How the Nehruvian Congress manipulated Gandhi’s assassination to emasculate Hindu nationalism – Koenraad Elst

Koenraad ElstHad Nathuram Godse foreseen the consequences of the act he contemplated, he might have thought twice about going through with it – Dr. Koenraad Elst

There are some historical events that are momentous in nature but have not received the kind of attention and examination they deserved. The topic of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination at the hands of Nathuram Godse on 30 January 1948 is one such incident. Though it comes up regularly for discussion, it is wantonly distorted to embarrass the RSS and the party associated with it, the BJP, which was actually founded in 1980, that too as a reincarnation of the Jan Sangh, which had equally been founded after the murder, in 1951. This then is the best-known long-term effect: The unrelenting allegation that anything smelling of Hindu nationalism, and certainly the RSS, necessarily leads to such crimes. But are we missing something?

Chitpavan massacre

The first consequence of the murder was immediate: Nathuram Godse’s own community, the Chitpavan Brahmins, was targeted for mass murder. The comparison with the mass killing of Sikhs by Congress secularists after Indira Gandhi’s murder is fairly exact, except that the 1984 massacre is well-known (even eclipsing the memory of the larger number of Punjabi Hindus murdered by Sikh separatists in the preceding years), whereas this one has been hushed up. The New York Times first drew attention to it, reporting 15 killings for the first day and only for the city of Mumbai (then Bombay). In fact, the killing went on for a week and all over Maharashtra, with V.D. Savarkar’s younger brother as best-known victim.

Arti Agarwal, who leads the research in “Hindu genocide”, estimates the death toll at about 8,000. On mass murders, estimates are often over-dramatised, but here we must count with a countervailing factor: The government’s active suppression of these data, as they would throw a negative light on Gandhism. But research on this painful episode has now started in earnest, and those presently trying to get at the real figures include Savarkar biographer Vikram Sampath.

Crackdown

The second consequence came right after: The government’s crackdown on the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS. Their offices were closed down, their office-bearers imprisoned for a year or so, their stocks of literature impounded. It clipped their wings for years to come. The Hindu Mahasabha lost its president Syama Prasad Mukherjee, who went on to found the Jana Sangh. The Hindu Mahasabha would never recover from this blow. Its last MP was Mahant Avaidyanath, best known as a leader of the Rama Janmabhoomi movement and the guru of present UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, defected to the BJP in 1991.

By contrast, the RSS did survive quite well, and even generated a whole “family” of like-minded organisations, including a new political party. In a numerical sense, it was to thrive; but in two other senses, it paid a high price.

The third consequence was a drastic change in the political landscape. After Partition, the Hindutva movement had the wind in the sails. All Congress’ assurances that warnings against Islamic separatism were mere British-engineered paranoia, had been refuted by reality. Gandhi’s promise that Partition would only come over his dead body, had proven false. The new-fangled ideology of secularism stood discredited at its birth. And yet, overnight, the Hindutva current was marginalised and Nehruvian secularism started its triumphant march. By his murder, Godse had smashed the window of opportunity of his own political movement.

Amputated backbone

Finally, the fourth consequence would only materialise over the long term: The Hindu movement began to lose its defining convictions. Rather than continuing to see India as an essentially Hindu nation, it bought into the secularist notion of a mere “Hindu community” juxtaposed to “minority communities” that were endowed with equal rights and increasingly with privileges vis-à-vis the Hindus.

When Jawaharlal Nehru was widely criticised for having facilitated the Chinese invasion, the RSS halted the publication of a Nehru-critical article by Sita Ram Goel in Organiser: Rather than clamouring that its guest author’s judgement of Nehru stood vindicated, it feared that if anything were to happen to Nehru, the RSS would again get the blame. As the Gandhi murder had shown, it wasn’t necessary to be actually guilty to still incur the punishment, viz, by “having created the atmosphere” for the crime. The RSS bought into the secularist narrative that the Hindu ideology had caused the murder and started amputating its own ideological backbone.

If Godse had foreseen these consequences of the act he contemplated, he might have thought twice about going through with it. – Firstpost, 27 July 2022

Dr. Koenraad Elst is a well-known Indologist from Belgium.

Gandhi's death reported in the NYT.

Why ‘eminent historians’ still swear by the debunked Aryan theory – Makkhan Lal

Image depicting the imaginary Aryan invasion of India from the Caspian Sea.

“It is difficult to say that all the earliest Aryans belonged to one race, but their culture was more or less the same type. Originally the Aryans seem to have lived somewhere in the steppes stretching from Southern Russia to Central Asia. On their way to India the Aryans first appeared in Central Asia and Iran. A little earlier than 1500 BC the Aryans appeared in India.” – R.S. Sharma

“By 1500 BC when the Aryans began to arrive in India, the Harappan culture had collapsed. We do not know where they came from; perhaps they came from north-eastern Iran or the region near the Caspian Sea or Central Asia.” – Romila Thapar

Prof. Dr. Makkhan LalThe two quotations from India’s two “eminent historians” sum up their approach to the Aryan Invasion Theory. Just look at expressions “difficult to say”, “seems to have”, “somewhere in steppes”, “we do not know where they come from”, “perhaps they came from north-eastern Iran or the region near Caspian Sea or Central Asia”. Despite so many probabilities, they are certain that Aryans came from outside. When and from where? No idea!

Despite all evidence to the contrary, why does the Aryan invasion/migration theory (AIT) continue to remain the lifeline of Indian Marxist historians? Let us now look at the AIT in historical perspectives.

Linguistic Evidence

Florentine merchant, Filippo Sassetti, who lived in Goa from AD 1583 to 1588, was struck by similarities between Sanskrit and European languages, especially Latin and Greek. Later, the relationship between Sanskrit and European languages was further elaborated by William Jones and many other scholars in the service of the East India Company. The efforts made towards understanding these linguistic similarities between Sanskrit on the one hand and Greek, Latin and some other modern European languages on the other gave rise to a new discipline called ‘comparative linguistics’. Its birth had questionably motivated considerations and in the last 200 years the discipline (if at all it is a discipline) of ‘Comparative Linguistics’ has shown a far greater variety of gymnastic exercises than the sport of gymnastics itself.

Since the earliest books (i.e. the Vedas) of the Aryans and so also all human beings are written in Sanskrit, it came to be recognised as the language of the Aryans. In the beginning, all European languages, along with Sanskrit, came to be clubbed as Aryan languages, and Sanskrit got identified as not only the oldest of all but also the mother of all European languages. Lord Monboddo was convinced that “Greek was derived from Sanskrit”. Frederick Schlegel, a highly respected German linguist wrote, “The Indian language is older and others [European languages] younger and derived from it.” Thus, Sanskrit came to be recognised as the mother of “all the less ancient Indo-European languages, as well as the modern European tongues and dialects”.

But these opinions did not last very long. Local pride, racial complexes and Evangelical considerations overshadowed everything as a part of a shift from ‘Indo-mania’ to ‘Indo-phobia’.

Though William Jones could not accept the earlier view that Sanskrit is the ‘mother’ of all Aryan languages. He advocated that Sanskrit is just a ‘sister’, i.e. a co-descendant of an earlier ancestor language. Following the lead provided by Jones, F. Bopp wrote: “I do not believe that Greek, Latin and other European languages are to be considered as derived from Sanskrit. I feel rather inclined to consider them together as subsequent variations of one original tongue, which however, the Sanskrit has preserved more perfect than its kindred dialects.”

So, a search for the original homeland of a language, namely ‘Proto-Indo-European’, led different scholars to different places. This search for the imagined original language homeland also meant the search for the ‘Original Homeland of Aryans’. This also gave rise to forging labels such as the ‘Indo-Aryan’, ‘Indo-European’, ‘Aryan languages’, ‘Indo-Aryan languages’, and the ‘Indo-European languages’. Sometime around the 1820s, the word ‘Aryan’ began to be dropped and it simply became ‘Indo-European’. Some German scholars even started using the term ‘Indo-German’ on the presumption that the Sanskrit and German languages, between them, covered the entire Indo-European speaking area—the farthest language to the east being Indic and German to the west.

Sanskrit, even today, may be “the greatest language of the world” or even if it “is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined” but so what? How could a language spoken by ‘niggers’ have been once the mother of languages today spoken by Europeans, i.e. white people? This position could not be accepted even by William Jones and Max Mueller, who have been so wholesome in their praise for Sanskrit.

Sanskrit was first demoted from mother to the position of a mere sister of all the ancient and modern European languages, but later on, with further building-up of the language tree, it came to be demoted to the position of grand-daughter, when it got linked to the so-called Indo-Iranian family. Thus, the position is: Proto-Indo-European language gave birth to the Indo-Iranian, which in turn produced Sanskrit. It’s already almost 200 years and the search for the grand-mother of Sanskrit (i.e. the Proto-Indo-European) is still on. We still do not know what she (the Proto-Indo-European Language) may have looked like, of what colour she may have been, or what may have been her physical and metaphysical structure. She still remains formless even in dreams. Quite often, these practitioners of philology were so illogical, so incoherent, so absurd, so adamant and arrogant, but, indeed, their impact has been so devastating that it has aptly been termed as ‘linguistic tyranny’.

