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#1126 - February 23, 2003 04:35 PM History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
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Contents - this page

1. South Asian History

2. The History of Genocide and enslavement in India

3. Race and Slavery in the Middle East

4. Ayodhya: The struggle over History

5. Indian kings never invaded foreign lands - a myth?

6. The Goan Inquisition & The Beautiful Tree

7. Nehru and his views of Tamerlane & Nalanda Univ.

8. The O'Odham: Native-Americans With Ancestors From India?

9. The Great Aryan Myth - Francois Gautier

10. The old colonial political theories

11. The lost empire of the Cholas explored - By David Keys

12. Another view of the British

13. Significance of Mayiladuthurai find

14. Cholas and their relationship with Myanmar

15. Concepts of Nationhood in Bharat

16. Srivijaya Samrajya and Cholas!

17. Was There an Islamic "Genocide" of Hindus? - Dr. Koenraad Elst

18. Kumari KaNdam and Lemuria

19. Southern origin of dynasties in Puranas

20. People in north and south India belong to the same gene pool: ICHR Chairman

21. Pancha Dravidas

22. Harappa was like any other metro: US prof

23. Demons from the past - Irfan Husain

24. Sindhu unrestrained, dappled mare! - Salman Rashid

25. Muslim Rule in India: 1500-1871

26. Iranic influence on Indian civilization in South India

27. Islamic Onslaught in India

28. A Tamil find in China

29. Cholas as a naval power

30 The Bangladesh Genocide

31. Extent of Chola empire

32. The British Holocaust in India

33. South Indian Sciences Powers the Industrial Revolution

34. Tamil and Sanskrit

35. The Primary Classical Languages of the World

36. Evolution of Hindu Gods & Thoughts

37. Vellore Mutiny (1806)

38. Ram vs Setu : MYTH (BJP mullahdom) versus SCIENCE

39. Ethnic Cleansing in Sri Lanka

40. Caste discrimination a British invention, bigger than steam engine


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http://members.tripod.com/~india_resource/colonial.html

SOUTH ASIAN HISTORY

Pages from the history of the Indian sub-continent

The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs

While few educated South Asians would deny that British Colonial rule was detrimental to the interests of the
common people of the sub-continent- several harbour an illusion that the British weren't all bad. Didn't they,
perhaps, educate us - build us modern cities, build us irrigation canals -protect our ancient monuments - etc.
etc. And then, there are some who might even say that their record was actually superior to that of
independant India's! Perhaps, it is time that the colonial record be retrieved from the archives and
re-examined - so that those of us who weren't alive during the freedom movement can learn to distinguish
between the myths and the reality.

Literacy and Education

Several Indians are deeply concerned about why literacy rates in India are still so low. So in the last year, I
have been making a point of asking English-speaking Indians to guess what India's literacy rate in the colonial
period might have been. These were Indians who went to school in the sixties and seventies (only two decades
after independance) - and I was amazed to hear their fairly confident guesses. Most guessed the number to be
between 30% and 40%. When I suggested that their guess was on the high side - they offered 25% to 35%.
No one was prepared to believe that literacy in British India in 1911 was only 6%, in 1931 it was 8%, and by
1947 it had crawled to 11%! That fifty years of freedom had allowed the nation to quintuple it's literacy rate
was something that almost seemed unfathomable to them. Perhaps - the British had concentrated on higher
education ....? But in 1935, only 4 in 10,000 were enrolled in universities or higher educational institutes. In a
nation of then over 350 million people only 16,000 books (no circulation figures) were published in that year
(i.e 1 per 20,000).

Urban Development

It is undoubtedly true that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences for their administrative
officers. But it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the "natives" to enjoy.
Consider that in 1911, 69 per cent of Bombay's population lived in one-room tenements (as against 6 per cent
in London in the same year). The 1931 census revealed that the figure had increased to 74 per cent - with
one-third living more than 5 to a room. The same was true of Karachi and Ahmedabad. After the Second
World War, 13 per cent of Bombay's population slept on the streets. As for sanitation, 10-15 tenements
typically shared one water tap!

Yet, in 1757 (the year of the Plassey defeat), Clive of the East India Company had observed of Murshidabad in
Bengal: "This city is as extensive, populous and rich as the city of London..." (so quoted in the Indian
Industrial Commission Report of 1916-18). Dacca was even more famous as a manufacturing town, it's muslin
a source of many legends and it's weavers had an international reputation that was unmatched in the medieval
world. But in 1840 it was reported by Sir Charles Trevelyan to a parliamentary enquiry that Dacca's population
had fallen from 150,000 to 20,000. Montgomery Martin - an early historian of the British Empire observed that
Surat and Murshidabad had suffered a similiar fate. (This phenomenon was to be replicated all over India -
particularly in Oudh (modern U.P) and other areas that had offered the most heroic resistance to the British
during the revolt of 1857.)

The percentage of population dependant on agriculture and pastoral pursuits actually rose to 73% in 1921
from 61% in 1891. (Reliable figures for ealier periods are not available.)

In 1854, Sir Arthur Cotton writing in "Public Works in India" noted: "Public works have been almost entirely
neglected throughout India... The motto hitherto has been: 'Do nothing, have nothing done, let nobody do
anything....." Adding that the Company was unconcerned if people died of famine, or if they lacked roads and
water.

Nothing can be more revealing than the the remark by John Bright in the House of Commons on June 24,
1858, "The single city of Manchester, in the supply of its inhabitants with the single article of water, has spent a
larger sum of money than the East India Company has spent in the fourteen years from 1834 to 1848 in public
works of every kind throughout the whole of its vast dominions."

Irrigation and Agricultural Development

There is another popular belief about British rule: 'The British modernized Indian agriculture by building
canals'. But the actual record reveals a somewhat different story. " The roads and tanks and canals," noted an
observer in 1838 (G. Thompson, "India and the Colonies," 1838), ''which Hindu or Mussulman Governments
constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into
dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines." Montgomery Martin, in his standard
work "The Indian Empire", in
1858, noted that the old East India Company "omitted not only to initiate improvements, bur even to keep in
repair the old works upon which the revenue depended."

The Report of the Bengal Irrigation Department Committee in 1930 reads: "In every district the Khals (canals)
which carry the internal boat traffic become from time to time blocked up with silt. Its Khals and rivers are the
roads end highways of Eastern Bengal, and it is impossible to overestimate the importance to the economic life
of this part of the province of maintaining these in proper navigable order ....... " "As regards the revival or
maintenance of minor routes, ... practically nothing has been done, with the result that, in some parts of the
Province at least, channels have been silted up, navigation has become limited to a few months in the year,
and crops can only be marketed when the Khals rise high enough in the monsoon to make transport possible".

Sir William Willcock, a distinguished hydraulic engineer, whose name was associated with irrigation enterprises
in Egypt and Mesopotamia had made an investigation of conditions in Bengal. He had discovered that
innumerable small destructive rivers of the delta region, constantly changing their course, were originally
canals which under the English regime were allowed to escape from their channels and run wild. Formerly
these canals distributed the flood waters of the Ganges and provided for proper drainage of the land,
undoubtedly accounting for that prosperity of Bengal which lured the rapacious East India merchants there in
the early days of the eighteenth century.. He wrote" Not only was nothing done to utilize and improve the
original canal system, but railway embankments were subsequently thrown up, entirely destroying it. Some
areas, cut off from the supply of loam-bearing Ganges water, have gadually become sterile and uproductive,
others improperly drained, show an advanced degree of water-logging, with the inevitable accompaniment of
malaria. Nor has any attempt been made to construct proper embankments for the Gauges in its low course,
to prevent the enormous erosion by which villages and groves and cultivated fields are swallowed up each
year."

"Sir William Willcock severely criticises the modern admininstrators and officials, who, with every opportunity
to call in expert technical assistance, have hitherto done nothing to remedy this disastrous situation, from
decade to decade." Thus wrote G. Emerson in "Voiceless MiIlions," in 1931 quoting the views of Sir William
Willcock in his "Lectures on the Ancient System of Irrigation in Bengal and its Application to Modern Problems"
(Calcutta University Readership Lectures, University of Calcutta, 1930)

Modern Medicine and Life Expectancy

Even some serious critics of colonial rule grudgingly grant that the British brought modern medicine to India.
Yet - all the statistical indicators show that access to modern medicine was severely restricted. A 1938 report
by the ILO (International Labot Office) on "Industrial Labor in India" revealed that life expectancy in India was
barely 25 years in 1921 (compared to 55 for England) and had actually fallen to 23 in 1931!

In 1934, there was one hospital bed for 3800 people in British India and this figure included hospital beds
reserved for the British rulers. (In that same year, in the Soviet Union, there were ten times as many.) Infant
mortality in Bombay was 255 per thousand in 1928. (In the same year, it
was less than half that in Moscow.)

Poverty and Population Growth

Several Indians when confronted with such data from the colonial period argue that the British should not be
specially targeted because India's problems of poverty pre-date colonial rule, and in any case, were
exacerbated by rapid population growth. Of course, no one who makes the first point is able to offer any
substantive proof that such conditions prevailed long before the British arrived, and to counter such an
argument would be difficult in the absence of reliable and comparable statistical data from earlier centuries.
But some readers may find the anecdotal evidence intriguing. In any case, the population growth data is
available and is quite remarkable in what it reveals.

Between 1870 and 1910, India's population grew at an average rate of 19%. England and Wales' population
grew three times as fast - by 58%! Average population growth in Europe was 45%. Between 1921-40, the
population in India grew faster at 21% but was still less than the 24% growth of population in the US!

In 1941, the density of population in India was roughly 250 per square mile almost a third of England's 700 per
square mile. Although Bengal was much more densely inhabited at almost 780 per square mile - that was only
about 10% more than England. Yet, there was much more poverty in British India than in England and an
unprecedented number of famines were recorded during the period of British rule.

In the first half of the 19th century, there were seven famines leading to a million and a half deaths. In the
second half, there were 24 famines (18 between 1876 and 1900) causing over 20 million deaths (as per official
records). W. Digby, noted in "Prosperous British India" in 1901 that "stated rougly, famines and scarcities have
been four times as numerous, during the last thirty years of the 19th century as they were one hundred years
ago, and four times as widespread." Not surprising, since the export of foodgrains had increased by a factor of
four just prior to that period. And export of other agricultural raw materials had also increased in similiar
proportions. Land that once produced grain for local consumption was now taken over by by former
slave-owners from N. America who were permitted to set up plantations for the cultivation of lucrative cash
crops exclusively for export.

Annual British Government reports repeatedly published data that showed 70-80% of Indians were living on
the margin of subsistence. That two-thirds were undernourished, and in Bengal, nearly four-fifths were
undernourished.

Contrast this data with the following accounts of Indian life prior to colonization:-

" ....even in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and sweetmeats
can be procured in abundance .... Tavernier writing in the 17th century in his "Travels in India".

Manouchi - the venetian who became chief physician to Aurangzeb (also in the 17th century) wrote: "Bengal is
of all the kingdoms of the Moghul, best known in France..... We may venture to say it is not inferior in anything
to Egypt - and that it even exceeds that kingdom in its products of silks, cottons, sugar, and indigo. All things
are in great plenty here, fruits, pulse, grain, muslins, cloths of gold and silk..."

The French traveller, Bernier also described 17th century Bengal in a similiar vein: "The knowledge I have
acquired of Bengal in two visits inclines me to believe that it is richer than Egypt. It exports in abundance
cottons and silks, rice, sugar and butter. It produces amply for it's own consumption of wheat, vegetables,
grains, fowls, ducks and geese. It has immense herds of pigs and flocks of sheep and goats. Fish of every kind
it has in profusion. From Rajmahal to the sea is an endless number of canals, cut in bygone ages from the
Ganges by immense labour for navigation and irrigation."

The poverty of British India stood in stark contrast to these eye witness reports and has to be ascribed to the
pitiful wages that working people in India received in that period. A 1927-28 report noted that "all but the most
highly skilled workmen in India receive wages which are barely sufficient to feed and clothe them. Everywhere
will be seen overcrowding, dirt and squalid misery..."

This in spite of the fact that in 1922 - an 11 hour day was the norm (as opposed to an 8 hour day in the Soviet
Union.) In 1934, it had been
reduced to 10 hours (whereas in the Soviet Union, the 7 hour day had been legislated as early as in 1927)
What was worse, there were no enforced restrictions on the use of child labour and the Whitley Report found
children as young as five - working a 12 hour day.

Ancient Monuments

Perhaps the least known aspect of the colonial legacy is the early British attitude towards India's historic
monuments and the extend of vandalism that took place. Instead, there is this pervasive myth of the Britisher
as an unbiased "protector of the nation's historic legacy".

R.Nath in his 'History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture' records that scores of gardens, tombs and
palaces that once adorned the suburbs of Sikandra at Agra were sold out or auctioned. "Relics of the glorious
age of the Mughals were either destroyed or converted beyond recognition..". "Out of 270 beautiful
monuments which existed at Agra alone, before its capture by Lake in 1803, hardly 40 have survived".

In the same vein, David Carroll (in 'Taj Mahal') observes: " The forts in Agra and Delhi were commandeered
at the beginning of the nineteenth century and turned into military garrisons. Marble reliefs were torn down,
gardens were trampled, and lines of ugly barracks, still standing today, were installed in their stead. In the
Delhi fort, the Hall of Public Audience was made into an ****nal and the arches of the outer colonnades were
bricked over or replaced with rectangular wooden windows."

The Mughal fort at Allahabad (one of Akbar's favorite) experienced a fate far worse. Virtually nothing of
architectural significance is to be seen in the barracks that now make up the fort. The Deccan fort at
Ahmednagar was also converted into barracks. Now, only its outer walls can hint at its
former magnificence.

Shockingly, even the Taj Mahal was not spared. David Carroll reports: "..By the nineteenth century, its
grounds were a favorite trysting place for young Englishmen and their ladies. Open-air balls were held on the
marble terrace in front of the main door, and there, beneath Shah Jahan"s lotus dome, brass bands
um-pah-pahed and lords and ladies danced the quadrille. The minarets became a popular site for suicide
leaps, and the mosques on either side of the Taj were rented out as bungalows to honeymooners. The gardens
of the Taj were especially popular for open-air frolics....."

"At an earlier date, when picnic parties were held in the garden of the Taj, related Lord Curzon, a governor
general in the early twentieth century, "it was not an uncommon thing for the revellers to arm themselves with
hammer and chisel, with which they wiled away the afternoon by chipping out fragments of agate and
carnelian from the cenotaphs of the Emperor and his lamented Queen." The Taj became a place where one
could drink in private, and its parks were often strewn with the figures of inebriated British soldiers..."

Lord William Bentinck, (governor general of Bengal 1828-33, and later first governor general of all India),
went so far as to announce plans to demolish the best Mogul monuments in Agra and Delhi and remove their
marble facades. These were to be shipped to London, where they would be broken up and sold to members of
the British aristocracy. Several of Shahjahan's pavilions in the Red Fort at Delhi were indeed stripped to the
brick, and the marble was shipped off to England (part of this shipment included pieces for King George IV
himself). Plans to dismantle the Taj Mahal were in place, and wrecking machinery was moved into the garden
grounds. Just as the demolition work was to begin, news from London
indicated that the first auction had not been a success, and that all further sales were cancelled -- it would not
be worth the money to tear down the Taj Mahal.

Thus the Taj Mahal was spared, and so too, was the reputation of the British as "Protectors of India's Historic
Legacy" ! That innumerable other monuments were destroyed, or left to rack and ruin is a story that has yet to
get beyond the specialists in the field.

India and the Industrial Revolution

Perhaps the most important aspect of colonial rule was the transfer of wealth from India to Britain. In his
pioneering book, India Today, Rajni Palme Dutt conclusively demonstrates how vital this was to the Industrial
Revolution in Britain. Several patents that had remained unfunded suddenly found industrial sponsors once the
taxes from India started rolling in. Without capital from India, British banks would have found it impossible to
fund the modernization of Britain that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In addition, the scientific basis of the industrial revolution was not a uniquely European contribution. Several
civilizations had been adding to the world's scientific database - especially the civilizations of Asia, (including
those of the Indian sub-continent). Without that aggregate of scientific knowledge the scientists of Britain and
Europe would have found it impossible to make the rapid strides they made during the period of the Industrial
revolution. Moreover, several of these patents, particularly those concerned with the textile industry relied on
pre-industrial techniques perfected in the sub-continent. (In fact, many of the earliest textile machines in
Britain were unable to match the complexity and finesse of the spinning and weaving machines of Dacca.)

Some euro-centric authors have attempted to deny any such linkage. They have tried to assert that not only
was the Industrial Revolution a uniquely British/European event - that colonization and the the phenomenal
transfer of wealth that took place was merely incidental to it's fruition. But the words of Lord Curzon still ring
loud and clear. The Viceroy of British India in 1894 was quite unequivocal, "India is the pivot of our Empire ....
If the Empire loses any other part of its Dominion we can survive, but if we lose India the sun of our Empire
will have set."

Lord Curzon knew fully well, the value and importance of the Indian colony. It was the transfer of wealth
through unprecedented levels of taxation on Indians of virtually all classes that funded the great "Industrial
Revolution" and laid the ground for "modernization" in Britain. As early as 1812, an East India Company
Report had stated "The importance of that immense empire to this country is rather to be estimated by the
great annual addition it makes to the wealth and capital of the Kingdom....."

Unfair Trade

Few would doubt that Indo-British trade may have been unfair - but it may be noteworthy to see how unfair. In
the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of
2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian
exports dropped to one-fourth! A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware
and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and
smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers.

Colonial Beneficiaries

Another aspect of colonial rule that has remained hidden from popular perception is that Britain was not the
only beneficiary of colonial rule. British trade regulations even as they discriminated against Indian business
interests created a favorable trading environment for other imperial powers. By 1939, only 25% of Indian
imports came from Britain. 25% came from Japan, the US and Germany. In 1942-3, Canada and Australia
contributed another 8%. In the period immediately before independance, Britain ruled as much on behalf of
it's imperial allies as it did in it's own interest. The process of "globalization" was already taking shape. But
none of this growth trickled down to India. In the 50 years prior to independence, the Indian economy was
literally stagnant - it experienced zero growth.

Those who wish India well might do well to re-read this history so the nation isn't brought to the abyss once
again, (and so soon after being liberated from the yoke of colonial rule). While some Indians may wax
nostalgic for the return of their former overlords, and some may be ambivalent about colonial rule, most of us
relish our freedom and wish to perfect it - not gift it away again.

References: Statistics and data for the colonial period derived from Rajni-Palme Dutt's India Today (Indian
Edition published in 1947); also see N.K. Sinha's Economic History of Bengal (Published in Calcutta, 1956).

Related articles:

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Also see the sections on colonization in: History of Orissa: An introduction and Adivasi Contributions to Indian
Culture and Civilization


For an anti-imperialist view from the US, see British Rule in India by William Jennings Bryan, as it appeared in
the New York Journal, Jan.
22, 1899:-

"Wherever it was possible to put in an Englishman to oust a native an Englishman has been put in, and has
been paid from four times to twenty times as much for his services as would have sufficed for the salary of an
equally capable Hindoo or Mohammedan official. *** At the present time, out of 39,000 officials who draw a
salary of more than 1,000 rupees a year, 28,000 are Englishmen and only 11,000 natives. Moreover, the
11,000 natives receive as salaries only three million pounds a year; the 28,000 Englishmen receive fifteen
million pounds a year. Out of the 960 important civil offices which really control the civil administration of India
900 are filled with Englishmen and only sixty with natives."

We may well turn from the contemplation of an imperial policy and its necessary vices to the words of
Jefferson in his first inaugural message: "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government
of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of
kings to govern him? Let history answer this question."

Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism

Two centuries of colonial rule have also had a strong impact in the cultural and educational arena. Much of
Western historiography has been
shaped by thinly veiled colonial attitudes that continue to dominate the intellectual and philosophical space in
the field of Indology, comparitive studies and in anthologies of world history and culture. India continues to be
represented in a form that is often a caricature of Indian reality. Even when the Indian historical record is not
treated with outright contempt, condescension and superficiality taint mainstream writings on India.

While India was often a source of admiration (or grudging envy) prior to colonization, the British victory in
India led to a sea change in how India came to be viewed and characterized in the west. Not only was India's
physical wealth expropriated by colonization, Western social scientists,
philosophers and historians attempted to do the same in the cultural and intellectual space.

Manifestations of Western cultural imperialism vis-a-vis the colonized nations took on a variety of forms. Black
Africa, tropical Asia, and India became special targets for historiographic and cultural attacks. A particularly
insidious example of cultural racism shows up in the writings of Hegel, who is quoted by David Grey in an
article: On the Misportrayal of India as saying:

"On the whole, the diffusion of Indian culture is only a dumb, deedless expansion; that is, it presents no
political action. The people of India have achieved no foreign conquests, but have been on every occasion
vanquished themselves."

David Grey rightly describes such writings as "ethnocentric justifications of European colonialism", adding that:
"The colonial perspective lingers on today in what might be termed the "invasion theory" of Indian history. This
narrative assumes (usually implicitly) Hegel's idea that India is an intrinsically static, passive
civilization, incapable on its own of having a history." He goes on to counter the notion that India "has only
undergone historical change when motivated by outside forces, namely active aggressors."

A strain of such thinking also dominates the mindset of the anglophile Indian intelligentsia who mock at ideas
of economic and cultural self-reliance and snigger at the possibility that India could shape it's future without
attracting foreign investment, imported technology and transnational industrial management - no matter what
the cost or eventual consequence. For these anglophiles, anything Western (or anything
approved by the West) is to be embraced regardless of it's ultimate utility to India, and independant of how
unequal or exploitative the terms of the trade might be. (While in some cases, there may be tangible (covert
or overt) financial and material gains that may result from the public expression of such attitudes, in other
instances it is merely a reflection of how deeply some Indian minds continue to echo the legacy of
colonialism.)

Our sister site, South Asian Voice (which carries commentaries and perspectives on current affairs and public
policy in India and the sub-continent) attempts to explore the impact of globalization and external liberalization
on the Indian economy and the general well-being of the Indian population.

How successful has India been in overcoming the effects of the colonial legacy? Can developing nations
adequately defend their economic sovereignty in the present
uni-polar world? Who is benefiting more from economic globalization - the former colonial powers or their
colonies? Will globalization create a world of roughly equally advanced nations or will the former colonial
nations continue to leverage their historic advantage and exploit the developing world in new and more subtle
ways?

See Unrestricted globalization - boon or hazard? for a series of articles on liberalization and the impact on
infrastructural development, technological
upgradation, regional equity, and issues concerning quality of life.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited April 07, 2008).]

Top
#1127 - February 23, 2003 04:36 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Subject: The History of Genocide and enslavement in India


This will be the start of a series of posts
giving links to this
topic on the web. There are several reasons for
resurrecting this
painful chapter in Indian History;

1. I have had e-mail requests for this
information. Many Indians are
not aware of the severity of the Genocide,
probably the greatest
genocide in the history of mankind.

2. There is no political agenda involved here.
I believe a multi-
ethnic multi-religious society for India with
true equality of all
individuals is a worthwhile and achievable goal
for India. Somehow
Indians have to reconcile themselves with the
past, knowing terrible
things have happened (but not sweep them under
the rug).

3. This is not a commentary on the relative
ethics of people who
follow different faiths. The fundamental impulses that drive people
are the same regardless of their faith.

4. Never again should this part of India's history be repeated and
the surest way to prevent a repeat of such a history is to make sure
we never forget the long nightmare of the millenium horribilis that
we just completed.

Some links

http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/modern/moghal_atro.html

The Magnitude of Muslim Atrocities
(Ghazanavi to Amir Timur)

http://members.tripod.com/~sudheerb/holocaust1.html

http://members.nbci.com/KoenraadElst/articles/genocide.html

http://sudheerb.tripod.com/holocaust2.html

http://www.hindu.org/publications/fgautier/rih5_8.html

http://www.hinduism-today.com/2000/2/#gen383

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Stadium/5142/negislamindia.html

http://www.indialink.com/Forum/Arts-Culture/messages/673.html

http://www.hindutva.net/news/get.cgi/N2000_07_17_crescent_2.html

http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/modern/moghal_atro.html


Under the arc of desecration
Author: Prafull Goradia
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 1, 2001
The annual urs at the dargah of Khwaja
Moinuddin Chishti ended on 8
October. Over the six day celebration
several lakh devotees visited
Ajmer. Considered the greatest among the
Sufi saints, Khwaja saheb
came to India in 1161 AD and settled down at
Ajmer, where he lies
buried.
A furlong beyond the dargah, I happened to
cross the Tripoli gate
which leads to the triple temple complex
built by an ancestor of
Prithviraj Chauhan. The complex also
contained the Sanskrit pathshala
or school founded by the same Chauhan Vigraharaja III around 1158 AD.
He was an avid litterateur who wrote plays. One of these called
Harakeli Natak was carved on plates of black stones which are even
today displayed in the Rajputana Museum at Akbar Fort in Ajmer. Also
on exhibition are rows of pretty carvings numbering about a hundred,
brought from the complex. Another drama similarly found was by a
court poet Somadev. The sand stone statuettes have survived nearly
900 years except that the faces of all the figures were
systematically hacked out. The temple complex also has a long store
room which houses more of the many pretty relics. The lesser relics
litter the compound as if for anyone to take away.
The complex is, for the last 800 years, popularly called "Adhai din
ka Jhopra" (the shed of two and a half days). So called because the
triple or the three temples were converted originally into a masjid
over two and a half days. After the second battle of Tarain (1192 AD)
in which Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori defeated and killed Prithviraj
Chauhan, the victor passed through Ajmer. He was so awed by the
temples that he wanted them destroyed and replaced instantly. He
asked Qutubuddin Aibak, his slave general, to have the needful done
in 60 hours' time so that he could offer prayers in the new masjid on
his way back.
The Jhopra is the first in the series of temple desecrations
perpetrated by the foreign rulers of India. The earlier atrocities
were by Mahmud Ghazni, who raided but did not stay back to rule. The
triple temples were so attractive that the desecraters chose to
retain all, or most of the pillars. There are 70 of them under the
three roofs, which meet and appear to be one integrated whole. And
there are other pillars beyond the covered edifice, which looks like
a pavilion in splendid stone.
The pillars are some 25 feet high gorgeously carved either with the
exquisite designs up to a height of about 20 feet thereafter with
delicate figurines. Uncannily, there is not a single figure whose
face has not been cut off. Nowhere in Europe does one see such acts
of vandalism except what the vandals themselves perpetrated under
their king Gaiseric in the wake of conquering Rome in 455 AD.
Hereafter the word vandal became a synonym for wilful desecration and
destruction. The figurines on all the relics on display at Rajputana
Museum as well as those salvaged by the Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI) duly locked in the compound of the Jhopra have been
systematically defaced. Amongst the thousands of stone heads, not a
single nose or an eye can be found.
Mind you, the ASI has done nothing to excavate or salvage anything in
the complex since Independence. With the passing of the Protection of
National Monument Act, 1951 all archaeological activities have been
frozen. The credit for the excavations goes to general Alexander
Cunningham and Dr DR Bhandarkar in the first half of the 20th
century. The details are available in the Rajasthan District
Gazetteer, Ajmer, 1966. Muhammad Ghori presumably offered prayers
within the stipulated two and a half days. Subsequently in about 1200
AD the Dhai din ka Jhopra was completed with a well-carved facade
which is best described in the words of Furher in the Archaeological
Survey Report for the year 1893: "The whole of the exterior is
covered up with a network of tracery so finely and delicately wrought
that it can only be compared to a fine lace." Cunningham described
the exterior of the Jhopra even more eloquently: "For gorgeous
prodigality of ornament, beautiful richness of tracery, delicate
sharpness of finish, laborious accuracy of workmanship, endless
variety of detail, all of which are due to the Hindu masons, this
building may justly vie with the noblest buildings which the world
has yet produced."
To come back to the Hindu sculpture, Mulkraj Anand has said, "This
relief in Ajmer Museum is carved of intricately related figures,
obviously intended for decorative effect. It rises above mere
adornment by the delicate application of the chisel to achieve a
composition which is compact and balanced." But there was no mention
of the pathos of defacement and desecration. In fact, there is
nothing either compact or balanced about the edifice. The exterior
added by Aibak and/or his successors comprises carvings from the Holy
Quran on a yellow and distinctly softer stone compared to the Hindu
edifice behind it. This crudity of effort is overlooked by Mulkraj
Anand presumably as a tribute to his idea of secularism.
Such then was the vandalism with which the sultanate in Delhi began.
As with the Ouwwatul Islam Masjid next to the Qutub Minar, which was
also built by Sultan Aibak, so with Dhai din ka Jhopra at Ajmer. Both
are indelible specimen of humiliation perpetrated by the victor upon
the vanquished.


Jawaharlal Nehru's view of Tamarlang

http://www.americanfriends.org/kashmir/nehru-lang_K56.html

rom: "Rajiv Malhotra" <rajiv.malhotra@a...>
Date: Thu Jul 26, 2001 10:27 am
Subject: The destruction of Nalanda


Note in the following description written by a
historian accompanying
the invaders, that the invaders mistook the
massive university to be
a fort.They mistook the monks to be soldiers,
and killed them. Then
they found the famous library within Nalanda,
but there was nobody
left to explain what the books were about, so
they burnt them. They
concluded that these 'soldiers' must have been
Brahmins with heads
shaven, but in fact they were Buddhist
monks.

BEGIN QUOTE:

[p. 53]
Malik Ghazi Ikhtiyaru-D Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar
Khilji, Of Lakhnauti
It is related that this Muhammad Bakhtiyar was a Khil-ji, of Ghor, of
the province of Garmsir. He was a very smart, enterprising, bold,
courageous,wise and experienced man. He left his tribe and came to
the Court of Sultan Mu'izzu-d din, at Ghaznin, and was placed in the
diwan-i 'arz (office for petitions), but as the chief of that
department was not satisfied with him he was dismissed, and proceeded
from Ghaznin to Hindustan. When he reached the Court of Delhi, he
was again rejected by the chief of the dilvan-i 'arz
of the city, and so he went [p. 54] on to Badaun, into the service of
Hizbaru-d din Hasan, commander-in-Chief, where he obtained a suitable
position. After some time he went to Oudh in the service of Malik
Hisamu-d din Ughlabak. He had good horses and arms, and he had
showed much activity and valour at many places, so he obtained Sahlat
and Sahli1 in Jagir. Being a bold and enterprising man he used to
make incursions into the districts of Muni (Monghir), and Behar, and
bring away much plunder until in this manner. The fame he obtained
plenty of horses, arms, and men. of his bravery and of his
plundering raids spread abroad, and a body of Khiljis joined him from
Hindustan. His exploits were reported to Sultan Kutbu-d din, and he
sent him a dress and showed him great honour. Being thus encouraged,
he led his army to Behar and ravaged it. In this manner he continued
for a year or two to plunder the neighbourhood, and at last prepared
to invade the country. It is said by credible persons that he went to
the gate of the fort of Behar with only two hundred horse, and began
the war by taking the enemy unawares.In the service of Bakhtiyar
there were two brothers of great intelligence.

One of them was named Nizamu-d din and the other Shamsu-d din. The
compiler of this book met Samsu-d din at Lakhnauti in the year 641 H.
(1243 A.D.) and heard the following story from him. When Bakhtiyar
reached the gate of the fort and fighting began, these two wise
brothers were active in that army of heroes. Muhammad Bakhtiyar
with great vigour and audacity rushed in at the gate of the fort and
gained possession of the place. Great plunder fell into the hands of
the victors. Most of the inhabitants of the place were Brahmans with
shaven heads. They were put to death. Large numbers of books
were found there, and when the Muhammadans saw them they called for
some persons [p. 55] to explain their contents, but all the men had
been killed. It was discovered that the whole fort and city was a
place of study (madrasa). In the Hindi language the word Behar
(vihar) means a college.
END QUOTE

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#1128 - February 23, 2003 04:38 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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--- In IndianCivilization@y...,
kaushal42@n... wrote:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

Bernard Lewis. Race and Slavery in the
Middle East
Oxford Univ Press 1994.

This is quite a good summary of the origin,
and status of slaves in
the Islamic world. There are references to
slaves from Sindh in the
Caliphate. Indians sometimes wonder why it
is that there were a
preponderence of Turks among the Islamic
invaders (even before the
Moghuls who were Turkish themselves). The
reason was very simple. The
majority of military slaves were of Central
Asian Turkish origin.
Both Mohammad Ghori (and Ghazni) were Turks
and the great majority of
their generals were turks also.

Ibn Battuta is a Arab traveller from Morocco
who spent a considerable
time in India (among others at the Tughlak court in Delhi). He makes
several remarks on slavery and the treatment of slaves in his diary.
http://www.sfusd.edu/schwww/sch618/Ibn_Battuta/Slavery.html

see also Konraad Elst's book on Negationism in India, which is
available on-line
http://voi.org/books/negaind/ch2.htm

KS Lal's book is very well known but i have not read it as yet

Muslim Slave System in Medieval India. KS Lal. Aditya, l994. l96p.
history, economics of slave trade, includes background on sexual
slavery. $l8.50

The book is reviewed in http://voi.org/reviews/rev-legmus.html

Hindu slaves in Central Asia

Thi particular item caught my eye, since in past references to Hindu
slaves being sold in the markets of Central Asia (all the way to
Turkey -Samarqand, Damascus, Baghdad, Istanbul)the allegation has
been made that these were exaggerations. This report points out that
such instances have been mentioned in the judicial records of Central
Asian Qadis.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/indictraditions/message/4998.

". So much for the politically correct notion of a history of
uniformly peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Hindus in India.
It's easy to criticize the exportation figures as exaggerated; it's
another to criticize the judicial records of Central Asian Qadis."

see also
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/indictraditions/message/4240

"Furthermore, my research in judicial documents of medieval Samarqand
and other Central Asian sources has disclosed the presence there of
many thousands of Indian slaves throughout the medieval period.
Indeed,
the Indian sources make it clear that, from the early Ghaznavid raids
to the late Mughal period, unfortunate men, women and children
(amounting to hundreds of thousands, if not millions over the
centuries) were marched to slave markets in Iran and Central Asia,
i.e.
beyond the northwest frontier of India, and out of the reach of their
familial support systems in India. "

The story of the slave trade out of India is a dark chapter of Indian
history. Clearly it was on a fairly vast scale as the citations i
have made in the indictraditions post indicate. The paper by Scott
Levi will be published shortly documenting his findings from Central
Asian records. More work needs to be done to understand the scale and
impact of this trade and the manner in which they assimilated into
the countries into which they were taken. Of course the most recent
examples were the indentured labor exported to the Caribbean, but no
matter what you may call it , it was simply another word for slavery.
The role of the East India Co. in facilitating the slave trade is
dscussed in
http://members.tripod.com/~INDIA_RESOURCE/eastindia.html

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#1129 - February 23, 2003 04:39 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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#1130 - July 01, 2003 04:31 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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From: padmanabhan@v...
Date: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:27 pm
Subject: Indian kings never invaded foreign lands- a myth?

The following is an extract from http://www.the-week.com/23jun29/cover.htm#5

the WEEK journal's cover story in issuse dtd 29th June 03 reads at pages 38 &
39 :

"Indian kings never invaded foreign lands"

Chola exploits despoil the argument that India had no conquering or marauding
emperors

Do a Google search in the Net with words "India never invaded" and you will get
dozens of Web sites proclaiming the superiority of Indian culture, asserting
that India never invaded any foreign land in 10,000 years.

Or read the BJP manifesto for the 12th Lok Sabha elections. It opens with the
Loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu lines and proceeds: "This timeless motto of
universal happiness and peace is the heritage of ancient Indian civilisation.
Here, a nation, which Megasthanes noted 'never invaded others and was never
invaded' existed long before the ideas of civilisation evolved elsewhere."

Books on the maritime history of India would invariably refer to the riverine
navy that the Mauryas had, about Sivaji's navy, and then zoom in on the
establishment of the Bombay Marine by the British. It would look as if Indian
kings had no navy that could conquer overseas territories.

The words were true when Megasthanes wrote them in the 4th century BC. The
concept of kingship had just developed in the Gangetic plain at that time and,
naturally, imperial dreams were yet to be dreamt.

Since then India's history has been a succession of wars and battles, invasions
and conquests, sieges and sacks. Wasn't it the bloodbath at Kalinga that
compelled the great Asoka to forsake territorial conquest through battle as a
state policy? Kalinga may not be a foreign land, but wasn't it as foreign to
Magadha then as is Bangladesh to India today? Samudragupta built one of the
largest empires in the pre-Islamic period through conquests, which culminated
in an asvamedha.

Allauddin Khilji, one of the most ruthless conquerors in Indian history, dreamt
of becoming the second Sikander. The wise fool Muhammad bin Tughlaq dreamt of
annexing Khurasan. They just failed. There have been many such imperial
ambitions in Indian history. It is just that they all failed.

Or does the claim mean that the Hindu never attempted to conquer foreign lands?
Even that is not true. Ceylon was conquered and settled in by early Chola
prince Elara. The early Pallava Simhavishnu vanquished all his southern
neighbours including the ruler of Ceylon in the sixth century.

Like father like son
But the greatest of Indian monarchs who dreamt of ruling over overseas
territories were undoubtedly the splendid Chola father-and-son, Rajaraja and
Rajendra. Thanks to their imperial energy and unprecedented vision, the Cholas
dominated the amorphous maritime empire of the Sailendras for nearly a century.
As Balram Srivastava observes in Rajendra Chola: "The Chola navigators
supported the Indian colonies in the far east and established a firm rule of
the Cholas in Sri Vijaya. Their success nearer home, in Sri Lanka, was also
splendid. They crossed the sea between India and Sri Lanka so often that it
became a lake to them."

The Cholas, originally a small clan ruling over parts of the Tamil country,
could assert themselves only after the decline of the illustrious Pallavas of
Kanchi. The first Chola empire was established by Karikala who subdued the
Cheras and the Pandyas, but his successors were confined to a small territory
between the Pallava and the Pandya kingdoms. But with the decline of the two in
the 9th century, the Cholas asserted themselves, pushing back the Rashtrakutas,
the Chalukyas, the Cheras and the Gangas.

The real imperial era of the Cholas began with Vijayalaya around AD 850. Taking
Thanjavur from the Muttarya chiefs, Vijayalaya assumed the title Tanjaikonda
Prakesari or the conqueror of Thanjavur. And then, through a series of battles
and marriage alliances with their neighbours, the Cholas consolidated in the
next few centuries. After a short eclipse in the 10th century, came Rajaraja
who literally turned the tide in favour of the Cholas.

Ruthless conqueror

Having first fought and then agreed to a truce with Vengi of the eastern
Chalukyas, Rajaraja, according to his own inscription, conquered Lakshadweep
and the Maldives. Buddhist literature from Sri Lanka says that the Indian king
took advantage of an internal strife in Sri Lanka and invaded the island. The
ruthless Chola conquest was apparently no different from the conduct of Mahmud
of Ghazni at Somnath. The Kulavamsa says that the capital Anuradhapura, which
sported many Buddhist viharas, was "utterly destroyed in every way by the Chola
army". Not only were the viharas decimated, but the holy stupas in them were
torn apart in search of treasure. As George W. Spencer observes in The Politics
of Expansion: The Chola Conquest of Sri Lanka and Sri Vijaya, "Even if we allow
for the exaggeration of the chroniclers, it is clear that the Cholas devastated
the city."

It was no religious conquest. The viharas were looted because they contained
treasures, as did the temples of India during Mahmud's conquest. Rajaraja's
adventures may be dismissed as having happened within the extended coastal
waters of India. But his son Rajendra was a true conqueror of overseas
territories. Says Dr K.V. Hariharan in The Chola Maritime Activities in Early
Historical Setting: "Of the most notable was Rajendra Chola's naval expedition
against Kadaram. In this expedition, he defeated a king named Sangama
Vijayottungavarman, the king of Kataha, belonging to the Sailendras of Java.
The territories wrested by the Cholas from this king consisted of the extensive
kingdom of Sri Vijaya, which at one time included Sumatra and Java, with its
capital at Palembang."

Rajendra Chola (left, his sculpture) conquered Sri Vijaya kingdom, which
included Sumatra and Java.

Apparently it was after the Sailendra dynasty wrested the Sri Vijaya empire
that relations with the Cholas soured. Is it probable that the imperial Chola
was apprehensive of the conquering energy of the Sailendras ruling over the Sri
Vijaya empire? There are scholars who believe that by the time Rajendra came to
throne, the Sailendra power was ebbing. Anyway, at its height, it encompassed
all the islands from Nicobar to Sumatra and included the entire Malayan
peninsula. Its capital, the city of Sri Vijaya, was believed to be to the
southeast corner of Sumatra.

Not only did Rajendra's army sack Kadaram and the Sri Vijaya capital, but it
also took the Sri Vijaya king Sangrama Vijayottungavarman captive. The kingdom
was restored to him only after he acknowledged Chola suzerainty. Tamil
inscriptions recovered from the region show that there was Chola military
presence till at least 1088 in the Malay archipelago.

Information on these raiding conquests are sketchy, but scholars like R.C.
Majumdar think that the emperor despatched more than one expedition to humble
the Sri Vijayas. The list of 13 towns in the archipelago sacked by the Cholas
has come from Rajendra's own inscriptions. Scholars have identified all but two
of them. Six are located on the Malay peninsula, four on Sumatra, the other
being the Nicobar islands. Scholars like Paul Wheatley have been sceptical of
Rajendra's claims about the number of towns his army sacked, but most agree
that a raid did take place. Says George Spencer: "The campaign is plausible
because it fits the Chola pattern of compulsive expansion in this period, fits
the aim of Rajendra to exceed his father's accomplishments and fits the
persistent Chola need to locate fresh sources of plunder or tribute." There is
evidence to show that the king of Kambujadesa (modern Cambodia) sent a chariot
to the Chola, probably to appease him so that his strategic atte
ntion does not extend further than the Malay peninsula.

Lure of the Ganga
The other monumental military accomplishment of Rajendra, by far the greatest
conquering monarch of south Indian history, was his expedition to the banks of
the Ganga. Even today, scholars have not stopped disputing about the real
intentions of this ambitious raid. Folklore has it that Rajendra wanted to
fetch waters of the Ganga and other rivers of India to consecrate an irrigation
tank that he built in his country. Anyway, it is true that the emperor called
himself Gangaikondachola after the expedition, meaning the Chola who conquered
the Ganga. His new capital was christened Gangaikondacholapuram.

The Chola did not personally lead his army to the Ganga. Going by evidence from
two inscriptions, he marched only up to the Godavari from where his generals
carried the expedition forward. But what was the purpose of the expedition? All
scholars who have tried to trace the route have admitted that the listing of
places, as described in the inscriptions, would have had the army crossing the
same territory more than once.

This leads one to think that the fetching of water was an afterthought. The
real intention of the expedition could have been to collect loot and tribute,
and establish Chola paramountcy. The emperor could have thought of crowning his
glory with a religious ceremony, and associating the Ganga with his own name
and that of his newly-built capital.

Accounts of Rajendra's exploits make one wonder: would India's history have
been different if the father and son were ruling a kingdom farther north? All
this was happening in the eastern half of the country when Mahmud's horses were
trotting across the western half.
=====================================================================


and a forward mail too says:

"You may know some of the following facts. These facts were recently
published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT
INDIA."

01. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history

my reply to the editor:The Editor,
The WEEK, English journal,Kottayam/Kochchi.
KeraLaa.


Respected Sir,

I always get amused read words like " that India never invaded any foreign land
in 10,000 years"( vide the cover story dtd 29 june 2003)

while the 5th myth of maritime exploits of Chozhas, one of the three great
Tamil monarchical dynasties (other two are Cheras and Paandiyaas) how are the
so called historians or scholors local or foreign origin justified to refer the
then Tamil kings as Indian kings? Sure the Chozhas military aventures across
the seas were there.

BUT, WHERE WAS AN INDIASN POLITY AS WE KNOW THE SUB CONTINENT TODAY?
Then why do the Chozas be called Indian kings?

secondly, the main part indian subcontinet had been land locked always. Except
Tamil Chozhas none had the power to cross th seas for war. There was no scope
for any such motivation to the rulers of Kingdoms in the main land and as for
coastal belt they had no such ambition and drive across Arabian Sea or the vast
expanse of water of the Indian ocean.

But it was different to Chozhas. they had the need drive and ambition to dare
across the seas. Back to them there was a massive land expanse stretching up to
Himalays.

And that was left to the Cheras. There was atleast one Chera King with name of
Imayavaramban NedunjEralaathan. The Chera king whose reign had the limit (
varaMmu) of Himalaya's( Imayam).

One of the five great tamil epics SILAPPATHIKKARAM written by Ilanago AdigaLaar
says that the Chera Kign Cheran Segutuvan had gone to up country to get stone
form the hinalays and had the kings of upcountry Kanahaa and Vijyaa carry the
stones to tamil country out of which the statue of KaNNaki, the lead woman
character of the said epic, was sculptured.

anyone visiting the famous AruLmigu Meenaaksi Amman temple at Madurai can read
even today an inscription of that phase in the life cycle of the presiding
Goddess to the effect that with the assisatnce of Chozha and Chera Kings the
goddesses had won upto Himalays and ruled!

So mwhy make tamils kng indian koings and decry them as if they had violated
the alleged philosophy of no invasion of the so called India which polity as is
understood today NEVER EVER existed in the past before British colonialists had
consolidated the sub contient politically.

Thus it is more than a fraud to tell your readers that teher was an Indian
polity as such and its Kings had never invaded any foreign land as such! the
quote of Megasthenis was abolsutely true especially:"Kalinga may not be a
foreign land, but wasn't it as foreign to Magadha then as is Bangladesh to
India today?"

I may mention here that a forward mail is in circulation on intrenet on the
subject of "Iam Proud to be an Indian " and out of the 16 reasons quoted from a
German magazine the first one reads:" 01. India never invaded any country in
her last 1000 years of history." which is precisely the same of the 5th myth
analysed in your journal here.

when prsented as facts to explode a myth relating to India that it never
invaded any foreign land, Tamil kings Chozhas are seen in wrong perspective.
That is NOT fair.

Top
#1131 - July 03, 2003 08:32 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bharatnirbhaya/message/703

The Goan inquisition.


http://www.sulekha.com/column.asp?cid=119939

The Beautiful Tree

Subhash Kak ~ May 22, 2001

As a young boy raised in small towns of Jammu and Kashmir, I often
came across people who could not read or write. The school books said
that literacy in all of India was low, perhaps 30 percent or so, and
this was despite the introduction of the British education system
more than 100 years earlier. The books implied that before the
arrival of the British the country was practically illiterate. This
thought was very depressing.
Perhaps I shouldn't have believed the story of India's near total
illiteracy in the 18th century so readily. India was rich 250 years
ago when the British started knocking at the door for a share of its
trade. Paul Kennedy, in his highly regarded book, The Rise and Fall
of the Great Powers : Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500
to 2000 estimates that in 1750 India's share of the world trade was
nearly 25 percent.

To understand this figure of 25 percent, consider that this is USA's
present share of the world trade, while India's share is now only
about half a percent. India was obviously a very prosperous country
then, and this wealth must have have been mirrored in the state of
society, including the literacy of the general population.

Unfortunately, education in medieval India is not a subject that has
been well researched. But thanks to a the pioneering book, The
Beautiful Tree by Dharampal, we now have an idea of it before the
coming of the British. The book uses British documents from the early
1800s to make the case that education was fairly universal at that
time. Each village had a school attached to its temple and mosque and
the children of all communities attended these schools.

W. Adam, writing in 1835, estimated that there were 100,000 schools
in Bengal, one school for about 500 boys. He also described the local
medical system that included inoculation against small-pox. Sir
Thomas Munro (1826), writing about schools in Madras, found similar
statistics. The education system in the Punjab during the Ranjit
Singh kingdom was equally extensive.

These figures suggest that the literary rate could have approached 50
percent at that time. From that figure to the low teens by the time
the British consolidated their power in India must have been a period
of continuing disaster.

Amongst Dharampal's documents is a note from a Minute of Dissent by
Sir Nair showing how the British education policy led to the
illiteratization of India: "Efforts were made by the Government to
confine higher education and secondary education, leading to higher
education, to boys in affluent circumstances... Rules were made
calculated to restrict the diffusion of education generally and among
the poorer boys in particular... Fees were raised to a degree, which,
considering the circumstances of the classes that resort to schools,
were abnormal. When it was objected that minimum fee would be a great
hardship to poor students, the answer was such students had no
business to receive that kind of education... Primary education for
the masses, and higher education for the higher classes are
discouraged for political reasons."

According to Dr Leitner, an English college principal at Lahore, "By
the actions of the British the true education of the Punjab was
crippled, checked and is nearly destroyed; opportunities for its
healthy revival and development were either neglected or perverted."

Dharampal's sources appear unimpeachable and the only conclusion is
that 250 years ago the Indian basic education system was functional.
Indeed, it may have been more universal than what existed in Europe
at that time.

One might, with hindsight, complain that the curriculum in the
pathshalas was not satisfactory. Dharampal's book lists the texts
used and they appear to have provided excellent training in
mathematics, literature, and philosophy. Perhaps the curriculum could
have had more of sciences and history. I think the school curriculum
was not all that bad in itself. Judging by the standards of its
times, it did a good job of providing basic education.

