Should we re-write Indian History?
Indiaâs history, for the secular establishment, begins in the tenth century AD after <i>Mohd. Ghaznavi </i>embarked on his <i>pilgrimage</i>. According to celebrated leftist historians his repeated visits to Hindu temples had nothing to do with religion. <i>Mohd. Ghaznavi </i>merely wanted to <i>set right social imbalances </i>because temples in those days were centres of social activity. His second <i>laudable objective </i>was to take away wealth that was hoarded there and <i>not used for the welfare of the masses. </i>
Our commie friends have been doing it - redistribution of wealth - for over seventy years till people in many countries felt that they had had too much of a good thing. That is why their historians feel a kinship with the Mohd. Ghaznavis.
<i>Genghiz Khan </i>and <i>Tamarlene</i> too were social reformers who showed the <i>kafirs </i>the path to direct and hassle-free salvation.
In the first decades after independence, school children had a template answer for questions about the rule of various emperors in their history question papers. All of them had had <i>roads laid</i>, <i>trees planted</i>, <i>ponds dug </i>and <i>rest </i><i>houses constructed </i>for travellers. The child had to fill in the name and the answer was equally applicable to <i>Ashoka, Kanishka </i>or <i>Sri Harsha</i>.
The <i>mogul </i>rulers beginning with Babar <i>reformed administration</i>, <i>established </i><i>benign, people-friendly governance </i>and <i>instituted civic </i><i>amenities</i>. They did not demolish temples. If you say they did, prove it by giving us a ride in time travel and show it happening.
Emperor Aurangazeb in his magnanimity permitted <i>kafirs </i>to practise their religion and live peacefully by paying a small tax. British historians distorted facts by calling it <i>Zaziya </i>to sow dissension and â<i>divide et imperaâ</i>. That is why - for Aurangazebâs magnanimity in permitting <i>kafirs</i> to practise their religion and live peacefully by paying a small tax, not British historians distorting facts by calling it <i>Zaziya</i> to sow dissension and â<i>divide et imperaâ </i>- many cities in India commemorate his name.
Leftists can explain away events and - diametrically opposing views - with great felicity through Marxian dialectics. They could teach <i>Goebbels</i> a thing or two about propaganda. The mystery behind modern advertising executives wearing scruffy looks and crumpled clothes might be traced to their Marxist background.
Thus Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1954, Poland in 1962, Czechoslovakia in 1967 and Afghanistan in 1980 were <i>historical necessities</i>. The reason for American intervention in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Iraq was her <i>imperialist </i><i>expansionist</i> designs and <i>vulgarity of greed</i>.
Query our Marxist friends about the purges of political opponents during the regimes of Stalin, Kruschev and Mao they will scorch you with their looks. Ask them why China massacred several thousand of her own civilians in Tiannamen square using not just machine guns but tanks and armoured personnel carriers, they reply that they do not have adequate information on the subject but that it might be capitalist westâs propaganda to malign <i>Marxist</i> progress. But fully informed they are on the exact number of civilians killed in American precision bombing of Iraqâs military targets during the liberation of Kuwait.
<i>George Orwell </i>did not foresee that his native land would in five decades realise his <i>Minitrue</i>, the ministry of truth. For the benefit of those who have not read <i>Orwell</i>âs <i>Nineteen Eighty Four</i>, his fictional communist paradise in the novel, named <i>Oceania</i>, had a <i>Minitrue</i>, the ministry for truth.
<i>Orwell</i> wrote the novel to open the eyes of the English middle class intelligentsia, which was toying with communism, a romantic idea of the time. <i>Orwell</i>âs novel delivered his timely warning with telling effect and put paid to a perilous turn the nationâs history could have taken. <i>George Bernard </i><i>Shaw</i> was reported to have said â<i>If you are not a socialist below forty, something is wrong with your heart; if you remained a socialist after forty, something is wrong with your head.</i>â
<i>Orwell</i>âs other novel <i>Animal Farm </i>also a spoof on communism, too, is a must read for lovers of democracy. <i>Animal Farm </i>begins with an ironical revolt of the animals that usurp the state with the cry â<i>All animals are equalâ</i>. The animals got wiser and the commandment was amended to â<i>Some animals are </i><i>more equal than othersâ</i>. This statute change created a pyramidal caste system in the â<i>All animals are equalâ </i>society. The societyâs fat cats at the apex lived in opulence and luxury while the rest of the citizenry had to live on subsistence rations.
<i>Orwell</i>â disguise was too thin - if the irony was too wry - for us not to miss his target. You can allow your imagination run riot by visualising many contemporary caricatures from the novelâs characters.
Returning to <i>Nineteen Eighty Four</i>, <i>Oceania</i>âs language was <i>Newspeak</i>. The objective of <i>Newspeak </i>was not to extend but diminish the range of thought. For example the word <i>free</i> has a limited meaning: <i>free </i>of lice, <i>free</i> of pests etc. In <i>Newspeak</i>, thinking of <i>freedom</i> other than that was allowed by <i>Engsoc</i> was <i>thoughtcrime</i>, punishable by death. <i>Engsoc</i> or <i>English Socialism </i>was <i>Orwell</i>âs euphemism for communism.