Central Place Argument and Aryan Invasion

Once Sanskrit was demoted from the honoured status of being mother to all Indo-European languages and made a mere sister or niece of the European languages, a search started for the ‘original tongue’ i.e. the ‘Proto-Indo-European’. This cleared the deck also for legitimising the Aryan invasion of India; a theory which suggested that Sanskrit was brought here from the place where this imaginary language called ‘Proto-Indo-European’ was spoken. In 1842, A.W. von Schlegel claimed: “It is completely unlikely that the migrations which had peopled such a large part of the globe would have begun at its southern extremity (i.e. India) and would have continually directed themselves from there towards the northwest. On the contrary everything compels us to believe that the colonies set out in diverging directions from a central region.”

And for Schlegel this central region consisted of the areas around the Caspian Sea.

With the increasing hold of the British on India, the colonial and the Evangelical interests soon became a force in shaping Indian history for the rest of the academic world. Following the lead provided by A.W. von Schlegel, Max Mueller reiterated his position on the issue of the Aryan invasion and said in 1887: “If an answer must be given as to the place where our Aryan ancestors dwelt before their separation … I should still say, as I said forty years ago, ‘somewhere in Central Asia’ and no more.”

However, Srinivas Ayengar wrote in 1914: “The Aryans [in their entire literature] do not refer to any foreign country as their original home, do not refer to themselves as coming from beyond India, do not name any place in India after the names of places in their original land as conquerors and colonisers do, but speak of themselves exactly as sons of the soil would do. If they had been foreign invaders, it would have been humanly impossible for all memory of such invasion to have been utterly obliterated from memory in such a short time as represents the differences between the Vedic and Avestan dialects.”

It must be reiterated that it does not refer to a single name of flora and fauna found in Central Asia, Russia and Europe. If Rig Vedic people came from Central Asia how come they have no memory of it. Historically, linguistically and as per the oral traditions it is simply impossible.

The fallacy of this central-place theory as the origin of an imaginary language and then spreading all around can be explained with a contemporary example—English. Consider a situation wherein after a couple of thousand years, people forget that England was the place where the English language developed and spread from, and start looking for the place of its origin. The Central Place Theory will exclude England in the very first instance, as it is located on the outskirts of the world of the English language. The United States of America would be the natural choice from where it spread to Europe and Asia in the east, and Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, etc, in the west and Canada in the north.

Lexicographic Evidence

Lexicography (the vocabulary of spoken/written words) is another area which was pressed in the service. Besides collecting a large number of the common words in various languages to prove their affinity, a number of words were chosen to prove the location of the language. For example, it has been argued that since there is no common word for the ocean in the Indo-European language, we can safely conclude that the Indo-European people were not aware of the ocean.

Varadpande rightly presses the points: “If we carry this reasoning further we shall have to suppose that ‘Indo-Europeans’ were living in a region where there was no air and no water, since there are no common words for air and water in all the ‘Indo-European’ Languages.”

The whole situation is that first a conjecture is turned into a hypothesis; to be later treated as a fact to be used in support of a new theory. For instance, language like Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Dravidian are no more than hypothetical constructions, which may or may not have really existed; and yet these modern creations are often imposed on populations that lived thousands of years ago, to prove migrations theories.

Shaffer writes: “The Indo-Aryan invasion(s) as an academic concept in 18th-19th century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of that period. Linguistic data was used to validate the concept, which in turn, was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data. What was theory, became an unquestioned fact that was used to interpret and organise all subsequent data. It is time to end the ‘linguistic tyranny’ that has prescribed interpretative frameworks of pre-and proto-historic cultural development in South Asia.”

The question of Aryan invasion/Aryan migration vis-a-vis philology has always been questioned. In the beginning of the last century, Aurobindo, while commenting on the philology, wrote: “Comparative philology has hardly moved a step beyond its origins; all the rest has been a mass of conjectural and ingenious learning of which the brilliance is equalled only by the uncertainty and unsoundness. … The very idea of the science of language is chimera.”

It is important to point out that in the last 30 years renowned linguists like Ram Bilash Sharma, S.S. Misra, S.G. Talgeri, N.S. Rajaram and Koenraad Elst have proved, on the basis of linguistic evidence itself, that this whole theory of Aryan invasion/migration is a fallacy.

Aryans, Racialism and Rig Veda

Subjugation of India by the British filled the masters with a desire to prove their all-round superiority. Racialism was one angle of it. Writings of Grant, Mill, Marx, Macaulay and their accomplices denigrated Indian people, culture, civilisation, society, history and religion.

Trautmann has traced the emergence of racialism and the development of physical anthropology as a resolution of the inescapable philological reality with the colonial need for cultural superiority over the natives of India. One of the most striking types of evidence of such an attitude is best seen in the writings of ACL Carlleyle. In 1879 he wrote: “We, British Europeans are Aryans, and far more pure and genuine Aryans than the Hindus, and no talk of the Hindus can alter our race, or make us any less or any different from what we are. It is the Hindus who have altered and deteriorated, and not we. The Hindus have become the coffee dregs, while we have remained the cream of the Aryan race. The Hindus are like the monkey.”

Some scholars think that the linguistic affinities of Indians and Europeans were also responsible for the development of physical anthropology leading the whole debate towards racialism. Most of the European scholars could not accept the view that Indians (‘niggers’, that is how most of the time Indians have been referred to in those writings) could have been once related to them and could have, indeed, been their forefathers, a conclusion which comparative linguistics was suggesting.

Edwin Bryant expresses it in the following words: “Even during the earlier phase of the homeland quest, when India was still a popular candidate, many scholars were uncomfortable about moving the Indo-Europeans too far from their biblical origins somewhere in the Near East. There were those among the British, in particular, whose colonial sensibilities made them reluctant to acknowledge any potential cultural indebtedness to the forefathers of the rickshaw pullers of Calcutta, and who preferred to hang on to the biblical Adam far more than their European contemporaries.”

Max Mueller himself was sad to note the mood of the day: “They would not have it, they would not believe that there could be any community origin between the people of Athens and Rome, and the so-called niggers of India.”

The newly developing science of physical anthropology was pressed into service to project Aryans as tall, white-skinned, blue-eyed, with sharp and high nose, and dolichocephalic. The non-Aryans came to be identified as natives with dark skin, flat nose, short stature, and so on. The dasas mentioned in the Rigveda were made to represent non-Aryans, i.e., the indigenous local population of India. Thus, the frame of the invasion of Aryans and the subjugation of the non-Aryan local population got corroborated with the evidence from Physical Anthropology.

The racial theory had a devastating impact on European polity. Each nation/state started claiming to be the real descendent of the Aryan race and considered others as inferiors. Max Mueller tried to intervene by declaring again and again: “If I say Aryans, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair nor skull. … How many misunderstandings and how many controversies are due to what is deduced by arguing from language to blood-relationship or from blood-relationship to language. … An ethnologist who speaks of an Aryan race, Aryan eyes and hair, and Aryan blood is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or brachycephalic grammar.”

Alas! It was too late. The djinn created by Max Mueller had now grown up and was no longer under Mueller’s command. In the twilight years of his life, Max Mueller realised the devastating impact of distortions that he had made in Indian history in order to please his employers and the newly acquired faith. He died a sad man, preaching at the end of his career things like India: What Can It Teach Us.

He described India as: “The country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow, … a very paradise on earth, … [a place where] human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life.”

Racialism and DNA Evidence

In this context it will be useful to recall the studies carried out by K.A.R. Kennedy and his colleagues. For almost five decades they carried out a detailed study of a large number of pre- and proto-historic skeletons found in excavations from a large number of archaeological sites from all over the Indian sub-continent.

On the basis of their research, Kennedy and his colleagues concluded: “As for the question of biological continuity within the Indus valley, two discontinuities appear to exist. The first occurs between 6,000 and 4,500 B.C. The second occurs at some point after 800 B.C. but before 200 B.C.”

Both discontinuities exclude any adjustment for Aryan Invasion.

Besides the studies of Kennedy and his colleagues on ancient skeletons, an important study has come out recently on modern humans. Keeping in mind the AIT, Kivishield and his colleagues carried out a detailed study on gene pools of Western Eurasians and people of the Indian subcontinent. They studied the ‘genetic inheritance aspect’ of genes through the Mitochondrial DNA Test. It may be mentioned here that the mitochondrial DNA test can reveal the whole history of genetic changes and mutations that may have taken place even in the remote past i.e. several thousand years ago.

