(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
I am a little intrigued by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s prolonged silence since protests and strikes filled our newspapers from headmast to imprint line even if on ground it occupied only a dozen maidans and gullies of our immense country.
I am also a little perplexed why BJP is dead-stone cold on the virulent Western protest and even on the staged marches which are being taken from Cape Town to Canada (yes, yes, Prakash Javedkar has whispered his displeasure).
Mamata is being typically outrageous in Bengal; Pinaryi Vijayan is comically taking referendum in Kerala assembly; Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra is picking every destitute child from the street and posing with a straight face, Uddhav Thackeray is comparing JNU to 26/11 and Kamalnath is commenting on prime minister Narendra Modi’s parentage. The sidekicks like Yogendra Yadav and Sitaram Yechury are only finding time for the Left students in their alma mater. The Shekhar Guptas of the netherworld are swooning over a mercenary Deepika Padukone. Bollywood, meanwhile, has come out of their ivory towers and are squatting on Mumbai’s grimy streets in their Gucchis and Armanis.
I can understand if you the readers are bewildered on what’s causing this outrage. Some days it’s police which is doing too much; On other days it’s police which is doing nothing. Some days students’ violence in campus (JNU) is being seen as India being overtaken by fascist forces: On other days, students in Bengal doing worse violence are being hailed for staking their lives to keep “democracy” and “secularism”alive. The swords on CAA, NPR and NRC have been sheathed for the moment. But be assured, it’s only the lull before the storm. It’s clear as crystal that anarchists, riding the two wheels of political lust and youths’ naivety, want to run over the Modi government.
In its’ nearly six years in power, the Modi government has done everything by the book (Constitution). Even on an issue as emotive as Ram Janmabhoomi. So far, the people it is in conflict with, was playing by the same rule. But now the matrix of the game has changed. Order is up against anarchy. We know the roadmap of Anarchists. How do you think Order should respond?
First, Order can’t abandon the governance it has been entrusted with by the majority of 1.3 billion people in this country. It can’t pass the CAA in the Parliament and then develop cold feet. Or abandon the NPR and NRC which is to distinguish between the real and fake citizens. It can’t be hostage to whim of a few.
What worse could happen? People would hit the streets, logjams, violence, bad press etc. (Police and para-military forces would do what they need to do). Urban youth could be alienated. Communal divide could be stoked. But why not trust millions more who are unseen and unheard but support your move?
I suspect BJP has worked out its way forward. It won’t be frozen into inaction. Policies would be formulated, legislation made and implemented. Law and order issues would be handled by law and order agencies. Let the ideological battle be settled by the people of this country. A hands-off approach actually seems a very smart move.
Let’s look at political and propaganda mafia. Both clearly want to spew so much poison that people of this country turn against the ruling dispensation. So they could seize control of political levers of the nation. But both are living in fantasy. These political parties—let’s take Congress and Left for example—don’t constitute more than 4-5 dozen seats in the parliament. Newspapers such as Indian Express don’t count more than a lakh in readership. English readership is heavily outnumbered by Hindi and regional press. It might feel good to see yourself mentioned in Western press and US democrats boardrooms. But it doesn’t win you elections. It won’t win you elections. All you do is to get trapped in your own propaganda. If nothing then learn from Donald Trump and Boris Johnson who you had given up as dead and who won such an emphatic mandate from the nameless and faceless.
It’s these nameless and faceless who would make a choice. Not a perfumed elite. That’s why you see BJP is not worried. That’s why it would do what it has to do. Left-Liberals-Bollywood could sing and create its national anthem. They could hope on an organic students’ protest in a few campuses. But it’s a minuscule and doesn’t speak for the majority of youth. BJP would have its own version of Hum Dekhenge.
Most importantly, all this has brought the threat of break-India forces alive to the Hindus of the nation. It would keep Hindus on their toes—and united. By stepping back, Modi dispensation is actually asking the silent majority to be aware of the danger it faces. The majority now knows exactly whom it is up against. The majority always had the numbers. Now it is infused with a new will. It has come about because Modi, that political animal, has chosen to be silent.
