permit me to expose the sophistry and
distortions of the original sources that is the hallmark of these
A refutation of these publications has already appeared (and shows these
authors' biases). For instance:
1. History versus Casuitry (Voice of India):1991
2. Harsh Narain; The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute (a Focus on the Muslim
Sources); Penman Publishers; Delhi; 1993
and so on
Is it not sad that the 22 EMINENT HISTORIANS (S. Gopal, Suraj Bhan, Romila
Thapar,...) declared that there is no piece of pre-British evidence stating
that a temple was displaced with a mosque but thereafter, other historians
produced evidence (at least a dozen sources) to the contrary. And now, we
have some of the EMINENT HISTORIANS stating that the 200 artifacts unearthed
during the demolition frenzy were stolen from some museum and planted there!
For some old information on their pamphlets, read the on-line books at
I am told that 11 more books will be up in a few weeks at this site.

No one can prove that Lord Rama was a historical figure, just as no one can
prove that the cloak at Tonk really belonged to Prophet Muhammad or the hair
at Hazratbal is that of the Prophet. But in any case, such dishonesty and
slander of their disagreeing colleagues (as is shown by these historians) is
unheard of.

I think that the recent efforts by Shishu Mandirs etc. to distort history
are also quite reprehensible and certainly cannot be overlooked.
Unfortnately, this phenomenon is very pervasive, with the USA being no
exception. And as someone who studied in a Catholic school and Protestant
Missionary college for 14 years, there was a time when I believed that there
is a black person called the Satan who has two horns and that 'God created
the world in 6 days". Such teachings continue unabated in Missionary schools
and Madrassas, many of which are funded by the Govt. of India. Apparently,
the jargon of 'mind control' and 'brainwashing' and 'communalism' (add words
like 'credulous Hindus', 'fascist RSS' etc. in D N Jha's book written in
1998) is invoked only when the the Missionaries, Marxists and Muslims are
not involved.

I hope for a more balanced perspective


I request

L. Srinivas wrote:

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