Kivishield and his colleagues have reached the conclusion that the Mitochondrial DNA, typical of Western Eurasians, is present among Europeans up to 70 percent whereas among Indians it is only up to 5.2 percent. The DNA gene pool of Western Europeans is very different from that of Indians. It has been very clearly stated that if there was any Aryan invasion of India a few thousand years ago, it must be visible in the mitochondrial DNA tests in terms of a splash in percentage of Western Eurasian genes. But this is not so. Further, the percentage and types of Western Eurasian genes present among south Indians and north Indians are almost the same. This fact establishes that there is no difference between the south Indian and north Indian gene pools, and the same goes against the Aryan invasion theory.

Conclusions

Now over a period of 200 years, the meaning of ‘Aryans’ has been constructed and reconstructed as being nomadic, pastoralists, sedentary agriculturists, dolichocephalic, brachycephalic, blond and fair, and from brown-haired to dark-haired. The Aryan homeland has been located and relocated everywhere, virtually from the North Pole to the South Pole, and from the shores of the Atlantic to Chinese deserts—South India, North India, Central India, Tibet, Bactria, Iran, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, Lithuania, the Caucasus, the Urals, the Volga Mountains, South Russia, the Steppes of Central Asia, Western Asia, Palestine, Anatolia, Scandinavia, Finland, Sweden, the Baltic, western Europe, northern Europe, central Europe, and eastern Europe.

The Aryan homeland, however, still remains elusive. J.P. Mallory has put the whole thing very succinctly: “One does not ask, ‘Where is the Indo-European homeland?’ but rather ‘where they put it now?’”

Anthropologist Edmund Leach of Cambridge University has most aptly summed up the whole question of the Aryan Invasion Theory. In 1990 in his article, Aryan Invasions over Four Millennia, Leach wrote: “Why do serious scholars persist in believing in the Aryan invasion? Why is this sort of thing attractive? Who finds it attractive? Why has the development of Sanskrit come so dogmatically associated with the Aryan invasion? The details of this theory fit in with this racist framework. … The origin myth of British imperialism helped the elite administrators in the Indian Civil Service to see themselves as bringing ‘pure’ civilisation to a country in which civilisation of the most sophisticated kind was already nearly 6,000 years old. Here, I will only remark that the hold of this myth on the British middle-class imagination is so strong that even today, 44 years after the death of Hitler and 43 years after the creation of an independent India and independent Pakistan, the Aryan invasions of the second millennium BC are still treated as if they were an established fact of history. … The Aryan invasion never happened at all.” – Firstpost, 20 July 2022

  Prof. Dr. Makkhan Lal is a well-known historian and the founder director of the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management.

Rig Veda

Time to reclaim India’s history – David Frawley

Greater India Map (US 1864)

David FrawleyThe existing historical accounts of India starting with the Aryan Invasion Theory, reflect political and religious biases by groups who have sought to politically control or convert India, exploit it commercially, or divide India into smaller countries they can more easily dominate. – Dr. David Frawley

There remains a crucial need to correct the history of India from distorted accounts that have prevailed since the British era. As a New India arises with confidence in its own civilisation and global stature, this reductionist view of India as primitive, divided, politically incorrect and lacking in continuity is suspect and appears as India seen through the shadow of foreign rule and hostile ideologies.

India so far has not adequately reclaimed its history in the post-Independence era in a way that shows the true stature, duration and influence. Even after 75 years of Independence, the main history of India taught is coloured by derogatory interpretations of those with little respect for India’s great traditions, though a new movement to counter it is steadily rising.

The history of India as commonly given in textbooks and media accounts worldwide is the view of scholars who have little direct knowledge of India’s way of thought and view of culture, who prefer to interpret India according to their own cultural biases as if these were unquestioned truths.

Such a view of India’s history reduces India’s profound 5,000-year dharmic civilisation and its vast cultural, yogic and intellectual traditions to a mere footnote to Western culture and politics of the last few centuries, in which India has little relevance, and is often a subject of abuse and hoped for reformation.

The new reduction of India to South Asia

Recent views of India’s history add a new negationism. For them there was no India, but only a few temporary, disjointed cultures and kingdoms, with outside dominated empires like the Mughals or the British, and no enduring or characteristic Indic civilisation behind these.

Such scholars see only a nebulous South Asia region, without much cohesion or contribution to world civilisation, so no separate or unique place in history is required for India apart from the diverse groups and cultures of the region. This is a contrary position as compared to China, which is given its historical identity and cultural continuity, even though China borrowed much of its philosophy and spirituality from India through Buddhism.

The Greek author Megasthenes at the time of Alexander over two thousand years ago wrote a book called Indika about India, which the Greeks honoured. There was extensive trade between Rome, the Middle East and China with a land called India for many centuries. Note terms like Hindusthan for the region, or Bharat Varsha and its sixteen regions or Janapadas found in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts. Geographical terms like Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Indochina and Indonesia have long been used and show the importance of India but are similarly now being rejected.

India’s contribution to science, medicine and philosophy, for example, though India gave much more than just decimal mathematics to the world, is similarly seldom highlighted. Rather the British view of Macaulay, who tried to destroy India’s extensive educational system, or the communist views of Karl Marx, are given precedence, as if India’s contribution to world civilization was minimal in all respects.

Contrary to such views, India in its Sanskrit and regional dialects has produced the largest and oldest literature in the world, replete with historical references, names of kings, kingdoms, peoples, geographical regions, sages and cultural practices. Note the many Vedas, Agamas, Puranas, Jatakas, Sutras, and local accounts for such literature.

The influence of modern India

In addition to this negation of ancient India is an attempt to negate modern India and its influence. Since Swami Vivekananda, Indic-based traditions of Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Tantra, Sanskrit, Indian music and dance have spread globally and gained a dedicated following in almost every major country and region of the world. Great yogis and gurus from India have travelled and gained followers globally

Yet in accounts of modern India the role of Indic civilisation in spiritualising the world, is hardly mentioned. Nor is the fact that Indian immigrants to the US or UK have wonderful temples and a thriving community contributing to the peace and welfare of the countries where they now arise. The youth in the West after their studies of history can scarcely name any figures of civilisational importance from ancient or modern India.

The contrary idea is given that India as a nation was created by the British and only gained its identity with India’s Independence in 1947, which can be attributed largely to Jawaharlal Nehru who was an Anglophile. Meanwhile India’s history books have largely been written by Marxists and reflect their political agenda. The idea of a superior Socialist/Nehruvian India arose to counter or even erase ancient Bharat Varsha.

The effort to reclaim India’s history

Yet sadly today, when Indian thinkers try to correct this slanted history, they are accused of political, nationalistic and religious biases, as if they had no credibility. The fact is that existing historical accounts of India starting with the Aryan Invasion Theory, reflect political and religious biases, but coming from outside of India, by groups who have sought to politically control or convert India, exploit it commercially, or divide India into smaller countries they can more easily dominate.

Certainly, independent India, for its 75th anniversary, needs to reclaim its history, just as many countries free of colonial influence are doing. An Indic criticism of Western civilisational influences should also have its place in the discussion. There should be no monopoly on history by one group or another, though efforts to control history have long occurred among colonial, communist, leftist and fascist regimes.

The fact is that a history of India without an Indian voice or point of view, given India as one the cradles of civilisation, remains incomplete and presents a distorted view not only of India but also of the history of humanity, which has an inner yogic dimension, not simply an outer political expression.

India’s textbooks need major changes providing an Indic/Bharatiya view of its place of respect. This is part of an open pursuit of truth, in which all sides must be heard. Today there seems to be an apartheid in academia and the media in which an Indic view, particularly a Hindu view, will not be given a voice.

India’s view of civilisation as the pursuit of dharma and higher consciousness, cannot be reduced to materialist concerns or to those of exclusivist beliefs. Indology has perhaps been the worst aspect of Orientalism. Time for it to be put in the dustbin of history. India’s civilisation has the most in depth cosmic dimension to its view of world and Self, which transcends all such outer historical theories, and must be examined accordingly.

Howsoever we view history, it is clear that the human race remains an unevolved species in terms of consciousness, still caught in massive violence and prejudices, which we find throughout the world.

Honouring the sages of India can help all humanity. But to truly appreciate these great yogis, rishis and gurus, we must recognise their enduring role in India’s civilisation and history, and their influence on the whole of Asia and beyond that is spreading globally today to the entire planet.

Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the author of more than 30 books on yoga and Vedic traditions. He recieved of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2015.

Indian History Timeline

Why Modi and BJP leadership must communicate more with its support base – R. Jagannathan

Nupur Sharma

R. JagannathanIs the BJP committed to its Hindu base and protection of Hindu interests in “secular” India, or will it head in the same direction as other “pseudo-secular” parties in order to propitiate the Muslim voter? – R. Jagannathan

The Narendra Modi government has shot itself in the foot over the Nupur Sharma affair, where it has simultaneously dented both its own credibility in the Muslim world, especially in West Asia, and angered its core Hindu voter base in India.

By indirectly having to call its own party spokesperson as part of a “fringe” to propitiate an angry Gulf and Muslim world after Sharma’s outburst on national television about the Prophet, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has egg all over its face.