The function of <i>Oceaniaâ</i>s <i>Minitrue</i>, was to constantly re-write history <i>to</i> <i>suit the current philosophy and objectives of the rulers </i>of <i>Oceania</i>. The nationâs history was constantly re-written and - <i>all</i> - copies of the previous versions were destroyed.
While the <i>closet, crypto, pseudo </i>and other <i>species </i>of the <i>genus </i><i>commie </i>and their <i>fellow travellers </i>have been contributing their mite to re-writing Indiaâs history for over fifty years, the government of West Bengal has instituted a <i>Minitrue</i> for sanitising Indiaâs history. For WBâs <i>Minitrue</i> speaking or writing of Indiaâs past, which is contrary to the <i>commie parivar</i>âs worldview, is <i>Saffronising</i> history.
Fifty years after <i>Sardar Patel </i>ordered the restoration of <i>Somnath</i>, the celebrated historian, <i>Romila Thapar </i>felt the need to re-write history, an apologia for <i>Mohd. </i><i>Ghaznavi</i>, who destroyed the temple. Contrast this with <i>A. J. P. Taylor</i>âs attempt to put the <i>Origins of the Second World War </i>in what he considered was the proper perspective, by tracing allied vacillation and turning a Nelsonâs eye over German rearmament. The British polity did not avidly lap it up but dismissed it as an overzealous attempt to defend the devil.
The role of the media in shadowing prevailing hypocrisy (<i>euphemistically called </i><i>political correctness</i>) might be the subject matter of another article. But the distinction it accorded <i>Romila</i> <i>Thaparâ</i>s <i>de novo </i>history vis-Ã -vis another chronicle by a Belgian journalist must be mentioned. Most newspapers and periodicals (except <i>India Today</i>, which published an objective review) eulogised the authorâs thoroughness in researching facts - probably awed by - and reviewed her eminence rather than the book. In stark contrast, <i>Koenrad Elst</i>âs book on the discovery of a massive temple by the <i>Archaeological Survey of </i><i>India (ASI) </i>under the demolished mosque in <i>Ayodhya</i> was largely ignored (again with the honourable exception of <i>India Today</i>). No honourable publisher would publish <i>Elst</i>âs book for fear of treading a politically incorrect line.
<i>Jawaharlal Nehru </i>leading the pack of leftist historians, in his <i>Glimpses of </i><i>World History</i>, had this to say of an eyewitness account of the grandeur of the <i>Vijayanagar Empire</i>: âWhat a scandalous waste of riches!â The eyewitness was recounting a royal wedding in which a splendid carpet, six miles long, studded with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other precious stones was laid for the marriage procession. Why did <i>Nehru</i> single out the only <i>Hindu Empire </i>in the South for such a derogatory attack when all through his book he lavished praise on <i>China</i>?
In his popular novel, <i>The Prize</i>, <i>Irving Wallace </i>noted that three thousand years ago the <i>Hindu </i>surgeon <i>Shusrutha</i> performed the modern equivalent of plastic surgery by transplanting skin from a girlâs thigh on to her burnt face and reconstructing her nose. Wouldnât you call that <i>Saffronising</i> history? For how can India claim such advancement before she became secular and acquire what our <i>commie parivar </i>fondly calls the <i>composite</i> <i>culture</i>?
Welcome to IF UNarayandas..
Very well written op-ed.. <!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->
08-26-2005, 10:47 PM
(This post was last modified: 08-26-2005, 10:47 PM by Bharatvarsh.)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Genghiz Khan and Tamarlene too were social reformers who showed the kafirs the path to direct and hassle-free salvation. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Correct me if I am wrong but Genghiz Khan was not a Muslim, he was a Mongol who was a shaman, infact before being converted to Islam the Mongols slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Muslims and virtually destroyed Baghdad. Tamarlene ofcourse was a Muslim who did jihad on kaffirs.