What was missing was a system of colleges to provide post-school
education. After the destruction of ancient universities like Taxila
and Nalanda, nothing emerged to fill that role. Without institutions
of higher learning, the Indian ruling classes did not possess the
tools to deal with the challenges ushered in by rapid scientific and
technological growth.

The phrase the beautiful tree was used by Mahatma Gandhi in a speech
in England to describe traditional Indian education. Gandhi claimed
that this tree had been destroyed by the British. Dharampal's book
provides the data in support of Gandhi's charge.

The Macaulayite education system, put in place by the British, almost
succeeded in erasing the collective Indian memory of vital,
progressive scientific, industrial and social processes. But not all
records of the earlier history were lost. Dharampal has authored
another important book, Indian Science and Technology in Eighteenth
Century: Some Contemporary European Accounts which describes the
vitality of Indian technology 250 years ago in several areas.

It is not just colonialist ideas that are responsible for the loss of
cultural history. The need to pick and choose in today's information
age is also leading to an erosion of cultural memory. The scholar and
mathematician C. Muses from Canada did his bit to counter it by
writing about Ramchundra (born 1821 in Panipat), a brilliant Indian
mathematician, whose book on Maxima and Minima was promoted by the
prominent mathematician Augustus de Morgan in London in 1859. Muses's
work appeared in the respected journal The Mathematical Intelligencer
in 1998. Ramchundra had been completely forgotten until Muses chanced
across a rare copy of his book.

Muses called me over a year ago, just before he died, to tell me how
he got interested in India. He said that he wanted to make sense of
why Indians had not developed science, as colonialist and Marxist
historians have long alleged. But the deeper he got into the original
source materials, he found an outstanding scientific tradition that
had been misrepresented by historians who were either biased or plain
incompetent.

Although Muses did not so speculate, one might ask if de Morgan's own
fundamental work on symbolic logic owed in part to the Indian school
of Navya Nyaya. De Morgan, in his introduction to Ramchundra's work,
indicates that he knew of the Indian tradition of logic, "There
exists in India, under circumstances which prove a very high
antiquity, a philosophical language (Sanskrit) which is one of the
wonders of the world, and which is a near collateral of the Greek, if
not its parent form. From those who wrote in this language we derive
our system of arithmetic, and the algebra which is the most powerful
instrument of modern analysis. In this language we find a system of
logic and metaphysics."

Finally, there is the loss of memory taking place due to the
carelessness with which we are preserving our heritage. This is a
process of permanent loss, although on a few lucky occasions long-
forgotten documents are found. One example of this latter event is
the recovery of the lost notebooks of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-
1920), who may have been the greatest mathematical genius of all
time. Ramanujan had been called a second Newton in his own lifetime,
yet the full magnitude of his achievements was appreciated only when
his [lost] notebooks, full of unpublished results, were discovered in
the eighties.

You can read a fine biography of Ramanjan by Robert Kanigel titled
The Man Who Knew Infinity. I also recommend Ramanujan: Letters and
Commentary, edited by Bruce Berndt and Robert Rankin.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited July 03, 2003).]

Top
#1132 - August 25, 2003 02:17 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Nehru and his views of Tamerlane & Nalanda Univ.


From: "Rajiv Malhotra"
Date: Thu Jul 26, 2001 10:27 am
Subject: The destruction of Nalanda


Note in the following description written by a historian accompanying the invaders, that the invaders mistook
the massive university to be a fort.They mistook the monks to be soldiers, and killed them. Then they found
the famous library within Nalanda, but there was nobodyleft to explain what the books were about, so they
burnt them. They concluded that these 'soldiers' must have been Brahmins with heads shaven, but in fact
they were Buddhist monks.

BEGIN QUOTE:


Malik Ghazi Ikhtiyaru-D Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji, Of Lakhnauti. It is related that this Muhammad
Bakhtiyar was a Khil-ji, of Ghor, of the province of Garmsir. He was a very smart, enterprising, bold,
courageous,wise and experienced man. He left his tribe and came to the Court of Sultan Mu'izzu-d din, at
Ghaznin, and was placed in the diwan-i 'arz (office for petitions), but as the chief of that department was not
satisfied with him he was dismissed, and proceeded from Ghaznin to Hindustan. When he reached the Court
of Delhi, he was again rejected by the chief of the dilvan-i 'arz of the city, and so he went [p. 54] on to
Badaun, into the service of Hizbaru-d din Hasan, commander-in-Chief, where he obtained a suitable position.
After some time he went to Oudh in the service of Malik Hisamu-d din Ughlabak. He had good horses and
arms, and he had showed much activity and valour at many places, so he obtained Sahlat and Sahli1 in Jagir.
Being a bold and enterprising man he used to make incursions into the districts of Muni (Monghir), and
Behar, and bring away much plunder until in this manner. The fame he obtained plenty of horses, arms, and
men of his bravery and of his plundering raids spread abroad, and a body of Khiljis joined him from
Hindustan. His exploits were reported to Sultan Kutbu-d din, and he sent him a dress and showed him great
honour. Being thus encouraged, he led his army to Behar and ravaged it. In this manner he continued for a
year or two to plunder the neighbourhood, and at last prepared to invade the country. It is said by credible
persons that he went to the gate of the fort of Behar with only two hundred horse, and began the war by
taking the enemy unawares.In the service of Bakhtiyar there were two brothers of great intelligence.

One of them was named Nizamu-d din and the other Shamsu-d din. The compiler of this book met Samsu-d
din at Lakhnauti in the year 641 H. (1243 A.D.) and heard the following story from him. When Bakhtiyar
reached the gate of the fort and fighting began, these two wise brothers were active in that army of heroes.
Muhammad Bakhtiyar with great vigour and audacity rushed in at the gate of the fort and gained possession
of the place. Great plunder fell into the hands of the victors. Most of the inhabitants of the place were
Brahmans with shaven heads. They were put to death. Large numbers of books were found there, and when
the Muhammadans saw them they called for some persons [p. 55] to explain their contents, but all the men
had been killed. It was discovered that the whole fort and city was a place of study (madrasa). In the Hindi
language the word Behar (vihar) means a college.
END QUOTE

Nehru and his view of Timur Lang

Vinod Kumar, June 1999

ABSTRACT - Notwithstanding Nehru's considerable influence over Indian thinking, his take on history is quite
distorted. While Nehru contented that the Turkish marauder Timur Lang did not discriminate between Muslims
and Hindus in his massacres, authoritative evidence from Timur's own memoirs indicate that he routinely
spared the lives of Muslims. Indeed, the desire to cleanse the land of infidels and polytheists were
unambiguously the key motivators of his expeditions of murder and plunder.


Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, whether one agrees with him or not, is undoubtedly an important and dominating
figure in the history of India; and not only the contemporary but the future history also. He has molded the
minds of several generations of Indians and founded a dynasty -- a dynasty in a democracy -- and
left a legacy that still haunts India.

Nehru was not only a politician but a writer also and that too of no mean repute. Beside his politics, his books
too have an indelible impression on the young minds of the nation. He is regarded not only as a social
progressive communism oriented thinker, philosopher and a world statesman but also a historian. It is his
historical writing that I shall contend with today.

Nehru put his own twist on history. He had his own convoluted way of looking at it. These are very strong
words but let me show you why I say these and not some ambiguous and innocuous words. There are many
historical episodes of history which Nehru got wrong. It will be difficult to deal with all of them in a short article
so I will deal today with his treatment of Timur Lang.

"Late in the fourteenth century, Timur, the Turk or Turco-Mongol, came down from the north in India; he
came to Delhi and went back. But all along his route he created a wilderness adorned with pyramids of skulls
of those he
had slain; and Delhi itself became a city of the dead. Fortunately he did not go far and only some parts of
the Punjab and Delhi had to suffer this terrible affliction.": wrote Nehru in his "Discovery Of India".

Describing Timur's savagery, Nehru goes on to write in "Glimpses of World History" : "wherever he went he
spread desolation and pestilence and utter misery. His chief pleasure was the erection of enormous pyramids
of skulls. But Timur was much worse. He stands apart for wanton and fiendish cruelty. In one place, it is said,
he erected a tower of 2000 live men and covered them up with brick and mortar."

In describing the savagery of Timur, Nehru is quite accurate but we shall not concern ourselves with Timur's
savagery which is well documented and well known to all. Let us deal with Timur's motivation for invading
India and what he did there.

In describing Timur's motivation to invade India, Nehru wrote in "Glimpses of world History": "The wealth of
India attracted this savage. He had some difficulty in inducing his generals and nobles to agree to his
proposal to invade India. There was a great council in
Samarkand, and the nobles objected to going to India because of the great heat there. Ultimately Timur
promised that he would not stay in India. he would just plunder and destroy and return. He kept his word." He
also goes on to write: "So when Timur came with an army of Mongols there was not much resistance
and he went on gaily with his massacres and pyramids. Both Hindus and Muslims were slain. No distinction
seems to have been made. The prisoners becoming a burden, he ordered all of them killed and 100,000
were massacred."

People have a tendency to believe everything Nehru writes -- great leader, thinker and statesman as he is
regarded to be. Let us now look at what motivated Timur to come to India and how he "seems to have made
no distinction
between the killing of Hindus and Muslims" in his (Timur's) own words.

Timur conscious of his "achievements and place in history" dictated his memoirs (entitled "Malfuzat-I-Timuri"
or "Tuzak-I-Timuri" translated in "History of India as told by its own Historians" by Elliot and Dawson) and it is
to these memoirs that we turn to look into his motivations for invading India.

The following are taken from 'History of India' written by AV Williams Jackson (London 1906) who quotes from
the work by Elliot and Dawson. Timur in his
memoirs recorded:

"About the year 800 AH (1398 CE) there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the
infidels and to become a champion of the faith, for it had reached my ears that the slayer of the infidels is a
champion and if he is slain, he becomes a martyr. It was for this reason that I formed my resolution but I
was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against
the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Koran and the verse to which I
opened was this: 'O Prophet, make war upon the infidels and unbelievers, and treat them with severity."

He asked the amirs and the leaders to be assembled before him and asked whether he should direct his
expedition against Hindustan or China. Some amirs told him about the four defences of Hindustan -- the first
of these being the five large rivers, the second the woods, forests and trees with interweaving stems and
branches rending it extremely difficult to penetrate the country, the third is the soldiery, and the landholders
and princes and rajas dwell there like wild beasts. The fourth the elephants which they put in the van of their
army and they have trained to them to such a degree that with their trunks they lift a horse with its rider and
whirling him in the air, they dash him to the ground.

Then some of the amirs replied that Sultan Mahmud Sabuktagin had conquered the country with thirty
thousand horse and talked about the many thousand loads of gold and silver and jewels from that country
besides subjecting it to a regular tribute. Sultan Shahrukh and Prince Mohammad Sultan were in favor of
expedition to Hindustan but most nobles were against it.

Timur pleaded with his nobles: "My object in the invasion of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against the
infidels that, according to the law of Mohammad (upon whom and his family be the blessing and peace of
God). We may convert the people of that country to the true faith and purify the land itself from infidelity and
polytheism, and that we may overthrow their temples and idols and become conquerors and crusaders before
God." The nobles gave unwilling consent and Timur placed no reliance upon them.

He went on to record. "At this time the wise men of Islam came before me, and a conversation began about
the propriety of a war against the infidels and polytheists, whereupon they declared that it is the duty of
Sultan of Islam and all those who profess that " there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is the prophet of
Allah," to exert their utmost endeavor for the suppression of the enemies of their faith, for the sake of
preservation of their religion and strengthening their law. They likewise said it is the duty of every Moslem
and true believer to use his utmost exertions in obedience to his ruler. When edifying words of the wise men
reached the ears of the nobles, all their hearts were set upon a holy war in Hindustan, and throwing
themselves on their knees, they repeated the chapter of Victory which opens the Koran."

He goes on to write: "When I girded up my loins for the expedition, I wrote to Hazrat Shaikh Zain-ad-din to
the effect that I had determined on a holy war in Hindustan. He wrote back in the margin of the letter: "Be it
known to Abu-l-Ghazi Timur that great prosperity in this world and the next will result from this undertaking,
and that he will go and return safely." He also sent me a large sword which I made my scepter."

From Timur's own memoirs it is clear that his main motivation to invade India was to"convert the people of
that country to the true faith and purify the land itself from infidelity and polytheism" and to overthrow "its
temples and idols and become conquerors and crusaders before God".

It is needless for me to comment why Timur invaded India when he has recorded his motivation to do so his
own words. I wonder how Nehru knew more about Timur's motivation more than Timur himself!

Nehru also went on to write: " Both Hindus and Muslims were slain. No distinction seems to have been made."

It is true that on his way to India and in India many of the Sultans he fought with were Muslims but did he
make distinction between Hindus and Muslims or not? Let us again see what Timur had to write about it.

The scene after his victory of Dipalpur is described by him in the following words:

"In a short space of time all the people in the fort were put to sword, and in the course of one hour the heads
of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods
and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the
spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings
and the fort to the ground."

It is difficult to name each and every act of Timur. We shall barely scratch the surface in such a small account
just to show how "objective and truthful" Nehru is in his portrayal of the History of India.

On his capture of Loni, historians record: "Next day Timur crossed the river Yamuna and captured Loni on the
other bank of the river. The people here were mostly Hindus. "Many of the Rajputs placed their wives and
children in their houses and burned them, then they rushed to the battle and were killed" After this fort was
captured, Timur gave orders "that the Mussalman prisoners should be separated and saved, but that the
infidels should all be despatched to hell with the proselytising sword."

Let us now look at the probably the greatest gruesome act in the entire history of the world. Let me quote
from the "History and Culture of the Indian People" written on the authority of Elliot and Dawson who, as
written above, had translated Timur's memoirs:

"A grim tragedy, perhaps unparalleled in the history of the world, was an indirect consequence of this battle.
There were at this time about 100,000 Hindu prisoners in the camp of Timur. Two amirs reported to Timur
that "on the previous day, when the enemy's forces made the attack upon us, the prisoners made signs of
rejoicing, uttered imprecations against us, and were ready to go and join the enemy, and to increase his
numbers and strength." Timur having asked their advice, "they said that on the great day of battle these
100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war
to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty. In fact, no other course remained but that of making them
all food for the sword". Timur thereupon resolved to put them to death. He proclaimed "throughout the camp
that every man who has infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should
himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of
Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on
that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never
killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his
captives".

Let me close with the description of massacre in Delhi:

"On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering,
and destroying. When morning broke on the Friday, all my army, no longer under control went off to the city
and thought of nothing but killing, plundering, and making prisoners. All that day the sack was general. The
following day, Saturday, the 17th (December 27), all passed in the same way, and the spoil was so great that
each man secured from a fifty to a hundred prisoners, men, women, and children.

There was no man who took less than twenty. The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, garnets,
pearls, and other gems; jewels of gold and silver; ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver; and brocades and silks
of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed
all account. Excepting the quarter of saiyids, the ulama, and the other Musulmans, the whole city was
sacked."

No doubt, it is true that Timur killed Muslims as well as Hindus but there is no basis for writing Timur "seems
to have made no distinction between the killing of Hindus and Muslims".

There is a parallel to Timur in our modern times -- Hitler. Hitler in his 'dream of world conquest' killed or
caused to be killed more Christians than the Jews. The distinction is that the Christians were killed only
because they came in his way of world domination but the Jews were gassed as captives solely because they
were Jews. In the same way
Timur killed Muslims too, because these Muslims came in his way of conquests but he massacred Hindus
because they were infidels and idolaters. Hitler fought in the belief of the "supremacy of the Aryan race",
Timur in the belief of the "supremacy of the true faith of Mohammad".

Top
#1133 - March 21, 2004 01:54 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The Spread of Ancient Indians and Hinduism


http://www.viewzone.com/baboquivari.html

The O'Odham: Native-Americans
With Ancestors From India?
By Gene D. Matlock, BA, M.A.

Hindu scholars have always claimed that in remotest
times, their ancestors visited
every part of the globe, mapping it accurately, and
mining gold and copper in such
places as Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, England,
Ireland, Peru, and Bolivia.
Known to us as "Indo-Europeans," they lost their grip
on the world in about 1500
BC., retreating to what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan,
and Northern India.
However, they continued to visit the Americas in their
large teakwood ships, many
of them 250 feet long and five- to six-masted, until
about 1200 A.D. After that, the
sectarian fanaticism and territorialism of their
religious leaders, rebellions among
their conquered subjects, constant internecine
rivalries, and troubles with Moslem
invaders forced them into isolation.

No Westerner naively accepts India's claims of having
once dominated the world.
Right? Well, some of us do.

In an essay entitled On Egypt from the Ancient Book of
the Hindus (Asiatic
Researchers Vol. III, 1792), British Lt. Colonel
Francis Wilford gave abundant
evidence proving that ancient Indians colonized and
settled in Egypt. The British
explorer John Hanning Speke, who in 1862 discovered the
source of the Nile in
Lake Victoria, acknowledged that the Egyptians
themselves didn't have the slightest
knowledge of where the Nile's source was. However, Lt.
Colonel Wilford's
description of the Hindu's intimate acquaintance with
ancient Egypt led Speke to
Ripon Falls, at the edge of Lake Victoria.

The Hindus also claim that the gospel of their deity
Shiva was once the religion of
the world and the progenitor of all religions coming
after it.

"Isvar was the only god in India, the whole of
Asia, the southern parts
of Russia, Mediterranean countries, Egypt, Greece,
the whole of
Europe, the human inhabited places of both
Americasand also in
England and Ireland. In all these lands, Isvar was
the religion with
slight variations in the pronunciation of the word
Isvar.the Isvar
religion is the mother of all religions in the
world, including Christianity
and Islam."
(Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism, by Kuttikhat
Purushothama Chon;
p. 36.)

While the languages our forefathers spoke thousands of
years ago would be
completely unrecognizable to us now, the names of their
deities (those that survived
to this modern age) may be immediately recognizable to
their respective modern
adherents, such as the Christians, Jews, Moslems,
Jains, Buddhists, and Hindus.
Names of deities tend not to change.

Isvar was and is especially visible (to discerning
eyes) in our own Southwest as
well as in Northern and Central Mexico. Some tribes
even worshiped God Shiva's
wives and consorts. Spanish priest, Andres Perez de
Ribas wrote in his book, My
Life Among the Savage Nations of New Spain, that a
Northern Mexican tribe
worshiped two deities: Viriseva and a mother goddess
named Vairubai. Viriseva
means "Lord Siva" in Sanskrit. Vairubai has to be (a
mispronouncing of) Bhairava,
another name of Siva's consort, Goddess Durga.

A few Hindu scholars insist that not all their gods and
religious traditions are natives
of the Indian subcontinent. When the ancient Nagas
retreated to India, they also
took back the deities and religious traditions they had
acquired abroad,
incorporating them into "Hinduism," a term meaning "The
Indus Valley Way of
Life."

Historian Chon states:

"There are strong indications in our ancient texts
that the places and
events described in them are lying outside the
geographical limits of
India But when we talk of geographical limits,
are they the national
boundaries of post-independent India? Or are they
the boundaries of
India, the ancient?"
(Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism; p.30.)

I'm especially impressed with the traditions of the
Pimas (Akimel O'Odham) and
Papagos (Tohono O'Odham) of Southern Arizona and
Northern Mexico.
Although I could write a lengthy article about Isvarist
(worship of the Hindu deity,
Shiva) practices in practically every Southwestern
United States, Mexican, Central
and South American Indian tribe, even India-Indian
spiritual geography is
reproduced abundantly in the O'Odham nation.

Though the pre-conquest era O'odhams were relatively
primitive, the Spaniards
admired them for their intelligence, industry, and high
philosophy. Some Catholic
missionary priests thought they were the progenitors of
the Aztecs.

About 5,000 BC or
earlier, a brilliant
deified Phoenician
Naga king and
philosopher named
Kuvera (also
Kubera) learned how to
smelt copper,
gold, and other
metals. These activities
took place in the
kingdom named after
him, Khyber
("Kheeveri"), which
consisted of a group
of craggy
mountains in what are
now
Southeastern
Afghanistan and
Northeastern Pakistan
(i.e. the
Khyber Pass).
According to Hindu
mythology, Kuvera and
God Shiva
lived in the totally
barren,
mineral-poor,
goldless, frigid, lofty,
bell-shaped or
pyramidical peak of
Kailasa in Western
Tibet.

Edward Pococke stated
in his book
India in Greece,

The Khyber; its region is wealthy and abounds with
rubies; gold is
found in the mines in its vicinity, and it (the
Kheeveri kingdom) was
likewise the ruling power in those early days.
(p.220.)

We derived our word "copper" from Kuvera's name.
Eventually, the Nagas
extended their influence over all of India. If you've
intuited that Afghan Khyber
(Kheever), Hebrew Heber (pronounced Kheever), Egyptian
Khepri, Greek
Khyphera, Cabeiri, Cypriotic Cip'ri (Kheep'ri),
biblical Capernaum, Arabic
Khabar, O'Odham Babo-Quivari (Kheeveri), Francisco de
Coronado's search for
the fabled Quivira (Kheevira), ad infinitum, are
somehow linked, you've intuited
correctly.

But why do the Hindus and Buddhists worship Kuvera and
Shiva in a barren peak
and not in the Khyber mountain range itself? I don't
want to get "mystical," but the
"reason" for this anomaly is the world's best-kept
millennium's-old secret. Besides,
it's not the focus of this article.

Kuh or Koh = "Hump; Mountain"
while Vera or Vira = "Hero; Lord."

The Nagas, also called Nakas and Nahu(a)s, were a
highly civilized ruling, maritime
and mercantile class who once inhabited what is now
Afghanistan, Tibet, Pakistan,
and Northwestern India. The Nag ("Self-Consuming
Serpent") was one of their
principal tribal emblems. The substance of Kuvera's
teachings is that God, then
called Dyau, Deo, Dyaus or Jyaus, put all the plants,
animals, ores, and minerals
on earth for Man's enjoyment. As long as Man protects
the happiness and security
of all humanity, he need not place any limits on his
greed. Kuvera's teachings
spread throughout the whole world.

"Originally, the Asuras or Nagas were not only a
civilized people, but
a maritime power, and in the Mahabharata, where
the ocean is
described as their habitation, an ancient legend
is preserved of how
Kadru, the mother of serpents, compelled Garuda
(the Eagle or
Hawk) to serve her sons by transporting them
across the sea to a
beautiful country in a distant land, which was
inhabited by Nagas, The
Asuras (Nagas) were expert navigators, possessed
of very
considerable naval resources, and had founded
colonies upon distant
coasts."
(The Encircled Serpent, by M. Oldfield, p. 47.)

"Asura" is the Indian equivalent of Assyria (really
Asuriya and Asir) and the
Persian Ahura of Zoroastrianism. It derives from the
name of the ancient Hindu sun
god Ashur. The Naga capital was called Oudh, Iodh,
Yudh, and Ayodhya.
Located near what is now Herat, Afghanistan, it is not
to be confused with todays
Oudh or Ayodhya in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The citizens of Oudh were
called Oudh-am and Otia-Am. Am = "People" in Sanskrit.

In those days, only a few million people inhabited the
earth. Most humans were
cavemen and less. The Nagas didn't entrust their highly
developed technologies to
such aborigines. But they did teach them how to build
simple thatch and adobe
homes, and to raise vegetable and animal foods. They
also taught them about the
Creator of All Life, Dyaus or Jyaus. Even today the
O'Odhams call it Jeoss or
Josh. Joshi is one of God Shiva's many names. Some
White Arizonians mistakenly
insist that the O'Odhams derived this term from Dios
(Spanish for "God"), Jesus, or
Joshua.

The innocent Arizona aborigines
believed these Nagas
from Oudh, Afghanistan (part of
India until the late
1700s) were gods. They even named
themselves
Oudham, which they pronounced as
O'Odham or
O'Ot'ham. An ancient Sanskrit word
for "brotherhood;
fraternity" is Ton; Tahun. The
Papagos called
themselves Tohono O'Odham, or
"Oudh-am
Fraternity." Tohono now means
"Desert" in the
O'Odham language. The Pimas
settled along winding
rivers, which seemed to look like
writhing serpents.
They named themselves Akimel
O'Odham. "Akimel"
derives from the Sanskrit
Ahi-Mahal (Great Serpent).
This name eventually came to mean
"River."

The Nagas dug deep wells in the
desert, siphoning
water out of the ground with long, thick tubes. The
exterior ends of these tubes
were large and bulbous, and painted to look like human
heads, in order to mystify
the aborigines. The water spouted out from what looked
like round, puckered
human mouths. The heads had horns which were really
handles for pulling tubes to
different irrigation channels. As the flowing water
caused these tubes to writhe and
undulate like serpents, the primitive Arizonians
thought they were real. In Kashmiri,
Nag means "a snake, esp. a fabulous serpent-demon or
semi-divine being,
having the face of a man and the tail of a serpent, and
said to inhabit Patala.
In Kashmir, they are the deities of springs."
(Grierson's Dictionary of the
Kashmiri Language; p. 624, item 2.) The Kashmirians
also called these siphons
Nag-Beg (Snake-Lords). Patala was one of the ancient
Indian names for
"America." It's real meaning is "Underworld," but not
an underground world. They
used it as we often call Australia: "The Land Down
Under."

The Arizonian O'Odhams similarly called the water
siphon Nah-Big. According to
both Kashmiri and O'Odham legends, the Nah-Big was
harmless. However, if
someone "killed" it, the spring dried up - and for good
reason. Without a proper
siphon, needed water could no longer spew out of the
well. Several Southwestern
Indian tribes worship exact replicas of the Kashmiri
Nag-Beg (siphon) in special
religious ceremonies. However, some of them call it by
other names. Certain
O'Odham and other Native-American clans in the Southern
Arizona and Northern
Sonora area also call this mythical serpent Corua
(KoROOah, with the "R" trilled
as in our English "City"). It derives from Sanskrit:
Krura-Sarpavat
(Violent-Serpent); Kadruja (Serpent Mother Kadru's
equally serpent son).

Another O'Odham word for "snake," Vah-Mat, is nearly
identical to the
Kashmiri/Sanskrit Veh-Mar: "Poisonous-Snake." The
O'Odham language contains
an unusually high number of North Indian words.

When the Nagas arrived in Arizona, they found a huge
stone peak in the
desert, resembling Kuvera and Shiva's (I-Itsoi's)
Kailasa in nearly every way
except one. The Indian Kailasa, also in a desert, is
nearly four times higher above
sea level than the O'Odhams' holy peak. To honor their
spritual progenitor, the
Nagas named this Arizona peak Babu-Kheever
("Grandfather" or "Illustrious
Indian Immigrant" Kuvera), adhering closely to the
exact pronunciation of the
mineral-rich Kheever (Khyber) mountain range of
Afghanistan.

Baboquivari (Babo-kheeveri) has retained almost the
same name after more than
six millenniums. The O'odhams also call it Waw-Kiwulk,
which sounds like
"Vahv-Kivur'." Just as the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists
call Kailasa the navel of
the world, so do the O'odhams give Baboquivari the same
distinction.

Babo-Kheeveri and the Afghan Kheeveri mountains were
supposedly filled
with unlimited gold, copper, and precious stones. Even
today, much of the
gold mined in that part of Arizona keeps leaking
endlessly out of the
Babo-Kheeveri (Baboquivari) mountain range.

Jutting upward at more than 7,750 feet above sea level,
Baboquivari can be seen
on a clear day from as far away as 80 miles, even from
the Mexican side of the
border. Few natural wonders equal the majesty and
beauty of this spectacular
peak. In my opinion, it is a "must-see" for any lover
of Nature's wonders. You will
notice that the mountain enjoys the close association
of lesser peaks, forming a
large trident.

Being such a prominent landmark, Baboquivari keeps
incoming undocumented
Mexican aliens and drug smugglers from getting lost.
That part of the desert also
abounds in water-filled cacti to slake their thirst,
including edible fauna and flora.
Evidently, the INS knows about Baboquivari. On the day
my wife and I visited the
peak, we saw several of their vans in the area, waiting
to pick up uninvited guests
and transport them back to the border - or to prison.

When I told the O'Odhams that I had learned about the
unlimited quantities of gold
within Baboquivari from Hindu books written millenniums
ago, one woman moaned
hopelessly, "Now that this news is out, the White man
will even rob us of our
God." She wasn't too far afield. The government has
always wanted to probe the
interior of Baboquivari.

A Possible Historical Scenario

About 3,000 BC, a saintly Indian prince
and high priest of the Kheeveri empire left
Afghanistan for Arizona, to manage the
mining operations at Baboquivari and
govern the O'Odhams. In India, he is
variously called Shiva, Siva, Shaveh, Suva,
Su, Ish, Esh, Yesh, Isa, Itsa, Ishvara,
Yishvara, Yeshva, Moshe, Mahesh,
Mahisa, etc. The suffixes Va and Veh refer
to someone who is vengeful and short of
temper. Vara = "Blessings of." The prefixes
Mo, Mu. and Mah means "Great." Ish,
Esh, Yesh, Isa, etc., = "Material Universe"
in both Sanskrit and Hebrew cabalism.
From these Sanskrit elements we derived
our term "Messiah," which in Sanskrit is
Masiha, and Massee'akh in Hebrew. These terms were
honorific titles of the
highest ecclesiastical and leadership castes of that
period in history. These supreme
"Sivas," whether good, bad, or indifferent, were also
regarded as earthly gods.

We may never know what this "Shiva's" real name was.
The Pimas call him
Se-eh-ha; Siwa; Su-u (Elder Brother). The Papagos
worship him as I'Itoi or I'Itsoi,
which linguistically is nearly identical to "Isa."

Not yet united by a centralized government, the ancient
Hindus weren't conscious
of themselves as Indians - just as similar peoples
separated by different tribes and
kingdoms. All of them competed by fair and foul means
for the resources of the
world. Internecine rivalries tore them apart
constantly.

During Shiva's Arizona reign, a powerful Indian
emperor, Priyavarta, sent his
armies to all the countries of the world, to unite all
Indians and their colonial
possessions as one nation. He appointed his sons as
viceroys. One son, Sevana or
Sewana, was sent to conquer and govern North America.
Notice that he, too, was
a "Siva." O'odham legends mention this Sewana whom they
call Siwana. When
I'Itoi or Se-eh-ha wouldn't submit to Priyavarta, he
and Siwana met on the battle
field. Ultimately, I'Itoi prevailed; Siwana was killed.

According to some Indian historians, later on, back in
Southeast Asia, the volcano
Krakatoa exploded violently, creating the China Sea.
Our globe became extremely
unsteady on its axis, causing rains, earthquakes, and
floods to occur all over the
world. The coastlands of Western India submerged by
more than fifty feet and as
many miles inland in some places. Even as you read this
article, Indian archeologists
are uncovering fabulous ruins lying just off the
mainland, under the Arabian sea.

Dwarka, Indian deity Lord Krishna's capital city, is
the focal point of these
underwater digs. Dwarka may prove to be the greatest
archeological dig in
human history.

These floods forced millions of Indian refugees to flee
to other parts of the world.
When the Arizona desert flooded, the Pimas and Papagos
took refuge on
Baboquivari where I'Itoi or Se-eh-ha (Siva) helped them
survive. After the waters
had subsided, he helped the O'Odham re-establish
themselves. Therefore, no
matter to what religion they are converted, the O'Odham
are always going to
revere and respect I'Itoi.

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#1134 - April 06, 2004 01:53 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The great Aryan myth

Francois Gautier


excerpts:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everything has already been said about why Sonia Gandhi holds such a fascination for India: the fact that she belongs to the Nehru dynasty, or the eternal inferiority complex that a part of the Indian intelligentsia seems to be holding towards the West. This is particularly striking amongst a section of the Indian media (Outlook, Asian Age), which always appears to look at India through a western prism and constantly worry how the foreign press views India, how the foreign countries - particularly the United States of America - perceive India, what the human rights agencies say about India...

But what has never been said is this: the white skin of Sonia may also bewitch Indians because of the theory of the Aryan invasion, which is still taken as the foundation stone of the history of India. According to this theory, which was actually devised in the 18th and 19th centuries by British linguists and archaeologists, the first inhabitants of India were good-natured, peaceful, dark-skinned shepherds, called theDravidians, who had founded what is called the Harappan, or Valley of the Indus civilisation. They were supposedly remarkable builders, witness the city of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistani Sind, but had no culture to speak of, no literature, no proper script even. Then, around 1500 B.C., India is said to have been invaded by tribes called the Aryans: white-skinned, nomadic people, who originated somewhere in Western Russia and imposed upon the Dravidians the hateful caste system. To the Aryans are attributed Sanskrit, the Vedic, or Hindu, religion, India's greatest spiritual texts, the Vedas, as well as a host of subsequent writings, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, the Ramanaya, etc.

This was indeed a masterly stroke on the part of the British. Thanks to the Aryan theory, they showed on the one hand that Indian civilisation was not that ancient and that it was posterior to the cultures which influenced the Western world - Mesopotamia, Sumeria, or Babylon - and that whatever good things India had developed -Sanskrit literature, or even its architecture - had been influenced by the West. Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being the mother of all Indo-European languages, became just a branch of their huge family. Thus the religion of Zarathustra is said to have influenced Hinduism, and not vice versa. And on the other hand, it divided India and pitted against each other the low caste dark-skinned Dravidians and the high caste light-skinned Aryans, a rift which is still enduring.

But today, this theory is being challenged by two new discoveries, one archaeological and the other linguistic. Firstly, in the Rig Veda, the Ganges, India's sacred river, is only mentioned once, but the mythic Saraswati is praised fifty times. For a long time, the Saraswati river was indeed considered a myth, until the American satellite Landstat was able to photograph and map the bed of this magnificent river, which was nearly 14 km wide and took its source in the Himalayas. Archaeologist Paul-Henri Francfort, who studied the Saraswati regionat the beginning of the Nineties, found out that the Saraswati had "disappeared", because around 2200 B.C., an immense drought reduced the whole region to aridity and famine. "Thus", he writes, "most inhabitants moved away from the Saraswati to settle on the banks of the Indus and Sutlej rivers". According to official history, the Vedas were composed around 1500 BC, some even say 1200 BC. Yet, the Rig Veda describes India as it was before the great drought which dried up the Saraswati, which means in effect that the so-called Indus, or Harappan civilisation, was a continuation of the Vedic epoch, which ended approximately when the Saraswati dried up.

Recently, the famous Indus seals discovered on the site of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa have been deciphered by Dr N. Rajaram, a mathematician who worked at one time for the NASA and Dr Jha, a distinguished linguist. In the biased light of the Aryan invasion theory, these seals were presumed to be written in a crude Harappan (read Dravidian) script, although theyhad never been convincingly deciphered. But Rajaram and Jha, using an ancient Vedic glossary, the Nighantu, were able to prove that the script is of Sanskrit lineage and have so far deciphered 2000 seals. As the discovery of the Saraswati river, the decipherment of the Indus scripts also goes to prove that the Harappan civilisation, of which the seals are a product, belonged to the latter part of the Vedic Age and had close connections with Vedantic works like the Sutras and the Upanishads.

Hence, it is becoming more and more clear that there never was an Aryan invasion in India, a theory which was imposed upon the subcontinent by its colonisers and is today kept alive by Nehruvian historians (such as Romila Thapar), Christian missionaries (it is thus easy to convert the downtrodden tribals and Dravidians, by telling them that Hinduism was a religion thrust upon them by the hated "Brahmin" invaders) and the communists (who hate anything Hindu).

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited April 20, 2004).]

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#1135 - November 14, 2005 03:49 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The old colonial political theories on the Aryan Invasion are exposed and is accepted by the BBC.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/index.shtml

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#1136 - January 10, 2006 04:48 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The lost empire of the Cholas explored

By David Keys

Deep in the south of India lie the spectacular remains of one of the world's most remarkable and most forgotten civilsations. In its heyday it was one of the half-dozen greatest powers on Earth. It controlled half a million square miles - more than five times the size of Britain. And under its wing literacy and the arts flourished.

Yet today, 1,000 years later, the Chola Empire is remembered only by a handful of specialist historians. If it had been European, or had given its name to some still-surviving nation, things might be different. But despite 400 years of glory, the Chola Empire disappeared from history; a sad fate for a civilisation which was among the most remarkable produced by the medieval world.

In some ways, it was the most significant of the dozen or so empires which rose and fell during India's long, tumultuous history. It lasted some 460 years, longer than any of them. The Chola was also the only Asian empire (bar the Japanese) to have indulged, albeit briefly, in overseas expansion. It conquered Sri Lanka, the Andaman and Nicobar islands and, temporarily, parts of south-east Asia - the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali, and the southern part of the Malay peninsula.


Most of these overseas conquests are shrouded in mystery. All that is known is that, in 1025, the Chola emperor Rajendra I dispatched an army, presumably on a large fleet, across 2000 miles of ocean to conquer the southern half of south-east Asia. The records show that he succeeded and received the submission of large numbers of cities. Some historians believe that the Cholas then simply sailed back to India, but others suspect that Chola power persisted in some form in south-east Asia for two or three generations.

Certainly, the Chola conquest contributed to a long process that had already started and which linked southern India and south-east Asia together in terms of trade and religion. The Indonesia/Malay region was a pivotal point in trade between China and India (and, indeed, the West), and both Java and Bali were largely Hindu. Rajendra's conquest was perhaps the first military expression of a more general connection which had been developing for centuries.

Closer to home, in Sri Lanka, the Cholas' overseas expansion is better documented, both in text, and in stone. Tourists today can still explore the great ruined city of Polonnaruva, founded by the Cholas as a capital for their newly conquered island territory.

But the emperor's armies didn't only head southwards. In the early 11th century, Chola forces marched almost 1000 miles through India to the banks of the Ganges. Like the south-east Asian conquest, this epic ''long march'' is also shrouded in mystery. Whether the emperor's objectives in marching an army
to the sacred river were political or purely religious is unknown. Certainly, the north of India, though temporarily subdued, was not incorporated into the empire - although holy Ganges water was carried back to a great new capital named in honour of the sacred river, and the ruler who had conquered it.

This capital was called Gangaikondacholapuram - literally ''the City to which the Chola emperor brought the Ganges''. At the centre of their new metropolis, the Cholas built a magnificent temple and a vast three mile-long reservoir symbolically to hold the ''captured'' waters of the Ganges. Both have survived. Under Chola rule, religion and politics grew ever closer together, with the emperor projecting himself as the representative, almost a manifestation, of God on Earth. Large temples were built, for the first time, as royal establishments. The Cholas probably built more temples than any other Indian kingdom or empire. Each temple was a masterpiece. Even today, the Chola heartland - along the Kaveri River in the state of Tamil Nadu - is full of beautiful, delicately carved temples, some the size of tiny chapels, others as big as European cathedrals. In the very centre of what was the empire, there are still 40 Chola temples in an area half the size of greater London. The most spectacular structure is the 63m-high pyramid- shaped centralshrine in the city of Thanjavur, the Chola capital before Gangaikondacholapuram.

Chola art and architecture were among the finest in the world. Indeed, in cast bronze sculpture and hard-stone sculpture, Chola art is unsurpassed. Millions of figures, deftly carved in granite, can still be seen on their temples, while in museums, in Thanjavur and Madras, visitors can marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship of the bronze figurines and statues.

The Cholas not only nurtured an artistic boom; they also fostered a massive expansion in education. Political stability and imperial grants - both to the temples which ran education and to the students themselves - led to the expansion of local schools and elite colleges for higher castes. The education system - which operated from a religious perspective but also promoted literacy, mathematics and astronomy - was probably, at least in part, responsible for the development of a competent imperial administration and broadened international horizons. Some estimates suggest that literacy rose to around 20 per cent - perhaps the highest in the medieval world.

An unplanned result of this high level of education was an increase in intellectual dissidence. One of the greatest Indian religious thinkers - the 11th-century philosopher Ramanuja - was a product of the Chola empire, although he was ultimately expelled for his views. In many ways, he can be seen as the founder of Hindu monotheism with his belief in a
unitary personal god, the ultimate font of love and compassion.

In the 12th century there flourished an even more dissident religious movement. The Lingayats professed a sort of cynical humanism which questioned the very fundamentals of religion - the authority of India's holy books, the Vedas (the equivalent of the Bible), and reincarnation itself. Socially, they were also radical, challenging the taboo on widows re-marrying, and condemning child marriages. This dissident movement derived much support from the lower castes.

The empire also increased the importance and institutionalisation of local government. Each group of five to 10 villages had an elected district council, which in turn had endless sub-committees dealing with everything from land rights to irrigation, law and order to food storage. Every household in a district had the right to vote - and the councils enjoyed considerable power. The Chola emperors encouraged their development, probably as a counter-balance to the power of local vassal rulers, who owed obedience to the empire.

Although the Cholas ruled for more than four centuries, they did so with a remarkable light touch. Local responsibility for local affairs was encouraged, and newly conquered local rulers were allowed to keep their titles and lands, though under ultimate Chola control.

The light touch was brought even to waging war. The Cholas exemplified the Indian principle of war - the dharma yuddha, literally, the principle of the fair fight. Battles were normally pre- arranged and fought in daylight on a level field between equal numbers of troops. Defeated princes could carry on living and prospering, but had to pay homage and cough up tribute for the emperor's treasury and women to act as concubines
and courtiers.

Presiding over this mixture of autocracy and democracy, a cocktail of religious orthodoxy and dissidence, and a surge of artistic creativity - not to mention their concubines - the Chola emperors considered themselves the rulers of the world. They did, of course, look on India as the Continent of the Cosmos.

Yet now they are forgotten, their achievements ignored by the world. There is not one book in print on the Chola Empire; nor a travel-company tour to most of their extraordinary temples.


About the writer

David Keys is archaeology correspondent of the London daily paper The Independent. He is a leading TV archaeological consultant. He has visited over one thousand archaeological sites in sixty countries.

See the preview of his latest book here:
Catastrophe: An Investigation Into the Origins of the Modern World

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#1137 - April 14, 2006 05:30 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=120&page=26

Another view of the British
By M.S.N. Menon
 
Was a 'Muslim' India possible? Not a chance? But it could have happened. Almost. The British saved us from that terrible tragedy. What is more, the Hindus could not have brought about their self-renewal without the stimuli provided by the British.

Are we grateful? We are not. We are confused. We still hold Britain responsible for our degradation. But, 'No' says Vivekananda. And Aurobindo supports him. They say, we alone are responsible, for our degradation. We should know the British better.

True, the British exploited India. In 1700 India's share of world income was about 22.6 per cent, but it fell to 3.8 per cent by the time the British left India. But are not the rich (MNCs) exploiting the poor even today?

Perhaps, we have not done with British bashing? But they themselves have been their severest critics. Take this for example, 'Foreign conquerors (meaning Muslims) have treated India with violence and often with great cruelty, but none has treated them (Hindus) with contempt and so much scorn as we,' wrote Sir Thomas Munroe, governor of Madras Presidency.

Our historians have not been helpful in giving us a final judgement on the British. Fear is one psychosis which has been guiding the Hindu historians fear of what will happen to their name and status. The Muslim historian suffers no such inhibition. He wants to prettify the Muslim period of Indian history and beastify the British period.

I consider the British highly civilised. And more humane, too. Only the Hindu civilisation was more distinguished. Love of freedom, love of free enquiry; these were common to both of us. Which is why India did not deprive others of their freedom, and why Britain, after having made the mistake, hastily withdrew from its empire fixation.

Not all the British thought that the Empire would last for ever. Warren Hastings did not. In an introduction to a translation of the Gita (1875), he wrote that works like this 'will survive when the British dominion in India shall have long ceased to exist.' Hastings opposed conversion of Hindus and he used to mock at the missionaries by quoting from the Gita.

But the missionaries provided complete justification for Britain's imperial mission. L.S. Amery, the arch imperialist, says: '...a pioneer Empire and a stay at home Church went ill together.' So, here in India, the Cross and the Sword got together for their unholy enterprise. A.F. Hirstel writes in The Church, the Empire and the World: 'It (the Empire) has been given to us as a means to that great end for which Christ came into the world the redemption of the human race.' Thus was imperialism given a false religious cloak.

It is the missionaries who have done the greatest harm to the image of the Hindus. We must never forgive them for it. The East India Company (of traders) had no plans to Christianise India. In fact, it promulgated an order against 'compulsory conversion' and 'interference with native habits.'

But conversion became a political issue and the strident missionary voice became a 'vote bank' in Britain, just as appeasement of Muslims has become a vote bank in India.

The 'men of Empire' thought that an 'unseen providence' was guiding the Anglo-Saxon race to a higher destiny. Bacon did not agree. What really animated the imperialist, he said, was his firm, even if mistaken, belief, that he belonged to the 'chosen people.' 'Had the British appealed to a different vision of their place in the providential order of things, the Raj would have had a different story,' says Gerald Kennedy. But the British held on to their nobler vision.

It is true the British were arrogant. But there were among them eminent men, Burke for instance, ready to prick their bloated ego effectively. He says: 'Faults this nation (Hindus) may have, but God forbid we should pass judgement on a people who formed their lives on institutions prior to our insect origins of yesterday.'

Much has been written about and against Macaulay. If his language policy created babus, it also created Dr S. Radhakrishnan and Dr Homi Bhabha. Above all, without English we could not have known the world. But his greatest critic was Horace Wilson, spokesman for the Orientalists. He wrote: 'By rendering a whole people dependent on a remote and unknown country for the very words to clothe their thoughts we would degrade their character...'

The Muslims destroyed much of what the Hindus had built. But the British went out of their way to preserve what was left. For this India is grateful to Lord Curzon. Nehru says: 'After every other Viceroy has been forgotten, Curzon will be remembered because he preserved and restored all that was beautiful in India.' Can we say this of the Muslims?

The Raj made it possible for the rise of a self-confident Hindu elite on an all-India scale. The work of Sir William Jones and others gave them self-esteem. When Vedic learning was almost extinct, Mueller published his monumental translation of the Rig Veda. Jones created the Royal Asiatic Society, literally re-constructed India's history and discovered the greatness of the Sanskrit language. And one cannot forget that the entire Buddhist story was reconstructed by the pionering work of British explorers and savants.

India is truly thankful. Dr Manmohan Singh said so recently in his talk to an Oxford audience. He said: 'Our notions of the rule of law, of a constitutional government, of a free press, of a professional civil service, of modern universities and research labs have all been fashioned in the crucible when our age-old civilisation met the dominant empire of the day.'

To conclude, is it not a remarkable irony that the seed for the demise of the British empire was planted by an Englishman A.O. Hume? By launching the Indian National Congress, he launched Indian nationalism.

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#1138 - May 07, 2006 12:59 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Significance of Mayiladuthurai find
 
T.S. Subramanian


RARE FIND: The Neolithic polished stone celt (hand-held axe) with the Indus valley script found at Sembian-Kandiyur village, near Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu.
 

CHENNAI: The discovery of a Neolithic stone celt, a hand-held axe, with the Indus script on it at Sembian-Kandiyur in Tamil Nadu is, according to Iravatham Mahadevan, "a major discovery because for the first time a text in the Indus script has been found in the State on a datable artefact, which is a polished neolithic celt." He added: "This confirms that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu shared the same language family of the Harappan group, which can only be Dravidian. The discovery provides the first evidence that the Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Dravidian language." Mr. Mahadevan, an eminent expert on the subject, estimated the date of the artefact with the Indus script between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.
 
It was in February 2006, when V. Shanmuganathan, a school teacher living in Sembian-Kandiyur, near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, dug a pit in the backyard of his house to plant banana and coconut saplings, that he encountered two stone celts. The teacher, who is interested in archaeology, rang up his friend G. Muthusamy, Curator of the Danish Fort Museum at Tranquebar, which belongs to the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology. Mr. Muthusamy, who also belongs to the same village, took charge of the two celts from his friend and handed them over to T.S. Sridhar, Special Commissioner, State Department of Archaeology.
 
When Mr. Sridhar examined one of the two stones, he found some engravings on it. So he asked the epigraphists of his Department to study the particular celt. To their absolute delight, [/b]they found fours signs on it - and all four of them corresponded with the characters in the Indus script. When the celt with the Indus script was shown to Mr. Mahadevan, he confirmed that they were in the Indus script.[/b] The celt with the script measures 6.5 cm by 2.5 cm by 3.6 cm by 4 cm. It weighs 125 grams. The other celt has no engravings on it.
 
Mr. Mahadevan, one of the world's foremost scholars on the Indus and the Tamil-Brahmi scripts, is the author of the seminal work, The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables. It was published by the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi in 1977.
 
First Indus sign
 
The first Indus sign on the celt showed a skeletal body with ribs, seated on his haunches, body bent, lower limbs folded and knees drawn up. The second sign shows a jar with a handle. The first sign stood for "muruku" and the second for "an." Together, they read as "Murukan." They formed a very frequent combination on the Indus seals and sealings, especially from Harappa. The first "muruku" sign corresponded with the sign number 48, the second with the number 342, the third, which looks like a trident, corresponded with the sign number 367, and the fourth with 301.
 
These numbers are found in the sign list published by Mr. Mahadevan.
He said: "`Muruku' and 'an' are shown hundreds of times in the Indus script found at Harappa. This is the importance of the find at Sembiyan-Kandiyur. Not only do the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Harappans share the same script but the same language." In Tamil Nadu, the muruku symbol was first identified from a pottery graffiti at Sanur, near Tindivanam.

B.B. Lal, former Director-General of ASI, correctly identified this symbol with sign 47 of the Indus script. In recent years, the muruku symbol turned up among the pottery graffiti found at Mangudi, near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, and at Muciri, Kerala. But this was the first time that a complete, classical Indus script had been found on a polished Neolithic stone celt, Mr. Mahadevan pointed out. He emphasised that the importance of the discovery was independent of the tentative decipherment of the two signs proposed by him.

