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Office-bearer of RSS history wing set to join ICHR

The post has been vacant for one-and-half years after historian Gopinath Ravindran, a UPA-II appointee, resigned halfway through his term in June 2015

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi |
January 21, 2017 2:57:44 am

Anand Shanker Singh, an office-bearer of the RSS’s Akila Bharatheeya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana (ABISY) and principal of Iswar Saran Degree College in Allahabad, is set to become the new member-secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

The post has been vacant for one-and-half years — historian Gopinath Ravindran, a UPA-II appointee, resigned halfway through his term in June 2015, over differences with ICHR’s current head Y S Rao on its decision to disband the advisory committee of its journal comprising 21 historians, including Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib.

Singh, 51, was selected by a panel that included Rao. His candidature has the approval from HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and the appointment will be announced soon.

Singh is currently vice-president of the Uttar Pradesh chapter of ABISY called Itihaas Sankalan Samiti. He has been principal of Iswar Saran Degree College, a constituent college of Allahabad University since 2005, and specialises in Indian numismatics and palaeography and ancient Indian socio-economic history.
“I have worked on the inscriptions and coins found in Mathura and Kaushambi,” he said.

But he is not the only ABISY member to be inducted into the ICHR under the NDA-II government. Council members Narayan Rao, Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma, Nikhilesh Guha and the ICHR boss himself are associated with the RSS’s history wing.

At the time they were appointed to the Council, Rao was national vice president of ABISY, Vishwakarma was the All-India general secretary, Guha headed the West Bengal chapter of ABISY, and Rao was the chief of the Andhra Pradesh chapter. The ABISY’s official website states that its objective is to write “Bharatheeya history from a national perspective”.

Singh said he had no intimation yet of his appointment. “ICHR’s objective is to improve the research and understanding of history and take it to the common man. If given an opportunity (to serve as its member-secretary), I will also work on these lines. We will try to open more regional centres,” he said.

Asked about his priorities, he said, “I think work should be done on the stratification and dating of Puranas (ancient Indian literature). For instance, when we talk of Vayu Purana, it is generally said that it dates somewhere between second century BC to second century AD. We need to work on this and it is a big job. If this can happen, it will be a big contribution.”

Singh was selected from three candidates interviewed for the post. S K Aruni, who was ICHR’s acting member-secretary since Ravindran’s resignation, was also one of the three aspirants interviewed for the job.

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