‘True Indology’ Responds
The owner of the Twitter handle, @TrueIndology, responds to the allegations made against him/her in a leading national daily and on the web.
I am a private citizen who is extremely interested in Indian history. The fact that I read Marxist historian, Romila Thapar’s, works at the age of 13, should indicate my fascination with the discipline. I used to be in awe of her work until I started examining primary sources. This made me aware of the huge gap between our history books and the facts as revealed by primary sources.
That is when I took a resolve to present history based on facts. It does not matter if people, brainwashed by mainstreamed Marxist history, treat what I share as ‘alternate history’. They are bound to be convinced when they refer to the primary sources that I share. That is why I spend my free time on Twitter and other social media sites and record history based on primary sources. That is what I do. A private citizen who utilises his personal time to share history.
I am not any political or social activist, nor do I harbour any notions of becoming one. Yet, I have been targeted by the mainstream media establishment through overt and covert ways.
Even so, I am not writing this post to cry victim. That is NOT my intent. I am writing it simply to show how a sections of the mainstream media suppresses those individuals who present facts that do not match this section’s opinions. Let this serve as a mirror to those ‘intellectuals’ who keep pontificating on freedom of expression on one hand and show utter contempt for the same freedom of a private citizen. They have no tolerance for the views of others, even if those views are based on hard facts.
This gang has, time and again, sought to defame and discredit me, a private citizen, through means fair and foul. Most of you would be aware of the daily diatribe from the left-inclined people on my Twitter timeline, which I largely choose to ignore.
It began by ranting how anonymous handles on Twitter circulate falsehoods and cites the example of when an image was circulated all over the internet on Tipu Jayanti, as an image of Tipu Sultan. It names me among the list of handles who circulated the picture.
Last week, as Karnataka observed Tipu Sultan Jayanti, the social media universe exploded with right-wing rage. A photograph with the tag ‘the real Tipu Sultan’ was circulated on Twitter and Facebook, accompanied by vitriolic comments. In fact, the photo was of a Zanzibari slave trader named Tippu Tip ... This refusal to think is what the thriving factory of fake history exploits, and is the reason it has been so successful at polarising opinion. This fake history factory found many gullible victims. …Many anonymous Twitter handles regularly peddle falsehoods
The very first paragraph shows what a shameless liar this author Manimugdha Sharma is. I have never circulated any picture of “real Tipu Sultan”. In fact, I have clarified more than a year ago, on my Twitter timeline, that we do NOT have any pictures of Tipu Sultan.
Rather than crediting me for clearing a misconception, this man behaves as though he made some brilliant discovery and rants on how I am ‘distorting history’. Unlike this author who only speaks about the right-wing and keeps quiet when his friends peddle falsehood, I am neutral at busting propaganda. Not only have I called out the fake picture of Tipu, I have also called out ignorance and falsehood peddled in the name of history by his friend and self-proclaimed historian Rana Safvi .
Here this self-proclaimed historian claims that Hindus do not worship buffaloes because “Aryans were a pastoral society and buffaloes were not present in India then”. This is a laughable statement and shows how ignorant these “historians” are. There are several mentions of thebBuffalo in the Rig Veda. ”
Of course, you will never find people like Manimugdha Sharma talking about these blatant inaccuracies peddled by his leftist friends. For he cares for propaganda, not facts.
The article then accuses me of photoshopping content. It says
Many anonymous Twitter handles regularly peddle falsehoods with the help of photo-editing tools. These then go viral as verified handles, even celebrities, retweet them, either because they are genuinely taken in, or because they suffer from heavy confirmation bias. One such anonymous handle is TrueIndology.....
I was completely shocked to read this shameless lie, for, I cannot ever ‘photoshop’ pictures, leave alone post them on Twitter. Why? Because my “photoshopping” skills don't go beyond cropping or enlarging pictures using basic tools like MS Paint.
The article continues,
One such anonymous handle is TrueIndology, which, according to Pratik Sinha of AltNews, is a “serial faker”.
I was sickened to see a blatant ad-hominem attack carried against me in a mainstream newspaper. Times of India (TOI), a national daily, published what one Pratik Sinha thinks about me. Imagine the depth to which a mainstream newspaper has sunk to - publishing abuse directed at me by those who are intolerant to my view of history.
How does it matter what others think of me? Tomorrow, I might quote some friend of mine and accuse Manimugdha Sharma of a crime. But I will definitely not post an article about Manimugdha Sharma being a criminal without any evidence. However, Times of India and Pratik Sinha have claimed that I have photoshopped pictures, without a shred of evidence.
