Last few months kept me busy – professional and personal changes were too many to blog. Yet, from an intellectual point of view this was a remarkably fruitful period.
Seven months back, I was hardly conversant with the Indian history and culture. I am not sure what started it – but I came across this blog www.sandeepweb.com which stimulated my interest to learn more about the greatness of Indian culture. From that, I moved on from articles to articles until that unveiling was as exhilarating as it was painful.
Several articles from various authors challenged the widely accepted notions of Indian history and sought to expose the political designs behind maligning Hinduism.
Below mentioned are few notions:
- Muslim kings were similar to earlier Hindu kings. They mingled with local populace and lived in harmony till Britishers came and used the “Divide and Rule” policy – the root cause of communalism in India today.
- Muslim armies easily subdued Indian kings who offered little resistance. In fact, apart from Maurya and Gupta empires in BC era, we have no noteworthy Hindu kings till Mehmood of Ghaznavi.
- Mehmood of Ghaznavi’s destruction of Hindu temples was purely for economic purpose and had no religious motive.
- The destruction of temples should not be exaggerated as the earlier Hindu kings destroyed many Buddhist and Jain shrines too. And the number of temples destroyed were too less and compensated with allowances that later kings gave for many Hindu temples.
- Muslim kings mixed with native people and earned their goodwill. They in fact recruited many Hindu officers. Except for a bunch of misguided bigots most Muslim rulers were enlightened.
- Muslim kings never tried to forcefully convert people. Proof? 80% of Indian population remains Hindu. If these kings who ruled for about 600 years were fanatical about religion, Hindus would have been a minority. Islam was spread by peace in India.
- The Hindu-Muslim battles throughout medieval ages have no religious aspect. Each time they were fighting for purely political causes. Marathas were like terrorists who weakened a central government of Mughal Empire. Evidence? Many times Muslim kings sided with Hindu kings against another Muslim kingdom and vice-versa.
- Followers of every religion exhibited intolerance at various times. So Muslim atrocities should not be characterized by its religion. Jehad is a concept by misguided followers of Islam.
- India was never a country. It was a collection of many nations. There is no common cultural unity in India. Evidence: So many cultures/languages exist in India even today.
- In fact, the so-called natives who call themselves Hindus are themselves foreigners. Aryans as they were called came from Central Asia, arrived to a predominantly Dravidian populated India and drove the native people to South. While Aryans classified themselves as Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas there discriminated against the local population by classifying them as Sudras. So when the so-called Hindus themselves were the first invaders, they must not complain when they received similar treatment from Islamized armies and British in later times.
- Buddhism was a revolt against tyrannical Brahmanism whose ritualism and discrimination against Shudras reached a new high.
Thinking on these issues and reading related materials gave me a new perspective on Hinduism and life itself.
I intend to cover these topics in days to come. All the while I am thankful to various scholars who have written on these subjects and helped me form a perspective.
I am particularly grateful to Koenraad Elst an unaffiliated Belgian scholar who understands Hinduism better than 99% of Hindus themselves. “Regarding religion, he combines human sympathy with substantive skepticism”. Without muddling much into the chest-thumping kind of fanatic Hinduism, he speaks coolly with composure in a truly secular tone (he himself is an atheistic) – in a truly Sanatana Dharmic tone.
I cannot thank him enough - for despite being a foreigner he has worked hard to understand the dynamics of Indian politics today and his writings will help Hindus of future generation overcome the encompassing criticism of their religion.
Rajiv Malhotra (an Indian-American public intellectual – also founder of Infinity Foundation committed to foster a better global understanding of Indian civilization) has made some excellent points in his various articles that challenge the Eurocentricism in Academia and seek to understand the ongoing conspiracy to denigrate Hinduism and help in proselytizing Indian masses. His books Breaking India and Being Different are masterpieces in understanding Hinduism and the challenges it faces today.
Also the pioneers of these heroic effort – Shri Sita Ram Goel and Shri Ram Swarup – founders of Voice of India whose books on Indian History and Culture are MUST-READ for any curious and passionate Indian. Though their earthy career is over, they live in the books which will guide the next-generation Hindus.
Look forward to write more on these topics in future.