India is abuzz with Mahatma Gandhi in the year of his 150th birth anniversary but there is a new version to his message of “ahimsa” (non-violence) which its enemies are finding out at a great personal cost.
Gandhi was the “apostle” of peace and non-violence who offered the other cheek when slapped but India of today would rather leave a black eye on its aggressor as it did on Pakistan with retaliatory heavy shelling in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Sunday which left at least 6-10 Pakistani soldiers dead and blew up three terrorist camps into thin air.
It was a grim fresh reminder to Pakistan that India has the doctrine of an eye-for-an-eye in its new rulebook and the “surgical strikes” and “Balakot airstrikes” which followed the terrorist attacks in Uri (2016) and Pulwama (2019) was the new philosophy and not an exception.
India is still an adherent to “non-violence” and has an unbroken history of peaceful coexistence, never eyeing others’ territory but the painful lessons of past demand it puts a premium on the integrity of its Union.
India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval often reminds his audience that India was overrun by invaders despite being arguably the most advanced civilization of its times. It never protected its seas even though they straddle three of its four corners. It led to the servitude of almost a thousand years. It faced wars imposed by Pakistan on three of four occasions: 1947-48, 1965 and 1999. It didn’t use 90,000 prisoners-of-war as a bargaining chip nor advanced deep inside Pakistan after winning a conclusive war in 1971 which led to the creation of Bangladesh.
India was seen as an epitome of a “soft” nation as terrorists kept crossing the Line of Control (LoC) through Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and cost tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers lives since 1990. The horrific attack in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, when terrorists from across the border sprayed machine guns on civilians on streets and five-star hotels, known as 26/11 in nation’s damaged psyche, evoked no retaliatory response from India. Worse, the very next year in 2009, the same United Progressive Alliance (UPA), returned to power without any retribution from its masses.
All this has changed for good. India today is driven in its bid to modernize its army: It has only recently ceded its top spot to Saudi Arabia as the biggest arms importer of the world—the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reckons India accounted for 12% of the total global arms imports for the 2013-2017 period. It has lapped up Russia’s S-400 advanced missile system defying the threat of sanctions from the United States. It has gone ahead with its purchase of France’s Rafale fighter jets even though the move threatened to derail Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s bid for a second term on the unfounded charges of corruption this year.
India today is literally taking the fight into enemy camp: It rakes up the issue of Balochistan and its independence from Pakistan; it has vowed to wrest back the control of PoK for a unified Kashmir and its defence minister Rajnath Singh has already debunked the “No-First-Use” nuclear doctrine. India stood up for its ally Bhutan and stared down China in a face-to-face standoff between the two armed forces in Doklam in 2017 which lasted months.
India is not only flexing its armed muscle but is also a crusader against global terrorism on international forums. India has successfully overturned China’s reluctance in having Masood Azhar of Pakistan blacklisted by the United Nations. It dissuaded South Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan from joining the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit hosted by Islamabad in November 2016 after the Uri attack. It recently tried it’s very best to have Pakistan blacklisted by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and has openly fallen out with Turkey and Malaysia for standing by Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
India loves and is proud of Mahatma Gandhi and the message of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam (The World Is One Family) which defined the great man’s extraordinary life. But it doesn’t want to ignore the lessons of history. It is prepared to lift arms to protect its people and boundaries which is different from being an aggressor. It’s a nuanced approach to Gandhi’s philosophy and it seems to be paying dividends.
(This is a reprint from Russia Today—rt.com— for whom the author has penned this piece).
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
An interesting sideshow calls for your attention. It’s serious too and has wider implications.
