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Miscellaneous Topics on Indian History
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Hello Every body,

It seems that the controversies surrounding the most enigmatic and under estimated leader of India's freedom struggle refuses to die down. RSS wants to reopen the investigation in the death of Netaji.

In some the newspapers while reading I came across articles and research reports on the reasons for willingness of Brits to grant freedom to India. While freedom movement of Gandhiji did generate a big momentum, it seems that the militant efforts of Netaji kindled the fire in the heart of Brits Indian army officers who refused to take orders of their white commanders that forced colonizers to realize that their days in India were numbered since they can no longer can depend upon their Indian army or police to control India. They understood that if one lion of India can create so much problems for them, what if 100s like him rise to the occasion and throw them in the channel.

Wonder what happened to Netaji..... but he has been one of the biggest loss of free India. Imagine whether problems such as Pakistan, Kashmir, Bangladesh would have ever existed if him being around.

It is sad that no political party ever thought of awarding him a Bharat Ratna, a small recognition to a Giant's contribution to India.

(((((Subha Chandra Bose, By Mike Thomson

BBC News

In the closing stages of World War II, as Allied and French resistance forces were driving Hitler's now demoralised forces from France, three senior German officers defected.

The information they gave British intelligence was considered so sensitive that in 1945 it was locked away, not due to be released until the year 2021.
Now, 17 years early, the BBC's Document programme has been given special access to this secret file.

It reveals how thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against fascism swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing tale of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British rule in India, known as the Raj.

The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on 3 April 1941. This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, arrived in the German capital.

Bose, who had been arrested 11 times by the British in India, had fled the Raj with one mission in mind. That was to seek Hitler's help in pushing the British out of India.

He wanted 500 volunteers who would be trained in Germany and then parachuted into India. Everyone raised their hands. Thousands of us volunteered
Lieutenant Barwant Singh

Six months later, with the help of the German foreign ministry, he had set up what he called "The Free India Centre", from where he published leaflets, wrote speeches and organised broadcasts in support of his cause.
By the end of 1941, Hitler's regime officially recognised his provisional "Free India Government" in exile, and even agreed to help Chandra Bose raise an army to fight for his cause. It was to be called "The Free India Legion".

Bose hoped to raise a force of about 100,000 men which, when armed and kitted out by the Germans, could be used to invade British India.

He decided to raise them by going on recruiting visits to Prisoner-of-War camps in Germany which, at that time, were home to tens of thousands of Indian soldiers captured by Rommel in North Africa.


Finally, by August 1942, Bose's recruitment drive got fully into swing. Mass ceremonies were held in which dozens of Indian POWs joined in mass oaths of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

These are the words that were used by men that had formally sworn an oath to the British king: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose."
I managed to track down one of Bose's former recruits, Lieutenant Barwant Singh, who can still remember the Indian revolutionary arriving at his prisoner of war camp.

"He was introduced to us as a leader from our country who wanted to talk to us," he said.

"He wanted 500 volunteers who would be trained in Germany and then parachuted into India. Everyone raised their hands. Thousands of us volunteered."


In all 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion.

But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border.

Matters were made even worse by the fact that after Stalingrad it became clear that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer Bose help in driving the British from faraway India.

When the Indian revolutionary met Hitler in May 1942 his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones.

So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan.

There, with Japanese help, he was to raise a force of 60,000 men to march on India.
Back in Germany the men he had recruited were left leaderless and demoralised. After mush dissent and even a mutiny, the German High Command despatched them first to Holland and then south-west France, where they were told to help fortify the coast for an expected allied landing.

After D-Day, the Free India Legion, which had now been drafted into Himmler's Waffen SS, were in headlong retreat through France, along with regular German units.

It was during this time that they gained a wild and loathsome reputation amongst the civilian population.

The former French Resistance fighter, Henri Gendreaux, remembers the Legion passing through his home town of Ruffec: "I do remember several cases of rape. A lady and her two daughters were raped and in another case they even shot dead a little two-year-old girl."

Finally, instead of driving the British from India, the Free India Legion were themselves driven from France and then Germany.

Their German military translator at the time was Private Rudolf Hartog, who is now 80.

"The last day we were together an armoured tank appeared. I thought, my goodness, what can I do? I'm finished," he said.

"But he only wanted to collect the Indians. We embraced each other and cried. You see that was the end."


A year later the Indian legionnaires were sent back to India, where all were released after short jail sentences.

But when the British put three of their senior officers on trial near Delhi there were mutinies in the army and protests on the streets.

With the British now aware that the Indian army could no longer be relied upon by the Raj to do its bidding, independence followed soon after.

Not that Subhas Chandra Bose was to see the day he had fought so hard for. He died in 1945.

Since then little has been heard of Lieutenant Barwant Singh and his fellow legionnaires.

At the end of the war the BBC was forbidden from broadcasting their story and this remarkable saga was locked away in the archives, until now. Not that Lieutenant Singh has ever forgotten those dramatic days.

"In front of my eyes I can see how we all looked, how we would all sing and how we all talked about what eventually would happen to us all," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/09/23 23:52:49 GMT)))))
These days when sensible state governments of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have renamed their state capital, one wonders when would the national government show enough guts and change the name of India to Bharata....which had been mentioned even in Bhagavada Gita. Since the ages from vedic period and historical period..our country has always been referred to as Bharata.

"India" is a misnomer and a racist name given by Britishers and also used by other European colonizers during 17-18th centuries which was a colonial age when Europeans where ever they went, used the terms Indians (by Brits in Americas, West Indies and Bharata/India), Indios (by Spanish/Portugese Colonizers in South America).

'Indian/Indios' had been used to denote the inferiority of the natives or so called aboriginals to justify their slavery and colonization of the occupied territories as well as to connote racist supremacy over the natives.

Even today in both North and South America the name Indians or Indios denote uncivilized or backward people. Often Indians/Indios is used degradingly to show racist supremacy.

We have been free for over 50 years and we still carry on with the racist and degrading nametags given to us by colonizers to justify their occupation.

How long are we going to endure the symbols/nametags of colonial period which only indicates our slave "brown saheb" mentality?

We have adopted English which is a defacto mother tongue of India. We are absolute nuts over a slothful and corrupt colonial sport - cricket (whose cost to the nation in terms of loss of productivity will run in to billions of $$$ since independence). So much so that we don't even win a single bronze medal in any other sport in the Olympics.

It seems that long periods of colonization of our country have permanently effected the psyche of our country men.
The Barmakid Yahya b. Khalid [d. 805] sent an envoy to India to draw up a report on religions of al-Hind.
The Arabic geographer, Ibn Khurdadhbih [d. 912] used this report on al-Hind in his Kitab al-Masalik wa'l Mamalik. His longer work, in turn lost, exists in Persian historian al-Gardizi's, Zayn al-Akhbar. Until al-Biruni, this was the only report on the religious beliefs of the people of al-Hind wa'l Sind. V. Minorsky translated al-Gardizi on India in 1948. S. Maqbul Ahmed has tackled Ibn Khurdadhbih more recently. I won't type up all that al-Gardizi writes on India, but let me give a brief summary. He identifies ninety-nine divisions and 42 varities of Indian religions. There is no text for their faith, he writes. He describes the Brahmans [they believe in the Creator who manifests as an idol and they worship the cow], the Mahadevis [they believe in Prophets and are mendicants], the Kali and the Ramani. Below is the smaller text from Ibn Khurdadhbih:

The Indians are divided into seven castes:
Al-Shakthariya. These are the most noble of them all. The king belongs to them. All the other casts bow to them, while they bow to no one.
Al-Barahima. They do not drink wine or any fermented liquors.
Al-Ksatriya. They drink up to three bowls of wine only. The Brahmins do not marry into them. But they marry into the Brahmins.
Al-Shudariya. They are the cultivators of land.
Al-Bayshiya. They are the artisans and the craftsmen.
Al-Sandaliya. They are the entertainers and musicians. Their womenfolk are beautiful.
Al-Dhunbiya. They are storytellers and entertainers and play musical instruments and games.

The Indians have forty-two religious sects: there are some amongst them who believe in the Creator, the Glorious and Powerful, and in the Prophets; again, there are some who reject the Prophets; and there are some who reject all.
The Indians claim that they can acheive their objectives with the help of magic. With its help they can cure poison and remove it from anyone who has been poisoned. They also practice telepathy and with its help they cause things to happen or prevent them from taking place and also cause harm or benefit. Again, they produce phantoms to the bewilderment of the sage. Then they claim that they can control the rains and cold.

*There are some people in India who are dedicated to a life of wandering in the forests and the mountains. They seldom communicate with human beings, and sometimes eat the herbs and fruits of the forests. They wear iron rings through their penis, so that they may not be able to cohabit with women. There are some others who are naked. Then some of them set themselves up towards the sun and encounter it naked except that they put on something made of the leopard skin. I saw one of these men just as I described and then departed. After sixteen years, I returned once again and [to my surprise] I found him in the same state [as I had left him]. I was surprised that his eyes did not melt away due to the heat of the sun. Both the Chinese and the Indians assert that the idols converse with them. In fact, it is their priests who talk to them. [*This is from the travels of the merchant Suleyman]
Here in America there is much talk about Africa link with India. Especially Ancient Egypt (Kemet) It was said that Asar whom the greeks called Osiris traveled to India bringing civilization. There have been attempts to link Ethiopians with Indians. It is also said that the Dravidians are a Black race of whom some have straight hair and some don't. See www.pyramidoftruth.com and www.themysteryoflife.com To the caucasian mind however Brown and Black people are the same. It was also said that people from the caucusus mountain led by Khrisna came down and destroyed the Dravidian civilization. The caucasus people called themselves Aryan and brahmins, they co-opted the Hindu religion and instituted the caste system. All of this is what is believed by some people in the west. Of course things are turning around as the world turns back to it's original order.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->      <b>Nobel Laureate V.S.Naipaul  - On ignoring history  </b>
"How do you ignore history? But the nationalist movement, independence movement ignored it. You read the Glimpses of World History by 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 don't 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." (economictimes.indiatimes.com, 13 January 2003)
“People 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”.

