Bangalore-based historian Dr. Vikram Sampath is the author of 8 acclaimed books of history including biographies of Gauhar Jaan & Veer Savarkar & Bravehearts of Bharat on unsung heroes of India. He was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Historical Society of the UK, a winner of the Sahitya Akademi\’s first Yuva Puraskar in English literature & the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York. He has a Ph.D. in history & music from the University of Queensland, is a trained Carnatic vocalist & has established India\’s 1st digital sound archive for vintage gramophone recordings called the Archive of Indian Music.
Vikram Samphat is mainly known for his work in the field of history. He is a Ph.D. in History. He has written books on the Indian Freedom movement, Veer Savarkar, etc.
A lot of history is unknown to us.
Use Of Social Media
“I am constantly interacting with young teenagers for my book promotions. They always say that they aren’t taught the true history in school. Social media is helping them to navigate the information.”
Why are we Unaware Of The Actual History?
“The story of many revolutionaries from 1857 to 1946 who lead an alternative freedom struggle is unknown. There are many stories about the Mughals in our Indian History books. But there have been so many different Indian dynasties we need to learn about.”
“Clement Attlee was the Prime Minister Of Britain when India got her independence. He visited India after India’s independence and went around places in India. When Attlee visited Bengal, Justice Chakarboty was the Governor there. He asked Clement Attlee how did the British people leave so soon? Chakraborty has mentioned in his memoirs that Attlee mentioned because of the heroics of the Indian National Army and the mutiny, as they called it, in the army and navy units. The British were petrified of a repeat of 1857 when there was an insurrection in the British Indian army. Chakraborty even asked him how did Quit India movement and the non-violence movement of Gandhi impact their decision. To which Attlee smirked and said minimal.”
“The 1946 Mutiny started in Bombay. Some sailors were denied their ranking, so they went on hunger strikes and started protesting. Slowly the entire thing grew into a demand for liberation. And this movement spread all across India. At the same time, INA trials had begun in Delhi. That also created sympathy in the people’s minds. It was like a ticking bomb and scared the British people.”
People Setting A False Narrative
“After independence, the people who came into power wanted only a certain viewpoint of the struggle to be highlighted. The narrative set was to highlight the Nonviolence movement and the role of congress in it. There are only a few mentions of over events. The decedent of Bhagat Singh wrote to the HRD minister in 2016, saying the Delhi university textbooks and the UPSC books called Bhagat Singh a revolutionary terrorist. The term ‘revolutionary terrorism’ is coined by the Britishers to freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh.”
“R.C. Majumdar, a historian was appointed by the Government to pen down the history of the freedom struggle. He made it clear that he would be critical of everyone, including Gandhiji. He was thrown out of this project, and someone else was put in charge. So all the historians knew the line that they could never cross. For this reason, we are unaware of the true history.”
“Veer Savarkar was the first man to start the first Indian secret society. He leads the first-ever bonfire against foreign clothes. He lived in London for five years studying law. He led the revolutionary movement living there. He spent 12 years in Kaala Paani and two years in Idain mainland jail. After he came out, he was under house arrest. His degree was snatched away from him. He went through so much, and then there are people sitting in the air conditioner room and passing judgment.”
“Only the revolutionary was sent in Kaala Panni. Kaala Paani is the worst of the prisons. Basic human rights and facilities were also not provided to them. Their hands and legs were handcuffed for months. The foods had reptiles, and eating that food gave them diarrhea, and they had fixed washroom timings. No proper medical treatment was provided to them. A lot of them were youngsters, and they committed suicide.”
“I hope all students should be taken there and pay gratitude to several of these great people. Their names are mentioned on the wall of this place. When I visited it, I got back to my room in the evening and cried.”
“Godse was an interesting person. He came under the spell of Savarkar and became his secretary. Godse was a big follower and part of a youth wing. In Godse’s testimony, he mentioned that Savarkar was of the thought that we have finally got important freedom, and we should support the government. But the hot-headed young men were of a different thought, so he broke away from Savarkar.”
Healing From Our Past
“We did not accept our past and made peace with it. Every wound needs healing. If there is no healing, then the ghosts of the past will keep haunting you. We need to have an honest assessment of our past. We should tell the truth as it is.”
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