Eminent historian Irfan Habib today called upon “all secular forces irrespective of political affiliations” to join hands and unitedly face the onslaught of the “communal forces”.
“The events of the past few months and the growing threat to the very concept of India has prompted me to issue this appeal to all secular parties.
“Certain policies of the present government, especially saffronisation of education and history, have convinced me that there is an urgent need now to speak out,” he said, while delivering a lecture at Aligarh Muslim University.
Habib said there were already ominous signs that BJP is planning to rake up contentious issues including the Ayodhya dispute. “Fears on such matters are not without justification because once this government is unable to fulfil its promise of ‘achche din’ for the common man, they will be prompted to take resort to such divisive and polarising issues.”
Referring to the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir issue, the noted historian said, “This should never have been viewed as an issue between Hindus and Muslims. It was in fact a confrontation between the forces of secularism and humanism on one side and the forces of communalism on the other.”
“The legal battle for defending the Babri Mosque was fought almost entirely by those historians who were Hindu by faith. They defended the Babri Mosque because they were convinced by the historical evidence which they had unearthed,” he said.