“India has been a wounded civilization 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 terrorized civilization out of what was the most creative culture that ever existed.”

"India was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with strong religious ideas, with a hatred of 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."

"India 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." (source: Economic Times - www.economictimes.com).

"The 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 "arriving" 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 evidence- the absence of Hindu monuments in the north is convincing enough. This conquest was unlike any other that had gone 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." (Outlook, 15 November 1999).

<b>On Hindu militancy and India's secularity </b>

“To 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 can't reconcile with it.” (Outlook, 15 November 1999). 

<b>On Hindu Revivalism</b>

"India 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 vandalizing 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, 'fascism', There is a big, historical development going on in India." (carribeanhindu.com)

"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. 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." (The Times of India, 18 July 1993)

"Indian intellectuals have a responsibility to the state and should start a debate on the Muslim psyche. To speak of Hindu fundamentalism, is a contradiction in terms, it does not exist. 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 government 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 that these wretched folk are fascists are wrong. It's absurd. I think that they are only reclaiming a little of their own identity. We can't discuss it using a Western vocabulary."

"I think every liberal person should extend a hand to that kind of movement from the bottom. One takes the longer view rather than the political view. There’s a great upheaval in India and if you’re interested in India, you must welcome it. "

"What 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." (indolink.com)

<b>On how he reacted to demolition of Babri Masjid </b>“Not as badly as the others did, I am afraid. The people who say that there was no temple there 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. 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.” (The Times of India, 18 July 1993).

<b>On the attire of the people who demolished Babri Masjid </b>
“One needs to understand the passion that took them on top of the domes. The jeans and the tee shirts are superficial. The passion alone is real. You can't 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.” (The Times of India, 18 July 1993).

<b>On the Taj Mahal </b>
“The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that it is painful to be there for very long.” (Outlook, 15 November 1999). 

"You 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." (economictimes.indiatimes.com, 13 January 2003)

<b>On Islam </b>
Naipaul says that Islam had enslaved and attempted to wipe out other cultures. "It 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 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter'." (Guardian News Service)

"There has probably been no imperialism like that of Islam and the Arabs." "Islam seeks as an article of faith to erase the past; the believers in the end honour Arabia alone; they have nothing to return to. Islam requires the convert to accept that his land is of no religious or historical importance; its relics were of no account; only the sands of Arabia are sacred." (The Times of India, 18 July 1993)

“It is not the unbeliever as the other person so much as the remnant of the unbeliever in one’s customs and in one’s ways of thinking. It’s this wish to destroy the past, the ancient soul, the unregenerate soul. This is the great neurosis of the converted.” (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

“I had known Muslims all my life. But I knew little of their religion. The doctrine, or what I thought was its doctrine, didn't attract me. It didn't 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.” (From his book Among the Believers, 1981) 

<b>On non-fundamentalist Islam </b>
“I 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.” (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

<b>On formation of Pakistan</b>
Naipaul considers Pakistan’s founding “extremely fortunate” for India as the “religious question would otherwise have paralysed and consumed the state”.

“The Iqbal idea that religion wasn’t a matter of conscience, that it needed a separate community and society, was a wicked and rather foolish idea.” 

"In India, unlike Iran, there never was a complete Islamic conquest. Although the Muslims ruled much of North India from 1200A.D. to 1700A.D., in the 18th century, the Mahrattas and the Sikhs destroyed Muslim power, and created their own empires, before the advent of the British....The British introduced the New Learning of Europe, to which the Hindus were more receptive than the Muslims. This caused the beginning of the intellectual distance between the two communities. This distance has grown with independence....Muslim insecurity led to the call for the creation of Pakistan. It went at the same time with an idea of old glory, of the invaders sweeping down from the northwest and looting the temples of Hindustan and imposing faith on the infidel. The fantasy still lives: and for the Muslim converts of the subcontinent it is the start of their neurosis, because in this fantasy the convert forgets who or what he is and becomes the violator." (http://www2b.abc.net.au/news/forum/forum...16200.shtm)

Naipaul calls Pakistan a “criminal” enterprise. “Here 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.”

<b>Naipaul’s advice to every Indian </b>
Naipaul has advised every Indian to make a “pilgrimage” to Vijaynagar “just to see what the (Muslim) invasion of India led to. They will see a totally destroyed town.”

"I think when you see so many Hindu temples of the tenth century or earlier time disfigured, defaced, you know that they were not just defaced for fun: that something terrible happened. I feel that the civilization of that closed world was mortally wounded by those invasions. And I would like people, as it were, to be more reverential towards the past, to try to understand it; to preserve it; instead of living in its ruins. The Old World is destroyed. That has to be understood. The ancient Hindu India was destroyed." (The Hindu, 5 July 1998).

<b>On charges of insensitivity and pandering to Western prejudices in writings about Islam </b>
“Well, that is the trouble with writing about Muslim people. There are people of the universities who want to run you out of town, and they’re paid to, and so they pay no attention to what you actually say.” (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

<b>On whether he is surprised by Osama bin Laden’s support in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran.</b>

“No, because these are the converted peoples of Islam. To put it brutally, these are the people who are not Arabs. Part of the neurosis of the convert is that he always has to prove himself. He has to be more royalist than the king, as the French say.” (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

<b>On causes of 9/11 </b>
“It had no cause. Religious hate, religious motivation, was the primary thing. I don’t think it was because of American foreign policy. There is a passage in one of the Conrad short stories of the East Indies where the savage finds himself with his hands bare in the world, and he lets out a howl of anger. I think that, in its essence, is what is happening. The world is getting more and more out of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world gets out of reach. The oil money in the 70’s gave the illusion that power had come to the Islamic world. It was as though up there was a divine supermarket, and at last it had become open to people in the Muslim world. They didn’t understand that the goods that gave them power in the end were made by another civilization. That was intolerable to accept, and it remains intolerable.” (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

<b>Farrukh Dhondy on V.S. Naipaul </b>

I ask V.S. Naipaul about his theory that the Muslim conquests of India resulted in genocide and a destruction of the flower of Hindu civilisation. He repeats his contention – Yes, the great wound was inflicted on this civilisation.

I ask him about the tolerance that I have been taught was part of Indian history, the life together of the two religions. He says it is a lie and a hoax.

In other conversations he has maintained that historians such as Romila Thapar are lying for political purpose, hiding the fact of Muslim genocide in India.

Now I ask him whether his views will not play into the hands of bigots and people who want to persecute Muslims in our times. He says the truth will never hurt, that Muslims in India ought to be aware of these truths. It is in this context that we come to what has been written about the religions of India.

(Report of an interview by Farrukh Dhondy with V.S. Naipaul, Asian Age, 9th August, 2001).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
According to historians of Cushite origin and descent and many othr historians, the Rig Vedas come from the ancient Kushite oral tradition of the original Black Indo-Negroid Cushite people of India who are of African origins and who were spread around the globe in prehistoric times. (One Kushite writer is Drucilla Dunjee Houston, ( www.cwo.com/~lucumi/runoko.html ) who wrote "Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Kushite Empire," pub. by Black Classics Press, Baltimore, Maryland: 1925 and 1985 also "Susu Economics: The History of Pan-African Trade, Commerce, Money and Wealth," pub. by AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, Indiana 47403 USA www.AuthorHouse.com also see http://community.webtv.net/nubianem )

According to Dunjee Houston, the Rig Vedas were originally the Kushite oral traditions that refer to places, Africoid people of India and the infiltration of semi-nomadic wanderers from Eurasia. The Rig Vedas also are similar to many ancient African books like the 'Kebra Nagashi,' (Ethiopian Kushite), the 'Book of Ani" and some others.

In fact, places like Mount Meru in Kenya and Kilimanjaro and Gods like 'Murugu' said to reside in the Mount Kilimanjaro region are also found in ancient Indian texts.

The original people of India were from three branches of the Pan-Negro race.

1. They were those who spoke the Manding-Kushi languages that originated in the Sahara. That group was usually a taller, curly-haired, straight haired, bushy haired type that migrated from the Sahara
during the 'wet phase,' when the Sahara was partly tropical, very, very hot and very, very humid. This type of climate led to the development of 'straight' hair among some Africans.

2. The Negro-Australoid, a group of Africans who migrated first to India (ABOUT 60,000 BC), then to Australia,(60,000 BC) then back to Europe (about 50,000 B.C.). Based on genetics, groups like the Munda, Oarang and others are genetically identical to Africans and their genes have been traced to a specific group of Africans in parts of East Africa.

3. The prehistoric (protohistoric) Negroid people of small stature like the Andaman Island Pygmies, the African Pygmies (Kwa), the Agta of the Philipines, the Semang of Malasia and others including the Tasmanians of Australia/Tasmania.