We have long wondered why a few of our journalists, politicians, film personalities, media houses, academicians and historians speak the language of Pakistan on matters of Kashmir and Indian Muslims. Why their concerns for refugees extend to Rohingyas but not to Kashmiri Pandits. Why they get worried about a demography change in Kashmir Valley but stand by the demographic distortion in Assam. Why Hindus lynched doesn’t even elicit a pause while a similar tragedy for a Muslim evokes a diatribe. Why animal-sacrifice is sacred for one while Jallikattu sport is animal-cruelty by others. Why Triple Talaq Bill is persecution of Muslim males but arrests under dowry act is justice. Why a Mamata Banerjee could openly appease the Muslims but the Prime Minister chanting “Jai Shri Ram” is communal. Why skullcaps knocked off a Muslim head is bigotry but a Durga Temple vandalized, idols broken in the heart of India’s Capital is passé
The irrepressible Dr. Subramanian Swamy has an interesting explanation on such Break-India forces. He says that most of such voices are funded by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Even if neutral, all these inimical forces route their ill-gotten money through hawala by Dubai black money channels which in fact is controlled by ISI. The deal of the game is simple: You be of use to us to cause distortion of facts and a general amnesia in Indian state and we won’t spill the beans on what we do for you. But if you don’t, one line in press and you are finished, Dr Swamy tells of ISI’s implicit threat.
One such line has finally appeared in press. Shobhaa De, a regular columnist in Times of India, has been called out by former Pak envoy to India, Abdul Basit, for writing a pre-separatist piece on Jammu and Kashmir at latter’s prompting. Ms De has denied the allegation but really what other options she had? Nobody neutral is believing her as outpouring of reactions on twitter show. Her journalistic career is over in disgrace. All this by a stray comment in an obscure blog.
This must have sets alarm-bells ringing in dozens of such Shobhaa De’’s hidden in plain sight amongst us. Twitteratis have composed their own list but we won’t fall for it, not yet. But an educated guess is that the “disclosure” on Shobhaa De wasn’t accidental. A small pawn in a Great Game has been sacrificed to warn other rogues embedded in India’s fabric to do some meaningful damage to a purposeful Modi government. (Or why would you get headlines of “Sober Eid” in Kashmir Valley when governor Satyapal Malik is inviting everybody to come and see the exact opposite happening on ground).
India’s stand on abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and dilution of Jammu and Kashmir from a state to a Union Territory has dropped the baby of pretence. You are either this or that side of the divide: the clever game of rearranging the narrative and peddle the Pak agenda won’t work. Pakistan would demand “compliance” from these journalists and academicians; lawyers or social activists; filmi-sets or politicians. What fun would it be when such names are stripped of the cover of immunity and laid bare amidst us, as Shobhaa De currently is.
One has long wondered why a socialite with little idea of complexities and nuances of our political, cultural, economical or historical perspective gets to write in edit pages of India’s premier newspaper. It’s not also if her language is electric—why even a Twinkle Khanna in comparison reads better. Her readers, if any, ought to be on Page 3 and certainly not on the hollowed edit pages where burning, larger issues are in focus.
This is the set which ensures that anger in India is managed whenever a terrible tragedy happens in Kashmir Valley or in rest of India. Whenever a major attack happens in Kashmir or elsewhere, the bogey of “dara hua musalman” comes into play. It happened in 26/11 which, if it was a Modi government, would’ve certainly caused a war with Pakistan. When Pulwama happened, an orchestrated campaign in Lutyens Media began about Kashmiri students fleeing from rest of the country. The same narrative is overwhelming the front pages of Lutyens Media about “subdued Eid”, “scared” Kashmiris and the Valley being turned into a new “Palestine.”
We all know this is not true. So far government has ensured no untoward incident happens in the wake of their sensational decision on the troublesome state. But we all know that Pakistan won’t keep silent. It would use all tricks in the game and one of it is the “sleeper-cells” it has woven into India’s fabric. They are not allowed to be neutral. A goat is fattened not for nothing, to use a typical Eid flavour of the season.
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Millions of Indians mourn such tragedies. But those vocal, be it on print, web or TV, view it from religious prisms: The divide is between Muslims-unsafe vs. Hindus- wronged. Politicians and media profit, not the nation.
The question today is: Can India afford to be divided along the communal lines? If it comes to pass, who should be held responsible? Could India as a nation then survive?
We have a prototype answer to all these questions. India was divided along the communal lines in 1947; Those who created divisions, in this case British, were responsible; India lost its’ eastern and western limbs in its quest for survival.