The article further says:
AltNews had busted the propaganda of this handle in a series of articles earlier this year
So, what I write is "propaganda" because TOI and Pratik Sinha don't agree with it. This is how the intolerant, mainstream media establishment labels and smears those who do not share their worldview. It is laughable to see Sharma and Sinha calling my Twitter feed as "propaganda". I do not earn a penny for what I do on social media in my free time. My blog does not have any Adsense, even when it is likely my articles fetch better traffic than many TOI articles. And I am definitely not the one clamouring for donations to carry out hit-jobs like Alt News.
Sharma and Sinha are doing exactly what they are accusing me of. They are indulging in propaganda and smear campaign against a private citizen because they cannot tolerate his/her views.
Four months ago, Alt News carried a hit job against me where they scanned through my Twitter timeline to dig out a few two-year-old tweets, took them out of context, even picked a few semantic mistakes here and there and wove a series of posts with such an insipid title as "True Fraudology".
These blue-eyed boys of the mainstream media neither respected my freedom of expression nor thought of checking with me to find out my views. What they posted was pathetic to say the least. Their project, which was supposed to “bust” my "propaganda", was erroneous and full of more lies and mistakes than the “Truth of Gujarat” blog run by Pratik Sinha, (who fraudulently passes off a medieval temple for a "Neolithic site"). That series of posts was full of lies, ignorance, and arrogance.
Despite being aware of the malafide intention of Alt News and its founder, I chose to pen a comprehensive response to all his lies I responded to each and every false accusation, even when I was answerable to NONE, for, I wanted to give them a benefit of doubt. A moral media outlet would have simply acknowledged its mistake and taken off the articles full of blatant lies and personal smearing. It has been 5 months and they have neither answered me nor corrected themselves/taken down the piece. Instead, they have used the same piece for a hit job on me in the print media.
Their intention, obviously, has never been to have a proper discourse. They have always wanted to use lies and deception to smear, abuse and harass me, a private citizen, and destroy my reputation because I am writing something that does not toe their view of history.
Coming back to the TOI article, it continues:
TrueIndology has over 58,000 followers, and most of its tweets stick to the now standard right-wing template — show Muslims in poor light, glorify Hindus, abuse lefties and liberals — and if you can’t find facts, just fake it.
Did you see that? Even more generalised stereotyping. Apparently, there is a right-wing template - show Muslims in poor light, glorify Hindus, abuse lefties and liberals.
Curiously, Manimugdha Sharma projects onto me, what is actually, his mind-set and modus operandi. Here are few tweets of his that highlight what I mean.
You can see how Sharma makes fun of Vedic Hindus because they believe in vimanas and shows them in poor light. He insults Hindus and talks of "saffron weed" because saffron is sacred to Hindus. He lampoons Hindus when a cow is killed because some Hindus consider it sacred. He even insults Lord Krishna and says that Lord Krishna uses soap made of cow dung.
Such tweets, which create hatred and communal tension in society, should be outrightly avoided by people who become editors. One might think that Sharma is a rationalist who ridicules religion. But this respectful reverence to Prophet of another religion shows that his hatred is targeted.
At any rate, this person is doing exactly what he falsely and dishonestly accuses me of - hating and targeting one community and glorifying another.
How dare ToI and its editor insinuate that my Twitter timeline is anti-Muslim? I challenge them to show me a single derogatory tweet on my timeline about the Prophet of Islam. I am perfectly within my right to exercise my freedom of expression but I won’t write disrespectful stuff, unlike Manimugdha Sharma. These people conveniently label anyone who does follow their lead as anti-Muslim. They smear and attempt to silence anyone who calls out their ignorance and falsehoods.
The entire TOI piece is a rant against the supposed "right wing”, but if they expect people to humbly suffer their insults, they are in for a rude awakening. I have interacted with this person on Twitter, but never abused him. Yet, he tried to stereotype me as an abuser only because I dared to counter him with facts.
Let us now look at the online communication of our “holier than thou” ToI editor. Seems like he needs to look no further than his mirror to see what an online-abuser looks like:
The ToI editor further writes,
In one instance, this handle tweeted out a photo of 1984 anti-Sikh riots at Chandni Chowk and said it was a photo of Congress workers burning down houses of Brahmins after Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.
Yes, I did that. It is absolutely true that Congress workers killed Brahmins (). I had actually misplaced the picture under a different folder I had stored in my computer and hence I posted a wrong picture. I have accepted this mistake of mine at the end of my. This was one of thousands of pictures I have posted and there are bound to be a few mistakes. Despite my admission in a very public post, they used it to smear me.
