Tipu Sultan

The Hindu join hands with BBC: What’s your response?

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

If you were a Rajdeep Sardesai or Shekhar Gupta or Barkha Dutt, you would wish for a return of pre-2014 days.  You could write or broadcast what you wanted, unchallenged, unquestioned; behemoth of India’s media, sought by global media outlets; prime ministers and presidents, kings and queens, knocking at your door for interviews; film stars lining up as if for auditions. You were firmly in your ivory tower, never seen in grocery shops or bookstores, metros or airports, malls or traffic stops.

Then winds changed. India’s right-wingers took hold in Centre. Websites, such as OpIndia and Swarajyamag among others, began nicking the bubble. The lies were exposed, bigotry was unmasked, anti-Hindu stance was bared in public. History began breaking free from the narrative of glorious Mughals, valiant Tipu Sultan, soothing Amir Khusru and pacifist Ashoka. One began viewing a Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Audrey Truschke, Sheldon Pollock in the light they deserved. Amartya Sen and Raghuram Rajan lost their halo. The benign mask of neutrality dropped like shame around our film stars and directors. Writers and academicians were revealed to be peddlers. Jurists and legal luminaries were found to be men of straw.

An avalanche was thus set in motion. The ecosystem began drowning in the outrage of the masses. Narendra Modi won over the poor; the intelligent found the counter-narrative on social media. Eco-system upped the game, terming every threat as trolls or bhakts. Internet warriors, on their part, found new converts. Eco-system termed the rivals as fake news peddlers. Lutyens Media began organizing debates and seminars to save their turf. Anyone or anything which didn’t agree with them was “fake news”.  The entire game was one of credibility – and they were losing it. The 2019 Elections confirmed their worst fears.

Now a new round of conflict has been set in motion. The eco-system has realized they have been outnumbered. Social Media platforms are rallying such mass to grow in size. The “fake news” narrative hasn’t helped. So they have now launched a new initiative. This initiative doesn’t just have newspapers and news agencies, it has also roped in biggies like the Google, Facebook and Twitter. “Fake News” has been given a new name of “misinformation.” What was seen as “local” divide in Indian context, now has acquired “global” dimension. We might just have stumbled upon the global network which feeds and breeds this “eco-system” to disrupt India.

The Hindu has a front-page anchor today where it has grandiosely announced that it is partnering BBC and other global media outlets to fight the “misinformation” in public domain. That it wants to protect its audience. That BBC set it in motion through a “Trusted News Summit” earlier this year. That those in it together include European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Facebook, Financial Times, Google, AFP, Microsoft, Reuters, Twitter, BBC and of course The Hindu. That,they would alert each other when a “misinformation” is to be fought.

It’s a new challenge to India’s internet warriors. So far, we knew the bias of, say Twitter, which suspended accounts (e.g of  True Indology, Sonam Mahajan etc) made twitterati remove tweets (Paresh Rawal) while those with similar offence (Shehla Rashid etc) kept flourishing. Netizens were able to dig up the dirt on Raheel Khursheed, CEO of Twitter (2014-2018), on his pro-Pakistan bias. Parliamentarians were outraged enough to summon twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The clamour against Twitter’s alleged bias has only grown bigger in our times. Dorsey has admitted his staff could be overwhelmingly Left-leaning.

So how should internet warriors respond to this openly-aligned forces against them? First, it must leverage its numbers. Every sixth of twitter’s worldwide users is from India. Is has grown in leaps and bounds in last two years. This collective might must be leveraged by netizens, hopefully under the benevolent gaze of the government.

The time perhaps has also come for India to come up with their own micro-blogging platform such as one of Sina Weibo which China has. It’s a mix of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. India could thus also protect its own data. The internet giants would have no option but to fall in line.

Importantly, The eco-system is getting ready to bite you—what’s your response?

 

 

Leila: Who would question Prayaag Akbar or Netflix?

I expect a political storm over Leila, a six-part TV serial on Netflix, the first season of which went on air last week.

The serial which has Huma Qureshi as the central character is Hinduphobic and foresees India becoming a totalitarian regime, priming itself for a genocide in the name of purification, a throwback to Adolf Hitler and his “purification” drive of ethnic cleansing which caused World War II. (Even the greeting—Jai Aryavarta—a la “Heil Hitler” is uncannily similar.)

