ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ignorant Criticisms of Historians

A statement in November by a group of academics, tacitly over-defensive of the ruling power, rails against historians for adopting a blinkered and reductionist view and looking at Indian society through the prism of caste. The accusations betray a familiar ignorance of a certain category of academics about the diversity in Indian historiography.

On 3 November 2015, a team of academics led by archaeologists and historians, tacitly over-defensive of the ruling power, reacted against the public statement issued on 26 October by several historians and social scientists. The public statement later supported by colleagues expressed concern at the rising intolerance in the country. The reaction of the government’s apologists brands the petitioners as leftists and Marxists who by ideologically positioning against the Modi government and hypocritically claiming moral high ground cry wolf over the issue of intolerance. They accuse them of dominating historical bodies like the Indian Council of Historical Research, the Indian History Congress, etc, turning these bodies into arenas of political and financial manipulation, imposing a blinkered view of history on the discipline, deliberately sidelining, discriminating, ostracising and depriving the critics of professional opportunities since the 1970s. Such trifling remarks in frustration deserve no reply, but those with academic criticisms, ostensible though, have to be answered, for they try and debunk critical scholarship in historiography.

The Accusers

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