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

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The Greater India Society and Historiography of India

Present-day attempts to saffronise Indian history have a precedent in the Greater India project.

At a book launch event in New Delhi in June 2022, union home minister Amit Shah claimed that Indian historians have remained silent on Hindu empires in their writing and mentioning only the Muslim rulers of the Mughal dynasty. According to Shah, it is high time we (re)wrote “our” history—the “glorious” reigns of dynasties like the Mauryas and the Cholas. The tendency to deny the history of Muslim kings and their empires is not new. Reducing the identity of rulers to their religion, there have been repeated attempts to isolate them and question their Indianness.

Attempting to reconstruct and rewrite India’s history is not a new endeavour. Hindu historians undertook a similar nationalist project almost a hundred years ago to write Indian history through a new lens. Determined to rewrite the history of India, an organisation called the Greater India Society was founded in Calcutta in 1926 by Kalidas Nag and other scholars. It was a political project which aimed to trace India’s influence on the art and culture of other countries outside of the subcontinent. The primary intent of this society was to study and explore the history of ancient India and its connection with Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

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Updated On : 19th Nov, 2022
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