Tag Archives: ROMILA THAPAR

CHAPTER 6 : NEGATIONISM AND THE MUSLIM CONQUESTS (Part II)

Continuing publication of excerpts my forthcoming book: “An History of India as it Happened (not as it was written)”:

It is not only Indian historians, who are negationists, but also western historians and India-specialists. We know that the first historians of Indian – the Britishers – twisted India’s history to suit their theory that they had come to civilize a race which was not only inferior to them, but also was supposed to have been heavily influenced in its philosophies or arts by European invaders – read the Aryans or Alexander the Great. But what is less known is that today many western historians not only still cling to these old outdated theories, but also actually more or less willfully mislead the general European public, who is generally totally ignorant and takes these “knowledgeable” comments about India as the absolute truth. One example is France, which has a long tradition of Indianists, who devote their time and life to the study of India. The main school of historic research in France is called the CNRS (National Center of Social Research), which has a very important South Asia section, of which India, of course, is the main component. Unfortunately, many of these India-specialists are not only Left-leaning, that is they are very close to the ideas of the JNU historians, with whom they are anyway in constant contact, but are also specialists of the Moghol period of India history, which is to say that they are sympathetic to Islam’s point of view on India, while they often consider Hindus as fanatics…

Take for instance one of the recent Indian History books published in France “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” (1994 Fayard / Paris), the authors (there are seven of, all famous Indianists), having subscribed to the usual Aryan invasion theory, accuse Shiva “to incarnate obscure forces” (Introduction III) and of course use the word “fanatics” to describe the Hindus who brought down the Ayodhya mosque. Basically, the book does an apology of he moghol period in India; while keeping quiet about all their crimes. In the chapter dealing for instance with Vijaynagar, the last great empire of free India, which symbolized a Hindu Renaissance after nine centuries of savage Muslim conquests, one cannot but perceive the enmity of the authors for Hinduism. The two young princes, founder of Vijaynagar who were converted by force to Islam when in captivity, are accused of “duplicity”, because they reverted back to Hinduism as soon as they were free; then the French historians highlight the “ambition of Brahmins, who used these two young princes to reconquer the power that at been lost at the hands of the conquering Muslims” (page 54); the book then mentions “the unquenchable exigencies of the (Hindu) central power in Vijaynagar”, forgetting to say that that for the first time in centuries, Hindus could practice freely their faith, that they were not killed, their women raped, their children taken as slaves and converted to Islam. And all this to finally sum up in seven words the terrible end of Vijaynagar, which has left a wound in the Hindu psyche even up to today: “looting and massacres lasted for three days”…

But the authors of “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” do not only run down Hindus, they also glorify Muslims, particularly the Moghols. Babur for instance, this monster who killed hundreds of thousands of Hindus and razed thousands of temples becomes at their hands a gentle hero: “ Babur did not like India and preferred to isolate himself in the exquisite gardens he had devised, with their geometrical design, their crossed canals, which evoked to him the rivers of paradise”. Oh, God what a sensitive poet! And to make it sound even more glorious, the author adds: “there he translated a manual of Koranic law and a Sufi treaty of morals”. Oh, what a saint and lover of humanity… Aurangzeb, the cruelest of the Moghul emperors, has also the full sympathies of the authors: “Aurangzeb seems to have concentrated on himself the hatred of militant Hindus, who attribute to him systematic destruction of temples and massive conversion drives. But this Manichean impression has to be seriously countered (page 126)”… Unfortunately for the authors, as we have seen earlier, Aurangzeb was not only proud of what he was doing to the Hindus, but he had his scribes note each deed down for posterity… In 2006 the same authors published “L’Inde contemporaine”, with the same prejudices and bias against Hindus and their political parties.