Do we want a repeat of it in the near future? If not, how this slide need be stopped? Should another round of Partition, at the cost of millions killed, raped and displaced, must happen again?
It all begins from those who set the narrative. British did it in decades leading to the independence: Assembly elections were held along the communal lines: Muslim candidate for Muslim constituency. Then began the chorus: what would happen to minority Muslims once we leave the Indian shores. Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah were thus armed to severe India of its limbs. The resultant tragedy of Partition has few parallels in human history.
India has survived another Partition thus far. But the same narrative is reappearing: Muslims are insecure; their culture, language and religion is in danger; majority Hindus would be the oppressors.
If it were the British who fed this narrative in pre-independence era, its media and break-India forces which is fanning the fire in our times. As oppressor Hindus was the theme before the Partition, so is the theme in our times.
Occasionally, the likes of Sadhvi Pragya and Giriraj Singh play into the hands of such forces. At times, “saffron terror” is cooked up like it nearly did in the tragic 26/11 in Mumbai. Lynchings become part of leitmotif to stoke fears of oppressive Hindu majority.
Celebrities and cinestars jump in to serve their eternal desire of being in news. Writers and scientists sign petitions in orchestrated campaigns. Data, like Lokniti-CSDN, survey how many Muslims and Christians have voted for BJP; Castes are divided into sub-castes and further sub-castes as Mayawatis, Akhilesh Yadavs and Lallu Prasads feed themselves fat on its harvests. Important magnets, like Western media and prized economists, all are part of the ecosystem which want India to go up in flames.
Hindus and Muslims do have different language and culture. But both are Indians. And a majority do see themselves as Indians. The minority are Asaduddin Owaisi who incites with the call of Karbala or Niranjan Jyoti who divides with “ramzada” vs “haramzada” quip. Hang them out to dry. As you do with the despicable dozen English journalists and at least two English national dailies who are at the beck and call of divisive forces (read casteist, Left and dynastic parties); and foreign-funded NGOs
Let this be a checklist for Muslims:
- We have always been made to feel insecure even as more people greet us on Eid than those who abuse us; (b) That there is no word as “minority” in Indian constitution, all are Indians; (c) That if “secularism” means denying a Muslim destitute woman (Shah Bano) her rights and reversing the judgment of Supreme Court, then such secularism must be exposed; (d) That if Hindu consolidation has happened around emotive Ram Temple issue, it was stoked by Congress and not BJP/RSS; (e) That for every Akhlaq, Pehlu and Junaid, there are tens and dozens of Hindu victims at the hands of Muslims which go unreported; (f) That if BJP doesn’t opt for a Muslim candidate, it doesn’t matter as long as the elected representative is fair to everyone in his constituency: be it roads, electricity, toilets, gas, health, education, all is available to Muslims as it is to Hindus; (g) That if Muslims are economically backward, it’s not because of Hindus but perhaps the reason lies in lack of scientific temper in Madarsa education; and less than fair freedom to women.
Let this be a checklist for Hindus:
- Indian constitution doesn’t favour Muslims; it allows them to run their institutions THEMSELVES not by the government; (b) If Muslims are subsidized for Haj, so are Hindu pilgrims provided for in magical Kumbh melas; (c) True, Indian history is distorted and neither Congress nor Left intellectuals have been fair to Hindus but it’s no excuse to substitute that anger against a common Muslim; (d) True, a dozen English journalists and at least two English national dailies only report crimes against Muslims, often hoax, but they have been left thoroughly exposed in the last five years; their credibility in tatters thanks to a vigorous social media; (e) Congress and Left, two parties who stoked fears in Muslims and Dalits, are today the outcasts of Indian political system; (f) That Hindu consolidation must not happen at the cost of Muslim alienation: that we don’t want new nations in Bengal or Kerala or Tamil Nadu and its’ attendant costs; (g) That for every Zakir Naik and Burhan Wani, there is also a Muslim boatman who gives up his life but saves tourists from drowning in Jhelum in Srinagar.
