by Hari P. Chandra
“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened, told by people who weren't there.”
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Both of the above quotes are from the philosopher, poet, and literary/culture critic George Santayana, and aptly sum the degree of separation in the on-going high decibel battles in the archeological and academic arenas in contemporary India. While the setting is in the cultural and religious areas, the clash of ideas is already changing the broad contours on the social and political debate. The battles are over claims to the civilizational consciousness, cultural heritage, and the spiritual soul of India. While the former quote seems to reflect the official history by the Fabian socialist cabal under the Congress Party, with a clearly declared political agenda and a well-defined social engineering goal, the latter quote reflects the deep scars of civilizational trauma of the cultural nationalists spearheaded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and their efforts to correct historical wrongs and also present a truer interpretation of Indian history.
India's identity battles are nothing new; but recent archeological evidence seems to be unnerving quite a few of yesteryear history gatekeepers and their apologists, who have for long supported the establishment's political agenda and enjoyed its backing up until the mid-nineties. Now, under the new political order, the cultural nationalists insist that a revision of history closer to the truth is inevitable in view of widely available documentary and epigraphic records and steadily building archeological evidence. Their key argument that there is nothing wrong or novel about rewriting history, particularly when facts can be ascertained with the help of modern science resonates well with many people in India.
One prime battleground in recent times has been the mindless defense of the Aryan Invasion Theory by the “Secularist” (aka Congress/Marxist, Macaulay, Mullah) camp versus steadily building archeological evidence and infallible logic of the alternate Indus-Saraswati Civilization Theory supported by the “Sangh Parivar” (aka Hindu nationalists, Saffronites, BJP's ideological supporters) camp.
India's Hindu nationalists have a rightful quarrel with the official history, which has for long been guided by colonial masters with their own agendas, racial, regional, religious, and otherwise. Post-1947, after the Partition of India and the end of the British rule, the mantle was passed on to the Congress Party, which under the Nehruvian socialistic order dominated the society for 45 of the last 55 years.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, was an agnostic and a Fabian socialist. He never truly cared about India's Hindu identity, and was more interested in the social engineering that was to accompany his socialistic ideal, which proved to be nothing but an illusion. His vehement opposition, despite popular Hindu sentiment, to the rebuilding of the Somnath Temple as a resurrection of civilization pride after India's independence is a case in point. Somnath, one of the most revered pilgrimage sites of Hinduism, was plundered and destroyed by Mohammed Ghazni as many as 17 times between 1001 A.D and 1027 A.D., and evokes civilizational trauma as well as strong nationalistic feelings across India even today. Despite being a suave and sophisticated intellectual, Nehru along with his Congress Party fully exploited the dynamics of vote bank politics, which tended to divide Hindu vote into caste/region based categories, while keeping the minority Muslim vote unified by pointing an accusing finger at the Hindu society — this despite the fact that India retained its multi-religious and pluralistic character after Partition in 1947, while Pakistan became an authoritarian Islamic republic.
It is under this setting that historians of the socialist, Marxist, and the neo-Macaulay variety came in handy for the ruling Congress Party to cover up, distort, and pervert Indian history out of its geographic, cultural, religious, social, and political setting. The aim was to ensure that the Hindu votes do not consolidate under one political umbrella, even as Muslims are courted as a ready-made vote bank. The aim was also to use history to show that the Hindu culture was itself an outcome of invasion by Aryans, who displaced the indigenous Dravidian people. This was a perfect cover to justify subsequent barbaric invasions of the Islamic plunderers and the rapacious rule of the British by comparing them to the Aryans, and in projecting Indian culture to be an outcome of 'benign' outside influences rather than the uniquely indigenous Hindu cultural traditions.
Aryan Invasion Theory and Indus-Saraswati Civilization
The Aryan Invasion Theory — a favorite of professional secularists — is largely based on the philology of Indo-European languages, and was dated around 1500 BC by Max Mueller. The dating of the theory was arbitrary, and was acknowledged by Max Mueller himself later.
Etymologically, according to Max Muller, the word Aryan was derived from ar — "plough, to cultivate" — meaning an agriculture background and indicating a more settled, peaceful, and civilized society contradicting at the very outset the description of a conquering people of nomads and hunter-gatherers that the Aryans were projected out to be. (For reference, in Sanskrit, Arya means pure or noble).
Surprisingly, the roots of Aryan Invasion Theory are not found in any oral, written, or archeological records of India, but in the European political discourse and more specifically, the German nationalistic trends of the 19th century.
