Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana

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Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana
Legal statusActive
Parent organization
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (All-India History Reform Project) is a subsidiary organisation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded in 1978-79 with the stated objective of writing,[web 1][news 1] or rewriting,[1][news 2] Indian history from a RSS perspective.[1][web 1][news 2][news 1]


ABISY is a subsidiary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded in 1978-79 with the stated objective of writing,[web 1][news 1] or rewriting,[1][news 2] Indian history from a national perspective.[1][news 2][2][news 1] The name ABISY means "The Plan (also in the sense of committee) for collecting History of the Whole of India".[3] It was envisioned in 1973 by Moropant Pingley, a pracharak of the RSS.[4] The main leaders of the organisation have been described as having a Hindutva ideology, although its participants may have their own reasons for participating, "which may have nothing to do with political ideology."[3]

The organisation holds that India's history was distorted by the British Raj:[news 3]

The British distorted Bharatheeya history; destroyed / perverted the tradition, heroes, culture, literature and language. Hence ABISY coordinates patriotic, bold and incorruptible scholars & historians to write history truthfully on the basis of facts and evidences.[web 1]

According to organising secretary Balmukund Pandey, Indian historians have been exposed to western distortions,[news 4] which created a false impression of Indian cultural diversity, and screened its uniformly Aryan past.[news 3] According to ABISY, beneath the diversity of India's culture is a unifying Hindu culture.[5][2] It regards the Vedic culture to have originated in the Janjati and Adivasis traditions,[news 4] the local Indian cultures: [6]

There is a close link between Vedic traditions and janjati/adivasis traditions – of worshipping river, trees, and nature. They are the ancestors of the ‘civilized people’.[news 4]

ABISY tries to show this link by investigating those local cultures,[6] teaching its participants to write history based on Indian evidence.[news 4] Berti notes that this kind of "new local historiography"[6] is not unique to Hindutva-writers, but has also appeared in African nationalistic discourse, and that "the political construction and utilisation of folklore was at the very heart of the XIX century’s European nationalisms."[7]



In August 2014, the organisation stated that it had completed four research projects, namely retracing the journey of the Saraswati river, countering the theory that Aryans migrated into India and instead claiming that Aryans were originally from India who had migrate out of India,[note 1] dating the Mahabharatha, Shankaracharya and Buddha, and emphasizing that the 1857 rebellion was the First War of Independence.[news 4]

It announced that its next ten-year project would be to compile all Hindu Puranas into an encyclopedia, get scholars to interpret its original meaning, and to put it forward as India's real history.[news 5] The ABISY is also going to document the history of all the 670+ districts in India, as describe the history of the more than 600 tribal communities in India.[news 6]


The ABISY centers its historical work around Hindu scriptures.[2] Organising secretary Balmukund Pandey stated that according to the RSS, the puranas were the most significant source of Indian history.[news 6]

Berti states that ABISY methodology, as exemplified in its interpretation of Kullu mythology, is to collect orally preserved stories of the gods, or bharthā, which are to be regarded as reliable sources for an understanding of those gods:

For ABISY leaders, the bharthā becomes the original source as well as the proof (pramāṇ) of the deity, for the very reason that it is revealed by the deity itself. In this sense, they consider bharthā similar to the Veda which, being revealed knowledge, is supposed to be a discourse of "truth" par excellence.[8]

ABISY leaders "decipher" those texts, or often just snippets of them, to reveal their similarity with Sanskrit texts, by focusing on specific words or expressions. This would reveal the Sanskrit identity of the village gods.[9]


The ABISY publishes the journal Itihas Darpan (Mirror of History), edited in Delhi. A majority of the articles are written in English, while a few are in Hindi. The editorial standards of the journal emphasize the urgency of "scientific character" in Indian historical research,[10] with repeated reference to a "scientific"[10] framework, such as "the importance of making reference to sources, and to proving with documents what is put forward.[10] Not all local history is deemed worth researching, but only those facts which have a "historical basis" and are in accordance with the organisation's ideology.[10]


ABISY headquarters are located at Keshav Kunj, the Delhi office of the RSS.[2] Under the central office are thirteen ksetra, or provincial, offices, each run by a president. These centres are responsible for connecting ABISY ideology to local cultural lore and tradition.[2] Branches of ABISY exist in Chandigarh, Shimla and Kullu.[11]

ABISY also has links to historians from multiple universities.[news 1] ABISY states that it has 500 professors associated with it.[news 4]

In July 2014, Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, the head of the Andhra Pradesh chapter of ABISY, was appointed Chairperson of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) by the National Democratic Alliance government headed by Narendra Modi.[news 1][news 7] In March 2015, three other ABISY-affiliated historians were nominated as members to the Council:[news 8][news 9]

  • Narayan Rao, former Professor at Berhampur University and the national Vice-President of ABISY
  • Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma, Professor in the Department of Ancient History, Archaeology and Culture at Gorakhpur University and the All-India General Secretary of ABISY, and
  • Nikhilesh Guha, a retired Professor of Kalyani University and the head of the Bengal chapter of ABISY.


  1. ^ ABISY: "Archeological investigations and DNA studies by the scientists have proved that no outsiders came to Bharath in ancient times; In contrary, Indians have immigrated to the entire world and spread their knowledge, culture and contributed for their growth."[web 2]


  1. ^ a b c d Berti 2007, p. 15.
  2. ^ a b c d e Berti 2007.
  3. ^ a b Berti 2007, p. 7.
  4. ^ Berti 2006.
  5. ^ Berti 2006, p. 17.
  6. ^ a b c Berti 2007, p. 8.
  7. ^ Berti 2007, p. 9.
  8. ^ Berti 2007, p. 24.
  9. ^ Berti 2007, p. 23-24.
  10. ^ a b c d Berti 2007, p. 14.
  11. ^ Berti 2007, p. 12.


Published sources[edit]

  • Berti, Daniela (2006), "The Memory of Gods: From a Secret Autobiography to a Nationalistic Project", INDIAN FOLKLIFE (24), retrieved 16 August 2014
  • Berti, Daniela (2007), "Hindu nationalists and local History: From ideology to local lore" (PDF), Rivista di Studi Sudasiatici, 2: 5–36, retrieved 16 August 2014



  1. ^ a b c d e f "RSS man will head historical research body". Times of India. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 11 Aug 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Rewrite history with a positive outlook". The Hindu. 5 July 2006. Retrieved 18 Aug 2014.
  3. ^ a b "RSS and a new Indian historical perspective". NitiCentral. 2014-08-21. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Among new projects, RSS to focus on studying adivasis traditions". Hindustan Times. 21 Aug 2014.
  5. ^ "History according to puranas: RSS's next big project". Firstpost. 18 Aug 2014.
  6. ^ a b "6 times more 'Puranas' in hand, RSS puts 100 on job for new history". The Indian Express. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  7. ^ Iyer, Kavitha (3 Jul 2014). "Coming soon from Modi sarkar: RSS takeover of top research, cultural bodies". Firstpost.
  8. ^ "ICHR chief Sudershan Rao recommends 3 RSS historians to top panel". Economic Times. 14 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Saffron hue in revamped ICHR". The Hindu. 2 March 2015.

External links[edit]