Sharma’s provocative comment is not the real issue; she was emotionally responding to attempts by Hinduphobes to mock the Shiva Linga. The real issue is the BJP leadership, and especially the Prime Minister’s lack of communication with his own party people and voter base on what to expect from his government, and how far they can go while making public statements on social media, or in that warzone called prime time television.

The core voter base expects steady forward movement towards protecting Hindu interests, and a directional and definitional guidance on “Hindu Rashtra”—what it should mean and in what time frame the government expects it to be achieved. But the Prime Minister—or, for that matter his party and Sangh affiliates—have said nothing useful in this matter.

The voter base has kept quiet so far because Modi’s own charisma has been winning the party election after election, but that is not going to ultimately satisfy Hindu aspirations and expectations from his government. Sacrificing Nupur Sharma in order to fire-fight the blow-back against India is one thing, not telling its own party and voter base what to expect needlessly allows extreme or actual “fringe” elements to precipitate a crisis that nobody wants.

The key questions Modi and the party need to address are the following:

One, is the BJP committed to its Hindu base and protection of Hindu interests in “secular” India, or will it head in the same direction as other “pseudo-secular” parties in order to propitiate the Muslim voter? If the BJP is just another “secular” party, it may still win a few elections, but its core base will seek another party that can better articulate its aspirations. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is okay as a slogan, but is not enough in a democracy to win elections.

Two, while no government can promise a Hindu Rashtra tomorrow, the government needs to answer a simpler question: why is it that eight years in power, it is not able to do the simplest things that the voter base is asking for? Among them, a comprehensive rewriting of history books, or providing funds and support for Indic organisations and groups to fight for their causes?

Why is it still supporting Hinduphobes like William Dalrymple and other “secularists” in global fora, when it should be doing the opposite: starve them of government funding. Why is prioritising Muslim appeasement through exclusive scholarship programmes and other kinds of funding so important when the reality is the BJP is never going to win a significant chunk of the Muslim vote even if it crawls in front of masjids and offers madrassa students free Qurans and computers?

Three, why is the party not counselling patience to its cadres, when an expansion of economic and military power needs to be stressed over the next decade, and India has to become a $8-10 trillion economy? Why is it so difficult for the party to ask its cadres to not make statements that will disrupt the economic programme, and wait till size and scale are achieved before becoming more assertive on Hindutva? Did China not keep quiet for three decades, pretending to be a peaceful country, till it became the world’s No 2 economy?

Why can this simple point not be explained to the party’s young eager beavers, who want Hindutva today, tonight, this instant? Hindutva depends on India becoming an economic superpower, and not vice-versa. The BJP should learn from its own growth, where Mandalisation and economic empowerment of the OBCs preceded the growth of Hindutva.

Four, can the party not explain a simple number on why inflammatory statements are not needed right now? About 95 per cent of all global Hindus live in one country; but there are 153 Christian-majority nations, and 51 Muslim-majority ones, according to Pew Research.

If Indian Christians and Muslims so want, they can get the world to meddle in Indian issues, which is what happened when Nupur Sharma spoke about the Prophet, but if anything is done to Hindus anywhere, the world will just shrug it off. They will say: “That is your job, you have one billion Hindus and you can’t do a thing about the few million targeted in your neighbourhood?”

Five, if the Prime Minister can talk to millions of voters directly, through his periodic televised speeches, or his talk shows on radio through Mann Ki Baat, why does he find it so difficult to do a Mann ki Baat with his own support base, or, for that matter, his own party governments in various states? Why can’t he encourage his party to ask him difficult questions which he will not duck, so that they know they are backing the right man?

Six, why is it that a party with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, and an ability to cobble together a majority in the Rajya Sabha to pass difficult economic and social legislation, cannot find the gumption to free Hindu temples from state control? Among the difficult pieces of legislation passed are the nullification of article 370 and bifurcation of J&K, the unified goods and services tax, the Citizenship Amendment Act, and the ban on instant triple talaq. Why can’t the BJP at least introduce legislation in Parliament to free temples and see where it goes? But the BJP has not even begun thinking on these lines.

Seven, why is it that India, with little more than cash and intellectual resources, is not able to take its Dharmic case to global fora, and address the general publics of America, Europe and other regions, so that there is pressure from below in these countries to change their policies towards India? If yoga and meditation can be sold to the Christian West, why not the idea of a Dharmic civilisation that needs its own political space to be a contributor to global growth and well-being?

Diplomatic and social ruptures seldom come without a warning, and the BJP should learn from this episode and do two things: one, it must define itself clearly as a Hindu party wedded to Dharma, and explain what that means for its minorities, the rest of the country and the world; and two, explain to its own core voters what to expect in terms of policies and time-frames. The real problem is India’s best communicator has not communicated enough on difficult issues with both critics outside and inside his own voter base. This needs fixing. – Swarajya, 7 July 2022

Jagannathan is an senior journalist and the editorial director of Swarajya magazine.

Nupur Sharma Effigy, Belagavi.

Sita Ram Goel Vindicated: ‘Eminent historians’ no longer deny Islamic iconoclasm – R. Jagannathan

Sita Ram Goel

R. JagannathanIf the “eminent historians” now can acknowledge the reality of Islamic iconoclasm, surely they can promote Hindu-Muslim amity by getting Muslim groups to accept that damage was done in the past, and some remedy is called for in the present to let bygones become bygones. – R. Jagannathan

Our “eminent historians”, mostly from the Left, are showing signs that they are not beyond all education when hit repeatedly on their heads with facts and evidence. The late Sita Ram Goel, who was among the first to debunk the whitewashed versions of India’s Islamic history, stands vindicated.

Before the Babri was demolished, they repeatedly asserted that there was no temple below the mosque. Once the archaeological survey ordered by the Allahabad High Court established beyond doubt that there indeed was a temple below the Babri, their story-line changed from “no temple below the mosque”, to bland assertions that what was under the Babri was another mosque or even a Buddhist stupa. (Read some of what they said then here.)

When evidence kept surfacing of multiple temple demolitions under Islamic rule, the party line was that this was done not for religious reasons but political reasons. False equivalences were drawn between consistent and bigoted Islamic iconoclasm and the occasional damage done to temples or Buddhist and Jain places of worship. The latter were aberrations rather than the norm.

Now, with a survey seeking to establish the presence of Hindu carvings (and possibly a Shiv Linga) inside the Gyanvapi Mosque, these eminences are slowly abandoning the claim that no temples were destroyed.

In The Times of India today (24 May), there is a clear acceptance that Mughal rulers destroyed temples, though the argument has changed.

Irfan Habib, professor emeritus at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), is quoted thus: “Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed temples in Varanasi and Mathura to raise mosques. However, the question today is whether what was done in 1670 should be repeated, despite the existence of the Indian Monuments Act. Should we do the same things as Mughal emperors did in the past?” (Read the details here.)

This is progress. Big progress. If we should not do what Aurangzeb did, it is an indirect admission that the Mughal emperor was a bigot. Facts are no longer denied, or conveniently misinterpreted as mere political acts of rulers in the past, though that is not entirely gone.

Shalin Jani of the Delhi University department of history is quoted as saying: “As far as Mughal India is concerned, we know about the politics of temple desecration during those times. We can’t resolve our contemporary problems by looking at the past.”

Well, maybe the Germans got it wrong when they refused to airbrush history or deny Hitler and the Nazi past. Without acknowledging the past, and making some amends, we cannot move forward.

The unwillingness to see religious bigotry behind temple desecration is not entirely gone, but the facts are no longer disputed.

Nadeem Rezavi, professor of mediaeval history at AMU, is clearer. “No one can justify what Aurangzeb did. However, we can’t behave like him and keep demolishing mosques to restore temples. What difference remains then between the Mughal ruler and rulers of today?”

Clearly, Audrey Truschke, who has tried to whitewash Aurangzeb’s reign in her book Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth, clearly needs to hear what Habib and Rezavi now have to say. Aurangzeb was a bigot. Full stop. His temple desecrations were real, not just political fallout.

Clearly, the work done by Sita Ram Goel in volume two of his two-volume work on Hindu Temples: What Happened To Them  (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2), which examines both the Hindu and Muslim evidence, should now be required reading in all history departments, including AMU.

Later books by Meenakshi Jain (Rama & AyodhyaThe Battle For RamaFlight of Deities & Rebirth of Temples, Vasudeva Krishna and Mathura, have also completely sealed the evidence in favour of the Hindu version of Islamic destruction of key temples. It is also time to revisit the older historical works of R.C. Majumdar and Sir Jadunath Sarkar and not just junk them as “communal historians”.

The only way forward from here is not to live in the past, but to acknowledge it, and negotiate a deal to hand over the Kashi and Mathura temples back to Hindus fully in return for Hindus allowing the rest of the temple desecrations to remain as acknowledged facts of history with no recompense due.

If the “eminent historians” now can acknowledge the reality of Islamic iconoclasm, surely they can promote Hindu-Muslim amity by getting Muslim groups to accept that damage was done in the past, and some remedy is called for in the present to let bygones become bygones. – Swarajya, 4 May 2022

› R. Jagannathan is a senior journalist and editor and the Editorial Director of Swarajya Magazine.