It’s a frontal attack with no punches pulled. The clock is set on 2047, exactly 100 years since India’s independence. India has been replaced by Aryavarta, as “Bharat” was known in holy Hindu texts. Its’ a totalitarian, repressive regime: The show begins with the lynching of a Muslim man and poops drop at every stage to establish “love jihad”, “ghar wapsi,” “suit-boot” persona of its authoritarian head, the degrading conditions in Doosh (Dalit) camps etc.

The serial, directed by Deepa Mehta, is based on a work of Prayaag Akbar who deserves an introduction of his own. The young writer was once deputy editor of Scroll as well as a writer for Caravan, the two news outlets with the stench of Left. His lineage is even more interesting: Prayaag is son of MJ Akbar and unlike his father who swung from Congress to BJP with a straight face, the son has ventured too far into the Hinduphobic drain to have any possibility of “purification” in future.

There is no point picking holes in Prayaag’s work. It’s a free world, you have the licence of artistic freedom and the vehicle, Netflix, is free from local censor. You know exactly your audience as well as your funders, that media outlets and film critics of this ecosystem who would only unsheathe their pens in praise.  You are turned into an icon by this system who can spot a peddler and his potential from a mile.  May be this was his intention from the outset.

I say so because the serial lacks conviction in every next frame.  Script is too convenient: the protagonist could will herself at 3-4 different places in a matter of a night in her quest to be at Commercial Centre in the morning. Surveillance always fails; frisking is always lax, the bosses are dumb idiots as the protagonist waltz from one room to another, one computer to another, her manager an accomplice hidden in plain sight. But how does it matter as long as you could stoke fears of an approaching fascist Hindu nation, overriding logic, reason, decency and all this without looking into a true mirror which reflects your dishonest self.

Let me put a writer-bucket challenge for Prayaag. The year is 2070, exactly 1500 years to Prophet Muhammad’s birth, peace be upon him. The Muslim world constitutes 90 per cent of humanity—not by repression or war but by the message of his piety, love for all. The prophet comes into dream of every Muslim on earth at a certain hour, minute and second of the night. How would you depict Prophet Muhammad? Would you dare give this role to any human actor?

No, you won’t. You can’t Prayaag. Nobody has dared so in hundreds of centuries: I hope it sobers you down to the orchestrated praise on your courage which is coming your way.  I can even ask you on an easier script: Ever heard of Tughlaq or Aurangzeb; Khilji or Tipu Sultan? How about putting your creative juices at work on these subjects?

Everyone knows that chances of a dystopian Hindu regime in future is lesser than your car running on air.  I mean in a country where you can’t even chant Jai Shri Ram or include “Veer” ahead of Savarkar or even vaguely mention “Hindi” as a link language, forget about Ram Temple, abolition of 370 and 35A, triple talaq etc, where army is independent, how would it come about. Who would burn up the Constitution? And what do you think forces in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and United States etc, who might have invested in your project and who you might see as your investment in fame and money, would react? Let India be taken up by a totalitarian regime?

In showing India as a dystopian state in the making, Prayaag Akbar has insulted the wisdom and resilience of a 1.30 billion people. The fibre of our democracy.  The basic tenet of peace and ahimsa which made “Aryavarta” never seek to invade, rape, kill or usurp countries. If he is looking for such traits, he would find aplenty in Islam and Christianity.  To show a country which has suffered like no other nation in 1000 years as a monster-in-making is sin—and let Prayaag deciper it in whichever religion he follows. As for millions of Hindus, we are still under repression, by tools other than war.  In the liberal world, they call it artistic licence. And a warning to Hindus: You just can’t drop your guard for the enemy is committed.

 

A brilliant cartoon undone by Vijayan’s Kerala

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

Pinaryi Vijayan’s Left government (LDF) in Kerala uses its two hands differently: One wears a velvet glove for Christians and Muslims; the other a baton for Hindus.

The latest evidence was on Wednesday when under the state government’s pressure the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi withdrew its award to KK Subhash who had drawn a brilliant cartoon in a vernacular magazine on alleged rapist, former Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakakal.

The state government took the step on the objections of Christian clergy and browbeat Akademi into submission, notwithstanding Akademi is an autonomous body and that the essence of Indian Constitution is freedom of speech and expression.