These three groups of Negroids were once spread around the world, including the Americas. In fact. A major migration of Blacks belongint to these three groups began to arrive in the Americas from East and West Africa as early as 75,000 BC ( see http://community.webtv.net/paulnubiaempire )

The Rig Vedas, according to researchers and historians were a collection of Aboriginal Indian Black Cushite oral tradition that was later written down over many centuries.

When the infiltrators entered India, they made some changes. In fact, original Indian civilization with its roots in East Africa and the Sahara was and still is an African civilization.

If one examines the languages of South India, the facial features, the customs, the 'red and black' pottery usage in ancient times, the RESPECT FOR WOMEN AND MATRILINEAL SUCCESSION, the establishment of strong fortified settlements with well-trained warriors, the establishment of crafts and trades guilds, the use of animals like cattle and others FOR BUILDING WEALTH, the ancient religion of recognition of the ELEMENTAL FORCES.

If we look at the original religion of the Black Cushites of India and the present Cushites of West Africa and East Africa we see similarities in the most ancient religions. In both East and West Africa that religion is Shango, Orisha, Chivaism, Vadu and others.

In fact, many of the spiritual and healing aspects of Vadu is found in some ancient Indo-Negroid religions. One aspect is using dolls and pins as 'props' in the healing (WHICH HOLLYWOOD HAS MISINTERPRETS AS SOMETHING ELSE).

Africans have two types of culture. One is a very, very ancient prehistoric culture that still exists in parts of Africa today. The other is a classical culture that has its roots in Africa's first civilization, the prehistoric Zingh Empire that has its origins and roots in Dafur, Sudan. It was from there that writing, mummification, city planning, familyhood, cattle husbandry, the boomerang, bow and arrow and many cultural traits began, including the very important pottery markers of Cusites, the black and red pottery tradition that is found from Spain and North-West Africa to South East Asia.



According to sources, ( www.cwo.com/~lucumi/runoko.html ), ANCIENT INDIANS OF KUSHITE ORIGINS WORSHIPPED THEIR BLACK SKINS AND CONSIDERED IT A BLESSING FROM THE GODHEAD. In fact, such was (and still is ) the rule in parts of Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas where religions and SECRET SOCIETIES BASED ON WORSHIP OF PURE BLACK GODS AND BLACK RACIAL ADVANCEMENT EXISTS.

The original Cushites of India had a system of 'trade guilds,' that originally came from African tradition. All guild members were concentrated on one particular trade.

The white barbarians changed this to include skin color or 'varna' and began the racial apartheid system that continues today.


Unfortunately, these lightskinned' Indians are not considered 'white' in Europe, the Americas or China. They are classified as being from the Africoid/Cushite roots, AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT EVERY INDIAN SHOULD BE PROUD OF BECAUSE IT WAS THE BLACK INDO-NEGROID AND AFRICAN CUSHITES WHO INTRODUCED THE ROOTS OF CIVILIZATION TO INDIA ALL THE WAY TO INDO-CHINA AND CHINA ITSELF.

Thanks for your time


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Out of Africa: the dilemmas of Afrocentricity. </b>
by Jr. William Cobb

Imposed in bold print over the cover of the September 22, 1991 issue of Newsweek was the question: "Was Cleopatra Black?" In the background was a picture of an elaborate Egyptian Glyph bedecked in 1990s style Afrocentric garb. The issue at hand was far more complex than the ethnicity of monarchs in antiquity. At the heart of the question was the issue of Afrocentrism and the debate over its "facts or fantasies." At its best, Afrocentrism is an attempt to redefine ourselves as subjects rather than objects of history; to view the world from a perspective that is grounded in Blackness. At its worst, it is an eclectic blend of fact, fiction, and pop metaphysics. From the stoic halls of academia to the lyrical polemics of hip-hop funk-orishas such as X-Clan, Afrocentrism has quickly proven to be one of the dominant "isms" of the 90s. The movement transformed legions of committed b-boys to beaded, braided urban oracles.

The central theme is to be in step with a sometimes nebulous concept of Blackness. On one level, Afrocentrism could more accurately be termed Egypt-centrism; on another, it incorporates cut-and-paste soundbites of numerous African cultures into a hyperblack mosaic of ideas, rites, and practices.

Among Afrocentricity's countless forebearers, it is most directly related to Karenga's Kawaida theory. In some ways Molefi Asante, who is credited with coining the term, provided an updated Kawaida remix for the hip-hop generation and beyond. The noble alms of Afrocentrism include a reconstruction of vital values, institutions, and history to end our cultural amnesia and collective identity crisis. One of the most fundamental elements of the well-being of a group is the ability to define itself. As long as one was identified as an African, she or he could never be made into a spook, coon, or any other fanciful creation of warped white minds. By this matter, the destruction of Black Civilization (or at least our recollection of it) was a dire necessity for the southern slavocracy. As many have noted, we grew to view ourselves through the eyes of those who hated us. The theft of our names, languages, gods, etc. left us culturally schizoid, haunted by what Du Bois eloquently termed the "double consciousness." In 1897 he defined it as:

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'this sense of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warning ideals in one dark body whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.'(1) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

It is precisely this schism which creates the need for a cultural base such as Afrocentrism.

In this context the African and American represent two juxtaposed identities struggling for control of the collective psyche of the black community. They are two "warring ideals" refereed by a hyphen. Just as some blacks fled from the stigma of Africanity and plunged wholeheartedly into an acceptance fantasy of Americanism, many Afrocentrics constructed alternate identities as descendants of feudal African monarchs. While this quest for self-identification is laudable, it can veer into a type of blacker-than-thou orthodoxy. But even with its flaws, Afrocentrism is more than "a way to rediscover a lost cultural identity - or invent one that never quite existed," as Henry Louis Gates dismissed it.(2) There exists within the movement a substantial amount of critical pedagogy as well as chauvinist demagoguery. Nonetheless, the movement, like its ideological cousin, multiculturalism, remains critical of the hegemony of "Western" culture. In his iconoclastic poem "I am," Amiri Baraka challenges the notion of western cultural supremacy. In his trademark acidic polemics Baraka notes: "If you leave Greece headed west/you arrive in Newark." The poem goes on to pay proper disrespect to Greeks who "Vanilla Iced" the accomplishments of Egypt, and to list a millenia-long rap sheet of transgressions of the west from murder of Spartacus to the colonization of Africa and extermination of Native Americans. These criticisms have drawn the attention of a squad of establishment intellectuals, including historian Arthur Schlesinger, former Assistant Secretary of Education Dianne Ravitch, and former Education Secretary & Bush's failed drug czar William Bennnett. Their standard line of argument declared that multiculturalism would "balkanize" America leading inevitably to a fragmented, schizoid American identity. This pro-western sentiment was best exemplified in an essay apocalyptically titled "The Fraying of America," in Time magazine. Essayist Robert Hughes prefaces his crusade against Afrocentrism/multiculturalism saying "When a nation's diversity breaks into factions, demagogues rush in, false issues cloud debate, and everybody has a grievance."(3) In Hughes' perspective, Afrocentrism is a culturally separatist movement which is symptomatic of the current vogue or cult of catharsis in which everyone and anyone is encouraged to air his or her grievances against the Establishment. Finally Hughes dismisses the movement with a paternalistic insouciance by saying:

Cultural separatism within this republic is more a fad than a serious proposal; it is not likely to hold. If it did, it would be a disaster for those it claims to help: the young, the poor, and the black.(4)

Afrocentrism can best be understood by exploring its roots, the factors that catapulted it into the consciousness of a young generation of blacks, and its demagogue/pedagogue dichotomy. Afrocentrism has colored in the urban landscape and infused itself into black pop culture. It exists as the philosophical nemesis of urban "gangsta" culture, particularly within hip-hop music.

<b>Back to Africa </b>

In 1963, Baraka, then known as LeRoi Jones, wrote in his classic text Blues People, "The African cultures, the retention of some parts of these cultures in America, and the weight of the stepculture produced the American Negro. A new race."(5) Twenty-two years earlier Melville J. Herskovits' Myth of the Negro Past provided a brilliant refutation to the thesis that all aspects of African culture had been removed from New World Africans through the deculturalizing institution of slavery. E. Franklin Frazier, and later Daniel Patrick Moynihan took issue with Herskovits' theories. Nonetheless, the issue of cultural identity in the Black community remains a complex undertaking to this day. But what caused the ideology of Afrocentrism to take root so firmly at this juncture in our history?

Throughout its history, Black America has vacillated between a more liberal, open ethos and one in which the community becomes more insular, as is most easily seen in the various permutations of Black Nationalism in this century alone. The prominence of either school at a given time is usually a barometer of that politico-social moment. These moments serve to heighten the group identity of individuals and drive home the point that America functions as a teeming pool of competing interest groups, held together by a thinly veiled facade of common culture - Eurocentrism. Harold Cruse noted this phenomena in his massive study of black leadership Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Cruse notes:

Hence the individual Negro has proportionately, very few rights indeed because his ethnic group (whether or not he actually identifies with it) has very little political, economic, or social power (beyond moral grounds) to wield. Thus it can be seen that those Negroes, and there are very many of them, who have accepted the full essence of the Great American Ideal of individualism are in serious trouble trying to function in America.(6)

Afrocentrism came of age in the spiritual wreckage of the eighties, the golden age of cowboy capitalism and race-card politics. The public grew to understand that the economy was being plundered by Reaganesque welfare queens, and Willie Horton existed as a gruesome male spectre on the horizon, bent upon defiling sacrosanct white virtue. The macabre ethos of the era is captured in poet Asha Bandele's "1980 to 1990."