Gyanvapi Mosque back wall being the front wall of the ancient Vishwanath Temple.

Gyanvapi Mosque: A lesson in history that should lead to justice – Praful Goradia

Kashi Viswanath Temple replaced by Gyanvapi Mosque ( James Princep 1834).

Praful GoradiaShould not a crime be punished commensurately? If the criminal had got away at the time of commission of the crime, should he not be apprehended and punished when it is possible to do so later? If the wrongdoer has passed away, at least the act of crime should be reversed. What is the meaning of justice otherwise? – Praful Goradia

It was 1927; one Abdul Rashid murdered Swami Shradhanand, the successor of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, in his sickbed. The killer was arrested and tried. The British Government then had no qualms about the religions of the two men. Jawaharlal Nehru’s friend Asaf Ali, a distinguished advocate, took up Rashid’s brief. The court, nevertheless, sentenced him to death as it was a cold-blooded murder. The janaza (funeral) was attended by thousands of Rashid’s sympathisers but there was no riot or communal disturbance. Had any riot taken place, the Government would not have flinched from suppressing it. If the British were inclined to be soft, they could not have ruled an Empire for 190 years. That Empire had 40 crore Indians, with the white men from the British Isles being never more than one lakh.

Take the case of Ayodhya. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board eventually lost its long litigation in the Supreme Court; not a single Muslim stabbed a Hindu. In Ayodhya itself, everyone favoured the temple, including the local Muslims, on the grounds that it would vastly increase the number of inbound pilgrims and the city’s economy would flourish. If at all any violence took place, it was because of the firing earlier by Mulayam Singh’s police in 1990. The Mulayam regime resorted to indiscriminate shooting, not sparing even boys. No violence occurred owing to any mischief by a Muslim. It has been my consistent experience that when confronted with facts, most Muslims are willing to accept them. A member of the AIMPLB confided to me that the Board contested the Ayodhya issue in the courts for so long merely to stall the Hindus’ demands on other temples-turned-mosques.

Some years ago, the chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami visited Delhi for a few days and happened to spend a couple of hours at my place. His explanation for Islamic conquerors replacing temples with mosques was that they wished to declare to the area that a change of regime had taken place. A Hindu raja had been replaced by a Muslim sultan or badshah. In response, I asked that when a Hindu prime minister takes over in a Hindu-majority country, would it be fair to reverse the situation? Should not the mosque be replaced by a temple? Again, as a true Muslim, the Jamaat chief promptly replied that if it was the prime minister’s and his people’s desire, so be it.

In 1961, while delivering the Azad Memorial Lecture, British historian Arnold Toynbee, especially invited by Jawaharlal Nehru, said: “In the course of the first Russian occupation of Warsaw, the Russians had built an Eastern Orthodox Christian Cathedral in the city that had been the capital of the once-independent Roman Catholic Christian country, Poland. The Russians had done this to give the Poles a continuous ocular demonstration that the Russians were now the masters. After the re-establishment of Poland’s independence in 1918, about 100 years later, the Poles pulled down this cathedral. I do not blame the Polish government for having pulled down the Russian church. The purpose for which the Russians had built it had been not religious but political, and the purpose had also been intentionally offensive.” Before reaching Delhi, Sir Arnold had taken a boat ride on the Ganga and had noticed Aurangzeb’s mosque on the bank with two tall minarets. He said at his lecture that he was surprised that this mosque was standing even after the partition of India.

Gyanvapi Mosque as seen from the Ganga (1909).

To come back to the point, should not a crime be punished commensurately? If the criminal had got away at the time of commission of the crime, should he not be apprehended and punished when it is possible to do so later? If the wrongdoer has passed away, at least the act of crime should be reversed. What is the meaning of justice otherwise? And where would be the rule of law? Since 2014, quite a few intellectuals have been protesting that democracy in India is in danger and that liberals have no future here. Well, here is their opportunity to firm up democracy whose first foundation is the rule of law. One only has to read the Magna Carta of English King John, 1215 AD.

Some scholars have expressed the fears of communal riots. How many riots have taken place since 2014? It is true that recently there have been a few skirmishes in Bangalore and there was a major riot in northeast Delhi when President Trump was on a visit to India. Otherwise, the score book as far as riots are concerned has been negative over the last seven years. In any case, how can a court of law or a government shun the enforcement of justice merely due to the fear of riots?

It is well recorded that the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir was destroyed on the orders of Aurangzeb after his crowning. Fortunately, a portion of its front has survived as part of the masjid (see image below). Where people now worship Lord Shiva was built by the great Holkar Queen Ahilyabai in the 18th century. If, therefore, the Gyanvapi Mosque underwent some changes according to historical facts, no Muslim would have any objection. – The Pioneer, 30 April 2021

› Praful Goradia is an author, columnist, and a former member of the Parliament of India representing Gujarat in the Rajya Sabha.

Emperor Aurangzeb reading the Quran.

Auranzeb's firman ordering the destruction of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Sept. 1669).

 Maasir-i-Alamgiri: A History of the Emperor Arangzeb-i-Alamgiri by Saqi Mustaʻidd Khan.

What the Maasir-i-Alamgiri Says

The book Maasir-i-Alamgiri was written in Persian by Saqi Musta’idd Khan and was translated by historian Jadunath Sarkar during British era.

According to the book, on April 8, 1669, the Emperor came to know about the teachings by “misbelievers” in Benaras (See Ch. XII, Pg. 57).

“The Lord Cherisher of Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tetta, Multan and specially in Benaras the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false book in their established schools and that admirers and students of both Hindu and Muslim used to come from great distances to these misguided men to acquire this vile learning,” a passage in the book reads.

“His Majesty eager to establish Islam orders to the governor of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency to put down the teachings and public practice of the religion of these misbelievers,” reads the book.

On September 2, 1669, it was reported that according to Emperor’s command, his officials had demolished the Temple of Vishwanath at Varanasi, mentions the book. – Excerpted from India Today, 19 May 2022

Plan of the ancient Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Fine dotted line in the plan image indicates the Gyanvapi Mosque build over the temple's foundation (James Prinsep 1832).

Gyanvapi Mosque Area Plan (1936).

Gyanvapi Mosque

Lost rights and setting it right – S. Mukherji

Junípero Serra

Dr. Saradindu MukherjiWe would like to ask how a process of historical truth-telling set into motion in the US is applicable to India, which was brutalised over a millennium by a long line of ruthless foreign invaders, rulers and their local collaborators? – Dr. Saradindu Mukherji

Driving by the township of Camden in north-eastern America, I saw the banner headline, “Enslaved Africans Once Sold Here”. Drawn by this nugget of history, I came closer and found the following description: “African slavery in New Jersey began with early European settlement. By 1766, circa 800 captive people had been sold here at the Federal Street Ferry and two other nearby ferry landings. In Africa, approximately 24 million captured men, women and children marched to coastal prisons. Only half survived the journey. These 12 million survivors then endured deplorable conditions on the Middle Passage ocean crossings, where an additional 2 million died from disease, malnutrition, dehydration, drowning, suicide and abuse.”

It is an impressive way of informing people about some of the most tragic episodes in American history—a message from the later generations about the brutalities and irreparable damage inflicted on their ancestors. This gesture, it is felt, might act as a balm for the descendants of the victims!

Robert E. Lee

In recent times, there have been several well-publicised events around such issues in the US related to various types of gross injustices committed in the past. From the signages standing in front of well-known historical monuments, museums, seaports and vast stretches of farm land to political-cultural narratives, one can notice this. There is no escape from such much-needed reminders. Well-publicised photographs depicting the removal of the equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee from its high pedestal in Richmond Va in September 2021 was a major milestone in this process of looking back at such acts of gross injustice and atoning, even if symbolically a perversity. The ongoing practice as pursued by some American institutions—local governments to universities, to name the native people deprived of their landed properties by force—called “land acknowledgements”, is a sign of sagacity and maturity that call for appreciation and emulation by all the right-thinking people cutting across national/racial boundaries. Every passing day, more skeletons tumble out of the cupboard. Hence, people were not surprised when the name of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US president (1913-1921), famous for his 14+4 points, and his stellar role in facilitating the end of World War I was dropped from Princeton University’s International Affairs Department for his racist past. Even the iconic George Washington was found to be a slaveholder owning 317 black slaves. It is indeed a pretty long list.

Be that as it may, one is likely to ask as to how it is relevant for other countries? The underlying principle is certainly applicable to various countries with a similar past. Here, we would like to ask how such a process set into motion in the US is applicable to India, which was brutalised over a millennium by a long line of ruthless foreign invaders, rulers and their local collaborators?

Beginning with the Arab invasion of Sind in the 7th century, Indian society was pulverised by these religious zealots seeking to impose by savagery a different world order—establishing a dar-ul-Islam on a polytheistic India they tauntingly called dar-ul-harb. It is most regrettable that Jawaharlal Nehru described Babar, an alien invader, as “renaissance prince”, a man of culture, in his Discovery of India! In a vivid description, famous historian Arnold Toynbee said, “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.”

