Launching the book, ‘Bharat: Loktantra ki Janani’ (India: The mother of democracy), by Indian Council of Historical Research on Thursday, he said that there is no doubt of the democratic system in Indian civilization right from the medieval times as it has never discriminated anyone and rather celebrated unity in diversity.
In the times when the baton of G20 Presidency passed on to India, the book looks towards asserting India’s democratic traditions to the world, taking it back to the Harappan days, as it attempts at filling the gaps of the past legacy that has been oversighted and debunk western perspective of India introduced by the British with evidences from archaeological excavations, epigraphical and ancient scriptures.
On the need for historians to come forward and deliberate and that this book has just sown the seed, Pradhan said that Bharat and its democratic traditions have influenced civilizations across the world. He said that its knowledge has been sought by all, as he gave the examples of the Chinese travellers to India.
The minister also spoke on Ashoka. He said that king Ashoka elucidates ancient Indian political philosophy and that power or the office of the king is only a trust.
Stating that India is a celebration of “unity in diversity”, Pradhan said: “India as a society welcomes and accepts everyone. That’s why we have 33 crore Gods and Goddesses and even others. The Sufi saints we celebrate in India don’t enjoy the same in many other countries of the same faith.”
The book in its introduction pointed out that “Traditions of modern historical research founded by British scholars of repute were unfortunately coloured by their attitude towards ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, which have a dead past and arguably are museum exhibits,” and “The discoveries in the Indus Valley and thereby link up Indian history with that of the most ancient period of the world known to us. India now takes her place alongside.”