<b>1980s </b>

that decade fell on us like napalm & we traded love & humanity for porkbellies on the stock exchange floor while policemen renewed their vows as klansmen . . . the 1980s yeah it was "the decade of excess" the media said but they never did get past donald trump long enuf to tell the truth excess of racism excess of sexism excess of dollarism excess of white privilege excess of black poverty vomiting the american dream on homeless streets men, women & children . . . laid out like yesterday's garbage. . .(7)

More specifically, the polarizing politics of a legion of neoconservatives served as the catalyst for the black community's swing toward the insular politics of nationalism.

Secondly, the ruins of post-industrial urban America have become increasingly associated with the failures of integration. The conspicuous absence of the black middle class left the die-hard ghettocentric black youth contemptuous of the middle class and its assimilationist tendencies. By far, the most popular black leader of the late eighties and early nineties was Malcolm X. Malcolm represented uncompromising strength and an overt rejection of white society to an entire generation. The iconography of young urban America in the late eighties was largely a soundbite mosaic of retro-sixties cultural relics. One of the most vivid aspects of the sixties was the dashiki-clad cultural nationalists who typified the antithesis of the suit-and-tie integrationists. Afrocentrism is, perhaps, an updated version of the cultural nationalist movement and its intellectual backbone, the Kawaida Theory.

Inevitably, these retro-icons would be wed to hip-hop, which provided the soundtrack for the chaotic coming of age of a generation. With the benefit of technology, the raspy voice of Malcolm X was resurrected, digitized, and sampled, first by rage prophets Public Enemy, then by a slew of followers. Note the ascendancy of rappers X-Clan, hyperblack rap-orishas with a dress code that spanned 4,000 years in black aesthetics. Speaking of the connection of social upheaval and proto-Afrocentric rap, James Spady notes:

We must be cognizant that this is the generation born into political upheaval, both domestically & internationally. As they breathed their first breath of life, young panthers were having their lives snuffed out. . . . Martin Luther King was murdered in cold blood. . . .It is within this context that one observes a generation of young blacks in quest of their history & identity.(8)

This is not to say that the ideas of Afrocentrism are peculiar to this generation, but these are some of the reasons that the movement has captured the imagination of a new set of adherents.

<b>Pedagogy of the Oppressed</b>

Afrocentrism represents (literally) a type of Black Reconstruction. The objective is to counter the Eurocentric mythology which has been passed off as the history of the West. Similarly, the multicultural movement, and its accompanying historical revisionism, seeks to present a more balanced perspective of history and culture. But this critique of European cultural hegemony in America is not new. Sociologist Milton Gordon noticed in Assimilation in America that American institutions:

'have as a central assumption the desirability of maintaining English institutions, (as modified by the American Revolution), the English language, and English-oriented cultural patterns as dominant and standard in American life.'(9)

Thus the melting pot is more accurately seen as a cultural oligarchy in which everyone is given equal opportunity to become Anglophiles.

The Afrcocentrist critique of this history has as its underlying assumption that these false assumptions have deified white/western contributions to the evolution of human civilization while vilifying those of Africans. This has resulted in tremendous damage to the self-perception of African-Americans, and the first goal of Afrocentric pedagogy is a reconstruction of a historical memory which will allow Blacks to view themselves as "subjects rather than objects" of history. While the West finds its intellectual/political/cultural matrix in Greece, Afrocentrists find their origins in Eqyptian civilization. The tenets of the Afrocentric perspective on antiquity include:

* Egypt was a Black/African civilization

* Ancient Greece was a poor imitator of the Egyptians

* All art, philosophy, etc. find their origins in Egypt - not Greece.

* Christianity and its ideas were actually vulgar reductions of ancient Egyptian philosophy.

There is an impressive array of work to support the Afrocentrist revisionism. The writings of the Senegalese scholar Cheikh Anta Diop, of George G.M. James, Asa Hilliard, and Martin Bernal all point to a significant influence made by black Africans on civilization in antiquity.

Stolen Legacy by Dr. George G.M. James is probably the definitive work on black antiquity within the Afrocentric canon. Written in 1954, James' work is a treatise claiming Greek philosophy is plagiarized Eqyptian philosophy. The cover to the original edition reads, "The Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy, but the people of North Africa commonly called the Eqyptians." The cover of the most recent publication of the book reads simply "Greek philosophy is stolen Egyptian philosophy." James' thesis is based upon several premises. First, he asserts that Egyptian teachings reached other lands before they reached Greece; therefore, so-called Greek philosophy pre-dates its "originators." Secondly, "the period of Greek philosophy (640-322 B.C.) was a period of internal and external wars and was unsuitable for producing philosophers." Third, and most importantly, James asserts that the Greeks were educated by the Egyptians, thereby bringing Greeks into direct contact with the teachings which they would later usurp and claim as their own. As proof of Greek contempt for philosophy and "dubious authorship," James reminds his readers that it was the "Athenians who in 399 B.C. sentenced Socrates to death and subsequently caused Plato and Aristotle to flee for their lives from Athens because philosophy was something foreign and unknown to them."(10)

His second contention is based upon the chronology of Greek warfare and its coincidence with the origins of philosophy. James makes the dubious argument that this strife made Greece an unlikely home to intellectual pursuits. He writes:

History supports the fact that from the time of Thales to the time of Aristotle, the Greeks were victims of internal disunion, on one hand, while on the other, they lived in constant fear of invasion from the Persians who were a common enemy to the city states.(11)

The most crucial of these conflicts were the Persian Conquests, the Leagues, and the Peloponnesian wars. These issues were "the obstacles against the origin and development of Greek philosophy."(12) James' most important (and substantial) argument for Egyptian influence in antiquity is seen in his analysis of Egyptian "mystery schools" in which Greeks were educated. James sees Alexander the Great's defeat of Luxor in 332 B.C. as the crucial watershed in which Greeks began to co-opt Egyptian learning. However, while James' book goes a long way in raising questions about the origins and influences of Greek philosophy, it does not conclusively show an Egyptian origin.

Diop's African Origins of Civilization argues more conclusively for the African matrix theory. To his credit, Diop's melanin analysis of mummified Egyptian remains is one of the strongest indicators that Egypt was indeed a Black Civilization. In Origins he argues that Europeans were cognizant of the tremendous accomplishments of the "negroid" peoples of North Africa but chose to disguise these facts in order to further the philosophy of white supremacy and justify the "civilizing" mission of the slave trade. As evidence he offers the testimony of Count Constantin De Volney, a European scholar who visited Egypt in 1783. De Volney wrote:

(the Sphinx) all have a bloated face, puffed up eyes, flat nose, thick lips; in a word, the true face of a mulatto. . . . On seeing that head, typically negro in all its features, I remembered the remarkable passage where Herodotus says: 'As for me, I judge the Colchians to be a colony of the Egyptians because, like them, they are black with woolly hair. . .' In other words, the ancient Egyptians were trite Negroes.(12)

He goes on to add that by 1833:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Egyptologists were dumbfounded with admiration for the past grandeur and perfection they discovered. They gradually recognized it as the most ancient civilization that had engendered all others. But imperialism being what it is, it became increasingly inadmissible to continue to accept the theory - evident until then - of a Negro Egypt. The birth of Egyptology was thus marked by the need to destroy the memory of a Negro Egypt at any cost. . . (13) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In a chapter titled "The Modern Falsification of History" in Origins, Diop argues that the historical mythology surrounding Egypt began with the racist archeologist Jean Francois Champollion. According to Champollion, "The first tribes to inhabit Egypt, that is, the Nile Valley . . . came from Abyssinia. The ancient Egyptians belonged to a race quite similar to the Kennous or Barabras."(14) While he accepts Herodotus' description of the Egyptians, he takes the curious line of reasoning that:

Herodotus recalls that the Egyptians had black skin and woolly hair . . . Yet these two physical qualities do not suffice to characterize the Negro race . . . Volney's conclusion as to the Negro origin of ancient Egyptian civilization is forced and inadmissible.(15) For good measure, Champollion divides Africa into three distinct races, Negroes Proper, found in central Africa; Kaffirs, of Eastern Africa; and Moors, who are "similar in stature and hair to the best formed nations of Europe."

The pioneering work of Diop and James influenced generations of revisionist scholars who sought to uncover the truth about African history and culture. But these viewpoints were destined to remain cloaked in obscurity without a cultural movement which made them relevant to a non-scholastic audience. This is where Molefi Asante of Temple University and his concept of Afrocentricity come into play.

The ideas of these scholars were given a voice by cultural nationalists during the 1960s and early 70s. But when that movement collapsed (from a potent cocktail of its own contradictions and the covert activities of the F.B.I.), the voice was effectively silenced. Asante's Afrocentricity (1980) became the text that reincarnated the movement. Though Asante jacked his predecessors for their ideas and his book is a mosaic of concepts espoused by other thinkers, it pushed Asante and the ill-defined "ism" into the forefront of the intellectual warfare of the 80s. Afrocentricity prescribed a regimen to effectively center one's perspective in Africa. Using Egypt rather than Greece as the cultural matrix, Afrocentrists constructed an alternate perspective on the evolution of civilization. This pedagogy was tailored for black people because, in Asante's view, the experiences of black people are the best examples for black people to learn from.

