Indias freedom lost? Was it at the Battle of Karnal, February 13, 1739 when Tahmasp
Quli better known as Nadir Shah defeated the invincible Mughal army and reduced it to such
a miserable condition that the army and the Emperor never took part in any more battles
until the siege of Dillee in 1857?
Or did the trump of doom for Indias
Independence sound on June 23, 1757 when Robert Clive won the battle of Plassey
(Palaashee) by the simple expedient of subverting the enemy generals? The casualties on
the winning side were four white and eight black soldiers killed, 14 feringhee and 36
native soldiers wounded! The Mughal Emperors became pawns in the hands of their nobles.
Mostly the adventurers from Afghanistan and beyond.
On July 31, 1788, Ghulam Qadir Rohilla climbed
up the throne, removed the Emperor, Shah Alam II, from it and threw him on to the floor of
the Diwan-i-Khas. He threatened to gouge the captives eyes out unless he was given
gold and jewels. The victim had none and therefore suffered the most brutal blinding in
full public view.
The Rohilla was in turn defeated and brought to
book by a Maratha Chief, Scindia. The perpetrator of the outrage was made to suffer severe
punishment and the blind man restored to the throne. The Mughal was indestructible.
Despite all defeats and humiliation, the Emperor in the Red fort continued to represent
legitimacy and remain legal sovereign.
The Mughal line was to be finally extinguished
by the British in September 1857. The last Emperor died in exile in Rangoon on November 7,
1862. Queen Victoria waited for 15 years to assume the Imperial Crown with the Kohinoor in
its diadem, in the forlorn hope of becoming legitimate successor of the Mughals.
It can thus be argued that India really became a
slave in September 1857 and that the Dilleewallah was subdued only for a mere 90 years as
against the 190 of the Calcuttan and the much longer period of the Mumbaiyan. Mumbai was
ceded by the Portuguese to the British as part of the dower of their princess, the Infanta
Catherine, when she married Charles II in the 17th century.
Thus we now have many choices for marking the
beginning of Indias slavery. The examples cited above are unexceptionable in so far
as they do not threaten to tear Indias fabric apart. The rogue idea is the one
planted by the British. This is the one that would have Hindus believe that their slavery
dates back a 1,000 years.
The invasion or raid for loot and plunder by Subuktagin around the middle of the 10th century is taken as
the operative date. Thus, from around 950 Gregorian to 1947 Gregorian Hindus were slaves
of others is the belief and perception and this totals a whole 1,000 years --
The above picture will bring home to the reader
the extent of confusion and chaos that prevails in Indian history even in relation to the
most basic and elemental facts and perceptions.In this situation, how can Indians have a
clear and distinct, unambiguous idea of who and what they are. A gargantuan and abiding
identity crisis is aboard.
There really and truly, existed a composite
Indian identity which prevailed upto the middle of the 19th century. Raja Beni Madhab
fought for the Begum Hazrat Mahal until his decimated forces were wiped out by the
treacherous Jung Bahadur of Nepal, an ancestor of Vijay Raje Scindia of the RSS.
The Pandies or Mutineers of the British Indian
Army were all, or the majority of them, East UP Brahmins. After shooting their feringhee
officers dead on May 11, 1857 in Meerut, this lot went straight across the boat bridge in
the Jamuna to the Emperor in the Red Fort, Dillee, and prevailed upon him to take over the
The most prominent leaders of 1857, 1858, 1859
like Nana Dhondo Pant and Lakshmibai of Jhansi all
acknowledged the Mughal Emperor as the sole legitimate authority. Clearly there was no
identity crisis for Indians in the mid-19th century.The above mentioned
composite Indian personality was fractured by the communal virus injected into
the teaching of history by the British.
They emphasised the differences between Hindus
and Muslims and nurtured the idea of a Sikh identity as distinct and separate from the
Hindu so that the whole fractured into three disparate and individual segments.Each
developed jagged, sharp and hurtful edges so that all encounters broke the skin and
lacerations ensued to fester and poison the whole system and body politic.
James Mill had set the official British line on
the subject when he declared, The Hindus are thesis, the Muslims are
antithesis, we the British are the synthesis. Subsequent
historians like Elliot and Dowson deliberately doctored the local Indian chronicles to
emphasise, demonstrate and merchandise any differences they could spot between the
Individual rulers (Even the truly remarkable
ones like Akbar were not spared) were subjected to deliberate distortion and diminution in
order to make the British look great by comparison. The object, clearly and unambiguously
stated, was to make Indians believe that The British are the best rulers you have
The success of the British machinations was
quite clearly visible even a decade after their physical departure. The venerable senior
historian Surendranath Sen was asked to write the history of the great 1857 Uprising as a
100 year remembrance of things past.
There is no trace of pride or glory in the
narration. The overwhelming effort is to sound impartial. The title is neither
Mutiny nor Revolt, it is just plain 1857! A similar
lack of enthusiasm has diminished the role of the Indian National Army and the Royal
Indian Navy in hurrying the advent of Independence.
To get a grip on themselves, the people of the
subcontinent Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and most of what is called
Afghanistan have to re-examine, rediscover and re-establish their true identity.
Are the Hindus really craven cowards who let themselves be brutalised and dispossessed of
their gold, lands and women for centuries?
Are Muslims merely uneducated, uncouth and
rascally lechers who used brute force to bully Hindus and martyr Sikhs when the latter
stood up to protect the persecuted Hindus? Are Sikhs a faith quite distinct from the
Hindus and the Muslims including the Sufis and the Bhaktas? Are they defenders of the weak
Hindus from the cruel and rapacious Muslims or are they the eldest sons of Hindus who were
given to the faith? What faith?
How can they be both separate from the Hindus
and also the protectors of the Hindus? This confusion has stood the communalists in good
stead and brought them political power. The Akalis are hand-in-glove with the Centre and
the RSS prevails in the Bimaru (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh)
In this so-called Hindi-speaking or cow belt,
education, health and family planning are of low priority. The occasional burning of the
widow and the daily dowry deaths continue unabated; female infanticide is still talked
about, while female foeticide is still rampant and unchecked. The male-female ratio of the
population is alarming.
The aridity in the culture area may be seen from
the disappearance of poetry in Urdu and Hindi. Are there any Gurumukhi poets who can set
the Sutlej on fire?The Sikhs and the Hindus are at the mercy of rabble rousers who
countenanced the 1984 killings of innocents as well as the pulling out of Hindus from
passenger buses for cold blooded murder by militant Sikhs.
The killings cease only to begin again and again
as soon as an opportunity arises. It appears that this will continue endlessly unless the
problem of identity is faced squarely.A beginning needs to be made. The British period of
Indian history has to be subjected to critical appraisal with the objective of
establishing facts, motives and interpretations.
We are within 400 days of January 1, 2000, the
beginning of the 21st century. A new century will begin in free India after ages.Let the
powers that be make it a celebration by giving the people a readable, factual, balanced
and sensitive history of the British period (1757-1947).
Such a book would help clear the stale and fetid
air created by the feringhee to serve their own limited interest of Divide and
Rule. As forecast by Dowson (or was it Elliot?) the Indians, Pakistanis and
Bangladeshis are lazy and laid back and have done nothing and will do nothing to correct
errors and expose canards. The inaction of 50 years must not be allowed to become