In recent times, the movement for the liberation of Ramjanmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya was one such example of claiming back a holy piece of land/temple from illegal occupiers, who were also guilty of desecrating a sacred spot. That thousands of such desecrated temples over which mosques had been erected still remain under illegal occupation is not a classified secret. Several scholarly studies have been done on this aspect (Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them, Vol. I & Vol. II). Much, if not most, of what goes on in the name of Wakf property happens to be located on such landed properties now under unauthorised occupation [as are some Christian churches built on temple lands – Ed]. It is perhaps time to ponder over it, and set right such blatant cases of gross historical injustice!

From desecrated temples, marketplaces for selling Hindu slaves and their export, places of conversion to Islam, Jihadi battles won by “holy” ghazis, museums, political-cultural narratives and finally the all-important history books are now very much expected to see some drastic changes regarding how society must look back at the past. Victims of history from Kandahar to Khulna, Kashi to Kohat and Kashmir Valley, Mathura to Multan to Malabar want more than an acknowledgement of the sufferings: They seek immediate restoration of their habitat and holy places. The victims have waited far too long.

For any society claiming to be civilised, genuinely secular and democratic that wants to avoid the pitfalls of the past, such a moment of reckoning has to come. This generation is expected to witness many healthy debates and acrimonious battles over many such historical experiences people have gone through. It is high time to heal their wounds. – The Pioneer, 13 April 2022

Dr. Saradindu Mukherji is a historian and a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research. His most recent publication is The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: Some Reflections.

Francis Xavier

Nightmare of Nehruism – Sita Ram Goel

Jawaharlal Nehru (London 1946)

Sita Ram GoelThe late Sita Ram Goel, a prominent historian, author, and publisher, had Left leanings during the 1940s, but later became an outspoken anti-Communist. He also wrote extensively on the damage to Bharatiya culture and heritage wrought by Nehruism. The article below is an extract from Goel’s book, How I Became a Hindu, first published by Voice of India in 1982.

Today, I view Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as a bloated brown sahib, and Nehruism as the combined embodiment of all the imperialist ideologies—Islam, Christianity, White Man’s Burden, and Communism—that have flooded this country in the wake of foreign invasions. And I do not have the least doubt in my mind that if India is to live, Nehruism must die. Of course, it is already dying under the weight of its sins against the Indian people, their country, their society, their economy, their environment, and their culture. What I plead is that a conscious rejection of Nehruism in all its forms will hasten its demise, and save us from the mischief which it is bound to create further if it is allowed to linger.

I have reached this conclusion after a study of Pandit Nehru’s writings, speeches and policies ever since he started looming large on the Indian political scene. But lest my judgement sounds arbitrary, I am making clear the premises from which I proceed. These premises themselves have been worked out by me through prolonged reflection on the society and culture to which I belong.

I have already described how I returned to an abiding faith in Sanatana Dharma under the guidance of Ram Swarup. The next proposition which became increasingly clear to me in discussions with him, was that Hindu society which has been the vehicle of Sanatana Dharma is a great society and deserves all honour and devotion from its sons and daughters. Finally, Bharatavarsha became a holy land for me because it has been and remains the homeland of Hindu society.

There are Hindus who start the other way round, that is, with Bharatavarsha being a holy land (punyabhumi) simply because it happens to be their fatherland (pitribhumi) as well as the field of their activity (karmabhumi). They honour Hindu society because their forefathers belonged to it, and fought the foreign invaders as Hindus. Small wonder that their notion of nationalism is purely territorial, and their notion of Hindu society no more than tribal. For me, however, the starting point is Sanatana Dharma. Without Sanatana Dharma, Bharatavarsha for me is just another piece of land, and Hindu society just another assembly of human beings. So my commitment is to Sanatana Dharma, Hindu society, and Bharatavarsha—in that order.

In this perspective, my first premise is that Sanatana Dharma, which is known as Hinduism at present, is not only a religion but also a whole civilisation which has flourished in this country for ages untold, and which is struggling to come into its own again after a prolonged encounter with several sorts of predatory imperialism. On the other hand, I do not regard Islam and Christianity as religions at all. They are, for me, ideologies of imperialism. I see no place for them in India, now that India has defeated and dispersed Islamic and Christian regimes.

I have no use for a secularism which treats Hinduism as just another religion, and puts it on par with Islam and Christianity. For me, this concept of secularism is a gross perversion of the concept which arose in the modern West as a revolt against Christianity and which should mean, in the Indian context, a revolt against Islam as well. The other concept of secularism, namely, sarva dharma samabhava, was formulated by Mahatma Gandhi in order to cure Islam and Christianity of their aggressive self-righteousness, and stop them from effecting conversions from the Hindu fold. This second concept was abandoned when the Constitution of India conceded to Islam and Christianity the right to convert as a fundamental right. Those who invoke this concept in order to browbeat the Hindus are either ignorant of the Mahatma’s intention, or are deliberately distorting his message.

My second premise is that Hindus in their ancestral homeland are not a mere community. For me, the Hindus constitute the nation, and are the only people who are interested in the unity, integrity, peace and prosperity of this country. On the other hand, I do not regard the Muslims and the Christians as separate communities. For me, they are our own people who have been alienated by Islamic and Christian imperialism from their ancestral society and culture, and who are being used by imperialist forces abroad as their colonies for creating mischief and strife in the Hindu homeland. I therefore, do not subscribe to the thesis that Indian nationalism is something apart from and above Hindu nationalism.

For me, Hindu nationalism is the same as Indian nationalism. I have no use for the slogans of “composite culture”, “composite nationalism” and “composite state”. And I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that all those who mouth these slogans as well as the slogan of “Hindu communalism”, are wittingly or unwittingly being traitors to the cause of Indian nationalism, no matter what ideological attires they put on and what positions they occupy in the present set-up.

My third premise is that Bharatavarsha has been and remains the Hindu homeland par excellence. I repudiate the description of Bharatavarsha as the Indian or Indo-Pak subcontinent. I refuse to concede that Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have ceased to be integral parts of the Hindu homeland simply because they have passed under the heel of Islamic imperialism. Hindus have never laid claim to any land outside the natural and well-defined borders of their ancient homeland, either by right of conquest or by invoking a promise made in some scripture. I, therefore, see no reason why Hindus should surrender their claim to what they have legitimately inherited from their forefathers but what has been taken away from them by means of armed force. Moreover, unless the Hindus liberate those parts of their homeland from the stranglehold of Islam, they will continue to face the threat of aggression against the part that remains in their possession at present. These so-called Islamic countries have been used in the past, and are being used at present as launching pads for the conquest of India that has survived.

My fourth premise is that the history of Bharatavarsha is the history of Hindu society and culture. It is the history of how the Hindus created a civilisation which remained the dominant civilisation of the world for several millennia, how they became complacent due to excess of power and prosperity and neglected the defences of their homeland, how they threw back or absorbed in the vast complex of their society and culture a series of early invaders, and how they fought the onslaughts of Islamic, Christian, and British imperialism for several centuries and survived.

I do not recognise the Muslim rule in medieval India as an indigenous dispensation. For me, it was as much of a foreign rule as the latter-day British rule. The history of foreign invaders forms no part of the history of India, and remains a part of the history of those countries from which the invaders came, or of those cults to which they subscribed. And I do not accept the theory of an Aryan invasion of India in the second millennium BC. This theory was originally proposed by scholars as a tentative hypothesis for explaining the fact that the language spoken by the Indians, the Iranians and the Europeans belong to the same family. And a tentative hypothesis it has remained till today so far as the world of scholarship is concerned. It is only the anti-national and separatist forces in India which are presenting this hypothesis as a proven fact in order to browbeat the Hindus, and fortify their divisive designs. I have studied the subject in some depth, and find that the linguistic fact can be explained far more satisfactorily if the direction of Aryan migration is reversed.

These are my principal premises for passing judgement on Pandit Nehru and Nehruism. Many minor premises can be deduced from them for a detailed evaluation of India’s spiritual traditions, society, culture, history, and contemporary politics. It may be remembered that Pandit Nehru was by no means a unique character. Nor is Nehruism a unique phenomenon for that matter. Such weak-minded persons and such subservient thought processes have been seen in all societies that have suffered the misfortune of being conquered and subjected to alien rule for some time. There are always people in all societies who confuse superiority of armed might with superiority of culture, who start despising themselves as belonging to an inferior breed and end by taking to the ways of the conqueror in order to regain self-confidence, who begin finding faults with everything they have inherited from their forefathers, and who finally join hands with every force and factor which is out to subvert their ancestral society. Viewed in this perspective, Pandit Nehru was no more than a self-alienated Hindu, and Nehruism is not much more than Hindu-baiting born out of and sustained by a deep-seated sense of inferiority vis-a-vis Islam, Christianity, and the modern West.