Using philological basis, a theory was constructed, whereby a homeland of the Aryans was posited to be in Southeastern Europe or Central Asia. This homeland concept was further buffeted with a supposed invasion on horses and chariots that was then tied up with the domestication of the horse referenced in Vedic literature. As a coup de grace, the Aryan Invasion Theory was considered proven by claiming that the domestication of the horse took place at around 1500 BC, and that the horse provided the military advantage that enabled the Aryans to conquer the indigenous people of India.
A major flaw of the Aryan Invasion Theory is that it is all based on philology and has nothing to support it in terms of archeology. Oral traditions were posited in a time, place, and setting of the colonial historian's choice, but there was nothing in terms of physical evidence to support it in India or elsewhere. Second, the Harappa/Mohenjodaro civilization excavations with large amounts of physical evidence pointing to a highly evolved people are posited as belonging to the indigenous people, but there seems to be nothing that can be said of them in philological terms. Third, if the Aryans destroyed the indigenous civilizations, there seems to be no evidence of this in the Harappa and Mohenjodaro excavation sites, which largely appear to be abandoned rather than destroyed. Fourth, geographical as well as astronomical references in Vedic literature are largely confined to India and match with events in the third millennium BC and earlier, and not circa 1500 BC as per the Aryan Invasion Theory. Fifth, there is no reference in the Vedic or the Post-Vedic literature of any conquests of Dravidians, the indigenous people who were supposed to have been driven out by Aryans. More importantly, there appears to be no Aryan-Dravidian divide in the historical, cultural, literary and religious traditions that can be brought to evidence.
That the Aryan Invasion Theory was no more than a figment of colonial imagination seems to be troubling the professional secularist historians given their intense politicization of the debate and complete obfuscation of evidence that has been unearthed in recent years. So great is their aversion to reality and Hinduism that a tribe of secularist historians led by Romilla Thapar issued a declaratory statement that no more archeological excavations of the medieval period (of which I will discuss a little later) be done, lest they confuse history, and hurt the feelings of the minority community — a case of acute paranoia, to say the least.
There is no way to reconcile the philological assumptions and the anomalies and inconsistencies that crop up with the Aryan Invasion Theory. The alternate Indus-Saraswati Civilization Theory, on the other hand, posits that the Aryans were indigenous people and the original habitants of the townships and settlements along the Indus, Ravi, and the Saraswati rivers, and that no Aryan invasion from outside took place during the Vedic times. Post-Vedic invasions did occur, and are well documented and are backed up with substantial evidence. The Indus-Saraswati Civilization Theory is at least consistent, scientific, and is backed by steadily building evidence that can stand up to critical scrutiny.
As the name indicates, the Indus-Saraswati Civilization Theory broadens the scope of reference to river Saraswati, which has dried up a long time ago owing to Earth plate tectonic shifts. Hindus have venerated Saraswati as one of their holiest rivers, at least since the time of the composition of the Rigveda, well over four thousand years ago. From around the 1870s, a number of archaeologists, geologists and historians have theorized that the dry bed of Ghaggar — a seasonal stream in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in India, and which continues as Hakra in Pakistan — could possibly be the river Saraswati of the ancient times.
The seasonal river of Ghaggar-Hakra, when it flowed was thin and narrow, but its bed was several kilometers wide in places, possibly making it the former course of a much larger river — possibly the river Saraswati. Sir Aurel Stein, a veteran explorer, was the first scholar who first associated the Saraswati with the Indus Civilization during his explorations and discovery of over 50 proto-historic and Indus sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra valley in 1942.
However, it is the discovery of vast prehistoric civilization settlements along the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed in recent years that has given a major thrust to the possible location of river Saraswati. Additionally, in recent years, scientists using satellite imagery have mapped along the Ghaggar-Hakra pathway, the course of a much larger river that once flowed through the North Western region of India. The imagery and analysis show that the river was enormous in size and was eight kilometers wide in places and that it dried up around 3,000-4,000 years ago. Enhancing these findings further are the discoveries of the submerged cities at Dwarka and the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat, excavation sites at Lothal and Dholavira in Gujarat, Nagaur and Kalibangan in Rajasthan, Kunal and Banawali in Haryana, and Ropar in Punjab that roughly track the path of the enormous riverbed and its vicinity. Over 1000 archaeological sites have been found along the course of this riverbed dating from 3000 BC, compared to less than fifty sites located on the river Indus after which the civilization is named. It is this corroborative evidence that lends weight to historian S. P. Gupta's proposal in 1996 that the Indus Valley civilization be renamed as the Indus-Saraswati civilization.