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#1139 - May 17, 2006 04:05 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 09:10:57 -0000
Subject: [thamizhsamraajyam] Cholas and their relationship with Myanmar!

The following is an article on Cholas and their relationship with
Myanmar.
The article was written by Virarajendhra in Formhub.


Period of Rajaraja Chola - 1 {A.D.985 - 1014}

With the beginning of the tenth century the Cholas with their
capital in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, emerged as a powerful ruling
dynasty after a long spell in partial obscurity in the political
scene of South India.

In the year A.D.985 king Rajaraja Chola -1 ascended the throne as
the next successor to the Chola kingdom in Tamil Nadu. He gradually
conquered the neighbouring and far lying territories within the
Indian continent, forming a great Chola empire.

He laid a firm foundation to this empire by the wits of his
political ingenuity and well streamlined administrative system
backed by a powerful army and naval power which made it to grow
steadily into an overseas empire.
During this period in Miyanmar (the former Burma) there existed two
main kingdoms, namely the Arimaddanapura kingdom of the region
called Marammadesa (the present central Miyanmar) having the capital
at Arimaddanapura (the present Pagan), and the Talaing (Mon) kingdom
of the region called Rammanadesa (the present southern Miyanmar also
known as Arumanam in Tamil) having its capital at Sudhammavati (the
present Thaton). The capital city of Arimaddanapura of the medieval
period was also known as Pugarama and Pukkan.

While emperor Rajaraja Chola -1 was on the Chola throne, king
Kyaungbyu (A.D.984 -1006) was on the throne of Arimaddanapura
kingdom of Marammadesa, and was followed by his son king Kyizo
{A.D.1006-1012} on throne. But we are aware of the king who was
ruling the Talaing kingdom of Rammanadesa during the period of
Rajaraja - 1.

During this period the traders from these two kingdoms traded with
Tamil Nadu in their commodities, and the teak wood from Rammanadesa
being one of their trading items, was known as "Arumanavan" in the
Tamil Nadu.

Period of Rajendra Chola ñ 1 {A.D.1012-1044}
With the succession of emperor Rajendra Chola - 1 on Chola throne
after Rajaraja Chola - 1, king Sokkate (A.D.1012-1037) started rule
in the Arimaddanapura kingdom after his elder brother king Kyizo,
and in this same period we also note a king named Manuha (A.D.?? ñ
1057) ruling the Talaing kingdom of Rammanadesa.

During this time there had been much sea traffic between these two
countries. The traders from Tamil Nadu engaged themselves in trade
with the Miyanmar kingdoms of Rammanadesa (also known as Arumanam)
and the Mirammadesa.

In the meantime the Sri Vijaya kingdom of Sumatra was spreading it's
authority over whole of Sumatra and Java - of the present Indonesia
and over whole of Malaysia, forming an empire which was at one time
a great hinderance to the flourishing trade of the Cholas in South-
East Asia. It also seems that there had been similer hinderences to
the traders from Tamil Nadu in Rammanadesa in present Miyanmar.

Rajendra Chola ñ 1 sent one of his grandson with great force in
A.D.1024 in many ships under a Chola prince who later bore the title
as "Kadaremkonda Cholan", which on their way to South-East Asia
after capturing the Manakkavaram (Great Nicobar Island), reached the
country of Rammanadesa in southern Miyanmar.

They devastated the seaport city of Mapappalam (most possibly the
present Dagon or Rangoon), and the interior capital city of
Sudammavathi (Thaton) with "protected fortress walls" - of the
Talaing (Mon) kingdom of Rammanadesa (Arumanam), and defeated it's
ruling king Manuha. It seems king Manuha submitted to the Rajendra
Chola's forces in this war and agreed to pay tributes.

At the Arimaddanapur kingdom king Sokkate was followed by his
younger brother Anuruddha also known as Anawratha (A.D.1037-1079) on
the throne.

Period of Rajadhiraja Chola ñ 1 {A.D.1018-1054}

In the year A.D.1044 Rajendra Chola -1 died and followed by his
eldest son emperor Rajadhiraja Chola ñ 1 {A.D.1018-1054} on Chola
throne. It appears the king Manuha continued to pay tributes to the
Cholas and the trade between two countries continued.

Period of Rajendra Chola -2 {A.D.1051-1063}

Rajadhiraja Chola ñ 1 was followed by his younger brother emperor
Rajendra Chola ñ 2 on Chola throne.

Some years later a Buddhist dignitary named Shin Arahan who came to
the Arimaddana kingdom from the Talaing kingdom in south Miyanmar
and converted king Anuruddha to Theravada Buddhism. Shin Arahan also
informed him that in the capital city Sudammavati of the Talaing
kingdom, there were thirty sets of three Buddhist Pitakas and also
many sacred relics.

King Anuruddha deeply engrossed in Theravada Buddhism sent his wise
minister with much gifts and presents to king Manuha requesting some
copies of Pitaka and relics which was refused by him with much ill
reply.

This ended up with enraged king Anuruddha waging war with king
Manuha of the Talaing kingdom in the year A.D.1057, in which king
Manuha was defeated and taken captive with his entire family to
Arimaddanapura.

From this year onwards the Rammanadesa became part of the Arimaddana
empire under the rule of king Anuruddha, and a viceroy was appointed
to overlook the affairs of this region. King Anuruddha chose
Tharehkiltara (present Prome) in the Pegu region as his new capital
of Rammanadesa in place of Thaton, which has now lost it's
importance with it's destruction by his forces and with the capture
of it's king Manuha.

It appears emperor Anuruddha with the fall of Rammanadesa, and it
coming under his empire possibly appointed one of his own viceroy to
rule over same, and also refused to pay tributes to the Cholas.

There seems to have been no immediate response and retaliation from
the Cholas on the fall of Rammanadesa to Anuruddha's forces, and
which was now in the hands of the Arimaddanapur empire.

Period of Virarajendra Chola {A.D.1062-1070}

Rajendra Chola ñ 2 was followed by his younger brother emperor
Virarajendra Chola on Chola throne. It appear during this time the
viceroy of Anuruddha interfered with the privilages enjoyed by the
Chola traders already trading in Rammanadesa.

In this same period the king of Kadarem (present Kedah region of
Malaysia) with the re-capture of this kingdom by the ruling king of
Sri Vijaya of that period, sought the assistance of Virarajendra
Chola in regaining his kingdom.
The emperor Virarajendra Chola sent an expedition in the year
A.D.1068 under his nephew (sister's son) Kulothunga to help the king
of Kadarem in winning back his kingdom. Kulothunga Chola lead his
great forces in person, and reached Rammanadesa on his way to
Kadarem and defeated the viceroy of Anuruddha ruling from
Tharehkiltara (Prome) and captured the Rammanadesa (Arumanam).

However Kulothunga Chola re-instated the viceroy of Anuruddha at
Rammanadesa on king Anuruddha agreeing to pay tributes to Cholas and
allowing the Chola traders to trade freely in this region. It
appears Kulothunga Chola thereafter stationed a fleet of Chola
forces at Thandaung east of Prome to look after the interests of the
Chola traders concentrated in this region. As a mark of his victory
over Rammanadesa Kulothunga Chola left two stone pillars of
victory "jayastamba" at Prome.

Period of Athirajendra Chola {A.D.1070-1073}

In the year A.D.1070 emperor Virarajendra Chola died, and his son
Athirajendra Chola {A.D.1070-1073} succeeded on he Chola throne.
During this period the king Vijayabahu - 1 (A.D.1059-1114) of Sri
Lanka was struggling hard to relieve the northen half of his country
from the Chola domination. After many unsuccesfull efforts, few
years before the year A.D.1071 he sent some envoys with rich
presents to emperor Anuruddha of Arimaddanapur in Miyanmar,
requesting for military assistance against Cholas.

But Anuruddha probably realising the impending danger to his growing
empire, in the event he antagonised the mighty Cholas by providing
forces to Vijayabahu of Sri Lanka, instead sent rich presents to him
including camphor and sandlewood in place of soldiers.

Period of Kulothunga Chola - 1 {A.D.1073-1123}

Athirajendra Chola too died shortly thereafter in illness, which
resulted in emperor Kulothunga Chola - 1 {A.D.1073-1123} ascending
the Chola throne as the next successor in the year A.D.1073.

In Sri Lanka Vijayabahu - 1 withstanding the decision made by
Anuruddha, on his own waged war with the Cholas and successfully
expelled them from Sri Lanka in the year A.D.1074, after a period of
nearly 72 years of their direct rule over the northern half of Sri
Lanka. With this victory king Vijayabahu assumed the
title "Chaththuru Chola kula anthaha". The new Chola emperor the
Kulothunga Chola - 1 made no attempts in recovering the lost
northern half of Sri Lanka.

King Vijayabahu immediately after his victory over Cholas in
A.D.1074 sent his envoys to Rammanadesa - which was now in the
control of the Arimaddana king - requesting for twenty pious elderly
Buddhist monks versent in Pitaka, along with the religious books,
and some sacred relics. King Anuruddha responded to this request and
sent learned Buddhist monks with copies of Pitaka who instituted a
Nikaya (Sect) known as Rammana Nikaya to re-foster Buddhism in Sri
Lanka.

Emperor Anawratha was followed by his son Sawulu on throne
Arimaddanapur {A.D.1079-1084}. Towards the latter part of his rule
the general Kyanzittha decided to get rid of the Chola forces
stationed in Thandung and sent his forces to defeat them. However
immediately after this incidence emperor Sawulu died and Kyanzittha
also known as Tribuwanaditya) (A.D.1084-1112), who was also a son of
Anurudda by his another queen - an Indian princess from Bengal -
took over the throne at Arimaddanapur.

At this time of his coronation the Kyanzitha's forces returned back
saying they have conquered the Indian country of Thandaung and Nga
Thon Pinle (thickly populated Miyanmar regions with Chola - Traders
and forces) in the present Pegu division, and captured the Tamil
Chola (Tamil Indian) warriors stationed in this region, who were now
settled in another region named Singu east of Arimaddanapur possibly
under captivity.

Some years after A.D.1084 it appears Kulothunga Chola sent an army
under a Chola prince to one of the ports of Rammanadesa to avenge
the capture of Chola forces, and king Kyanzitha now without
antogonising the Chola prince sent tributes and warmely welcomed
him, possibly released the Chola warriors under captivity, and took
time to appraise him on the great religion of Buddhism who
apparently adhered to the Buddhist religion.

The Chola Prince in strengthening his friendship with the
Arimaddanapura kingdom also gave his daughter in marriage to
Kyanzittha, thus smoothening the relations of the Cholas with the
Arimaddanpur kingdom of Miyanmar. The name of this Chola prince and
his daughter given in marriage to Kyanzittha is not known.

It appears during this period with the newly builtup relations the
traders from the Tamil Nadu and the other countries of the Chola
empire, became very free to trade as far as Arimaddanapur the
capital city of Kyanzitha in central Miyanmar region, and they were
also able to build a Vishnu temple at Arimaddanapur without any
hinderance in the very heart of a Buddhist country named
as "Nanadesi Vinnagar Alvar Koyil".

Some years later a trader named "Irayiran Sriyananana Kulasekara
Nambiyar" from Mahodayapuram (present Cranganore) of the
Malaimandalam (the present Kerala state) of South India - the former
capital city of the Chera kingdom which was at that time under the
rule of the Chola empire - built a sacred mandapa (hall), gave a
sacred door to same, and one standing lamp to burn constantly in the
mandapa of this temple.

In the year A.D.1106 Kyanzittha sent envoys to to pay tributes to
the Chinese emperor Hui Tsung (A.D.1101-1126) of the Sung Empire.
The emperor orderd the envoys to be provided the same rank and
ceremony as to the envoys from the Chola country. But the grand
council advised "....the Chola country is subject to Sri Vijaya.

During the hsi-ning period (A.D.1068-79) imperial decrees were
addressed to it on thick-backed paper and enclosed in box and
wrapper. Now Pukan Arimaddanapur) is a big kingdom. We cannot look
down on it as an ordinary little dependent kingdom. We desire to
adopt the same protocal as in the case of the Ta-shih (Arabs), Chiao-
chih (Annam) etc to whom imperial appointments and decrees were all
written on white-backed, gold flowered, damask paper, and stored in
a partly gold gilt tube with key and forwarded in a brocade silk
double wrapper as sealing envelope ñ The emperor approved....."
Emperor Kyanzittha was followed by his grandson Alaungsithu
(A.D.1112-1187) on the Arimaddanapur throne.

Period Vikkrama Chola {A.D.1118 -1135} & Kulothunga Chola -2
{A.D.1133-1150}


It appears the good relations the Arimaddanapur kingdom had with
Cholas continued for some time even after Kulothunga Chola ñ 1,
during the period of rule of Vikkrama Chola and Kulothunga Chola ñ
2.

Period of Rajaraja Chola ñ 2 {A.D.1146-1163}

However during the rule of Rajaraja-2 we note, among the distant
lands which sent tributes to the Chola country is the Pappalam the
seaport city of Rammanadesa.
However the fact remains that there had been continuos sea traffic
on account of trade between TamilNadu and the Miyanmar kingdoms even
thereafter, and we note in the year A.D.1178 Chinese traders being
aware that one who wishes to go to the Chola kingdom from China, has
to either tranship from Kollam kingdom or go there from the Pukan
(Arimaddanapur) kingdom. This clearly indicates the extent of trade
activities between China, Pukan and Chola country.

Period of Pandiyas after Medieval Cholas
Even after the fall of Chola empire and the re-surgence of the
Pandiyan empire we note Pandiyan kings having relations with
Arumanam the Rammanadesa of the Miyanmar country.

Maravarman Sundarapandiyan ñ 2 {A.D.1238-1251} claims to be the
overlord of the king of Poppalam (Pappalam), and Sadaiyavarman
Sunderapandiyan {A.D.1251-1271} claims having received tributes from
Arumanam. However the Pandiya relations with Miyanmar country is
left out for further research study as it does not fall within the
scope of the title of this essay.

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#1140 - June 13, 2006 04:50 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Concepts of Nationhood in Bharat


To: Indo-Eurasian_research@yahoogroups.com
From: Steve Farmer <saf@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 16:57:08 -0700
Subject: [Indo-Eurasia] Palaniappan's post on Tamil


> While the nationhood of India and Bhara Mata may be modern concepts,
> Tamils have arrived at the concept of nationhood long before European
> colonialism. See my post in the old Indology list....
****************


The portrayal of Tamil as a female by ilaGkO, the Jain author of
cilappatikAram, was not an isolated occurrence. Note the following from
the zaivite tirukkayilAya JAn2a ulA by cEramAn2 perumAL of 7-8th
century CE.

tIm tamizin2 teyva vaTivALÖ (112.1)
Here a 14-19 year old girl is praised as "the divine feminine form of
sweet Tamil".

Then consider the following from yApparuGkalakkArikai by the Jain
amitacAkarar of 10th century CE.

kAn2Ar malayattu arum tavan2 con2n2a kan2n2it tamiz nUl (yAp. 2.2)
"The text in maiden Tamil which was taught by the sage of the
forest-filled malaya mountain".

This work on prosody was a required text of study by all Tamil
scholars. So the concept of Tamil as a female must have become accepted
among the tamil scholars.

Consider the following from periyapurANam of 12th century CE.

"kan2n2it tamiz nATTut tirumA maturai" (per. 3828.3)
"Madurai in the land of maiden Tamil"

periyapurANam also calls Tamil divine as given below.
teyvat tamizum...(per. 970.4)

Also note the following from tiruviLaiyATaRpurANam (1450/1500-1625 CE)
Ö kan2n2it taN tamizc colÖ (2.58.3-4)
"words of maiden cool Tamil"

ten2 col maTa makaL (2.56.3-4)
"the southern language (Tamil), the
beautiful woman"

Not only was the language personified as female. The Tamil land was
also personified as female as shown below.
"tamiz nATu Am kan2n2i" (2.33.1)

Thus the tradition of personifying Tamil as female, goddess, maiden,
and mother goes back continuously at least 1500 years. In fact, I would
say that it should be as old as the time when Tamils saw themselves as
a people bound by a common language in a geographically identifiable
area. Kamil Zvelebil says that cilappatikAram was "the first
consciously national work of Tamil literature, the literary evidence of
the fact that the Tamils had by that time attained nationhood"
(The
Smile of Murugan, p. 172). But , even though we do not find a clear
example in CT as in cilappatikAram, the personification of Tamil as
female must have probably occurred earlier since the word "tamizakam"
meaning "the land of the Tamils" occurs in puRanAn2URu 168.18. Why? One
can infer that from the Tamil concept of "people" as shown by the
semantics of the word "makkaL" (DEDR 4616) which means people as well
as children. So tamizmakkaL means Tamil people or children of Tamil.


Regards
S. Palaniappan

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#1141 - June 13, 2006 04:58 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Subject: [thamizhsamraajyam] Buddha statue near Chennai

Srivijaya Samrajya and Cholas!

May be a old but a news worth posting. This establishes another
connection between Srivijaya Samrajya and Infact Chennai, along with
Greatest Rajaraja Cholan!

The link is provided below.

STRIKING FIND: The two Buddha statues and a pillar with a human face
excavated from Kolapakkam.
Photo: R. Shivaji Rao .

Chennai: Two beautiful Buddha statues and ornamental pillars have
been discovered at Kolapakkam village, about 20 km from Chennai. The
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai Circle, had earlier
found a 10th century A.D. inscription in Tamil that mentioned the
donation by a king from Sumatra, "Sri Vijaya Maharaja," of land to a
Siva temple at Kolapakkam. The deciphering of the inscription led to
the unearthing of the artefacts. The Buddhas are in dhyana
(meditation) pose.

T. Satyamurthy, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI,
said: "Epigraphically and structurally, these are important finds."
Kolapakkam has an Agatheeswarar temple, dedicated to Siva. The ASI
had found inscriptions in Tamil on five loose stones in the Temple.
Two of these were issued by Raja Raja Chola (A.D. 985-1014), who
built the Brihadeeswarar temple at Thanjavur.

A third one:
S. Rajavelu, epigraphist, ASI, had recently found that the third
inscription belonged to "Sri Vijaya Maharaja," a king from Sumatra,
and that it was issued in his eighth regnal year. The inscription
mentions his donating 250 kuzhi (a measurement) of land to
Agatheeswarar at Kolapakkam, which was in Perur nadu (country), a
sub-division of Puliyur. Sri Vijaya was a contemporary of Raja Raja
Chola and the palaeography of the inscription showed the script was
similar to that of the period of Raja Raja Chola. Sri Vijaya had a
cordial relationship with the Chola kingdom. Although the
inscription mentioned Sri Vijaya's donation to the temple, it
indirectly indicated Buddhist activity nearby, because Sri Vijaya
was a Buddhist.

Exploration
Dr. Satyamurthy and Dr. Rajavelu explored the area and found the
ruins of a Buddhist temple close to the Agatheeswarar temple. The
two Buddha sculptures and ornamental pillars, in granite, were
unearthed. The Buddha sculptures are three feet tall. One sculpture
has a dharma chakra on either side of the Buddha. This was sculpted
in the ancient region that is now Tamil Nadu. The other sculpture
has a three-tiered umbrella above the Buddha's head and women
bearing fly-whisks.

South-East Asian influence
According to Dr. Satyamurthy, the face of this Buddha has Mongoloid
features and this sculpture shows South-East Asian influence. One of
the ornamental pillars unearthed has a bas-relief of a human face,
with a head-gear that shows South-East Asian influence. An image of
Ganesa is carved on this pillar.

Kolapakkam perhaps was a centre of Buddhist activity. According to
Dr. Rajavelu, this area coming under Tondaimandalam was noted for
Buddhist activity about 1,000 years ago, prior to the Chola period.
Buddha statues have been discovered at Mangadu, Irandaamkattai,
Kunrathur and Pattu villages, within a few kilometres of Kolapakkam,
on the outskirts of Chennai.

The surmise is that when Sri Vijaya visited the Buddhist temple at
Kolapakkam, he probably also visited the nearby Agatheeswaram temple
and donated land to it.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/02/12/stories/2006021200332000.htm

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#1142 - June 16, 2006 11:18 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Was There an Islamic "Genocide" of Hindus?

Dr. Koenraad Elst


"The Partition Holocaust": the term is frequently used in Hindu pamphlets
concerning Islam and the birth of its modern political embodiment in the
Subcontinent, the state of Pakistan. Is such language warranted, or is it a
ridicule-inviting exaggeration?


To give an idea of the context of this question, we must note that the term
"genocide" is used very loosely these days. One of the charges by a Spanish
judge against Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet, so as to get him extradited from
Great Britain in autumn 1998, was "genocide". This was his way of making
Pinochet internationally accountable for having killed a few Spanish citizens:
alleging a crime serious enough to overrule normal constraints based on
diplomatic immunity and national sovereignty. Yet, whatever Pinochet's
crimes, it is simply ridiculous to charge that he ever intended to exterminate
the Spanish nation. In the current competition for victim status, all kinds of
interest groups are blatantly overbidding in order to get their piece of the
entitlement to attention and solidarity.

The Nazi Holocaust killed the majority of European Jewry (an estimated 5.1
million according to Raul Hilberg, 5.27 million according to the Munich-based
Institut für Zeitgeschichte) and about 30% of the Jewish people worldwide.
How many victim groups can say as much? The Partition pogroms killed hardly
0.3% of the Hindus, and though it annihilated the Hindu presence in all the
provinces of Pakistan except for parts of Sindh and East Bengal, it did so
mostly by putting the Hindus to flight (at least seven million) rather than by
killing them (probably half a million).
Likewise, the ethnic cleansing of a
quarter million Hindus from Kashmir in 1990 followed the strategy of "killing
one to expel a hundred", which is not the same thing as killing them all; in
practice, about 1,500 were killed. Partition featured some local massacres of
genocidal type, with the Sikhs as the most wanted victims, but in relative as
well as absolute figures, this does not match the Holocaust.

Among genocides, the Holocaust was a very special case (e.g. the attempt to
carry it out in secrecy is unique), and it serves no good purpose to blur that
specificity by extending the term to all genocides in general. The term
"Holocaust", though first used in a genocidal sense to describe the Armenian
genocide of 1915, is now in effect synonymous with the specifically Jewish
experience at the hands of the Nazis in 1941-45. But does even the more
general term "genocide" apply to what Hinduism suffered at the hands of
Islam?

Complete genocide

"Genocide" means the intentional attempt to destroy an ethnic community, or
by extension any community constituted by bonds of kinship, of common
religion or ideology, of common socio-economic position, or of common race.
The pure form is the complete extermination of every man, woman and child
of the group. Examples include the complete extermination of the native
Tasmanians and many Amerindian nations from Patagonia to Canada by
European settlers in the 16th-19th century. The most notorious attempt was
the Nazi "final solution of the Jewish question" in 1941-45. In April-May 1994,
Hutu militias in Rwanda went about slaughtering the Tutsi minority, killing ca.
800,000, in anticipation of the conquest of their country by a Uganda-based
Tutsi army. Though improvised and executed with primitive weapons, the
Rwandan genocide made more victims per day than the Holocaust.

Hindus suffered such attempted extermination in East Bengal in 1971, when
the Pakistani Army killed 1 to 3 million people, with Hindus as their most
wanted target.
This fact is strictly ignored in most writing about Hindu-Muslim
relations, in spite (or rather because) of its serious implication that even the
lowest estimate of the Hindu death toll in 1971 makes Hindus by far the most
numerous victims of Hindu-Muslim violence in the post-colonial period. It is
significant that no serious count or religion-wise breakdown of the death toll
has been attempted: the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ruling classes all
agree that this would feed Hindu grievances against Muslims.

Nandan Vyas ("Hindu Genocide in East Pakistan", Young India, January 1995)
has argued convincingly that the number of Hindu victims in the 1971
genocide was approximately 2.4 million, or about 80%.
In comparing the
population figures for 1961 and 1971, and taking the observed natural
growth rhythm into account, Vyas finds that the Hindu population has
remained stable at 9.5 million when it should have increased to nearly 13
million (13.23 million if the same growth rhythm were assumed for Hindus as
for Muslims). Of the missing 3.5 million people (if not more), 1.1 million can be explained: it is the number of Hindu refugees settled in India prior to the genocide. The Hindu refugees at the time of the genocide, about 8 million, all
went back after the ordeal, partly because the Indian government forced
them to it, partly because the new state of Bangladesh was conceived as a
secular state; the trickle of Hindu refugees into India only resumed in 1974,
when the first steps towards islamization of the polity were taken. This
leaves 2.4 million missing Hindus to be explained. Taking into account a
number of Hindu children born to refugees in India rather than in Bangladesh,
and a possible settlement of 1971 refugees in India, it is fair to estimate the
disappeared Hindus at about 2 million.


While India-watchers wax indignant about communal riots in India killing up
to 20,000 people since 1948, allegedly in a proportion of three Muslims to one
Hindu, the best-kept secret of the post-Independence Hindu-Muslim conflict is
that in the subcontinent as a whole, the overwhelming majority of the victims
have been Hindus. Even apart from the 1971 genocide, "ordinary" pogroms in
East Pakistan in 1950 alone killed more Hindus than the total number of riot
victims in India since 1948.

Selective genocide

A second, less extreme type of genocide consists in killing a sufficient number
who form the backbone of the group's collective identity, and assimilating the
leaderless masses into the dominant community. This has been the Chinese
policy in Tibet, killing over a million Tibetans while assimilating the
survivors into Chinese culture by flooding their country with Chinese settlers. It was
also Stalin's policy in eastern Poland and the Baltic states after they fell
into his hands under the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact, exemplified by the massacre of
thousands of Polish army officers in Katyn. Stalin's policies combining murder
of the elites, deportation of entire ethnic groups and ruthless oppression of
the survivors was prefigured in antiquity by the Assyrians, whose deportation
of the ten northern (now "lost") tribes of Israel is attested in the Bible.

During the Islamic conquests in India, it was a typical policy to single out the
Brahmins for slaughter, after the Hindu warrior class had been bled on the
battlefield. Even the Portuguese in Malabar and Goa followed this policy in the
16th century, as can be deduced from Hindu-Portuguese treaty clauses
prohibiting the Portuguese from killing Brahmins.

In antiquity, such partial genocide typically targeted the men for slaughter
and the women and children for slavery or concubinage. Thus, in 416 BCE, the
Athenians were angered at the Melians' reluctance to join the war against
Sparta, and to set an example for other client states, Athens had Melos
repopulated with Athenian colonists after killing its men and enslaving its
women. Another example would be the slaughter of the Jews of Medina by
Mohammed in 626 CE: after expelling two Jewish tribes, the third one, the
Banu Quraiza, were exterminated: all the ca. 700 men were beheaded, while
the women and children were sold into slavery, with the Prophet keeping the
most beautiful woman as his concubine (she refused to marry him).

Hindus too experienced this treatment at the hands of Islamic conquerors,
e.g. when Mohammed bin Qasim conquered the lower Indus basin in 712 CE.
Thus, in Multan, according to the Chach-Nama, "six thousand warriors were
put to death, and all their relations and dependents were taken as slaves".
This is why Rajput women committed mass suicide to save their honour in the
face of the imminent entry of victorious Muslim armies, e.g. 8,000 women
immolated themselves during Akbar's capture of Chittorgarh in 1568 (where
this most enlightened ruler also killed 30,000 non-combatants). During the
Partition pogroms and the East Bengali genocide, mass rape of Hindu women
after the slaughter of their fathers and husbands was a frequent event.

At this point, however, we should not overlook a puzzling episode in Hindu
legend which describes a similar behaviour by a Hindu conqueror:
Parashurama, deified as the 6th incarnation of Vishnu, killed all the adult male
Kshatriyas for several generations, until only women were left, and then had
Brahmins father a new generation upon them. Just a story, or reference to a
historic genocide?

Genocide in the Bible

For full-blooded genocide, however, the book to consult is the Bible, which
describes cases of both partial and complete genocide. The first modest
attempt was the killing by Jacob's sons of all the males in the Canaanite tribe
of Shekhem, the fiancé of their own sister Dina. The motive was pride of
pedigree: having immigrated from the civilizational centre of Ur in
Mesopotamia, Abraham's tribe refused all intermarriage with the native
people of Canaan (thus, Rebecca favoured Jacob over Esau because Jacob
married his nieces while Esau married local women).

Full-scale genocide was ordered by God, and executed by his faithful, during
the conquest of Canaan by Moses and Joshua. In the defeated cities outside
the Promised Land, they had to kill all the men but keep the women as slaves
or concubines. Inside the Promised Land, by contrast, the conquerors were
ordered to kill every single man, woman and child. All the Canaanites and
Amalekites were killed. Here, the stated reason was that God wanted to
prevent the coexistence of His people with Pagans, which would result in
religious syncretism and the restoration of polytheism.

As we only have a literary record of this genocide, liberal theologians
uncomfortable with a genocidal God have argued that this Canaanite
genocide was only fiction. To be sure, genocide fiction exists, e.g. the
Biblical story that the Egyptians had all newborn male Israelites killed is inconsistent
with all other data in the Biblical narrative itself (as well as unattested in
the numerous and detailed Egyptian inscriptions), and apparently only served to
underpin the story of Moses' arrival in the Pharaoh's court in a basket on the
river, a story modelled on the then-popular life story of Sargon of Akkad. Yet,
the narrative of the conquest of Canaan is full of military detail uncommon in
fiction; unlike other parts of the Bible, it is almost without any miracles,
factual through and through.

And even if we suppose that the story is fictional, what would it say about
the editors that they attributed genocidal intentions and injunctions to their
God? If He was non-genocidal and good in reality, why turn him into a
genocidal and prima facie evil Being? On balance, it is slightly more comforting
to accept that the Bible editors described a genocide because they wanted to
be truthful and relate real events. After all, the great and outstanding thing
about the Bible narrative is its realism, its refusal to idealize its heroes. We
get to see Jacob deceiving Isaac and Esau, then Laban deceiving Jacob;
David's heroism and ingenuity in battle, but also his treachery in making
Bathseba his own, and later his descent into senility; Salomon's palace
intrigues in the war of succession along with his pearls of wisdom. Against
that background, it would be inconsistent to censor the Canaanite genocide
as merely a fictional interpolation.

Indirect genocide

A third type of genocide consists in preventing procreation among a targeted
population. Till recently, it was US policy to promote sterilization among
Native American women, even applying it secretly during postnatal care or other
operations. The Tibetans too have been subjected to this treatment. In the
Muslim world, male slaves were often castrated, which partly explains why
Iraq has no Black population even though it once had hundreds of thousands
of Black slaves. The practice also existed in India on a smaller scale, though
the much-maligned Moghul emperor Aurangzeb tried to put an end to it,
mainly because eunuchs brought endless corruption in the court. The hijra
community is a left-over of this Islamic institution (in ancient India, harems
were tended by old men or naturally napunsak/impotent men, tested by
having to spend the night with a prostitute without showing signs of virile
excitement).

A fourth type of genocide is when mass killing takes place unintentionally, as
collateral damage of foolish policies, e.g. Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward
inducing the greatest man-made mass starvation killing 20 million or more, or
the British war requisitions causing the Bengal famine of 1943 killing some 3
million;
or as collateral damage of other forms of oppression. Unlike the
deliberate genocide of Native Americans in parts of the USA or Argentina, the
death of millions of Natives in Central America after the first Spanish
conquests was at least partly the unintended side-effect of the hardships of
forced labour and the contact with new diseases brought by the Europeans.
In contrast with Nazi and Soviet work camps, where forced labour had the
dual purpose of economic profit and a slow but sure death of the inmates,
there is no evidence that the Spanish wanted their Native labourers to die.
After all, their replacement with African slaves required a large extra
investment.

The Atlantic slave trade itself caused mass death among the transported
slaves, just as in the already long-standing Arab slave trade, but it is obvious
that purely for the sake of profit, the slave-traders preferred as many slaves
as possible to arrive at the slave markets alive. Likewise, the Christian c.q.
Islamic contempt for Pagans made them rather careless with the lives of
Native Americans, Africans or Hindus, so that millions of them were killed, and
yet this was not deliberate genocide. Of course they wanted to annihilate
Pagan religions like Hinduism, but in principle, the missionary religions wished
to convert the unbelievers, and preferred not to kill them unless this was
necessary for establishing the power of the True Faith.

That is why the mass killing of Hindus by Muslims rarely took place in
peacetime, but typically in the fervour immediately following military
victories, e.g. the fall of the metropolis of Vijayanagar in 1565 was "celebrated" with a
general massacre and arson. Once Muslim power was established, Muslim
rulers sought to exploit and humiliate rather than kill the Hindus, and
discourage rebellion by making some sort of compromise. Not that peacetime
was all that peaceful, for as Fernand Braudel wrote in A History of
Civilizations (Penguin 1988/1963, p.232-236), Islamic rule in India as a "colonial
experiment" was "extremely violent",
and "the Muslims could not rule the
country except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm -- burnings,
summary executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu
temples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there were
forced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly and
savagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid waste,
men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves."


Though all these small acts of terror added up to a death toll of genocidal
proportions, no organized genocide of the Holocaust type took place. One
constraint on Muslim zeal for Holy War was the endemic inter-Muslim warfare
and intrigue (no history of a royal house was bloodier than that of the Delhi
Sultanate 1206-1525), another the prevalence of the Hanifite school of
Islamic law in India. This is the only one among the four law schools in Sunni
Islam which allows Pagans to subsist as zimmis, dis-empowered third-class
citizens paying a special tax for the favour of being tolerated; the other three
schools of jurisprudence ruled that Pagans, as opposed to Christians and
Jews, had to be given a choice between Islam and death.

Staggering numbers also died as collateral damage of the deliberate
impoverishment by Sultans like Alauddin Khilji and Jahangir. As Braudel put it:
"The levies it had to pay were so crushing that one catastrophic harvest was
enough to unleash famines and epidemics capable of killing a million people at
a time. Appalling poverty was the constant counterpart of the conquerors'
opulence."


Genocide by any other name

In some cases, terminological purists object to mass murder being described
as "genocide", viz. when it targets groups defined by other criteria than
ethnicity. Stalin's "genocide" through organized famine in Ukraine killed some
7 million people (lowest estimate is 4 million) in 1931-33, the largest-ever
deliberate mass murder in peacetime, but its victims were targeted because
of their economic and political positions, not because of their nationhood.
Though it makes no difference to the victims, this was not strictly genocide or
"nation murder", but "class murder". Likewise, the killing of perhaps two
million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge was not an attempt to destroy the
Cambodian nation; it was rather an attempt to "purify" the nation of its
bourgeois class.

The killing of large groups of ideological dissenters is a constant in the
history of the monotheistic faiths, of which Marxism has been termed a modern
offshoot, starting with the killing of some polytheistic priests by Pharaoh
Akhenaton and, shortly after, the treacherous killing of 3,000 worshippers of
the Golden Calf by Moses (they had been encouraged to come out in the
open by Moses' brother Aaron, not unlike Chairman Mao's "hundred flowers"
campaign which encouraged dissenters to speak freely, all the better to
eliminate them later). Mass killing accompanied the christianization of Saxony
by Charlemagne (ca. 800 CE) and of East Prussia by the Teutonic Knights
(13th century). In 1209-29, French Catholics massacred the heretical Cathars.
Wars between Muslims and Christians, and between Catholics and
Protestants, killed millions both in deliberate massacres and as collateral
damage, e.g. seven million Germans in 1618-48. Though the Turkish
government which ordered the killing of a million Armenians in 1915 was
motivated by a mixture of purely military, secular-nationalistic and Islamic
considerations, the fervour with which the local Turks and Kurds participated
in the slaughter was clearly due to their Islamic conditioning of hatred against
non-Muslims.

This ideological killing could be distinguished from genocide in the strict
sense, because ethnicity was not the reason for the slaughter. While this caution
may complicate matters for the Ukrainians or Cambodians, it does not apply
to the case of Hinduism: like the Jews, the Hindus have historically been both
a religion and a nation (or at least, casteists might argue, a conglomerate of
nations).
Attempts to kill all Hindus of a given region may legitimately be
termed genocide.

For its sheer magnitude in scope and death toll, coupled with its occasional
(though not continuous) intention to exterminate entire Hindu communities,
the Islamic campaign against Hinduism, which was never fully called off since
the first naval invasion in 636 CE, can without exaggeration be termed
genocide. To quote Will Durant's famous line: "The Islamic conquest of India is
probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its
evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order
and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by
barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."
(Story of Civilization,
vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, New York 1972, p.459)

Hinduism's losses

There is no official estimate of the total death toll of Hindus at the hands of
Islam. A first glance at important testimonies by Muslim chroniclers suggests
that, over 13 centuries and a territory as vast as the Subcontinent, Muslim
Holy Warriors easily killed more Hindus than the 6 million of the Holocaust.

Ferishtha lists several occasions when the Bahmani sultans in central India
(1347-1528) killed a hundred thousand Hindus, which they set as a minimum
goal whenever they felt like "punishing" the Hindus; and they were only a
third-rank provincial dynasty. The biggest slaughters took place during the
raids of Mahmud Ghaznavi (ca. 1000 CE); during the actual conquest of North
India by Mohammed Ghori and his lieutenants (1192 ff.); and under the Delhi
Sultanate (1206-1526). The Moghuls (1526-1857), even Babar and
Aurangzeb, were fairly restrained tyrants by comparison. Prof. K.S. Lal once
estimated that the Indian population declined by 50 million under the
Sultanate, but that would be hard to substantiate;
research into the
magnitude of the damage Islam did to India is yet to start in right earnest.

Note that attempts are made to deny this history. In Indian schoolbooks and
the media, an idyllic picture of Hindu-Muslim harmony in the pre-British period
is propagated in outright contradiction with the testimony of the primary
sources. Like Holocaust denial, this propaganda can be called negationism.
The really daring negationists don't just deny the crimes against Hindus, they
invert the picture and blame the Hindus themselves. Thus, it is routinely
alleged that Hindus persecuted and destroyed Buddhism; in reality, Buddhist
monasteries and universities flourished under Hindu rule, but their thousands
of monks were killed by Ghori and his lieutenants.

Apart from actual killing, millions of Hindus disappeared by way of
enslavement. After every conquest by a Muslim invader, slave markets in
Bagdad and Samarkand were flooded with Hindus. Slaves were likely to die of
hardship, e.g. the mountain range Hindu Koh, "Indian mountain", was
renamed Hindu Kush, "Hindu-killer", when one cold night in the reign of Timur
Lenk (1398-99), a hundred thousand Hindu slaves died there while on
transport to Central Asia. Though Timur conquered Delhi from another Muslim
ruler, he recorded in his journal that he made sure his pillaging soldiers
spared the Muslim quarter, while in the Hindu areas, they took "twenty slaves
each". Hindu slaves were converted to Islam, and when their descendants
gained their freedom, they swelled the numbers of the Muslim community. It
is a cruel twist of history that the Muslims who forced Partition on India were
partly the progeny of Hindus enslaved by Islam.


Karma

The Hindu notion of Karma has come under fire from Christian and secularist
polemicists as part of the current backlash against New Age thinking.
Allegedly, the doctrine of Karma implies that the victims of the Holocaust and
other massacres had deserved their fate. A naive understanding of Karma,
divorced from its Hindu context, could indeed lead to such ideas. Worse, it
could be said that the Jews as a nation had incurred genocidal karma by the
genocide which their ancestors committed on the Canaanites. Likewise, it
could be argued that the Native Americans had it coming: recent research (by
Walter Neves from Brazil as well as by US scientists) has shown that in ca.
8000 BC, the Mongoloid Native American populations replaced an earlier
American population closely resembling the Australian Aborigines -- the first
American genocide?

More generally, if Karma explains suffering and "apparent" injustice as a
profound form of justice, a way of reaping the karmic rewards of one's own
actions, are we not perversely justifying every injustice? These questions
should not be taken lightly. However, the Hindu understanding of
reincarnation militates against the doctrine of genocidal "group karma"
outlined above. An individual can incarnate in any community, even in other
species, and need not be reborn among his own progeny. If Canaanites killed
by the Israelites have indeed reincarnated, some may have been Nazi camp
guards and others Jewish Holocaust victims. There is no reason to assume
that the members of today's victim group are the reincarnated souls of the
bullies of yesteryear, returning to suffer their due punishment. That is the
difference between karma and genetics: karma is taken along by the
individual soul, not passed on in the family line.

More fundamentally, we should outgrow this childish (and in this case,
downright embarrassing) view of karma as a matter of reward and
punishment. Does the killer of a million people return a million times as a
murder victim to suffer the full measure of his deserved punishment? Rather,
karma is a law of conservation: you are reborn with the basic pattern of
desires and conditionings which characterized you when you died last time
around. The concrete experiences and actions which shaped that pattern,
however, are history: they only survive insofar as they have shaped your
psychic karma pattern, not as a precise account of merits and demerits to be
paid off by corresponding amounts of suffering and pleasure.


One lesson to be learned from genocide history pertains to Karma, the law of
cause and effect, in a more down-to-earth sense: suffering genocide is the
karmic reward of weakness.
That is one conclusion which the Jews have
drawn from their genocide experience: they created a modern and militarily
strong state. Even more importantly, they helped foster an awareness of the
history of their persecution among their former persecutors, the Christians,
which makes it unlikely that Christians will target them again. In this respect,
the Hindus have so far failed completely. With numerous Holocaust memorials
already functioning, one more memorial is being built in Berlin by the heirs of
the perpetrators of the Holocaust; but there is not even one memorial to the
Hindu genocide, because even the victim community doesn't bother, let alone
the perpetrators.

This different treatment of the past has implications for the future. Thus,
Israel's nuclear programme is accepted as a matter of course, justified by the
country's genuine security concerns; but when India, which has equally
legitimate security concerns, conducted nuclear tests, it provoked American
sanctions. If the world ignores Hindu security concerns, one of the reasons is
that Hindus have never bothered to tell the world how many Hindus have
been killed already.

Healing

What should Hindus say to Muslims when they consider the record of Islam in
Hindu lands? It is first of all very important not to allot guilt wrongly. Notions of collective or hereditary guilt should be avoided. Today's Muslims cannot
help it that other Muslims did certain things in 712 or 1565 or 1971. One thing
they can do, however, is to critically reread their scripture to discern the
doctrinal factors of Muslim violence against Hindus and Hinduism. Of course,
even without scriptural injunction, people get violent and wage wars; if
Mahmud Ghaznavi hadn't come, some of the people he killed would have died
in other, non-religious conflicts. But the basic Quranic doctrine of hatred
against the unbelievers has also encouraged many good-natured and pious
people to take up the sword against Hindus and other Pagans, not because
they couldn't control their aggressive instincts, but because they had been
told that killing unbelievers was a meritorious act. Good people have
perpetrated evil because religious authorities had depicted it as good.

This is material for a no-nonsense dialogue between Hindus and Muslims. But
before Hindus address Muslims about this, it is imperative that they inform
themselves about this painful history. Apart from unreflected grievances,
Hindus have so far not developed a serious critique of Islam's doctrine and
historical record. Often practising very sentimental, un-philosophical varieties
of their own religion, most Hindus have very sketchy and distorted images of
rival religions. Thus, they say that Mohammed was an Avatar of Vishnu, and
then think that they have cleverly solved the Hindu-Muslim conflict by
flattering the Prophet (in fact, it is an insult to basic Muslim beliefs, which
reject divine incarnation, apart from indirectly associating the Prophet with
Vishnu's incarnation as a pig). Instead of the silly sop stories which pass as
conducive to secularism, Hindus should acquaint themselves with real history
and real religious doctrines.

Another thing which we should not forget is that Islam is ultimately rooted in
human nature. We need not believe the Muslim claim that the Quran is of
divine origin; but then it is not of diabolical origin either, it is a human
document. The Quran is in all respects the product of a 7th-century Arab
businessman vaguely acquainted with Judeo-Christian notions of monotheism
and prophetism, and the good and evil elements in it are very human. Even
its negative elements appealed to human instincts, e.g. when Mohammed
promised a share in the booty of the caravans he robbed, numerous Arab
Pagans took the bait and joined him. The undesirable elements in Islamic
doctrine stem from human nature, and can in essence be found elsewhere as
well. Keeping that in mind, it should be possible to make a fair evaluation of
Islam's career in India on the basis of factual history.

Top
#1143 - June 26, 2006 01:43 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Kumari KaNdam and Lemuria

Excerpts
By Su.Ki. Jeyakaran ( Kaalac Cuvadu Jan-Feb 2001)


Some Sangam verses mention that the sea submerged vast land mass on the South of anciet Tamil Nad. Along with oral accounts because it is said that the First and Second Academies that were established to develop Tamil Language were also destroyed by the sea, these events also become linked up the History of Tamil literature. After the poets of caGakam period, it was the commentators beginning with Nakkiirar's (about 10th cent. A.D) commnetary to IRaiyanaar AkapporuL, through Naccinaarkkiniyar to Adiyaarkku Nallaar, all follow the same account. The essence of all these thorugh the verses and the coommentaries are as follows.

This land mass was known as Kumari because of the worship of Kumari deity. The kings who ruled over this land were known as Paandiyas, a word derived from 'paNdu' meaning very ancient. The distance between the River Kumari in the extreme North and river PaqRuLi in the extreme South is 700 kaatham. We also gather from the accounts of Adiyaarkku Nallaar that between these rivers were countries such as Ez TeGka Nadu, Ez KunRa Nadu, Ez kuNakarai Nadu, Ez Kurumpanai Nadu along with the hill countries Kumari Kollam and so forth. On the South of Kumari stood the Hill Kumari where also flew the river PaqRuLi. About Nediyon who ruled this land mass there is mention in the Cagkam classic ( puRam 9:10-11) as follows:

munniir vizavin Nediyoon
nanniir PaqRuLi maNalium palavee
Let Nediyon of festivals of the sea
(live for a number of years) beyond
the sands of the river PaqRuLi

These lines mean the King Nediyoon who organized sea festivals should live many years more than the number of sands of the river PaqRuLi that has pleasant waters. The word 'munniir' means the pungent sea waters while the 'nanniir' the drinking water that differs from the pungent sea water either flowing in the rivers or springs. And furthermore this PaaNdiya King who was also known as Adivadivambalam and Jeyamaakiirtti dug many canals from this river and fostered agriculture along with ruling the nations of OLi Nadu, PeruVaLa Nadu Kumari Nadu and so forth.

The sea swallowed the southern parts of Kumari where stood the capitol Ten Madurai in which was located the First Academy that fostered the growth of Tamil language. We can take it that this is first deluge that's mentioned by CaGkam classics. PaavaaNar is of the opinion that the following lines of ILangovadikaL ( Cillapatikaaram, kaadukaaN katai, 17-22)

adiyiR RannaLa varasark kuNartti
vadivee lerinta vaanpakai poRaatu
paqRuLi yaaRRudan panamalaiyadukkattu
kumari koodung kodungkadal koLLa
vadaticai kaGkaiyum imayanmung koNdu
tenRicai yaaNda tennavan vaazi

and which means a PaNdiya King, having lost Kumari of many hills and the river paqRuLi, conquered the Ganges and the Himalayan regions in the North and ruled them from the South.

the Southern parts were swallowed by the sea, a PaaNdiya King made Kapaadapuram, slightly on the North the new capitol. The Second Academy was established only here. The other names of Kapaadapuram are: Kapaadam, Katavam, Puatavam Alaivaay and so forth. The "alaivaay" indicates that it was a city on the shores of the sea. This city was also destroyed by the sea and perhaps this can be considered the Second Deluge. The PaaNdiya King who escaped this Deluge, captured parts of the Cera and Chola territories and established new settlements there. According to Adiyaarkku Nalllaar as mentioned in his commentaries, this is the substance of the following lines from the Mullai part of Kalittokai ( 104: 1-4)

malitirai yuurntu maN kadal koLLa
melivinRi meeR cenRu meevaarnaa didampadap
puliyodu vilniikkip pukapoRitta kizar keNdai
valiyinaan vaNakkiya vaadaacciir tennavan...

And furthermore there is historical narration of Three Academies in the commentary to IRaiyanaar AkapporuL, and in which there is mention of two rising of the sea. On account of Kapadapuram being swallowed by the sea, MaNavuur, that was on the banks of Kumari and further north became the new capitol of the Pandiyas. At the time Tolkaappiyar ( around 6th or 7th cent. B.C.) the River Kumari was flowing towards the South. The quotations of Adiyarkku Nallaar, "tadaniirk kumari vadaperung kooddin kaaRung kadal koNdozitalaal," if taken to describe the overtaking of Kumari by the sea, then this must be the third deluge that the literature mentions.

Here we must note the end lines of ∫3⁄4 story about Maadala MaRaiyoon having his bath in Kumari that is narrated by IaLangkoo VadikaL viz. 'todiyooL pauvam' where Kumari is mentioned as the sea. This should mean that as maNavuur was swallowed by the sea, Pandiyas made Madurai on the banks of Vaikai, the new capitol and where the Third Academy was also established.

We must note here that these deluges that Tamil literature narrates are events that took place in the historical or slightly prehistorical periods.