<b>Genghis Khan and the Mongols</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Mongols were illiterate, religiously shamanistic<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> UnderÂ Mongke as under Genghis Khan, people were allowed to worship as they chose. Buddhism, Islam and Christianity flourished. And, in 1252, Mongke's regime made official the worship of Genghis Khan.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
On ignoring history
By V.S. Naipaul
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(<b>This write-up is a compilation by Dr Dinesh Agarwal based on NobelÂ laureate V.S. Naipaulâs views on the subject expressed at various fora.</b>
"<b>How do you ignore history? But the nationalist movement, IndependenceÂ movement ignored it. You read the Glimpses of World History byÂ Jawaharlal Nehru, it talks about the mythical past and then it jumps the difficult period of the invasions and conquests. So you have Chinese pilgrims coming to Bihar, Nalanda and places like that. Then somehow they donât tell you what happens, why these places are in ruin. They never tell you why Elephanta island is in ruins or why Bhubaneswar was desecrated.</b>â
âPeople in India have only known tyranny. The very idea of liberty is a new idea. Particularly pathetic is the harking back to the Mughals as a time of glory. In fact, the Mughals were tyrants, every one of them. They were foreign tyrants and they were proud of being foreign.â
<b>âIndia has been a wounded civilisation because of Islamic violence. Pakistanis know this; indeed they revel in it. It is only Indian Nehruvians like Romila Thapar who pretend that Islamic rule was benevolent. We should face facts: Islamic rule in India was at least as catastrophic as the later Christian rule. The Christians created massive poverty in what was a most prosperous country; the Muslims created a terrorised civilization out of what was the most creative culture that ever existed.</b>â
âIndia was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with strong religious ideas, with a hatred for the religion of the people they were conquering. People read these accounts but they do not imaginatively understand the effects of conquest by an iconoclastic religion.â
âIndia became the great land for Muslim adventurers and the peasantry bore this on their back. They were enslaved quite literally. It just went on like this from the 11th century onwards.â (source: Economic Times; www.economictimes.com
âThe millennium began with the Muslim invasions and the grinding down of the Hindu-Buddhist culture of the north. This is such a big and bad event that people still have to find polite, destiny-defying ways of speaking about it. In art books and history books, people write of the Muslims âarrivingâ in India, as though the Muslims came on a tourist bus and went away again. The Muslim view of their conquest of India is a truer one. They speak of the triumph of the faith, the destruction of idols and temples, the loot, the carting away of the local people as slaves, so cheap and numerous that they were being sold for a few rupees. The architectural evidenceâthe absence of Hindu monuments in the northâis convincing enough. This conquest was unlike any other before. There are no Hindu records of this period. Defeated people never write their history. The victors write the history. The victors were Muslims. For people on the other side it is a period of darkness.â
What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on.
On Hindu militancy and Indiaâs secularism
âTo say that India has a secular character is being historically unsound. Dangerous or not, Hindu militancy is a corrective to the history I have been talking about. It is a creative force and will be so. Islam canât reconcile with it.â
On Hindu revivalism
âIndia was trampled over, fought over. You had the invasions and you had the absence of a response to them. There was an absence even of the idea of a people, of a nation defending itself. Only now are people beginning to understand that there has been a great vandalising of India. The movement is now from below. It has to be dealt with. It is not enough to abuse these youths or use that fashionable word from Europe, âfascismâ. There is a big, historical development going on in India.â (carribeanhindu.com).
âWhat is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.â
âIndian intellectuals have a responsibility to the state and should start a debate on the Muslim psyche. <b>To speak of Hindu fundamentalism, is a contradiction in terms, it does not exist</b>. Hinduism is not this kind of religion. You know, there are no laws in Hinduism. And there are many forces in Hinduism... My interest in these popular movements is due to the pride they restore to their adherents in a country ravaged by five or six centuries of brutal rule by Muslim invaders. These populations, in particular the peasantry, have been so crushed that any movement provides a certain sense of pride. The leftists who claim that these wretched folk are fascists are wrong. Itâs absurd. I think that they are only reclaiming a little of their own identity. We canât discuss it using a Western vocabulary.â
âI think every liberal person should extend a hand to that kind of movement from the bottom. One takes the longer view than the political view. Thereâs a great upheaval in India and if youâre interested in India, you must welcome it.â
âWhat is happening in India is a new, historical awakening. Gandhi used religion in a way as to marshal people for the Independence cause. People who entered the Independence movement did it because they felt they would earn individual merit. Only now are the people beginning to understand that there has been a great vandalising of India. Because of the nature of the conquest and the nature of Hindu society such understanding had eluded Indians before.â (indolink.com)
âIndia became the great land for Muslim adventurers and the peasantry bore this on their back. They were enslaved quite literally. It just went on like this from the 11th century onwards.â
On demolition of Babri structure
âNot as badly as the others did, I am afraid. <b>The people who saythat there was no temple are missing the point. Babar, you must understand, had contempt for the country he had conquered. And his building of that mosque was an act of contempt. </b>In Ayodhya, the construction of a mosque on a spot regarded as sacred by the conquered population was meant as an insult to an ancient idea, the idea of Ram, which was two or three thousand years old.â (The Times of India, July 18, 1993).
On the attire of the people who demolished Babri structure
âOne needs to understand the passion that took them on top of the domes. The jeans and the T-shirts are superficial. The passion alone is real. You canât dismiss it. You have to try to harness it. Hitherto in India, the thinking has come from the top. What is happening now is different. The movement is from below.â (The Times of India, July 18, 1993).
On the Taj Mahal
âThe Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that it is painful to be there for very long.â (Outlook, 15 November 1999).