Muslim rule in medieval India had produced a whole class of such self-alienated Hindus. They had interpreted the superiority of Muslim arms as symbolic of the superiority of Muslim culture. Over a period of time, they had come to think and behave like the conquerors and to look down upon their own people. They were most happy when employed in some Muslim establishment so that they might pass as members of the ruling elite. The only thing that could be said in their favour was that, for one reason or the other, they did not convert to Islam and merge themselves completely in Muslim society. But for the same reason, they had become Trojan horses of Islamic imperialism, and worked for pulling down the cultural defences of their own people. The same class walked over to the British side when British arms became triumphant. They retained most of those anti-Hindu prejudices which they had borrowed from their Muslim masters, and cultivated some more which were contributed by the British establishment and the Christian missions. That is how British rule became a divine dispensation for them. The most typical product of this double process was Raja Ram Mohun Roy.

Fortunately for Hindu society, however, the self-alienated Hindu had not become a dominant factor during the Muslim rule. His class was confined to the urban centres where alone Muslim influence was present in a significant measure. Second, the capacity of Islam for manipulating human minds by means of ideological warfare was less than poor. It worked mostly by means of brute force, and aroused strong resistance. Finally, throughout the period of Muslim rule, the education of Hindu children had remained in Hindu hands by and large. So the self-alienated Hindu existed and functioned only on the margins of Hindu society, and seldom in the mainstream.

All this changed with the coming of the British conquerors and the Christian missionaries. Their influence was not confined to the urban centres because their outposts had spread to the countryside as well. Second, they were equipped with a stock of ideas and the means for communicating them which were far more competent as compared to the corresponding equipment of Islam. And what made the big difference in the long run was that the education of Hindu children was taken over by the imperialist and the missionary establishments. As a cumulative result, the crop of self-alienated Hindus multiplied fast and several fold.

Add to that the blitzkrieg against authentic Hindus and in favour of the self-alienated Hindus mounted by the Communist apparatus built up by Soviet imperialism. It is no less than a wonder in human history that Hindu society and culture not only survived the storm, but also produced a counter-attack under Maharshi Dayananda, Swami Vivekanand, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi such as earned for them the esteem of the world at large. Even so, the self-alienated Hindus continued to multiply and flourish in a cultural milieu mostly dominated by the modern West.

And they came to the top in the post-Independence period when no stalwart of the Hindu resurgence remained on the scene. The power and prestige which Pandit Nehru acquired within a few years after the death of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had nothing to do with his own merits, either as a person, or as a political leader, or as a thinker. They were the outcome of a long historical process which had brought to the fore a whole class of self-alienated Hindus. Pandit Nehru would have never come to the top if this class had not been there. And this class would not have become dominant or remained so, had it not been sustained by establishments in the West, particularly that in the Soviet Union.

It is not an accident that the Nehruvian regime has behaved like the British Raj in most respects. The Nehruvians have looked at India not as a Hindu country but as a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural cockpit. They have tried their best, like the British, to suppress the mainstream society and culture with the help of “minorities”, that is, the colonies crystallised by imperialism. They have also tried to fragment Hindu society, and create more “minorities” in the process. In fact, it has been their whole-time occupation to eliminate every expression of Hindu culture, to subvert every symbol of Hindu pride, and persecute every Hindu organisation, in the name of protecting the “minorities”, Hindus have been presented as monsters who will commit cultural genocide if allowed to come to power.

The partition of the country was brought about by Islamic imperialism. But the Nehruvians blamed it shamelessly on what they stigmatised as Hindu communalism. A war on the newly born republic of India was waged by the Communists in the interests of Soviet imperialism. But the Nehruvians were busy apologising for these traitors, and running hammer and tongs after the RSS. There are many more parallels between the British Raj on the one hand and the Nehruvian regime on the other. I am not going into details because I am sure that the parallels will become obvious to anyone who applies his mind to the subject. The Nehruvian formula is that Hindus should stand accused in every situation, no matter who is the real culprit. – How I became a Hindu, 1982

Sita Ram Goel Quote

Hindutva: The Kshatriya element in Hinduism – Virendra Parekh

Respect Hindu identity, culture and history.

Virerndra ParekhAverage middle class Hindus are now challenging the double standards of left-liberals and media dominated by them, history distorted by Stalinist activists masquerading as “eminent historians”, the cheap tactics and techniques employed by Christian missionaries to convert the gullible natives and, yes, Islamic separatism and Muslim gangsterism. They are highly exercised over the recent demographic trends. It is no longer possible to convince them that discussing these things is communalism. – Virendra Parekh  

Banking on borrowed wits, Rahul Gandhi recently undertook a mission to educate Hindus on Hinduism. You may laugh, but he was as serious as he can be. Recently, a few Congress politicians, leftist ideologues and Christian missionaries have started drawing a false distinction between Hinduism and Hindutva. We are told that the two are not just unrelated, but also opposed to each other. Hindutva, identified as the BJP-RSS ideology, has nothing to do with the Sanatana Dharma expounded in Veda, Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Hinduism is an ocean of sublime spiritual wisdom whereas Hindutva is a cesspool of hatred, divisiveness and chauvinism. The followers of Hindutva can only bring disgrace and opprobrium to the fair name of Hinduism, we are told.

We may not mind this convenient cloak of respect for Hinduism (sham and temporary as it is) put on by those who have spent a lifetime in maligning the great tradition and undermining it in every possible way. We may smile indulgently when clowns like Rahul Gandhi parade themselves as janeudhari Hindus. We cannot, however, countenance this clever attempt to delegitimise any defence of Hindu society by its more alert members.

For reasons that will become clear later, many educated Hindus are taken in by the false propaganda. They wonder whether the kar sevaks who demolished the Babri mosque, tribal activists opposing proselytisation by Christian missionaries, scholars like Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel who provided learned and incisive critiques of Islam and Christianity and journalists such as the late Girilal Jain, Arun Shourie, Ramesh Rao, R. Jagannathan, Nupur Sharma, Ganesh R. et al are representatives of Hinduism or fanatic communalists smearing its fair name?               

Semantically, Hindu/Hindutva is a distinction without difference. Hindutva literally means Hindu-ness, the quality of being Hindu. The two are inseparable, like kind and kindness, man and manhood.

The so-called contrast between Hinduism and Hindutva is, therefore, illusory. What is despicably termed as Hindutva is nothing but the Kshatriya aspect of Hinduism. A Hindu without Hindutva is like a man without manliness. A bogus distinction is sought to be used as a ploy for moral disarmament of Hindu intellectuals. A contrived controversy is created with a definite purpose: the political and ideological delegitimisation of the Hindu awareness and Hindu resistance. The trick is simple: Hinduism is exalted even as its defenders are traduced as unworthy bigots.

A churning is going on within the Hindu society for over two-and-a-half centuries. It has started recovering from amnesia and self-deprecation induced by centuries of sustained and brutal foreign invasions. Even if we go back no further than a few decades, the Hindu psyche has undergone a tremendous transformation since 1981 when an entire village in Tamil Nadu, Meenakshipuram, converted to Islam overnight. The fillip received by the Ram Janmbhoomi movement since then, the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992, the fiercely violent reaction to the attack on kar sevaks in Godhra in 2002, the Muzaffarpur riots in 2013, the rise of Narendra Modi on the national stage in 2014 and the tremendous popularity of Yogi Adityanath and his methods are gross manifestations of this transformation. Average middle class Hindus are now challenging the double standards of left-liberals and media dominated by them, history distorted by Stalinist activists masquerading as “eminent historians”, the cheap tactics and techniques employed by Christian missionaries to convert the gullible natives and, yes, Islamic separatism and Muslim gangsterism. They are highly exercised over the recent demographic trends. It is no longer possible to convince them that discussing these things is communalism.           

The sharpness of the challenge underlines the return of the Kshatriya element to the Hindu mind. Hinduism has always accorded a place of high honour to the harmony between the Brahmin and the Kashtriya. For a better appreciation of the intended meaning, these should be taken not as castes but as the intellectual and moral leaders and the militant, ruling class. Agratashchaturo Veda, prushthat: sasharam dhanu (In the forefront four Vedas, followed by bow strung with an arrow). Valmiki’s Rama is not just an embodiment of Dharma, he is also a warrior par excellence. He says clearly that he attacked Lanka to salvage the honour of the House of Raghu (Raghuvansha) which had been compromised by Sita’s abduction by Ravana. Hindusim is represented as much by Bhima and Arjuna as by Buddha and Mahavira. No Hindu has ever held in low esteem Bhima for drinking blood from Dushana’s bosom after killing him in the war of Mahabharata. Gita was preached by Sudarshan-wielding Krishna. Mahabharata says that the Brahmin and the Kshatriya share the same source and should practice Dharma together. Manusmriti says that when Brahmin and Kshatriya work together they always succeed. Brahmins i.e. the intellectual class (scholars, academia, journalists, scientists, researchers and other opinion makers) are the eyes of the society. The Kashatriyas i.e. policymakers, rulers, administrators, spies, police, investigators, warriors) are its arms. Sita Ram Goel used to say that where the Brahmin is blind, the Kashtriya is handicapped. Economic and military prowess is of little avail if your thought leaders are blinded by false notions.