Aside from the archeological evidence that is quite wide in range, cultural, geological, hydrological and geographical evidence show that the river was clearly not a mythological desert river. Satellite remote sensing and infra-red imagery of paleo-channels of the long lost river, radio-isotope confirmation of the water from underground aquifers that fed the river, carbon dating of the archeological evidence of numerous human settlements along the river tracing Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat in North India, forensic archeology of the Harappa Horse seals, and finally the philological connections of the Vedas with the archeological evidence, all make a solid case for a once-thriving Indus-Saraswati civilization.
Rigvedic hymn 10.75, Verses 5 and 6, clearly identify Saraswati between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west. While some Western and Indian scholars have identified the river Saraswati with the Harakhvati or the present-day Helmand river of Afghanistan, this identification is misplaced given that Rigveda describes Saraswati as originating in the mountains and flowing into the ocean, whereas the Helmand flows into a lake. Secondly, there are no rivers named as Yamuna and Sutlej in Afghanistan.
Given the contradictions in the Aryan Invasion Theory and the steadily building confirmatory evidence for the Indus-Saraswati Civilization Theory, professional secularist historians would do well to stop casting aspersions on Hindu nationalists via a concocted civilization history, and operating in a reality distortion plane with a social and a political agenda. Instead, it would be prudent if the professional secularist historians did their homework, not just on the Aryan Invasion Theory but also on the medieval and contemporary history of India.
Invasion of Islamic Hordes and British Colonization
The real outside invasion in terms of having a deep civilizational impact on India came not from Aryans, who were very much the people of the land, but from the barbaric invasions and later settlements of Islamic hordes in medieval times followed by colonization and rapacious exploitation by the British up until the modern times.
The timeline of contact of both Islam and the British with the Indian subcontinent is a chronicle of butchery, plundering of wealth and resources, destruction of Hindu/Buddhist temples and property, slavery and rounding up of women for harems, forced religious conversions and taxation, and degradation of local customs and traditions that led to cultural, religious, economic, political and social upheaval of unprecedented proportions that modern India is only now coming to grips with. While the Islamic bunch had the barbaric and destructive characteristic as their hallmark, the British were a little more refined, emphasizing on economic exploitation, but no less generous or kind towards their subjects.
While the Indian independence movement to fight the British may have necessitated a gloss over of the details of the harsh Islamic invasions and its rule to fight a common enemy, the civilizational trauma was bound to come back once the British were thrown out of the subcontinent, with or without Partition. The British only exploited the societal schism to further their ends and prolong their illegitimate rule.
The debilitating and deleterious impact of these two outside influences on the Indian psyche runs very deep and the wounds are very raw despite the doctoring of history by the professional secularists, and despite afflictions of the Stockholm Syndrome and of Dhimmitude on the gatekeepers of history and the ruling political class of the yesteryears. So great is the fear of truth by these professional secularists that in their heyday they ensured that the 1982 directive from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for the rewriting of school texts clearly stipulated that the “characterization of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Moslems is forbidden.” The state of denial of a past reality is astounding given the vast amounts of archeological, epigraphic, and literary evidence. However, this does not prevent the reality-distorting historians from adopting negationism as policy, and giving all sundry attributions and flavorful explanations highlighting the supposed positive contributions of the Islamic invaders/rulers and the British colonizers even if their practices were largely to sustain their tyrannical regimes rather than for the direct benefit of their subjects. The issues under this format range from defending the destruction of temples and religious conversions under the Islamic rule to the laying of the railway network and the practice of slave trade under the British.
However, Hinduism and Hindu rulers being from the dominant majority were readily dissected, and did not bring about the same fears particularly when nominally Hindu professional secularists did it. An ancient India that was Hindu in culture and tradition was deliberately projected from a religious prism so that it can be juxtaposed as antithetical to the twisted definition of secularism in India despite the fact that Hinduism is without any fundamentals and is more a way of life than a formal religion. A follow-up of this distorted projection of Hinduism from a religious prism came in the form of branding anything Hindu as being not secular, and hence communal and, in a pervert way, anti-minority.
Despite the best efforts of professional secularist historians, nearly a thousand years of civilizational trauma could not be easily wished away. While the oppressive colonial experience under nearly three hundred years of steadily encroaching British rule was no less painful, the passion and violent disagreement in terms of Islam's role is largely due to the depth of degradation and intolerance during the Islamic times. Also, the British, who were outsiders, were thrown out with the onset of Indian Independence. This makes it relatively easy for people to deal with history, as it was under the British rule, and move on.