âYou see, I am less interested in the Taj Mahal which is a vulgar, crude building, a display of power built on blood and bones. Everything exaggerated, everything overdone, which suggests a complete slave population. I would like to find out what was there before the Taj Mahal.â (economictimes.indiatimes.com, 13 January 03)
Naipaul says that Islam had enslaved and attempted to wipe out other cultures. âIt has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say âmy ancestral culture does not exist, it doesnât matterâ.â (Guardian News Service)
âIt is not the unbeliever as the other person so much as the remnant of the unbeliever in oneâs customs and in oneâs ways of thinking. Itâs this wish to destroy the past, the ancient soul, the unregenerate soul. This is the great neurosis of the converted.â (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.01)
âI had known Muslims all my life. But I knew little of their religion. The doctrine, or what I thought was its doctrine, didnât attract me. It didnât seem worth inquiring into; and over the years, in spite of travel, I had added little to the knowledge gathered in my Trinidad childhood. The glories of this religion were in the remote past; it has generated nothing like a Renaissance. Muslim countries, were not colonies, were despotisms; and nearly all, before oil, were poor.â (From his book
Among the Believers, 1981)
âIndia was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with strong religious ideas, with a hatred for the religion of the people they were conquering. People read these accounts but they do not imaginatively understand the effects of conquest by an iconoclastic religion.â
On non-fundamentalist Islam
âI think it is a contradiction. It can always be called up to drown and overwhelm every movement. The idea in Islam, the most important thing, is paradise. No one can be a moderate in wishing to go to paradise. The idea of a moderate state is something cooked up by politicians looking to get a few loans here and there.â (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.01)
On formation of Pakistan
Naipaul considers Pakistanâs founding âextremely fortunateâ for India as the âreligious question would otherwise have paralysed and consumed the stateâ.
âThe Iqbal idea that religion wasnât a matter of conscience, that it needed a separate community and society, was a wicked and rather foolish idea.â
<b>Naipaul calls Pakistan a âcriminalâ enterprise. </b>âHere is a Muslim country which after its creation in 1947 promptly became a state of manpower exports. Lots of people came to Britain. The idea of a state for the Muslims began to undo itself very quickly.â
Naipaulâs advice to every Indian
<b>Naipaul has advised every Indian to make a âpilgrimageâ to Vijaynagar âjust to see what the (Muslim) invasion of India led to. They will see aÂ totally destroyed town.â </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I sincerely thank all participants of this debate. Some of you have enriched my knowledge, especially the quotes from Sir V. S. Naipaul.
Re: Genghis Khan and Mongols.
Genghis Khan's mass murders were cited in the context of annihilation of Hindus. According to <i>Francois Gautier </i>the French Journalist who made India his home, during the five centuries between the tenth and the fourteenth, eight hundred million Hindus (or the equivalent of our population in 1971) were slaughtered by Mohammedan invaders - <i>because they were Hindus</i>. To put the figure in perspective, Nazi killing of six million Jews between 1939-45 is often described as genocide/holocaust. How then do you describe the killing of eight hundred million Hindus?
08-29-2005, 06:38 AM
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2005, 06:39 AM by Bharatvarsh.)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Genghiz Khan and Tamarlene too were social reformers who showed the kafirs the path to direct and hassle-free salvation. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Ok when u said that it looks like u r saying Genghiz Khan was a Muslim because u said he "showed the kafirs the path to direct and hassle-free salvation." which is why I pointed out that he was not a Muslim, he of course massacred Hindus but it was not for jihad but Tamarlene on the other hand was a Muslim who masaccred Hindus for jihad.
Genghiz Khan was a Mongol (but not a Muslim) and the greatest conqueror in the history of the planet,if greatness is measured in the extent of the territory you control.
It is commonly assumed in India that Khan is a Muslim name. It is not, even though large number of Muslims in India and Pakistan bear that name. Theree are however no Arabs that i know of that go thename of Khan. It is essentially the Mongol equivalent of a sheikh or a tribal chief. Genghiz Khan or Temujin never did conquer india, and iirc the closest he came to India was Afghanistan which had by then beeen converted to Islam by Turco Afghans. It is not clear why Genghiz Khan never did vouchsafe enough attention to India, as his descendants Tamerlang and Babar did centuries later. Maybe others like Hauma, who has made an in depth study of the Khanates can shed light on this.
A century and a half later the mongols did attack India which by that time was ruled by Allauddin Khilji while they came close could not dislodge Allauddin from Dilli. If they had succeeded the history of India might have taken a different course. TheMongols were by and large indifferent administrators but where they differed from the Turco Afghans was that they left the local population to their own worship and did not interfere in the practices that were local. Furthermore, they were not unfamiliar with Indic practices and worship as these were widespread throughout central asia.
But the descendants of Genghiz Khan remained fierce and successful warriors by their own efforts and controlled vast territories stretching from the Japanese archipelago to the gates of Vienna or at least the Danube river. They were responsible for the sack of Damascus and the destruction of the Khalifate which for all intents and purposes ceased to remain in the hands of the Arabs. One of Genghiz's grandsons Kublai Khan became the Great Khan of China and established his capital in Khanbalik , which eventually came to be known as Beijing. Another batu Khan became the leader of the Golden Horde and controlled vast areas of present day Russia. Hulagu the one responsbile for the sack of Damascus , the destruction of Baghdad in 1259 CE, and the defeat of the Assassins rules Persia and callshimself Il-Khan (il meaning little or subordinate to the Great Khan who at that time was Kublai Khan, who ruled China). His descendants the Il-Khans convert to Islam. It is said that Hulagus son had Islamic sympathies. Well, in any eventtheIl Khans whoruled from Tabriz in Present day Iran turn Muslim soon after the death of Hulagu.