Afrocentricity is both theory and practice. In its theoretical aspect it consists of interpretation and analysis from the perspective of African people as subjects rather than as objects on the fringe of European experience . . . In its practical implications, Afrocentricity aims to locate African American children in the center of the information being presented in classrooms across the nation.

Asante proposes a type of pedagogy for the oppressed, one that is predicated upon the centrality of the diasporan Black Experience.(16) Across the nation, the issue sparked debate over curriculum reform and the validity of Afrocentrists' assumptions that the well-being of Black children was being jeopardized by the homogeneity of the current curricula.

Afrocentricity's detractors are numerous. While one important issue that Afrocentrism brought to the floor was how to make curricula reflective of the experiences of groups other than WASPs, many view the ideology as fantastic and divisive. Henry Louis Gates' criticisms that the movement is romantic and chauvinistic have struck a chord with white and Black intellectuals. Isaac Julien, a black, gay, cultural critic, attacked the movement for its parochialism and intolerance of black homosexuality, saying, "Even Afrocentrism's privileging of a new black aesthetic is not dialogic enough to think through the 'hybridity of ethnicity,' let alone liberated enough to include queerness in its blackness."(17) Julien's essay appeared in the cult manifesto Black Pop Culture, a collection of essays compiled mainly from "talented tenthers" on issues relating to Black Culture. With a few notable exceptions (Manning Marable, Angela Davis), there is a distinctly anti-nationalist/Afrocentrist theme permeating the collection. Gates observed "a curious, subterraneous connection between homophobia and nationalism," and uses his essay as a pulpit to demand that the Black Arts Writers seek penance for their excessive racialism.(18)

But the most vociferous (and myopic) denunciations of Afrocentrism have come from the intellectual mercenaries of the establishment. The Schlesingers and Ravitches, in a last-ditch attempt to preserve the sanctity of the West and the way of white folk, have launched. oversimplified psuedo-critiques of the movement. In their eyes the nation would be balkanized by merely admitting and exploring the diversity of experience in America. In an article in the New Republic entitled "The Afrocentric Myth," Wellesly professor Mary Lefkowitz sought to destroy the fundamental assumptions of Afrocentric worldview. In a peculiar mix of paternalism and scorn, Lefkowitz dismissed the work of James and Diop and points to the propagandistic uses of history by Marcus Garvey as the motive for such untenable scholarship. She questions whether or not Herodotus' descriptions are to "be taken literally." Her attacks also focus upon Martin Bernal's Black Athena, a relatively new work in which a white scholar corroborates the claim to African origins of classical culture. She dismisses Bernal's work as tenuous because the era of which he writes has left relatively few artifacts upon which to base his assumptions. While she dismisses James and Diop out of hand, she goes on to say of Bernal:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To the extent that he has helped to provide an apparently respectable underpinning for Afrocentric fantasies, he must be held accountable, even if his intentions are sincere or honorable and his motives sincere. His standards are higher than most of his fellow Afrocentrists . . .(19) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

While Lefkowitz penned an assault on the underpinnings of Afrocentrism, Ravitch challenged the value of its role in reinterpreting the way in which we view the past and contemporary American culture. Her essay, suggestively entitled, "Multiculturalism: E Pluribus Plures," deliberately misplaces historical revisionism in the same arena as parochial-minded zealots who have tried to subjugate the academy to their ideological whims (creationism vs evolution, etc.) She notes: "The secularization of the schools during the past century had prompted attacks on the curricula and textbooks and library books by fundamentalist Christians." She traces the current controversy to the "ethnic revival of the 60s," which brought the "teaching of history under fire, because the history of the national leaders, virtually all of whom were white Anglo-Saxon, and male, ignored the place in American history of those who were none of the above."(20) In a show of gross conjecture she posits that "As a result of the political and social changes of recent decades, cultural pluralism is now generally recognized as the organizing principle of this society." Afrocentrism, in her perspective, assumes that only black heroes can act as role models for black children. She questions whether or not esteem is developed in relation to the perception of one's group and, in perhaps the most telling segment of the essay, she highlights the story of a black woman track runner who found her inspiration in the fluid mobility of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ravitch finds this story particularly gratifying because it seems to fly in the face of Afrocentric theory because the black woman crosses race, gender, and even genre classifications to find inspiration. Nonetheless, her example leaves her in the comfortable position of whites acting as aesthetic/cultural lords to their black vassals.

But the criticisms of Afro-centric theory are not wholly incorrect. Reactionary critics have conveniently overlooked the positive possibilities of Afrocentrism as a corrective tool. Afro-centrists have overlooked the aspects of their movement which actually have lapsed into a self-indulgent demagoguery.

<b>Demogoguery of the Oppressed </b>

The clearest antecedent of Afro-centrism is Kawaida theory which provided the intellectual backbone of the 60s cultural nationalism. Just as Kawaida theory was subverted into a blacker-than-thou orthodoxy, many aspects of Afro-centric thought have slipped into mildly untenable idealism and wildly irrational absurdity. This strand does not invalidate the entire movement, but it does provide constant ammunition to its many detractors. Baraka, who began as one of the chief proponents of Kawaida, later denounced it, stating in his autobiography that he had frantically claimed a blackness that was kind of bogus, a kind of black bohemianism that once again put the middle class in the position of being unintelligible to the masses. . . The idea that we had to go back to pre-capitalist Africa and extract some unchanging black values from historical feudalist Africans and impose them on a twentieth century world was simple idealism.(21)

In July 1991, Leonard Jeffries, chair of the African-American Studies program at the City College of New York, delivered a speech before the Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival in which he proclaimed that:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Russian Jewry had a particular control over the movies. . . and the Mafia put together a financial system of destruction of black people, and rich Jews financed the African slave trade." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Jeffries' incendiary comments caused a firestorm of controversy during which he effectively lost his position as chair of the department (he later regained it by court order). But Jeffries' comments represent a chauvinistic tendency among some Afrocentrists. Rather than use the ideology as a perspective from which to critique and accept information, it is used as an excuse for provincialism and a host of other onerous "isms." But Jeffries is not alone. Psychologist Frances Cress Welsing establishes an elaborate and bizarre perspective on European history/culture. Her book provides and easy-to-learn dichotomy by which European culture can be understood. "Ice" people (Europeans) are warlike and individualistic. "Sun" people are communal and peaceful. The existence, of war-like African gods like Shango and peaceful European gods like Aphrodite is not discussed. Welsing goes on to construct an elaborate paradigm in which sports become a metaphor for racial/genetic conflict. She notes "Ball games = war of the balls = war of the testicles = war of the genes = race war."(22) In her analysis, the interaction between blacks and whites is always colored by the subjacent theme of white fear of genetic annihilation at the hands of Black men.

Some Afrocentrists, including Welsing, have promoted a brand of melanin-based biological determinism which is shockingly similar to the nineteenth century psuedo-science constructed to prove white superiority. Welsing states, "I theorized that the presence of melanin in high concentrations in blacks accounted for observable differences in behavior between black people and white people."(23) Welsing's fellow melanist, Tony Browder, writes in From the Browder Files, a collection of Afrocentric essays:

We witness the power of melanin whenever we see African Americans performing on the football field, basketball court, city hall, on television, or in the theater. It's been said that Blacks have to be twice as good as whites in order to compete with them. For Blacks, melanin is the equalizer.(24)

Neither author offers empirical data to support the profound abilities of melanin. The most vivid elaborations upon the ice/sun dichotomy and melanin are to be found in Michael Bradley's Iceman Inheritance. The book, which is subtitled "Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism, and Aggression," was penned by a white Canadian. Bradley posits that the influence of the "ice" permanently shaped the western culture and psyche into aggressive, non-communal beings. The binary logic of sun-ice analysis ignores a tremendously complex set of socio-political and economic dynamics which are central to the rise of the European nation state, capitalism, colonialism, and "modernity."

Within this strain of Afro-centric thought, a romantically ideal version of African history is used to supplant the historical mythology of Europeans. In seeking to destroy Euro-centrism, many Afro-centrists have actually emulated it.

Ultimately, Afro-centrism is neither the panacea which will cure the cultural dilemmas of Black America, nor the virus which will destroy it. It is, however, an important exercise in self-naming. The American canon has remained firmly entrenched in a myopically elite perspective which denies the achievements of many peoples of color. Both the Afro-centric and multicultural movements are essential tools for marginalized peoples working to break the hegemony of white/western culture. Clearly, the failure to recognize the important contributions of non-white groups to the onward march of civilization, at the very least, contributes to ethnocentric arrogance. Further, the failure to view critically the tendency to write European history as a five-hundred year resume, undercuts the ethical considerations of history and hinders the development of true multicultural democracy. At the same time, Afro-centric scholars must be ever vigilant so they may avoid chauvinistic feel-goodism and thereby continue the internecine wars to contruct cultural hierarchies. Lastly, Afro-centrism, like much of Black Religion, is deeply ancestral. It reverberates with traditions (reconstructed though they may be) and strengthens the continuum of cultural development which has accompanied the black community throughout its sojourn toward a truer equality in America.

<b>NOTES </b>

1 W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk (New York: Library of America. 1984).

2 Henry Louis Gates, "Beware of the New Pharaohs,"Newsweek, 23 September 1991, 47.

3 Robert Hughes, "The Fraying of America" Time 3 February, 1992, 44.

3 Ibid., 46.

4 Ibid., 48.

5 Leroi Jones, Blues People. (New York: Morrow-Quill 1963), 7.

6 Harold Cruse, Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (New York: Quill, 1967), 8.

7 Asha Bandele, "1980 to 1990" Chap. in In The Tradition (New York: Harlem River Press, 1993), 67.

8 James Spady, Nation Conscious Rap (New York: PC International Press, 1991), 161.

9 Milton Gordon, Assimilation in America.

10 George, G.M. James, Stolen Legacy (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1992), 22.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Cheikh Anta Diop, African Origins of Civilization (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1974).