It must be noted that in the above literary references, the term 'Kumarik KaNdam' does not occur. So it would appear that the land mass Kumari being termed as a kaNdam must be the invention of those who created this tradition. Is it true that what the scholars of the CaGkam called Kumari was actually large enough to be called a KaNdam, a continent? Please see the following cognates for "country ' that Pingkala NikaNdu mentions (avani vakai - 457):

The terms cognate with ulaku ( world) and Nadu (country) and such kingdoms are: paitiram, maNdilam, paadi, teeyam, taNNadai, nivaram, kooddam, canapatam, cummai, and kaNdameeNi.

Thus one among the various terms to denote 'country" is KaNdam and thus it could not mean something like a 'continent". If in the ancient times if KaNdam was used to name a land mass it must have been in the sense of 'country" and not in the sense of 'continent' .

Dr ARavaNan meantions that (Tamizarin Taayakam p.114):

" It is wrong to consider as a vast continent the countries mentioned as being in Kumari and the 49 land masses Ez TeGkam, Ez Madurai, Ez Mun Paalai, Ez Pin Paalai, Ez kunRam, Ez KuNakkarai , Ez KuRumpanai and so forth mentioned by the commentator ot IRaiyanaar AkapporuL The word 'naadu; in those days must have meant something like Taluk ( district) in current use. The stone inscriptions in medieval times show that the Empires were divided into naadu maNdalam and so forth. These terms roughly correspond to current ' vaddam' and maavaddam'. Thus on hearing that 49 countries were destroyed by the sea it could not be taken that a large land mass was destroyed thus. Perhaps only 49 districts were meant".

And furthermore according to the commentator, the distance between rivers Kumari and PaqRuLi is around 700 kaavatam. Now kaavatam measures a distance of about 10 miles. Thus the distance between these rivers would be around 7000 miles (11,200 km). Noting that the distance between the Southern tip of Kumari and Antarctica is only 5,300 miles ( 8,500 km), how can there be a land mass of 7000 miles? This exaggeration of Adiyaarkku Nallaar is something like transforming the jackals into fine horses. Such details about the land mass are matters for research in geology , marine archeology and so forth .
 
Research into into the land mass called Kumari is not easy at all. The main problems , according to the historian Subramaniam, are lack of reliable historical data, and various mythological and traditional accounts that obscure the issues . Let us note as the concluding remark what he says:

" The puraNaas are not new to the Tamils. The traditional lore are vague and confused of the distant past. Our people take them as true without questioning them. In the books written on the history of Tamizakam , it can easily be noticed that the glorification of the past are woven into PuraNaas and ancient stories. The historical authenticity of these accounts are not looked into at all. Some sociological precepts arising from such puraNaas and oral stories have implanted an understanding in the mind that is really extraordinary in its hold. As long as as they remain as ancient tales, there is no harm but when they are exaggerated then problems crop up. Amidst such tales the foremost is that about the and land mass that was further south from the Cape of Kumari that was ruled by the Pandiyan Kings, and when this was destroyed by the sea then a new capitol was established further north and that the Deities and Agastya and so forth were members of the First Academy and so forth. This is something in between real history and mythology."

( The Tamils - Their History, Culture and Civilization, pp. 25-27)

Top
#1144 - June 26, 2006 01:46 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Southern origin of dynasties in Puranas

Some of the Puranas also indicate that the northern Solar and Lunar
dynasties came from South to North.

Manu Vaivasvata is situated in the Land of Dravida, or near the banks
of the Kritamala (in South India) before the great flood.

He ends up landing in his boat in the Himalayas and from their his
sons start the lineage of kings associated with Ayodha (Solar Dynasty)
and later with Kurukshetra (Lunar Dynasty).

This information is found in Puranas like the Agni and Bhagavata
Purana. If I remember right the Matsya Purana also has much the
same story to tell.

A large ancient, but difficult to date, demographic movement from
South to North is also supported by recent genetic studies which show
higher genetic diversity for a number of prominent haplotypes in
southern parts of India.

Regards,
Paul Kekai Manansala

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#1145 - June 26, 2006 01:54 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/ths.../24/&prd=th


People in north and south India belong to the same gene pool: ICHR Chairman

T.S. Ranganna

He says studies prove this; conclusion that Aryans came here 15,000 years before Christ does not hold water


BANGALORE: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests of blood samples from people in the Indian subcontinent have confirmed that the human race had its origins in Africa and not Europe or Central Asia as claimed by a few historians.

The test has classified the people in north and south India as belonging to one gene pool, and not different ethnic groups such as Aryans and Dravidians.

Giving the information to The Hindu here, Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research D.N. Tripathi said geneticists from Pakistan had collected samples for genetics analysis of the people of Indian subcontinent and sent them to cellular and molecular biology laboratories in the U.S. Scientists in Pakistan concluded from the test results that the human race spread out of Africa 60,000 years before Christ. They settled in the subcontinent. Geneticists in Pakistan concluded that people living in the northern and southern regions of India and those in the West Asian region were from the same gene pool, he added.

Asked about the argument of many historians tracing the lineage of people in north India to Aryans, Prof. Tripathi said test results had proved this wrong. "We have the results of studies. The conclusion of some historians that Aryans came here 15,000 years before Christ does not hold water," he added.

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#1146 - June 26, 2006 02:12 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Pancha Dravidas

The mention of camel and the topography of the region where it was found in Tolkaappiyam is noteworthy. It is also clear that the Tamils did not live in the camel inhabited land. The references only show that the Tamils had happened to know about a desert region while living in lands adjacent to it. I reproduce the passage from "Key words of a Kinship" below. The following passage contains one of the evidences presented in my book "Key Words of a Kinship" for the Tamils' having lived in the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent in the past.
 
 4.  The classical Sangkam literature identifies four different land regions in the country of the Tamils. These were the 'kurinji', hills and the lands surrounding them, 'mullai', the woodlands, 'marutham', the lands irrigated by the river on either side of it, nejthal', plains along the seashore, and 'palai', the desert.

The ancient Tamil treatise Tolkaappiyam (c. 5th century BC) enumerates the fauna found in the areas inhabited by the Tamils. The camel is one of the animals in the list. The Tolkaappiyam also speaks about the palai or desert region as an area of intense heat. It also states that the desert was a peruvali, literally 'a great way' or 'highway' - an obvious reference to the ancient 'trade routes' that passed through deserts. These are clear references to a desert region the Tamils lived close to before reaching southern India. The reference to camels and the trade routes they traversed across the deserts of Asia are noteworthy. No desert or trade routes traversed by camels ever existed within, or in the vicinity of, the Tamil country in southern India.

The references to the desert occur only in the Sangkam literature and they are absent in the poems of the later times. This may be an evidence of the Tamilsí having lived in an area where there was a desert closeby in the pre-Sangkam period of their past. The anthology called ëahana:nu:ruí contains a considerable number of references to the desert. This is one of the most ancient anthologies forming part of the 'aham' section of the Sangkam literature. It has about two hundred songs, out of a total of four hundred, that deal with themes associated to the palai region. This is significant because most of the other works belonging to the Sangkam period do not contain references to palai, while they have abundant descriptions about the lifestyles, occupations and cultural traditions of the people who lived in the other four land regions.
(ref. Key Words of a Kinship, P.159)

Anyway here are some quotes from an article in Tamil Guardian:

"Literary evidence of the lost continent of Kumari Kandam comes
principally from the literature of the Third Tamil Sangam and the
historical writings based on them. Many of them refer to the lost
Tamil lands and to the deluges which ancient peoples believed had
swallowed those lands. The Silappathikaram, a well known Tamil
literary work, for instance mentions, “ the river Prahuli and the
mountain Kumari surroundered by many hills being submerged by the
raging sea”.

The Kalittogai, another literary work, specifically refers to a
Pandyan king losing territories to the sea and compensating the loss
by conquering new territories from the Chera and Chola rulers to the
north. In his commentary on the Tolkappiyam, Nachinarkiniyar mentions
that the sea submerged forty-nine nadus (districts), south of the
Kumari river. Adiyarkkunelar, a medieval commentator, says that before
the floods, those forested and populated lands between the Prahuli and
Kumari rivers stretched 700 kavathams, ie for about 1,000 miles. As
observed by Prof.(Dr) M. Sunderam, “The tradition of the loss of a
vast continent by deluge of the sea is too strong in the ancient Tamil
classics to be ignored by any serious type of inquiry.”

http://www.tamilguardian.com/beta/news_details.asp?newsid=269
 
The Tamils apparently lived in the Indus valley which is bordered by deserts on both the eastern (the Tar) and western (the Baluch arid region) sides. Note that the palai or desert is not shown in ancient Tamil literature as one of the land regions the Tamils lived in. It is described as a place having a very hot climate and hence not suitable for settlement. The description sounds as that of an onlooker.

The legend of Alli has as its locale the Pandyamandalam region
with Madurai as the focal point. The location of this myth in
Madurai becomes extremely significant since the historical course
of Madurai foregrounds the kind of power politics which has
generated the Alli myth. The association of women with political
power in the Pandyan kingdom (in striking contrast to other
regions where male control over the state is unquestioned) can
be seen in other origin legends which seem to bear no direct
connection with Alli. Interestingly, the well known historian
Neelakanta Shastri states in his History of South India that
according to oral tradition the Pandyan kingdom was founded
by a woman. The Buddhist text Mahavamsa refers to a Pandyan
queen who became the wife of Vijaya of Sri Lanka. Neelakanta
Shastri in his book The Pandyan Kingdom suggests a possible
connection with the story of Alliís marriage to Arjuna who is
also known by the name of 'Vijaya'.

http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=
2006&leaf=04&filename=10020&filetype=pdf

 
Interestingly the Greek work -- Indica(I guess) also refers to
Madurai being ruled by the daughter of King and Indian Kings being accompanied by woman warriors on their hunting trip.
 
Is there any article about the work 'Bharatam' written by the
Sangam poet, Perunthevanar which refers to the great battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Is it possible that - that formed the kernel of the future Mahabharata.
The article does say that Mahabharata was translated into Tamil from Sanskrit by some King. It seems the work 'Bharatam' is lost?

Best regards,
R.M.Paulraj

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#1147 - December 30, 2006 09:04 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Harappa was like any other metro: US prof

Author: Anjali Joseph
Publication: The Times of India
Dated: December 21, 2006

A great trading city teeming with different communities that existed together and enjoyed civic infrastructure like a water supply and drains; a manufacturing centre where textiles that were exported around the world were made. It's not a description of 19th century Mumbai, but of cities like Harappa and Mohenjo Daro in the Indus valley as early as 4th millennium BC, said Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, ***ociate professor in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at a lecture in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya on Tuesday.

Kenoyer has been working on excavations in the Indus Valley, particularly in Harappa, since 1974. Drawing on recent discoveries at Harappa, Kenoyer explained the inferences made by archaeologists and anthropologists about life in the Indus valley, which is now believed to have extended in the area surrounding not only the Indus, but also the now-dried up Saraswati river. Kenoyer said modern archaeological findings do not support the idea of an Aryan 'invasion,' but show that Vedic people were among those who lived in cities such as Mohenjo Daro in Sindh and Harappa in Punjab towards the end of the Indus civilisation, which stretched between 7,000 BC and 1,900 BC. "These were sophisticated cities with wide roads, gates designed to keep intruders out and where those coming in or going out of the city with goods could be taxed. There was a water supply and proper drains. It was only when the Saraswati dried up and Mohenjo Daro and Harappa became overpopulated because other cities lost their water supply that the cities declined,'' said Kenoyer, comparing that period with the fate of cities such as Amritsar and Lahore at the time of Partition. As many as 50,000 people may have lived in Harappa at certain periods and the people of the Indus civilisation formed ethnic groups, said Kenoyer, citing figurines showing seals with symbols such as the buffalo or unicorn to represent different ethnic groups. The unicorn symbol was invented by the Indus people, and spread to Europe centuries later via Mesopotamia and Near East, he said.

"There was no single ruler in these cities. We've found no palace. Instead, there seems to have been a republic in which a group of elders ruled," said Kenoyer.

What was earlier believed by archaeologists to be a grain store in Harappa now seems likely to have been a textile weaving centre, and fine cloth from the area was exported far away, he said.

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#1148 - January 22, 2007 12:10 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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LETTER FROM LONDON:

Demons from the past Irfan Husain

Whether we like it or not, neither geography nor history can be changed. While both countries have engaged in rewriting the past to suit their respective agendas, the facts cannot be erased. Both Muslims and Hindus have to live together as neighbours, and in India, as citizens

In a tranquil place like St Andrews, there are not many distractions, so I have been reading lots of history and trying to reflect on its lessons. For some time now, I have been interested in the dynamics of Hindu-Muslim relations, and the impact of ancient enmities and grievances on current Indo-Pak relations.

We have forgotten much of our past, but it nonetheless affects our daily lives.

For instance, when we now think of the Afghan city of Kandahar, we equate it with the Taliban. But its original name was Gandhara, and it was a part of the ancient Buddhist civilisation with its capital city in Taxila. Swat, Peshawar and the Kabul Valley were all included in this thriving, peaceful community that had absorbed Mediterranean culture brought to the subcontinent by Alexander, and before him, by Greek mercenaries and traders.

While it was no utopia, it was a stable, prosperous civilisation that threatened none of its neighbours, and has bequeathed us a wealth of artefacts that attest to its high level of cultural development.

The reason I mention this period of history is to try and understand the bitterness that must exist in many Hindu minds over the Muslim conquest of their country. In his Story of Civilisation, Will Durant writes: The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest in history. While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enouh to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan.

The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the p***age of years has not cleansed. Indeed, the presence of Muslim historians on their various campaigns has ensured that the memory of their deeds will live long after they were buried.

Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster. Their temples were razed, their idols smashed, their women raped, their men killed or taken slaves. When Mahmud of Ghazni entered Somnath on one of his annual raids, he slaughtered all 50,000 inhabitants. Aibak killed and enslaved hundreds of thousands. The list of horrors is long and painful.

These conquerors justified their deeds by claiming it was their religious duty to smite non-believers. Cloaking themselves in the banner of Islam, they claimed they were fighting for their faith when, in reality, they were indulging in straightforward slaughter and pillage. When these warriors settled in India, they ruled as absolute despots over a cowed Hindu populace. For generations, their descendants took their martial superiority over their subjects for granted. When the British exposed the decadence of the Moghuls and seized power, the Muslims especially the aristocracy tried to cut deals with the new rulers to ensure that they would be treated differently from the Hindus.

It has been argued by some historians that Pakistan was really created to ensure that the Muslim ruling cl*** would not be subject to Hindu rule in an undivided India. But having created Pakistan, the ruling elites promptly started lording it over the Bengalis of East Pakistan. What, after all, is the point of being descendants of Tughlak, Aibak and Mahmud if there is no under-cl*** to persecute and exploit?

This, then, is the Hindu perspective of the Muslim invasion of their country. After centuries of first Muslim and then British rule, they are finally in charge of their destiny. For the first time in modern history, Indians feel that they can play a role on the world stage in keeping with their numbers and the size of their country.

Pakistan, especially its establishment and military, is smarting from successive military defeats and the steady diminishing of its international image. Due to their long domination of much of India, the Muslim elite in Pakistan feels it has some kind of divine right to be treated on a par with India.

With this psychological and historical baggage, both sides are unable to engage constructively with each other. Many Hindus feel they have centuries of humiliation to avenge. And a substantial number of Pakistani Muslims are secretly convinced that they are inherently superior to the Hindus.

One irony, of course, is that contrary to their wishful thinking, the vast majority of Muslims in the subcontinent have more Hindu blood in their veins than there is Arab, Afghan, Turkish or Persian blood. Many of the invaders took Hindu wives and concubines. And many Hindus converted to Islam to further their military or civil service careers. As a result of this intermingling, despite proud boasts of pure bloodlines, most Pakistanis have many Hindu ancestors.

This reality makes the Hindu-Muslim divide all the more bitter, for it pits brother against brother. And as students of Moghul history are aware, this is perhaps the bloodiest kind of conflict. By ties of consanguinity, culture, geography, and history, there is far more that unites than divides Indian Hindus and Muslims. But the politics of self-interest, too often garbed in the banner of faith, has pushed them far apart.

Why resurrect these ghosts from history? Because until we have confronted the demons from our past, we cannot understand the dynamics of contemporary events. As India and Pakistan go through the intricate steps of peace talks, each side needs to know what makes the other tick.

Whether we like it or not, neither geography nor history can be changed. While both countries have engaged in rewriting the past to suit their respective agendas, the facts cannot be erased. Both Muslims and Hindus have to live together as neighbours, and in India, as citizens.

A study and understanding of the past will promote better understanding between the two communities. It is important that Hindus grasp the central fact that their Muslim neighbours cannot now be held responsible for the persecution of their ancestors, and Muslims must face the fact that they are not the political heirs of the emperors Babar and Akbar.

Time is a great leveller; it is also a great healer.

The writer is a freelance columnist

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_30-8-2004_pg3_4

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited January 22, 2007).]

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#1149 - July 06, 2007 11:49 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Footloose: Sindhu unrestrained, dappled mare! -Salman Rashid


Had our founding fathers been students of classical history and geography wouldnt they, instead of inventing a new name and a new identity for an ancient people, have gone for the timeless name of India?

Five thousand years ago they came singing their hymns to the earth they discovered for the first time as they wandered across its great face. From the frigid wastes of northern Asias steppe land where summers are short, where few trees grow and where the rivers are but piddling streams they came into the subcontinent that was eventually to be called India. They were overwhelmed by what they saw. The swaying forests of lofty trees, the land fertile beyond their wildest imagination and rivers the likes of which they had never imagined. In their ecstasy of discovery, the poets among these early travellers sang hymns hymns to their gods, to the forests, the good earth and the mighty rivers. This poetry is preserved to this day as the Rig Veda.

Hymn number seventy-five in this vast collection of the most exquisite poetry ever contrived by humans, sings praise to the rivers. There is a frenzy of joyousness and of wonder that words cannot restrain. What shines clearly through is the way these outsiders embraced the land: they were not conquerors; they were homesteaders. But that is a digression. In the main, the star of all the rivers of the subcontinent, so the hymn goes, is the Maha Sapta Sindhu the Great Seven-fold River: His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth: he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light, like floods of rain that fall in thunder from the cloud, so Sindhu rushes on bellowing like a bull.

And again, unable to resolve if this mighty flowing torrent the colour of liquid graphite is a man or a woman thing: Flashing and whitely-gleaming in her mightiness, she moves along her ample volumes through the realms, most active of the active, Sindhu unrestrained, like to a dappled mare, beautiful, fair to see.

As one reads these lines, the flesh crawls and the eye mists up for it is not difficult to experience the thrill felt by those poetic travellers as they attained the banks of the Sindhu River in all its spring-time, perhaps monsoon, glory. Unrestrained, swollen by rains or upcountry thaws, it would have spread mile after mile across the great Punjabi plains stretching from the horizon of the rising sun to where it lapped the newcomers horses hoofs. It was a very ocean; an ocean that flowed. And so they called it Sindhu, Sanskrit for a large river or the great ocean.

Since we may never learn what our earliest ancestors who lived in the cities of Harappa and Moen jo Daro would have called their rivers, it is the Sindhu for us. But few of us call it by the Sanskrit title; we only know it by its Hellenised version. The transformation was simple. From the Sanskrit, the name for the Sindhu went to the Avestan where it was duly pronounced as Hindu, the same way as they transformed the sapt (seven) into haft. The land or asthan watered by this great river was then, naturally, Hindu Asthan or Hindustan.

Two thousand years after our hymn-singing Aryan ancestors had renamed the river (remember it had a pre-Aryan name that we do not know); the Greeks came a-travelling. They borrowed the Persian name but in their usage, the initial h sound is dropped. On Greek tongues the Hindu of the Persian became Indu. Indu, General Mithas widow, is thus named after the river that gave us all life and a great civilisation. But the Greeks end their proper names with an s. And so the Sindhu of the singers of the Vedic hymns and the Hindu of classical Avestan became the Indus of the Greeks. For them the land of the Indus River therefore was India.

The first maps that became widely known to Europe in the latter Middle Ages were copies of a chart from the 2nd century CE. Compiled by the Greek geographer Ptolemy, it was naturally in that language and the names that became known in Europe were not Sindhustan or Hindustan and Sindhu or Hindu but India and the Indus. Back in classical times the country that we know as India today was called Bharat after the great warrior prince of mythology and for the Persians the land that we now call Pakistan was Hindustan. For geographical simplicity however, the entire country, Pakistan and peninsular subcontinent, were lumped together by the Greeks into one entity: India.

Over a thousand years later when it came time for the Arab invasion, the significance of the Persian word Hindu was lost and the following centuries were to see the meaning alter altogether. Borrowing from the Persians, the Arabs called the language and the people Hindi. Even later, neither Al Beruni nor Ibn Batuta uses the word Hindi or Hindu to denote religious persuasion. Both use it only to refer to the people. In fact, in a single case, Ibn Batuta uses the word Hindi deprecatingly for a convert to Islam who had even adopted an Arabic name. It was perhaps not until the 15th century that the word Hindu began to signify a religious persuasion.

The point then is that the name India or Hindustan derives from Sindhu. And since this once great river ([censored] the dams!) flows in what in our part of the subcontinent, we are legitimately the real India and Indians! Those of us who had relatives studying in the West back in the 1950s heard how Westerners, having asked where one was from, ended up saying, Oh, so Pakistan must be a part of India. It is not hard to imagine how one would have felt in those days of greater patriotic fervour.

Consider: had our founding fathers been students of classical history and geography wouldnt they, instead of inventing a new name and a new identity for an ancient people, have gone for the timeless name of India? Had it been so, I do not think we would have been any worse Indians than we are Pakistanis, but I know one thing with certainty: we would not have suffered from our present national insecurity and inferiority. And there was nothing wrong with that ancient identity for it sprang from the mighty Sindhu River that has given us life since time began.

Salman Rashid is a travel writer and knows Pakistan like the back of his hand

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C07%5C06%5Cstory_6-7-2007_pg3_5

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#1150 - July 07, 2007 09:56 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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#1151 - July 11, 2007 10:48 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Iranic influence on Indian civilization in South India.

http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/india_parthian_colony1.php

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#1152 - July 11, 2007 02:36 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Posts: 375
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Islamic Onslaught in India

They killed 60-70 million Hindus, over 250 years.

http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Islamic_Onslaught.htm

Amazing to see a chap in the west, standing up to say what the eminent historians in India have successfully hidden for so long and which will tie most indians in knots to acknowledge .. even if the numbers are off by a factor, the truth remains the same, it was genocide pure and simple..

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/015509.php

Islams Other Victims: India

http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1464

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#1153 - August 07, 2007 08:47 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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A Tamil find in China

http://www.hindu.com/mp/2007/08/06/images/2007080650280802.jpg

http://www.hindu.com/mp/2007/08/06/images/2007080650280801.jpg

The inscriptions found in Guangzhou
Referring to the Chinese connection I had written about in Miscellany, July 23, reader K.R.A. Narasiah sent me the photographs published along with this piece and tells me that they are of Tamil inscriptions found in the south Chinese city of Guangzh ou (Canton), across from Hong Kong. He had written of this find in his prize-winning Tamil book Kadal Vazhi Vanikam and in it he had mentioned that it dated to the 13th Century.

Narrating the story of the inscriptions, Narasiah states that they had first been introduced by T.N. Subramaniam to non-Chinese after the discovery of the two stones in 1956. Professor Noboru Karashima of Taisho University, Tokyo, the leading Japanese authority on Tamil and ancient Tamil History, and Y. Subbarayulu, a former professor of Tamil University, Tanjore, who has done much work with Karashima, rendered the Tamil and Chinese found in the two stones in the following six lines:

1. harah svasti sri sagaptham 1203 vatu Cittirai
2 . ccittirai nal sri ce(kace)kan tirumenikku nan
3. raka udaiyar tiruk(ka)niccuramudaiya nayanarai
4. eriyarulap panninar campandap perumal
5. ana tavacakkaravattikal ce(ka)caikan parman
6. padi
?They then explained the text as stating that in 1281 a Tamil called Champanda Perumal, alias Thava Chakravarthikal, received permission from Chekachai Khan to instal an idol of Shiva in a shrine there, to pray for the health of the authority, and named the temple Thirukkneeswaram. The temple is named after the Khan, who gave the land to the merchant who remembered the king when naming the reigning deity.

Karashima in his Ancient and Medieval Commercial Activities in the Indian Ocean: Testimony of Inscriptions and Ceramic Sherds states that it is "interesting to note in this connection that in Guangzhou there are still many pie ces of stone sculptures and pillars with carved designs which represent the Hindu religion."

According to Karashima, "Examination of seven Tamil inscriptions" found in Eastern countries "reveal the activities of Tamil merchants organised in corporate bodies such as manigramam, ainurruvar and nanadesis (The) non-political character of the merchant guilds must have enabled them to conduct their overseas trade for centuries and to secure their fame."

The inscriptions found in China would indicate that even after the decline of Chola power, people from Tamizhagam continued to travel in the eastern seas, perhaps even settling in China and Japan. Were the ships they sailed in Pandya ships?

S. MUTHIAH

http://www.hindu.com/mp/2007/08/06/stories/2007080650280800.htm

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#1154 - August 13, 2007 01:24 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Cholas as a naval power - Indian Navy website

http://www.sikhtimes.com/news_062903a.html

http://indiannavy.nic.in/pfr2006/MaritimeHistory3.htm


Read this again.

>The overseas ventures of South India were ancient and extensive.

>South India had long trading relations with the west..providing quarters,
warehouses and workshops for Roman sailors and merchants.

>The ports had navigational facilities like wharfs, repair yards, pilotage and
even light houses.

> This growth in trade resulted with competition between the Chola, the Pandya
and the Chera kings.

>By the end of the 2nd century, voyages between India and South east Asia became
frequent.

> From the 1 st century to the 4th century, Chinese reports mention large
numbers of Indians (Brahmins) staying in Malaya peninsula.

>Indians had better organization, superior knowledge of agriculture and *road
building*...

>They acted as *bankers.*

> The great Chola king Rajaraja 1 (AD 985 to 1014) ... said to have attacked
Maldive Island and Sri Lanka.

>His son Rajendra 1 (1014 to 1042 AD.) prepared a naval expedition against Sri
Vijaya, first taking Andaman and Nikobar Islands to serve as an advance base.

> Raja Rajendra, .. *contained Arab competition* by sending a naval expedition
against Maldives to stop the Arabs from building and equiping merchant ships
there.

> Rajaraja Chola's son, Rajendra Chola extended Chola rule by further
conquest. In 1025 AD he crossed the Bay of Bengal with a strong fleet, overran
Pegu (Myanmar)..

"AN ILLUSTRATED MARITIME HISTORY OF INDIAN OCEAN"
HIGHLIGHTING THE MARITIME HISTORY OF THE EASTERN SEA BOARD


It is true that Indian dynasties were not imperialistic, except for the Cholas,
and to some extent the Pandyas. The cholas and the recent Japanese were the only
true imperialists in asia. It was a product of the peoples' entrenched outward
thinking and culture. It takes quite a bit of gumption to do this. That it
happened in the 11th century to far flung places is a wonder, a naval miracle,
backed by naval industry, unlike any before.

Trade and migrations preceded conquest by a thousand years, charting the would
be maritime region. There were no ethnic cleansing as we saw later in the
Americas. The end result of these trade, migrations and conquest is not just the
big temples in India but Angkor Wat, Besakih and Prambanan, plus 2,200 other
such temples as lasting testimony of it. Whereas the British left the India
Gate, the dutch and the portugese some dilapidated forts, the chinese nothing
but their diaspora, and the muslims their holocausts. This speaks of the mass
mind, culture and worldviews of the different peoples.

We know that Indians were present in Kadaram (present day Kedah state in north
Malaysia) in 150 BCE, as the malay historians themselves attest. And in Cambodia
by 150 CE. We know that there was Hindu influence in Mindanao, Philippines.
Chinese records states that some Chola king destroyed 30 cities in Malaya.

Take a look at a map of India and South East Asia. Use GoogleEarth for impact.
The area described above, from Mindanao to Maldives was the Chola Maritime
Region for about 150 years beginning in the 11th century. This chola maritime
empire is five times the size of the British Empire, the largest ever in the
world, and the largest Indian empire, as well as the longest lasting Indian
dynasty having ruled for about 460 years. But its hardly mentioned in Indian
history books. This is a major slight, an emasculation that cannot be ignored.

"Deep in the south of India lie the spectacular remains of one of the world's
most remarkable and most forgotten civilsations. In its heyday it was one of the
half-dozen greatest powers on Earth. It controlled half a million square miles -
more than five times the size of Britain.

Yet today, 1,000 years later, the Chola Empire is remembered only by a handful
of specialist historians. If it had been European, or had given its name to some
still-surviving nation, things might be different. But despite 400 years of
glory, the Chola Empire disappeared from history; a sad fate for a civilisation
which was among the most remarkable produced by the medieval world.

In some ways, it was the most significant of the dozen or so empires which rose
and fell during India's long, tumultuous history. It lasted some 460 years,
longer than any of them. The Chola was also the ONLY Asian empire (bar the
Japanese) to have indulged, albeit briefly, in overseas expansion. It conquered
Sri Lanka, the Andaman and Nicobar islands and, temporarily, parts of south-east
Asia - the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali, and the southern part of the Malay
peninsula."

The lost empire of the Cholas explored
By David Keys

About the writer
David Keys is archaeology correspondent of the London daily paper The
Independent. He is a leading TV archaeological consultant. He has visited over
one thousand archaeological sites in sixty countries.

Now this changes the whole perception of things. A more balanced understanding
of Indian history will go a long way in correcting the many misperceptions about
Hinduism, its peoples', society and culture, in the subcontinent itself!

Regards.

Pathma

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#1155 - August 20, 2007 10:08 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The Bangladesh Genocide

Killings of Hindus in Bangladesh -1971
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hA4vsk3urO4

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#1156 - August 20, 2007 10:44 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Extent of Chola empire
and related news

Angkor as big as LA
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6945574.stm

Map of Chola Empire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Rajendra_map_new.png

One of the last conquests of Rajaraja was the naval conquest of the `old islands
of the sea numbering 12,000, the Maldives'.

Chola, Pandya `nagarams' similar to European towns
http://www.thehindu.com/2007/07/26/stories/2007072656491300.htm

Changes in the characteristics of `nagarams' (towns) and commerce in Tamil
country during the late Chola and Pandya period were somewhat similar to what
was witnessed in Europe. between 850 and 1200 A.D., there was no difference
between villages and towns. In both, people were broadl y land owners. They took
part in community work and were under the control of the state. But after the
12th century, `nagaram' became a promoter of commerce by associating itself with
`ainnurruvar' (merchant guild of 500 people), an institution that had been
conducting itinerant trade from the 10th century. `Jati' formation also
accelerated the development. Towns became important, powerful and independent.
brisk trading with Arabs, the Southeast Asian nations and China took place in
the later part. Tamil inscriptions were found in Takuapa (Thailand), Pagan
(Myanmar) and Sumatra (Indonesia), which talked about the merchant guilds. The
inscriptions belonged to the 9th-12th century period. A 13th century Tamil
inscription in Quanzhou, a southern port of China, talked of the plans of the
Tamil community to build a Shiva temple there.

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#1157 - August 31, 2007 11:41 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The British Holocaust in India

http://www.guardian.co.uk/india/story/0,,2155324,00.html

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#1158 - October 10, 2007 01:00 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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South Indian Sciences Powers the Industrial Revolution


http://hindurenaissance.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=\
\
1&ed=1

The Transmission of Scientific Knowledge from Tamizhagam to Europe

(15th to 20th centuries)


As Vasco-da-Gama introduced Syphilis in India through Calicut, the Tamils had
a contempt for the Europeans and started calling them "Parangi", that is the
persons with such disease, syphilis.

The Siddha literature had been abundant with references to explosives using
different types of naturally available salts. In India, the dynamites/explosives
were used extensively for quarrying purposes, as they required large quantities
of stones for building purposes. The rock-cut temples, monolithic monuments,
lengthy pillars and slabs prove the tactful breakage of stones from rocky
mountain along its cleavages. Another usage was for pyro-technique mixtures.
Explosives were manufactured simply with saltpetre or potassium known as
`Vediyuppu', literally meaning `the salt that explodes'.

The University of Astronomy at Madurai:
According to Roberto de Nobili, Madurai was the excellent university where
10,000 Brahmins were learning different arts and sciences into groups of 200-300
under professionals. It was a residential university of which the King had taken
care of finance.

However, about the transmission of scientific knowledge and/or manuscripts from
Tamizhagam, it appears no study has been so far. The study of Jesuit writings
reveal interesting details that such transmission had taken place during 1600 to
1850 period and even beyond.

Many times, the masquerade of the Jesuits has to be removed to find out their
scientific pursuits (piercing the corporate veil to understand a company). The
author has already presented and published some papers about Saltpetre, the
scientific pursuits of Robert de Nobili and Le de Gentil, the interest of
European Scientists in India, etc. That even the British adopted such methods
under the guise of scientific survey is interesting to study their motive.

The visiting Europeans (including Jesuits) were stunned at multi-storied
buildings, gardens, dams and water reservoirs, the shipping activities, metal
technology and above all, the time bound activities of the people.

The so-called revolutions took place changing the face of Europe -The American
Revolution (1776-1783), the French Revolution (1789-1791), and the Industrial
Revolution (1750-1850). Within hundred years, surprisingly, Europe began to
discovering and inventing everything all of sudden, when they were plaguing with
diseases, reeling under religious persecution and suffering from economic
conditions. Definitely, the European companies and the Jesuits gained much from
India.

Take any science, their discoveries or claimed inventions are only in 18th-19th centuries, after their comfortable' association with, derivation of and consummation with India. Getting goods and services from India - searching for India - getting goods manufactured and exported to their countries from India - taking science and technology with samples and books to Europe - getting revolutionalized suddenly - all clearly proves the fact.

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#1159 - October 20, 2007 11:09 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Tamil and Sanskrit


The following questions will be useful in responding to the question raised about the relationship between Tamil (Dravidian) and Sanskrit. If the following views are true then it is better to conclude that the distinction between Dravidian and Indo-Aryan family of languages is a fiction for both family of languages are syntactically the same with a large range of lexical commonalties. Normally the syntactic features are not borrowed that easily.



The Dravidian Languages, Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (2003), Cambridge University Press, New York.

Extracts:

There are over 26 Dravidian languages known at present. They are classified into four genetic subgroups as follows:

South Dravidian (SD I): Tamil, Malayalam, Irula, Kurumba, Kodagu, Toda, Kota, Badaga, Kannada, Koraga, Tulu;

South-Central Dravidian (SD II): Telugu, Gondi (several dialects), Konda, Kui, Kuvi, Pengo, Manda;

Central Dravidian (CD): Kolami, Naikri, Naiki, Parji, Ollari, (Kondekor) Gadaba;

North Dravidian (ND): Kurux, Malto, Brahui. (p.19-20)

..... The foregoing outline of Proto-Dravidian culture gives a glimpse of a highly civilized people, who lived in towns in tiled or terraced houses, with agriculture as the main occupation. They drew water from wells, tanks and lakes, and knew drainage. They also carried trade by boat in the sea. However, there is no indication of the original home of these people. At least, it is certain that they do not have terms for flora and fauna not found in the Indian subcontinent. It is significant that Proto-Dravidian have not retained any expressions for snow and ice and they do not have a name for the lion, rhino and camel. In view of this situation it would be safe to consider the speakers of the Dravidian languages as native people of India. This does not rule out the possibility of Proto-Dravidians being the originators of the Harappa civilization. In the third millennium BCE they must have been scattered all over the subcontinent, even as far as Afghanistan in the northwest where they came in contact with the Rgvedic Aryans. After some groups had moved to the periphery of the Indo-Gangetic plains with the expansion of Aryans, several other groups must have been assimilated into the Aryan society. The major structural changes in Middle or Modern Indic strongly suggest a Dravidian substratum for over three millennia.

There have been Dravidian lexical items borrowed into Sanskrit and Prakrits during the Middle Indic period but most of these refer to concepts native to Dravidian: see table 1.1. The list shows that, during the long period of absorption and shift to Indo-Aryan by the Dravidian speaking tribes, only specialized lexical items from Dravidian were borrowed into Indo-Aryans, mainly items of need-based borrowing. However, the grammatical changes which had swept through Indo-Aryan were far-reaching, mainly because of transplanting the Dravidian structure onto Indo-Aryan. . (p.15-16)

There has been a great deal of speculation on the time, the place and the nature of the earliest contact between the speakers of the Dravidian languages and those of Indo-Aryan. All this is part of prehistory and no archaeological evidence is available to clinch the issue.

On the basis of lexical and syntactic evidence found in the language of the Rgveda, .. the term Aryan was not used as a racial term; it referred to a people who were basically a pastoral community keeping herds of cattle as its economic mainstay, speaking a form of Old Indo-Aryan and practising certain rituals. The non-Aryans with whom they came in contact and who did not rise to their level were called dasa- or dasyu-; they were dark-skinned (tvacam krsnam) and spoke indistinctly (mrdhrawacah). Very likely these could be the speakers of the Dravidian languages; some tribes probably also spoke the Munda languages..

. The Dasas were said to be numerous, running into hundreds of thousands, while the Aryans were fewer in number.

Despande (1979b:2) says that Aryans considered non-Aryans as substandard human being. They called their enemies godless (adeva), non-sacrificers (ayajyavah), non-believers in Indra (anindra), worshippers of dummy gods (murudeva) and phallic gods (sisna-deva) and those whose language was obscure and unintelligible (mrdhravacah). This runs counter to Kuipers (see above) thinking, since the Rgvedic language has a large number of loanwords from non-Aryan sources, over 380, of which 88 had retroflex phonemes! Besides the Rgveda has used the gerund, not found in Avestan, with the same grammatical function as in Dravidian, as a non-finite verb for incomplete action. Rgvedic language also attests the use of iti as a quotative clause complementizer. All these features are not a consequence of simple borrowing, but they indicate substratum influence (Kuiper 1991: ch.2).

Deshpande (1979b:3) says that by the time of the late Samhitas and the Brahmana literature, Vedic Sanskrit was becoming archaic, and new forms of Sanskrit had begun to develop. Panini (fifth century BC) marked the end of this phase. Spoken varieties such as Pali and Prakrits were becoming popular. With the ascendancy of Buddhism and Jainism under royal patronage, Prakrits became standard and Sanskrit gradually ceased to be the first language. By the time of Katyayana (300 BC) and Patanjali (100 BC), the first language of the Brahmins was Prakrit, while Sanskrit was confined to ritual purposes (Deshpande 1979b: chs. 2 and 3). Such a rapid transformation within a span of one millennium could not have happened unless most of the speakers of the non-Aryan languages (mainly the speakers of the Dravidian languages) had merged with the Aryan speech community and accepted their language as lingua franca, but learnt it imperfectly, giving the rise to regional Prakrits. This explains the background of convergence and cultural fusion between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, through language shift and adoption of a new medium by the erstwhile Dravidian speakers, and not through simple bilingualism and borrowing. By that time it was perhaps impossible to distinguish an Aryan from a non-Aryan person by skin colour or by speech

In a monograph entitled Substrate languages in Old Indo-Aryan (Rgvedic, Middle and Late Vedic) .. Michael Witzel proposed three chronological phases (pp.4-5) in the composition Rgveda: I. the earliest books (4,5,6,2) of the Rgveda go back to 1700 to 1500 BCE; II. The Middle Rgvedic period is c.1500 - 1350 BCE (books 3,7,8); and III. The late Rgvedic period 1350 1200 BCE (books 1.1-50, 8.67-103, 10.1-854, 10.85-191). He asserts that Dravidian loanwords appear only in the late Rgvedic phases II and III. There are 300 non-Indo-European words in the first two phases, which Witzel traces to a substrate language, that he calls Para-Munda. He identifies certain non-Sanskritic prefixes during this period which could not be Dravidian since prefixes cannot be reconstructed for Proto-Dravidian He even considers the language of the Indus Valley civilization as Para-Munda.

The main flaw in Witzels argument is his inability to show a large number of complete, unanalyzed words from Munda borrowed into the first phase of the Rgveda. Such an extensive lexical borrowing must precede any effort on the part of the borrowers proceeding to the next stage of isolating the prefixes and using them creatively with native stems. It would have been better if he said that we did not know the true source of 300 or so early borrowings into the Rgveda. Nikita Gurov, a Russian linguist, has shown several of these to have Dravidian etymologies based on compounding and not prefixing.

In 1956 Emeneau published an epoch-making paper, India as a linguistic area. He defines a linguistic area as an area which includes languages belonging to more than one family but showing traits in common which are not found to belong to the other members of (at least) one of the families. He explains this phenomenon as a consequence of structural borrowing through extensive bilingualism....... Earlier Chatterji (1926) and Jules Bloch (1930) had discussed the impact of non-Aryan on Indo-Aryan in phonology and morphology

In a comprehensive and well-documented paper, Andree Sjoberg (1992) discusses the impact of Dravidian on Indo-Aryan. She has added to the observations of Emeneau and Masica, the recent work of Fairservis and Southworth on linguistic archaeology (unpublished paper of 1986) and that of a number of other linguists who have traced Dravidian influences on the syntax of the New Indo-Aryan, particularly Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya and Bengali (Sjoberg 1992: 520-5). She points to the analytical grammatical type of NIA which she considers mainly to have resulted from Dravidian influences (1992: 520), namely OV as opposed to English VO, the order Standard-Marker-Adjective as opposed to Adjective-Marker-Standard, adjective and adverb preceding noun and verb, respectively, as opposed to their inverse order in European languages. All these are typical of Dravidian, although the Dravidian languages are agglutinating-synthetic....... Klaiman (1987) has cited several syntactic parallels between Dravidian and Bengali, e.g. the use of an inflected verb say as a clitic, the use of an invariant negative marker nei like Ta. Illai, besides negative verbs, restructuring gender on the model of Dravidian; all such features indicate a Dravidian substratum in Bengali (Sjoberg 1992: 520-1).

In conclusion, Sjoberg raises an important question:

Thus the Dravidian grammatical impact on Indo-Aryan has been far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian a point that specialists on Indian linguistic history seem not to have appreciated. How can we account for this pattern?

Even after three millennia or more of Indo-Aryan-Dravidian contact the Dravidian languages have changed relatively little in their grammatical structure, whereas Indo-Aryan has undergone major grammatical restructure. (1992: 524)

Her hypothetical answer to this question is that agglutinative languages also seem highly resistant to syntactic change. Sjoberg did not notice that I raised a similar question and provided a more acceptable answer in my first survey article (Krishnamurti 1969b: 324-5):

It is the Dravidian langauages (particularly South Dravidian) which show evidence of extensive lexical borrowing but only a few traits of structural borrowing from Indo-Aryan. On the contrary, Indo-Aryan (particularly Middle and Modern) shows large scale structural borrowing from Dravidian, but very little lexical borrowing. How can we reconcile these conflicting facts in order to work them into a framework of a bilingual situation?

I proposed an answer in a long footnote, as follows, which many subsequent researchers seem to have missed:

That Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan have been built on a Dravidian substratum seems to be the only answer. The fact that the invading Aryans could never have outnumbered the natives, even though they politically controlled the latter, is a valid inference. The hypothesis that most of the present New Indo-Aryan speakers should have been originally Dravidians and also presumably Kolarians (Munda speakers) was suggested long ago (see Caldwell 1956: 52-61). Quoting Hodgson, Caldwell says, .. the North Indian vernaculars had been derived from Sanskrit, not so much by the natural process of corruption and disintegration as through the overmastering, remoulding power of the non-Sanskritic elements contained in them (p.53). Emeneau says, In the case of Sanskrit, however, the Dravidian substratum is easily accessible in its dozen or more living languages, and in that a Proto-Dravidian can be worked out, given enough scholars interested in the matter (1954: 258); also see S K Chatterji (1957), see particularly, pp. 212-13 in which he speaks of non-Aryan substratum of Aryan.

the evolution of Middle and Modern Indo-Aryan has been a slow and unconscious process and is not the consequence of the Dravidian natives deliberately subverting the structure and system of Indo-Aryan. The scenario with three Dravidian languages scattered at distant points on the northern periphery, with several islands in central India, and with thick concentration in the south indicates that most of the early native Dravidian speakers in the north and centre had merged with local speech communities within Indo-Aryan.
(p.35 42)

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited October 20, 2007).]

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#1160 - October 22, 2007 02:48 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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THE PRIMARY CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD, G Devaneyan, 1966, Madras

Extracts:
(p. 291-296)

Composition of Sanskrit

Sanskrit, which is universally and erroneously believed to be the earliest living member of the Aryan family of languages, is really a composite semi-artificial literary dialect of which, two-fifths are West and Mid-West Aryan, two-fifths Dravidian, and the remaining one-fifth, new creation.

The Tamil loan-words in Sanskrit have been generally distorted and disguised in many ways as follows:

(1) Change of Letters:
e.g.

mukam - mukha (face)
madi - mru (to die)
maadam - maasa (mouth)
kaay - kaas (to shine)
naali naadi (measure)

Some words derivated from the same etymon have the root-consonant altered in Sanskrit.
e.g.

etymon: pagu

Tamil - Sanskrit
pakkam - paksa
paagam - bhaaga

eymon: sattu

Tamil - Sanskrit
sattam (frame) - (missing in print) sadaram ?
sadam - jada (body, lifeless matter)
sadalam sariram (body)


Addition of Letters and Affixes

e.g.
Tamil - Sanskrit

kaayam - akaasa (sky)
taamarai - taamarasa (red lotus)

(more examples)


Many altered Tamil words have a ra or ru inserted after the devocalized initial vowel-consonant:

e.g.
tidam drudha
padi prati
pavalam pravaala
pudavi pruthvi
puttam prusta
medu mrudu
madangam mrudanga
vidai vrusa


Omission of Letters:

As a rule, the final consonant of all Tamil words is dropped in Sanskrit.

e.g.
mandalam mandala
mandagam / mandapam - mandapa


Some Tamil words are contracted in Sanskrit.

e.g.
arundu ad (to eat)
seviyuru sru (to hear)


Some words have not changed in Sanskrit.

e.g.
ambu ambu (water)
aani aani (nail)


Dialects of the same family of languages were spoken throughout India, except in the Vidhyan regions, in the Neolithic Age; and that is what has been called the Dravidian family. The distinction between the spoken dialects of North India, to which the name Gaudian has been given by modern scholars and which have been held to be degenerations of Sanskrit or of Prakrit, and those of Southern India, to which the name Dravidian has been given, is, I hold, a distinction without a difference, except that the North Indian dialects have been very much more profoundly affected by Sanskrit than those of South India. The neolithians of North India spoke languages of their own which, I hold, were structurally allied to the so-called Dravidian family of languages and not to Sanskrit or to Prakrit. It is well known that the several Prakrits, of which we have specimens in dramatic and other literature, were artificial literary dialects used only in literature and restricted therein to the lower classes. They are allied to Sanskrit and totally different in structure from the actual spoken dialects of North India, such as are found in the inscriptions of Asoka. These dialects, as well as the so-called Gaudian dialects now spoken in North India, from Panjab down to Orisa, agree in grammatical structure with the so-called Dravidian dialects of North India. The family relationships of languages can best be ascertained not so much by similarities of their vocables but by an examination of the essential structure of the languages, by their schemes of accidence, of gender, number and cases of nouns and adjectives, of voice, mood, number, gender, tenses and other inflections of verbs, and of their essential syntactical structure such as the order of words in sentences and the methods of formation of idioms.

A comparative study of modern North Indian and South Indian dialects reveals the fact that their fundamental grammatical structure is so very much the same that is possible to translate from one of these languages into any other by the simple process of the substitution of one word for another a procedure [/b]absolutely impossible when translating from Sanskrit or English into any of the spoken dialects of ancient or modern India.[/b]

English and Persian are dialects of the Indo-Germanic family of languages which have passed from the synthetic to the analytic stages, but the dialects of Northern India are not synthetic languages in the analytic stage, but are essentially similar to the South Indian languages in their grammatical framework. It is a well known conclusion of comparative philology that it is possible for a language to borrow almost all its vocabulary from another language, but its grammatical framework, dependent on the particular bent of mind of its speakers cannot be altered by the influence of a foreign language; and the grammatical framework of all the spoken languages of Indian from Asokan days to our own has been the same. I hold therefore that all the spoken languages of India (perhaps including the Nishada dialects, too) are dialects of one family of languages not the Indo-Germanic family which may be called Pan-Indian and that they are desi in essential structure and therefore evolved in India in Neolithic times, if not earlier.

Though there are thousands of Tamil words in Sanskrit they are never admitted by the Sanskritists to be such. Tendentious etymology and obstinate denial are the two expedients resorted to by the Sanskritists, in order to show that all words contained in Sanskrit are its own property.

e.g.
Tamil: siva (red one)
Sanskrit: siva (auspicious one)

Tamil: naagam (f. nagar, to creep)
Sanskrit: naaga (snake, f. naga, a mountain)

The composition of Sanskrit has been elaborately dealt with in my Evolution of Sanskrit.


Development of Sanskrit Literature

The Vedic mantras, the first literary composition of the Indian Aryans, remained unwritten for long (and hence called eluthaakkilavi, the unwritten word in Tamil) owing to back of script and the desire of the Aryans to keep them secret in order to give them an air of sanctity, and prevent their comparatively inferior contents being exposed, and also to facilitate addition and alteration whenever necessary.

The Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanisads were then written in succession in imitation of the original philosophy of the Tamulic gymnosophists and hermits, whom the Aryans aped successfully. There is an unbridgeable gulf between the simple Vedic pantheism and the mature philosophy of the Upanisads. Some of the basic terms of philosophy are still corruptions of Tamil words, for instance, maya (T. maayai) and susmunaa (sulimunai). Even the Aryan mystic mahavakya, lit. the great sentence, viz. tattvasmasi is a corruption of the three Tamil words taan (adu), nuun and irutti.

Logic was then translated from Tamil and developed into various systems. The Tamil system corresponded to the Sanskrit Vaisesika.

Next came into existence eighteen principal and eighteen auxiliary legendary works called Puranas, all of them having a nucleus of Tamilian origin.



The Sanskrit Alphabet

The Sanskrit alphabet was first formed in Tamil Nad, in the Granta characters modified from the Tamil symbols and arranged on the Tamil model, by the original Aryan colonists, with the necessary additions as required by the Aryan phonology.

The elaborate and complicated system of the Sanskrit alphabet, containing some syllabic consonants and having all the voiced and voiceless stops regularly aspirated, betrays its derivative and posterior nature.



Enrichment of Sanskrit Literature

The Vedic Aryans who migrated to the South studied Tamil literature diligently and avidly, and translated all Tamil works on art and sciences into Sanskrit at the cost of public exchequer, and at the same time wrote some secondary or imitative works in Tamil, in order to show that they were Tamil-lovers and thereby avoid any suspicion, and to subtly introduce Aryan ideas into Tamil literature..

Agastiyar is said to have translated medical science, and Naradar, the science of music, into Sanskrit. The Sanskrit work on Dancing and Dramaturgy written by one Bharata, is only a translation of an earlier Tamil work, written by another of the same name.

All unrecorded arts and sciences including topographical accounts were reduced to writing in Sanskrit.

When a scientific Tamil work was translated into Sanskrit the usual procedure adopted was to reclassify the aspects of the subject and give them new nomenclature, in order to make the Sanskrit work appear original. Nowhere else do we find clearly the adoption of this process than in the sphere of music. The Lemurian Tamil musicians, who seem to have been endowed with extraordinary intellect and fine sense of melody, had formulated thousands of melody-types through four excellent technical systems, viz. aayappaaTai, VaTTapaalai, Sadarappaalai, MukkONappaalai. The Aryan musicologists in their eagerness to Aryanize the science, have virtually played vandalism by obscuring the four ancient Tamil systems.

The South Indian Music, usually called Karnatic Music, is nothing but the old Tamil music with Sanskrit terminology. The beautiful and significant Tamil names of melody-types have been replaced by arbitrary Sanskrit names. Even now some basic technical terms are translations of Tamil.

e.g. keelvi (T.) sruti (Skt.); nilai (T.) staay (Skt).

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#1161 - October 22, 2007 02:57 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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EVOLUTION OF HINDU GODS & THOUGHT: A view


The Indian Theogony: Brahma, Visnu and Siva , Sukumari Bhattacharji, Penguin Books India 2000; first published by Cambridge University Press 1970


Extracts:
(headings are added for clarity and emphasis: they are not part of the extracted text)


Rgvedic gods: Indo-European roots

THE Indo-European mind did not imagine the gods as very high, distant or different from men. Their god-making impulse stemmed from awe, wonder and admiration, an impulse unlike the other impulse of fear and misgivings which tends to create gods as very distant and formidable. All generalization is apt to be exaggerated and hence to some extent false, but if we try to probe into the fundamental attitude of the mythopoeic mind it will perhaps strike us that the Indo-European gods are friendly, living not very far from mortals, helpers in need, sharing faults and frailties with men. The Indo-European gods are not perfect; they are not they are not above anger, malice, boastfulness, wile and jealousy.

The Indian pantheon as found in the RV (RgVeda) is predominantly a legacy of the Indo-European pantheon. From the late tenth Mandala, through the YV (Yajur Veda) and AV (Atharva Veda) Samhita down to the Brahmanas we find new factors operating as formative influences in this pantheon. The gods change their character mainly through the impact of the non-Vedic population. Exogamy introduced non-Aryan wives who brought their own gods together with the mode of their worship into their husbands homes as Rachel brought Labans gods into Jacobs household. As neighbours, too, the non-Vedic people influenced the newcomers. The result of this ethnic and cultural intermixture is first noticed in the tenth Mandala and the process reaches a culmination in the Brahmanas. When under the Guptas Brahmanism again came into its own it was set up on a richer and more complex level.

Thus we can trace three strata in the Indian pantheon:
the Indo-European,
the Vedic-Brahmanical, and
the epic-Puranic.


The first stratum belongs to the history of the Indo-Europeans before their advent in India.


Vedic-Brahmanical myth-making

For the second phase, that is, the Vedic-Brahmanical, northern India modern Punjab and Uttar Pradesh was the centre of the Vedic Indians myth-making activities.


7th 6th centuries BCE

Between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. heterodoxy flourished strongly in what is now south-eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Brahmanical religion was introduced rather later in that region and consequently the population there was little affected by the earlier Aryan social, or religious systems.

Yaksas, Nagas and other local, chthonic deities were worshipped at sacred groves or chaityas (mounds), even after the Aryan religion had arrived there.

The social structure was different, administration and forms of government were also different; and opulent merchant class lived in comparative economic security, while the free peasants and artisans, constituting the bulk of the population, enjoyed a high standard of living. The old tribal structure was disintegrating, older administrative institutions were crumbling and a number of petty principalities had arisen in which something of the tribal political structure was retained in the republic type of administration. Confederacies became powerful and although, through Aryan infiltration, new modes of social or religious life were absorbed slowly but surely, this did not happen without considerably altering the character of the Vedic religion itself and largely casting it into an indigenous mould.

The development of organized state-machinery and the advance of material culture ran concurrently with the rapid spread of new religious and philosophical movements the Upanisadic upheaval, Buddhism, Jainism, Yoga, Samkhya and Vedanta. In the tremendous ferment of the succeeding ages the contribution of the new thought was largely incorporated into the emergent religion and remained fundamental to all subsequent religious thought in India.

The chief characteristics of this new thought were: a deep dissatisfaction with the existing state of affairs in the religious and philosophical world, an other-worldliness, a growing crystallization of the theory of rebirth and Karman (action), greater preoccupation with release from the chain of existence, increasing detachment and emphasis on non-violence and non-enjoyment.


Two centuries after Buddha

About two centuries after the Buddha there arose a cult which filled in the hiatus of the negative aspect of these doctrines viz. the Bhagavata cult. According to some, Krsna, its first teacher, later became the central divinity of the cult and ended up becoming an avatara (incarnation) of Visnu.



Epic-Puranic period (c. 200 BC AD 300)

In the next period (c. 200 BC AD 300), when religious thought was at its most active and when the later mythological sections of the epics and early Puranas were being composed and redacted vigorously and briskly, we notice the rise of other sects Saiva, Vaisnava (Narayaniya) and Saura.

This periodis characterized by a greater accent on the doctrine of reincarnation, the concept of the impersonal Brahman and the personal soterial god, Isvara, the authority of the Smrtis (religious conventions) alongside the Srutis (Vedas), increasing stratification of caste and the four stages of life, the emergence of the triad (Brahman, Visnu and Siva), the reincarnation of the supreme being (avatara), different levels of spiritual ability (adhikara), rituals and image worship (puja), pilgrimages, shrines and temples and finally the slow but sure resurgence of the indigenous gods in different syncretistic shapes.

It was a period of spiritual turmoil and achieved an astonishing transformation in Indian mythology. .


Comparing the first two periods: Male gods versu goddesses

Another distinction exists between the relgions of these two periods (early Vedic and later-Vedic to Brahmanical). While in the first the worship of the male gods predominates, in the latter the goddesses, too, become powerful.

Vedic society, was basically patriarchal. If a nations pantheon can be taken as a more or less faithful index of its human level of existence, then, the fact that gods dominate the early Vedic pantheon and are more numerous than the goddesses is significant

In pre-Vedic Indian society, goddesses were equally, if not more, powerful and plentiful; this is shown by the artefacts found in the excavations of prehistoric sites.

At the first clash of the two peoples, the pantheon of the indigenous population, like their worshippers, suffered a defeat and went underground. But with time the old gods steadily regained lost ground and retrieved their lost prestige. Thus in the Brahmanas we have the first signs of the return of the mother-goddesses into power. Nirrti, Saci, Midhsi, Yami, Ambika, Rudrani, Sri, Laksmi, Sarasvati (or Vac) re-emerge as mother-goddesses.


Puja versus Yajna

One reason of the Aryans partial religious surrender is the pre-Aryan worship of images; the visual appeal of the gods captured the imagination of the Aryans who worshipped ideas. Besides, Puja (worship of idols) is much more colourful than Yajna, although Yajan might well have been more awe-inspiring. Puja has a greater and more direct appeal to mans aesthetic sense.



Agamic versus Nigamic (Vedic)

The Aryans were a nomadic people and so had no temples or images. The primitive sacrifices must have been of a rough and ready sort although the Brahmanical ritual was a much more elaborate affair. But they had to compete with visible images, which naturally increased their hold on the popular imagination. Besides, images and their worship had infiltrated into the Aryans homes though their non-Aryan wives. The result was a compromise: the superior beauty of the hymns, their language and poetry retained its hold while the concrete images were adopted because of their immediate and inescapable aesthetic appeal and greater realism.

Many of these images were female figures and they filled a gap in the Aryan pantheon. The goddesses gained in stature and significance. History became a conflict between these two forces: the old, stable unawakened matriarchal powers against the new, mobile, liberating tendencies of the equestrian peoples which were rising into consciousness (Karl Jaspers, The origin and goal of history, p. 16).

This distinction between the patriarchal and matriarchal pantheons is linked to the other distinction of the Agamic and Nigamic religions (Note 1) The Agamic element embodied in the popular and perhaps the pre-Vedic oral religion (as the name indicates) gradually infiltrated the accepted official religion. With the close of the Brahmanical period it had reached the culmination of its first phase when the Aryan gods ruled the pantheon, and the popular gods occupied a subordinate position.


Buddhism

Buddhism made its influence felt in the next period. The Buddha acknowledged the existence of Vedic deities (Note 2). They were regarded as powerful agents somewhat above men who were subject to the laws of nature and had to be redeemed by the Buddha, for they were far from being perfect. Sometimes they symbolize the various powers of the Buddha. Asanga the famous Mahayana author introduced the Brahmanical gods as agents to whom men could pray for worldly objects. It was a compromise with Hinduism. As a result the images of the Bodhisattvas came to be many handed like the Indian gods. When Buddhism revived the Brahmanical gods, the old Agamic gods all were revived


Proliferation of gods

As time went on the number of gods increased rapidly.

Instead of reducing them to many manifestations of one, two or three abstract ideas it is safer in mythology to adopt the attitude of Yaskas yajnikapaksa, which believed that there were as many gods as there were names. The classification of all the hierophanies into three major gods came later and was acknowledged only by a few; to the vast majority of the people gods remained many and to them this was desirable; they respected the functional and regional variations because they needed them


History of texts

The major Buddhist texts of the Pali Canon were composed between 500 BC and AD 200.

The two epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) belong to the centuries immediately before and after Christ. The Ramayana, as we have it, is thought to have been completed between 200 BC and AD 200. The Mahabharata, whose inception belongs to c.400 BC or even earlier, did not assume its present shape (i.e. including the later Puranic interpolations) until the fourth century AD or a little later. The epics were not overtly scriptures, yet posterity regarded them as such and in their final redactions they themselves laid down such a claim. The bulk of the heroic tales of both belong to the same period (200 BC AD 200), but the antennae reach beyond the upper limit and the interpolations continued in the succeeding period of brisk activity of Puranic texts when the epics were reshaped so that the Ramayana became a Rama Purana and the Mbh. a Krsna-Purana.

Mahayana Buddhist texts which deify the Buddha and introduce a new Buddhist pantheon are contemporaneous with the heroic sections of the epics



Note 1: (the authors footnote)

In this book I have sometimes used the terms Agamic and Nigamic, terms which are quite familiar in India with accepted usage in religious terminology. In Mbh. XIII: 145 : 61 we read: Agama lokadharmanam maryada purvanirmita (the Agamas are the previously ordained confines of the popular religion). In actual usage Agama generally signifies Saiva texts and also all pre-Vedic (i.e. popular, indigenous and hence non-Vedic) religious treatises, chiefly oral and chthonic in character. Vedic Aryan religion was mostly sun-oriented and this was Nigama, i.e. Vedic. Later, the Tantras, i.e. scriptures of the mother-goddess (Sakti) were called Agamas, and still later, certain Vaisnava texts, too, called themselves Agamas.

Note 2:

The author is here obviously misrepresenting the Buddha who not only rejected the Vedas but also did not recognize the existence of God. The subsequent intrusion of divinities and deities is clearly a departure from - even a calculated corruption of - the original teachings of the Buddha.

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#1162 - November 02, 2007 12:32 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Vellore Mutiny (1806) - Maruthu Pandiyars - Chidambaram Pillai

History supressed :Tamilian contribution in the fight against British rule

http://www.geocities.com/tamiltribune/04/0501.html
TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2004 (ID. 2004-05-01)

THANJAI NALANKILLI'S COMMENTS

Indian history books (including many high school history books) revolve around the history of the Hindi heartland and regions close by. History of other regions, such as the south and the northeast are virtually ignored. There is a concerted effort by successive Indian Governments to project the history of the north (especially the Hindi heartland and nearby regions) as the history of India. This is not just my view, even many learned scholars hold that view.

On February 12, 2002, the Twenty Ninth All-India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics held in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala State,passed a resolution urging the Government of India to give South India its rightful and legitimate share in history books and to withdraw the new school syllabus prepared and published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)". [Editor's Note: In the school history book published by NCERT, no mention is made of Tamil kings at all, even of Emperor Raja Raja Cholan-I [Reference 2] or his son Emperor Rajendra Cholan-I whom historians consider amongst the greatest of kings in all South Asian history].


Vellore mutiny (1806) versus Sepoy mutiny (1856)

If you ask students of Indian history, most would say that the north-Indian "Sepoy mutiny" was the first mutiny and first war of independence from British colonial rule.

But is Sepoy mutiny of the north the first such mutiny or war of independence from British colonial rule?

Fifty-one years before the Sepoy mutiny was the Vellore mutiny (Vellore is in Tamil Nadu). Sepoy mutiny took pace in 1857 and Vellore mutiny took place in 1806.

There are many similarities between the two mutinies. Both mutinies started because of new regulations that hurt the religious sentiments of Hindu and Muslim soldiers in the British army. The Vellore mutineers attempted to bring back the defeated sons of Tippu Sultan to power (Tippu Sultan was a southern king whose sons were living in Vellore under British pension). The Sepoy mutineers attempted to bring back the defeated Emperor Bahadur Shah to power (Bahadur Shah was a northern king who was living in Delhi under British pension).

A major difference is that Indian history books prepared under Indian Government sponsorship devote several pages to the Sepoy mutiny of the north while ignoring the Vellore mutiny of the south.

While Indian Government sponsored Indian history books ignore the Vellore mutiny, books on British India by British authors do not fail to spotlight Vellore mutiny. The authoritative "The Colonial Wars Source Book" by Philip Haythornthwaite gives an account of the Vellore mutiny. The importance of the Vellore mutiny is evident from the statement, "In 1806 there occurred one of the most serious outbreaks of mutiny", in the fore-mentioned book. It was also the first mutiny in British India. Yet Indian Government sponsored history books ignore it.

During the Sepoy mutiny, taking advantage of the mutiny and the weakening of the British army, some north Indian kings and chieftains started a war of independence. It was limited to the north and did not spread to the south at all. Indian Government and history books project this as the first war of independence or first proclamation of independence from the British rule. Not true.


Maruthu Pandiyar

You will not find much, if any, about the Tamil Chieftain Maruthu Pandiyar and his brother in Indian history books. Maruthu Pandyar was the first to issue a proclamation of independence from British rule, 56 years before the north Indian rebellion during the Sepy mutiny [Reference 3]. He did so from Thiruchi Thiruvarangam Temple (Tamil Nadu) on June 10, 1801; that was more than half a century before the Sepoy mutiny. British considered it a serious threat to their future in India that they rushed additional troops from Britain to put down Maruthu Pandyar's rebellion.

This southern rebellion and the northern rebellion during Sepoy mutiny had many commonalities. In the same way a number of northern kings and chieftains joined together and fought against the British and lost during the Sepoy mutiny, a number of kings and chieftains of the south joined and fought and lost. The only difference is that Indian history books that glorify Sepoy mutiny make no mention of the southern rebellion.

Indian Government deliberately tries to hide historical facts such as Maruthu Pandiyar's fight against the British. Indian Government celebrated the 100-th anniversary of the Sepoy mutiny with great fanfare. There were numerous programs about the mutiny in the Indian Government controlled All India Radio. But not even a mention was made in All India Radio about Maruthu Pandiyar led rebellion against the British on either its 150-th anniversary or its 200-th anniversary. Even a request by some Tamil leaders that the Government issue a postage stamp honoring Maruthu Pandiyar brothers on the two-hundredth anniversary of their execution by the British in1801 was denied. No stamp was issued. The same Indian Government had issued a stamp in honor of Hindi-belt Jansi Rani who participated in the Sepoy mutiny.

V O Chidambaram PillaiversusTilak

There is a compatriot of Tilak named V.O. Chidambaram (1872-1936) from Tamilnadu. He was also called V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, V.O. Chidambaranar and VOC. He was the first person from the Indian Subcontinent to start and operate a Modern Shipping Company against the active opposition of British colonial rulers. He was also an active participant in the independence movement against the British and was imprisoned from 1908 to 1912.

In prison he was forced to drive an oil press. Let me explain what I mean by "drive an oil press". Oil presses (to squeeze oil from coconut or other nuts) are usually driven by bulls (oxen). Mr. VOC was tied to an oil press in place of a bullock and was forced to drive it exactly the way a bull would do. It is a form of corporal punishment the British imposed on some prisoners.

He was very much respected and honored in Tamil Nadu, and is known as "kappalooddiya Tamilan" (a Tamil who operated ships) and "sekkizuththa semmal" (a honorable man who drove oil presses). You will not find even a brief biography of V.O. Chidambaram in Indian history books. Had he been born in the north, things would have been different.

One can write a multi-volume book on those from Tamil Nadu who fought against British rule. I gave here just a few examples.. the Indian Government and history books it sponsors hide the contribution of the south while spotlighting contributions from the north.. Even the All-India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics was critical of the Indian Government for ignoring South Indian history in history books and school syllabus it sponsors and/or funds.

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#1163 - November 24, 2007 08:07 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Ram vs Setu : MYTH (BJP mullahdom) versus SCIENCE

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2419/stories/20071005500500400.htm
FRONTLINE
Volume 24 - Issue 19 :: Sep. 22-Oct. 05, 2007

Setu formation : Detailed geological studies already done

COVER STORY

Myth vs Science
R. RAMACHANDRAN

By withdrawing the ASI affidavit before the Supreme Court, the government has in effect adopted the Sangh Parivar line of scoffing at science.


RAM SETHU, AS seen from the air. This picture was taken while flying over Sri Lanka looking west.
(Photograph by : PlaneMad, 2005. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.)

SCIENCE and rationality have taken a beating in the unfolding of the recent events surrounding the controversial mega marine project called the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) of the Government of India. The project envisages the dredging of the shallow ocean region in the south-eastern Bay of Bengal to create an artificial 167-kilometre-long, 300-metre-wide and 12-metre-deep channel-like passage for (10,000-12,000 gross tonnage) ships across the island formations called Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu.

The bridge, or sethu, is a discontinuous chain of sandbars dotting a 30-km stretch in the east-west direction between the southern tip of the Rameswaram island in India and Talaimannar in northwestern Sri Lanka, creating a geographical divide between the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar, which form part of the southern Cauvery basin. The rationale for the project is that such a channel would avoid circumnavigation of Sri Lanka (of an additional distance of over 400 km) in the voyage between the east and west coasts of India.

Ram Sethu and Adams Bridge are names derived from Hindu and Islamic mythologies respectively, the former from the epic Ramayana wherein Rama (venerated as God by Hindus) is supposed to have built this bridge with the help of his allies (the Vanara Sena) to reach Lanka and rescue his abducted wife Sita, thus giving rise to the belief among Hindus that the island chain is man-made. The sea separating India and Sri Lanka is, therefore, referred to as Sethusamudram, from which the project derives its name. According to the Islamic account, Adam used the bridge to reach Adams Peak in Sri Lanka where he stood in repentance for 1,000 years.

The proposal for a channel linking the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar actually goes back to the British in 1860 and since then several proposals have been made and six distinct alignments for the passage to go across Ram Sethu have been put forward. But only in 1998, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, finally launched the project. It was only inaugurated during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime in 2005 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The protests by the BJP currently in evidence against cutting Ram Sethu, as the channel alignment chosen in 2002 would require, on the grounds that any structural change to Ram Sethu would hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu millions of the country, is clearly dictated by political expediency with the agitation to preserve Rams heritage being now spearheaded by Hindu fundamentalist organisations such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Hindu Munnani.

Political expediency, given the distinct possibility of early general elections, has dictated the governments responses to the opposition to the project as well. They reflect obvious communal vote politics, meant not to lose Hindu votes. Following the Supreme Courts judgment restraining the SSCP from carrying out any dredging that could damage Ram Sethu on the petitions filed by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, among others, the Centres responses have been less than rational. It has decided not only to withdraw the counter-affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) but also to redefine the project by choosing another alignment that does not cut through Ram Sethu.

The affidavits statement that mythological texts such as the Ramayana cannot be said to be historical record to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters, or the occurrence of events depicted therein, was perhaps unnecessary and unwarranted for arguing that Ram Sethu is not a man-made structure as contended by the petitioners, but the statement itself cannot be faulted given the scientific evidence.

Be that as it may, the decision to withdraw a well-argued affidavit in its entirety has only resulted in giving primacy to religious beliefs over a whole body of scientific evidence on which the affidavit was based to show that Ram Sethu is a natural geological formation.

The move, which was made notwithstanding the fact that two senior civil officers of the ASI had drafted the affidavit (they have since been inexplicably suspended), also seriously undermines the autonomy of a scientific agency like the ASI and the concept of tackling important national issues through a science-based approach.

In fact, by playing the same game of communalised politics as the Sangh Parivar, the UPA government has left no room or forum for raising real, serious issues expressed by many people concerning the project, issues such as the techno-economic viability of the project and its long-term ecological impact on the region. The irrational religious opposition has unfortunately clouded these.

It all began in 2002 when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States released some satellite images taken at various times of the chain of sandbars or shoals in the Palk Bay area. These were picked up by various Hindutva-espousing websites, which interpreted them as evidence of the remains of the mythical bridge built by Rama.

These websites further claimed that NASA had concluded that the bridge was man-made from the bridges unique curvature and composition by age. They claimed that archaeological studies had revealed that first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka dated back to 1.75 million years ago as did the age of the bridge, and contended that the age matched the age of events described in the Ramayana. They protested that the holy site of Ramas heritage would thus be damaged by the SSCP.


Fresh ammunition

This was fresh ammunition for fundamentalists and the Sangh Parivar to launch a nationwide Ram sethu ke hetu (for the cause of Ram Sethu) campaign. NASAs clarifications and rebuttals to these claims have clearly been of no avail because even some of the petitions being currently heard in the courts continue to claim that the NASA pictures are evidence for a man-made Ram Sethu.

NASA official Mark Hess had then stated: Remote sensing images or photographs from orbit cannot provide direct information about the origin or age of a chain of islands, and certainly cannot determine whether humans were involved in producing any of the patterns seen. Hess further stated that NASA had been taking pictures of these sandbars for years. Its images had never resulted in any scientific discovery in that area. The images reproduced on websites may well be ours but their interpretation is certainly not ours.

The Sangh Parivars claim that the first inhabitants in Sri Lanka dated back to 1.75 million years is clearly bogus and patently unscientific. Human evolution studies have unequivocally established that modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) came into existence only about 200,000 years ago. Further, humans arrived in the Indian subcontinent not before 100,000 years ago. Clearly, the age of Treta Yuga (1.7 million years ago), when Rama is supposed to have reigned, belongs to mythology and so would be the other characters and events in the Ramayana, including Ram Sethu.


Geological studies

Two independent scientific agencies, namely the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and individual geologists have conducted detailed studies on the geological formations associated with Ram Sethu and all have established conclusively that Ram Sethu is not a man-made structure.

Interestingly, soon after the release of the NASA images and when the related news items began appearing, it was Uma Bharati, the then Union Minister for Coal and Mines, who initiated a study by the GSI to establish the palaeogeography of the sethu terrain. Ironically, today she is actively involved in the save Ram Sethu campaign in Tamil Nadu.

The GSI carried out a special programme called Project Rameswaram between December 2002 and March 2003, which, according to the GSIs newsletter of September 2003 annexed in the government counter-affidavit, included: (i) reconnaissance survey; (ii) drilling the Dhanushkodi Foreland (the eastern projection of the Rameswaram island); (iii) offshore surveys involving depth measurements; (iv) seabed samples and side scan sonar images of the seabed; (v) drilling in one of the islands within the Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ (which is about 10 km from the Dhanushkodi tip); and (vi) radiocarbon or C-14 dating and thermoluminescence (TL) dating of samples.

Four boreholes, roughly 4 km apart, were drilled to collect subsurface sediment/rock samples to generate geological data towards determining the geological history of Dhanushkodi Foreland and Adams Bridge/Ram Sethu. Samples from different locations off Mandapam (located on the mainland coast across the Rameswaram island) were taken for TL dating.

Important among the GSIs conclusions, based on the geological investigations of its marine wing, are the following:

There are no indications or evidence of man-made structures in the present-day seabed or in the sub-surface level between Dhanushkodi tip and Adams Bridge islands within Indias EEZ limits. Age data of corals indicate that the Rameswaram island has evolved since 125,000 years ago.

A combination of various natural coastal processes such as sea level positions in the historical past, wind-borne activity, new tectonic movements, wave action, etc., have led to the evolution of the coastal areas around Mandapam, Rameswaram and Adams Bridge/Ram Sethu, which has led to the formation of beach rocks, coral growth, vast stretches of coastal dunes, series of islands (of Ram Sethu) and subsidence of the erstwhile Dhanushkodi township.

Palaeogeographic studies suggest that the sea level in the region has oscillated significantly over historical time scales exposing the seabed between India and Sri Lanka periodically. Around 6,000-7,000 years ago the sea level was 17 m below the present level, resulting in partial exposure of the seabed. About 10,000 years ago, sea level may have been even 60 m below. Radiocarbon dating suggests that during the last glacial maxima (about 20,260 years ago) when sea level is at its minimum, the level may have been as low as 118 m. The domain between Rameswaram and Talaimannar may have thus been exposed sometime between 18,000 and 7,000 years ago, the ASI has concluded. Since then sea level has been rising gradually with minor periodic fluctuations.

Analysis of samples from drilling of boreholes between Dhanushkodi and the third island of Ram Sethu suggests that there were three sedimentation cycles dominated by clay, limestone and sandstone. The growth of the Dhanushkodi sand spit (narrow coastal formation) itself is a feature of coastal processes and shoreline emergence and its orientation seems to be along the dissipation of wave energy patterns of the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar.

The Dhanushkodi sand spit and the five islands of Ram Sethu (that lie within Indias EEZ) change their shape and size owing to monsoon activity. TL dating suggests that the sand dunes of Dhanushkodi to Ram Sethu began to be deposited only about 500-600 years ago.

The Marine and Water Resources Group of SAC/ISRO also carried out space-based investigations, using satellite remote sensing imagery, in 2003 to establish if Ram Sethu is man-made or coralline in nature, using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) data. Ocean Colour Monitor data of the satellite IRS-P4 of April 18, 2002, and LISS-III camera data of IRS-1D of May 6 and March 21, 2000, were used. The recognition of features, say the authors of the investigation, was based on experience with the Indian coral reefs and well-established methodology.

The authors concluded that Adams Bridge is not man-made but comprises 103 small patch reefs lying in a linear pattern with reef crest (flattened, emergent especially during low tides or nearly emergent segment of a reef), sand cays (accumulations of loose coral sands and beach rock) and intermittent deep channels.

The linearity of the sethu was interpreted to be due to the old shoreline implying that the two landmasses of India and Sri Lanka were once connected from where coral reefs evolved. Continuing investigations on the reef system, which they have identified as Ribbon reef Type, have shown that the orientation and size of the sand cays have changed during 1990-2000 and again during 2000-2005, thus indicating their dynamic nature.

According to V. Ram Mohan of the Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Studies of the University of Madras, island chains, including seamounts, are frequent in the ocean and could be the result of various geological processes. The chains in the Philippines and Japan have, for example, been formed because of subduction related volcanism.

In the Hawaiian islands, it is owing to the movement of lithospheric mantle over hot spots. It can also be owing to the opening of the sea during seafloor spreading along mid-oceanic ridges, as it is in Iceland, or along transform faults, as in St. Helena.

Island chains in the Caribbean and on the southern tip of the South American continent consist of sediments of marine origin formed by coastal processes, which cover the basaltic stratum and serve as substrate for coral reefs, which are exposed above sea level. Though the features of these are similar to the Adams Bridge system, the latter has not revealed any evidence for basaltic basement, which results from volcanic mechanism.


Adams Bridge chain

The geological information on the Adams Bridge chain is scanty as part of the chain falls in international waters, says Ram Mohan. Trying to reconstruct the geological evolution of the island chain is a challenging task and has to be carried out with circumstantial evidence, he adds, writing in a paper titled Geological Evolution of Adams Bridge.

He argues that the possibility of formation of shoals in the shallow continental shelf as barrier bars (sandbars that may have formed during the period of high water level following sand deposition but remain exposed during low mean sea level) appears to be the most plausible explanation for the evolution of Rameswaram and Adams Bridge.

This formation may have been initiated when the sea level was 125 m below the present level, around 18,000 years ago, and was building up when the sea level continued to rise. The continuous sand deposition and the natural process of sedimentation have led to the formation of a chain of barrier islands, which are very dynamic, and this is not unique to Adams Bridge, notes S. Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras. The formation of barrier islands, which are common in the Atlantic coast, probably began around 25,000 years ago, he says.

Geological imprints
K. GANESAN

Dredging work near Adams Bridge in Rameswaram. A file picture.

Based on available data, N. Ramanujam, Head of the Department of Geology of V.O. Chidambaram College, Tuticorin, has attempted to reconstruct the geological evolution of the region and its significant features. According to him, block faulting, subsidence and formation of elongated depressions with ridge separation are the characteristic imprints of the early geological history that are recorded in the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar.

This, he points out, are characteristic of Precambrian basement rock before the Indian plate separated from East and West Gondwanaland about 150 million to 70 million years ago. The northward migration of the Indian plate and its collision with the Eurasian plate and the transfer of stress in the northern converging zone towards the weaker triangular crustal end and the lateral forces enhanced the plume activity (mantle upwelling) at the southern peninsular side. The Cauvery basin, he argues, has thus been formed by the down-warping of the crust and the block faulting of the basement over millennia, resulting in the formation of several elongated depressions separated by ridges.

These ridges became centres of coral reef growth, resulting in atoll-like formations, which in turn acted as sand trappers attracting peculiar sandy deposits called salient formation in the region. What was originally a paleosea between Mandapam and Rameswaram thus became a sandy deposit (the salient) extending about 40 km in the east-west direction. This altered the shoreline in the Mandapam-Rameswaram region and acted as an offshore obstruction wall for the littoral currents which transported sediments from the northeast and southwest directions and directed them towards the east and southeast (see diagram). The diversion of ocean currents contributed to the accretion of deposits from both the Dhanushkodi spit and the Talaimannar spit resulting in the formation of sandy barrier islands, which forms Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu.

All the independent studies discussed above seem to suggest a consistent picture of the natural processes that led to the formation of Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu. It is this combined scientific evidence that the ASI submitted to the apex court, stating that Adams Bridge formation can be classified as a series of shoals or a series of barrier islands, both of which are naturally occurring formations caused by tidal action and sedimentation.

It further stated: In the light of the scientific study conducted, the said formation cannot, therefore, be said to be a man-made structure. The same is merely a sand and coral formation, which cannot be said to be of historical, archaeological or artistic interest or importance[and] the question of construing Adams Bridge as an ancient monument [as demanded by the petitioners] and declaring it as a protected monument [under the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958] does not arise.

By withdrawing this submission, the government has clearly yielded to the communal forces at work and thrown science by the wayside.

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#1164 - December 29, 2007 11:01 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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#1165 - March 23, 2008 10:23 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Caste discrimination a British invention, bigger than steam engine


Here is an excerpt (pp. 43-46) from a paper entitled, "Modern
Education in South India, 1784-1854: Its Roots and Its Role as a
Vehicle of Integration under Company Raj," by Robert Eric Frykenberg,
The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 1. (Feb., 1986), pp. 37-
65.


Sir Thomas Munro was the governor of Madras from 1820 to 1827.

<<As governor of Madras (1820-27), he realized that literacy was
confined to Brahmans, merchants, village lords, and "principle
ryots." Women were almost totally excluded from elementary
instruction. Munro had no wish to interfere with existing
institutions: "People should be left to manage their schools in their
own way." But, appalled by the prevalence of contradictory and
ignorant opinions, which he saw as "mere conjectures . . .
unsupported by any authentic documents about the ignorance of the
people," he ordered a general survey. What was needed was a complete
list of schools in each district, showing the number of scholars and
teachers, castes to which they belonged, years of schooling they had
received, books and materials that they used, kinds of
specialized "colleges" (for astronomy, law, medicine, and so forth),
and sources of funding (for example, whether by religious endowment
or tuition).

The results of this survey, together with complete census data,
provide a detailed and fascinating view of education in 1823-25.
There were 12,498 schools and 188,000 students in a population of
12,850,941-roughly 1 school per 1000 persons and 1 student per 67
persons. But, if we estimate that only half of the population were
males and, of these, only a ninth (713,000) were five to ten years
old, this means that there was 1 student for every 4 males of school
age. Moreover, considering the uneven distribution of education
between class strata (varnas), between urban and rural families, and
between those taught or not taught at home, it is more likely that
there was 1 student for every 3 males of school age. In Madras, for
example, there were 26,983 males receiving instruction, with 5 males
taught at home for every male not taught at home. Munro was not
dismayed. "The state of education here, low as it is compared with
that of our own country, is higher than it was in most European
countries at a not very distant period."

The reliability of reports and returns from this first survey---on
which testing for validation is not possible-can all too easily be
called into question. Nevertheless, the data, however rough and
whatever the limitations, disclose some significant, even startling,
insights. First, looking at relative geographic and regional
distributions, one finds many more schools and students in Tamil than
in Telugu districts. In each Telugu district, moreover, schools
appear more Brahmanical and Sanskritic. Brahmans comprised 60 to 75
percent of all pupils, far outnumbering "clean" (sat) non-Brahmans-
mercantile peoples (Balijas, Chettis, Komartis) and farmer-warrior
lords of the villages (Velamas, Kammas, Reddis, Radzus).'""One
invariably finds," wrote Abbe Dubois from his experience in
Bellary, "that village schoolmasters . . . are Brahmins." In Tamil
country, on the other hand, Vellalar teachers predominated. Data
would seem to suggest that, however high Brahman status was, many
Tamil schools not only preserved the literary and inscriptional
remains of an older non-Brahman (if not pre-Brahman or non-
Sanskritic) heritage but also stimulated new creativity. The Telugu
heritage, meanwhile, remained largely excluded from the academy and
confined to the oral epics of hereditary bards. Thus, strong as
Brahmans were in the extreme south, they enjoyed nothing like the
monopoly over literacy and learning held by Brahmans further north.

Second, one notices the virtual exclusion of "unclean"
or "untouchable" communities from education. The category "pariah,"
invariably found in other census reports, is conspicuously absent
here. Munro, while noting that "mixed and impure castes seldom learn
to read," claimed to have put a column into the survey for those
among them who might. In fact, the survey only included columns
for "Mussulman Scholars" and "All Other Castes." More significantly,
the number of Brahmanical (Aryan or Sanskritic) social categories,
the Kshatriya being a notable omission, shows the pervasiveness of
Brahman influence. It was, after all, mainly Desasthas with whom
Munro worked. Brahmans, after all, had made up the forms and then
done much of the actual survey work. Moreover, survey figures
themselves reveal that Brahmans and Vaisyas (the latter a tiny
fraction) made up an average of 34.5 percent of all pupils in village
schools. When one considers the hereditary nature of occupations,
the "sacred-secret" nature of rituals and schooling in homes of the
highborn in contrast to more open and casual forms of village
schooling, and the customary obligation of payments to teachers, it
is not difficult to imagine how strong the pressures of selective
exclusion were. Whether in token fees or propitiatory offerings, in
cash or in kind, a fee of three annas a month was far too much for
most families, even those of "clean" pedigree "for whom the barest
necessities require[d] the assistance of their children as soon as
their tender limbs [were] capable of the smallest labour." In other
words, the "unclean," whether Paraiyar, Pallar, Chakriyar, Mala,
Madiga, or any other of the servile communities who made up half of
the population, never counted. Indeed, exclusive distinctions,
reflecting the rituals of social stratification, pervaded all
schooling. Even "caste" (or "clean") boys were separated, non-
Brahmans and Brahmans sitting apart or in different rooms. Subjects
studied, materials handled, and books assigned reflected this same
segmentation. All pupils might be expected to memorize parts of the
great epics-whether Ramayana, Mahabharata, or Bhagrata. But status,
creed, and function determined degrees of exposure and mastery of
different kinds of lore. Those from "manufacturing castes," reported
A. D. Campbell from Bellary, studied books "peculiar to their own
religious tenets," and "those who [wore] the lingam" studied texts
that "all considered sacred." Simple forms of "agricultural
accounting" or daily recitations in unison of memorized basic
knowledge-"the sixty names of the years, the days of the week, the
planets, the stars, the months, the important festivals and
remarkable days"-could be performed by all. Indeed, from the
Amarakosha, the renowned Sanskrit dictionary of synonyms, students
also learned "names of the deities, the quarters, the . . . musical
instruments, the divisions of the earth, the towns, the plants,
animals.">>


http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_goyal_education.h
tm

Education in Pre-British India
by Pankaj Goyal
Posted 7/9/03

Dharampal, the well known Gandhian and historian of Indian Science,
has given a detailed accounts of the extensive indigenous system of
education that was thriving in India before the British came in his
famous book, The Beautiful Tree. We give below a brief summary of
his report. Dharampal's account is based on the British Collector's
reports when the came to India and were asked to report on sate of
the indigenous education.

Indian historical knowledge has been derived from the writings and
some other valuable accounts left by the foreigners. For example,
the universities of Nalanda and Taxila have been better known as
some Greek or Chinese travellers had written about them centuries
ago, which had survived in the form of some journals. Thus these
journals provide us very useful information about indigenous
education.

The information about indigenous education, which is available
today, whether published, or still in manuscript form in the
government records, largely belongs to the 1820's and 1830's period.
It is significant to emphasize that indigenous education was carried
out through pathshalas, madrassahs and gurukulas. These three
institutions were the source of traditional knowledge systems in
India and played a very significant role in the Indian education.
These institutions were in fact the watering holes of the culture of
traditional communities. Therefore the term school is a weak
translation of the roles these institutions really played in Indian
society.

The most well-known and decisive point, which emerged from the
educational surveys, lies in an examination made by William Adam.
He, in his observations found that there existed about 1,00,000
village schools in Bengal and Bihar around the 1830s. Men like
Thomas Munro, had observed that 'every village had a school'.
Observations made by Dr. G.W.Leitner in 1882 show that the spread of
education in the Punjab around 1850 was of a similar extent. At
about the same time, England had very few schools for the children
of ordinary people till about 1800, and many of the older grammar
school were in poor shape. According to A.E. Dobbs, the University
of Oxford might be described as the chief Charity School of the poor
as well as the chief Grammar School in England. It was also one of
the greatest places of the education for students of theology, law
and medicine.

The men who wrote about India belonged to the late eighteenth and
early nineteenth century of Great Britain. These surveys, based on
hard data reveal a great deal about the nature of Indian education
and detailed information on the background of those benefiting from
these institutions.

According to this hard data, in terms of the content, the proportion
of those attending institutional school education in India in 1800
is certainly not inferior to what obtained in England then; and in
many respects Indian schooling seems to have been much more
extensive. The content of studies was better in India than in
England. The method of school teaching was superior in India at that
time. The school attendance, especially in the district of Madras
Presidency, even in the decayed state of the period 1822-25, was
proportionately far higher than the numbers in all variety of
schools in England in 1800. The only aspect in which India was
behind was the education of girls. Girl schooling may have been
proportionately more extensive in England in 1800.

However, the Madras Presidency and Bengal-Bihar data presents a kind
of revelation. According to this data, the education of any sort in
India, till very recant decades, was mostly limited to the twice
born amongst the Hindus, and amongst the Muslims to those from the
ruling elite.

Two of the collectors sent detailed information pertain-ing to those
who were being educated at home, or in some other private manner.
The collector of Malabar sent details of 1,594 scholars who were
receiving education in Theology, Law, Astrono-my, Metaphysics,
Ethics and Medical Science in his district from private tutors. The
collector of Madras, on the other hand, report-ed in his letter of
February 1826 that 26,963 school-level schol-ars were then receiving
tuition at their homes in the area under his jurisdiction.

The government of Madras presidency completed a survey of Indian
educational institutions in 1823-24. After that it came to be known
that despite the poverty and disturbance, there were about 13,000
schools and 740 colleges under the presidency. According to this
survey the original number of students in school and colleges were
1,88,650 out of which 42,502 were Brahmans and 85,400 were from the
castes known as Shudras. The remaining were Vaishya, Mohammedan and
from other Hindu castes. The numbers of girls were only 4540, but
according to the report this lesser number of girls as alleged was
mainly due to the prevalence of home education of girls. But the
number of Mohammedan girl students in Malabar district was very
large. The number of girl students there was 1,122 and for boy
students 3196. How these institutions of education were destroyed is
known to some extent by what Gandhiji said.

The Government of the Presidency of Madras on 10 March 1826
ultimately reviewed the reports of the collectors. The Governor, Sir
Thomas Munro, was of the view that while the institutional education
of females seemed negligible, that of the boys between the ages of 5
to 10 years appeared to be a 'little more than one-fourth' of the
boys of that age in the Presidency as a whole. Taking into
consideration those who were estimated as being taught at home, he
was inclined 'to estimate the por-tion of the male population who
receive school education to be nearer to one-third than one-fourth
of the whole.

The caste-wise division of students provides the more interesting
and historically more relevant information. This is true not only as
regards boys, but also with respect to the rather small number of
girls who, according to the survey, were receiving education in
schools. Furthermore, the information be-comes all the more curious
and pertinent when the data is grouped into the five main language
areas -- Oriya, Telugu, Kannada. Malayalam and Tamil. These
constituted the Presidency of Madras at this period, and throughout
the nineteenth century.

In the Tamil speaking areas where the twice-born ranged between 13%
in the south Arcot to some 23% in Madras, the Muslims were less than
3% in South Arcot and Chingleput to 10% in Salem, while the Soodras
and the other castes ranged from about 70% in Salem and Tinnevelly,
to over 84% in South Arcot.

In Malayalam-speaking Malabar, the proportion of the twice born was
still below 20% of the total. Because of a larger Muslim population,
however, the number of Muslim school stu-dents went up to nearly
27%, while the Soodras and the other castes accounted for some 54%
of the school going students.

In the largely Kannada-speaking Bellary, the proportion of the twice-
born (the Brahmins and the Vysees) went up to 33%, while the
Soodras, and the other castes still accounted for some 63%.

The position in the Oriya-speaking Ganjam was similar: the twice-
born accounting for some 35.6%, and the Soodras and other castes
being around 63.5%.

It is only in the Telugu-speaking districts that the twice born
formed the major proportion of the school going students. Here, the
proportion of Brahmin boys varied from 24% in Cuddapah to 46% in
Vizagapatam; of the Vysees from 10.5% in Vizagapatam to 29% in
Cuddapah; of the Muslims from 1 % in Vizagapatam to 8% in Nellore;
and of the Soodras and other castes from 35% in Guntoor to over 41%
in Cuddapah and Vizagapatam.

The main subjects, which were reported to be taught in the schools
of Bellary and also in Rajahmundry, were reading, writing and
arithmetic. Ramayanum, Maha Bharata, Bhagvata, were some other books
which were reported to be taught in these schools.

While several of the collectors observed that no institutions of
higher learning were then known to exist in their districts, the
rest reported a total of 1,094 such places. These were enumer-ated
under the term 'colleges' (as mentioned in the prescribed form). The
largest number of these, 279, were in the district of Rajahmundry
with a total of 1.454 scholars; Coimbatore came next with 173 such
places (724 scholars); Guntoor had 171 (with 939 scholars); Tanjore
109 (with 769 scholars); Nellore 107; North Arcot 69 (with 418
scholars); Salem 53 (with 324 scholars); Chingleput 51 (with 398
scholars); Masulipatarn 49 (with 199 scholers); Bellary 23;
Trichnopoly (with 131 scholars) and Malabar with one old institution
with 75 scholars.

The books used in these institutions probably were the Vedas, the
various Sastras, the Purans, the more well known books on Ganeeta,
and Jyotish-sastras and epic literature.

Several collectors, especially the collector of Canara, who did not
send any statistical returns at all, mentioned the fact that many of
the boys and especially the girls received education at home from
their parents, or relatives, or from privately engaged tutors. The
data from Madras regarding the number of boys and girls receiving
tuition at their home is equally pertinent. In comparison to those
being educated in schools in Madras, this number is 4.7 times.

The number of girls attending the school was very small. Leaving
aside the districts of Malabar and the Jeypoor divison of
Vizagapatam district, the girls from Brahmin, Chettri, and Vysee
castes were practically non-existent in schools. However, there were
some Muslim girls receiving school educations: 56 in Trichnopoly,
and 27 in Salem.

Thirteen years later, a more limited semi-official survey of
indigenous education was taken up in the Presidency of Bengal, which
is known as the Adam's Reports. In spite of the controversies,
Adam's Reports have mentioned that there were perhaps 1,00,000
village schools in Bengal and Bihar in some form till the 1830.

Adam divided the period spent in elementary schools into 4 stages,
which were: The first stage was a period of about ten days, during
which the young scholar was taught to form the letters of the
alphabet; the second stage, extending two and a half to 4 years, was
distinguished by the use of palm leaf as the material on which
writing was performed and the scholar was taught to read and write
and also learn the Cowrie table, the Numeration table, the katha
table and the Ser table; the third stage extended from 2 to 3 years,
which were employed in writing on the plantain leaf and addition,
subtraction and other arithmetical operations were taught during
this period; and finally in the fourth stage, which extended up to 2
years, the writing was done on the paper and the scholar was
expected to read the Ramayana, Manas mangal etc.

About 45 years after Adam, Dr. G. W. Leitner prepared an even more
voluminous survey of indigenous education. This survey was more
direct and much less complementary to British rule. Leitner's
researches showed that at the time of the annexation of the Punjab,
the lowest computation gave 3,30,000 pupils in the schools of the
various denominations who were acquainted with reading, writing and
some methods of computation.

There is a sense of widespread neglect and decay in the field of
indigenous education within a few decades after the onset of British
rule. This is the major common impression, which emerges from the
(1822-25) Madras Presidency data, the report of W. Adam on Bengal
and Bihar (1835-38), and the Punjab survey by G.W. Leitner.

Gandhiji was very disappointed at the condition of Indian education
during the British period. Gandhiji observed two main points in
Indian education: (1) Today India is more illiterate than it was
fifty or hundred years ago; and (2) the British administrators
instead of looking after education and other matters which had
existed, began to root them out.

Source:
Dharampal, 2000. Introduction in The Beautiful Tree, Volume III. Pp.
07-86. Mapusa: Other India Press.

Note: The archaic spellings have not been changed.

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#1166 - March 25, 2008 03:55 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The British bled us


In my childhood, elders said India was once known as 'sone ki chidiya'. How can I believe it, looking at the clay bird it has become today. I have read many books on how the British exploited India. Some books like that by RC Dutta did convince me of their exploitation but, like many other Indians, I did not pay heed.

This column deals with a book by Will Durant, the greatest American historian of the 20th Century. He shot to fame because of his 11 volumes of Story of Civilisation and another book titled Story of Philosophy. The third book, about which I am going to talk, was banned by the British. Not even a single copy could be found. Fortunately, someone found a copy and it was published by Strand Book Stall, Mumbai. The book put me thinking on how India would survive. But first, let's see, what Durant had to say about India just before the British came.

Quoting Sunderland he says: "This wealth was created by the Hindus' vast and varied industries. Nearly every kind of manufacture of product known to the civilised world - nearly every kind of creation of man's brain and hand, existing anywhere and prized either for its utility or beauty - had long, long being produced in India. India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods - the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen and silk - were famous over the civilised world; so were her exquisite jewellry and her precious stones cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelain, ceramics of every kind, quality, colour and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal - iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture - equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, great bankers and financers. Not only was she, the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea which extended to all known civilised countries. Such was the India which the British found when they came."

In his own inimitable style, Durant built India's case, "The present caste system in India consists of four classes: the real Brahmins - ie, the British bureaucracy; the Kshatriyas - ie, the British army; the real Vaishyas - ie, the British traders; and the real Shudras - ie, the Hindus."