But they were the the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of the Mongols in time became Buddhists and populate a rather large area stretching from Mongolia to Tibet. They are today one of the most peaceful people on this planet for which they have paid a price (especially the Tibetans)
Hereis a timeline of the Mongols
(at this point in time ihave no way of authenticating this timeline, other than to say, it remains internally consistent
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>'Authentic' history of modern Bharat needs to be written: HE President Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam </b>
<b>TEXT OF ADDRESS AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS OF THE KERALA HISTORY ASSOCIATION, KOCHI </b>
18-12-2005Â :Â Kochi
Past meets the present and creates the future
I am delighted to be with you, participate in and share your joy and happiness on this occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the Kerala History Association. Your association has done good work since its inception in 1945, in the erstwhile State of Cochin, just before our nation attained independence after over 1000 years of alien rule. Born at this historically crucial turning point of Indian civilization, your Association has engaged in the significant and important work of learning and propagating the problems and lessons of history of India in general, and Kerala in particular.
The progress achieved by the Association is a tribute to its learned, eminent founders, Kulapathi K.M. Munshi, and others. Successive President?s of your Association have carried forward the vision of the founders. Now, at this moment of your Diamond Jubilee, you are blessed to have as your President our learned and distinguished former Judge of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. I trust that under his wise leadership, your Association continues to grow and prosper.
The True Value of History
Why is a study of history so significant and important for humanity? It is said that the true value of history exists in what it tells us about the world in which we live. At birth we enter a world which we did not create, and which we come to understand only in part, and then only gradually. With time, in our own day, our awareness of that world extends beyond the household, the neighborhood and the region to encompass many other parts of the world. But even the most distant parts of the world represent only that portion of humanity that is presently alive. All aspects of our existence are products of much longer periods of development, and their continuity and change, remain only dimly evident to us, until we begin to learn something about the past.
History and people
An endless unfolding awareness might perhaps be what brings about fundamental change in humanity, both at individual and at collective levels. Clearly, at the collective level, history has a crucial role to play in this unfolding of awareness, through an accurate understanding the past. The best historians present us with descriptions and analyses of the past that make unfamiliar times and places somehow comprehensible. In seeking to penetrate the veil of the past, we end up by studying how other individuals and societies dealt with the practical and existential problems at least related to our own.
My observation is that in India many have written history of India both from the Indian historians recently and by those who had conquered us. So far, even 58 years after Independence, the dogmas, rituals, systems and norms of the historical past, imposed by the last millennium of invasion and conquest, still continue to condition our minds. We tend more to conform to the past, rather than think in true freedom and create a future, free from the pain of the past. <b>Now time has come, in 21st century, we need new breed of historians who can make the past meet the present and create the future. With executive approach to study and use of history, a value-adding approach, we can surely develop capabilities as a nation to think strategically and create a glorious future.</b> Let me share a few thoughts on how our historians can do this.
The history of mankind is reflected mainly as a history of conflict for political power, hunger for territory, and capturing wealth of others. Historically, India is a victim of this pattern of violence. One observes that human life on planet earth passes through alternating periods of stable and unstable war, followed by periods of unstable and stable peace. Along with China and Egypt, we have a rich social and cultural history of over 5000 years. However, over that last 1000 years, we have had three waves of invasion across land and sea, followed by three waves of freedom.
In 1947, just 58 years ago, we entered the third wave of freedom from alien rule. 58 years is a small drop in the ocean of historical time. How can a study of history enable this third wave of our freedom from invasion and alien rule be sustained far into the future millennia, in an increasingly insecure world?
World needs from India: a book of war and peace.
I have always felt, history is a record of triumph and defeat of a particular country by another with the purpose of territorial gain or imposing certain doctrines or the combination of both. Unfortunately, India was the theater of such action from many nations. I ask my self? Why my nation succumbed to this phenomenon? Why my nation allowed many nations to have territorial and other ambitions? Why in the Indian history very rarely talked about India?s invasion of other nations? It doesn?t mean that now my country may enter into such adventures, no never. But I am telling the historians that these questions should be answered, why a living civilization has been invaded? There may be many reasons, but it is essential that the knowledge of history should strengthen the nation by a unified action.
It is here that such knowledge of historians can make vital contributions to national security and economic development. An authentic, comprehensive unfolding history of India is yet to be written, in such a manner and style that enables our citizens, analysts and policy makers at all levels to understand the rhythms of social and economic change, locally and globally, which enabled cycles of conquest and freedom from such conquests in India. Then perhaps we might be able to understand our history executively, and implement strategies for social, technological and economic change by empowering people with knowledge to think strategically and create their future.
