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Uncategorized Book Review

An excerpt from ‘Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy’ published on Scroll.in. To read this article in SCROLL.IN where it was originally published please click here. In March 2018, investigative reporters revealed the existence of a committee tasked by the culture minister, Mahesh Sharma, to revise India’s history. This fourteen-member committee (including archaeologists, bureaucrats, and ideologues) was commissioned by the minister to produce a “holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world.” The idea that the age of Hindu civilisation is three or four times greater than what has been established by contemporary historiography aimed to achieve two explicit goals. First, it was coupled with the persistent effort by Hindu nationalists to present their mythology as history. Mahesh Sharma himself told Reuters: “I worship Ramayana and I think it is a historical document.” And he added, in keeping with the tried-and-true method of strategic emulation, “If the Koran and Bible are considered as part of history, then what is the problem in accepting our Hindu religious texts as the history of India?” Second, uncovering evidence from ancient history aimed “to prove that today’s

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