Mohan Bhagwat, the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), stated on Monday that for India to avoid being mocked on a global scale, it needs preserve its historical identity and recreate the narrative around it.
Speaking at the publication of the book “Connecting with the Mahabharata,” Bhagwat said that it was a grave error for Indians to have accepted the narrative that aimed to mock their history, forefathers, and cultural customs.
“We must write a narrative, feel proud of our heritage, and read. We cannot be like China, Russia, or the United States because that would be mocking rather than progress.
The RSS, the ideological pillar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been advocating for a fresh look at Indian history and the re-examination of historical texts. The RSS has also pushed for the creation of policies that emphasise indigenization.
It holds foreign conquerors responsible for changing the course of Indian history and undervaluing Indian achievements.
Bhagwat stated that the process of reclaiming India’s past and resetting the present cannot be done overnight and will require a persistent campaign.
“…How can we suddenly turn around? The car will overturn. Therefore, we must go gradually and methodically. History includes geography and people in addition to literature. In some communities, you can ask locals where Sita bathed or where Bheem left a footprint. We must interact with those elements, he said.
According to him, other civilizations attempted to minimise India’s history in order to establish their superiority. “We have lost sight of our past. Why did we believe it when others told us that our predecessors were stupid? It was probably for their own benefit. We’re to blame for this, he said.
The Sangh leader also disparaged individuals who have been looking for proof to back up assertions about the accomplishments of ancient India.
“There is no way to prove everything. Additionally, the process of gathering evidence is rendered useless. For instance, carbon dating is accurate for a specific amount of time. It eventually becomes inaccurate as well, Bhagwat added.
He claimed that some knowledge is imparted through tradition, and some through evidence.
“For those who arrived from outside, it was crucial that they demonstrate that no one came before them. Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have been called poetic works. Has a poetry ever endured this long? said he.
Whoever disputes the validity of the Mahabharata, he argued, must explain “why Mahrishi Vyas would lie, considering he did not seek any dominion.”
“The Mahabharata does describe conflict, but it is a Jeevan Vidya” (life lesson). Ramayan shows us how a person should be and how to traverse the world; it is not about one particular person, but rather provides specifics about how humans must cohabit with nature, he stated.