The hopeless love for the Mughal invaders seems to have no end in the minds of the Indian government’s officials. On August 23, author Ratan Sharda pointed out that the Know India website maintained by the government, (KnowIndia.gov.in) hails the Mughal period as “the greatest empire ever” in Indian history.
In the ‘culture and heritage’ section of the KnowIndia website, the Medieval History section sings the glory of the Mughal empire, with many distorted details and no mention of the atrocities inflicted by them.
It went ahead and claimed that during that period, “India became united under one rule, and had very prosperous cultural and political years during the Mughal rule.”
It also goes ahead and claims, “In India, there were many Muslim and Hindu kingdoms split all throughout India until the Mughals came.” Basically, the entire ‘Medieval History’ of India, as per the Ministry of Culture website was all about the Mughals and their glory.
The page titled The Mughal Empire under Medieval History talks about different Mughal rulers while painting them as secular, tolerant and good rulers. Interestingly, Rajput and Maratha rulers, or the Ahoms who fought for centuries with Mughals, and limited the spread of their empire have no mention in the said section of the website. The whitewash of the atrocities done by Mughal rulers is to the extent that there is no mention of Hindus killed by them, no mention of the destruction of Hindu temples and forced conversions. For Jehangir, It claims, “He strived to reform society and was tolerant towards Hindus, Christians and Jews.”
There is only one mention of the execution of Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji in a very vague manner, but that too has distorted the actual history. The website claims that Guru Arjan Dev (the website refers to him as Arjun Dev which is incorrect) was killed by Mughal emperor Jehangir because he provided aid and support to the Jehangir’s stranded son Khusrau. In reality, the fifth Guru was killed as he refused to pay a fine for preaching Sikhism and also refused to remove certain hymns from Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Vaani, which Jehangir founded offensive. Guru Arjan Dev suffered five days before succumbing to the torture at the hands of the Mughal ruler.
The site has no mention of Aurangzeb’s atrocities on Hindus, and the rampant destructions of the holiest of Hindu temples. The paragraph only laments that Aurangzeb could not fulfil his dream of bringing the entire subcontinent under his rule. But there is no mention that the Marathas had dealt him repeated defeats and his ‘rule’ are more or less confined to only Northern India. There is no mention of Ahoms who had, under Lachit Borphukan, stopped Mughal advances towards Assam.
Interestingly, the site claims that Aurangzeb’s ambition remained unfulfilled only because ‘he kept his five sons away from the royal court and hence they could not be trained properly, not because of the Marathas and Ahoms.
Sharp reaction from netizens
Netizens expressed displeasure over the distorted history of India. Many expressed displeasure over the lack of will to correct teaching of a whitewashed and pro-Mughal version of history that has been taught to students so far.
When illiterates in Indian culture and history are being inducted as bureaucrats in the ministry of culture, this is the result. https://t.co/QgNjcGAjj6— Vedveer Arya 🇮🇳 (@VedveerArya3) August 23, 2021
kuch mat bolo.. patience rakho.. sirf 7 saal hi huye hain.. ye bahut bada game hai.. chess khelte raho samajhne ke liye.. https://t.co/oQDVZIdPCf— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) August 23, 2021
Distorted events in history with no proof
This is not the first time the Government of India has been called out for not correcting the history on the websites or in books. In January 2021, in reply to RTI, it was revealed that the claims about the construction of Qutub Minar, as mentioned in the NCERT books, has no documented proof whatsoever. In the reply, DESS said that they do not have any evidence to support the assertion made in the textbook. The names of those who proposed the content are mentioned in the book, and it was approved by the National Monitoring Committee, Chaired by Prof. Mrinal Miri.
The Ministry of Culture has said that it has been brought to its notice that the website in question “misrepresents India’s history”.
It has been brought to the Ministry’s notice about content in Know India website (https://t.co/sbX72H5yHJ) that misrepresents India’s history. The Ministry of Culture does not run this website and is working with the concerned entities to accurately portray the events.— Ministry of Culture (@MinOfCultureGoI) August 23, 2021
“The Ministry of Culture does not run this website and is working with the concerned entities to accurately portray the events,” it said in a tweet.