These French Indianists have also a tradition of speaking against the BJP, which they have always labeled as “fundamentalist” and dangerous for the “secular” fabric of India, although the BJP has been in power for quite a few years and nothing dramatic has happened to the secular fabric of India. The problem is that these Indianists not only write lengthy and pompous articles in France’s main newspapers, such as Left-leaning Le Monde, explaining to the ignorant reader why is India on the point of exploding because of fanatic Hindus, or how the Harijans in India are still the most downtrodden people on earth (this is why when President Narayanan visited France in April 2000, all the French newspapers chose to only highlight that he was an untouchable and that religious minorities in India were persecuted, nearly provoking a diplomatic incident between France and India), but unfortunately they also advise the French government, who like his citizens, is often shamefully ignorant and uninterested by India. This is why, although there has been a lot of sympathy for the French in India because of their tolerant response to the Indian nuclear tests of 1998 (whereas the whole western world reacted hysterically by imposing absurd sanctions), France has not yet bothered to capitalize on this sympathy and has not managed to realize that India is the ideal economic alternative to a very volatile China.

It would be nice to say that Indian journalists are not blind to this influence of French Indianists and the adverse impact it has on Indo-French relations, but when Christophe Jaffrelot, for instance who wrote many a nasty books on Hindu fundamentalism and is most responsible for the bad image the BJP in France, comes to India to release the English translation of his book, he is feted by the Press corps and all kind of laudatory reviews are printed in the Indian Press. So much for secularism in India.

And, ultimately, it is a miracle that Hinduism survived the onslaught of Muslim savagery; it shows how deep was her faith, how profound her karma, how deeply ingrained her soul in the hearts of her faithfuls. We do not want to point a finger at Muslim atrocities, yet they should not be denied and their mistakes should not be repeated today. But the real question is: Can Islam ever accept Hinduism? We shall turn towards the Sage, the yogi, who fought for India’s independence, accepting the Gita’s message of karma of violence when necessary, yet who had a broad vision that softened his words: “You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is “I will not tolerate you? How are you going to have unity with these people?…The Hindu is ready to tolerate; he is open to new ideas and his culture and has got a wonderful capacity for assimilation, but always provided India’s central truth is recognised.. (Sri Aurobindo India’s Rebirth 161,173)
Or behold this, written on September 1909: “Every action for instance which may be objectionable to a number of Mahomedans, is now liable to be forbidden because it is likely to lead to a breach of peace. And one is dimly beginning to wonder whether worship in Hindu temples may be forbidden on that valid ground (India’s Rebirth p. 55). How prophetic! Sri Aurobindo could not have foreseen that so many Muslim countries would ban Rushdie’s book and that Hindu processions would often be forbidden in cities, for fear of offending the Muslims. Sri Aurobindo felt that sooner or later Hindus would have to assert again the greatness of Hinduism.

And here we must say a word about monotheism, for it is the key to the understanding of Islam. Christians and Muslims (and Jews) have always harped on the fact that their religions sprang-up as a reaction against the pagan polytheist creeds, which adored many Gods. « There is only one real God they said (ours), all the rest are just worthless idols ». This « monotheism versus polytheism business » has fuelled since then the deep, fanatic, violent and murderous zeal of Islam against polytheist religions, particularly against Hinduism, which is the most comprehensive, most widely practiced of all them. It even cemented an alliance of sorts between the two great monotheist religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, witness the Britishers’ attitude in India, who favoured Indian Muslims and Sikhs against the Hindus; or the King of Morocco who, even though he is one of the most moderate Muslim leaders in the world, recently said in an interview: « we have no fight with Christianity, our battle is against the Infidel who adores many gods ».
But as we have seen earlier, Hinduism is without any doubt the most monotheist religion in the World, for it recognises divine unity in multiplicity. It does not say: « there is only one God, which is Mohammed. If you do not believe in Him I will kill you ». It says instead: « Yes Mohammed is a manifestation of God, but so is Christ, or Buddha, or Krishna, or Confucius ». This philosophy, this way of seeing, which the Christians and Muslims call « impious », is actually the foundation for a true monotheist understanding of the world. It is because of this « If you do not recognize Allah (or Christ), I will kill you », that tens of millions of Hindus were slaughtered by Arabs and other millions of South Americans annihilated by the Christians. And ultimately the question is: Are the Muslims of today ready to accept Hinduism ? Unfortunately no. For Muslims all over the world, Hinduism is still the Infidel religion « par excellence ». This what their religion tell them, at every moment, at every verse, at the beginning of each prayer : « Only Allah is great ». And their mollahs still enjoin them to go on fight « jihad » to deliver the world of the infidels. And if the armies of Babar are not there any longer; and if it is not done any more to kill a 100.000 Hindus in a day, there is still the possibility of planting a few bombs in Coimbatore, Mumbai or Varanasi, of fuelling separatisms in the hated land and eventually to drop a nuclear device, which will settle the problem once and for all. As to the Indian Muslim, he might relate to his Hindu brother, for whatever he says, he remains an Indian, nay a Indu; but his religion will make sure that he does not forget that his duty is to hate the Infidel. This is the crux of the problem today and the riddle if Islam has to solved, if it wants to survive in the long run.

