Sunday, 26 April 2015

India - Our Time to Defend has Come

The last breeze of April in Delhi, I rise from my bed, with this very sweet, amour sprinkling fragrance of petrichor, teasing me inside my blanket. As I rise with an overwhelming scent, fighting my indolence, I see my anxiety trucing its way through an unuttered fight between me and my blanket. This bantering of lachrymose emotions, were filling inside me, an experience, as if my seeping iris were inundated in the blush of weather.
                                      Its raining outside!

The drops of rain are capitulating at my feet making some music and  synchronising them, as my heart,  beats. Certainly, there is this feeling of being special in this unique part of earth, where the clouds come floating in my life. I also worry for the unfinished dream but the rain, is breeding inside me, the desires of living this life, right here, right now.

So, I bestir myself and then turn on the news and its again about another Hindu temple being vandalised in the United States of America.........

Addressing a Town hall event at the Siri Fort auditorium on the third and final day of his visit to India,Mr Obama told his audience:

"India will succeed so long it is not splintered on religious lines".

The United States president said acts of intolerance in India “would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.”

Mr.Obama, I think either was talking about Pakistan because often politicians mince their speech,meant for one venue for another, or may be in a hustle, he saw some India , different from the India he was proudly hosted at. Mr.Obama, I would just reiterate Friedrich Nietzsche and then leave it right there. Friedrich Nietzsche said  "Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” 

However, I want to take the readers on a heady Indian ride.

India, is not just a mere geographical expression of assembled congeries. It is more than the sum of its contradictions. It is a country held together, in the words of Nehru, "by strong but invisible threads... a myth and an idea, a dream and a vision, and yet very real and present and pervasive". 

Our Universe is made up of stories and not of atoms. I bring about my favourite story, it is about how Parsis arrived in India.

Parsis (Zoroastrians) arrived in India fleeing the persecutions by Muslim leaving their Motherland Iran. The account of arrival and settlement of Parsis in India is depicted in “Qissa-i-Sanjan” .The initial meeting between the Jadi Rana (King of Gujrat)  and the newly landed emigrants:  When the Paris requested asylum, Jadi Rana and the Parsis had no common language to communicate ,in this situation to explain his reservation , Jadi Rana  motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the very brim to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees. In response, one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk, thus indicating that they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and indeed make the lives of the citizens sweeter. Jadi Rana gave shelter to the emigrants and permitted them to practice their religion and traditions freely.

Parsis are still adding “sugar” to our lives.

This among many, apostles the tolerance of our liberty loving race and of those, who have always nestled in this part of the world . However, no one should ever misread this, as a sign of our weakness or an easy to be overwhelmed culture. 

Alexander-the-Great & Raja Puru:

The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander the Great in 326 BC against King Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Hydaspes River (Jhelum River) in the Punjab near Bhera. This battle is considered as Alexander's costliest by many historians, Peter Connolly notable amongst them. The battle resulted in a complete Macedonian victory and the annexation of the Punjab. Raja Puru,wounded in his shoulder, standing at over 2.1 m (7 feet) tall, was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated. "Treat me, O Alexander, like a king" Porus responded.The bravery, war skills and princely attitude of Porus greatly impressed Alexander.He indeed treated him like a king & allowed him to retain his kingship.

These stories inject in our veins, the essence of who we are. The Greeks, thereafter and aesthetically so participated and intensely influenced our culture. For they came to be known as, 'the Indo-Greeks'. The Indo-Greeks were also the first to issue gold coins in India.

Indians, by far are the most diverse conspiracy dabbled by the Universe. While contemporarily, we have developed  this addiction of comparing ourselves with China, we must remember, We are not China.

The analogy with China is only comparable as long as census counts parity and that also cant be taken for granted because we keep adding an Australia every year. Indians are about 1.2 billion while the Chinese about 1.3 billion.  Difference?  - Well, the Chinese have perhaps two and half times our land area. There is also a broad homogeneity in China.  All Chinese have Mongoloid faces, they have one common written script called Mandarin Chinese , 95% Chinese belong to one ethnic group called the Han Chinese. India, on the other hand,is a motley of everything physically, biologically, emotionally, socially and psychologically possible. The only common hyphen that fastens us is surreptitious celebration in the fact that we are all different and we are all unique.  

