British hired historians to 'tinker' with history: RSS mouthpiece
New Delhi, Oct 26: Against the backdrop of row over beef consumption, an article in RSS's 'Organiser' alleged the British indulged in "murky politics" of hiring writers to "tinker" with the history to claim that the Vedas permitted beef-eating and cow slaughter.
"The controversy whipped up regarding Vedic beef-eating has its origin in the murky politics of the British Raj," an article in the RSS publication said.
It said "apropos the contrived controversy" claiming that the Vedas permit beef-eating and even call for slaughter of cows and bulls, "eminent Sanskritist SB Varnekar, once told this writer that a remarkable feature of Sanskrit language is that its richness lies in one word having many meanings and one meaning may be denoted by many words, arid consequently the appropriate meaning of a particular word would depend on the context in which it is used."
The article said writers were hired by the British and paid big amounts to rewrite history. It added that allegations of fat of cows and pigs being used in cartridges sparked off the 1857 rebellion against the British government by Indian soldiers in British Army.
"So, from 1857 onwards, the British imperialist interests began to find ways to lower reverence that Hindus have for Veda and the cow.
"The British started renting European and Bharateeya 'scholars' to invent evidence of beef-eating in Vedas. In his voluminous book Vachaspatyam, Pt Taranath, a Grammar professor of Calcutta Sanskrit College, has written Goghn ga hanta han: gohantari, which means 'killer of a cow'," the article says.
It further said,"Swami Saraswati reveals that in 1866 Pt. Taranath was given an advance commitment in writing by the then British Government of Bengal (Letter No. 507 dt. 26th January 1866, Fort Wiliam) to purchase 200 copies of his books @ Rs. 50/- per copy aggregating Rs. 10,000 after the Sanskrit Dictionary was complete.
"Pt Taranath was thus assured Rs 10,000 from the British government, whose present-day market-value will be more than Rs 20 lakh. In 1847, the East India company also agreed to pay £200 per annum to Max Muller for translation of Vedas etc @ £4 per sheet. In 1853, the annual salary of a male teacher in Britain was £90 and that of a lady teacher was only £60," the article in the RSS organ claimed.
The article attacks historian like AN Jha and Romila Thapar, who also wrote about cow slaughter, saying, "Such quotations by Jha and Thapar are self-defeating like attempts to supersede the Constitution by commentaries on the Constitution, or attempts to override decisions of Supreme Court of Bharat by opinions of private munsifs".
"These historians commit a blunder: Firstly, placing Vedas, the primary source, on par with secondary sources (Brahmanas, Manusmriti, Grihya-sutras, etc) and secondly, superseding the primary source by secondary sources.
"Secondary sources cannot supersede the primary source. It is the simple law of Jurisprudence," the article says attacking the writers.