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Indian History – A Flagrant Distortion

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It might be an exaggeration to say that the history of a nation or civilization shapes the character of its people but nobody can deny the reality that it has a significant bearing on the way in which the people of a nation or members of a society evaluate themselves. The presentation of the history of a nation is one of the most important factors which determine its existing religious, social, political and economic structure. History can thus be of critical importance, particularly when distorted and misinterpreted and guided by unwholesome motives, in an attempt to create a state of conflict, disharmony and confusion in a society. This is what has happened in India, thanks to the ill informed and motivated European historians and scholars of the nineteenth century who were very loyal to the cause of their British employers and even more to our modern progressive historians who, more than anything else, are guided by political motives and defunct ideologies. Any attempt at revealing the past of India, as it really was, seems to these historians to be a conspiracy to communalise and destabilize the country.  Largely due to the ingenuity of these scholars, and partly due to the lethargy and slackness of the average Indian mind, most Indians are still oblivious and ignorant of their past and very naively accept the notion that their ancient culture was based on a civilization which didn’t have any aesthetic, literary and scientific achievements to its credit and whatever good things it developed were due to the influence of the Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations.

The distortion and manipulation of our history has been so thorough and continuous that few openings are left which give any hint of the reality. It is not possible here to discuss all the main events of our history but a good starting point is the fabricated story of the Aryan invasion of India. According to this theory our ancestors, called Aryans, were some nomadic and barbarian tribes who came from Central Asia between 1900B.C. to 1500B.C. These nomads destroyed the Harappan civilization and drove away its inhabitants, called Dravidians, to the far off southern regions of the Indian subcontinent. It further states that these Aryans were totally uncivilized and devoid of any kind of education and learning. After settling here, these people composed their first religious text called ‘Rig Veda’.

This concoction from its very beginning to the end is so hollow and supported by such scanty evidence that it constantly betrays the motives of its architects. The original proponent of this theory was Max Muller, the renowned Sanskrit and Vedic scholar of the nineteenth century. It has been a tradition in India to accept his theories and interpretation of the Vedas without any question and proper inquiry. Our progressive historians till date have carried on faithfully the erroneous theory postulated by Max Muller.

One of the arguments advanced in favour of this theory is the linguistic similarity between Sanskrit, the language of the Aryans, and other European languages and the difference between Sanskrit and the Dravidian languages. The first part of the argument is quite true while the second part is a result of inadequate scholarship. The first mighty voice to refute this baseless assumption was no less than Sri Aurobindo’s, the greatest yogi and the most powerful, vast, comprehensive and synthetic mind that the humanity has ever seen. He says, “We shall question many established philological myths – the legend for instance of an Aryan invasion from the North, the artificial and inimical distinction of the Aryan and Dravidian which an erroneous philology has driven like a wedge into the unity of the homogeneous Indo-Afghan race….Like the majority of educated Indians, I had passively accepted without examination, the conclusion of European scholarship.” (India’s Rebirth, p103)…He proceeds to shatter the myth: “But here also my preconceived ideas were disturbed and confounded. For on examination of the vocabulary of the Tamil language, in appearance so foreign to the Sanskrit form and character, I yet found words supposed to be pure Tamil, in establishing new relations between Sanskrit and its distant sister, Latin, and occasionally between the Greek and the Sanskrit. Sometimes the Tamil vocable not only suggested the connection but proved the missing link in a family of connected words. And it was through this Dravidian language that I came first to perceive what seems to me now the true law, origins and, as it were, the embryology of the Aryan tongues…The possibility suggests itself that they may even have been two diversions, or families derived from one lost primitive tongue.” (India’s Rebirth, p.104)

The viability of the theory is put to question by this strong argument alone and in addition to this there is much more archaeological and scientific evidence which renders this preposterous theory to nothing but a set of incoherent and invalid assumptions. Some of the ironies of this theory are :

(1) The first basis of this theory is that the forefathers of the Vedic civilisation were uncivilised nomads.The new linguistic and scientific researches are disclosing that Sanskrit is the richest, the most scientific, sophisticated and beautiful language of the world. And the new interpretation of the Vedas given by

Sri Aurobindo reveals that these poetical verses carry in them a most sublime record of the highest realities of the spiritual domain. How a mass of primitive people with no learning and an untrained intellect could compose these spiritual texts of the highest order?

(2) In Vedas the Saraswati River has been mentioned more than a hundred times and has been regarded as the holiest river for the Aryans. Recent archaeological investigations and satellite surveys inform us that this mighty river went dry in 1900 B.C. If the Aryans came here after that, as postulated by the invasion theory, why would they regard this river so holy and mention it so many times in their religious book. Very obviously Rig Veda is pre Harappan.

(3) Recent archaeological excavations have brought to light more than 2500

settlements, most of them spread along the Saraswati River. These settlements are similar to the Harappan settlements and in most of them the symbols of Vedic

culture have also been found. Evidently Harappan culture was Vedic Aryan.

(4) The word ‘Arya’ has been interpreted by European scholars as indicating

a particular race. However, according to Indian tradition ‘Arya’ is a title of honour

and respect and doesn’t denote people possessing particular physical features or skin colour. It should also be mentioned here that the people in South India, the land of the so-called Dravidians, also call themselves Aryas and Vedic tradition is much more alive there compared to the rest of India. Also there is no record, in the literary or religious tradition of India, of any war between the Aryans coming from the North and Dravidians from the South.

(5) Another bewildering dilemma delivered by this theory is that the Harappans, who were highly civilized and well educated, left no record of any literary works while the Aryans, nothing but savages, produced some of the greatest literary and spiritual texts.

The only conclusion to which a vigilant and unbiased study in the light of the latest discoveries can arrive is that this theory is nothing but a political hoax devised by various interested groups to serve their ideologies and interests. The British government actively promoted this theory because it had the potential to divide the people of India in different races and classes and thus could be a help in their policy of divide and rule. Another message they wanted to give to the Indians was that their history has been one of invasions and foreign rules, so the British occupation of this country was not something new and they should therefore calmly accept their fate and submit to it without any grudge. Nehurvian and Marxist historians support it because it suits their ideology that the Indian society has always been beset with class and caste systems and thus has been a great bastion of inequality, exploitation and oppression. Muslim historians too are enthusiastic advocates of this model because by using it they can justify the destructive and cruel expeditions of the Islamic invaders.

Now, when the entire theory has been discredited on the logical, linguistic, archaeological and scientific grounds, one wonders how anybody who looks at the evidence dispassionately could support such a deluding myth. Our progressive historians are bearing faithfully and painstakingly the burden of this theory on their heads because it does not have a foothold to stand on the ground by itself. We have discussed here only one chapter from the voluminous book of our history. The later history, especially of the Muslim rule and the freedom movement in India, too has been inadequately examined and some parts have been even contorted and systematically manipulated to achieve certain objects. Needless to say the whole book of our history has to be revised and reanalyzed by unbiased and scholarly intellects so that we can be acquainted with our past and learn from it of the great achievements of which we should be proud and also of mistakes which should never be repeated again. Such an attempt will be a service to posterity, helping them to form nobler ideas of duty and character and saving them from evaluating themselves in a humiliating way.

–        Gopal Kedia

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