1999. Another year.
The last of the Gregorian 20th century. Alas! not and nowhere like the last one of world
domination by an exclusive group claiming white European Caucasian extraction.
This narrow circle does not include women and Turks.
Turkey used to be called The Sick Man of
Europe in the 19th century. Today, hardly anyone thinks of them as
European! The blacks, the coloured and the abos of course have no
hope of ever being counted. The role model is the US President Bill Clinton.
Large, insatiable lusts, minuscule square
hearts, the Oval for cigars and missiles for Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq and sanctions for
India and Pakistan. Perhaps if we in India (and Bangladesh and Pakistan) can set our own
house in order there may be a chance for offering humanity an alternative model based on
our long since forgotten heritage. Older readers will remember the ritual of cooking food
in the traditional Hindu household.
The first chappaattee was small, almost token.
It was for Agni, the Fire God. The kitchen fire was wood or coal and not gas or
electricity and the tiny morsel of token food could be offered to the flame without a
problem.The second chappaattee was for the cow. It was a substantial one and much larger
than the first one.
The third was of normal size. It was for the
crow and the dog. Life at the periphery of the household. The fourth too was of normal
size. It was for the beggar or mendicant male, female, child or cripple. The
qualifying canon or condition was hunger.
The number of chappaattees or the size of the
vessel in which the rice for giving away was cooked varied according to the capacity of
the householder to give. Everyone, rich, middling or poor, felt it their bounden duty to
give. Even to share by denying the self. One had to participate in the ritual of giving,
not to ameliorate misery or suffering of another but to discharge ones own debt to
Slavery to a less developed culture meant
Anglicisation and Westernisation, Europeanisation and modernisation. The learning of
English and having all other subjects taught in it gave a new, and of necessity, a meaner,
harsher, calvinist (earn before you can eat!) frame of reference. Myth and legend, epics
and the Puraanaas were abandoned. The teachers were Christian missionaries with their
obsession Sex is Sin.
You heathen and pagan Indians need to feel
ashamed and have self-contempt for your barbarian ways.The teacher is more powerful and
intolerant than the parent. A multiple culture fracture ensued and the ground prepared by
defeat in battles, with a total loss of self confidence resulted.
The tragedy is that the manifest Christian
virtues of service as for example in nursing the sick and caring for the
underprivileged was not learned by the non-Christian acolytes of missionary teachers.
Having lost, often consciously, the earlier Indian identity what image did the culture
fractured Indians cultivate?The composite culture developed for centuries and millennia
had taken inputs from far and near.
A first century Sanskrit text reads:
Although the Yavanas (Ionians) are mlechcha or barbarians, one has to acknowledge
their mastery of astronomy!The European teachers came from communities which had
suffered very great traumas on account of religion.
The Counter Reformation had seen large numbers
burnt at the stake in the name of God, the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ and the Christian
religion. The idea of syncretic beliefs such as those practiced in India was alien to
Europeans. As is non-alignment today.
Under European tutelage, from the early 19th
century the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs of India developed mutually antagonistic identities.
Each with a jagged, serrated edge guaranteed to hurt and wound the other.One Partition
(1947) and the disintegration of the State founded on the new false identity given to the
Muslims by the Brits (1971) have happened. The lesson of these being false identities has
not been learnt.
Let us take an example from the rulers of India
today, the RSS. Their attitude to the last ruler who died fighting the British shows how
anti-national communalism can be.The name of this hero was Tippou Sultan. He was killed
fighting to preserve his freedom and that of Mysore on May 4, 1799. On May 4, 1999 it will
be a landmark 200th anniversary of a great martyrdom.
If the RSS are still in power on that date can
you dear reader, see the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee accompanied by his Home
Minister Lal Krishna Advani and the Human Resources Minister Murli Manohar Joshi go to the
Gumbad at Shrirangapattanam and offer homage at the tomb of the Sultan called the Shaheed?
Perhaps, the Rajmata who combines the heritage of the Scindias with that of the Rana Jung
Bahadur of Nepal will restrain them.
Or those RSS persons who, in 1990 got the
political front, the BJP, to seek a court injunction to prevent India, the screening of a
television serial entitled The Sword of Tipu Sultan?The complainants argued that the
series presented the central character of Tippou Sultan of Mysore sympathetically, as a
secular character rather than the fanatical Muslim persecutor of Hindus he is
known to be.
The complainants had their views coloured by
Tipu Sultan X-rayed a book written by an Indo-Canadian, I H Muthanna. It was published
with a foreword by P N Oak and under the aegis of the Institute for Rewritten Indian
History (Founder-director Purushottam Nagesh Oak). The point at issue is not the error of
the ways of Oak and Co.
It is that the game they are playing was taught
by the British who wanted to divide and rule. They went on playing it to the
bitter end which was Divide and Quit (1947).Readers who wish to explore the
origins of the communal school of Indian history should go back to Elliot and Dowson.
We quote: The fact that even Hindu
chroniclers wrote to flatter the vanity of an imperious Muslim was, Elliot thought
lamentable. There is not one of this slavish crew who treats the history of
his native country subjectively, or presents us with the thoughts, emotions, or raptures
which a long oppressed race may be supposed to give vent to.
The RSS and the Akali versions of history
fulfilled the need felt by Elliot and the then government gave full support to this new
viewpoint. Elliot went on to remedy the situation as he thought best by publishing
extracts from Indian chronicles which he entitled The history of India as told by
its own historians. His objective is stated quite clearly and without ambiguity:
They (the carefully selected extracts
published as The history of India as told by its own historians) will make our
native subjects more sensitive of the immense advantages accruing to them under the
mildness and equity of our rule.
"We shall no longer hear bombastic babus,
enjoying under our government the highest degree of personal liberty and many more
personal advantages and privileges than were ever conceded to a conquered nation rant
about patriotism and the degradation of their present position.
If they would dive into any of the volumes
mentioned herein; it would take these Brutuses and Phocius a very short time to learn that
in the days of the dark period to which they yearn to return, even the base utterance of
their ridiculous fantasies would have been attended not with silence and contempt but with
the discipline of molten lead and impalement.Skewed history is not a problem
peculiar to the RSS.
The Congress is equally affected. Will Sonia
Gandhi or Madhav Rao Scindia, HKL Bhagat or any of these worthies make Shrirangapattanam a
place of pilgrimage in May 1999? Let the ICHR call a seminar to assess the role of Tippou
in the first quarter 1999 so that an appropriate stand can be taken on May 4, 1999. By the