We have a choice to make if want to be Hindus or Muslims or Indians. We ought to ask ourselves if we don’t mind another Partition and its horrific cost. We ought to boycott a Naseeruddin Shah or a Kamal Haasan; A Javed Akhtar or a Shabana Azmi; A Swara Bhaskar or a Prakash Raj who are selective in their outrage. The same ought to happen to a Niranjan Jyoti or Asaduddin Owaisi. We ought to outcast a Shekhar Gupta or a Rajdeep Sardesai; a Sagarika Ghose or a Barkha Dutt if the only crime they see is against Muslims; We need to stop an Indian Express or The Hindu from entering into our drawing rooms if all they can see is crime against a Dalit or a Muslim.
These are small forces. Pygmies in front of a nation of 1.30 billion. Should these handful be allowed to decide if we stay together or apart? Would you blame them if tens and thousands of us are butchered and raped in Partition 2.0?
Muslims need be confident this is their India too. Before you blame others, you must ask if your education and matter of equality to women etc need a relook. As Maulana Azad once addressed them: You can’t be drowned and defeated by anyone else but yourself. Don’t hide behind the cloak of “minority” and “secularism”. Don’t seek privileges; you are no different than any other Indian. Rely on self. Those who speak for your safety and stoke your fears, couldn’t care less for you.
Most now know that the Indian history we read is fabricated. It’s been a handiwork of Nehruvian academicians and Marxist scholars who fear the revival of Hinduism in a largely Hindu country. A nation without identity is easier to manipulate and confuse than the one conscious of its identity. Hinduism is older to Islam and Christianity by thousands of years but it’s in the interest of both monotheist religions to obliterate the only Pagan religion still going strong. Thus money pours in from foreign shores in the form of NGOs and aids to Masjids. Within India, not as much judiciary as media, do the damage. The goal is to keep India apart from its soul.
The revisionism of India’s history books has gained ground in recent decades. Among many such soldiers of truth is Francois Gautier, a foreign French journalist who loved India so much that he stayed put in this country since 1971. Among his many books is “A History Of India As It Happened: Not as it has been written” which is in circulation for a few years now but is worth every second of yours.
The compass of the book is huge even though in terms of pages it doesn’t count more than 236 pages. It picks up threads from the very beginning to right up to the Narendra Modi era which suggests a rather fleeting, and not reflective, approach by the author though perfectly justified if the attempt is aimed at initiating the innocents to truth, and not lose them by a dense exposition.
Though the insight into our times is no less interesting—for instance Mother Teresa’s mission was to convert India to Christianity (Did she ever say a good thing about Hinduism?) – this review would restrict itself to four epochs of India’s history which has been mutilated by Nehruvian-Marxist forces.
INDIA IN PRE-ISLAMIC ERA
Surely this was the most glorious spell of India’s history much of which has been distorted, buried or mocked at as unscientific—we all are witness to the derision our newspapers reserve for Science Congress where our glorious past is elucidated. So let’s dive straightaway into it.
American mathematician A. Seindenberg has conclusively shown that the ancient Vedic mathematics, Sulbasturas, have inspired all the mathematic sciences of the antique world—from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece. Western world traces all its culture, heritage, philosophy etc to Greek world whose religion was definitely pagan and deeply inspired by Hindu practices.
Interestingly, till the 19th century, Europe acknowledged the supremacy of Hinduism as the fountain of all wisdom which shaped humanity. But once colonization gained roots and Christian missionaries spread far and wide, they couldn’t have accepted India as the land of eternal wisdom for their propagated mission was to civilize the barbarians. How could they admit that their very culture was derived from these savages? How could missionaries accept that their own religion was influenced by these very heathens?
The author presents various evidences that the study of India’s culture, history and philosophy was the flavour of Europe’s schools and universities till the 19th century.