India strikes to many as a maddening, chaotic adventure, one in which all avenues are open and everything is possible. "All the convergent influences of the world," wrote E. P. Thompson, "run through this society: Hindu, Moslem, Christian, secular; Stalinist, liberal, Maoist, democratic socialist, Gandhian. There is not a thought that is being thought in the West or East that is not active in some Indian mind."

However India's glory like Achilles's, in history has run parallel with its doom.

For, Winston Churchill always had reasons for Schadenfreude. He with all his wit and might kept pouring slander on us , Churchill said India,  "is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the Equator." 

However to be candid, It is also not that, we were always a Nation . 

Our blood have dyed many daggers before our wounds turned elixir to weld an Indian Nation. When in 1885 AD, Womesh Chandra Bonerjee (The First President of Indian National Congress) was being asked by the Russian traveller I.P Minayeff ,about the main aim of the Indian National Congress, Bonerjee replied 'Growth of National Feeling; Unity of Indians'

The first major objective of the founders, of the Indian National movement , was to promote the process, to weld Indians into a nation, to create an Indian people.

Mr.Obama also must know that ,this whole idea of Hindu-Muslim enmity is very much a feringhee creation. The idea of "hatred" itself is 'imported' and counterfeitly implanted on us to drive  wedge and interpose between us the pungent venom of colonial safety . For we never knew how to hate our brethren. As always, our spirits stood together as our fight did; against Gore Sahibs , the heel under which our heads were profaned for about two centuries & they for sure quite didn't like it. 

The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The partition took effect in October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas. The Bengalis complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Orissa.Indians were outraged at what they recognised as a "divide and rule" policy,where the colonisers turned the native population against itself in order to rule, even though Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency. The partition animated the Hindus and led the Muslims to form their own national organization. Bengal was reunited in 1911 in an effort to both appease the Bengali sentiment and have easier administration but it caused resentment among the Bengali Muslims who benefited from the partition and the resentment lasted until the end of the British rule which ended with the partition of India in 1947. 

When Swadeshi Movement was in dizzy height, Nawab Sallimullah of Dacca(Dhaka,now in Bangladesh) was propped up as centre of opposition to the Swadeshi Movement.

In an effort to prop up Muslim communalist as a counter to the Congress, Curzon said "Dacca could become the capital of new muslim majority province(with eighteen million Muslim and ten million Hindus) which would invest Mohammedans in Eastern Bengal with a unity which they have not enjoyed since the days of the Old Mussulman Viceroys and Kings"

For Indians never thought in this evil,deceitful,fiendish and nefarious manner. 

Even our so called 'Revolutionary Terrorists' (for lack of a better word) while laying their life and exuberayting death defying heroism believed 'Humanism is a special virtue of a Revolutionary' - Surya Sen. After proclaiming a Provisional Revolutionary Government in Chittagong(Now in Bangladesh), Surya Sen was successful in remaining at large, because the villagers, most of them Muslims, gave food and shelter to the revolutionary outlaws and enabled them to survive for three years. 

In the Indigo Revolt where the peasants were meman muslims and Zamindars were largely Hindu , there was not one instance of communal ugliness. The Bengal Revolutionaries in the 1920s and 1930s shed their Hindu religiosity, they no longer took religious oaths and vows, just to embrace the Muslim brethren with their whole heart and soul. 

Ram Prasad Bismil, a devout Hindu who died only after ushering Sanskrit Shloka, appealed to the youth from his death cell to establish Hindu-Muslim  to understand as every human being with equal rights.

Bhagat Singh, the motherlode among revolutionaries and the giant among intellectuals ushered , "Communalism was as big an enemy as Colonialism" . 

Bhagat Singh and his comrades openly opposed the suggestion that youth belonging to religious-communal organisations be permitted to become members of NauJawan Bharat Sabha. Bhagat Singh argued, Religion was one's private concern and communalism was an enemy to be fought. He said a new group of youth was coming forward who saw a person first as a human being and then as an Indian.

Bhagat Singh did not even spare his much revered Lala Lajpat Rai. 