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Molefi Asante, "Multiculturalism: An Exchange" Chap. in Debating P.C. (New York: Dell, 1993), 308.

17 Isaac Julien, "Black Is, Black Ain't" Black Pop Culture Chap. in (Seattle: Bay Press, 1992), 255.

18 Mary Lefkowitz, "Not Out of Africa," New Republic 10 February, 1992), 33.

19 Dianne Ravitch, "E Pluribus Plures," Debating P.C. (New York: Dell, 1992).

20 Amiri Baraka, Autobiography of Leroi Jones (New York: Freudlich Press, 1984), 323.

21 Frances Welsing, Cress Isis Papers (Chicago: Third World Press, 1992), 144.

22 Ibid, 232.

23 Anthony Browder, From the Browder Files (Washington, D.C.: Karmic Institute. 1989).

24 Ibid.

William Cobb, Jr. is a student at Howard University, Washington, D.C. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
'The Hindu land is a wounded civilisation'

Vivek Gumaste
Posted online: Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 1624 hours IST
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 1642 hours IST

NAIPAUL’S INDIA: "That was a time when there was no intellectual life in India..."

In reacting to his Nobel Prize laudation, Naipaul averred: “I am utterly delighted, this is an unexpected accolade. It is a great tribute to both England, my home, and to India, home of my ancestors.” While England provided him with a place and a language to express his thoughts, the ethos of his writings is clearly his Indian ancestry. Never before has a writers work been so consumed by the complexities of his origin, compounded by the geographical displacement of his forefathers.

His writings about India, scathingly depreciating at times, have never gone down well with the Indian intelligentsia. His post Nobel Prize remark that he had contributed to India's intellectual development was greeted with profound scepticism and deep antipathy in India. However, a close reading of his works reveals that his three books about India (An Area of Darkness, A Wounded Civilisation and India-A Million Mutinies Now) are in essence, an accurate, objective picture of the changing scenario in post-independent India.

Naipaul, the son of Indian immigrants to Trinidad, first visited India in the 1960's. He carries in his mind a carefully cultivated image of India-the land of Nehru and Gandhi, the land of a great civilisation. His shock and disappointment at the land of his ancestors finds vent in a harsh and stinging tirade in An Area of Darkness, ostensibly to mask the deep hurt that he himself experiences. Jeffery Paine author of Father India rightly concludes: "Area is the narrative of a young man not finding the India he expected and not liking the India he finds." India does not live up to his dreams and the young Naipaul lacks the maturity to gauge the strength of an ancient civilisation.

Naipaul's disgust at what he sees is exemplified in sentences like this: "Indians defecate everywhere. They defecate mostly, besides the railway tracks. But they also defecate on the beaches; they defecate on the hills; they defecate on the river banks; they defecate on the streets; they never look for cover."

However his observations are not all gloom and doom. He appreciates the Indian attitude and deep down in his mind exists a glimmer of hope for the country of his forefathers: "Nowhere are people so heightened, rounded, and individualistic; nowhere did they offer themselves so fully and with such assurance. To know Indians was to take delight in people; every encounter was an adventure. I did not want India to sink; the mere thought was painful." (An Area of Darkness)

But does his book depict genuinely the India of the 1960's? The answer is, yes. Naipaul could not have come to India, at a more inappropriate time. It was a country in flux. The initial euphoria of Independence had evaporated, the Chinese war had deflated its confidence and crushed its philosophy of non-violence, the economy was non-existent and at the helm was an aging, crestfallen Prime Minister; certainly not an optimistic picture. So when Naipaul suggests, much to the dislike of some Indians, that there was little intellectual life in India 40 years ago, he is probably right. The guiding principles of India at that time had failed.

Ahimsa (Gandhian principle of non-violence) had fallen flat in the face of Chinese aggression, socialism had failed miserably and the image of India as a beggar with a begging bowl was gaining strength. Resistant and oblivious to the changing world, India’s aging leaders (both political as well as intellectual), proponents of this decaying ideology clung stubbornly to it ruthlessly suppressing any alternative thought process and allowing India to sink deeper and deeper into a quagmire. In the absence of a rejuvenating force, there, indeed existed an intellectual vacuum. Though rather harsh, Naipaul rightly concludes: "India has been a shock for me, because-you know, you think of India as a very old and civilised land. One took this idea of an antique civilisation for granted and thought it contained the seed of growth in this century.... India has nothing to contribute to the world, is contributing nothing."

On a personal note he ends: "It was a journey that ought not to have been made; it had broken my life in two" But return he did. Again and again until he had made peace with the civilisation of his origin.

Ten years later (A Wounded Civilisation, 1976) the shock, disgust and anger persist but in an attempt to assuage his own wounds he conducts a root cause analysis of India's plight. He concludes that the Hindu land is "a wounded civilisation", injured by the British Raj and the preceding Islamic invasion. Again his strong emotional links with India come to the fore: "India is for me a difficult country. It isn't my home and cannot be my home; and yet I cannot reject it or be indifferent to it; I cannot travel only for the sights. I am at once too close and too far."

Towards the end of the first millennium, India had become an inward looking society which arrogantly ignored the outside world and this attitude had brought with it, its inherent weaknesses and prepared the ground for its impending invasions: "No civilisation was so little equipped to cope with the outside world; no country was so easily raided and plundered, and learned so little from its disasters. Five hundred years after the Arab conquest of Sind, Moslem rule was established in Delhi as the rule of the foreigners, people apart; and foreign rule-Moslem for the first five hundred years, British for the last 150-ended in Delhi only in 1947."

The catastrophic effect that these repeated invasions had on the Hindu psyche are well delineated by Naipaul. Commenting on the decline of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, one of the last bastions of Hindu rule during the Islamic invasion, he astutely observes: "I wondered whether intellectually, for a thousand years India hadn't always retreated before its conquerors and whether in its periods of apparent revival, India hadn't only been making itself archaic again, intellectually smaller, always vulnerable."

This idea is repeatedly emphasized in the book:" Hinduism hasn't been good enough for the millions. It has exposed us to a thousand years of defeat and stagnation. Its philosophy of withdrawal has diminished men intellectually and not equipped them to respond to challenge; it has stifled growth. So that again and again in India, history has repeated itself: vulnerability, defeat and withdrawal."

And for a thousand years (1000 AD to 1947) foreign rule suppressed the native intellect and stymied any growth of the native civilisation. Free of the shackles of alien subjugation, one would have expected to see a positive assertion of ones identity in the post 1947 period. Tragically this was not to be. India's intellectual power fell into the hands of a myopic Indian intellectually community (largely comprised of Marxist oriented historians-sophisticated Pol Pots who desired to erase any reference to India's past) who failed to give a sense of direction to free India.

These armchair intellectuals propounded new fangled philosophies that only accelerated its sense of purposelessness. One such concept was secularism. This 'secularism' did not subscribe to the dictionary definition of the word. But took on a totally different meaning in India. It was a corruption. It led to showering on the non-Hindu communities a set of privileges that could not be justified morally, economically or legally. But more important it expected the Hindu to negate his own identity. Any attempt by the Hindu, however innocent, to assert his identity was dubbed as reactionary and divisive. This proved disastrous in terms of India's self- confidence. Naipaul was probably the first person to make this observation and express it in no uncertain terms: "The loss of the past meant the loss of that civilisation, the loss of a fundamental idea of India, and the loss therefore to a nationalist-minded man, of a motive for action. It was a part of the feeling of purposelessness of which many Indians spoke."

Even an attempt to accurately define India's historical past was frowned upon. Over the centuries India had shrunk physically. Its boundaries had receded from mountains of the Hindu Kush in the West to deserts of Rajasthan forsaking in the process even its traditional cradle of civilisation- the Indus Valley. Academics foolishly contended that the very fact that India existed now was enough to infer that the Islamic invasion was not detrimental to India. They went on to add that invasions had enriched India. Even if India had shrunk to a sliver of land near the southern tip of India-these intellectuals would seek satisfaction that India still existed, totally oblivious of its loss and incapable of appreciating the magnitude of damage. India not only suffered an intellectual depletion but also a crass intellectual perversion that failed to identify the true cause of its backwardness and thus hampered progress.

Therefore Naipaul correctly avers: "The crisis of India is not only political or economic. The larger crisis is of a wounded old civilisation that has at last become aware of its inadequacies and is without the intellectual means to move ahead." I am not certain whether India had 'become aware of its inadequacies' but certainly it lacked the intellectual means of progress during that period.

Finally when he returns to India in the 1990's (India-A Million Mutinies Now), Naipaul is more mature and discerning: "What I hadn't understood in 1962, or had taken too much for granted was the extent to which the country had been remade; and even the extent to which India had been restored to itself, after its own equivalent of the dark ages-after the Muslim invasions and the detailed, repeated vandalising of the North, the shifting empires, the wars, the 18th-century anarchy."