Anquetil-Duperron had translated the Upanishads in 1801; Eugene Burnouf published in 1844 an “introduction to Indian Buddhism”; in Paris was created the first chair of Sanskrit. Famous writers and philosophers such as Edgar Quinet, Ernest Renan, Hippolyte Taine or Charles Renouvier were teaching Indian philosophy in academic institutions. The remarkable historian Michelet wrote: “From India comes a torrent of light, a river of Right and Reason.”
Famous Indianist Jean Herbert reminds us that “many centuries before us, India had devised most of the philosophical systems which Europe experienced with later…Egypt and Greece owe India their wisdom.”
German philosopher Frederich Shlegel said that “ India is not only at the origin of everything, she is superior in everything, intellectually, religiously or politically—and even the Greek heritage seems to pale in comparison.”
Friedrich Nietzsche said: “Budhism and Brahminism are a hundred times deeper and more objective than Christianity.”
But late in the 19thth century, Europe became “Helleno-Centric” (Greece-centred). As per French philosopher and journalist Roger-Pol Droit, it was philosopher Friedrich Hegel who sowed its seeds: “Hegel didn’t discover the Greeks; he created them and made up for them a destiny and thoughts which they didn’t always have.”
India suffered greatly at the resultant manipulation of history. Aryan Invasion Theory was one such fall-out. It was depicted that migrants/invaders from Central Asia pushed the local populace of north-west India to south and gave India its’ language and culture, including Vedas. That they moved in around 1500 BC which is a blatant lie: If Vedas were as recent then how come Saraswati river, which disappeared in 2200 BC, is mentioned 50 times in Rig Veda?
Since Harappan Civilization is said to be flourishing in 3100-1900 BC, Rig Veda must be in existence by 4000 BC. The author doesn’t hold himself back: “Aryan Invasion Theory was imposed upon the subcontinent by its colonizers and is today kept alive by Nehruvian historians.”
For example in the “Dictionary of Philosophers” there is no mention of Buddhist philosopher Asanga whose work is as important as those of Aristotle. None of Asanga’s books are in Europe’s libraries even as Nietzsche’s letters to his mother when he was only six are treated as intellectual marvels!
A few historical facts which we are not told are worth mentioning. For instance, Chandragupta, who founded the Maurya dynasty came from a low caste (so much for India’s “reprehensible” caste system). His administrative set-up was so efficient that it was later retained by Muslims and even English. In true Indian traditions, Chandragupta renounced the world during his last years and lived as an anchorite at the feet of the Jain saint Bhadrabhau in Shravanabelagola, near Mysore.
Most wouldn’t know that the Bhakti movement was developed in South India during the Pallavas; India’s influence extended to Mecca where Shiva’s black lingam was worshipped by the Arabians.
A few things Hindu critics need to bear in mind: Brahmins may have been the biggest in the caste system but they were poor and didn’t seize political power; “democracy” was long in vogue –even the great Ashoka was defeated in his power tussle with his Council and had to practically abdicate; Indian sculpture was unique for its complete sense of ego-very few of India’s sculptural masterpieces are signed for instance; Hindus always worshipped at non-Hindu places, such as Melngani, the Christian place of pilgrimage of South India; or some Sufi shrine in Kashmir or Rajasthan.
ISLAM AND THE MUSLIM INVASION
The massacres of local populace by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust.
Babur killed hundreds of thousands of Hindus and razed thousands of temples. His ultimate goal was the destruction and the enslaving of the Hindus; Aurangzeb had the “satnamis of Alwar” massacred to the last one, leaving one entire region empty of human beings: Conquest of Afghanistan in 1000AD was followed by the wiping out of the entire Hindu population—or Hindu Kush (Slaughter of Hindus); Bahmani sultans in Central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 Hindus a year; In 1399, Teimur killed 100,000 Hindus in a single day (and an Indian Bollywood star still considers the name worthy of bestowing it on his son); the last Jihad against the Hindus was waged by the much glorified Tipu Sultan at the end of the 18th century.
As per renowned professor K.S. Lal, Hindu population declined by 80 million between 1000-1525AD.
And how Nehruvian and Marxists adherents view this barbarity?