The cartoon (see the picture) is a brilliant work of art. Mulakkal is depicted a rooster trampling the police cap, propped up by his supporter MLA PC George and an approving PK Sasi of the CPI(M) who himself has been accused of sexual harassment. Both the bishop and Sasi are wearing the same headdress, implying “cock” of the same feather. A beaming bishop is upholding the crosier (staff) strapped by a pink-coloured lingerie while a bunch of nuns are running for cover. The cartoon’s caption– “Vishwasam Rakshati” (Your Faith Will Save You)–is the knockout punch.

This one cartoon is enough to know everything concerning Mulakakal and the alleged over a dozen rapes he committed on a nun for two years (2014-2016) while he was Bishop of Jalandhar. Kerala Police sat on the case for months before a public outrage left them with no option but to knock at the door of Mulakakal. Vijayan’s government, by transferring investigating police officials, played its role of a laggard to a perfection.

Now let’s look at the Sabrimala episode. Armed with the Supreme Court mandate, Vijayan’s government used every trick in the world to make sure adult women could sneak through into the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ayyappa and assault the faith of millions of Hindus. It caused consternation not just in Kerala but also helped a Hindu consolidation in rest of the country.

Vijayan’s government had no qualms if it hurt the Hindu sentiments. It brazenly slams BJP and RSS but has open doors for radical Muslim groups, SDPI and PFI. It’s because Hindu voter today is divided between Congress, Left and BJP in the state. Left projects itself as the non-Muslim pole in Kerala and reaps a rich dividend (though the winds are changing as just a single seat in the 2019 General Polls has been its worst show in Kerala).

Vijayan, much like Mamata, faces assembly test in 2021. With Congress on a high, CPI (M) can’t afford to lose out on Christian votes. Almost 20 per cent of Kerala is Christian but the real numbers far exceed this dry statistics. Christians are the richest and most powerful minority in Kerala which dominates fishing and jewelry business. The faith is also deep-rooted: Over 1000 churches in the state are a pointer.

The united Christian voice in Kerala is in complete contrast to divided Hindu affiliation in Kerala. This, when Hindus historically have often suffered in this coastal state. It were Hindu rulers who welcomes Christians when they first came to the its’ shores in 52 AD. It were still Hindu rulers when Muslims took the sea route and became son-in-laws (Moplahs). These were the same Moplahs who killed and raped thousands of Hindus in 1920s. Or Tipu Sultan, who by an edict destroyed Hindu temples and killed tens and thousands of Hindus.

Who can forget the devastating changes in the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act 1950 in 2007 which in one stroke passed over the Devaswom Board, and thus cash-rich Hindu temples, into the controls of state governments to loot at will. They didn’t even bother to consult Hindus despite 70 Hindu organizations shrieking in protest.  It’s Devaswom Board which control the income from Temples.

(The trick is ingenuous: Income of several thousand crores goes into Devaswom Board bank accounts as fixed deposit. The government never pays back on these FDs. That’s how Kerala government “controls” the temples. Sabrimala too is milking cow for Kerala government. Temples, and sale of hard liquor, are two major source of revenue for Kerala. Beat that.)

Today Hindus are declining alarmingly in Kerala. From 69 per cent in 1901, it declined to 55% in 2011 census, a 14 per cent erosion. That Muslims and Christians have an improved demography by 10 and 4 per cent in the same period which points towards the role of conversion in such a decline. Muslims and Christians are concentrated in the north and south of Kerala. Muslim (26.6%) presence in the state is the fourth highest in the country behind Jammu and Kashmir (68.3%), Assam (34.2%) and Bengal (27%). Experts predict that by 2061 the state would’ve more Muslims than Hindus.

We know that Communists hate religions. It’s because the more people are alienated from their culture and beliefs, the better chances they have to grab power. Since Hindus are majority in India, their best hope is to align with Muslims and Christians.

(P.S: Lutyens Media erupted in anger when a scribe was arrested for “disreputing” Yogi Adityanath of UP recently. As against one in UP, 119 such arrests have been made for criticizing Vijayan in Kerala. Dear Lutyens Media, why no noise?).