The TOI article continues:
In another, it tweeted a photo of a nomadic settlement in Afghanistan and declared it the original architecture of the Mughals before they came to India
I did no such thing. I gave picture of a tent to show the kind of tents Mughals had before coming to India. Of course, this TOI editor did not bother to see it. Pratik Sinha did not bother to counter it. They are not interested in any dialogue. They will only misinterpret, take things out of context and smear people who do not share their views.
But I know what bothers Sharma. I stated in my that Mughals by themselves could not construct anything more than tents (like the ones I have shown in the picture) when they were just about to come to India. If he disagrees, he should write a rebuttal to my post. He could not do that. Instead, he misused his position to rant and complain before a national audience, without any basis.
Finally, the article concludes,
In another, it tweeted a photo of a nomadic settlement in Afghanistan and declared it the original architecture of the Mughals before they came to India — a regurgitation of the old Hindu nationalist fantasy that all Mughal buildings were originally Hindu temples and palaces.
Another blatant falsehood written to smear me. I challenge him to show me where I said “all Mughal buildings were Hindu temples and palaces”. I challenge him to show me where I have claimed Taj Mahal was a Hindu building. All my claims are backed by scholarly sources on the basis of epigraphy and/or archaeology.
Now, let us look at this interesting snippet where the “history buff” ToI editor mocks the Modi government for not getting history right. He chided them with, “Ranjit singh died in 1839. How could you say he gifted Kohinoor in 1850?", falsely stating that the Modi government made a claim that Ranjit Singh gifted the Kohinoor.
This falsehood passes off as “intellectual criticism of the Modi government” in TOI circles.
Moving on to another instance, the ToI editor shares an image of paintings Lord Krishna on the walls of a Mughal Fort, without clarifying that it belongs to the period of and has no connection with the Mughals, per se. This, despite a user asking him to clarify.
For Sharma and his ilk, Krishna could be mocked but anything relating to Krishna needs to associated with Mughals and they should be portrayed as tolerant. It does not matter even if the said object is not related to the Mughals at all.
And look at him here, proclaiming the majesty of a Mathura style piece as that from the Gandhara style.
There have been instances when I have corrected the ToI editor in order to ensure that facts are presented to the general public; instances where Sharma resorted to blatant lies (he denied there was a farman by Aurangzeb against Diwali fireworks) or partial quoting (in case of Humayun) to whitewash Mughal history and portray them as tolerant rulers.
Despite being a History Major, this individual, who is obviously in need of a “History for Beginners and Now” tutorial, writes in a mainstream media outlet on history and tries to smear my credibility, citing a largely discredited individual as a source. It would have been laughable, had it not been despicable.
Now that we have seen the exploits of Mr Sharma, let us see the feats of Pratik Sinha, who is projected by Manimugdha Sharma as some sort of a certifying authority.
When I punctured the pathetic series of lies concocted by Pratik Sinha and Alt News, for its falsehood, he dug his head in the sand, sot speak, and did not acknowledge my response. Not only that, when I caught him lying several times, he did not show the courage to accept his errors.
It was only after people called him out for his Fakery that he took back his word.
This ‘fact checker’ easily labels everyone as “fraud" and "fake" but does not have the basic decency to acknowledge his mistake even when he is completely wrong. His lack of ethics and morality is visible when he casually excuses himself by simply saying "He is right, I researched more”! He had to accept it because a picture is easily verifiable by anyone and he stood thoroughly exposed. Otherwise, whenever this supposed "fact checker" misses out on facts, he never acknowledges the same.
Here, this self-proclaimed fact checker confidently asserts that the word “Hindutva” was coined by Savarkar.
Even when it was shown that he was blatantly wrong, this ‘fact checker’ did not have the decency to correct himself. This shows that he is more about propaganda than facts. While one could give him the benefit of doubt and attribute the above mistakes to ignorance, what can explain him tweeting a fake quote to show M S Golwalkar and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in bad light?
In the image, the following quote is attributed to Golwalkar - "Hindus, don't waste your energy fighting the British. Save your energy to fight our enemies that are Muslims, Christians and Communists". Such a quote is not found in any of the writings of Golwalkar. On the contrary, Golwalkar dismisses those who were favorably inclined to British as "slaves".
This was pointed out to him months . Yet, the supposed ‘fact checker’ did not deem it necessary to acknowledge and correct himself. This fake quote serves his useful propaganda to defame the Sangh and therefore he has no qualms in spreading such lies.
More such examples can be cited from Sinha’s blog where he made a lot of fake claims to defame Narendra Modi.
He claimed that Narendra Modi did not visit the relief camp housing Muslims for 35 days after the riots in Gujarat in 2002.
