The Rise of Religious Fundamentalism and Communalization of History Textbooks in India and Pakistan Assessment

Main Article Content

Dr. Saeed Ahmed Rid
Dr Mohammad Hassan


Wars, invasions, settlements, sultanates and empires were considered legitimate until 20th century when they were delegitimized by the League of Nations and the United Nations. From Aryans to Arabs, Turks, Mughals and the British, the Indian subcontinent was invaded and ruled by rulers of different descents. But it was English historian, James Mill who had divided the Indian history on communal lines as the Hindu period, the Mohammedan (Muslim) period and the British period in his famous book, History of British India published in 1817. This book divided the people of India in two unified religious binaries of Muslims and Hindus which were never seen in that way before. After James Mill many British, Muslim and Hindu authors bought that communalized version of history and wrote books on similar lines. However, it was General Zia-ul-Haq who started the project of systematically communalizing the history textbooks in Pakistan in 1980s and then similar project got grounds in India in the 2000s when right-wing Hindutva party, Bhartya Janata Party (BJP) rose to power in India and history textbooks were altered. In this paper, an attempt is made to study how history has been systematically communalized in the Indo-Pak subcontinent to suit the political ends and what havoc it is doing with the people of Pakistan and India. This research will also explore how the upsurge of religious extremism in Pakistan after the 1980s and more recent Muslim lynching in India is linked with communalizing the history textbooks in Pakistan and India.

Article Details