Spirituality and valour, knowledge and courage have always walked hand in hand in this great ancient land. Inspired and guided by Chanakya, Chandragupta Maurya defeated the Greek general Seleucus Nicator at borders of India in Afghanistan. The great Viajayanagara empire was founded under the auspices and inspiration of Shankaracharya Swamy Vidyaranya. More recently, under the inspiration and guidance of Swami Samarth Ramdas Majaraj, Shivaji carved out a self-declared Hindu kingdom from the Moghul Empire under Aurangzib.

Unfortunately, they parted company at some point in our history. We fought bravely, but did not bother to study the mentality, objectives or ideology of the adversaries. We defeated the enemies, but did not pursue them into their homelands to exterminate their power base. We saw no need to keep abreast of the happenings around us. We neglected progress in war craft and statecraft. As a result, even the unparalleled valour of the Rajputs could not prevent the country from going under slavery. Our most important battles were fought in Panipat when the enemy had already encroached deep into our territory.

The Kshatriya ideal suffered further eclipse during the British rule. The Britishers disarmed our people for the first time in our history. The psychological disarmament under the British was, however, much worse than the military one. They taught us to view ourselves with their eyes. What they found wrong with us, we found wrong with ourselves. What they praised in us, we began to cherish. We did not realise that their praise was motivated. The British government and the missionaries promoted an image of a good Hindu which suited their purpose. We were told that a good Hindu is one who is tolerant, liberal, docile and always willing to compromise and give up, especially in matters of religion. This definition of a good Hindu is the one adopted hook, line and sinker by the secularists and vote-hungry politicians. That is why today, when the Hindu looks up or talks back, he is told that he is moving away from the norms and ideals of Hinduism.

Koenraad Elst put it succinctly. “Most Western scholars positively dislike Hinduism when it stands up to defend itself. They prefer museum Hinduism or the innocent Gandhian kind of Hinduism and they readily buy the secularist story that an assertive Hinduism is not the ‘real Hinduism’,” the Belgian scholar said in a tweet. 

Nothing can be farther from truth. Our tradition distinguishes between the practical and the spiritual, but does not set them apart in watertight compartments. That is why great souls who scaled lofty heights of spirituality never hesitated to come out in the open for protection and preservation of the Hindu society. Maharshi Aurobindo, the author of Savitri who realised the God during imprisonment, called upon the Hindus to unite. Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi openly opposed conversion of Hindus. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore frankly voiced his scepticism about the patriotism of Muslims.

The vision of these seers was deep and comprehensive. They believed that India’s soul resides in Sanatana Dharma. India’s national resurgence is impossible without reviving its spiritual core. They viewed the Hindu society as the national society, an heir to a great spiritual heritage. They severely criticised its disunity, ignorance and backwardness. They sought to reform it with personal example. But they also regarded it as their Dharma to protect it from the attacks of alien ideologies. They realised that so long as Hindus remain impoverished, divided and weak, they will never be able to realise the ideals of the Indian civilisation. If the Hindu society does not survive, its great civilisation will end up in libraries and museums like many other ancient cultures. These great souls had a clear perception of the relationship between this world and the next, the practical and the spiritual. They found no contradiction between their spiritual pursuits and service to the nation.

Divisive politics replaced this holistic vision in the post-independence period. The ideal of civilisational resurgence was cast aside in favour of Jinnah-brand separatist games. Our politics came to promote and reward every type of diversity, contradiction and conflict. Those who spoke of cultural nationalism came to be viewed with suspicion by both the rulers and the intellectuals.  

The country is slowly emerging from this great national stupor. The process has gained both the force and momentum in the last decade. Indians are trying to look at their past and present with their own eyes. They are evaluating threats and opportunities before them according to their own lights. They realise that the ideologies that attacked and enslaved them in the past are still active under other names and in different forms. The Portuguese came to India armed with a papal bull. Today, when the church talks about the right to freedom of religion it is actually holding forth the right of the missionaries to pounce on the poor defenceless innocent peoples of the third world. Yesterday’s imperialism has become today’s globalisation. The objectives of the multinational companies are not much different from those of the East India Company. The challenge of Islam is the same that it was a thousand years ago; only its nature has changed—for the worse. The ordinary Hindu realises that the country would need both knowledge and valour to counter these challenges.         

The country is passing through a sankranti, a transition. Counterfeit coins put in circulation under the name of modernity and progress have lost their shine. The old establishment is crumbling under the onslaught of new ideas and forces. Those with a vested interest in propping it up are trying to malign new ideas and delegitimise them. They are trying to create confusion. But they will not succeed. For it is the dawn that has come.

Virendra Parekh is a senior journalist of 45 years standing. He writes in English and Gujarati on economics and politics as also on issues related to Indian civilisation, history and cultural nationalism. Currently, he is Executive Editor of Vyapar, a 72-year-old Mumbai-based Gujarati bi-weekly economy, business and investment.

Koenraad Elst Quote

Why we must worship Goddess Kali – David Frawley

Ma Kali at Dakshineshwar

David Frawley“Ma Kali has a crucial social relevance today. Kali as the transforming power of time can usher us into a new era of global peace and understanding, if we can accept her demand for a real change of consciousness. Kali asks us to live for eternity, not merely for fleeting enjoyments or outer material gains.” — Dr David Frawley 

Ma Kali is the most misunderstood of all Hindu Goddesses, though She is often regarded as the most powerful. Kali’s dark and fierce form is certainly intimidating and hard to fathom, unless one is willing to look with discernment behind the veil of sensational images about Her.

Sri Ramakrishna ParamahamsaMa Kali was first introduced to the modern world by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as the Supreme Mother of the Universe. Through Ramakrishna—an avatar for many—the inspiration of Ma Kali awoke India to its ancient spiritual heritage and brought the unifying message of yoga to the world.

This was at a time in which the world was dominated by colonial powers and the idea of a Universal Mother was not accepted—much less a World Mother who was dark in colour and fierce in demeanour from a backward country like India!

Yet instead of following Ramakrishna’s yogic teachings about Kali, most scholars today look at Kali in an alien and diminished light. What psychologists tell us about Kali often reveals more about their own fascinations with the subconscious mind, rather than the Great Goddess who looks over all of us with wisdom and compassion.

Yogic deities can be best understood according to meditation practises. They relate to energies of higher consciousness beyond the dualities of the mind and the urges of the body. As such, their appearances are dramatic and paradoxical—mind-blowing as it were, and intentionally so.

Nature of Ma Kali

Ma Kali is kala shakti or the power of time. She indicates the impermanence of all things, which is why She wears a garland of skulls. Yet She is also the ultimate transforming power of time, which is to take us from death to immortality. Along with endless time, Kali is boundless space, the limitless void, indicated by Her dark blue colour. Her magical dance of transformation is all existence.

Kali holds the vidyut shakti, the lightning or electrical force of consciousness that is the supreme power. All the goddesses and the entire universe manifests from Her indomitable force. Kali’s seed mantra is “kreem,” which is the kriya shakti or power of transformation behind the vast movement of life.

Kali is not the goddess of death and destruction as some see Her but, on the contrary, represents the complete victory of the Divine over all death and destruction. Her warrior goddess form removes all the illusions of the mind and reveals the undying presence of our inmost Self that is one with all.

Ma Kali as the yoga shakti

Kali is the inner power of yoga or yoga shakti. Yoga in the true sense is a practice of mergence and return to the Divine source of existence. Yoga rests upon nirodha, the full concentration of the mind and dissolution of the ego. Kali is the nirodha shakti, the power of negation, neti-neti, not this, not that, of the Upanishads.

Kundalini shakti, the secret yogic power of transformation within us, works through Kali’s grace and motivation. Kundalini ascends and dissolves all the chakras, or energy centres within us, back into the state of pure unity consciousness that is Ma Kali’s ultimate abode.

Kali is the shakti inherent in Shiva as Mahakala, the great lord of eternity. She dances on Shiva in a prone form, showing the Divine life and joy that manifests out of absolute stillness and transcendence.

Kali reminds one of Tagore’s verses “Let me carry death in life that I may know life in death.”

Yet, Ma Kali has a crucial social relevance today. Kali as the transforming power of time can usher us into a new era of global peace and understanding, if we can accept Her demand for a real change of consciousness. Kali asks us to live for eternity, not merely for fleeting enjoyments or outer material gains.

Those seeking to bring the Divine Light into the world should worship Ma Kali.

Ma Kali as the supreme form of the Universal Mother absorbs Her children back into Her blissful embrace. She takes us across the deepest darkness to reach the highest light.

Jai Ma Kali! – Daily-O, 6 April 2016

› Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) has a D. Litt. (Doctor of Letters), the highest educational title possible in the field of Yoga and Vedic sciences, from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, the only deemed Yoga university recognised by the Government of India.

Ma Kali and the Kalighat temple complex.