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Efforts to rewrite Indian history worry Christians, Muslims

New Delhi: Christian and Muslim leaders in India are appalled by federal government moves to “revise” the country’s history in a bid to push a pro-Hindu narrative.

Reuters revealed last week that a committee appointed by the Narendra Modi government has been working for six months to prove Hindus are direct descendants of India’s first inhabitants. The reports also said that the committee is seeking to demonstrate that ancient Hindu scriptures are fact, not myth.

The aim of Modi’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and affiliated Hindu groups is “ultimately to shape the national identity to match their religious views, that India is a nation of and for Hindus,” reported Reuters, which broke the story on March 6.

Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told the news agency that the committee was part of larger plans to revise India’s history.

Christian and Muslim leaders say the move is a systematic attempt to sideline non-Hindus as second-class citizens in their own land.

The measure “cannot be appreciated” and especially as it comes amid accusations of the government ignoring “burning issues” of the country, said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Indian bishops’ conference.

“There is large-scale poverty in the country, coupled with marginalization and alienation of the farmers and village poor,” Bishop Mascarenhas told ucanews.com. “Instead of trying to rewrite history, the government should first deal with the issues troubling the common masses.”

Catholic lay leader A.C. Michael said the effort to revise or rewrite history was part of an agenda to bury Christian contributions to India’s development and to demonize Muslims as invaders who inflicted violence upon Hindus.

Read more at UCA News.

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