The story of miserable farming community has gone through a process: "Before the coming of English, the land was private property, the Government made itself the sole owner of soil and charged for it a land tax or rental now equal to 1/5th of the produce. In many cases, in the past, this land tax has amounted to half the gross produce, in some cases, to more than the entire gross produce; in general, it is two to three times as high as under pre-English rule."

Durant, further wrote, "It might have been supposed that the building of 30,000 miles of railways would have brought a measure of prosperity to India. But these railways were built not for India but for England; not for the benefit of the Hindu, but for the purposes of the British Army and trade. If this seems doubtful, observe their operation. Their greatest revenue comes, not, as in America, from the transport of goods (for the British trader controls the rates), but from the third-class passengers - the Hindus; but these passengers are herded into barren coaches like animals bound for the slaughter, 20 or more in one compartment. The rails-roads are entirely in European hands, and the Government has refused to appoint even one Hindu in the Railway Board."

The book is full of instances describing how the British destroyed India's shipping trade, how artisans producing clothes were impoverished, how the Indians bore the cost of all the wars Britain fought, how the industrial revolution of Britain and some of Europe happened at the cost of Indians, how millions of people starved to death when the British exported grains, produced by Indian farmers. How education and social fibre of the society was destroyed systematically by Lord Macauley and duly approved by the British Parliament.

This is how Durant, described the conquerors of India: "The British conquest of India was the invasion and destruction of a high civilisation by a trading company, utterly without scruple or principle, careless of art and greedy of gain, over-running with fire and sword, a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career of illegal and 'legal' plunder which has now gone on ruthlessly for 173 years."

Durant is not an ordinary historian and the rape of India by the British is not an ordinary event either. But, we Indians are most extraordinary people: We just take everything in our stride. Time we woke up from this stupor and mould India again into a sone ki chidiya.

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#1167 - March 25, 2008 03:57 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition-XLVI

Surgery in ancient India

By Suresh Soni

Surgery developed very fast during the Buddha period. According to Vinay Pitak, worms started breeding in the head of a distinguished, wealthy man of the royal family. At that time, Vaidyaraaj Jeevak not only removed all the worms with surgery but smeared the wounds with a medicine. Our Puranas also give us a lot of information about surgery. According to the Shiv Purana, the Ashwini Kumars transplanted a new head when Lord Shiva severed the head of Daksh. Similarly, when Ganesh’s head was cut off, an elephant’s head was transplanted. We get similar examples in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In one place in the Ramayana, it has been said “Yaajamaane swake netre udghrityaavi-mana dadau.” This means that when the need arose, the eye of one man would be taken out and transplanted in another human being. (Valmiki’s Ramayana 2-16-5). From the dialogue between Yudhishthir and Naarad in the Sabha Parva of the Mahabharata, we are introduced to the eight parts of surgical treatment.

Vaidya Sabal Singh Bhaati says in the Sushruta Samhita, that training in surgery was given through the guru (teacher)-shishya (pupil) tradition. Practical training was given by dissecting cadavers or dummies. Trained surgeons performed surgery using various surgical instruments and through fire. If the need arose, blood transfusion was also given. For this, a sharp instrument called shiravedh (piercing the veins), was used.

Eight types of surgeries—The surgeries described by Sushruta are:
1. Chhedya (to bore)

Surgical instruments as described by Sushruta
2. Bhedya (to pierce)
3. Lekhya (to separate)
4. Vedhya (to remove some harmful substance from the body)
5. Aishya (to find the wound from the veins)
6. Ahaarya (to remove harmful produces)
7. Vishravya (to remove the fluid from the body)
8. Seevya (to stitch the wound)

The instruments and appliances necessary to do these surgeries are also given in the Sushruta Samhita in detail. Some resemble the forceps and the tongs required in modern surgery. The great book written by Sushruta talks of 24 kinds of swastiks, 2 kind of sandas (pliers), 28 kinds of needles and 20 kinds of catheters. Besides these 20, other kinds of instruments have also been described which were used for carrying out surgeries to various parts of the body. The eight surgeries that have been talked about earlier, were carried out with the help of different instruments and appliances. They were-

Ardha-aadhaar, atimukh, araa, badisha, danta shanku, eshani, kar-patra, kritarika, kutharia, kush-patra, mandalaagra, mudika, nakh shastras, sharaarimukh, soochi, trikurchakar, utpal patra, vridh-patra, vrihimukh and vetas-patra.

At least three thousand years ago, Sushruta had spoken about the necessity of making these instruments with the best quality steel. He even stressed that the instruments should be sharp and so pointed that even a hair could be divided into two. Sushruta has laid so much stress on the cleanliness of the atmosphere and sterilisation of the instruments used before or after the surgery, and has described the ways to do so in such a manner that even the modern surgeons are amazed. He has also talked about how to make the patient senseless (by giving anaesthesia) and the necessity to do so. In the Bhoj Prabandh, it is written that King Bhoj was made to smell a powder named sammohini to make him unconscious before performing surgery on his forehead.

Fourteen types of bandages—Along with these appliances, if the need arose, bamboo, crystal and some special kinds of broken rock were also used in surgery. Sushruta, who was an expert in surgery, gave a description of 14 kinds of bandages besides the six bone dislocations and 12 kinds of fractures of bones. His book also talks about 28 diseases related to the ear and 26 related to the eyes.

Sushruta Samhita also mentions surgical removal of harmful tissues born out of cancer in the intestines and also the birth of children through caesarian section. There is a mention of neuro-surgery, that is performing surgery on the nerves to rid the body of diseases and also about plastic surgery, which is the most complicated surgery of modern times. Apart from some methods which are considered as very modern ones, there is mention of some methods which are not known even to the modern medical science.

In short, it can be said that surgery was very highly developed in ancient India while the rest of the world was totally unaware of it.

(This book is available with Ocean Books (P) Ltd. 4/19 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-110 002.)

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#1168 - April 09, 2008 12:49 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Hindus: Were they not brave fighters?

By M.S.N. Menon
April 13, 2008

India is on the move. It is already a great power. It is, therefore, time to shed the hangovers of the past. And one such is the canard that “200 Muslim horsemen conquered India.” No such thing ever happened. This was the Muslim and British line. It is time we knew the facts.

Then how do we account for the defeat of the Hindus at the hands of the Muslims? This has to do with the philosophic outlook of the Hindus. The Hindu has been an atheist, an agnostic, but never a hedonist. To eat and be merry has never been his outlook in life. Naturally, the Hindu gave little attention to his political life. Which is why the Hindus have no place in the political history of the world. Only such a view of ancient India provides the key to understanding and explaining India’s long subjection to foreign rule.

To the Hindu conquest of other people was never a matter of prestige. What mattered to him was self-conquest.

Then, again, it is wrong to judge the Muslim attack on India in isolation. It was part of a major upsurge of the Arab people, inspired by a religion which openly called upon them to wage a war on the world. And they fought with the resources of an empire. But our historians never project the Muslim invasion in this manner. Remember, within four years of the Prophet’s death, the Arabs brought the mighty Sassanian (Persian) empire under their control!

But it took them (and Muslims in general) 500 years to get a foothold in India.’ Shows the obstinate resistance of the Hindus. Remember, Alexander dared not go deeper into India. Then what was it that won the day for the Arabs and Muslims? The fact that they were inspired by a religious frenzy. Hindus were not. They did not even understand the nature of this frenzy.

But they fought bravely. I’ll give two major instances: The first Arab attack on India was on Thane (Bombay) in 636. It took the Muslims 570 years more before they could establish themselves in Delhi. Surprisingly, Muslim rule came to an end after 500 years with the demise of Aurangzeb in 1707. Between 636 AD and 1206 AD, the Hindus never ceased to resist.

Muslim historians say that there were two major reasons for the defeat of the Hindus:1) superiority of the Muslims over Hindus and 2) the caste system.

Let us examine these claims. The Caliph Muawiyah (661-680 AD) sent as many as six expeditions against Sind. All of them were repulsed with great force and massacre. And Sind was largely Buddhist! The aim of the Arabs was to loot, not conversion. They wanted the wealth of India, its women and slaves.

The repeated Arab failure to capture Sind made Caliph Uthman to call for a report on the matter. Hajjaj, governor of Iraq, however, mounted an expedition, but it was defeated by the son of Dahir, the king of Sind. The Caliph gave up all hope of conquering Sind. Hajjaj, then pleaded for a new attempt. He had an army of 50,000. He put them under his 19-year-old in-law, bin Qasim and himself guided the battles. But this time the Hindus were betrayed by a pries (712 AD).

It is true Dahir was no great general. He hardly knew the nature of the Islamic upsurge. And he was blind believer in astrology.

My second story: The Arab armies came close to the Indian border, i.e. Afghanistan, in 636 AD. And yet they could not break though the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms for another 350 years! Such was the resistance of the Hindus.

Jayapala of the Sahiya dynasty (Punjab) tried to nip the mischief at the source. He mounted an attack on Ghazni, but was driven back by a fierce storm.

Subuktigin (977-997 AD), father of Mahmud of Ghazni, had a series of battles with Jayapala, but could not prevail. The Muslim historian says that Jayapala’s soldiers were as “impetuous as a torrent”. They could not be defeated. At last Subuktigin resorted to a trick. He threw beef into the wells from where Jayapala’s soldiers drew water.

No doubt the Muslims were clever. But it is not proved that they were superior. And the world knows that it was a priest who betrayed India at Somnath.

Caste was never a decisive factor. But weapons were. And it is not true that Hindus willingly accepted Islam. Al-Bi runi says that the Hindus held the Muslims in “inveterate hatred.” On the soldiers of Jayapala, Hassan Nizami writes in his book “Taj-ul-Maasir’ that “they wee demons in human form.”

No wonder, Mahmud employed one Tilak to head his Central Asian army. And his son followed the tradition. And let us not forget that the Mughal and British empires were sustained by Indian soldiers.

For years after Mahmud, the Afghans dared not attack India. But when they did under Mohammed Ghori, he was soundly defeated twice. What demoralised the Hindus was the cruelty of the invaders. Ziyauddin Burani, a contemporary of Khusrau, writes that wars against the Hindus were no ordinary wars, but were massacres of extermination. It was perhaps against this unheard of brutality that the Hindus gave up resistance and withdrew into a shell.

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#1169 - June 13, 2008 10:28 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The Story of India
Michael Wood

Indus Civilisation
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/34194

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/34204

Madurai: the first civilisation in the south
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/34206

Pre Harappan Bhirrana
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/34351

Uttiramerur
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/34878

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited July 25, 2008).]

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#1170 - August 12, 2008 04:57 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Huns & China, India and the Romans


excerpts:

..I had a fabulous two week
trip to Beijing and Shanghai with a group of ten faculty members from
Bentley. The trip gave us an opportunity to see the Great Wall of
China, about 80 miles north of Beijing. I want to tell you the
thought that came to my mind as I was standing on the wall after
climbing the uneven stairs for almost an hour. At the end of the 5th
century AD, the Huns from Central Asia tried to attack China but the
Chinese army defeated them decisively at this 3,000 mile long wall
with fortifications at strategic places. Unfortunately, the Huns
turned westwards after their defeat in China and changed the course
of history by destroying two great empires of the ancient times. One
branch of the Huns ravaged Europe and destroyed the Roman Empire and
another branch turned towards India at the time when the Gupta Empire
was at its zenith. From their bases at Bamian
and Balkh, one of the Hun commanders, Toramana, defeated the Gupta
army and occupied Kashmir, Punjab, and Malwa, and his son,
Mihiragula, extended the Hun conquest to Gujarat. North India, as a
Hindu empire, never recovered from this disaster and the ground was
prepared for the Moslem conquest of India.

In the declining stages of the Gupta Empire, India was infested
with Ponga pundits, fortune tellers and astrologers of all kinds, and
the bewildering superstitions of the Purans had supplanted the
sublime wisdom of the Vedas.

Perhaps this is the ultimate truth of history: empires rise and
fall on the undulating waves of time, but the Chinese empire did a
better job of protecting itself by relying on its own efforts by
building the wall rather than waiting for some preternatural
interposition at the last moment, as you often see in Bollywood
movies.

Satya Prakash Saraswat, Ph.D.
Professor of Information and Process Management
Bentley College
175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
USA

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#1171 - September 16, 2008 01:12 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
webmaster Offline
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#1172 - July 14, 2009 08:08 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
While we knew about the decline of India in the last millennium and the many reasons for it, we have wrongly attributed it to the muslim conquests and the British only.

However in the south the decline began much later in the 13th century, as the
Cholas inexplicably withdrew from their colonies in the Indian Ocean Region. Had
they maintained their maritime concerns it would have been a different story for
the later 15th century chinese fleets and the 16th century european colonialists
and the Indianised kingdoms of southeastasia.

Indian renaissance begun in the 1830s when Macaulay introduced english mass
education replacing sanskrit and urdu. The end of superstitious voodoo Hinduism
begun right there!

Pathma

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/42251

http://www.ambedkar.org/research/Why_Science_Declined_In_Ancient_India.htm


[b]Why Science Declined In Ancient India?/b]

Dr. K. Jamanadas,

A learned medical specialist from Nagpur, in a recent article in lay press, while describing ancient medical sciences in India, has remarked that fall of science of surgery was because of 'ahimsa' taught by the Buddha. Though the remark was as an orbus dictum, it shows not only his ignorance of Indian history and of Buddhism, but also desire for making false charges on Buddhism due to, may be, his contempt for the Buddhists. The surgery was never considered 'himsa' by the Buddhists, nor for that matter by anybody. Certainly fall of sciences was not because of 'ahimsa' of the Buddha.

Modern science is undoubtedly a contribution of the west. That way, in all societies, there were attempts of obstruction to progress of science. In India they got more success. There was a time in Indian history when Indian science was not only famous in the country, but it was so all over the world. If the progress of Indian science would have been maintained unhindered after the sixth century A.D., we Indians, today, would have been foremost in the scientific field.


Golden era of Science in India

From the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, it is clear that there existed a pre Aryan urban civilization of Dravidians, which went by the name of Nagas. It shows great development of town planning, water supply and urban facilities, sanitary drainage and granaries.

Gold used for ornaments in Harrapan culture was from Kolar gold mines, the only source available, which is proved by a committee of metallurgical experts under sir Edwin Pascoe, who performed chemical analysis, under the direction of Sir John Marshall. So gold mining was a flourishing industry of the time. This also shows the communicating links between south and north, Vindhyas and forests of Dandakaranya were no bar.

The copper used in Harrapan civilization was imported from Rajputana, and tin from Hazaribagh. It used various types of stones quarried all over India, and some imported from outside.

The modern number system of 0 to 9 with use of decimal point is the contribution of Indian mathematicians. It spread to Europe via Arab countries.
Mauryan India also achieved remarkable success in fields of Engineering, town planning, architecture and art. India's first irrigation dam belongs to this era and was aptly called "Sudarshana", i.e. beautiful in later inscriptions of Rudradamana.

We know the importance of Ashokan pillars for aesthetic beauty, craftsmanship and religious declarations, but it was also known for the science of polishing of stones to such an extent that it became the distinguishing mark, the structures with high polish being ascribed to Ashokan period. Such gloss and polish, Marshall says, "no modern mason can produce", Vincent Smith calls it "the despair of modern masons", Tom Coryat and Whittekar described it as of brass, Chaplain Terry as a pillar of marble, and Bishop Heber as pillar of cast metal.

In the first and third centuries A.D., two important texts were composed on medical science, namely Charak Samhita and Sushrut samhita, which show the advanced stage medical knowledge in India.

Susrut Samhita, which is a text of surgical science, describes more than one hundred instruments of surgery. It also describes the plastic surgery procedures, specially the operation of rebuilding of nose, what we today call as rhinoplasty.

At the time of invasion of Alexander, India was famous for medicine and surgery.

In Buddhist books, we find mention of Jivaka who operated on the brain of a merchant. He was appointed by Emperor Bimbisara as a physician for Lord Buddha and cured him of constipation by making use of inhaling fragrance of medication on a lotus flower. The science of Inhalers in modern medicine is pretty recent. He cured diseases of head, a fistula by ointment, jaundice and performed surgery on brain and intestinal "entanglements" as per the Vinaya texts, which Radha Kumud Mukharji calls were "not given to exaggeration like a work of fiction".

Ashoka had sent medical missions to five Hellenistic States of Europe for humanitarian service, with aushadha, mula and phala, as per Rock Edict 2 and 13.

Education of medicine was compulsory in Nalanda Mahavihara and even I-Tsing had to undergo a course.

Up to seventh or eighth century A.D., Indian physicians and surgeons were respectfully appointed in Baghdad.

Indian medical books were popular in China. A Chinese work composed in 455 A.D., is derived from Indian text. A number of medical books are found in Chinese Buddhist collection. A text on Children's Diseases, named "Ravana-kumara-charita" was translated into Chinese as late as 11th century.

Indian Medical science and arithmetic was highly valued in the west. Greek and Iranian physicians knew Indian medical texts. It is recorded that Barzouhych, a subject from Sassanid King Khusro I's court (531-579 A.D.) visited India for study of medicine.

Meharauli iron pillar, which is standing in the courtyard of Kutub Minar at Delhi, belongs to fourth century A.D. It is standing there, defying the ravages of times, for centuries but not a spot of rust or corrosion on it. Its composition was examined by a committee of experts, who held that, it was beyond the capacity of any Iron foundry in the world of that time to manufacture such a masterpiece.

From Periplus we know that the sword made of Indian steel is proverbial in Arabic literature, showing the highest skills and knowledge of metallurgy. The famous Damascus blade was made from Indian steel.

Ancient South Indian bronzes are praised even now in the whole world not only for their craftsmanship but also for metallurgy. Sultanguanj colossal Buddha in copper is a metallurgical masterpiece and a marvel, still preserved in Birmingham museum.

Jawaharlal Nehru describes how the Roman Emperor scolded his daughter for wearing so little clothing on her person, while in fact she was fully clad in Indian made muslin clothing, showing the high degree of skill in textile industry.

It is recorded that, "the Roman beauties, decked in even seven folds of Muslin, and parading themselves on the highways of Rome, became a menace to its morals." and import of Indian textiles had to be banned by Roman Parliament. The ban on imports was necessary also because of balance of payment crisis. Pliny estimates one million pounds sterling drain per year. It resulted in favourable trade balance for India, with a stable gold currency for the Kushana empire.

India was also famous for paints and dyes, which were the products for export. The pictures of Ajanta are famous not only for aesthetic beauty, art and history but also for quality of paints and pigments used.

The science and art of ship building suffered most during "kali varjya". The sea worthy people of south India were great voyagers. They built ships of huge tonnage, traveled to far east, established settlements, colonies and even kingdoms and propagated their faith both brahmnic and Buddhist. All these qualities became futile after imposition of ban on sea travel.


Dhanvantari

In the medical field, the scholars of present time, seem to have forgotten about Jivaka, Nagarjuna, Sushruta, Charaka and Vagbhata. They appear to give more importance to Dhanvantari. The picture presented of him is not as a medical teacher, but as an imaginary mythological puranik god who sprang up from the churning of ocean of milk by the devas and danavas. Why the former historical dignitaries are ignored in preference to him will be clear if we bear the fact in mind that all leading names in ancient medicine were Buddhists. So they had to invent a god for Ayurveda.

However, there is a minor medical work going by name of Dhanvantari. It is a Nighantu or a medical dictionary. It is mentioned in Amarkosha, and hence in original form must have preceded the Amarkosha; but its extant form it must be ascribed to a later date. Amar, writer of Amarkosha, was according to tradition one of the nine jewels at the court of Vikramaditya, whose very identity it has not yet been possible for scholars to fix beyond all doubt. He is "known as a poet, and was certainly a Buddhist who knew the Mahayana and used Kalidasa", as per Winternitz, His date is uncertain but he probably flourished before the eighth century A.D.


Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta, born in 476 A.D., flourished in the centre of Buddhist heart land, i.e. Capital of Magadhan empire, at Pataliputtra. and his Aryabhatiya was composed in A.D. 499. He was first to treat Mathematics as a distinct subject and he dealt with evolution and involution, area and volume, progressions and algebraic identities, and intermediate equations of the first degree. He also arrived at a 'remarkably accurate value of PI, viz. 3.1416'

Aryabhatta was also the first to hold that the earth was a sphere and rotated on its axis. For this, he gave a beautiful analogy that to a person travelling in a boat, trees on the shore appear to move in oppoite direction, similarly because earth is rotating on its axis towards east, it appears to us as if the sun moves from east to west. He also explained that the eclipses were not the work of Rahu and Ketu or some other 'rakshasa', but were caused by the shadow of the earth falling on the moon. As we will see later, both these views were rejected and severely condemned by later astrologers like Varahmihira and Brahmagupta.

One of the most important features of Aryabhatta's mathematical system is his unique system of notation. It is based on the decimal place value system, unknown to other ancient people, but now in use throughout the civilized world. Whether Aryabhatta invented the system or merely improved on an existing one cannot be definitely stated. But with the doubtful exception of Bakhshali manuscript, which is referred by some to c. A.D. 200, the earliest use of the system occurs in Aryabhatiya, and it is found in all later mathematical works.

Thus till that time, which was the golden era of Buddhism and decline had yet to start, India was in no way inferior or behind any other country of the world, in the field of science.


Buddhist rulers and science

In third fourth century B.C., in the Asokan times, there was great advances in veterinary science. For treatment of elephants, "Palkapya samhita" and for treatment of horses, "Shalihotra samhita" were written. We find in his edicts, mention of hospitals established by him for men and animals even in far off places in south India. All this shows the growth of Veterinary science in India.
All these show that Indian science was well advanced up to sixth century. One has to ponder over what were the reasons which not only obstructed the progress of science, but also destroyed what was already achieved. One has to understand the history, literature and puranas, and social conditions to find these out.

It is clear from the dates, that the age of progress of science in India was the age of glory of Buddhism. Acharya Charak was the 'rajvaidya' in the court of Buddhist emperor, Kanishka, of first century A.D. Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna was also their contemporary. He was also famous physician. The contribution of Charak to "Charak Samhita" is as important as Nagarjuna's contribution to "Sushrut Samhita".

Whatever knowledge of ayurveda was being spread through the oral traditional method of Guru sishya teaching was revised and reduced to writing in the times of Buddhist rulers.

During the early centuries of Christian era, medical science was on zenith. In this development, the contribution of Buddhists was enormous. Through them, the knowledge spread all over the other foreign countries.


Role of Buddhist faith

As a matter of fact, science spreads only when it is free from the fetters of traditions. Lord Buddha had given that freedom to Indian society, that freedom of thought and action. Liberated from the severe caste rules, society was taking keen interest in progress of scientific pursuits.
Jivaka, discussed above, was an infant found on a dung heap, and still could reach such an illustrious position, only because of Buddhist environment. We know in brahmanic tradition, admission to school was based on caste as is seen by examples of Karna, Ekalavya and Satyakama Jabaala.

The situation was quite opposite in Brahmanic teaching institutions, In Brahmanic Gurukulas, there were no criteria for admission apart from the caste of the prospective student and whims and fancies of the teacher. Examples of denial of admission to very meritorious candidates on the basis of caste are seen. Glaring example is of Eklavya. Not only the guru Dronacharya denied admission to Eklavya, but demanded Eklavya's thumb as gurudakshina for education NOT imparted by him. Many people feel it is irony of fate and mockery of awards, that such a name is associated with highest sports awards in this country today, without any protest from the sufferers of the system.

Second example is of Karna, who got admission to Parashurama's class, which was exclusively reserved for the brahmins, on false statement of caste. Benefit of his knowledge, labeled as unlawfully obtained, was withdrawal when his caste became known, which ultimately lead to his death.
Example of Satyakama Jabala is mentioned by many orthodox people to erroneously show that education in Upanishadic times was open to low caste people. This is a wrong inference drawn from his story. Satyakama was asked by his guru his caste. His mother sent a word to the guru that she did not know the exact father of the child as she had relations with many people. This frank statement, the guru declared, can only be a statement of a son of a brahmin. So the admission to the gurukul was done on the basis of brahmin caste. Not only that, the test applied by him, and his presumption of brahmin caste, was derogatory to non- brahmins, because it was his belief that only brahmins could speak such a truth and non-brahmins could not have uttered such truth.


Buddhism and Science

Kurt F. Leidecker, President Buddhist Center of America, and others very aptly observe in "Buddhism and Science",

" Perhaps one reason (for progress of science) is that Buddhist thinking has always enjoyed the greatest freedom untrammeled by dogmatism and authority of any kind, not even that of Buddha himself. We have his words in the Kalama Sutta which should be given in the hands of any who write and pronounce judgment on Buddhism."

"Science observes, describes, establishing the truth on ocular demonstration and verification by experiment which anyone may undertake without the least faith in ultimate results."

"Whatever progress has been made in the western world in science and technology, was made not because of faith and belief in supernatural, but largely by rejecting it or being indifferent to it."

"Science is based most assuredly on analysis, that is, scrutinizing every phenomenon and examining every part of it and finding out how it came about. That is exactly what the Buddha did."

"The fact is that in the history of Buddhism there has never been any altercation with scientists, and no war has ever been declared on science. Warfare between science and Christianity? Yes, there has been too much of it. Warfare between science and Buddhism? Never."


Crusade against Science

There were wars against science in the western world also. But it is in India that the antagonists of science won the war. Brahmins opposed Buddhists, and their relations were so strained on the issue of caste supremacy, that they became bitter enemies of each other. They opposed every thing in which Buddhists were experts, even the science. Dr. Ambedkar very rightly said, "It must be recognized that there never has been a common Indian Culture, that historically there have been three Indias, Brahmanic India, Buddhist India and Hindu India, each with its own culture. It must be recognized that the history of India before the Muslim invasions is the history of a mortal conflict between Brahmanism and Buddhism."

In the far off counties, the Buddhists were getting name and fame, but at home in India, there were efforts to dig out and uproot their moorings. Later when Buddhist became weaker due to internal differences and contradictions, the brahmins put themselves in citadel, in which the new arrangements were made by which they declared as inferior and degraded all those things, which Buddhists were good at and for which Buddhists were famous for all over the world.

Even science was not spared from this fate. A famous scientist of modern India, Dr. Neelaratna Dhar aptly observes that, the progress of science was obstructed by the decline of Buddhism in India. The help and support received from Buddhist Universities and monasteries to chemical and medical sciences in the hospitals was stopped. After the fall of Buddhism, Brahmins dominated and they denounced, condemned, denigrated and maligned all those things in which the Buddhists had excelled.

In the fight against the Buddhists, kali varjya was clamped on this society. Hinduism got rearranged, and in its new concept, foreign travel was forbidden. All vocations relating to science were declared sacrilegious, blasphemous, heretical and disrespectful. Caste rules, rules of high and low, rules of untouchability and inequality all were made more and more strict. All knowledge and science was made more secret, secluded, hidden and concealed and every new thought and invention was opposed.

Due to ban on travel to foreign lands, India got cut off from the rest of the world. The society was not like a frog in the pond, before; but due to severance of bonds of communications with the outside world, the stupid injunctions of priests became the words of authority. There is a phrase in Marathi saying, whatever priest tells is east and whenever he says is the new moon day. In such circumstances, it was natural that all scientific progress got suffocated.

The various vocations were graded according to basis of caste hierarchy, white collar jobs were kept by higher castes and the rest of population, the shudras i.e. the working class, the marathas or kunbis, the malis, the telis, the gawalis, the lohars, the sutars, the mangs, the mahars, the chamars, the paradhis, the gonds, the bhils etc. etc. all 'shudras and ati- shudras' in Mahatma Phule's terminology and 'bahujans' in todays terminology, were made the beasts of burden to carry out all activities requiring toil and sweat. By this the prestigious castes lost all links with practical aspects of technology and means of production. All niceties of life, food clothing housing and attendant luxuries, wealth, comfort, and prosperity was concentrated in the hands of three varnas, and to provide these the shudras had to toil and sweat their blood out. All the productive work which is done in western countries by choice, option and preference was done in India as a burden, a charge, an obligation, a stress through a feeling of frustration and pressure of compulsion due to 'purva karma', the deeds of past life. The society was made to believe that those people who do not work with their hands are more civilized, sophisticated, cultured, noble, dignified and worshipable, and have attained that position because of the good deeds they had done in the past lives; the good deeds meant, of course, the preservatin of chaturnarna.

Lord McCauley, some times, is unnecessarily blamed for creating the army of white collared babus. The reality is that this germ of white collared arrogance was already in this soil.



Role of Mahabharata

In this important text of Hinduism, medical science, architecture, manufacture of weapons, painting, sculptor, agriculture and animal husbandry has been condemned time and again. In one place it is even said that, the food given to a vaidya, i.e. a physician, in a shraaddha becomes unacceptable to the pitars like blood and pus. It is clear that till the time of Mahabharata all these vocations were declared mean, contemptible, lowly, humble and ignoble.

There are three types of treatments in ayurveda, they say. Where rasas are used is 'daivi', where fruits are used is 'manushi' and the surgery, some modern authors say, was a 'aasuri or rakshasi' knowledge. This is the brahmanic interpretation of later times. If similar sentiments prevailed in the earlier times we would not have seen the prosperity of surgical knowledge at the time of Jivaka and Sushruta etc. Because of this feeling, surgery was despised and hated more and more and so it went to hands of the lower castes in the society.

It is said by Dr. Satya Prakash that science of obstetrics and maternity surgery was well developed at the time of Sushrut. When none in the outside world could think of surgical instruments, Sushrut describes various operations of maternity with these instruments. His advises about maternity are similar to modern ones.

The famous Jivaka of Buddha's time, was expert in maternity science. He was called Kumar Bhrutya Jivaka. Till the Buddhists dominated, the art and science of maternity in ayurveda flourished. After the fall of Buddhism, when brahmins dominated, they declared this science as dirty and it passed on to the women of low castes. It remained with them till the British came, and still in villages these dayees of low castes, i.e. midwives, prevail even today.
The feeling of high and low was so great in the Brahmanas, that even the gods had been divided into castes, high and low. Ashwani kumars were declared shudra gods, not eligible to take part in drinking soma by Indra, who was considered ksatriya. As they were physicians, this profession degraded them to the status of shudras.

In west, all the scientist were sons of ordinary working class people, like carpenter, blacksmith, cobbler, barber etc. These professions were never considered degraded. With us, the working class was always degraded castes. If they had been given some encouragement and motivation in technological fields, science in India would have flourished.

The science develops by spread of thought, but in India, there was more of secrecy to guard it from lower castes. Nobody having any useful knowledge wanted to part with his knowledge. It was within Guru and his disciple to start with. When writing came in, around beginning of Christian era, the texts were written in such a script that they were understood by only a few. Example of Varahmihir can be quoted who ordained that only selected disciples should be given such knowledge, and see that it does not pass even to his son. How much knowledge is lost in darkness, nobody can guess.

Science deals with physical world, but we were taught that world is unreal only the god was real. This raised the armies of sadhus, who were interested in philosophy and bhajan kirtan and their subject was in the world here after. They were not interested in science as world was 'mayajal' for them.

With perhaps a solitary exception of Bhaskaracharya of 12 to 14th century, there was not a single activity in the sphere of scientific knowledge, roughly from sixth century, up to 19th century when the British came,
Some people like to blame Islam for this decline in science. It is wrong to say so. Decline had started much before the Muslims came. We became slaves afterwards, we were withered and wrinkled much before that time due to our internal weaknesses. The reasons of decline of science in India are also the reasons for its defeats and political fall and are responsible for the slavery, this land suffered for centuries.


Creation of Illiteracy

India is supposed to have largest number of illiterates in the world. Many institutions are fed on State revenue for the 'noble' cause of so called 'adult' literacy. But nobody tells us why India remained illiterate for centuries. It was Dr. Ambedkar who brought this fact in light. He averred that, without formal education the accumulated thought and experience relating to a subject can not be learned by a student and he will not get new perception and his horizon will not widen. This requires schools, books and planned materials and literacy. Formal education was confined to study of to Vedas alone, in schools meant only for brahmins, as they propagated that there was no knowledge outside Vedas. Education of rest was neglected by the state. Children of vaishyas learned rudiments of business geography and arithmetic from fathers in course of business, and so did the shudra craftsmen from their parents. This education was domestic and practical. Due to this illiteracy became inherent part of Hindus. Manu and others made laws to this effect. Those who had right to study the Vedas had right to read and write, others were deprived of this right. So according to laws of Manu, reading and writing has become the right of few high caste men and illiteracy has become the destiny of low caste multitudes. This is how literacy was prohibited and general ignorance prevailed among the masses.


Fate of Aryabhatta

One need not confuse between astronomy and astrology in ancient India, because both went by the name of 'jyotisha'. If the study of astronomy would have progressed in normal way, we would have achieved tremendous progress in space technology. But the blind faith in stars and imaginary 'loka's led to ruin of this science.

We know that Vedas declare that earth is stationary and sun is moving. We know the word 'achalaa' for earth, we also know the horses for the 'ratha' of sun. In spite of such ideas in Vedas, astronomers like Aryabhatta in fifth century declared, as mentioned above, that earth is moving and sun is stationary, and explained how lunar and solar eclipses take place. The priestly class saw danger to their livelihood, if Vedas were found fallible. They organized a crusade against Aryabhatta, in two ways.

Brahmagupta (c. 598 A.D.) criticized and asked, if earth is moving, where is it going to and by which way. Varahmihir (c. 600 A.D.) wrote, if earth is moving the birds would not reach their nests in the evening. If the earth is rotating fast towards east, the flags would always fly towards west, and if it is rotating slowly, it would not complete rotation in 24 hours. Same arguments were repeated by another acharya, Lallacharya in seventh eighth century. He also said if earth moves towards East, the arrow shot in the sky would fall on the West and that the clouds would move West. If earth is moving slowly, how would it complete rotation?

Even Bhaskaracharya (some time between 1114 and 1400 A.D.) totally denied that earth can move. He said Earth is fixed. As Sun and fire are hot, as Moon is cold, as water flows, as stone is hard, similarly it is natural that earth is fixed. So much so that word 'achalaa' became a alternate term for earth.

Thus Aryabhatta was ridiculed and criticized with wrong logic. Not only that, but in 10th century a fraud was committed, a fake copy of 'Aryabhatiya' was prepared declaring earth as 'achalaa', and later it was declared that this is his real text of Aryabhatta. The fraud is clear as the real point is, if Aryabhatta had originally said, in the first place, that earth is 'achalaa', why was he ridiculed, condemned and denounced for about five hundred years.

Thus astronomers, or so called 'jyotirvids' were denounced from all angles whenever opportunity presented. They were declared mean, lowly and contemptible, they were declared polluted, they were denied all respect and their means of livelihood were withdrawn. They were prohibited from being called to yadnyas, mahadanas and shraadhas. The rearer of goats, painters, vaidyas and watchers of stars must not be respected though they might be learned like a brahaspati, so says Atrisamhita.

Mahabharata says those brahmins who study the stars must not be allowed to sit in the line with for meals in shraadha. (Anushasan parva, 90, 11/12) Manu III. 172, 167 declared those as lowly, contemptible and unfit for yadnas and shraadha. Nirnaya sindhu 3, and Vivek sindhu 3, also declare them unfit for being called in yadnyas and shraddha. They are also condemned and ridiculed by Brihit samhita (2-2).

These 'daivadnyas' not only deceived the masses but also the rulers, and condemned the 'jyotirvids'. They were cunning and talked glibly. Varahmihir says, he should be clever, bold, quick witted, irrepressible, smart and shrewd. They were very near the political powers and so nobody could touch them.
Still the public respected the jyotirvids, so the brahmins changed the meaning of the word jyotirvidya, which now meant those who study the 'effects' of stars on human beings contrary to the original meaning of study of stars, and themselves became 'daivaidnyas', - the knowers of fate. This stopped the progress of astronomy which died a natural death.

Not only that, daivadnyas later declared the means of controlling and changing fate by shanti, mantras and yadnya etc. Varahmihir describes the many qualities for daivadnya, like shantik - mantras for removing calamities, poustik - mantra for increasing health wealth etc., abhichar - means of punishing the enemies.

Still the common people criticized these fortune tellers. So they declared such critics as 'nastika', 'mlencha', 'chandala' etc. and pronounced them of 'sankara yoni'. This stopped all progress of astronomy. Everybody knows that 'varna sankara' is a big abuse of ancient India, and a greatest punishment in civil life. These people were boycotted and were compelled to lead an isolated life of a beast.

Thus astronomy or mathematical Jyotish was driven away by the 'falit' jyotishya, which provided bread and butter to brahmins and is still doing it. This 'falit' jyotishya has made Indians mere fatalists. Whereas in other countries, everybody exerts his own effort to change the unfavorable surrounding environment, we, in India, are more in search of Rahu and Ketu. Even today, the same thing prevails, and we find the dignitaries changing the direction of entrances to their residences and timing the oath ceremonies to match the timings of the stars. For the first time after centuries, Aryabhatta was honoured by Indian scholars, when the first ever Indian satellite was sent to orbit was named after him.


Why only science suffered

Dr. Gorakh Prasad writes that after Bhaskaracharya, it was considered a sin to make any progress. To find errors in old texts and correct them and to search for new things was totally banned. When such a thing was brought up, the brahmins of Kashi opposed vehemently.

Some people unburden themselves by putting blame on 'foreigners', meaning Muslims, for this fall of science, but history tells us that our other activities, other than science, did not change much. Why only science suffered? Not that we had no scholars. There were fights, disputes and clashes in 'shastrartha'. The very word 'shastrartha' applied to debates, denotes that no new facts are to be discussed, whatever is to be discussed must be to find the real 'artha' i.e. the meaning, of the old 'shastras'.

The philosophical texts abounded by constant churning. Puranas and smritis were compiled, edited and reedited. Various commentaries were written amending old laws. And a lot of discussion took place on poetry. The literary innovations of metre and rhyme is plentiful in the drama and poetry of the time, and the intricacies of art and 'alankaras' were invented, which no other country has done. Poets and scholars spent their effort and capacity in observing most minute details of female anatomy and portraying it in texts, and such poets are compared with literary merit of Shakespere. Then why this ban on science alone?

The reason becomes apparent when you view the society in proper perspective. The society was divided into six thousand castes, all placed one above the other, with brahmin at the top, who also did every thing to maintain its supremacy. The real reason of fall of science was that, the science and technology brings comfort to common masses, which our acharyas did not want. They were self centered in their own domination over the masses and their Rajput - ksatriya masters were after life of comforts and luxury throughout the period of alien rule. The threat to these comforts was considered danger to the 'dharma'. It might be an interesting subject for study, as to what were the various things which were consideed as 'danger to dharma' in course of our history. If these gods on the earth and their disciple rulers would have thought of broader welfare of masses, and incorporated these problems in their agenda, the science would not have suffered, neither the country would have been slave for centuries under a fistful of individuals of alien faith.

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#1173 - November 15, 2009 10:22 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Mehrgarh-Sumeria-Indus Civilisation - 7,000 BCE to 500 BCE


The Sarasvati-Indus Civilisation covers over 1,100 city-sites, spanning two millenium, showcasing a mature society. We can see the civilisational continuity between Mehrgarh and Indus. Mehrgarh is older than Sumeria by three millenium.

We should stop using the term Indus Valley civilisation and start using the term Mehrgarh-Sumeria-Indus Civilisation that goes back to the Neolithic Age, 7,000 BCE, as a beginning of the Hindu religion, has it has been proven to have an unbroken continuous development of the Hindu religion.

"The continuous flow and development of Mehrgarh was entirely local in its scope, development, technological and symbolic
expressions. No doubt around 6000 BC there was human activity in Middle East and some areas of Turkey but the developmental level of Mehrgarh in art, symbolism, nature control, and technology was far more developed and continuous as compared to the pastoral, grazing communities of the Middle East and Turkey." Meaning no foreign invasion or migration influence.

Pathma

Merhgarh - 7000BCE
http://www.indopedia.org/Mehrgarh.html


http://tripatlas.com/Mehrgarh

Mehrgarh is now seen as a precursor to the Indus Valley Civilization. "Discoveries at Mehrgarh changed the entire concept of the Indus civilization," according to Ahmad Hasan Dani, professor emeritus of archaeology at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, "There we have the whole sequence, right from the beginning of settled village life."[4] According to Catherine Jarrige of the Centre for Archaeological Research Indus Balochistan, Musée Guimet, Paris

    "... the Kachi plain and in the Bolan basin (are) situated at the Bolan peak pass, one of the main routes connecting southern Afghanistan, eastern Iran, the Balochistan hills and the Indus valley. This area of rolling hills is thus located on the western edge of the Indus valley, where, around 2500 BCE, a large urban civilization emerged at the same time as those of Mesopotamia and the ancient Egyptian empire. For the first time in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent, a continuous sequence of dwelling-sites has been established from 7000 BCE to 500 BCE, (as a result of the) explorations in Pirak from 1968 to 1974; in Mehrgarh from 1975 to 1985; and of Nausharo from 1985 to 1996."

The chalcolithic people of Mehrgarh also had contacts with contemporaneous cultures in northern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran and southern central Asia.[5]

Somewhere between 2600 BCE and 2000 BCE, the city seems to have been largely abandoned, which is when the Indus Valley Civilisation was in its middle stages of development. It has been surmised that the inhabitants of Mehrgarh migrated to the fertile Indus valley as the Balochistan became more arid due to climatic changes.


http://www.chowk.com/articles/13505

The religious ideas of Mehrgarh are known to be having reference to Indriya Goddess, which is considered to be the oldest reference to the Indian mythological gods. Her presence shows the matriarchal hierarchy in the society.

One amazing bit of info about this town is that in 7000 BCE it had a population of 25000 people, which was the number of people living in the entire Egypt at 7000BCE. [8]

During the excavations, the archaeologists discovered clay female figurines associated with fertility rites, and believed to have been worshipped by the natives. Similar figurines have surfaced in other archaeological sites in the province. Several of these statues are carved with necklaces, and have their hands on their breast or waist.
Some have children on their laps.

The people of that era used to wear woolen or cotton clothes. Some of the deities had their braid on their back and shoulders. Most of the male statues wore turbans, which is still in vogue in Baluchistan. While the opinion of several archaeologists that several of the statuettes discovered at the site might have been children, there are many who link these terracotta figures to be religious beliefs and the eon-old concept of the power of nature and female deities.

Recent archaeological evidence especially from Mehrgarh has established that the Indus Civilization was essentially an indigenous development growing out of local cultures in an unbroken sequence from the Neolithic at the end of the eighth millennium BC, through the Chalcolithic (about 5000-3600 BC) and Early Harappan (about 3600-2600 BC) to the commencement of the Mature Harappan period in about 2550 BC.[10]

The continuous flow and development of Mehrgarh was entirely local in its scope, development, technological and symbolic expressions. No doubt around 6000 BC there was human activity in Middle East and some areas of Turkey but the developmental level of Mehrgarh in art, symbolism, nature control, and technology was far more developed and continuous as compared to the pastoral, grazing communities of the Middle East and Turkey.

http://www.chowk.com/articles/13505

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#1174 - November 15, 2009 10:32 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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http://www.mailstar.net/danielou-paglia.html


Alain Danielou, Shiva and Dionysus and Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae - Peter Myers

November 12, 2001; update May 9, 2009. My comments within the text are shown {thus}.


The Proto-Australoids

The Proto Australoids, in India called adivasi (first inhabitants), speak Munda or Mom-Khmer languages. They form one of the great racial and linguistic groups, the other two being the Dravidians and the Aryans. According to S.S. Sarkar (Aboriginal Races of India), the Proto Australoids are "the most archaic race which has survived". They show affinities with Neanderthal man (according to Huxley, Sollas, Von Luschon and Howells), a more ancient race than the Negroids. To this group belong the Veddas of Ceylon and the Khonds of Central India, the Khasis of Assan and the Shom Pen of Great Nicobar. Outside India, the Sakai of Malaysia, the Moi of Indochina, the Orang batin, Lubu and Ulu of Sumatra, the Toula of the Celebes, certain populations in Southern Arabia and the Dhofar, as well as the Aborigines of Australia, may all be included in the same anthropological group. Their relationship with the African Pygmies and Bushmen of the Kalahari appears probable. They seem to have been the most ancient inhabitants of Europe, India and Africa. Skeletons of this type have also been discovered in predynastic Egyptian tombs. as well as at Mohenjo Daro in present-day Pakistan.

"The hunting tribes of whom the Bushmen and Pygmies are the last remnants, once covered all Africa. Even the Caspian art of the late Palaeolithic period, found in areas around the western Mediterranea,n has affinities with Bushman painting... The Bushmen represent an early group of humans ancestral to the larger and darker skinned peoples who lived around the fringes of the Indian Ocean before they in turn spread to all parts of Africa. except for the far south." (Cottie Burland. "Africa, South of the Sahara." in Primitive Erotic Art, p. 198. ) It was this race of small, gracile men who peopled Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic Age and who were eliminated by the stronger Cro-Magnon-type men.


The Dravidians

During the Neolithic Age a new race appeared amongst the Mundas in India. They had brown skin, straight hair and spoke an agglutinative language. The origin of these people, who are called Dravidian (from the Prakrit damila: Tamil), is obscure, but they and their religion,{p. 21} Shivaism, played a basic role in the history of humanity. According to tradition, they came from a continent situated to the southwest of India which was engulfed by the sea. This myth recalls that of Atlantis. The possibility cannot be excluded that other branches of the same people may have reached Africa and the Mediterranean - hence the difficulty of attributing with any certainty a place of origin to Shivaite or Dionysiac revelation. "The people who created and developed the first Greco-oriental civilization, of which the Isle of Minos was the principal centre - despite their relations with Mesopotamia and Egypt - confirm that they were neither 'Greek', nor Semitic, nor Indo-European. . . It is possible to suppose. . . that the people involved spread throughout the whole of Greece.. . There was in the Greek language a substratum of words of foreign origin . . . which must have survived from long before, despite the occupation of the country bv various invaders. . . Their Anatolian, Pelasgian. and even Proto-lndo-European origin is still being debated ........ The language thus formed was spoken throughout the Aegean, the whole of Greece and southwest Anatolia." (Charles Picard, Les Religions prehelleniques, pp. 53-54.)

The Dravidian language and culture, which even today are those of the population of Southern India, seem to have spread their influence from India to the Mediterranean before the Aryan invasions. It was this civilization, some of whose linguistic vestiges - such as Georgian, Basque, Peuhl, Guanche and the dialects of Baluchistan - survive still in outlying areas, which served as a vehicle for ancient Shivaism. It appears that Sumerian, Pelasgian, Etruscan and Lydian, as well as Eteocretan, also belonged to the same linguistic family: the relationship between Sumerian, Georgian and Tamil leaves no doubt as to their origins. Moreover, the Basque language (Eskuara) and Georgian both have the same structure and, even today, have more than three hundred and sixty words in common. Again, Basque songs and dances are related to those of the Caucasian Iberians.

Herodotus (Histories. I. 57) speaks of the barbarian language used by the Pelasgians who in his time were living in Southern Italy and at the Hellespont. He considered that the Pelasgian language was closely related to Etruscan and Lydian. Saint Paul, who was shipwrecked at Malta in 69 A.D., mentions the "barbarian" (non-Aryan) language which was still spoken there. "The main provenance of the Pelasgians was ... from the far side of the Black Sea. There is some possibility that they did not arrive in Crete before the beginning of the second
{p. 22} millennium B.C .... [The name of the place where they lived, Larisa, proues it]." (R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, pp. 135 and 136.)

According to Jacques Heurgon (La Vie Quotidienne chez les Etrusques, pp. 14-15), "The Etruscans were not newcomers to Italy, but the first inhabitants of a land whose sovereignty was taken from them by the Indo-European invasions, without eliminating them entirely... They were the indomitable descendants of the Bronze Age... The relationship betueen Etruscan, Caucasian, Lycian and the speech of Lemnos points to the existence of an Etruscan-Asiatic language, at first in current use in Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, the Aegean and Asia Minor and then thrust aside by the linguistic pressure of the invaders."

"The Eteocretan language spoken by the inhabitants of Praisos in Crete, up to the third century B.C., was thus the remnant of the common non-Greek language which was once spoken in Greece, Crete and the other islands as well as in the south-west of Asia Minor. Inscriptions at Praisos in Greek characters have not yet been deciphered." (R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, p. 133.) This was apparently a Dravidian language. It appears that modern linguists have never dreamt of using the agglutinative Dravidian languages, which are still widely spoken in the south of India, as a basis for their research into the ancient languages of the Mediterranean world.

The myth concerning the Aryan origin of civilization, which Rene Guenon termed the classic illusion, is still far from being forgotten. Dravidian languages have a common origin with Finnish-Hungarian languages (Balto-Finnish, Hungarian, Volgaic, Uralian, Samoyedic) and Altaic languages (Turkish, Mongolian and Eskimo), but it seems that the division between this great linguistic family and the Dravido-Mediterranean group during the Palaeolithic Age took place long before the formulation of Shivaism as we know it.

In the Middle East and the Mediterranean world, there was an important civilization of Asian origin, or which was at least linguistically related to Asia before the Aryan invasions. The megalithic monuments, myths and religious traditions common to India and the Mediterranean indicate moreover that this civilization was indeed the vehicle of Shivaism.

Even before the sixth millennium, "the myth of Anat may be classified as belonging to the common elements of the old agricultural civilization which stretched from the Eastern Mediterranean to the
{p. 23} Ganges plain". (M. Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses, p.169.)

