Sunday, March 24, 2013

True Indian History

Introduction: roots of distortion

India gained independence from the British in 1947, or more than fifty years ago. But intellectually and educationally India continues be a European colony. This is because, during the first forty years of her existence as a free nation, the Congress Party and the intellectual establishment, continued to encourage colonial institutions and thinking. The result today is that there is an English educated elite that identifies itself more with the West than with India and her ancient civilization. And the Congress Party, especially after the death of Sardar Patel, has identified itself more with foreign values rather than Indian values. The Communists, who have always been hostile to Indian nationalism, have now joined hands with anti-national forces, which are fiercely anti-Hindu. This is reflected in the attitude and behavior of the English educated intellectuals, including the media.

The signs of this are everywhere � from hostility to Sarasvati Vandana and the Pokharan nuclear tests to begging a European woman of no experience or service to the nation, to rule the country. As a result, this colonial holdover consisting of the Congress, the Communists and the Leftist intellectual class (including the media) have come together to perpetuate anti-national values and interests. This naturally makes them intensely anti-Hindu. It views with fear anything that has even a suggestion of nationalism rooted in Indian history and tradition.

Since Indian nationalism can only exist as a product of the Hindu Civilization, these forces hostile to Hinduism have combined to oppose the rise of national awareness that is now sweeping the country. The result is that they will go to any length to give a negative picture of India and her past. The first step in this is to distort Indian history. Fortunately for them, most of the distortion had already been done for them by the British, and their successors during the Congress rule. So all they had to do was to continue with the colonial version of Indian history. As Swami Vivekananda pointed out more than a century ago:

"The histories of our country written by English [and other Western] writers cannot but be weakening to our minds, for they talk only of our downfall. How can foreigners, who understand very little of our manners and customs, or religion and philosophy, write faithful and unbiased histories of India? Naturally, many false notions and wrong inferences have found their way into them.

"Nevertheless they have shown us how to proceed making researches into our ancient history. Now it is for us to strike out an independent path of historical research for ourselves, to study the Vedas and the Puranas, and the ancient annals of India, and from them make it your life's sadhana to write accurate and soul-inspiring history of the land. It is for Indians to write Indian history."

As Swami Vivekananda pointed out, the goal of the British was to weaken the Indian spirit, particularly the Hindu spirit, because the nationalist movement in India was mainly a Hindu movement. The nationalist movement, which rose to great heights during the Swadeshi Movement following the Partition of Bengal, lost its direction and focus in 1920 when Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed Swaraj for the sake of the Khilafat. This in turn led to the anti-Hindu orientation of the Congress under Jawaharlal Nehru. This was soon joined by the Communists, who worked hand-in-glove with the Congress. The Communists now are little more than camp followers of Sonia Gandhi and her party.

So it is in the interests of these anti-national forces to keep alive the colonial version of Indian history. Thanks to the domination of the Indian political scene by the Congress, Communist intellectuals and fellow travelers were able to dominate the intellectual scene also. As a result, the colonial version of history continues to be taught in Indian schools and colleges. This has led to gross distortions in the history being taught in Indian schools and colleges. These distortions may be classified as follows:

 Distortion of ancient history through the �Aryan invasion� and the Aryan-Dravidian wars, presenting the Vedic Age as an �age of conflict�

 Distortion of the Medieval history, by whitewashing the Islamic record and presenting it as the 'age of synthesis'.

 Distortion of the period of the Freedom Struggle, by whitewashing Congress blunders and suppressing the contribution of the revolutionaries, Sardar Patel and Subhas Bose.

 Distortion of post-independent India, by whitewashing the monumental blunders of Pandit Nehru and his successors to bring about dynastic rule under the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty at the cost of national interest.

It is worth taking a brief look at each one of them, beginning with the ancient period. The first point to note that it was the ancient period that gave India both its unity and its sense of the nation. The Medieval period was a Dark Age, during which the Hindu civilization was engaged in a desperate struggle for survival. In addition, the forces of medievalism contributed nothing to Indian nationalism. They acted as a negative force and held back progress, taking the country into a Dark Age. They continue to act as a check against progress by holding on to medieval ideas and practices.

The important point to note is that the ancient period was an age of synthesis, when people of different viewpoints like the Vedic, Tantric, Buddhistic, Jain and other sects lived in relative harmony. There was also free exchange of ideas and unfettered debate. The Medieval period was the age of conflict when Hindu society was engaged in a desperate struggle for survival against the onslaught of Jihad � something like what is happening in Kashmir today. What the Congress sponsored Leftist (�secularist�) historians have done is to exactly reverse this. They have said that the ancient period was an age of conflict between Aryans and non-Aryans, while trying to portray the Medieval period � dominated by Jihad (or religious wars) � as a period of synthesis.