We will never be able to assess the immense physical harm done to India by the Muslim invasions. Even more difficult is to estimate the moral and the spiritual damage done to Hindu India. But once again, the question is not of vengeance, or of reawakening old ghosts, but of not repeating the same mistakes. Unfortunately, the harm done by the Muslims conquest is not over. The seeds planted by the Moghols, by Babar, Mahmud, or Aurangzeb, have matured: the 125 million Indian Muslims of today have forgotten that they were once peaceful, loving Hindus, forcibly converted to a religion they hated. And they sometimes take-up as theirs a cry of fanaticism which is totally alien to their culture. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo once said: “More than 90% of the Indian Muslims are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindu themselves”…(Rebirth of India, p.237) The embryo of secession planted by the Mahomedans, has also matured into a poisonous tree which has been called Pakistan and comes back to haunt India through three wars and the shadow of a nuclear conflict embracing South Asia. And in India, Kashmir and Kargil are reminders that the Moghol cry for the house of Islam in India is not yet over.

One of the main reasons I have decided to build in Pune a Museum of Indian History, dedicated to the great Shivaji Maharaj (who is depicted in Indian History books as a petty chieftain and a plunderer), is that it will not be enough to rewrite Indian History in books, it will also have to be done in STONE. Please see our website fact-india.com and contribute financially, if you can, to the making of that Museum (we have US, UK and Indian tax exemption). We are also looking for IT persons to donate time to do presentations, animations & GAMES based on the lives of India’s Hindu heroes: Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratapa, Ranu of Jhansi, Ahilyabhai, the Vijaynagar empire, etc. You can contact me at fgautier@rediffmail.com

The last cry of the secularists?

The last cry of the secularists?
Author: Francois Gautier
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: April 12, 2001
Since some time, India’s intellectual elite, the historians, some journalists, film-makers, writers and social activists, have been making a lot of noise, complaining that they are being hounded by the Saffron Brigade, that the RSS/BJP combine is edging them out of their position and that generally, the country’s secular fabric is being “torn apart.”

There are a few flaws in this persecution complex. Firstly, what the secularists do not say, is that for more than fifty years, they had no qualms about imposing on Indians their impression of what India’s standards should be in terms of literature, journalism, film making, or painting. Secondly, that their idea of intellectual standards is totally foreign to India: it is borrowed from Marxism, an ideology which is profoundly hostile to India’s culture, traditions and ethos. And lastly, that barely a handful of Indian intellectuals have held sway over this huge and diverse nation.

Historians like Romila Thapar, Harbans Mukhia and Bipan Chandra, for example, professors at the JNU, the Mecca of secularism and negationism in India, have constantly upheld theories, such as the Aryan invasion, which have been proved totally false by recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries. We have seen on the other hand, how Thapar, who had no scruples in trampling upon others who did not share her views, made such a racket when she was edged out of the ICCR.

The recent controversy about the film awards has once again brought to the fore this kind of secular Talebanism. The best feature film award went to Shantam. a film which deals with the RSS/BJP and the CPM bloodying each other in Kerala. One of the boys is killed and his faction swears to take revenge on the other faction. But sacrificing her thirst for vengeance, the mother of the killed boy finally prays for peace and both the factions forego their enmity. “Apart from the message, said one of the members of the jury, the overall presentation, action, direction are so superb that none had any doubts about it to be the best one.”

