Special Correspondent

`Our glorious past has the potential for guiding present generation of youngsters'

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has called for rewriting of the ancient history of India with a "positive outlook" for the glorious past of the country which he said had the potential for guiding the present generation of youngsters to scale new heights and make their motherland the world leader once again.

Mr. Kataria, inaugurating a two-day symposium on "Jainism in Rajasthan" in Chittaurgarh this past weekend, pointed out that only those countries which had pride in their ancient civilisation could expect to be strong and vibrant.

"Our past always inspires us to be true nationalists. One who lives in India and survives on its resources has to be a patriot," he said.

Mr. Kataria regretted that the people of India "lost their dignity and self-respect" during the medieval period of history when "our ancient values came under attack and the spirit of human welfare was dampened".

The Minister said the negative values prevailing in the medieval period made the majority of people "individualist in their thought and sedentary in their action".

However, he expressed the hope that the resurgence of ancient Indian values would strengthen people's faith and bring resilience to society at large.

Mr. Kataria asked the historians of Akhil Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana -- who have taken up the task of rewriting ancient Indian history -- to research and highlight the message of human welfare and inculcate among the history students a respect for the ancient Indian civilisation.

While the Sangathan secretary of Itihaas Sankalan Yojana, Haribhau Vajhe, said the history of India was nearly 10,000 years old, adviser Mahavir Prasad Jain pointed out that history writing was not merely about dynasties and political events but should primarily deal with the culture, religious faith, literature, ideologies, values and ethics, folk life and popular customs and traditions of an era.