Naipaul now sees the benefits of independence, a crucial catalyst for human growth: "the idea of freedom had gone everywhere in India." And he observes Indians discovering their own identity (to some extent fuelled by the growth of the nationalist BJP): "People everywhere have ideas now of who they are and what they owe themselves"

Change is present everywhere, "India was now a country of million mutinies. A million mutinies, supported by twenty kinds of group excess, sectarian excess, religious excess, regional excess: the beginnings of self-awareness, it would seem the beginnings of an intellectual life, already negated by old anarchy and disorder. But there was in India now what didn't exist 200 years before: a central will, a central intellect, a national idea. .... What the mutinies were also helping to define was the strength of the general intellectual life, and the wholeness and humanism of the values to which all Indians now felt that they could appeal. They were a part of the beginning of a new way for many millions, part of India's growth, part of its restoration."

In summary, India had changed. India was now something to be proud of. Naipaul had something to be proud of. He is finally at peace with India, the very essence of his origin and his existence.

After winning the Nobel Prize, Naipaul arrogantly claimed he helped effect this change in India. What he overlooks is the fact that he is merely the chronicler of the change and not its instigator. However, one may also look at this remark from a different perspective. Does it reflect a deep empathy for India? Does he badly want to be a part of its success?
The Advani Adjustment and Kashmir

Since the end of the 19th century, the question before the political leadership of the subcontinent has been this: is India a ‘civilizational nation’ in continuity over millennia or is it a ‘composite state’ needing a new definition in the post-colonial modern world. Those who adopted the slogans of restoration of Ram Rajya or the Khilafat during the freedom struggle tended to see India as a civilizational legacy, modeled along the lines of modern China and Japan. They did not address the complexity of what this meant for “nationhood”. Divergent though these perspectives were, political expediency occasionally allowed alliances between the adherents of the two perspectives. Gandhi’s support of the Khilafat movement and Muslim support for changes in nomenclature, such as to Swaraj Sabha from Home Rule League are two cases in point. Mahatma Gandhi and Allama Iqbal tended assert the “civilizational” contributions of Hinduism and Islam respectively in undivided India. On the other hand Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, albeit advocating divergent mechanisms for power sharing, tended to see the future of India as a composite society needing a new definition in the modern world.

The arguments of the two perspectives evolved over the course of half a century and boiled over into a bitter dispute in early 1940s resulting in the partition of the country. Officially, both India and Pakistan declared themselves to be states composed of several civilizations. The preeminent status of Nehru and Jinnah were responsible for this declaration. But in both countries, those who espoused civilizational pride and an identity based on this pride remained political forces to be reckoned with. In the late-1970s, Pakistan veered sharply towards such a definition as Zia ul-Haq began using the mullah to consolidate power. In India this sentiment was to find political ground a decade later resulting in the ascendancy of an aggressive Hindutva brigade.

In political terms, the debate runs something like this. The civilizational argument is: we are a state that places a common civilization at center stage. It is what gives us our identity, our strength and our purpose. To further the ends of our nation-state, you must conform and be one of ‘us’. The composite argument is: we are a state that recognizes the existence of multiple civilizations within our borders. We believe that the state must cater to the flowering of all of these civilizations in equal measure and find agreement amongst ourselves on other issues such as poverty, health care, education and so on. The civilizational nation perspective demands conformity and the composite state perspective seeks agreement; two very different paths.

<b>The recent controversy surrounding Lal Krishan Advani’s comments on Jinnah is an extension of this polemic and, in that context, a healthy one that goes to the very root of politics in Southasia. At face value, Advani seems to have discovered the dangers of asserting a purely civilizational definition of the Indian state and has rightly started to back-track towards “secularism”, Southasia’s quaint contribution to the English language, meaning an ability to tolerate religious co-existence and not necessarily the negation of religion itself, which is the strict meaning of the word.</b>

If it is a back-tracking, then Advani’s statement must be carefully considered. If it is not, it will show it self sooner or later. Regardless, the Advani adjustment is crucial to the civilizational-nation versus composite-state debate. It is also eminently relevant for the Kashmir issue.

We demand conformity in many ways. Three years ago, as I stopped for tea in Sonamarg en route from Leh to Srinagar, I observed a group of young men, pilgrims, from North India on their way to the Amarnath Cave. They had just washed their clothes, draped these over the chairs of the small dhaba and were awaiting their order. Loud, demanding and abusive, their message to the owner was clear. ‘This land belongs to us, not you. Your insurgent rebellion is at an end and we are back, masters.’ I could not help thinking of what this did to the mind of the meek, poverty-stricken and business-starved owner of the dhaba. He served the men quietly; but resentment, alienation and anger are mild words to describe the writ on his face.

The young men were right in a way, of course. Technically the modern state owns the land within its borders and rebels against those who claim otherwise. As members of the majority religion in that State, the yatris were staking their majoritarian claim. That is the theory and I was witnessing its implementation on the ground. <b>The young yatris were also taking to its logical conclusion the worldwide trend of identity politics in the post-1990s mood. For example, Amarnath and Vaishno Devi were hardly today’s media celebration prior to 1989. They were accepted ecumenical events, low key and matter-of-fact. Since then, however, they have taken on an aggressive tone to the point of blatant invention, such as the Sindhu Darshan in Ladakh. It represents a war against the composite character of the State; an ideological war that has marched some distance without discourse. The frontline of this war has been the belligerent state-sponsorship of yatras and darshans in the interests of an aggressively civilizational nation-state.</b>

The problem of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is reaching a climax as Delhi and Islamabad collaborate to find ways to numb its populace into acquiescence. Given the tattered state of the dissident leadership, it is difficult as yet to tell where this will lead. At the same time, the historical idiosyncrasies and legal ambiguities of the Kashmir question are such that it highlights the composite-state-seeking-agreement versus the civilization- nation-seeking-conformity debate. The argument falls within the rubric of the legitimate legal and political claims for authentic, and extra, autonomy for the mosaic of constituencies that is Southasia. <b>It is not about to go away, but this is not to say that there are not elements in India and Pakistan that would like to erase the voices in the state that lay claim to its legitimacy. It behooves the citizens of the state, in its entirety, to be aware that through their responsible articulations about their own future they can contribute positively to this wider debate in the politics of Southasia.</b>

(The column, From the Margins, will be appearing in Greater Kashmir every first and third Tuesday of the month. It is authored by Prof. Siddiq Wahid, the Maharaja Gulab Singh Chair Professor at the University of Jammu. He is also a Director of the J&K Waqf Board and a member of the Governing Board of Peoples Convention on Environment and Development India. Prof. Wahid is also an author and consultant on Tourism).

Does anyone here have any info about Bappa Rawal, I have been searching for info on google but find different accounts about him, for example:

"Bappa Rawal was a teenage prince in hiding when he came upon the warrior saint while hunting with friends in the jungles of Rajasthan. Legend has it that he chose to stay behind and care for the warrior saint who was in deep meditation. When the Guru Gorkhanath awoke he was pleased with the devotion of Bappa Rawal, gave him the Kukri sword (the famous curved dagger of the present day Gurkha), and told him that he and his people would henceforth be called Gurkhas (the disciples of the Guru Gorkhanath) and their bravery would be world-famous. He then told Bappa Rawal and his Gorkhas to stop the spread of ideas of the Muslim invaders who were invading Afghanistan,converting the masses to their religion, and dismantling many hindu temples. Bappa Rawal took his Gurkhas and attempted to subjugate Afghanistan (originally named Ghandhar) and stopped the Islamic advance for the time being."


But other sites say this and do not mention Guru Gorkhanath at all:

"Bappa Rawal was appointed initiated and confirmed in his role by a guru, Harit Rishi, who laid down cardinal rules for the governance of the state, through the concept of service."


So who exactly was Bappa Rawal and is there any info about him.
I have been thinking about Kautilya's concept of "Kuuta yuddha" or secret warfare. He advocates this as a way of minimizing casualties in "Prakasa yuddha" or open warfare. However modern commentators imply that Kautilya preferred kuuta or secret or illegitimate warfare and give him a bad name.

I think the more accurate translation for Kuuta yuddha is covert warfare and not secret warfare. Covert warfare is waged to minimize costs to self while maximizing the benefits. The Cold War is an example of Kuuta yuddha and no one complains about it. Looking at Kautilya's "Arthshaastra" with this insight it makes it way ahead of its time.

Maybe I should expand on this more in a one or two pager.

Please do so. What I also realized is that Kautilya tried to neutralize the enemy or enemy's strengths before the overt war. The neatralization process may be termed as covert war. Most of it was also done by placing his people directly in area (covert operatives?).
The Mahabharata calls the region 'Kekaya'. It would roughly conform to the modern Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh.
I distnctly remember reading about Bappa Rawal in the amar chitra series. see for instance

Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey
New York: The Free Press, 1980: pp. 300-301 INDIA: The Party System in 1950-1956 and 1957-19621
(Text as published in 1980 citation above)

British control of the Indian subcontinent ended in August 1947 with the territory divided into two independent states based primarily on religious majorities. The western and eastern portions, with predominantly Muslim populations, formed Pakistan, while the great center, populated mainly by Hindus, was designated India. Even after partition, India had a heterogeneous population of some 400 million, speaking over a dozen major languages and many varieties. Most of these diverse peoples were united in their struggle for independence within the All India National Congress, led by Mohandas K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Congress Party, the successor to the National Congress, became the dominant political force in independent India. Congress held about 70 percent of the seats in the Constituent Assembly at the time of independence. Following the elections of 1951 1952 for the first parliament, under the Constitution of 1950, Congress won an even larger majority in the House of the People (Lok Sabha). A dozen or more parties shared the rest of the seats, with the Communist Party's 5 percent being the largest segment, although a coalition of other parties formed the opposition.