This is Pt Jawaharlal Nehru: “Mahmud of Ghazni was in the first place a soldier and a brilliant soldier”. Amazing on a man who was proud of desecrating hundreds of temples and made it a duty to terrorize and humiliate pagans.
Historians Romila Thapar, Harbhans Mukhia and Bipin Chandra, once professors at the JNU, are also cited. Sample this from Thapar: “Aurganzeb’s supposed intolerance is little more than a hostile legend based on isolated acts…” Come on Thapar- How can one be so dishonest or so blind?
The author views the flight of Hindus from Kashmir; or of 26/11 in Mumbai as a reminder that the Mughal cry for the House of Islam in India is not over yet.
Along with misinformation—for example, that India had a wretched education system when in Madras alone there were 125,000 medical institutes before the Whites came—England’s colonization inflicted a terrible toll on lives, industry and culture in India.
Industrially, the British strangled the local industries. They finished products, such as textiles, which had made India famous and a power in the world. Instead, they turned them towards jute, cotton, tea, oil seeds, which Britain needed as raw materials for their home industries.
Britain employed cheap labour for their enterprises and didn’t care for the perishing traditional artisans. And let’s also not forget how English exported Indian labour all over the world in their colonies—whether to Sri Lanka, Fiji, South Africa or to the West Indies.
The author also points out the conversion aims of Christian missionaries. For example, International School of Kodaikanal, under the guise of religious studies, still tries to convert its students, most of whom are Indians.
Accordig to British records one million Indians died of famine between 1800-25; 4 million between 1825-50: 5 million in 1850-1875; and 15 million by 1875-1900.
The book hurtles along swiftly on the pre-independence era and make you chuckle under the breath. Till the 19th century, the Congress regarded British rule in India as “divine dispensation”; Quit India was not for India’s independence but because Gandhi refused to cooperate in the Second World War; For all his fight in South Africa, Gandhi achieved “second class citizenship” for the Indians; Islam’s political institutions were semi-barbaric; Sufism is a lift of Gnostics who lived in Persia and influenced by Vedanta; Nehru went for socialism when there was no class conflict in India.
The books asks some serious questions on Kashmir, and on a bigger scale on Islam.
Kashmir once was entirely made up of Hindus and Buddhists before they were converted by the invading Muslims six centuries ago. Even as recently as the advent of the 20th century, there were 25 per cent Hindus in the Kashmir valley. Today the last 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits are refugees in their own land. Author views it as a “much bigger ethnic cleansing than the one of Bosnian Muslims or the Albanians in Yugoslavia.”
There is reflection on so-called human rights violations in the Valley. “If India decides to keep Kashmir, it has to do so according to the rules set by the militants: violence, death and treachery are the order of the day. As for the possibility of referendum, the author foresees a situation where the likes of Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad could come to power and then be “eliminated” by Jihads who would then hand over Kashmir to Pakistan. Not just Kashmir, but Punjab, Assam, Gorkhaland, Jharkhand and Tamil land all could go in the name of democracy and human rights.
As for Islam, why it’s mentioned as a Muslim-Hindu question when it’s plainly a Muslim obsession, their hatred of the Hindu pagans? The RSS and VHP have never killed anybody, never massacred anybody in the name of their God. It’s an irony that those Hindus whose ancestors were raped, slaved and killed are giving a cry on Islam’s behalf today after being converted to the religion. (Jinnah himself was a descendent of a Hindu, named Jinnahbhai).
There are some related questions too. Did Amnesty International, which question Indian state’s role in Kashmir, bother at all about the support given by the CIA to mujahiddins in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Do Pakistani or Bangladeshi bombers in Hyderabad or Mumbai could function with the help of India’s muslims?
Media is heavily censored. Hindus are killed in pogroms in Pakistan and Bangladesh (read Taslima Nasreen’s Lajja) but their deaths is not worth a tear; while Hindus are colonized, converted and killed, it’s they who are blamed and not those who did the heinous acts.
The final word must go Sri Aurobindo on Islam: “The Islamic culture hardly gave anything to the world which may be said to fundamental importance and typically its own Islamic culture was mainly borrowed from the others.”