 

How Rani of Jhansi escaped the Nehruvian hammer of oblivion

I happened to watch “Manikarnika—The Queen of Jhansi” in theatre the other day. Kangana Ranaut as the protagonist was a force of purity and leaping flame. Fleeting were the images of India’s War of Independence of 1857 of which she was a leading light. It shook the East India Company and led to India’s formal takeover by the British crown.

People of my generation surely remember the immortal poem of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (1904-1948): “Bundele Harbolon Ke Moonh Humnein Suni Kahani Thi; Khoob Ladi Mardani Woh to Jhansi Waali Rani Thi.”(Read the full nerve-tingling poem here). I am not sure if the inspirational poem is still part of Class VI textbook and the younger lot is as familiar as we were while growing up; so I advice do watch the movie, look up for Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and you could also be wrestling with a few questions which have since assailed me.

Do we have a state celebration of the birth (November 19, 1828) or death (June 18, 1858 ) anniversary of the Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi as we have of Tipu Sultan (November 10) in Karnataka? Why May 10 is not celebrated as the day the 1857 War of Independence broke out? Why not have a commemorative trail from Meerut to Delhi? Or at least make accessible the book, written by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, on the subject. Isn’t those who forget history are condemned to repeat it?

The other issue which interests me is how Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi escaped the censorious Nehruvian impact which usually has been the fate of glorious figures of Hindu kings, generals and dare I say politicians (Sardar Patel and Madan Mohan Malviya, for instance). After all, she was the central figure of Hindutva politics circa 1857 and has been an icon ever since. How the Rani of Jhansi remained alive in the nation’s psyche despite the Western-oriented elites controlling the written and spoken words in this country.

 

For one, Rani of Jhansi herself was a subject of great attention by the Colonial authors and historians. The patriarchal society of West had a problem in coming to terms with the Rani. The British press was quick to dub her as “The Jezebel of India” or a shameless and immoral woman (after Jezebel, wife of Ahab in the Old Testament). Contemporary historian John Lang, who knew her, wrote in Wanderings in India (1858): “Her dress was plain white muslin, so fine in texture and drawn about her in such a way that the outline of her figure was plainly discernible—a remarkably fine figure she had.” Christopher Hibbert in his Great Mutiny says that Rani was to acquire among British officers an “undeserved reputation for excessive lasciviousness.” Basically, the colonial myth of British masculinity and the domesticity of Hindu women didn’t conform with Rani’s persona.

All this to go with her universally acknowledged bravery. Field Marshal Hugh Rose who fought her on warfields, thus described her: “She was the bravest and best military leader of the rebels—a man among mutineers.” Lord Cumberland said that she was the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders.

Her fascination among the natives has many roots. There have been novels and non-fictions aplenty, including one (Rani of Jhansi) by Mahasweta Devi; a great number of films and television serials, even a video game and countless folk tales, poetry and oral traditions. It’s a staggering amount of work. (all of which could be viewed here).

One of the more remarkable work is by Harleen Singh: The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014). The book analyses gender, sexuality, race and religion in India through the prism of Rani of Jhansi. She was seen as the Indian Joan of Arc, a heroic and saintly spirit (A goddess, divine spirit, a Maa Durga in the eyes of worshipping Indians). During India’s freedom struggle, she seamlessly became a symbol of the nationalist cause, causing an outburst in Hindi novels and literature and  kept her legacy alive. She became a metaphor of Indian daughter, mother, wife and queen of both home and nation. One who could be viewed from various prisms of nation, gender and identity.

Essentially, Rani of Jhansi captured the imagination of masses and their discursive tales: She was as much a Hindu revivalist of Maratha empire as she was owned by Dalits for the mass struggle she inspired against the British. She was something to everyone. I guess that’s the reason the destructive impact of Nehruvian philosophy couldn’t get to Rani of Jhansi despite her blanking in media and academia circles (just compare how the legend of Queen Padmavati was lampooned in English mainstream media recently).

Keep it alive folks, do a good job of it. For Rani of Jhansi is our glorious legend and heritage.

 

A HISTORY OF INDIA AS IT HAPPENED: Not as it has been written

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.

BRITISH COLONIZATION

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.

PRE-INDEPENDENCE ERA

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.”

Kashmiriyat and other betrayals of India

Three communal incidents have rocked India in the last fortnight.