If ancient history saw manufacturing of theories that cannot withstand the slightest of scrutiny, the modern period saw an aggressive cover up of the darkest periods of medieval Indian history. Despite the Partition of the country owing to religious schism (manifested in the form of a Two Nation Theory and executed via Direct Action), quiet censorship of any critique of Islam and Islamic rule took hold with the intent of not hurting the Muslim community that chose to stay back in India. The logic was and is silly given that those who did not want to live with Hindus have already gotten away with a sizeable chunk of the country based on their religious identity and their clear identification with the Islamic invaders.
For those Muslims who chose to stay back in India, despite the overt religious affiliation, Islamic rule has hurt them more than others given that most of their ancestors were forcibly converted from Hinduism. So revisiting Islamic history in India, if anything, would help Muslims understand their history and ancestry better, making their assimilation into the mainstream of the Indian society easier. However, distorted political and religious discourse from opportunistic secularist and Muslim leadership seems to ensure that Indian Muslims still associate themselves with the barbaric Islamic invaders from outside than identify with the Indian society and practice their religion free of the historical baggage. The Muslim identity is further cluttered by readily bandying the concept of Umma, wherein Islamic identity supersedes the national identity. This is clearly seen in the semantic polemics in the definition of a Muslim Indian as opposed to being an Indian Muslim.
The Return of the Native, and the Ascendancy of Counterfeit Secularism
The suppression of Islamic history and the exploitation of Islamic religious identity have had far reaching ramifications on contemporary Indian society with social and political reverberations. The ghettoization of the Muslim community by way of preserving their identity has resulted in a regressive mindset that is always suspicious of the majority community, and refuses to join the mainstream, thereby foregoing the economic and political benefits of social integration. A great exception to this generalization is India's President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, who identifies himself first as an Indian above all else. A true humanitarian and a visionary, he is a role model for all, and is truly a Bharat Ratna, in title and in deed. A great disappointment of modern India is the abdication of responsibility by the Muslim leadership in bringing the community out of its cocoon. However, this does not mean that the Hindu society is above reproach by any stretch of imagination.
If the opposition to Uniform Civil Code (UCC) with its attendant consequences, a deafening silence on Islamic terrorism in Kashmir and on the plight of 400,000 Kashmiri Hindu refugees in their own country, display of insecurity while emphasizing religious identity to the exclusion of everything else, and a refusal to handover the three destroyed/occupied Hindu temple sites in Ayodhya (Ram Janambhoomi), Mathura (Krishna Janmasthan), and Varanasi (Kashi Vishwanath) out of an estimated 30,000 such sites in a move towards historic reconciliation are issues that bother the Hindu psyche with respect to the Muslim community, it is the professional secularist tribe which champions their twisted cause with motivated and insidious attacks against anything that is Hindu that revolts the cultural nationalists. The secularist cabal has its tentacles spread over political parties, bureaucracy, academia, intelligentsia, media, celebrity circles, and is highly visible.
What passes off for real secularism in India today is actually a counterfeit version that wallows in a bundle of contradictions that is sickening. Some samplers.
When the BJP talks of cultural nationalism, or calls for a review of what was to be a temporary Article 370 in the Indian Constitution, or makes the case for a Uniform Civil Code, it is branded as communal, while openly religious and caste-based parties that thrive on creating religious and social divisions are certified as nothing but secular.
Directing taxpayer funds to foot the bill for Haj pilgrimage by Muslims is very much secular, whereas any mention of promotion of Sanskrit or the study of Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas instantly becomes communal. In a similar vein, when the government for fiscal needs diverts Hindu temple funds it is regarded as secularism, but any questioning on accountability of overseas funding to the mosques or the churches is immediately met with a fiery verbal assault.
India's national song Vande Mataram is suddenly painted as communal without any reference to its context, while Saraswati Vandana recital in schools/education events represents the hidden agenda of the BJP even though it was recited for decades without any hitch. Along this pattern, despite unanimous agreement on the unveiling of Veer Savarkar's portrait in Parliament building, a political boycott of the function springs up overnight. To top it off, Savarkar's credentials are questioned by no less than Marxists, who not only collaborated with the British against the Quit India Movement, but also supported and justified the Chinese stand during the 1962 war against India.
Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) is opposed despite the fact that India is the worst victim of terrorism in the world. Asking for the reform of madarasas despite their regressive and stultifying curriculum and a simultaneous increase in Islamic terrorist activity along the borders arouses suspicion for being anti-minority. Instead, loose talk of a second Partition of India is then bandied about callously.
