The government in 2016 appointed a committee of experts to rewrite the history of India to prove that Hindus descended from the country’s first inhabitants thousands of years ago, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Government documents refer to the panel as the committee for the “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 group of experts, which comprise a geologist, archaeologists, Sanskrit scholars and two bureaucrats, met in the first week of January 2017 in New Delhi, according to the Reuters report. According to the minutes of the meeting, which the news agency said it accessed, the panel aims to use archaeological data and DNA evidence to prove that Hindus descended from the earliest inhabitants of India and that Hindu scriptures were history, not mythology.

“I have been asked to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of ancient history,” Reuters quoted the committee’s chairperson, KN Dikshit, as saying. Sikshit said it was “essential to establish a correlation” between ancient Hindu scriptures and evidence that Indian civilisation is several thousands of years old. The current view is that people from Central Asia arrived in India 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma, who the agency said formed the committee, confirmed in an interview that the panel’s work was part of larger plans to revise India’s history. He said he expects the committee’s conclusions to be introduced in the curriculum of schools and academic research.

Santosh Kumar Shukla, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and a Sanskrit scholar who is part of the panel, said he believes India’s Hindu culture is millions of years old.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh Spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya told Reuters, that the “true colour of Indian history is saffron, and to bring about cultural changes, we have to rewrite history”.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government would take the Culture Ministry’s recommendations on this matter seriously. “Our government is the first government to have the courage to even question the existing version of history that is being taught in schools and colleges,” he said.