This is a white lie. Narendra Modi visited camps housing minorities, as reported by The Hindu dated March 6, 10 days after the Sabarmati Express was torched in Godhra. The same was also reported by . Even when he was by people for this lie, he neither acknowledged nor corrected his blog for the same.
There are many other lies in his blog such as this dangerous, defamatory one where . I offer to delete all my blogs if anyone can show any proof that Modi organised Gaurav Yatra to celebrate riots. Modi has always expressed his regret for the riots and termed them unfortunate. Such lies are fabricated to incite people, divide communities and provoke strife. Sinha was for this lie by the admin of the blog ‘Gujarat riots’. But what did Sinha do? Nothing. He keeps circulating these lies through his blog on the one hand, and self-attests himself as a ‘fact checker’ on the other.
Glancing through his blog, I found total lies, fabrications, falsehoods and called him out for manufacturing . What he has stated was false and completely contradictory to . While Nanavati report records that witnesses saw a mob outside the Godhra train throwing petrol inside it, Pratik Sinha misquoted and partial quoted everyone and attributed to them fake testimonies to arrive at an opposite conclusion i.e. he recorded them saying that no petrol was thrown into the train.
When asked to clarify the reason for such preposterous, inflammatory lies on his blog, he blamed my source, namely, the Nanavati Commission report, which, according to him, was false and could be not be believed. He suggested some unclear connection with a criminal by bringing Babu Bajrangi out of nowhere!
It is surprising that a person like Pratik Sinha, who runs such a blog, questions the character of a retired Judge of the Supreme Court. I am certainly not saying that our judiciary always gets everything 100 per cent right. But it has largely been credible. Although there can be room for a wrong judgement, it is one thing to question a judgement and another to question the very idea and character of Judiciary. What Pratik Sinha says is that the witnesses were falsely quoted in the Nanavati commission report.
This is impossible. Judgements could go either way, but the entire judicial system cannot blatantly lie and attribute false statements to witnesses in their official records before everyone. If it was so, why did they not complain that witnesses were falsely quoted in the Commission report? All parties, including theirs, saw the report and .
Even if one were to allow some scope for the impossible and accept, for the sake of argument, that the Nanavati Commision report was deliberately lying and misquoting the witnesses, then how do we arrive at the truth? Pratik Sinha a file which, he claimed, had of the witness. Strangely, his own file gave a source that contradicts his blog and seconds the Nanavati report stating that the .
Here, he lied on three occasions.
- He .
- He then claimed that Nanavati report was false, when it was in fact, true. His argument that his statements were true and Nanavati misquoted witnesses was a lie, because it was he who infact misquoted and fabricated statements of witnesses.
- was essentially to save his face when he that his blog accepts fireballs were thrown from outside, when he clearly says Godhra burning happened due to in his blog
Now, one would expect an honest person to acknowledge his mistake and correct his blog. But, the self-certified fact checker has shamelessly retained everything on his blog since it furthers his agenda and that is all that the fake checker cares about.
No wonder that with so many untruths in their story, Nanavati Commision remarked that "". He was also rejected by people and . And this is the same person who gives out certificates of honesty and labels others "fake".
Readers who followed the hit-and-run campaign by Pratik Sinha and his Alt News would also have seen how they turned tail when their vicious lies were caught and rebutted.
Pratik Sinha continues to boast how people following history accounts are fools who cannot go beyond Google and implies it is experts like him who use textbooks instead of blogs,
Since the average internet user cannot verify facts by reading a textbook or asking a historian, he only has Google to turn to. These fake history pages often come up on the first page itself during searches, not academic links. So, people pick up what’s easily available,” says Pratik Sinha
Ironically, Pratik Sinha himself , in his blog which allegedly “busted my propaganda”, Unfortunately for him, but from a scholarly article of a noted Indologist. Of course, Sinha did not have the basic courtesy to apologise for lying and defaming me using false information and false blogs. These people do exactly what they accuse right wingers of. Relying on blogs and faking content.
One would expect that after realising that I am not here to score any political goals, they would mind their own business, as I go about my pursuit of history. But no. Even after being completely discredited through my rebuttal, ToI chose to extend the same smear campaign against me in its Sunday Times.
What does this tell us about people like Manimugdha Sharma and Pratik Sinha and what does it tell us about ToI?
I don’t care at whose behest such people are harassing, smearing, attempting to harm me and my reputation. But I know for a fact that faking history started as soon as India became independent in 1947 and even earlier, perhaps. It is only now that the correcting of history, based on sources, has started online and I am proud of my role in that.
I seek the truth and I shall continue to seek and share it – detractors shall be decimated by the Divine.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.