For example, writers of history of industrial institutions in the West, do so in a manner where after researching and recording the historical facts internal and external to many institutions, they go further. Through insight and incisive analysis, they try to identify cognizable patterns of ?evolution? or periods of orderly, steady growth, and ?revolution? or periods of disorder and chaos. More significantly, they identify successful and unsuccessful strategies that had enabled institutions either to survive and grow or walk into the darkness.
Can this kind of historical research and analysis be extended to the level of nations and civilizations? What circumstances and conditions made repeated invasions possible? What conditions made freedom from alien rule possible? Why complex civilized societies do decline and collapse, like the ancient Maya, Greek and Roman civilizations. Even the periodicity of these cycles is different. Some societies decline gradually, occurring over centuries. Others have been rapid, occurring over the course of a few years. War, drought, natural disaster, disease, overpopulation, and economic disruption, and above all disunity and segmentation of thinking of our people; any of these can bring about the collapse of a civilization. Internal causes (such as political struggles or over farming) can combine with external causes (such as war or natural disaster) to bring about a collapse. What does this mean for modern civilizations and what does it mean for India? What strategies might be identified for sustainable growth and security in an increasingly insecure world? What can we learn from the past?
History is a great teacher
History may be past, but it certainly presents the future. Any organisation?s or a nation?s history is the quintessence of what it had achieved over a period and which inevitably points to what is in store. History is something that relates itself to the present and makes it relevant to it. I still recall that some time ago, questions were raised why history should be taught as a subject in the educational curriculum, whether it was not a waste of time to do so. Such a point of view is extremely short sighted and misses the crucial point. History is a great teacher. There is a lot to learn from the pluses and minuses of the historical past. It is a fact of life which cannot be wished away. Ignorance of the historical past makes the present hollow and the future floundering.
Societal Change by Practical Skills from the Study of History
Learning and using history for creating the future of a nation, institution, community or even an individual is a bit like learning how to play a musical instrument. History cannot do much for us unless we know how to play on it. When Bismillah Khan played the shenai, the entire hall swelled with a sound of beauty that it continues to overwhelm us. Historical research can compel a society to analyze itself carefully, construct coherent arguments, present those arguments persuasively, and draw intelligent conclusions enabling a future to be created, free from the past. The best historical writing presents complex problems in clear and accessible prose. The ability to do this could make an important contribution to the day-to-day life of almost every sphere of society and its economy. Otherwise, blindly repeating and reliving history is irrational. As Albert Einstein observed ?Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.? History helps us to understand the past, the known, so that we are able become aware of our conditioning, understand the whole content of our consciousness, which is to understand ourselves and act rationally on that understanding. This process frees us from the past. The moment we give total attention to the content of our conditioning, our history, we are free from the past completely, and then it falls away from us naturally. Order comes about when we discover for ourselves what causes disorder. The practical skills developed by history should thus enable us to vigourously and passionately enhance the hard earned values of freedom and democracy, and empowering people to contribute effectively to national security and economic prosperity.
Let us dispassionately treat our history after 1857, the commencement of war of independence, as our baseline. Let us preserve data and start writing accurately after the year 1857, when the nation in an integrated way challenged the alien rule. It is in this context that the Kerala Historical Association has a crucial role to play, created as it was in 1945. Your Association can contribute greatly to this mission to write and continuously update history from 1857, by acquiring and adapting new technology assisted research and analytical skills. Obviously, you cannot do so alone, and so there is need for strategic and operational level partnership with other academic, research, government and industrial institutions. Not just the history of Kerala or India, but that of a dynamic, globalized new world of the 21st Century.
Inspiring society with books of history. From 1857 to 2005, India has a history of war, history of movement of Ahimsa Dharma and Non-violence and success of achieving freedom and also near achieving economic freedom. Historians of 21st century have a great challenge to write an Indian history, from domination to freedom: political and economic. This research and analysis recorded in the history books of India will be document of freedom which should inspire all nations to protect their territorial and economic integrity. In today?s context, the word territory is not confined just only to land borders, but to sea, air and even space. The tools of modern information technology and the information explosion that is taking place in the last quarter of a century, makes the writing of history today possible for the historians of the 21st century.
Like all study and research work in any knowledge domain, history writing has to be done not only for the sake of the subject itself, but also for the society as a whole. It has to be done not in isolation, but in a manner and style that enables social change to unfold, breaking out of past limitations and constraints. Historical writings must inspire the younger generation into enlightened action to realize their full potential, and that of the society that nurtures them.
History of Maritime States and Preservation of Nationhood
Kerala, as many of you are aware, has played, and continues to play a very important role in the preservation of our nationhood. Kerala is a maritime state like West Bengal, Orissa, Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. The circumstances and strengths of maritime states have profoundly affected the destiny of India.
In the guise of trading, and using gunboat diplomacy, a maritime state of India was first invaded across the seas on the West Coast. The same was experienced by other maritime states in India, as the French and British used the same strategy to set up bases on the East Coast in Pondicherry, Chennai and Kolkota.