A 15-year-old Muslim boy, Junaid, was killed in a train. Let’s concede it was a communal murder. Arrests have been made, weapon recovered.

Then North 24-Parganas in West Bengal erupted over a Facebook post where Hindus bore the brunt of Muslim backlash. The State’s silence is viewed by most as complicity. Arrests have been few and far between. The Chief Minister hasn’t bothered to visit and soothe the nerves.

A bus on way to holy Amarnath yatra in Kashmir was ambushed by terrorists who gunned down seven and injured 19 pilgrims. All the right noises have since been made.

If the binary is only Hindu-Muslim divide in this country, the score would show: 2 Muslims; 1 Hindus. Yet you wouldn’t guess so by the narrative being played out.

Junaid’s murder, within hours, was branded as one by cow vigilantes with the implicit blessing of the ruling party in Centre.

West Bengal was dubbed as a convoluted political ploy by BJP looking to secure the upcoming Gujarat elections.

The tragic Amarnath killings were again linked to BJP for its hand in letting Kashmir become a blood-drenched valley.

In between, the stories abounded of a Hindu LeT terrorist (since proven wrong), a stray fake image on Facebook (true) and a prominent Hindi daily (see image) accused of dramatizing the horror of Amarnath yatra survivors.

None of the Lutyens Media, who I prefer to call DALALS (Damn Left and Lutyens Scribes), ever described it as an “Islamic terror”–like they do with concocted “Hindu terror” theme – and, instead, drowned us with the virtues of “Kashmiriyat” and justly heroic “Salim bhai”, the driver of that ill-fated bus.

The DALALS have concentrated on the “form” and not on “substance” or they would have highlighted the onset of Jihadi presence in India stoking and riding on Hindu-Muslim divide.

This is an anti-Hindu brigade. Since Hindus have largely hoisted BJP in the Centre, the corollary is unmistakable. This bunch is partly “brainwashed” and mostly “funded” which either way is not good for India’s unity.

The “brainwashed” ones are no better than the leaders of pre-Independence India who claimed “principle” in public but “compromised” in private with the British. Most of them were lawyers –like Gandhi, Patel and Nehru—and the first two, despite their Indian attire, had political theories of Western orientation. British had nicely sized them up and like monkeys—no offence intended for we have monkey as Gods–made them jump through the hoop.

The “funded” ones are of more dangerous variety. But they conform to the pattern of India’s history which is replete with “betrayals.” These Jaichands and Mir Jafars must have been in the mind of French Francois Bernier, physician to both Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb in the 17th century, who wrote back home that a capable French general with 20,000 soldiers could subdue all of India.

Take the case of Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1767 he joined the English and the Marathas against Haider Ali of Mysore. He then switched side in Haider’s favour. Once Haider was beaten, he again came back to the English side. Ten years later, in 1779, he again was by Haider’s side against the English. In 1786, he had joined the Marathas against Tipu Sultan, Haider’s son. In 1790, he revived a triple alliance with Marathas and English against Tipu.

There is a reason why India could never expel a foreign enemy. The likes of Alexander, Timur, Abdali or Nadir Shah only withdrew. India was a ripe picking for all and sundry—Shaka, Kushans, Huns, Arabs, Afghans and succeeding invaders. And that’s because Indians of then and Indians of now could barely rise above their petty interests. India was and is NOT a single entity in their psychology.

The same unfortunate India is again unfolding in front of our own eyes. The subjugation and invasions of over 1000 years has taught us nothing. There are still embedded forces within who are ready to betray India for personal gains. The real beneficiaries are (a) colonial powers of West and (b) Islamic forces who are breathing down its East and West flanks.

Fortunately, the majority Indians are not with them and have reposed their trust in BJP to govern the country. The danger is BJP and other Hindutva forces are still measuring themselves through the prism of this pseudo-sickular gang. It’s time to bite the bullet and say India is a “Hindu Rashtra” who protects and safeguards the interests of its minorities without distinction or prejudice. Israel has no qualms in declaring itself a Jewish state.

Or else, this fortnight of communal violence will keep itself repeating till BJP themselves falls by the wayside, losing the trust of the majority. Indians want them to stand up for India and against the DALALS.

Or the succeeding generations would hold us accountable for the misfortune which is bound to be their fate.