After the last Ice Age, the great migrations from India to Portugal began in a climate which finally became more temperate during the fifth millenium. However, it is only starting from the third millenium, that we find remains of an advanced level of civilization. These cultures bear the undeniable stamp of Shivaite thought, myths and symbols, and all of them are more or less contemporary in the cities of the Indus, Sumer, Crete or Malta. The megalithic sanctuaries which are found everywhere from India to the British Isles and America, belong to the same culture, but are often the only vestiges of this stupendous civilization to have survived. The fact that the principal archaeological remains are all of the same period, but at apparently different technological levels, does not exclude the possibility of an advanced civilization. Their preservation depends entirely on the materials used and on prevailing climatic conditions, or sometimes on the total destruction of sites by invaders or bv natural catastrophes, such as the eruptions of Santorini or Vesuvius.


The civilizations of the Indus

On the Indian continent the centres of pre-Aryan Dravidian culture which have left important archaeological remains are mainly found in the Indus valley in present-day Pakistan, especially at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The siting of these important cities in a region which has become almost a desert has preserved certain elements. This civilization spread over a large part of India and towards the West.

"The contacts [of the cities of the Indus] with the ancient proto-historic and historic civilizations of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt and the Aegean, are important... There exists proof of contacts with Sargon of Akkad (about 2370-2284 2370-2284 B.C.), and with King Urnammu (about 2100 B.C.), although Mohenjo Daro was in existence long before. Objects coming from Mohenjo Daro have been found at Tel Asmar and at Troy (about 2300 B.C.), as well as in a royal tomb at Ur. Bronze objects from Luristan and Mesopotamian weapons have been discovered at Mohenjo Daro... Identical painted steatite necklaces have been found at Harappa and at Knossos... A great number of steatite seals bearing inscriptions in characters of the Indus were discovered at Bahrein (Dilmun), as well as at Ur (about 7350 B.C.) and La~yash (Larsa period)." (Mortimer Wheeler, The Indus Civilizations, pp. 111-115)

{p. 24} The towns of the Indus were founded before 3800 B.C. and lasted until their destruction in 1800 B.C. by the Aryan invaders. The principal religion of the Indus civilization was withbut doubt Shivaism. Extant seals represent an ithyphallic and horned Shiva seated in a Yoga position. or dancing triumphantly as Nataraja. Numerous Shivaite symbols are also found there, such as stone phalli, swastikas. and the images of the bull, the serpent and the Goddess of the Mountains.

"The likelihood that both Shiva and linga (phallus) - worship have been inherited by the Hindus from the Harappans is perhaps reinforced by the prevalence of the bull ... [and also] in less degree, to the tiger, elephant... and 'Minotaurs'... as well as man-faced animals." (Wheeler, ibid., p. 109.)

Given the importance of the contacts mentioned above. it is not at all surprising that the same religion and symbols are found extending from India to the Mediterranean. The problems posed by the Aryan invasions are the same and the survivals of this ancient religion and its periodic reappearance are similar in India, the Middle East and the West.


The Aryans (Indo-Europeans)

The migration of the nomadic Aryan peoples - erroneously called Indo-Europeans - played a considerable role in the history of mankind. They left the regions which today compose the Soviet Union probably for climatic reasons, and successively invaded India, the Middle East and Europe.

"The irruption of the Indo-Europeans into history is marked by terrible devastation. Between 2300 and 1900 B.C., numerous cities in Greece, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia were sacked and burned, such as Troy about 2300 B.C., Beycesultan, Tarsus, and some three hundred towns and settlements in Anatolia ... The dispersal of the Indo-European peoples had begun a few centuries before and was to last through two millennia ... The Dorians from Thessaly descended on Southern Greece towards the end of the second millennium B.C. By about 1200, the Aryans had penetrated into the Indus-Ganges plain, the Iranians were firmly installed, Greece and the islands were Indo-Europeanized ... This process only ceased in the last century. It is not possible to find another such example of linguistic and cultural expansion." (M. Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses, p. 199.)

{p. 25} The Aryan tribes who occupied Latium around 1000 B.C. and founded Rome in about 753, were one of the principal agents of Aryan linguistic expansion. Aryan colonization under the form of Hindi in India, and French, English, Portuguese and Spanish in the rest of the world, still continues today especially in the African and American continents. We do not hesitate to speak of French- or English-speaking Africa and of Latin America, as though we were speaking of something clearly beneficial.
The Vedic texts evoke the struggles against the dasa or dasya and the pani, the continuators or survivors of the Indus civilization who rejected the Vedic cult. They are described as being dark-skinned and having small noses. They spoke a barbarian language and venerated the phallus (shishna deua). They owned large herds and lived in fortified towns (pur). According to the Purana genealogies, it is calculated that the Mahabharata war, which completed the Aryan conquest of India, took place about 1400 B.C. in the Madhyadesha, near Delhi. Other Hindu sources, however, seem to indicate an earlier date.


Primaeval religions

The four religions {animism, Shivaism, Jainism, Aryan i.e. Indo-European polytheism}
We know almost nothing of the religious and philisophical thought of mankind since his appearance nearly two million years ago. Since the beginning of that very recent period which we can consider historical, traces of highly developed civilizations are everywhere to be found, together with languages which, whatever the level of material life, whether primitive or refined, are all equally suitable for expressing the most abstract notions and bear witness to an extremely long evolution of thought.

In India, four main religions correspond to the different approaches to the problem of the supernatural. These have often influenced or opposed each other throughout the course of their long history. They demonstrate mankind's attainment of religious thought since remote prehistory. All later religions can only be considered as adaptations of elements deriving from this marvellous heritage. Really new elements are never found, whatever their claims. The four religions of ancient India correspond to four distinct concepts of the world and of the gods, whose extension well beyond the frontiers of India seems to have been universal. The first of these concepts could be termed animistic.

{animism - first of the four religions}


{p. 26} In the natural order of the world living beings know what they require in order to ensure survival. Side by side with a perceptive mechanism of a practical order all beings are conscious that there is a limit to their senses. They feel more or less confusedly the presence of "something inexplicable", of more subtle powers with which they eventually try to communicate. These powers, which mankind respects and worships, are called spirits or gods. The man who finds his proper place in the natural world becomes conscious of spirits, or aspects of the divine to be found in mountains, springs, rivers and forests. "For all people who live in harmony with the consensus of the powers which surround them ... many animals are sacred, and therefore, in this sense, everything is sacred: sky, earth, fire, air ... The whole life of 'primitive' man is a succession of magical operations aimed at creating an 'affective tie' between himself and the world around him, 'to bind', 'to put a spell on', 'to conjure up' the powers of nature." (Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des Labyrinthes, p. 108.)

Animals too are conscious of invisible presences and have a foreboding of the wrath of the gods, which is made manifest in what we call natural catastrophes. The sudden and absolute silence of the forest during the moments preceding an earthquake is a startling phenomenon. Never do so called savage animals kill for pleasure {wild dogs and cats do sometimes kill prey in a frenzy, more than they need for eating}. They always avoid disturbing the balance of nature. Animistic man behaves in the same way and thus acquires a very acute sense. He asks pardon of the spirit of the tree from which he has to cut a branch. He tries to conciliate the divinities whom he believes protect the world. His life is a perpetual ritual. Respect for the spirit which dwells in all things, in all beings, is thus the basis of all morality and religion, and allows man to reach a level of intuitive knowledge which the logical mind can never grasp. Animistic concepts have been perpetuated amongst the "primitive" tribes of India. Animism is opposed to the appropriation of land, to property, and to agriculture which destroys natural order and to anything which subjects nature to man. It is against the development of urban and industrial civilization. Such a concept, however, appears to be one of the most fundamental approaches to the religious problem. The animistic attitude is not sentimental or "naturist". Hunting is the basis for survival, and the cruelty of the gods and spirits requires sacrifice. It is in this climate that the cult of Murugan or Kumara (the youth) developed, corresponding to the Kouros (the youth) in Crete. He is an infant or adolescent god, a god of Beauty and War, avid for the blood of the
{p. 27} animals sacrificed to him. Indeed, his cult originated amongst the adivasi (the first inhabitants), of which such tribes still existing today speak Munda languages. The symbols associated with this cult are the hunting-spear, the cock and the ram. The Munda legends which Rudyard Kipling has transcribed in the Jungle Book give an interesting insight into the poetic level of Indian Animism.

{Shivaism - second of the four religions}

During the Neolithic Age and early part of the Old Bronze Age, the cult of Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals, and of Parvati, the Lady of the Mountains, became established amongst the Dravidian invaders. It involved a great philosphical and religious movement which under the name of Shivaism was superimposed on Animism, and became the principal source from which later religions have been drawn. The Lord of the Animals and the Lady of the Mountains, who are found in Crete under the names of Zagreus and Cybele, are also found in all the civilizations which are linguistically or culturally related to the Dravidian world. The salient features of this religion are the cult of the phallus, the bull and the snake and, to a lesser extent, of the tiger and lion, the mounts of the goddess. Historical Shivaism was codified towards the end of the sixth millennium B.C. as the result of a fusion between the religions of Pashupati and Murugan, and was designed to satisfy the world's religious needs up to the end of the present cycle. Murugan becomes the son of Shiva. He is called Kumara (the youth), or Skanda (the jet of sperm). The two cults are closely intermingled in their later forms. Murugan, born in a reedy marsh and nourished by nymphs, is elsewhere called Dionysus. Pashupati corresponds to the Cretan god, husband of the Lady of the Mountains. He is called Zan, then Zagreus, and later, Cretan Zeus (Kretagenes). His legend, as in the case of Shiva and Skanda, gradually becomes merged with that of Dionysus.

{Jainism - third of the four religions, early Buddhism being a variant of it}

Another religion which can claim a very long history is Jainism, a puritan religion which believes in transmigration, in the development of the human being through many lives, both in human and animal form. Without being precisely atheistic, Jainism does not envisage the possibility of contacts between man and the supernatural. According to Jainism man can never know with certainty whether or not there exists a creative principle, a god, or prime cause, and there is therefore no reason to be concerned with it. This religion which is more moralistic than ritualistic, insists upon the protection of life, on strict vegetarianism, and total nakedness amongst its followers. Original Buddhism is an adaptation of it.

{p. 28} Mahavira, the last Jaina prophet, was the contemporary and rival of Gautama Buddha. Like the Buddhists, the Jainas sent missionaries to all parts of the world. The influence of these naked ascetics was very important in Greece, as can be perceived in certain of the philosophical schools and in Orphism. Later Hinduism took from Jainism the theory of transmigration and vegetarianism which originally existed neither in Shivaism nor in Vedism.

{Aryan polytheism - fourth of the four religions}

With the Aryan invasions, the great religion of the nomadic peoples of Central Asia was imposed on India and the whole of the Western world. The gods of this religion are in fact natural phenomena and personified human virtues. Indra is the god of the Thunderbolt, Varuna the god of the Waters, Agni the god of Fire, Vavu god of the Wind, Surya god of the Sun, Dyaus the god of Space, while Mitra represents Solidarity, Aryaman Honour, Bhaga the Sharing of goods. Rudra is the Destroyer, Time, the principle of death. He is subsequently identified with Shiva. Although seeking to propitiate the powers of nature by means of sacrifice, the Aryan religion is not a nature religion. It is a religion centred on man which only seeks the aid of the gods in order to ensure his safety and dominion.

{Hinduism is a synthesis of those four religions}

From the second millennium, Shivaism was gradually absorbed into the Aryan Vedic religion, forming on the one hand later Hinduism, and on the other, Mycenaean and Greek religion. However, Shivaism has resisted this merger and periodically reappears in its ancient form in India as well as in Hellenic Dionysism, and in many later mystic or esoteric sects up to modern times.

Orphism is derived from the influence of Jainism, which was very important in the ancient world for its impact on Shivaism-Dionysism. Mithraism, on the other hand, is the attempt of a soldier community to rediscover part of the ritual and initiatory aspects of original Shivaism.

These four great currents of religious thought spread throughout the world combining with local divinities, legends and cults, as did Christianity at a later period. They remain the basis of almost all existing forms of religion, including the Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which derived from ancient Hebrew polytheism. The great Semitic civilization of Egypt absorbed numerous Shivaite elements, in particular the cult of Osiris, and was able to avoid the danger of monotheism, despite the attempt of Akhnaton in the fourteenth century. Monotheism was later to isolate the Semitic religions from ancient cosmological and religious thought.

{I find it difficult to see Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam as derivatives of those four religions; I think Danielou should have made Zoroastrianism a fifth founding religion ... then the origin of Judaism and its offspring would be accounted for. But Danielou presents Judaism, Christianity and Islam as Western morality religions, correlates of Buddhism & Jainism, on p. 224 below. He also sees Judaism's derivation from Akhnaten's religion, on p. 228 below. Perhaps Akhnaten's religion needs to be added to the above five, to make six founding religions}

{p. 29} The religions of the Far East will not be included in the scope of this book. although Shivaite influence on Taoism is evident and Jaina rationalism had a great influence on Confucianism. Later, through Buddhism, Jaina and Shivaite influences again made themselves felt in China, Southeast Asia and Tibet, by means of Mahayana Tantrism, which was largely a fusion of the two religions. Indian Tantric texts moreover, often mention the existence of "Chinese rites" (Cinachara).


Mythology

Whether dealing with heroes, divine incarnations or gods, all mythology is founded on the personification of certain cosmological principles or particular virtues. "Together with the gods, I will tell of the birth of the elements which they personify," says Hesiod. What counts in mythology are the inherent principles and not the legends with which they are surrounded in order to make them more readily understood. It is of no importance that these legends are legion, differing from one region to another, from one visionary poet to another. We should not lose sight of the fact that such myths or legends are only there to make abstract ideas and universal realities more comprehensible.

The wicked fairy remains the wicked fairy even if we invent new fairy-tales. Heroes are attributed with certain acts which surpass reality, but which are designed to emphasize their virtues and the teachings which they personify. To attribute to Jesus of Nazareth the miracles and legends of Dionysus or Krishna does not detract from his message, but serves to make his divine nature more easily understood. To try to see only strictly historical facts is to deny his divinity and his value as an eternal symbol.

The legends surrounding a particular divine aspect in the various civilizations only differ in the indigenous names given to the heroes and gods. These wonderful tales illustrate universal cosmological or philosophic concepts by incorporating them in a local pantheon to make them more accessible and, occasionally, to mask their meaning from the uninitiated who take these legends literally. The same process is found everywhere, whether in the myths of Dionysus, Bacchus, Zagreus or the Minotaur, of Egyptian Osiris or Roman Liber. In the same way, the legends were adapted so as to include Shiva and his cult amongst the Vedic gods or in Tibetan Buddhism. Thus saints are substituted for gods in the Christian world: the life of Buddha appears in the lives of the saints under the name of Saint Joshaphat.

{p. 30} We are so used to connecting the idea of civilization with a certain level of technological development that we lose sight of the level of human knowledge and culture in those times which we term prehistoric. Only through a few archaeological accidents have the extremely evolved art forms and culture of the Neolithic and even Palaeolithic periods been brought to light - periods during which we imagine the Earth to have been peopled with bearded savages armed with clubs! It is evident that some of the artists invited to decorate the subterranean sanctuaries of Lascaux or Altamira, between the fifteenth and sixth millennia B.C., possessed an excellent technique and a masterly hand. They did not live below ground and their usual occupation must therefore have been the decoration of relatively luxurious dwellings. Similar forms of art exist even today in Indian villages built of daub and wood which, once destroyed, leave no trace.

The first Egyptian dynasties date from the end of the fourth millennium. In the same period the Sumerians, speaking an agglutinative (Dravidian) language, migrated from the Indus to Mesopotamia which was already highly civilized. More than a thousand years later the builders of the megaliths brought a similar civilization to Northern Europe.

From the beginning of the sixth millennium, the marks of Shivaism are to be found everywhere: the cult of the bull, the snake and the phallus, the royal symbol of the horns, Yoga positions, funeral chambers, both in those places where urban remains have survived and where only cliff-face engravings still exist.

It is very often the case that in order to explain ancient rites and symbols, we have only much later attempts to rediscover knowledge almost lost as a consequence of cataclysms, barbarian invasions, or religious upheavals. This is true of the Greeks in relation to the Minoans or of the Celts in relation to the megalithic civilization. Behind Hesiod's Theogony, the most ancient Greek text on mythology, a more precise and less superficial text may be glimpsed, the deeper meaning of which Hesiod does not always comprehend.

The first great period of Minoan art in Crete dates from about 2600 B.C. Knossos and Phaistos were destroyed for the first time by a sudden catastrophe, probably the explosion of the volcano of Santorini in about 1700 B.C. The first Achaeans seem to have appeared around 1600 B.C. As "a prize of war", they brought back to Peloponnese the Minoan religion, which was the basis of what is termed Mycenaean culture. The Achaeans gradually installed themselves in Crete and
{p. 31} must have destroyed Knossos for the first time around 1400 B.C. Its final destruction by the Dorians took place in ahout 1100 B.C. In Malta, the monumental temples of Ggantija were built between about 2800 and 2400 B.C. There appear the cults of the bull, the phallus and the goddess. The dolychocephalic-type Mediterranean population was totally annihilated in about 2400 B.C. and after a vacant period was replaced by a round-headed (brachycephalic) population who created the Tarxien civilization, similar to the Mycenaean, which was also destroyed about 2000 B.C. Such was the destruction that no survivor remained.

"The disappearance of the Minoan civilization, the most ancient to have flourished in Europe, is one of the most appalling dramas in the history of Europe, which has always been particularly dramatic ... Until the flowering of the new Greek civilization, the continent fell hack into an agricultural life without a history." ( Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des labyrinthes, pp. 96 and 187.) "The Achaean conquerors were not capable of making their own, any more than they were capable of promoting, the artistic efforts and organization of those whom they had conquered and subjected... The Minoans, after two thousand years in which they had built up the first Western civilization, disappeared from the scene of European history." (Gaetano De Sanctis, Storia dei Greci, p. 138.) We must understand that the same distance which separates the end of the original Minoan civilization from the Greece of Pericles, separates us from the Roman Empire. It is therfore quite logical that only popular traditions concerning the Yogic and philosophical bases of rites and symbols were able to be transmitted through the still barbarous conquerors. The seriousness with which mythological accounts are taken nowadays sometimes appears highly comical. It is imagined that ancient peoples took symbolic accounts for realities, even though today the Hindu kirtana poets still invent daily new episodes in the legend of the gods. Christians take as historical fact the symbolic accounts of the Bible and the Gospel. They go and dig on the top of Mount Ararat to find the remains of Noah's Ark even though the flood myth is universal, known to the Hindus as to the Babylonians and the American peoples, and each tradition makes the Ark ground on a different mountain.

Modern interpretations, although giving proof of considerable erudition and certain intuition, are often founded on a lack of appreciation of the intellectual level and knowledge of man in
{p. 32} relatively distant times. At this level, we are not yet entirely free from the dogma of the creation of the world in the year 4963 B.C., still held as an article of faith by certain Christian theologians at the beginning of this century.



The origins of Shivaism

According to Indian sources and as confirmed by numerous archaeological data, it was during the sixth millennium B.C. - a period which more or less corresponds to what we call the Neolithic Age - that Shivaism was revealed or codified. This great religion was derived from animistic concepts and from the long religious experience of prehistoric man, of which there remain only a few rare archaeological indications and allusions to mythical sages in later writings. Starting from this period, Shivaite rites and symbols begin to appear both in India and in Europe: the cult of the bull, the phallus, the ram, the snake, the Lady of the Mountains, as well as ecstatic dances the swastika, the labyrinth, sacrifices, etc. Thus it is difficult to determine where Shivaism was born. Its origins stretch far back into the history of man. The megalithic monuments and symbolic representations testifying to its presence are so widespread: the traditions, legends, rites and festivities deriving from it are found in so many regions, that it appears everywhere as one of the main sources of later religions. There is nothing to prove that India was the place where it originated, since Shivaite rites and symbols appear almost simultaneously in different parts of the world. However, only in India have these traditions and what are known as Dionysiac rites been maintained without interruption from prehistoric times until today. Greek texts speak of Dionysus' mission to India, and Indian texts-of the expansion of Shivaism towards the West. According to Diodorus, the epitaph of Osiris (identified with Dionysus) mentioned Osiris' expeditions to India and the countries of the North. Innumberable similarities in mythological accounts and iconographic survivals leave no doubt as to the original unity of Shivaism and the wide extent of its influence.

A great cultural movement extending from India to Portugal took place during the sixth millennium B.C. This movement is apparently related to the diffusion of Shivaism, and is characterized by a naturalistic art giving great importance to animals. We only possess vague legendary allusions to the period and only the chance discovery of "prehistoric" sites has been able to supply some points of reference.

{p. 33} It was, in fact, the era during which civilization used wood, and it appears almost strange to call such a period the "Stone Age". 'Wood' civilizations still exist in India and Southeast Asia, and it is well known that, whatever their degree of refinement, they leave practically no trace behind them. All the symbols associated with the cult of Shiva - the erect phallus, the horned god, the bull, the snake, the ram, the Lady of the Mountains - are found in this cultural and agricultural complex which, starting from 6000 B.C., spread westward to Europe and Africa and eastward to southern Asia. "The young naked ithyphallic god seated on a throne is present at all stages in Ancient Europe, from Proto-Sesklo and Starcevo (sixth millennium) to Dimini and the Vinca period. He wears a horned mask. He is also represented standing, holding his sexual organ with both hands... However, the principal manifestation of the male god seems to have been in the form of a bull, sometimes a bull with a human face or a man with a bull's head." (Valcamonica Symposium, Les Religions de la Prehistoire, p. 135.) During the Vinca period in Rumania (from the seventh to the fifth millennium), archaeological research has given evidence of the bull cult, the bull with human face, the ithyphallic and horned god, the phallus cult, and the phallus with a face. The dead are buried in a Yoga position, as at Lepenski Vir, near the Iron Gates of the Danube.

The first true Shivaite images are found at Catal Hoyuk in Anatolia, dating from about 6000 B.C. The cults of Osiris, the bull and the ram, appear just after the dawn of Egyptian civilization. In Egypt, the cults of bull-Osiris and ram-Osiris are found in a fused form, although originally separate, as in the case of the fusion of the cults of bull-Shiva and ram-Skanda. There also exists a colossal statue of the ithyphallic god Min, coming from predynastic Egypt and dating from the middle of the fifth millennium B.C. It was during this period that the Minoan peoples arrived in Crete (about 4500), as well as in Anatolia, Cyprus, Malta and Santorini. Concepts such as the Yin and Yang - a Chinese transcription of the words Yoni (vulva) and Linga (phallus) -, representing the closely entwined female and male principles, are in no way different from the Linga inserted into the arghia (receptacle) as used in the Shivaite cult, and indicate the influence of Shivaite symbolism at the very source of Chinese thought.
Images of the bull-god or horned god, the Lord of the Animals, similar to those at Mohenjo Daro, are found in pre-Celtic and Minoan
{p. 34} tradition. In southeast Asia (Cambodia, Java, Bali), Shivaism is closely linked with the very beginnings of civilization. In Bali, it is even now the predominant aspect of religion. The temples of Angkor, like the ancient temples of Java, are for the most part Shivaite.

During the fourth millennium, a Shivaite civilization arose in the Indus plain. The Sumerians, who probably came from the Indus, arrived in Mesopotamia by sea. The religion which they practised spread all over the Middle East, to Crete and continental Greece. From the beginning of the third millennium up to the Aryan invasions, the three great sister-civilizations of Mohenjo Daro, Sumer and Knossos developed along parallel lines, extending over the whole European continent on the one side, and central and east India and southeast Asia on the other.

The end of the third millennium appears as an important date. It was in fact in about 3000 B.C. that the (historical) flood took place, dividing the Sumerian dynasties into antediluvian and postdiluvian. According to Hindu chronology, the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the Age of Conflicts, or Modern Age, also dates from this period.

During the same period, a new people of Atlanto-Mediterranean race appeared in Malta, and subsequently in Armorica, coming from the Mediterranean probably by way of the Iberian Peninsula. "They introduced a new religion and new burial customs. The megalithic civilization belongs to them: during the course of two thousand years, the soil of the peninsula was covered with their monuments. The tumulus of Saint-Michel at Carnac was built about the year 3000 B.C., the lines of the stones dating from around 2000. The builders of the megaliths... certainly preserved contacts with Iberia and further afield, with their origins in Crete or in the Middle East ... or at least were not ignorant of their existence... nor of the rites practised there by the bull-worshippers." (Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec, Guide de la Bretagne mysterieuse, pp. 72 and 99.) The palace [of Knossos], the temple of the solar bull, has a subtle but close link with the stone circles to be found in our countryside." (R. A. Macalister, Ireland in Preceltic Times.) "The menhir statues of upper Adige and Liguria. . . (as well as) Stonhenge and other megalithic monuments. . . seem to derive from a prototype which appeared at Mycenae around the sixteenth to the fourteenth century B.C." (Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des Labyrinthes, p. 139.) The designs of the labyrinths at Valcamonica date from 1800 to 1300 B.C. Those of Malta are several centuries older.

{p. 35} The birth of Dionysus

The beginnings of Minoan civilization seem to stretch back to the middle of the fifth millennium and are therefore contemporary with predynastic Egypt. The greatest Minoan period, however, as shown by its incredible artistic development, (which may well be a period of spiritual decadence and does not necessarily correspond to a parallel progress on an intellectual and religious level), stretches from about 2800 to about 1800 B.C. The monumental temples in Malta were built between 2800 and 20000. This Mediterranean civilization is thus contemporary with the postdiluvian Sumerian civilization and also with the greatest period of Mohenjo Daro and the cities of the Indus, with which there is an evident relationship. Whatever the importance of the most ancient archaeological data emerging from all over the Mediterranean world - Anatolia and the Middle East, as well as of Sumerian or Babylonian literary references - it is only with the Minoan civilization and its Greek heritage that Shivaite rites and myths, in their Dionysian version, make their real debut into what we know as the religious history of the Western world.

Cretan civilization developed due to a considerable contribution from Asian civilizations. "Neolithic Crete may be considered as the most important extension of the Anatolian province as a whole." (Evans, The Palace of Minos, chap. 1, p. 14.) Relations with Egypt, Greece and the Middle East were constantly maintained throughout Cretan history. "Trained... architects and painters... were invited... from Asia (possibly from Alalakh... ) to build and decorate the palaces of the Cretan rulers... The technique of fresco painting... and methods of construction ... employed in Yarim-Lim's palace. [on the Syrian coast] are the same as those... of Knossos... Moreover, Yarim-Lim's palace antedates by more than a century the Cretan examples in the same style." ( R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, p. 17.)

According to Homer (Odyssey XIX, 178), Minos governed Crete and the isles of the Aegean three generations before the Trojan War, which took place during the thirteenth century B.C. He is therefore referrjng to the second Cretan civilization, which was influenced by the Achaeans. As in the Mesopotamian civilizations, many elements characteristic of Shivaism are found in Minoan Crete: the young god, the Goddess of the Mountain, the bull and the Minotaur, the snake, the horns, the lion, the he-goat, the sacred tree and the phallic pillar, the bull sacrifice and the esctatic dance of the Korybantes and {p. 36} Kouretes, who are in all aspects identical to the Ganas, the young companions of Shiva and his followers. The symbols of the swastika. the double axe and the labyrinth derive, as we shall see later, from Indian ideas related to Yogic experience and to the Earth cult. The same symbols are found at Malta, where extremely important monumental remains have survived.


The Minoans sought harmony between man and nature. Their paintings show us a peaceful and idyllic life in fairy-like, enchanted surroundings, recalling the earthly paradise of Shiva-Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals. We do not know what name was given to the god at the time of the first King Minos, but it was probably Zan, Hellenized into Zagreus and later identified with Zeus. The name Zeus is Indo-European. "The Achaeans who came into Crete gave the name of their sky-god to a Minoan deity... Zagreus... was an Oriental name. . . [from] Phoenicia. . . [and is probably an] ethnic from Mount Zagron, between Assyria and Media... This Idaian Zeus, also honoured by the Kouretes... is the old Cretan god who is so like Dionysus elsewhere that it is natural for the initiated mystic to describe himself as Bakkhos... [This god] who dies and is born again ... causes the renewal of life in the worshipper who enters into his mysteries, culminating in the eating of the raw flesh of the animal which is the god himself made manifest - the bull, whose blood also sanctified his shrines." ( R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, pp. 200-203, 240.) Euripides mentions Zagreus in The Cretans: "I have sounded the thunder of Zagreus who wanders by night, accomplished the raw-flesh feasts and held high the torches to the Mountain-mother, torches of the Kouretes, Hallowed and named as a Bakkhos. All-white are the clothes I wear and I shun human birth, touch no urn of the dead and their tombs, have been on guard to all taste of meat".

The myths concerning the young god and the Cretan goddess are similar to those of Shiva and Parvati. An echo is found in the myths of Ishtar and Tammuz, Isis and Osiris, and Venus and Adonis. Rhea, the Goddess of the Mountain, is the Indian Parvatl (she of the mountain). The names of Diktynna and Artemis also evoke the idea of a mountain-mother. The name Diktynna comes from the name of a mountain, Mount Dikte. Parvati is the daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas). .....

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#1175 - November 29, 2009 10:41 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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A brief introduction to technological brilliance of Ancient India

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Health Science:
The Indian vision on health, Aswini Devatha concept � Food & Exercise, need of exercise, yoga Asanas, soorya namaskaram, effect of medicines, identification of drugs, pathyas and fasting, selected food, rest and upasana, ethics for doctors cause of illness, pathogenic organisms, precautions to be taken for good health, solar therapy, water therapy, yoga therapy, music therapy, Reiki, energy healing, the knowledge on surgery and surgical equipments, practicing surgery and explanations given by Maharishi Susrutha. Acharas � customs and rituals influencing health.

Mental Health Psychology:
Description of mind given in Upanishads, mental influence on health, influence of puranic and related stories in mind, mental development, and yoga. Influence of yama and niyama as mentioned by Patanjali, controlling the mind, dhyaana, food and mind, saatwic food, dreams, effect of manthras on mind, customs influencing the mental health and family relations.

Food Science:
Variety of Indian foods, balanced nutritious foods, natural traditional baby foods, the medicinal components usually added in foods � like asafetida, turmeric, spices etc. � advised food during illness, specialized cooking, roasting, fermenting, processing, preserving, etc done for variety of foods ands their science. Generation of specific flavors in foods by suitable modifying spices. The science of altering the foods during fasting on specific days. Opting for integrated balance foods through fasting and vrathaas, science of selecting variety foods based on seasons, importance of selecting cooking vessels � for getting micronutrients like iron, zinc, copper, silica, magnesium, sodium, potassium etc. - variety of vegetable and their significance in balanced healthy foods. Many more significant scientific observations can be made in a student carefully examine the Indian foods, Naturopathy, Vegetarian food.

Chemistry:
The ancient Indian knowledge on chemicals and the subject of Chemistry given in Rasaratna Samucchayam, Rasarnavam, Rasendra Choodamani, Rasa Ratnakaram etc and many similar books. These books are available in Sanskrit with English and Hindi translations. Sanskrit names of chemicals, details of setting up a laboratory, scientific temper, qualification of chemists, laboratory assistant, research scholars, properties of inorganic chemicals, and their used described by Nagarjuna centuries ago. Chemicals used for a various purposes as described in Bharadhvaja in Yantra Sarvaswa, Varahamihira in Bruhath Samhita and also by others in the above chemistry books.

Bio-pesticides:
Variety of plant products, neem, tulasi, clove, pepper, turmeric, tobacco, oils like sesame oil, cotton seed oil, castor oil etc are used as bio-pesticides and some as preservatives. Traditional methods of pest control are also available from old farmers.

Plant Drugs Pharmacology:
Active plant bio-chemicals, processing medicinal plants, etc. Understand as many plants as possible which are good sources of the bio-active principles. Variety of plants used for curing diseases like herbs, shrubs, creepers, grass, trees etc. The plant leaves, buds, flowers, stems, roots, latex etc. used for treating specific diseases. Single drug treatment.

Medicines and Medicinal Preparations - Plant Biochemistry:
The descriptions of inorganic chemicals used as medicines in ancient Indian Rasa Chikitsa books, their preparations, processing, and prevention. The plant products used as drugs, the raw drugs, their harvesting, drying, storage, mixing, drug formulation, decoction preparation etc. Variety of Ayurvedic drug formulation obtained by mixing many raw drugs. Knowledge on the preparation while drying, storing, heating roasting, boiling with water, concentration etc in all Ayurvedic preparations. Here we have to focus only on the knowledge existed and their scientific merits in the area of plant drugs.

Basic Plant Sciences Botany:
Detailed description given in Vrukshayurveda by Saarngadhra, Katyayana, Varahamihira, Parasara, and others. Plant growth, grafting, irrigation, use of manure, seeds preservation, phototropism, agricultural practices both basic and applied. Varity of the traditional knowledge still practiced in villages in production of agriculture commodities.

Fermentation Technology:
Fermentation of milk to curd and yoghurt, fruit juice, medicinal preparations of arishtas etc. Fermentation procedures followed in four major types liquors mentioned in Chanakya�s Artha Saastra, the source of microorganisms, cultures, fermentation products mentioned in the Ayurvedic and Vrukshayurvedic books. Fermented rice based common solid foods like pancake, fermentation of traditional liquors from coconut and palm products.

Ancient Indian Mines:
Knowledge on the ancient Indian mines which were active during last three or more millennia, mines of the ores and minerals of copper, gold, zinc, lead and silver which were distributed throughout Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. The technology adopted for digging, mining, transportation, processing on the spot, provisions given for aeration, and lighting in mines etc. The present day scenes of ancient metallurgical sites.

Ancient Indian Knowledge in Metallurgy:
The production and purification of metals, use of flux and slag, temperature attained, technology for production and purification of metals like tin, copper, iron, silver, zinc, lead. An understanding of the chemical reactions accomplished like oxidation, reduction, slag formation, distillation of low boiling metals etc.

The fine technology used for the large scale production of bronze, brass, panchaloha, bell metal, coin making metals and many alloys mentioned in chemistry books and also in the books like Channakya�s Arthasaastra. Impressive metallic alloy preparation techniques mentioned in the Rasa books, Rasopanishad and Bharadvaajaa�s writings. The mental ingots, sheets, plates etc of Indian origin excavated from other countries like Athens, Babylonia, Rome, and Egypt.

Iron making Technology:
Production of pig iron, cast iron, and wrought iron in ancient India. Delhi and Dhar iron pillar, forge welding, lamination, paint coating for preventing rusting. Making of swords, the Banaras and Kodumanal swords, carburization in iron instruments used in agriculture and surgery. Rust free preservation techniques adopted for iron, woortz steel. Large scale production of iron alloys, export of iron to European and Middle East countries etc.

Ceramics Science and Technology:
The top quality ceramic vessels, tiles, glazed vessels, beads, bricks etc produced in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, Varanasi, Thakshasila, Kalibhangan, Hastinapura and many other north and south Indian archeological sites. Variety of coloring materials used for the ceramic vessels and decoration ceramic articles.

Glass Technology:
Industrial and Instrumental Glass Technology existed in India. Variety of multi colored glasses with different size, shape, appearance, and capacity produced in India. The glass beads, ornaments, plates, vessels made using variety of inorganic coloring materials like the oxides, carbonates, sulfates, phosphates etc of chromium, lead, copper, iron, nickel, calcium, and sodium. The non metallic compounds used as coloring materials. Technology introducing the golden and silver leaf plates in glass.

General Instruments used in Ancient India:
Descriptions of a variety of instruments are given in Bharadvaja�s Yanthra Sarvaswa � only a part of this book is available now. The Vaimanika Saastra, Dvaantha Pramapaka Yanthra etc. the numbering systems with serial numbers of the components of instruments, alloy preparations, quality of lenses, prisms, glass plates, variety of Kithara Aloha � artificial metallic alloys having non metallic compounds also- dies used for molding the instrument parts and components, in required size and shape. The instruments used in astro0nomical calculations know under the title of Jyothir Yanthra.

Musical Instruments:
Variety of string instruments for music and dance performances, the metallic alloys used for the preparation of strings, wind instruments, the knowledge of sound waves, the membrane instruments, preparation and processing of the membranes for these musical instruments.

The basic knowledge of sound in music. The granite music pillars known as Sangeetha Mandapa seen in ancient south Indian temples. Traditional Indian musical instruments like flute, idakka, mrudanga, chenda, thaala, naadaswara, veena, violin, harmonium and so on. The basic principles adopted in their making and use.

Surgical Instruments:
The surgical instruments known as Sastras and Yanthras numbering more than a hundred as mentioned in Susrutha Samhitha. The metals used for making these
instruments, their size, shape, and comparison with the modern instruments used for the purpose. Description of plastic surgery techniques. The instruments for kidney stone removal, stitching, cutting open etc.

Laboratory Equipments:
More than 35 types of ceramics and metallic equipments mentioned in Rasaratna Samuchaya for the use in chemical laboratories for the processes like distillation, sublimation, extraction, drying, heating, roasting, mixing, decanting etc. Generally known under the name of Yanthras made using specific quality clays.

Kilns, Furnaces, Mushas & Putas:
Variety of furnaces, Kilns, and crucibles used for the production of various metals and alloys. The temperature attained for oxidation, reduction, slag preparation, and distillation of variety of metals and correspondingly suitable selection of putas or furnaces. Heating materials and their proportions, heating time, flux used for removing the impurities in the metal processing, description of maha gajaputa, gajaputa, kukkuta puta, kapotha puta etc, and their preparations.

Painting Technology & Colorants:
The chemistry of paints used in Ajantha, Ellora and other cave temple paintings, mural paintings, the inorganic colors and paint products used for paintings, their preparation, mixing, applying on the preprocessed surfaces. Selecting and processing plant products used as paints. The preparation of inks for variety of applications mural paintings, oil paintings, preparation of painting beds, walls, canvass etc. as done in cave temples and walls.

Textile Technology:
Ancient Indian textile industry as mentioned in Chanakya�s Artha Saastra, textiles produced using cotton, silk, wool, jute, and also incorporation of gold, silver, and lead metallic threads as boarders for the textiles. The famous Kancheepuram, textile dyes, leather colors, variety of coloring materials produced in different parts of India and method of application of the dyes.

Architecture & Civil Engineering:
The civil engineering skill demonstrated in the famous south Indian temples constructed by the kings of the Chola, Chera, Pandya, Hoysaalsa, Kakateeya, and Vijaya Nagara periods. The huge and tall entrances or gopurams of these temples. The mortars, cements used for the construction of these temples. The instruments used for measuring, maintaining the geometry of these structures. The granite, marble, latt� rite stone cutting and polishing equipments and devises existed during that time. The transportation techniques adopted for the huge granite pieces. Construction of marble temples, palaces, and lake palaces of Rajasthan.

The temples of Kancheepuram, Rameswaram, Chidambaram, Kumbhakonam, Thiruvannamali, Sucheendram, Trivandrum, Konarak, and Khajuraho. The music pillars and music mandapas, the knowledge on the sound waves produced by these granite pillars and granite stone carvings � thick, thin, pointed and so on. The carvings undertaken with top precision in all the above structures. The construction of cave temples of Ajantha, Ellora, Elephanta, and the knowledge on geological aspects of rocks in which the Chaityaas and Viharas were carved out. Huge palaces constructed particularly like Jaisalamar palace, palaces in the pink city of Rajasthan, Gwalior, Mysore, Hyderabad etc.

The air conditioning or temperature maintaining mechanisms adopted glazed and non glazed tiles and glasses used for flooring and windows. The ponds and water reservoirs made thousands of years ago. Try to learn as many structures constructed as possible and their technologies. The civil engineering sciences and technologies of forts and walls, channels, rivers etc. the archeologically important sites of Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, Harappa, Dwaraka, the lost city of Cambay etc.

Physics in Ancient India:
The velocity of light, wave nature of sound, seven colors of light, Heisenberg�s uncertainty principles, definition and explanation of atoms, gravitational forces, different types of rays like UV, IR, Heat rays, visible rays � as explained by Bharadvaja. Lenses, prisms, magnetic materials like iron and variety of magnets, time, weights, and measures, linear parameters. List the Ancient observations which are equivalent to modern scientific principles.

Mathematics & Astronomy:
Detailed knowledge in mathematics is given in the books written by Aryabhatta I, Aryabhatta III, Bhaskara I, Bhaskara II, Vateswara, Manjula, Lalla, Varahamihira, Parameswara, Sankaranarayana, and many other mathematicians.

The four number systems � Sanskrit number, Aryabhatta number, Bhootha Sankya and Katapayaadi number. Progressions, various geometrical parameters connected with area, perimeter, volume of squares, triangles, circles, trapeziums, spheres, cones, cyclic quadrilaterals, polygonals, detailed algebra, quadratic equations, monomial, and binomial theorems etc. hundreds of theorems developed by Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Sankaranarayana, Sangamagrama Madhavacharya, Puthumana Somayaji, Vateswara, Aryabhatta II, Sankara Varman, Paramewaracharya.

The application of ka ta pa yaasi number and Bhootha Sankhya systems made by the above mathematicians. Sine, Cosine, and Tangent, Rsine values and their tables, method of determining these values, angles in degrees and radians, calculations and theorems connected with these values. Relation among radius-arc-chord- circumference- sine-cosine- tangent-angles etc.

Astronomical Parameters:
Various astronomical parameters mentioned in ancient Indian books. The spherical shape, size, diameter, circumference, gravity, declination, rotation speed, revolution, latitude, longitude, parallax in latitude and longitude, earthsine etc. of earth. many mote astronomical parameters described with definition by Vateswaracharya, like co-latitude, prime meridian and its relation with time, sunrise and sunset, eight type of revolutions of planets, visibility of planets, declination, precision equinox, alpha Aeries point, apogee, perigee, solar and lunar eclipse, calculation of eclipse diameter of shadow and movement of shadow, instruments used for time calculation and also for the calculation of various astronomical parameters know as Yanthras.

Indian Management Science:
Management principles explained by Chanakya in Chanakya Neetisara, Bharthru Hari in Upadesa Sathaka, Vidura in Vidura Neetisara, Bhishma in Bhishmopadesa and other books like Yoga Vaasishta, Bhagavath Geetha, Sukra Neetisara, Subhashitams mentioned in Panchathantra, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Thirukkural etc.

Economics in Ancient India:
The book of Artha Saastra written by Chanakya, also known as Koutileeyam, which is the book of ancient Indian Economics. There are many books mentioned in Artha Saastra like books of Saastras and Smruthies dealing with subjects like money, budget, banking, interest, loans, compound interest, penal interest, surety, witness, documents for loans, pledging of materials, leasing etc.

The detailed method of implementing sales tax, agricultural tax, property tax, gift tax, land tax, house tax, customs duty, and penal taxes etc as described in Dharma Saastra.

Indian Philosophy:
The philosophical compilations known as Darsanas by Vyaasa, Jaiminee, Pathanjali, Gouthama, Kapila, and Kanaada � poorva & uttara Meemamsa, Yoga, Nyaaya,
Vaiseshikaa are the most important books known as Shad Darsanas. Many fundamental principals of physics, chemistry, biology etc are mentioned in the above Darsanas. Adi Sankara�s Adwaitha and Madhava�s Dwaitha. The book of Charvaka known as Charvaka Samhitha of atheism. Other than the specific philosophical compilations, the philosophy described in Upanishad, Bhaghavat Geetha, Yogavasishta etc.

Dharmic way of Life Style:
The unique Indian life style. The self imposed duties and responsibilities including privileges coming under Dharma Saastra. The Dharmas or duties of each family member know as Prithu-father, Mathru-mother, Putra-son, Putri-daughter, Pathnee-wife, Bhartru-husband Dharmas. Similarly Dharma of a teacher, village head, king, queen, four Purushaarthaas � Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha, four Aasramas � Brahmacharya, Gruhasta, Sanyaasa and Vaanaprastha, selection of jobs or professions and specialization based on Varnas.
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#1176 - January 23, 2010 05:21 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs


While few educated South Asians would deny that British Colonial rule was detrimental to the interests of the common people of the sub-continent - several harbor an illusion that the British weren't all bad. Didn't they, perhaps, educate us - build us modern cities, build us irrigation canals - protect our ancient monuments - etc. etc. And then, there are some who might even say that their record was actually superior to that of independent India's! Perhaps, it is time that the colonial record be retrieved from the archives and re-examined - so that those of us who weren't alive during the freedom movement can learn to distinguish between the myths and the reality.

Literacy and Education

Several Indians are deeply concerned about why literacy rates in India are still so low. So in the last year, I have been making a point of asking English-speaking Indians to guess what India's literacy rate in the colonial period might have been. These were Indians who went to school in the sixties and seventies (only two decades after independence) - and I was amazed to hear their fairly confident guesses. Most guessed the number to be between 30% and 40%. When I suggested that their guess was on the high side - they offered 25% to 35%. No one was prepared to believe that literacy in British India in 1911 was only 6%, in 1931 it was 8%, and by 1947 it had crawled to 11%! That fifty years of freedom had allowed the nation to quintuple it's literacy rate was something that almost seemed unfathomable to them. Perhaps - the British had concentrated on higher education ....? But in 1935, only 4 in 10,000 were enrolled in universities or higher educational institutes. In a nation of then over 350 million people only 16,000 books (no circulation figures) were published in that year (i.e. 1 per 20,000).

Urban Development

It is undoubtedly true that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences for their administrative officers. But it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the "natives" to enjoy. Consider that in 1911, 69 per cent of Bombay's population lived in one-room tenements (as against 6 per cent in London in the same year). The 1931 census revealed that the figure had increased to 74 per cent - with one-third living more than 5 to a room. The same was true of Karachi and Ahmedabad. After the Second World War, 13 per cent of Bombay's population slept on the streets. As for sanitation, 10-15 tenements typically shared one water tap!

Yet, in 1757 (the year of the Plassey defeat), Clive of the East India Company had observed of Murshidabad in Bengal: "This city is as extensive, populous and rich as the city of London..." (so quoted in the Indian Industrial Commission Report of 1916-18). Dacca was even more famous as a manufacturing town, it's muslin a source of many legends and it's weavers had an international reputation that was unmatched in the medieval world. But in 1840 it was reported by Sir Charles Trevelyan to a parliamentary enquiry that Dacca's population had fallen from 150,000 to 20,000. Montgomery Martin - an early historian of the British Empire observed that Surat and Murshidabad had suffered a similiar fate. (This phenomenon was to be replicated all over India - particularly in Awadh (modern U.P) and other areas that had offered the most heroic resistance to the British during the revolt of 1857.)

The percentage of population dependant on agriculture and pastoral pursuits actually rose to 73% in 1921 from 61% in 1891. (Reliable figures for earlier periods are not available.)

In 1854, Sir Arthur Cotton writing in "Public Works in India" noted: "Public works have been almost entirely neglected throughout India... The motto hitherto has been: 'Do nothing, have nothing done, let nobody do anything....." Adding that the Company was unconcerned if people died of famine, or if they lacked roads and water.

Nothing can be more revealing than the remark by John Bright in the House of Commons on June 24, 1858, "The single city of Manchester, in the supply of its inhabitants with the single article of water, has spent a larger sum of money than the East India Company has spent in the fourteen years from 1834 to 1848 in public works of every kind throughout the whole of its vast dominions."

Irrigation and Agricultural Development

There is another popular belief about British rule: 'The British modernized Indian agriculture by building canals'. But the actual record reveals a somewhat different story. " The roads and tanks and canals," noted an observer in 1838 (G. Thompson, "India and the Colonies," 1838), ''which Hindu or Mussulman Governments constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines." Montgomery Martin, in his standard work "The Indian Empire", in 1858, noted that the old East India Company "omitted not only to initiate improvements, but even to keep in repair the old works upon which the revenue depended."

The Report of the Bengal Irrigation Department Committee in 1930 reads: "In every district the Khals (canals) which carry the internal boat traffic become from time to time blocked up with silt. Its Khals and rivers are the roads end highways of Eastern Bengal, and it is impossible to overestimate the importance to the economic life of this part of the province of maintaining these in proper navigable order ....... " "As regards the revival or maintenance of minor routes, ... practically nothing has been done, with the result that, in some parts of the Province at least, channels have been silted up, navigation has become limited to a few months in the year, and crops can only be marketed when the Khals rise high enough in the monsoon to make transport possible".

Sir William Willcock, a distinguished hydraulic engineer, whose name was associated with irrigation enterprises in Egypt and Mesopotamia had made an investigation of conditions in Bengal. He had discovered that innumerable small destructive rivers of the delta region, constantly changing their course, were originally canals which under the English regime were allowed to escape from their channels and run wild. Formerly these canals distributed the flood waters of the Ganges and provided for proper drainage of the land, undoubtedly accounting for that prosperity of Bengal which lured the rapacious East India merchants there in the early days of the eighteenth century.. He wrote" Not only was nothing done to utilize and improve the original canal system, but railway embankments were subsequently thrown up, entirely destroying it. Some areas, cut off from the supply of loam-bearing Ganges water, have gradually become sterile and unproductive, others improperly drained, show an advanced degree of water-logging, with the inevitable accompaniment of malaria. Nor has any attempt been made to construct proper embankments for the Gauges in its low course, to prevent the enormous erosion by which villages and groves and cultivated fields are swallowed up each year."