Thus India was invaded in the past because of unawareness of its maritime vulnerabilities, and it is well established that control of India depended on control of the seas.
Today the situation is not very different. The Indian Ocean is strategically important for sea-borne trade and access to West Asia?s energy resources. New amorphous insecurities like ?global terrorism? has taken root and has invited the permanent militarization of the Indian Ocean and its islands with the deployment of nuclear weapons, and other advanced sea borne and space based technologies by the US, Europe, Australia and Russia. Driven by needs to secure energy supplies from West Asia, China and Japan have extended their naval reach into the Indian Ocean.
As Jawaharlal Nehru once said: ?To be secure on land, we must be supreme at sea.? The 1971 war with Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh, we witnessed gunboat diplomacy again with the US sending its aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, deploying nuclear weapons. This once again emphasized the need to ensure the growth of maritime security.
There are other economic stakes also for the nation in maritime security. Our trading with other nations has intensified. Nearly 70% of the oil vitally needed for the transportation sector is imported and delivered by ships sailing across the ocean. Almost all of the remaining 30% of oil is obtained from offshore oil installations. The UN has declared a 200-nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone and in a few years? 350-nautical miles Legal Continental Shelf would be added to further raise the stake of maritime territory of India. Hence all maritime States need to be kept constantly aware of their crucial role in maritime security. The contribution of Kerala to maritime security has been significant. Kochi has been made a major Naval Base and is being developed as the ?cradle of learning? for Naval and Coast Guard personnel.
Maritime security has other many critical aspects like the merchant marine, shipbuilding capabilities, seaport capacities, fishing industry, coastal security and law enforcement to counter increasing maritime crimes like drug trafficking, gunrunning and human smuggling. Many these aspects of maritime security fall within the jurisdiction of the maritime States and our navy and Coast Guard.
It is here that a proper use of historical research and skills in history writing can play a vital part towards preserving our nationhood in terms of economic prosperity of the states and national security. History writers in maritime states have a key role to play to keep the people, especially the younger generation, perennially alerted to the dangers from across the seas, including natural disasters like Tsunamis. Not just dangers, but also the great opportunities for economic development that maritime states uniquely possess.
It is no longer sufficient to write about Vasco da Gama and bemoan our fate. We must enable our people break out of the past, and make them aware through our educational institutions and historians of what is actually happening in the ever present moment, which is history continuously in the making. Only then can we have the full force of the people in the maritime states, indeed all other states on India, behind India?s nationhood.
History is not simply a chronological record of what happened in the past; it is not a string of stories or incidents that happened over the years ? it represents the strengths and weaknesses of the system. It traverses the pattern of growth of any organization or nation, the trials and tribulations it had to go through, the successes and failures of ventures undertaken and tacitly includes lessons to be taught and learnt for it to sustain itself in the days to come. To my mind, history is a throbbing, pulsating record pertaining to the past that is full of life for the present and is a beacon for the future.
The Kerala History Association has thus a supreme challenge before it, to raise the consciousness of people to the flow of history, how to step out of history, and through a continuous writing of post-independence history help the nation to be secure and prosperous in an insecure world of great opportunities for the uplift of our people to their full potential.
My best wishes and greetings to Shri Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, President and all members of Kerala History Association on this occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
May God bless you all.
The intent is to kindle sufficient interest in rewriting indic History. Let me know if any of the forum members would like to participate in organizing the seminar and/or subsequenytly be a part of th effort
Request for Intent to participate
Delhi Seminar (4q2008/1q2009)
Proposed Venue New Delhi
What is Past is Prologue (to the Future) said the bard
You are cordially invited to participate in a Seminar titled The Impact of a Distorted History on Strategic issues confronting the Indic civilizationâ. October xx,2008 or January xx,2009. This is a request for intent to participate, a preliminary response will help us plan the event
It is generally accepted by the cognoscenti in India that the Geopolitical and Strategic Environment facing India during the early decades of the 21st century remains a challenging one. Such a reality was part of the set of assumptions made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. As Indiaâs first Prime Minister ,in the aftermath of the gaining of independence from the authoritarian centuries of colonial rule, a rule where the Colonial overlord was extremely solicitous in shielding us from the burden of making choices relative to our own governance, Pundit Nehru fashioned his own unique response to these challenges by formulating a non alignment policy premised on the reality that the world had to contend essentially with 2 superpowers. The fact of the matter was he leaned heavily towards the western alliance at least till the end of his tenure in office. It was only during subsequent years and decades that India and the Congress Party interpreted the policy of non alignment as if it were a canonical principle of Indian foreign policy. In other words, there is ample evidence that at least in the conception of Pundit Nehru , Non alignment was a means to an end rather than an end in itself , a subtlety that was frequently forgotten during subsequent decades. In so doing India veered away from its roots as enunciated by Chanakya (aka Kautilya) as laid out in his Arthasastra. How so , is a legitimate question ? We can only cite a couple of examples. Chanakya was firm that there was little room for morality in the conduct of foreign policy or in dealings with other powers. The paramount question in such dealings with adversaries, was whether the action being contemplated was in the self interest of the Kingdom.
