An outfit affiliated to the RSS has backed the descendants of Tatya Tope, one of the leaders of the 1857 uprising, who have questioned the theory of the warrior’s demise.
While it is said that the Maratha warrior was hanged in Shivpuri by British government in April 1859, RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna (ABISY) has seconded the theory of Tope’s descendants that he was in fact killed on January 1, 1859, in a battle near Guna.
Parag Tope, a Tope descendant and US-based software engineer, wrote a book Operation Red Lotus a few years ago, where he questioned earlier theories of Tope’s death. The ABISY has decided to support his findings.
At a function here on Tuesday, ABISY sangathan mantri (organisation secretary) B M Pande described Tope as one of the “forgotten Hindu warriors” as a result of “biased historians”, and said that “British-sponsored” historians had “destroyed the 1857 war history for their benefit.” “We will rewrite all such histories which are distorted and forgotten deliberately,” he added. The function was organised to pay homage to Tope, whose original name was Ramchandra Pandurang.
Parag said that Tope was not hanged on April 18, 1859, but killed on January 1, 1859. He added that the history of 1857 was not written properly and the real truth must be brought out.
Youthika Mishra, associate professor of modern history at Vivekananda College of Delhi University, said that Tope’s fellow soldiers cremated him secretly and hid the news of his death in order to keep the soldiers’ morale high. British troops later hanged another person and declared that Tope was hanged in order to deflate the spirits of Indian soldiers.
The ABISY is working on several projects to rewrite history. Last year the outfit organised a function at National Museum to pay homage to the “last Hindu emperor of Delhi Hemu Vikramaditya”. From December 24 to 26, ABISY will hold a three-day conference in Mysore, where around 1,000 delegates will discuss “Women in Indian Culture: Through the Ages.”