When the Supreme Court passes a verdict that is not palatable to the self-appointed leaders of the minority community, the secularist Congress government overturns it by a legislative fiat as seen in the Shahbano divorce/alimony case during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure.
The list goes on and on. However, it would be worthwhile to look at the some of the issues in contemporary India where professional secularists have been shrill and vociferous — namely Ayodhya, religious conversion, and Gujarat riots.
Ayodhya came into limelight under the Congress government following its decision to open the gates of the Babri complex for the Shilanyas ceremony in 1989. With the Mandal Commission politics for splitting the Hindu vote via caste-based job reservations in full swing, BJP countered it with a Rath Yatra to Ayodhya that captured the imagination of the masses and provided it with an opportunity to consolidate the Hindu vote under a Pan-Indian cultural identity.
The razing of the Babri structure, however repugnant, was inevitable given the depth of anger over a vexed issue that could have been settled peacefully a long time ago. More than 10 years have gone by since the Barbri structure was razed to the ground, and the issue is still unresolved despite repeated efforts for a reconciliation process. When appeals were made to the Muslim leadership to resolve the Ayodhya dispute amicably based on history, literary and epigraphic evidence, all efforts were stymied and courts were brought in to sit in judgment.
Now that the Allahabad High Court has ordered an archaeological excavation of the site, suddenly the efficacy of the judicial process is called into question by the Muslim leadership and the professional secularist camp, and the intensions of the court and the integrity of the Archeological Survey of India is questioned. Wonder what will happen if the court decides that a temple existed there prior to a mosque based on archeological evidence. Would the Muslim leadership be ready to face court challenges on all the temples that were destroyed during the Islamic invasions? Wouldn't a peaceful settlement of three of the holiest sites under dispute be a better alternative for social amity and a peaceful reconciliation of a shameful Islamic history? Hindu society is waiting, but its patience is definitely wearing thin.
Religious conversion, always a contentious issue in India, got further complicated when Pope John Paul II, during his visit to India in 1999, noted that a “great harvest of faith will be reaped” in Asia in the Third Millennium. This open declaration of intent and a call to the missionaries to execute the game plan (similar to George W. Bush's political doctrine of “pre-emptive” strikes and “regime change”) did not sit well, and raised quite a few alarms in India.
As for religious freedom, Article 25 of India's constitution guarantees free profession, practice and propagation of religion. However, propagation does not automatically mean conversion, and religious conversion via force, economic inducements, fraud or allurement robs this very freedom to choose. A professional secularist might disagree, but this issue was specifically addressed by the Supreme Court of India in its verdict in the Stanislaus vs. State of Madhya Pradesh case in 1997, whereby it held that the word "propagate", in the context of religion would mean to transmit, carry forward, diffuse or extend a particular religious belief or practice. But there is no fundamental right to convert another person to one's own religion.
Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, which are native to India, Islam and Christianity originated in a foreign land, with a cultural and philosophical tradition that is inimical to Indic tradition, which believes in the brotherhood of all humanity irrespective of region, race or religion. Islam came into India on the cutting edge of a sword with unheard of barbarity that saw butchery, plunder, destruction, rape, slavery, and forced conversion in its wake. While there is a belief that Jesus Christ visited India during his missing years, and it is generally accepted that Christianity came to India via St. Thomas in 52 A.D., Christianity's growth in India was largely due to missionaries, who had the backing of colonial rulers be they French, Portuguese, or the British.
Given the wide economic disparity and a liberal flow of funds from overseas, what are the natives to do to defend this foreign religious onslaught? An anti-religious conversion bill with sufficient protective provisions can help to begin with, but addressing the more fundamental issues concerning economic, social, and political inequities will go a long way in checking the faith harvesting business venture more effectively. Meanwhile, the debate will rage on as to where the problem starts. Why conversion to begin with? Why not just humanitarian service? The problem becomes worse when one is goaded to convert, with economic inducements and false propaganda about one's native religion. The problem gets compounded further, when after conversion one is constantly prodded to bring in either family or friends for conversion or sever all ties with them. These kinds of incidents were reported in Orissa, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and the North East — particularly in the tribal areas. However, professional secularists have no qualms in conceding the right to convert despite its offensive and destabilizing social impact while at the same time opposing any defenses put up by the natives to ensure religious and social harmony. The more pertinent question to them is: how about open religious conversions in Saudi Arabia?
