If a historian invents facts, that's fiction not history: Habib

 Questioning attempts to change the country's history, noted historian Irfan Habib on Thursday said it would become a mere fiction if one "invented facts" in analysing history.

Denying that the Left historians have presented a distorted version of Indian history, Habib said the version of history penned by the Communist and liberal historians was no different from the writings of celebrated historians like Ishwari Prasad or Tara Chand.

Habib, a leading figure in propagating the Marxist view of Indian history, said the assessments were the same.

"Knowledge has expanded. But the assessments are the same. Those questioning us should first read and know Indian history," he said, referring to the accusations of the RSS and others arms of the Sangh Parivar that the Left and liberal historians, who have influenced the intellectual space in India since the freedom from British rule, have presented a distorted version of the country's history.

"They should tell us how we are different from Tara Chand and Ishwari Prasad," he said on the sidelines of the 78th session of the Indian History Congress that began here on Thursday.

"You can't change history because history depends on events of facts. If you invent facts then that's not history, that's fiction," he said.

The opposition parties as also the Left intellectuals have been charging the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre of "distorting" history to suit their agenda of Hindutva.


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