Ancient India: age of freedom and synthesis

History books today begin with the Aryan invasion of India, which is said to have taken place in 1500 BC. Students are told that the ancient civilization of the Indus Valley or the Harappan Civilization was Dravidian that was destroyed by the invading Aryans. According to this theory, the language of the Harappan seals, which contain a good deal of writing, is some form of Dravidian language, unrelated to Sanskrit. There are nearly 4000 of these with writing on them, but until recently, no one could read them. Recently, the great Vedic scholar N. Jha made a major breakthrough in deciphering it. Following the breakthrough, Jha and I have read and published the writing on nearly 2000 seals. (We have read many more that are yet to be published.) The language of the seals is Vedic Sanskrit. This means the Harappan Civilization was Vedic.

This also means there was no Aryan invasion and no Aryan-Dravidian conflicts either. In Sanskrit, �Aryan� simply means cultured and not any race or language. I am myself a so-called Dravidian who speaks Kannada. Kannada, like all South Indian languages, is heavily influenced by Sanskrit. South Indian dynasties going back time immemorial called themselves �Aryas� because they were followers of the Vedic culture. South has always been a stronghold of Vedic culture and learning. Sayana, probably the greatest Vedic scholar of the last thousand years was a South Indian. (He was the brother of Vidyaranya, who helped Harihara and Bukka found the great Vijayanagara Empire.)

The idea of Aryans and Dravidians as mutually hostile people was created during the colonial period, in which Christian missionaries played an active role. It was part of the British policy of divide and rule. Bishop Caldwell was probably the most influential Dravidian scholar. When criticized for his theories, he defended them "as not only of considerable moment from a philological [linguistic] point of view but of vast moral and political importance." By �moral and political�, he meant Christian missionary and British colonial interests.

This shows that one of the main forces behind the Aryan invasion theory, and of education policy in general, was the conversion of Hindus to Christianity to make them accept British rule. According to the Aryan invasion theory, the Vedas and Sanskrit language were brought by these Indo-European invaders and not native to India. (This is now demolished by science and also the decipherment of the Harappan writing.) Using this false theory, the British could claim that India had always been ruled by foreign invaders � first the Vedic Aryans, and later the Muslims. The British claimed to be Aryans (as Indo-Europeans) and therefore only the latest rulers of India, but related to their own ancient Aryans who also were foreign invaders! Christian missionaries took advantage of this by enjoying the patronage of colonial rulers. The presented the Bible as �Yesurveda� � or the Veda of Yesu (Jesus).

Many influential British officials felt that the conversion of Hindus to Christianity would make them readily accept British rule. The most influential of these was Thomas Babbington Macaulay who introduced the English education system in India. He made no secret of his goal of conversion of India to Christianity. In 1836, while serving as chairman of the Education Board in India, he enthusiastically wrote his father:

"Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully. The effect of this education on the Hindus is prodigious. ...... It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolator [Hindu] among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, by natural operation of knowledge and reflection. I heartily rejoice in the project."

So religious conversion and colonialism were to go hand in hand. Christian missions always supported the colonial government, with missionaries working hand in glove with the British government. They supported the Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre also, even though many Englishmen were ashamed of it. In a real sense Christian missions were not religious organizations at all but an unofficial arm of the British Administration. (The same is true of many Catholic missions in Central American countries. Many of them are in the pay of the American CIA. This was admitted by a CIA director, testifying before the Congress.)

It was part of the Macaulayite education program to distort Indian history to serve British colonial and Christian missionary interest. To do this, he employed a German Vedic scholar now famous as Friedrich Max Müller. Macaulay used his influence with the East India Company to find funds for Max Müller's translation of the Rigveda. There can be no doubt at all regarding Max Müller's commitment to the conversion of Indians to Christianity. Writing to his wife in 1866 Max Müller himself explained his purpose:

"It [the Rigveda] is the root of their religion [Hinduism] and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years."

Two years later he also wrote the Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India: "The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?" His job was to uproot Hinduism by giving a negative version of the Vedas!

Unfortunately, the version of history being taught to children in Indian schools and colleges, including the Aryan invasion, is the version created by Macaulay and Max Müller. It is a tragedy. It is not only anti-national but also totally false.

No comments: