B.B. Lal was a mahapurush, a saint, who felt the pain of distorted history till his last breath, Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), said. Mr. Bhagwat also stressed that India must develop keeping its own “essence” alive.
Mr. Bhagwat was speaking at the launch of the book, Connecting with the Mahabharata, in Delhi, on Monday. Authored by Neera Mishra and Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Rajesh Lal, son of the late B.B. Lal, and published by Garuda Prakashan, the book is dedicated to B.B. Lal, who carried out excavations in various parts of Western U.P., Haryana and Delhi as he worked to discover the historicity of the epic Mahabharata.
Recalling his last meeting with B.B. Lal when he turned 100, Mr. Bhagwat said that soon after formal greetings, Lal focused only on his pending work and recommendations. “History, Mahabharata, Delhi is Indraprastha. Why the fact that Indraprastha was Delhi is not coming in front of all. It has to be this and that….he started talking about everything except about himself. He was a saint, a mahapurush, who had pain for the distorted facts,” Mr. Bhagwat said.
“There is a murmur in the country at present that Indians are awakening. But this is happening at a time when the governments in various places are encouraging and helping people who are trying to know their history. But B.B. Lal started the work when there was no encouragement for the same India’s history and civilization is extremely old, but for our colonialists it was necessary to make us believe that no culture in the world is older than theirs,” Mr. Bhagwat said.
He added that India must grow “keeping its history and its essence, otherwise we will become replica of China and America”.
Padma Vibhushan awardee the late B.B. Lal’s works formed the basis of the argument that a Ram temple existed at the site where the Babri Masjid once stood. Eventually, a Supreme Court verdict paved the way for constructing a temple at the disputed site, with Muslims compensated with land elsewhere. Lal died at the age of 101 in Delhi on September 10.