CPI MP writes to PM against panel to review book on India's freedom struggle

Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to intervene and suspend the three-member committee established by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to review the entries in the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle 1857-1947’.

“In another brazen attempt to re-write the history of the Indian freedom struggle and discredit the contributions of freedom fighters who did not subscribe to the ideologies of the current ruling party, the Indian Council of Historical Research has constituted a 3-member committee to review entries in the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle 1857-1947′,” he said in his letter.

“Based on a 2016 report submitted to the ICHR by politically motivated individuals calling for the exclusion of Communist and Muslim martyrs, the ICHR’s actions are deeply worrying and must be stopped immediately,” he said.

The CPI leader said the 2016 report incorrectly argues for the exclusion of Communist martyrs of the PunnapraVayalar-Karivelloor and Kavumbayi agitations as well as of Muslim freedom fighters who lost their lives in the Wagon Tragedy and Malabar rebellion.

He said the contributions of these Communist martyrs are widely recognized by the people of Kerala and are a source of inspiration for the youth, adding that their death anniversaries are passionately commemorated across the state each year.

“These young men and women who laid down their life to resist colonial rule were integral to India’s struggle for Independence and attempts to re-write the history of India for petty political gains are condemned and will be resisted.

“I urge you to immediately intervene in this matter and suspend the review committee established by the ICHR. As Prime Minister of India and a constitutional representative it is incumbent on you to prevent any attempts that seek to communalise our history and disturb the social fabric of the nation,” he said. The soft copy of the book was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. It sparked off a controversy over the  inclusion of Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji and Ali Musliyar as freedom fighters. This led to a decision to form a three-member panel to review the entries in the book.