Godhra and the Aftermath - A new kind of paranoia has gripped the secularist media and the secularist political parties in India over the last one year — more so, after the riots that followed the Godhra carnage in Gujarat, where a train-car full of Hindu women and children, returning from the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya, were burnt alive by fanatic Muslims.
With respect to Gujarat riots, the Congress Party, the secularist media and other secularist political parties refuse to acknowledge that what happened at Godhra was uncalled for, and also that the ensuing bloody riots for all the violence were brought under control within three days with the deployment of the Indian Army. Instead of having a balanced approach, and taking the state government to task for administrative laxity, security lapses, and relief efforts, they chose to viciously attack the ruling BJP, and more specifically the party's chief minister in Gujarat, Narendra Modi, and demonized him to no end. Additionally, Hindu Gujaratis were portrayed as arsonists, bloodthirsty killers, and rapists, with only Muslims being the hapless victims despite the fact that around 25% of the people killed were Hindus.
Even as the Godra investigation was still underway, insinuations were made that the train was actually set on fire from the inside by the Ayodhya pilgrims themselves. As if this was not enough, representations were made to the U.S. government to investigate the riots, with pleas to put India on a watch list for religious intolerance. Simultaneously, a malicious campaign to blacklist and withdraw tax exemption status against the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a Maryland-based charity, was launched all because the charity funds Ekal Vidyalaya schools for tribal children, and participates in some relief and development programs associated with the Sangh Parivar organizations — nothing wrong and none of it is secret as it is clearly listed on the IDRF website. This secularist appeasement of the Muslim minority saw a fierce backlash that resulted in the BJP getting two-thirds of the Gujarat state legislature seats in the December 2002 elections by appealing to Hindu pride, and targeting Islamic terrorism in Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, and other parts of India.
No wonder India Today, a leading magazine, in its December 30, 2002 issue rightly observed in its editorial: Gujarat “election was held in the backdrop of two riots, one bloody, the other pure sophistry. In the latter, professional secularists and the conscience-keeping industry sought out the darkest entries from the glossary of hate to describe the crime of the Hindu — Holocaust, fascism, Hitler… They rhapsodized the ghettos of victimhood, and, forever scavenging for a cause, they found a self-serving monster in Modi. The election exposed their pretence.
“Secularism doesn't mean a repudiation of religion. In this country, secularism in practice meant romancing the minority and demonizing the majority. The professional secularist always needed a bogeyman, the usurper of the ideal and a ghettoized victim. Gujarat provided a perfect situation. The Hindu was the bogeyman. The post-Godhra Hindu to be precise. Godhra itself couldn't have provided the stereotypes — there the victim was the Hindu. So Godhra was just a crime. No adjectives from the history of hate were required to magnify it. The anger of the majority is as much a reality of the times as the anguish of the minority. The so-called secularists refuse to admit it. This election has corrected them.”
Unlike many countries, India's civilization heritage and memory transcends several millennia and is a product of its timeless and peaceful coexistence of the Hindu society. And unlike other religions, Hinduism is a religion without any fundamentals — the concepts of exclusivity, chosen people, racial superiority, conversion, religious head, and religious dogma via a book, edict or revelations are alien to Indic tradition. Hinduism is more of a philosophy with full freedom of thought and action, with each individual pursuing liberation of the soul via the medium of truthful self-discovery. In a true sense, Hinduism is more a way of life than a religion, a notion that has been attested to by the Supreme Court of India as many as three times in recent years during the Hindu versus the professional secularist legal battles.
Professional secularist shoot-and-scoot allegations against Hindu nationalists on contemporary, medieval and ancient history do more harm than good as they distort the identity and ideological debate currently underway in India. Let India and its people decide who and what they are, rather than be judged by amateur and immature outsiders and local fifth columnists.
Finally, historians should not and must not refrain from telling the truth, even if bringing out the truth entails facing unpalatable facts, be it under Hindu, Islamic or the British rule. A cultural, religious, social reconciliation is possible only if truth is laid bare, and is followed up with a free, fair, and objective discussion highlighting the positives and negatives. This applies equally to ancient, medieval and contemporary history. A cover up of history, and a gloss over of the civilizational trauma will only put India through unending agony and would only breed hatred towards those who try to hide the truth. For a country whose motto is Satyam Eva Jayate or 'Truth Alone Triumphs', the falsification of history by the professional secularist tribe is indeed shameful. The pack of lies heaped on the glorious history and tradition of India needs to be cleared if its civilizational consciousness is to be resurrected.