On 28th and 29th of October 2013, a study camp: “History Through Fresh Eyes” was organised in Thane, Maharashtra by the Thane Youth Committee of Lok Raj Sangathan. In the education system prevailing today, a very distorted and untrue account of history is being taught. The aim of this camp was to give an insight into the truth that has been deliberately hidden from the people and to establish that society can be studied scientifically, and must be studied scientifically if we want to rebuild India to realise the dreams of our innumerable martyrs.
The camp covered a variety of topics – Pre-British India, the Effects of British rule, the Role played by the Indian National Congress, various uncompromising organisations and revolutionary trends, like the Hindustani Ghadar Party (whose centenary is being celebrated this year by patriotic Indians within the country and abroad), martyrs like Bhagat Singh and his comrades, and the strike of the British Indian Armed Forces, which was like the proverbial last straw. The British had no option but to leave, but they left behind “Kale Angrez” who continued to safeguard their interests as well as their own. Presentations and discussions were used to uncover the truth. Inspiring progressive poems enhanced the camp, and well-designed games helped to build an atmosphere of oneness. The first day of the camp saw 22 participants while on the second day the number increased to 23.
The members, most of them young, had worked hard to prepare presentations on a number of topics. The discussion sessions helped to clear doubts and deepen the understanding of the participants. The presentation on “Pre-British India” showed how rich India was culturally, scientifically, technologically and economically before it was ruined and devastated by the British colonialists. Everyone was amazed to find out how advanced India was in the fields like technology and how self-sustaining its economy was. The presentation on “British India” showed how the British broke down one by one what was once a progressive education system, economic system, health system, agriculture, industry and culture. It also showed how famines in which crores perished were created throughout the country and even in Bengal which was once the granary of the country. How did a handful of people rule over an entire country? This was the question that was next dealt with in detail. The British created classes of traitors – the zamindars and capitalists – who saw the British rule as beneficial to them. It also showed how they used various state machineries as well as the notorious “Divide and Rule’, organizing communal riots, etc. to rule over the vast country.
The second day started with the summary of the first day’s journey. The first presentation of the day was on “The Great Ghadar of 1857”. One by one, all the prevailing myths about the Great Ghadar were broken and the true picture was brought to light. It showed how the whole country fought unitedly and due to a treacherous few how the Ghadar was suppressed. It also brought into light the fact that the descendants of the treacherous are now a part of the ruling class. The presentation on “Indian National Congress” exposed that it was set up by the British as a “safety valve” to prevent a revolutionary outburst, and how the treacherous classes used it as a forum to advance their own interests. It showed how the foremost concern of these classes was the same as that of their colonial masters – to prevent the Indian people from establishing their rule. The presentations on the “Hindustani Ghadar Party and Other Revolutionaries” and on the strike by the Royal Indian Navy inspired everyone present.
“Why were we never told about all these things?” This question kept cropping up in the minds of all the participants repeatedly all through the two days. By the end of the camp, the reason was clear to all – it is in the interests of the present day rulers to distort history so as to preserve their rule. Everyone agreed to contribute his or her mite to studying further and to spreading awareness about these vitally important facts. The participants were convinced that they need to know history so as to face the problems in today’s society.