When Lala Lajpat Rai turned to communal politics, Bhagat Singh printed as a Pamphlet 'The Lost Leader' (Robert Browning's Poem) with Lajpat Rai on the front Cover. The Poem begins with the line 'Just for handful of a silver he left us.'A few weeks before his death, he wrote the article 'Why I am an Atheist' in which he argued in the struggle for self-emancipation, humanity had to struggle against the narrow conception of religion and also against the belief of God. He asserted he was trying to stand like a man with an erect head to the last; even on the gallows.

When The British Government told the Khilafat leaders that they should not expect more than anything mentioned in the 'Treaty of Sevres' signed with Turkey for dismemberment of the Turkish Empire,the Khilafat Committee at Allahabad unanimously accepted non-cooperation as asked Mahatma Gandhi, to lead the movement. During this movement, Gandhiji and other Congress leaders addressed gatherings at mosques. During one meeting of Muslim women, Gandhiji was the only male who was not blindfolded. Mahatma Gandhi, was shot to death by a Hindu fanatic Nathu Ram Godse because he thought Gandhiji was giving too much to the Muslims, and that Gandhiji died with 'Hey Ram' on his lips. This is India's sacrifice for upholding her plurality and profusion of religions. 

And this also not is only just about 'Hindu-Muslim' question per se. In fact, it would be of interest to the readers that legend has is that when Doubting Thomas, the Apostle, Saint Thomas, landed on the shores of Kerala, somewhere around 52 A.D., he was welcomed on shore by a flute-playing Jewish girl. And to this day, India remains the only Jewish diaspora in the history of the Jewish people, which has never encountered a single incident of anti-semitism. 

So this whole idea of splintered along religious lines is perniciously imported upon India by the feringhees. They inundated on us, this evil, time and again, 1857, 1905, 1909, 1947 and on so many other occasions. Communalism even today keeps showing its ugly head just to remind us that the smouldering curse of British Rule is here to stay.

We are not a Hindu Pakistan and we have made a point to inscribe it in the most organic law of our land, the Indian Constitution . We hold close to our heart that the State will engage all religions but privilege none.We are not like the French, we don't have any problem when someone wears a Burqa or a turban. Our secularism celebrates the profusion of religions and not the absence of it.

Yes we have had our aberrations such as those in 1984 and 2002, but those are 'aberrations'. We have given life to protect our brethren and particularly our Muslim brothers and sisters from the ugly upsurge of communalism.

When in 1948, tribesmen- supported by Pakistani forces- moved closer to Baramulla ,and a danger of loot and mass killing loomed at Srinagar,the Indian forces were then flown to Srinagar to fight the Pakistani forces and also the Muslim soldiers who had defected to Pakistan. 

During the war with Pakistan in 1971, the Indian Air Force in the northern sector was commanded by a Muslim [Lateef]; the army commander was a Parsi [Manekshaw], the general officer commanding the forces that marched into Bangladesh was a Sikh [Aurora], and the general flown in to negotiate the surrender of the Pakistani forces in East Bengal was Jewish [Jacob].

Throughout the decades after Independence, the political culture of the country reflected these "plural" assumptions and attitudes. Though the Indian population is 81% Hindu and the country had been partitioned as a result of a demand for a separate Muslim homeland, three of India's  Presidents have been Muslims; so were innumerable governors, cabinet ministers, chief ministers of states, ambassadors, generals, Supreme Court Chief Justices and Intelligence Chiefs.

So Mr.Obama, as you lecture us on how splintered we are, we fairly so expect from you to help us protect our place of offerings in the US, India for one cant be anymore taken for granted. 

We Indians for too long have been guileless and unpretentious, for this give right to others to blabber about us. Time has come to stop being under heel of <em>fereighee</em> diatribe . We will whip the dust off their brains with consistent flogging of our argument and prove to them , this is the greatest country on earth and we will do everything to defend it.

The future bequeaths on India to be the power of example, the attraction of inspiration and the home of hearts. The stars are aligned for us to build castles in air even when there is an storm coming. 

We now have an open conspiracy, comrades, of man and god, to defend this Ruh-e-Jannat, of many and all - India, our muse our mother our dream.

Chandan can be reached on his e-mail id:

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