Among the many other remarks he makes is with respect to the use of spies (or human intelligence) as it is now called . The vision of the Arthasastra, is truly breath taking, its practical utility timeless and the clarity of its exposition unique. The techniques of manipulating public opinion and creating disinformation, propounded by Chanakya anticipated modern intelligence systems by several centuries. It is not surprising then, that the lessons taught by that Master strategist, Chanakya alias Kautilya should have served as an appropriate example for India in the fashioning of its own modern intelligence apparatus.
All would have been well had India adhered to Chanakyan principles at least in dealing with potential adversaries and those who would attempt to dominate Indiaâs role in the world. But alas the sad reality is that India has been far from Chanakyan, preferring indeed to adopt a moralistic tone in its conduct of foreign policy and it is Pakistan that has done a far more creditable job in adopting Chanakya-niti than has India. It is our premise that such a laissez faire attitude towards the conduct of foreign policy stems from the propensity to amnesiacal bouts that the Indic periodically inflicts upon himself when it comes to his/her history.
This brings us to the motivations for holding the seminar. There is widespread nonchalance to the history of India amongst the body politic and a certain amount of disdain that the ancients have anything to teach us. We wish to do our part in dispelling such attitudes . The objective of the seminar is to increase awareness of the importance of learning the accurate History of India. The seminar is a small step towards questioning the established narrative of Indian history, present new research, uncover new facts, examine the relevance to the current strategic environment and propagate the correct history to the public at large in general, the classrooms and eventually influence those who would make policy for India.
In addition to Indologists, historians, and the community of think tanks specializing in strategic issues, the contents of the seminar are equally relevant to parents of school-going children, community and educational leaders, and public service professionals. Cultural self-esteem among impressionable young minds is a direct derivative of correctness of history taught in schools. Also the representation of the community in the media and in public space is a consequence of the same. Thus, for all of the above reasons and many more there is a veritable need from all quarters, scholars and general public alike to come together and effect a joint program of correction and propagation of the true history of the subcontinent.
We request interested authors to submit presentations in related areas including but not restricted to, the following
1. Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic civilization of relevance to the current strategic environment facing india
2. Indicate those areas of Indian history which are egregiously in error and the resulting impact on the manner in which India is viewed in the world today
3. Provide examples of policy based on an erroneous interpretation of History
4. Propose methodology and criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the current or future proposed narratives
5. Discuss the extent of Indiaâs contribution to technology and the sciences in the past and the consequences for Indian policy makers in dealing with other civilizations and nation states
6. Discuss the implications of the location of the Sarasvati Sindhu civilization on the posture of Pakistan and the relationship between India and Pakistan
A paper submission is not necessarily required to participate in the session deliberations. You may choose to contribute ad-hoc to the process of corrections of history, and be part of the plan for propagation among students and general public including the media. Conference attendance is highly recommended but not mandatory to be a valuable asset to the session deliberations. You can submit your paper which will be tabled at the session in absentia, and deliberated
upon by the session participants. If I can answer any of your questions, feel free to reach me via e-mail by replying to this communique.
Looking forward to your response.
Kosla Vepa, Ph.D. Indic Studies Foundation Inc.
E-Mail: history-seminar at heconf dot com
Justice V R Krishna Iyer is a well known Communist. How will the future trajectory of that history be if he in charge?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Purushottam Nagesh Oak died on Dec. 4, 2007. He was 91.
His contributions to provoking new thinking on hindu civilizational history are remarkable and a veritable rebuttal of witzelisms. He was a patriot, firm in his conviction of the antiquity and universality of hindu civilization, driven by an indefatigable quest for removing the distortions in bharatiya itihaas by motivated, principally eurocentric zealots.
Christianity is Chrisn-nity,
Islamic Havoc in India (A. Ghosh Publisher, 5740 W. Little York, Houston, Texas, 77091)
The Taj Mahal Is a Temple Place (Alternate title, The Taj Mahal is a Hindu Palace, Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Who Says Akbar Was Great? (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Agra Red Fort is a Hindu Building (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Some Blunders of Indian Historical Research (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Some Missing Chapters of World History (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
World Vedic Heritage -- A History of Histories (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Taj Mahal â The True Story ( ISBN 0-9611614-4-2)
"He was born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. During World War II he joined the Indian National Army, which fought with the Japanese against the British. He obtained M.A and L.L.B degrees from Mumbai University. From 1947 to 1953 he was a reporter for the The Hindustan Times and The Statesman newspapers. From 1953 to 1957, he worked in India's Central Radio and Public Ministry. From 1959 to 1974, he worked at the American Embassy in New Delhi."
I have only read one of his books - "Who Says Akbar Was Great?".
Though he may not have been the best or the finest of the historiographers, but his contribution would go long way as provocater and stirrer of new thoughts in the Indian History.