Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said it was necessary to rewrite history from the Indian point of view, PTI reported. The 1857 War of Independence might not have been even considered a part of Indian history had it not been for Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Shah made the remarks at a seminar at Banaras Hindu University titled “Guptvanshak-Veer: Skandgupta Vikramaditya”. Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.

The minister’s remarks came two days after the Bharatiya Janata Party said in its manifesto for the state elections in Maharashtra that it will ask the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna on Savarkar if it retains power. This was criticised by Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, who on Thursday asked why the saffron party did not intend to confer India’s highest civilian award on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

“Had it not been Veer Savarkar, the 1857 ‘kranti’ [war] would not have become history and we would have been seeing it from the British point of view,” Shah said. “It was Savarkar who gave the name ‘First War of Independence’ to the 1857 ‘kranti’ otherwise our children would have known it as a revolt.”

The BJP president said there was a need to rewrite Indian history “from India’s point of view but without blaming anyone”.

“It is our responsibility to write our history,” he told the audience. “How long are we going to blame the British? We don’t have to dispute anyone, only write what is truth and it will stand the test of time.”

Shah said it was regrettable that the present generation was unaware of the contributions of Gupta dynasty ruler Skandagupta Vikramaditya because of lack of documentation.

The home minister claimed that respect for India across the world increased after Narendra Modi became prime minister. “The world pays attention to our point of view,” he said. “The world listens when our prime minister speaks on international developments.”

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.