The next is Sayahnam. a film on the life of E M S Namboodripad, who died a couple of years ago, one of the leading lights of Marxism in India. It rightly won the Swarna Kamal award for the best first film — and nobody complained, not even the “saffron” members of the jury, who could have objected to a man known for his hatred of Hinduism from being honoured. Then, Soumitra Chatterjee acted in Dekha, an aesthetical film, which makes a few barbs about the Babri Masjid and Partition. Yet again, Soumitra got the best jury award — and none of the non-Marxist members of the jury resigned in protest.

But the other side did not show the same generousity. They ran down Pukar, a patriotic film. But being proud of one’s country and culture is deemed as an ‘obscurantist trait’, and slandered Raveena Tandon because she campaigned for the BJP (she did not) and said ‘the film is bad’. “And although,” recalls one of the members of the jury, “Pukar was accepted by the majority for what it stands for — victorious Indian people, national integration and an excellent performance by Anil Kapoor, why should we punish Raveena for factors not under her control? The jury recompensed her for her acting and not for the film direction!”

Another controversy: Pandavas, which won for the best film in the English language category. It was attacked “for projecting the Hindu ethos.” But what’s wrong with the Hindu ethos? It is the ethos of 850 million people today, and a wonderful ethos: generous, tolerant, spiritualised, as ancient as the history of humanity. But no, the Marxists of the jury wanted to award Split Wide Open for this category, because “it dealt with a bold theme’ and characterization. But a majority of the jury felt that like many films made brilliantly by people such as Deepa Mehta, Split Wide Open sought to debase Indian culture and applied standards and judgments on India which belong to the West.

“This film,” accuses one of the members of the jury, “shows sexual relations between son-in-law and his old mother-in-law, between father and daughter, and we felt that it was not proper to award such a movie.” Instead, the jury decided in favour of Pandavas “for its beautiful portrayal of an epic in animation form and its overall presentation.” Of course, the Marxist members (all Hindus by the way — and of course, Hindu-bashers) objected to Hinduism being portrayed so delightfully (although, not even once, they uttered the word Hindu), but what’s wrong in honouring one’s culture? The West does it all the time — even lately when it gave the Oscars to Gladiator, a film which goes back to the much loved — and hyped — Roman roots of European culture and civilisation* and glorifies violence *

Says one of the attacked members of the jury: “A jury member may lodge a protest or submit a note of dissent if dissatisfied. How do you run a democratic institution? Put forward your views and respect the majority. Many of the films strongly advocated by others were simply rejected. They too could have walked out. Where would that all have led to? To label the entire jury as saffron is a travesty of truth. Each one was there in his individual capacity. Even then, each and every decision can be discussed threadbare if that would satisfy anyone.” But that’s not the reason behind the furore of the three holy jury members. The reason is the deep-rooted sense of apartheid in their minds. Taleban mindset. Which just does not tolerate a different viewpoint.

So what is the message? Those three, just three, are right and the rest of the 13, just wrong. They simply do not matter because they have come directly from the shakhas (and believe you should because these three have said so) and it is immaterial if many of them have made more and better films, or won more awards than these three respectable members. They say, Vyjayantimala Bali is unfit because she is from BJP. So you are suggesting that the other great actors like Rajnikanth, Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar too should be outlisted from any awards list or joining any awards jury because sometime or the other they worked for the Congress, Dalit Muslim Mahasangh or BJP.

Instead of bothering with the political affiliation of juries, one should concentrate in cleaning-up the rot in Bollywood, where blood money finance films, where Muslims writers, actors, musicians, who should have their country’s interests first, use their talent and money to subtly attack the very culture which gives them the licence to express themselves freely.

Tarun Vijay editor of Panchajanya, who was particularly hounded by the three above-mentioned individuals, is not only a fine man, an upright journalist, but he was also very much in his element when he was asked to be part of the jury of the recent film awards: he has worked with Basu Bhattacharya and Bill Greaves — one of the greatest Black film makers of the USA, wrote on films in various English and other language newspaper, covered several film festivals as an accredited film critic and was on the jury for best writing on cinema which awarded The Times Of India film critic* But he is suspect because he is saffron!! Why not demand the removal of saffron from the tricolour too? They would, if they could!

The hue and cry made by the outnumbered Marxist panelists show how much the secularists realise that they are in the process of losing the iron grip they have on this country’s intellectual pulse. Are we then hearing the last cry of the Hindu negationists?