Another election in 1957 marks the beginning of the second half of our period. The Congress Party continued its domination of Indian politics. Although the number of minor parties was somewhat reduced, the largest single share of the remaining seats went once more to the Communist Party, which again led with only 5 percent. Virtually the same situation obtained following the elections of 1962, which closes our study of Indian politics. Thus throughout our period, the Congress Party kept firm control of the national government with substantial majorities in Parliament, despite the fact that the party never obtained a majority of the popular vote. The minor parties kept alive by demonstrating substantial support in elections and by victor in the state assemblies, and they mounted a serious challenge to the Congress Party after our combining to win about 45 percent of Lok Sabha at the 1967 elections.
Continuity and Change since 1962

In comparison with other countries, India featured more than the average amount of party stability from 1950 through 1978, but the system was considerably less stable after 1962 than before. Only one of our two original parties lasted to 1978, and one new party qualified for study.

Original Parties, Terminated

082 Communist Party. Long divided into "right" and "left" factions, the party split formally in 1964, with the leftist faction emerging as the Communist Party-Marxist. Informally, the new divisions were called "Moscow" Communist Party (CPI) and Peking" Communist Party (CPI-M). Although the CPI inherited the label as the "regular" Communist Party, we regard the pre-1964 party as terminating with the split, for it divided into successors of roughly equal size. While most observers judged the CPI-M as the stronger, the Marxists themselves suffered a split in 1969, when some of the more extreme revolutionary pro-Chinese members formed India's third communist party, CPI-Marxist-Leninist, an offshoot eschewing electoral politics for more forceful political action. Contesting separately in elections, the CPI and CPI-M divided the communist vote between them, winning on the average just less than 5 percent of the Lok Sabha seats in the 1967, 1971, and 1977 elections and thus failing to qualify as major parties under the terms of our study.

Original Parties, Continuing

081 Congress Party. The Congress Party suffered a major split in 1969 with the creation of the Opposition Congress Party, but we do not regard this as terminating the Congress Party. In 1969, opposition developed within the party both to the socialist program being pushed by Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and to her leadership style. An Opposition Congress Party was formed with its own president, national committee, and parliamentary party. Although less than one quarter of the Congress MPs rallied to the Opposition Congress, the Gandhi group was reduced to 39 percent of the seats in the Lok Sabha in 1970. Kept in power with support from other parties, including the CPI, Indira Gandhi's party (regarded as a continuation of the Congress Party but now known as Congress-Ruling) lost seats only temporarily. Her Congress ® actually gained votes and seats its in the 1971 elections. In firmer control of Parliament than before, Mrs. Gandhi pushed ahead rams, even declaring a national emergency in 1975 to control opposition. Her authoritarian rule served to coalesce her political critics into a united opposition, and the result was a stunning defeat for her personality and her party. Left with less than 30 percent of the parliamentary seats, her Congress-Ruling divided over Mrs. Gandhi's leadership once again. A minority of members followed her out of the party in 1978 to form the Indian National Congress (I)--for Indira.

New Parties, Continuing

087 Janata (People's) Party. Mrs. Gandhi's surprise call for elections in 1977 gave rise to the Janata (People's) Front, a coalition of her political opponents. The Janata Front parties, which won 50 percent of the Lok Sabha seats, joined with the newly formed Congress for Democracy (5 percent of the seats) to form the Janata Party, which controlled Parliament and toppled the Congress Party from leadership of the national government for the first time since independence.

The Indian party landscape in 1979 was significantly different from that at the close of our original time period, but prominent features remained the same. The National Congress Party had split not once but twice and was unexpectedly ousted from power by a coalition of parties conglomerated into the Janata Party, whose unifying theme was opposition to Indira Gandhi. Nevertheless, the Congress Party, with nearly 25 percent of the seats, remained the only other party with more than 5 percent and continued as a potent force in Indian politics. Despite fragmentation, the communists in the form of the Communist Party-Marxist persisted at the national level as a small but politically significant force, occupying a position not too dissimilar from that in 1950-1962. The entirely new feature in the landscape is the People's Party. It is problematic how long this coalition of former rivals can maintain the solidarity in government that they found in opposition and whether the coalition can develop into an institutionalized political party that can survive over time like the Indian National Congress.
[For party politics in India since 1962, go to the essay by Chad E. Bell]

1. Our study of party politics in India is based on a file of 4,582 pages from 112 documents, all of which are in English (see Table 1.3). Much of the literature in the file discussed other parties excluded from the study for not meeting our strength criterion, including the Swatantra, Praja Socialist, and Jan Sangh. The bibliographic search and indexing of material for the file was done primarily by Daniel A. Floras, who was assisted in the development of the file by David Keebler, Jeffrey Millstone, Jean Jacobsohn, and Jarol Manheim. Madeline Smith used the file to code the Congress Party on the variables in the ICPP conceptual framework. Frances Honecker and Kenneth Janda coded the Communist Party. Richard Park was our consultant, and Ronald Herring helped to update our account through 1978.

2. Indeed, the Janata coalition deteriorated in the summer of 1979, and in January 1980 Indira Gandhi's Congress-I Party won a stunning victory, capturing about 70 percent of the parliamentary seats and returning Mrs. Gandhi to power as prime minister.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>British Foreign Office ordered Netaji’s murder’

</b>Sunday, 14 August , 2005, 20:23

Kolkata: Adding a new twist to the mysteries surrounding the life and disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, an Irish scholar on Sunday claimed that British Foreign Office had ordered the assassination of the great leader in March, 1941 during his great escape from India.

According to Prof Eunan OHalpin of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, the British Foreign Office ordered assassination of Netaji in March, 1941, and reconfirmed the order in June that year.

Learning from a decode of an Italian telegram on February 27, 1941, that Subhas Bose might be in Kabul, the British Foreign Office asked the British minister there if he had any local clue in confirmation, OHalpin, a professor of history, said while delivering the Sisir Kumar Bose lecture at the Netaji Research Bureau in Kolkata.

He said on March 7, the British Special Operations Executive, formed in 1940 for sabotage, underground propaganda and other clandestine activities, informed its representatives in Istanbul and Cairo that Bose was understood to be travelling from Afghanistan to Germany via Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

OHalpin handed over documentary evidences in support of his claims to NRB chairperson Krishna Bose.


Liberation Day: BJP to hold public meeting today

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: In a bid to mount pressure on the State Government to officially organise the Hyderabad Liberation Day celebrations on September 17, the Bharatiya Janata Party city unit is organising a public meeting here on Thursday.

About 50,000 party activists from the 10 Telangana districts are likely to attend the meeting to be held at the Nizam College grounds. "We will also take out a massive procession to the Secretariat to bring pressure on the Government," the party's State Finance committee chairman, Ch. Ramachandra Reddy and city unit president Venkataramani said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

They came down heavily on the Government for delaying the official sanction to the celebrations ignoring the historic importance of the day. Ten districts of Telangana and parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka were united with the nation on September 17 1948, more than a year after it attained independence in August 1947. "We have been demanding the State Government to take the celebrations under its wings from 1998, but to no avail," they said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Gold coins recovered from Birla's house</b> 

Acting on a Calcutta High Court order for making an inventory of personal belongings of late Priyamvada Birla, special officers appointed for this have recovered a large number of gold coins, several gold artifacts from the Birla Park, the residence of her husband M P Birla.

The special officers informed the court today that a <b>few hundred gold coins, some of which dated back to the Gupta era</b>, and gold artifacts like flower vases, tea sets, a miniature boat were found in a safe inside the strong room located under the staircase of the Birla Park residence yesterday.
Boat to retrace India-Oman history sinks

IANS[ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2005 08:09:14 PM ]
Citibank NRI Offer
MUSCAT: A reed boat that sought to recreate 4,000 years of India-Oman history and retrace the route that established their trade links in the bronze age has capsized off Oman.

Indian officials here said the boat capsized Wednesday night soon after it set sail, though its eight-member crew, including Indian archaeologist Alok Tripathi, were safe.

"Water leaked into the boat causing it to capsize, but a support ship from the Omani Royal Navy accompanying the boat intervened and rescued the sailors," an official at the culture and national heritage ministry said.

The boat had been flagged with much fanfare to mark the 50 years of diplomatic links between the Sultanate of Oman and India. India established a consulate in Muscat in 1955, while the Sultanate set up its embassy in New Delhi in 1972.

The eight men hoped to land at Mandvi in the Kutch region of Gujarat Sep 22 on the Neolithic boat laden with a cargo of dates, lime, dried fish, salt and copper vessels that will be handed to officials at a ceremony in Dwarka.

The sailboat - named Magan after the Sumerian description for Oman - was to first dock at Dwarka Sep 20, before setting sail to the final destination of Mandvi port.

There were no engines and no modern gadgets on the 12 m long reed vessel, which started its voyage Sep 7 from Sur on the same route that had linked Mesopotamia and the Arabian Peninsula to the Indus civilisation.

The crew hoped to use sail power to navigate the distance of about 500 nautical miles and expected to complete the voyage in some 15 days, riding the waves and the monsoon winds, with the birds, sun, moon and the stars as guides.
The Archaeological Survey of Oman had sponsored this expedition, encouraged by an excavation mission at Ras Al Jinz in the 1990s during which they found 300 odd fragments of bitumen lining. </b>

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