"Sir William Willcock severely criticizes the modern administrators and officials, who, with every opportunity to call in expert technical assistance, have hitherto done nothing to remedy this disastrous situation, from decade to decade." Thus wrote G. Emerson in "Voiceless Millions," in 1931 quoting the views of Sir William Willcock in his "Lectures on the Ancient System of Irrigation in Bengal and its Application to Modern Problems" (Calcutta University Readership Lectures, University of Calcutta, 1930)

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#1177 - January 23, 2010 05:22 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Modern Medicine and Life Expectancy

Even some serious critics of colonial rule grudgingly grant that the British brought modern medicine to India. Yet - all the statistical indicators show that access to modern medicine was severely restricted. A 1938 report by the ILO (International Labor Office) on "Industrial Labor in India" revealed that life expectancy in India was barely 25 years in 1921 (compared to 55 for England) and had actually fallen to 23 in 1931! In his recently published "Late Victorian Holocausts" Mike Davis reports that life expectancy fell by 20% between 1872 and 1921.

In 1934, there was one hospital bed for 3800 people in British India and this figure included hospital beds reserved for the British rulers. (In that same year, in the Soviet Union, there were ten times as many.) Infant mortality in Bombay was 255 per thousand in 1928. (In the same year, it was less than half that in Moscow.)

Poverty and Population Growth

Several Indians when confronted with such data from the colonial period argue that the British should not be specially targeted because India's problems of poverty pre-date colonial rule, and in any case, were exacerbated by rapid population growth. Of course, no one who makes the first point is able to offer any substantive proof that such conditions prevailed long before the British arrived, and to counter such an argument would be difficult in the absence of reliable and comparable statistical data from earlier centuries. But some readers may find the anecdotal evidence intriguing. In any case, the population growth data is available and is quite remarkable in what it reveals.

Between 1870 and 1910, India's population grew at an average rate of 19%. England and Wales' population grew three times as fast - by 58%! Average population growth in Europe was 45%. Between 1921-40, the population in India grew faster at 21% but was still less than the 24% growth of population in the US!

In 1941, the density of population in India was roughly 250 per square mile almost a third of England's 700 per square mile. Although Bengal was much more densely inhabited at almost 780 per square mile - that was only about 10% more than England. Yet, there was much more poverty in British India than in England and an unprecedented number of famines were recorded during the period of British rule.

In the first half of the 19th century, there were seven famines leading to a million and a half deaths. In the second half, there were 24 famines (18 between 1876 and 1900) causing over 20 million deaths (as per official records). W. Digby, noted in "Prosperous British India" in 1901 that "stated roughly, famines and scarcities have been four times as numerous, during the last thirty years of the 19th century as they were one hundred years ago, and four times as widespread." In Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis points out that here were 31(thirty one) serious famines in 120 years of British rule compared to 17(seventeen) in the 2000 years before British rule.

Not surprising, since the export of food grains had increased by a factor of four just prior to that period. And export of other agricultural raw materials had also increased in similar proportions. Land that once produced grain for local consumption was now taken over by by former slave-owners from N. America who were permitted to set up plantations for the cultivation of lucrative cash crops exclusively for export. Particularly galling is how the British colonial rulers continued to export foodgrains from India to Britain even during famine years.

Annual British Government reports repeatedly published data that showed 70-80% of Indians were living on the margin of subsistence. That two-thirds were undernourished, and in Bengal, nearly four-fifths were undernourished.

Contrast this data with the following accounts of Indian life prior to colonization:-

" ....even in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and sweetmeats can be procured in abundance .... Tavernier writing in the 17th century in his "Travels in India".

Manouchi - the Venetian who became chief physician to Aurangzeb (also in the 17th century) wrote: "Bengal is of all the kingdoms of the Moghul, best known in France..... We may venture to say it is not inferior in anything to Egypt - and that it even exceeds that kingdom in its products of silks, cottons, sugar, and indigo. All things are in great plenty here, fruits, pulse, grain, muslins, cloths of gold and silk..."

The French traveller, Bernier also described 17th century Bengal in a similiar vein: "The knowledge I have acquired of Bengal in two visits inclines me to believe that it is richer than Egypt. It exports in abundance cottons and silks, rice, sugar and butter. It produces amply for it's own consumption of wheat, vegetables, grains, fowls, ducks and geese. It has immense herds of pigs and flocks of sheep and goats. Fish of every kind it has in profusion. From Rajmahal to the sea is an endless number of canals, cut in bygone ages from the Ganges by immense labour for navigation and irrigation."

The poverty of British India stood in stark contrast to these eye witness reports and has to be ascribed to the pitiful wages that working people in India received in that period. A 1927-28 report noted that "all but the most highly skilled workmen in India receive wages which are barely sufficient to feed and clothe them. Everywhere will be seen overcrowding, dirt and squalid misery..."

This in spite of the fact that in 1922 - an 11 hour day was the norm (as opposed to an 8 hour day in the Soviet Union.) In 1934, it had been reduced to 10 hours (whereas in the Soviet Union, the 7 hour day had been legislated as early as in 1927) What was worse, there were no enforced restrictions on the use of child labour and the Whitley Report found children as young as five - working a 12 hour day.

Ancient Monuments

Perhaps the least known aspect of the colonial legacy is the early British attitude towards India's historic monuments and the extend of vandalism that took place. Instead, there is this pervasive myth of the Britisher as an unbiased "protector of the nation's historic legacy".

R.Nath in his 'History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture' records that scores of gardens, tombs and palaces that once adorned the suburbs of Sikandra at Agra were sold out or auctioned. "Relics of the glorious age of the Mughals were either destroyed or converted beyond recognition..". "Out of 270 beautiful monuments which existed at Agra alone, before its capture by Lake in 1803, hardly 40 have survived".

In the same vein, David Carroll (in 'Taj Mahal') observes: " The forts in Agra and Delhi were commandeered at the beginning of the nineteenth century and turned into military garrisons. Marble reliefs were torn down, gardens were trampled, and lines of ugly barracks, still standing today, were installed in their stead. In the Delhi fort, the Hall of Public Audience was made into an ****nal and the arches of the outer colonnades were bricked over or replaced with rectangular wooden windows."

The Mughal fort at Allahabad (one of Akbar's favorite) experienced a fate far worse. Virtually nothing of architectural significance is to be seen in the barracks that now make up the fort. The Deccan fort at Ahmednagar was also converted into barracks. Now, only its outer walls can hint at its former magnificence.

Shockingly, even the Taj Mahal was not spared. David Carroll reports: "..By the nineteenth century, its grounds were a favorite trysting place for young Englishmen and their ladies. Open-air balls were held on the marble terrace in front of the main door, and there, beneath Shah Jahan"s lotus dome, brass bands um-pah-pahed and lords and ladies danced the quadrille. The minarets became a popular site for suicide leaps, and the mosques on either side of the Taj were rented out as bungalows to honeymooners. The gardens of the Taj were especially popular for open-air frolics....."

"At an earlier date, when picnic parties were held in the garden of the Taj, related Lord Curzon, a governor general in the early twentieth century, "it was not an uncommon thing for the revellers to arm themselves with hammer and chisel, with which they wiled away the afternoon by chipping out fragments of agate and carnelian from the cenotaphs of the Emperor and his lamented Queen." The Taj became a place where one could drink in private, and its parks were often strewn with the figures of inebriated British soldiers..."

Lord William Bentinck, (governor general of Bengal 1828-33, and later first governor general of all India), went so far as to announce plans to demolish the best Mogul monuments in Agra and Delhi and remove their marble facades. These were to be shipped to London, where they would be broken up and sold to members of the British aristocracy. Several of Shahjahan's pavilions in the Red Fort at Delhi were indeed stripped to the brick, and the marble was shipped off to England (part of this shipment included pieces for King George IV himself). Plans to dismantle the Taj Mahal were in place, and wrecking machinery was moved into the garden grounds. Just as the demolition work was to begin, news from London indicated that the first auction had not been a success, and that all further sales were cancelled -- it would not be worth the money to tear down the Taj Mahal.

Thus the Taj Mahal was spared, and so too, was the reputation of the British as "Protectors of India's Historic Legacy" ! That innumerable other monuments were destroyed, or left to rack and ruin is a story that has yet to get beyond the specialists in the field.

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#1178 - January 23, 2010 05:26 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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India and the Industrial Revolution

Perhaps the most important aspect of colonial rule was the transfer of wealth from India to Britain. In his pioneering book, India Today, Rajni Palme Dutt conclusively demonstrates how vital this was to the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Several patents that had remained unfunded suddenly found industrial sponsors once the taxes from India started rolling in. Without capital from India, British banks would have found it impossible to fund the modernization of Britain that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In addition, the scientific basis of the industrial revolution was not a uniquely European contribution. Several civilizations had been adding to the world's scientific database - especially the civilizations of Asia, (including those of the Indian sub-continent). Without that aggregate of scientific knowledge the scientists of Britain and Europe would have found it impossible to make the rapid strides they made during the period of the Industrial revolution. Moreover, several of these patents, particularly those concerned with the textile industry relied on pre-industrial techniques perfected in the sub-continent. (In fact, many of the earliest textile machines in Britain were unable to match the complexity and finesse of the spinning and weaving machines of Dacca.)

Some euro-centric authors have attempted to deny any such linkage. They have tried to assert that not only was the Industrial Revolution a uniquely British/European event - that colonization and the the phenomenal transfer of wealth that took place was merely incidental to it's fruition. But the words of Lord Curzon still ring loud and clear. The Viceroy of British India in 1894 was quite unequivocal, "India is the pivot of our Empire .... If the Empire loses any other part of its Dominion we can survive, but if we lose India the sun of our Empire will have set."

Lord Curzon knew fully well, the value and importance of the Indian colony. It was the transfer of wealth through unprecedented levels of taxation on Indians of virtually all classes that funded the great "Industrial Revolution" and laid the ground for "modernization" in Britain. As early as 1812, an East India Company Report had stated "The importance of that immense empire to this country is rather to be estimated by the great annual addition it makes to the wealth and capital of the Kingdom....."

Unfair Trade

Few would doubt that Indo-British trade may have been unfair - but it may be noteworthy to see how unfair. In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian exports dropped to one-fourth! A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers.

Colonial Beneficiaries

Another aspect of colonial rule that has remained hidden from popular perception is that Britain was not the only beneficiary of colonial rule. British trade regulations even as they discriminated against Indian business interests created a favorable trading environment for other imperial powers. By 1939, only 25% of Indian imports came from Britain. 25% came from Japan, the US and Germany. In 1942-3, Canada and Australia contributed another 8%. In the period immediately before independence, Britain ruled as much on behalf of it's imperial allies as it did in it's own interest. The process of "globalization" was already taking shape. But none of this growth trickled down to India. In the last half of 19th century, India's income fell by 50%. In the 190 years prior to independence, the Indian economy was literally stagnant - it experienced zero growth. (Mike Davis: Late Victorian Holocausts)

Those who wish India well might do well to re-read this history so the nation isn't brought to the abyss once again, (and so soon after being liberated from the yoke of colonial rule). While some Indians may wax nostalgic for the return of their former overlords, and some may be ambivalent about colonial rule, most of us relish our freedom and wish to perfect it - not gift it away again.

References: Statistics and data for the colonial period taken from Rajni-Palme Dutt's India Today (Indian Edition published in 1947); also see N.K. Sinha's Economic History of Bengal (Published in Calcutta, 1956); and "Late Victorian Holocausts" by Mike Davis.

Travelers such as Tavernier, traveling around India in the seventeenth century, remarking that “even in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and other sweetmeats, dry and liquid, can be procured in abundance”. Many travelers at the time extolled Bengal as marvelous in the abundance of its resources, the advanced nature of its crafts. By the 1920s, after nearly two centuries of British rule, India was a byword for the vast abyss of its all-pervading poverty. “The average Indian income”, wrote two economists in 1924, “is just enough either to feed two men in every three of the population, or give them all two in place of every three meals they need, on condition they all consent to go naked, liver out of doors all the year round, have no amusement or recreation, and want nothing else but food, and that the lowest, the co****st, the least nutritious”.

The British devastation of India was initially achieved by the simple means of taxing it into destitution. In the last year of the last Indian ruler of Bengal, in 1764-5, the land revenue realized was 817,000 pounds sterling. Within a few years of British rule the population had shrunk by one-third through famine, in which ten million perished in 1770 and a third of the country into “a jungle inhabited by wild beasts”. Nonetheless, by 1771-2 the Bengal revenues had risen to 2,341,000 pounds sterling. As Warren Hastings reported to the Court of the Directors of the East India Company in 1772 with bracing frankness,

“Notwithstanding the loss of at least one-third of the inhabitants of the province, and the consequent decrease of the cultivation, the net collections of the year 1771 exceeded even those of 1768… It was naturally to be expected that the diminution of the revenue should have kept an equal pace with the other consequences of so great a calamity. That it did not was owing to its being violently kept up to its former standard”.

The British destroyed the old manufacturing towns and the economy of the villages. In Palme Dutt’s words, “The millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters, smiths, alike from the towns and the villages, had no alternative save to crowd into agriculture”... India was “forced to the status of agricultural colony of British manufacturing capitalism”, whose ideologues then invoked Malthus to explain India’s degraded condition.

Bibliography: (For further research into this area)

M. M. Ahluwalia, Freedom Struggle in India,
Shah, Khambata: The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India
G. Emerson, Voiceless India
W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce in Modern Times
Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilization and Decline
J. R. Seeley, Expansion of England
H. H. Wilson, History of British India
D. H Buchanan, Development of Capitalist Enterprise in India
L. C. A Knowles: Economic Development of the Overseas Empire
L. H. Jenks: The Migration of British Capital

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#1179 - February 12, 2010 11:15 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Wendy Doniger:
'The Hindus - An Alternative History'(c2009)
 
Extracts (1):
 
 
Material culture, animals, bricks and words 
 
 
 
Material remains of IVC and earlier
….. the IVC (Indus Valley Civilization) is older than the oldest extant Hindu texts, the Vedas, and its material remains include many images that may be the earliest-known examples of important Hindu icons that only (re)surface much later.

Much of what we now call Hinduism may have had roots in cultures that thrived in South Asia long before the creation of textual evidence that we can decipher with any confidence.  Remarkable cave paintings have been preserved from Mesolithic sites dating from c. 30,000 BCE in Bhimbetka, near present-day Bhopal, in the Vindhya Mountains in the province of Madhya Pradesh.  They represent a number of animals that have been identified as deer, boars, elephants, leopards, tigers, panthers, rhinoceroses, antelope, fish, frogs, lizards, squirrels, and birds.  One painting seems to depict a man walking a dog on a leash. …..

Several of the animals in the paintings have horns, like gazelles, and one painting shows people dancing with what may be a unicorn with a close-clipped mane.  This possible unicorn continues to tease art historians when it reappears in the IVC.

There were other early settlements in India, notably the culture of Baluchistan, in the westernmost part of what is now Pakistan, dating to before 6000 BCE.  But from about 2300 BCE, the first urbanization too place, as great cities arose in the valley of the Indus River, 150 miles south of Baluchistan, also in Pakistan.  The material remains of this culture, which we call the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan Civilization (named after Harappa, one of the two great cities of the Indus, the other being Mohenjo-Daro), present a tantalizing treasure chest of often enigmatic images that hover just beyond our reach, taunting us with what might be the keys to the roots of Hinduism.  .......

 
The civilization of the Indus Valley extends over more than a thousand sites, stretching over 750,000 square miles, where as many as forty thousand people once lived. ….. Yet the Indus cities were stunningly uniform and remarkably stable over this wide range, changing little over a millennium, until they begin to crumble near the end.  They had trade contacts with Crete, Sumer, and other Mesopotamian cultures, perhaps even Egypt.  There are Harappan sites in Oman (on the Arabian Peninsula), and Indus seals show up in Mesopotamia. ..…

Archaeological evidence suggests that the use of cubical dice began in South Asia and indeed in the IVC.  Sir John Marshall, the director general of the Indian archaeological survey from 1902 to 1931, found many cubical terracotta dice, with one to six dots, at Mohenjo-Daro, and a number of other dice have been identified since then from Harappa and elsewhere, including several of stone (agate, limestone, faience, etc.).  This is a fact of great significance in the light of the importance of gambling in later Indian civilization, from 1200 BCE.
They had gold, copper, and lead, and they imported bronze, silver, and tin (as well as lapis lazuli and soapstone), but they had no iron;  their weapons were made of copper and bronze.  There was a huge wheat and barley storage system, and there were household and public drainage works superior to those in parts of the world today, including much of India.  Most of the buildings are constructed out of bricks (both sun baked and kiln fired) of remarkably consistent size thoughout the extended culture; equally unvarying stone cubes were used to measure weights. …..  Some scholars have taken the visible signs of an overarching hand of authority and urban planning as evidence of ‘urbanity, sophistication, well-being, ordered existence’.  One might also see, in the tiny scale of the seals and figurines, and in the children’s toys, a delicate civilization, whose artwork is fine in both senses – beautiful and small.

The civilization of the Indus is not silent, but we are deaf.  We cannot hear their words but can see their images. ……

But the images on the seals do make a more general statement that we can decipher, particularly in the realm of flora and fauna.  The vast majority of Indus signs can be directly or indirectly related to farming:  Typical signs include seeds, fruits, sprouts, grain plants, pulses, trees, farm instruments, etc.), seasonal / celestial or astral signs, and even at times anthropomorphized plowed fields. ….. the winter Indus crop was barley and wheat;  the spring crop, peas and lentils; and the summer and the monsoon crops, millets, melons, dates, and fiber plants.  They also probably grew rice.  They spun, wove, and dyed cotton, probably for the first time on the planet Earth, and may also have been the first to use wheeled transport.  They ate meat and fish. 
(p.66-70)
 
Indus animals
Animals, both wild and tame, dominate the representations from the IVC, both on the seals, ….. and on figurines, paintings on pottery, and children’s toys.  These images tell us that tigers, elephants, and one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as buffalo, antelope, and crocodiles, inhabited the forests of this now almost desert region, which then had riverine long grass and open forest country, the natural habitat of tigers and rhinoceroses. ……. There are also animal figurines of turtles, hares, monkeys, and birds, …..

But it is the representations of domesticated animals, as well as the archaeological remains of such animals, that tell us most about the culture of the IVC, in particular about the much-disputed question of its relationship (or lack of relationship) with later Indian cultures such as that of the Vedic peoples.  Millenia before the IVC, people in South Asia had hunted a number of animals that later, in the IVC, they bred and domesticated (and sometimes continued to hunt). ….. Zebu and water buffalo (Bubalus) were used as draft animals, and elephants (domesticated, more or less) were used for clearing and building.  Elephants are not native to the lands found west of central India, but they might have been imported into the Indus Valley.

They had dogs (which may already have been domesticated at Bhimbetka). ….. They had also domesticated camels, sheep, pigs, goats, and chickens.  This may have been the first domestication of fowl, a major contribution to world civilization……
By contrast, they do not seem to have found female animals very interesting, and significantly, no figurines of cows have been found. ….. Of course, they must have had cows, or they couldn’t very well have had bulls (and indeed there is material evidence of cows in the IVC), but the art-historical record tells us that the Indus artists did not use cows as cultural symbols, and why should we assume, with Marshall, that they were sacred?  ……
(p.70-71)
 
 
Artifacts, techniques and words
….. It is hard work to fit the ruins of the IVC into the landscape of the Rig Veda.  The Rig Veda does not know any of the places or artifacts or urban techniques of the Indus Valley.  None of the things the Veda describes look like the things we see in the archaeology of the Indus.  The Rig Veda never mentions inscribed seals or a Great Bath or trade with Mesopotamia, despite the fact that it glorifies in the stuff of everyday life.  It never refers to sculptured representations of the human body.  It has no words, not even borrowed ones, for scripts or writing, for records, scribes, or letters. …..

Many of the words that the Rig Veda uses for agricultural implements, such as the plow, as well as words for furrow and threshing floor and, significantly, rice, come from the non-Sanskritic languages, suggesting that the Vedic people learned much of their agriculture from communities in place in India before they arrived.  But the Indus people, who obviously did have plows and mortar, presumably would have had their own words for them.  Even in the Vedic period, there was multilingualism.  But how could the Vedic people have forgotten about architecture, about bricks, about mortar (let alone about writing).  The answer is simple enough:  They had never had them. ….
(p.95)
   

Lions, elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, unicorns ….

….. The evidence of animals suggests that the civilizations of the Indus Valley and the Vedas were entirely different, though this does not mean that they did not eventually interact.  The Rig Veda mentions (here in alphabetical order) ants, antelopes, boars, deer, foxes, gazelles, jackals, lions, monkeys, rabbits, rats, quails, and wolves, and other Vedas mention bears, beavers, elk, hares, lynxes, and otters.  The Rig Veda also mentions lions, though the Vedic people had to invent a word for ‘lion’ (Note 1), though the Vedic people had to invent a word for ‘lion’ (and to borrow a word for ‘peacock’).  (Lions may or may not be depicted in the Indus Valley;  there’s a figurine that might be a lion or a tiger.)

The Vedic people knew the elephant but regarded it as a curiosity; they had to make up a word for it and called it ‘the wild animal with a hand’ (mrigahastin).  But they do not mention tigers or rhinoceroses, animals familiar from the Harappan seals.  Nor are there any references to unicorns, mythical or real.  The zoological argument from silence (‘the lion that didn’t roar in the night’) is never conclusive (beware the false negative; the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence), but all this suggests that the Vedic people originally lived north of the land where the tiger and the elephant roam, and generally north of the Indus rhinoceroses, on the nonfalsifiable assumption that people who had seen an animal as weird as a rhinoceros would have mentioned it.
(p.95-96)
 

Note 1:  A typo: wrongly stated as RV 10.28.11.  Instead it should be RV 10.28.10:
suparṇa itthā nakhamā siṣāyāvaruddhaḥ paripadaṃ nasiṃhaḥ  
niruddhaścin mahiṣastarṣyāvān ghodhā tasmāayathaṃ karṣadetat
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv10028.htm
 
10 There hath the strong-winged eagle left his talon, as a snared lion leaves the trap that caught him.
Even the wild steer in his thirst is captured: the leather strap still holds his foot entangled.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10028.htm
 
 
Horses
Cattle are central to both cultures – though the Indus Valley Civilization favored bulls, the Vedas cows – as well as to many other ancient cultures and therefore of little use as differentiating markers.  But the IVC does not seem to know, or care about, the horse, who speaks loudly and clearly in the Vedas …. 

….. wherever Indo-European-speaking cultures have been identified, evidence of horses has been found.  This does not in itself prove that an ancient culture with no horses is not Indo-European, nor does it follow that wherever people had horses, they spoke Indo-European languages. ….

….. For the horse is not indigenous to India.  There is archaeological evidence of many horses in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent only in the second millennium BCE, after the decline of the IVC.  Horse bits and copper and iron objects were used in Maharashtra, and horse paraphernalia (such as bits) south of the Narmada during or after this period suggest an extensive network of horse traders from northwestern India. 

By contrast, the absence of a thriving horse population in the IVC, the fact that …… the horse seems not to have played a significant role in the Harappan economy, supports the hypothesis that the Indus Valley people were not Indo-European speakers.  ….. Now, though it has been asserted with some confidence that no remains of horses have been found anywhere in the Indus Valley culture or, somewhat more tentatively, that ‘the horse was probably unknown’ to the Indus people, there is archaeological evidence for the possible existence of some horses in the IVC, if very few. ……..

But such horses were probably imported, like so many other items, in the course of the vigorous IVC international trade.  India’s notorious lack of native bloodstock may have been, already in the Indus Valley, as ever after, the Achilles heel of its ambitious empire-builders. …..  the simple fact that horses do not thrive on the Indian subcontinent and therefore need to be imported constantly. …. The IVC had no horses of its own, so could not have been Indo-European speakers.  And so the IVC could have played no part in the most ancient Hindu text, the Rig Veda, which is immensely horsey.

…..  Horses, observed in affectionate, minute, often gory, detail, pervade the poetry of the Rig Veda.  The Vedic people not only had horses but were crazy about horses. 

But horses are not depicted at all in the extensive Indus art that celebrates so many other animals.  The Indus people were crazy about animals, but not about horses.  So widely accepted is the ‘horse = Indo-European’ equation that even when one or two clay figurines that appear to depict horses were found at a few Indus sites, these were said to ‘reflect foreign travel or imports’ …… In Europe, people constructed unicorns by sticking a horn on a horse, either tying a horn onto a real horse or drawing a horn onto a picture of a horse.  Only in India does it work the other way around, for on Indus seals, unicorns are real and horses nonexistent.
 
….. Knowing how important horses are in the Vedas, we may deduce that there was little or no Vedic input into the civilization of the Indus Valley or, correspondingly, that there was little input from the IVC into the civilization of the Rig Veda.  This does not mean, of course, that the IVC did not contribute in a major way to other, later developments of Hinduism. 
(p.96-99)
 

Bricks
….. The authors of the Rig Veda did not know about bricks; their rituals required only small mud altars, not large brick altars.  But later, around 600 BCE, when the Vedic people had moved down into the Ganges Valley and their rituals had become more elaborate, they began to build large brick altars.  The size of the mud bricks was a multiple or fraction of the height of the patron of the sacrifice, and a fairly sophisticated geometry was developed to work out the proportions.  We know that the Indus people had mastered the art of calculating the precise size of bricks, within a system of uniform and proportionate measurement.  The use of bricks and the calculations in the Vedic ritual may therefore have come from a Harappan tradition, bypassed the Rig Vedic period, and resurfaced later. ……
(p.100)
 
…. We can see the remains of the world that the people of the Indus Valley built, but we are blind to the material world of the Vedic people;  the screen goes almost blank.  The Vedic people left no cities, no temples, scant physical remains of any kind;  they had to borrow the word for ‘mortar’.  They built nothing but the flat, square mud altars for the Vedic sacrifice and houses with wooden frames and walls of reed stuffed with straw and, later, mud.  Bamboo ribs supported a thatched roof.  None of this of course survived. 
(p.104)
 
Cattle
As nomadic tribes, the Vedic people sought fresh pastureland for their cattle and horses.  As pastoralists and, later, agriculturalists, herders and farmers, they lived in rural communities.  Like most of the Indo-Europeans, the Vedic people were cattle herders and cattle rustlers who went about stealing other people’s cows and pretending to be taking them back. ……
The Vedic people, in this habit (as well as in their fondness for gambling), resembled the cowboys of the nineteenth-century American West, riding over other people’s land and stealing their cattle. ….. Unlike the American cowboys, however, the Vedic cowboys did not yet (though they would, by the sixth century BCE), have a policy of owning and occupying the land, for the Vedic people did not build or settle down; they moved on. …..

The Vedic people sacrificed cattle to the gods and ate cattle themselves, and they counted their wealth in cattle.  They definitely ate the beef of steers (the castrated bulls) ….. they sacrificed the bulls (Indra eats the flesh of twenty bulls or a hundred buffalo and drinks whole lakes of soma) and kept most of the cows for milk. One verse states that cows were ‘not to be killed’ (a-ghnya [7.87.4]), but another says that a cow should be slaughtered on the occasion of marriage (10.85.13), and another lists among animals to be a sacrificed a cow that has been bred but has not calved (10.91.14), while still others seem to include cows among animals whose meat was offered to the gods and then consumed by the people at the sacrifice. 
(p.111-112)


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/books/review/Mishra-t.html?_r=1
New York Times
 
April 26, 2009

Another Incarnation
By PANKAJ MISHRA
 
THE HINDUS - An Alternative History
By Wendy Doniger
779 pp. The Penguin Press. $35
 
 
Visiting India in 1921, E. M. Forster witnessed the eight-day celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday. This first encounter with devotional ecstasy left the Bloomsbury aesthete baffled. “There is no dignity, no taste, no form,” he complained in a letter home. Recoiling from Hindu India, Forster was relieved to enter the relatively rational world of Islam. Describing the muezzin’s call at the Taj Mahal, he wrote, “I knew at all events where I stood and what I heard; it was a land that was not merely atmosphere but had definite outlines and horizons.”
 
Forster, who later used his appalled fascination with India’s polytheistic muddle to superb effect in his novel “A Passage to India,” was only one in a long line of Britons who felt their notions of order and morality challenged by Indian religious and cultural practices. The British Army captain who discovered the erotic temples of Khajuraho in the early 19th century was outraged by how “extremely indecent and offensive” depictions of fornicating couples profaned a “place of worship.” Lord Macaulay thundered against the worship, still widespread in India today, of the Shiva lingam. Even Karl Marx inveighed against how man, “the sovereign of nature,” had degraded himself in India by worshipping Hanuman, the monkey god.
 
Repelled by such pagan blasphemies, the first British scholars of India went so far as to invent what we now call “Hinduism,” complete with a mainstream classical tradition consisting entirely of Sanskrit philosophical texts like the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads. In fact, most Indians in the 18th century knew no Sanskrit, the language exclusive to Brahmins. For centuries, they remained unaware of the hymns of the four Vedas or the idealist monism of the Upanishads that the German Romantics, American Transcendentalists and other early Indophiles solemnly supposed to be the very essence of Indian civilization. (Smoking chillums and chanting “Om,” the Beats were closer to the mark.)
 
As Wendy Doniger, a scholar of Indian religions at the University of Chicago, explains in her staggeringly comprehensive book, the British Indologists who sought to tame India’s chaotic polytheisms had a “Protestant bias in favor of scripture.” In “privileging” Sanskrit over local languages, she writes, they created what has proved to be an enduring impression of a “unified Hinduism.” And they found keen collaborators among upper-caste Indian scholars and translators. This British-Brahmin version of Hinduism — one of the many invented traditions born around the world in the 18th and 19th centuries — has continued to find many takers among semi-Westernized Hindus suffering from an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the apparently more successful and organized religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
 
The Hindu nationalists of today, who long for India to become a muscular international power, stand in a direct line of 19th-century Indian reform movements devoted to purifying and reviving a Hinduism perceived as having grown too fragmented and weak. These mostly upper-caste and middle-class nationalists have accelerated the modernization and homogenization of “Hinduism.”
 
Still, the nontextual, syncretic religious and philosophical traditions of India that escaped the attention of British scholars flourish even today. Popular devotional cults, shrines, festivals, rites and legends that vary across India still form the worldview of a majority of Indians. Goddesses, as Doniger writes, “continue to evolve.” Bollywood produced the most popular one of my North Indian childhood: Santoshi Mata, who seemed to fulfill the materialistic wishes of newly urbanized Hindus. Far from being a slave to mindless superstition, popular religious legend conveys a darkly ambiguous view of human action. Revered as heroes in one region, the characters of the great epics “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata” can be regarded as villains in another. Demons and gods are dialectically interrelated in a complex cosmic order that would make little sense to the theologians of the so-called war on terror.
 
Doniger sets herself the ambitious task of writing “a narrative alternative to the one constituted by the most famous texts in Sanskrit.” As she puts it, “It’s not all about Brahmins, Sanskrit, the Gita.” It’s also not about perfidious Muslims who destroyed innumerable Hindu temples and forcibly converted millions of Indians to Islam. Doniger, who cannot but be aware of the political historiography of Hindu nationalists, the most powerful interpreters of Indian religions in both India and abroad today, also wishes to provide an “alternative to the narrative of Hindu history that they tell.”
 
She writes at length about the devotional “bhakti” tradition, an ecstatic and radically egalitarian form of Hindu religiosity which, though possessing royal and literary lineage, was “also a folk and oral phenomenon,” accommodating women, low-caste men and illiterates. She explores, contra Marx, the role of monkeys as the “human unconscious” in the “Ramayana,” the bible of muscular Hinduism, while casting a sympathetic eye on its chief ogre, Ravana. And she examines the mythology and ritual of Tantra, the most misunderstood of Indian traditions.
 
She doesn’t neglect high-table Hinduism. Her chapter on violence in the “Mahabharata” is particularly insightful, highlighting the tragic aspects of the great epic, and unraveling, in the process, the hoary cliché of Hindus as doctrinally pacifist. Both “dharma” and “karma” get their due. Those who tilt at organized religions today on behalf of a residual Enlightenment rationalism may be startled to learn that atheism and agnosticism have long traditions in Indian religions and philosophies.
 
Though the potted biographies of Mughal emperors seem superfluous in a long book, Doniger’s chapter on the centuries of Muslim rule over India helps dilute the lurid mythology of Hindu nationalists. Motivated by realpolitik rather than religious fundamentalism, the Mughals destroyed temples; they also built and patronized them. Not only is there “no evidence of massive coercive conversion” to Islam, but also so much of what we know as popular Hinduism — the currently popular devotional cults of Rama and Krishna, the network of pilgrimages, ashrams and sects — acquired its distinctive form during Mughal rule.
 
Doniger’s winsomely eclectic range of reference — she enlists Philip Roth’s novel “I Married a Communist” for a description of the Hindu renunciant’s psychology — begins to seem too determinedly eccentric when she discusses Rudyard Kipling, a figure with no discernible influence on Indian religions, with greater interpretative vigor than she does Mohandas K. Gandhi, the most creative of modern devout Hindus. More puzzlingly, Doniger has little to say about the forms Indian cultures have assumed in Bali, Mauritius, Trinidad and Fiji, even as she describes at length the Internet-enabled liturgies of Hindus in America.
 
Yet it is impossible not to admire a book that strides so intrepidly into a polemical arena almost as treacherous as Israel-­Arab relations. During a lecture in London in 2003, Doniger escaped being hit by an egg thrown by a Hindu nationalist apparently angry at the “sexual thrust” of her interpretation of the “sacred” “Ramayana.” This book will no doubt further expose her to the fury of the modern-day Indian heirs of the British imperialists who invented “Hinduism.” Happily, it will also serve as a salutary antidote to the fanatics who perceive — correctly — the fluid existential identities and commodious metaphysic of practiced Indian religions as a threat to their project of a culturally homogenous and militant nation-state.
 
 
Pankaj Mishra is the author of “An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World” and “Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond.”
 

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#1180 - June 26, 2010 09:50 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Acceptance speech of Asko Parpola, recipient of the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award

The Hindu, Published: June 24, 2010 17:53 IST | Updated: June 24, 2010 18:05 IST

Your Excellency the President of India, Srimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, distinguished dignitaries, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, Vanakkam!

It is indeed a very great honour to receive the first Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award from the President of India. Yet I feel embarrassed, because my work is only partly related to Classical Tamil, while there are Classical Tamil specialists who really would have deserved this award. But as this is not the only time when the award is given, I humbly accept that this is my turn. I am most grateful for the very considerable support for my continued work in this field.

The Government of India has rightly recognized Tamil as a classical language, a status that it fully deserves in view of its antiquity and its rich literature that in quality and extent matches many other classical traditions of the world. Yet, Tamil is not alone in possessing such a rich heritage in India, which is really a very exceptional country with so many languages having old and remarkable literatures, both written and oral. Sanskrit with its three thousand years old tradition has produced an unrivalled number of literary works.

Sanskrit goes back to Proto-Indo-Aryan attested in a few names and words related to the Mitanni kingdom of Syria between 1500 and 1300 BCE, and to earlier forms of Indo-Iranian known only from a few loanwords in Finno-Ugric languages as spoken in central Russia around 2000 BCE. But none of these very earliest few traces is older than the roots of Tamil. Tamil goes back to Proto-Dravidian, which in my opinion can be identified as the language of the thousands of short texts in the Indus script, written in 2600-1700 BCE. There are, of course, different opinions, but many critical scholars agree that even the Rigveda, collected in the Indus Valley about 1000 BCE, has at least half a dozen Dravidian loanwords.

Old Tamil texts constitute the only source of ancient Dravidian linguistic and cultural heritage not yet much contaminated by the Indo-Aryan tradition. Without it, it would be much more difficult if not impossible to penetrate into the secrets of the Indus script and to unravel the beginnings of India's great civilization. In my opinion the Tamils are entitled to some pride for having preserved so well the linguistic heritage of the Indus Civilization. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that, though their language has shifted in the course of millennia, people of North India too are to a large extent descended from the Harappan people, and have also preserved cultural heritage of the same civilization.

Nanri! Tamizh vaazka!

Asko Parpola

http://www.thehindu.com/news/resources/article483967.ece


http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article485447.ece


COIMBATORE, June 25, 2010

Underlying language of Indus script, Proto-Dravidian: Asko Parpola

T. Ramakrishnan

Asko Parpola, Professor-Emeritus of Indology, Institue of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland delivering a Lecture on `A Dravidian Solution to the Indus Script Problem' at the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore on Friday. Photo: M. Vedhan
The Hindu Asko Parpola, Professor-Emeritus of Indology, Institue of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland delivering a Lecture on `A Dravidian Solution to the Indus Script Problem' at the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore on Friday. Photo: M. Vedhan.

The underlying language of the Indus script was Proto-Dravidian, Asko Parpola, Professor-Emeritus of Indology, Institute of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland, said on Friday.

Declaring that an opening to the secrets of the Indus script has been achieved, Prof. Parpola said the results of his readings kept within narrow limits: fertility cult connected with fig trees, a central Hindu myth associated with astronomy and time-reckoning and chief deities of Hindu and Old Tamil religion.

Delivering the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Research Endowment Lecture on A Dravidian solution to the Indus script problem at the World Classical Tamil Conference here, the Indologist said the readings were based on reasonable identifications of the signs pictorial shapes. The results made good sense in the framework of ancient Indian cultural history.

These readings have been achieved with strictly adhered methodology which is in full agreement with the history of writing, methods of decipherment and historical linguistics including the comparative study of Dravidian languages, he told the audience that included Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

Displaying nearly two dozen illustrations of Indus seals and inscriptions, he dwelt upon the topic by explaining two broad aspects underlying language and type of the script that were essential in the decipherment of an ancient script. He also substantiated his thesis with an etymological analysis of certain Tamil words such as muruku and miin.

Hinting that Harappan language had a genetic relationship with the Dravidian language family, Prof. Parpola said 26 Dravidian languages were now mainly spoken in central and southern parts of India. However, one Dravidian language, Brahui, had been spoken in Baluchistan of Pakistan for at least one thousand years. In contrast to Burushashki, Tibeto-Burman and Austro-Asiatic languages, very small minority languages in south Asia, the Dravidian speakers until recently constituted one-fourth of the population in India.

Loanwords from the Dravidian family had been identified from Indo-Aryan texts composed in northwestern India around 1100-600 BCE. Besides, Indo-Aryan had several structural features that had long been interpreted as borrowings from Dravidian. Historical linguistics thus suggests that the Harappans probably spoke a Dravidian language.

Referring to the type of writing system, Prof. Parpola said the number of known Indus signs was around 400 which agrees well with the logo-syllabic type but is too high for the script to be syllabic or alphabetic. Though word divisions were not marked, many inscriptions comprised one, two or three signs and longer texts could be segmented into comparable units. The Indus script was created before any syllabic or alphabetic script existed.

Pointing out that the confirmed interpretations and their wider contexts provided a lot of clues for progress, he acknowledged there were still serious difficulties in the decipherment of the script. One is the schematic shape of many signs which makes it difficult to recognise their pictorial meaning with certainty. Possibilities of proposing likely readings and their effective checking are severely limited by our defective knowledge of Proto-Dravidian vocabulary, compounds and phraseology.

The problem of the Indus script resembled to some extent that of the logo-syllabic Maya script, where advance was phenomenal after Mayan speakers were trained in the methods of decipherment.

The Indologist said those who had good acquaintance with the realities of Indian culture and south Asian nature could make useful contributions in suggesting possible pictorial meanings for the Indus signs. For this, there was no need to be a Dravidian speaker.

Iravatham Mahadevan, eminent archaeologist, presided over the event.

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#1181 - July 07, 2010 09:02 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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How the South Held Off the Muslim Invaders for 250 Years

For 250 years all the southern kingdoms united under Vijayanagar and held off the muslims at the Krishna and Tungabhadra river with 1.1 million men.

An account by two portugese travellers Fernao Nuniz and Domingo Paes in 1520, who themselves describe a history of India which even then they say was already forgotton.

Pathma


A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3310
CHAPTER 1

Introduction

Introductory remarks -- Sources of information -- Sketch of history of Southern India down to A.D. 1336 -- A Hindu bulwark against Muhammadan conquest -- The opening date, as given by Nuniz, wrong -- "Togao Mamede" or Muhammad Taghlaq of Delhi -- His career and character.

In the year 1336 A.D., during the reign of Edward III. of England, there occurred in India an event which almost instantaneously changed the political condition of the entire south. With that date the volume of ancient history in that tract closes and the modern begins. It is the epoch of transition from the Old to the New.

This event was the foundation of the city and kingdom of Vijayanagar. Prior to A.D. 1336 all Southern India had lain under the domination of the ancient Hindu kingdoms, -- kingdoms so old that their origin has never been traced, but which are mentioned in Buddhist edicts rock-cut sixteen centuries earlier; the Pandiyans at Madura, the Cholas at Tanjore, and others. When Vijayanagar sprang into existence the past was done with for ever, and the monarchs of the new state became lords or overlords of the territories lying between the Dakhan and Ceylon.

There was no miracle in this. It was the natural result of the persistent efforts made by the Muhammadans to conquer all India. When these dreaded invaders reached the Krishna River the Hindus to their south, stricken with terror, combined, and gathered in haste to the new standard which alone seemed to offer some hope of protection. The decayed old states crumbled away into nothingness, and the fighting kings of Vijayanagar became the saviours of the south for two and a half centuries.

And yet in the present day the very existence of this kingdom is hardly remembered in India; while its once magnificent capital, planted on the extreme northern border of its dominions and bearing the proud title of the "City of Victory," has entirely disappeared save for a few scattered ruins of buildings that were once temples or palaces, and for the long lines of massive walls that constituted its defences. Even the name has died out of men's minds and memories, and the remains that mark its site are known only as the ruins lying near the little village of Hampe.

Pathma


An excellent account that must be part of Indian school history texts. The later war of 27 years between 1780-1807 where the 150,000 Marattas held off and defeated the 500,000 Moghuls led by Aurangzeb, leading their demise, was fought 300 years after the even more spectacular Vijayanagar wars of 250 years!

The Vijayanagar wars lasting 250 years from 1336-1550 where the southern kings under the Vijayanagar banner raised 1,100,00 men to fight the Delhi sultans, who were eventually defeated, leading to the establishment of the Moghuls. Exhausted, Vijayanagar itself came to an end a hundred years later after this.

King Krishnadevaraya's personal army consisted of 100,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalrymen and over 900 elephants. This number was only a part of the army numbering over 1.1 million soldiers, a figure that varied as an army of two million has also been recorded along with the existence of a navy as evidenced by the use of the term Navigadaprabhu (commander of the navy).[41] The army recruited from all classes of society (supported by the collection of additional feudal tributes from feudatory rulers), and consisted of archers and musketeers wearing quilted tunics, shieldmen with swords and poignards in their girdles, and soldiers carrying shields so larges that no armour was necessary. The horses and elephants were fully armoured and the elephants had knives fastened to their tusks to do maximum damage in battle.[42]

This was 300-500 years before the Maratta wars.

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#1182 - July 07, 2010 09:07 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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27 Year War That Changed Course Of Indian History


Schoolchildren in India learn a very specific blend of Indian history. This school version of history is stripped of all the vigor and pride. The story of Indian civilization spans thousands of years. However for the most part the schoolbook version dwells on the freedom struggle against British and important role played in there by the Indian National Congress. We learn each and every movement of Gandhi and Nehru, but not even a passing reference is made to hundreds of other important people and events.

My objection is not to the persons Gandhi or Nehru. However the attention they get and the exposure their political views and ideology gets is rather disproportionate.

And thus it comes no surprise to me that rarely we talk about an epic war that significantly altered the face of Indian subcontinent. The war that can be described the mother of all wars in India. Considering the average life expectancy that time was around 30 years, this war of 27 years lasted almost the lifespan of an entire generation. The total number of battles fought was in hundreds. It occurred over vast geographical expanse spanning four biggest states of modern India- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. For time, expanse and human and material cost, this war has no match in Indian history.

It started in 1681 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzebs invasion of Maratha empire. It ended in 1707 with Aurangzebs death. Aurangzeb threw everything he had in this war. He lost it all.

Its tempting to jump into the stories of heroics, but what makes the study of war more interesting is the understanding of politics behind it. Every war is driven by politics. Rather war is just one of the means to do politics. This war was not an exception.

Shivajis tireless work for most of his life had shown fruits by the last quarter of seventeenth century. He had firmly established Marathas as power in Deccan. He built hundreds of forts in Konkan and Sahyadris and thus created a defense backbone. He also established strong naval presence and controlled most of the Western ports barring few on end of Indian peninsula. Thus tightening the grip on trade routes of Deccan sultanates, he strangled their weapons import from Europe and horses import from Arabian traders. These Sultanates launched several campaigns against Shivaji, but failed to stop him.

On the Northern front, several Rajput kings had accepted to be the vassals of Mughals. Aurangzeb had succeeded to the throne after brutal killing of his brothers and imprisonment of his father. With Rajput resistance mostly subsided and the southern sultanates weakened, it was only matter of time before Marathas were in his cross-hair.

At the time of Shivajis death in 1680, Maratha empire spanned an area far more than the current state of Maharashtra and had taken firm roots. But it was surrounded by enemies from all sides. Portuguese on northern Coast and Goa, British in Mumbai, Siddies in Konkan and remaining Deccan sultenates in Karnataka posed limited challenge each, but none of them was capable of taking down the Marathas alone. Mughal empire with Aurangzeb at its helm was the most formidable foe.

For the most part, Aurangzeb was a religious fanatic. He had distanced Sikhs and Rajputs because of his intolerant policies against Hindus. After his succession to the throne, he had made life living hell for Hindus in his kingdom. Taxes like Jizya tax were imposed on Hindus. No Hindu could ride in Palanquin. Hindu temples were destroyed and abundant forcible conversions took place. Auragzeb unsuccessfully tried to impose Sharia, the Islamic law. This disillusioned Rajputs and Sikhs resulting in their giving cold shoulder to Aurangzeb in his Deccan campaign.

Thus in September of 1681, after settling his dispute with the royal house of Mewar, Aurangzeb began his journey to Deccan to kill the Maratha confederacy that was not even 50 years old. On his side, the Mughal king had enormous army numbering half a million soldiers, a number more than three times that of the Maratha army. He had plentiful support of artillery, horses, elephants. He also brought huge wealth in royal treasuries. Teaming up with Portughese, British ,Siddis, Golkonda and Bijapur Sultanates he planned to encapsulate Marathas from all sides and to form a deadly death trap. To an outsider, it would seem no-brainer to predict the outcome of such vastly one sided war. It seemed like the perfect storm headed towards Maratha confederacy.

Enormous death and destruction followed in Deccan for what seemed like eternity. But what happened at the end would defy all imaginations and prove every logic wrong. Despite lagging in resources on all fronts, it would be the Marathas who triumphed. And at the expense of all his treasure, army, power and life, it would be the invading emperor who learned a very costly lesson, that the will of people to fight for their freedom should never be underestimated


Timeline Marathas under King Sambhaji (1680 to 1689):

After the death of Shivaji in 1680, a brief power struggle ensued in the royal family. Finally Sambhaji became the king. By this time Aurangzeb had finished his North missions and was pondering a final push in Deccan to conquer all of the India.

In 1681 sambhaji attacked Janjira, but his first attempt failed. In the same time one of the Aurangzebs generals, Hussein Ali Khan , attacked Northern Konkan. Sambhaji left janjira and attacked Hussein Ali Khan and pushed him back to Ahmednagar. By this time mansoon of 1682 had started. Both sides halted their major military operations. But Aurangzeb was not sitting idle. He tried to sign a deal with Portughese to allow mughal ships to harbor in Goa. This would have allowed him to open another supply route to Deccan via sea. The news reached sambhaji. He attacked Portughese territories and pushed deep inside Goa. But Voiceroy Alvor was able to defend Portughese headquarters.

By this time massive Mughal army had started gathering on the borders of Deccan. It was clear that southern India was headed for one big conflict.

Sambhaji had to leave Portughese expedition and turn around. In late 1683, Aurangzeb moved to Ahmednagar. He divided his forces in two and put his two princes, Shah Alam and Azam Shah, in charge of each division. Shah alam was to attack South Konkan via Karnataka border while Azam Shah would attack Khandesh and northern Maratha territory. Using pincer strategy, these two divisions planned to circle Marathas from South and North and isolate them.

The beginning went quite well. Shah Alam crossed Krishna river and enterd Belgaum. From there he entered Goa and started marching north via Konkan. As he pushed further,he was continuously harassed by Marathas. They ransacked his supply chains and reduced his forces to starvation. Finally Aurangzeb sent Ruhulla Khan for his rescue and brought him back to Ahmednagar. The first pincer attempt failed.

After 1684 monsoon, Aurangzebs another general Sahabuddin Khan directly attacked the Maratha capital, fort Raygad. Maratha commanders successfully defended Raygad. Aurangzeb sent Khan Jehan for help, but Hambeerrao Mohite, Commander-in-Chief of Maratha army, defeated him in a fierce battle at Patadi. Second division of Maratha army attacked Sahabuddin Khan at Pachad, inflicting heavy losses on Mughal army.

In early 1685, Shah Alam attacked South again via Gokak- Dharwar route. But Sambhajis forces harassed him continuously on the way and finally he had to give up and thus failed to close the loop second time.

In april 1685 Aurangzeb rehashed his strategy. He planned to consolidate his power in the South by taking expediations to Goalkonda and Bijapur. Both were Shia muslim rulers and Aurangzeb was no fond of them. He broke his treaties with both empires and attacked them. Taking this opportunity Marathas launched offensive on North coast and attacked Bharuch. They were able to evade the mughal army sent their way and came back with minimum damage.

On Aurangzebs new Southern front, things were proceeding rather smoothly. Bijapur fell in September 1686. King Sikandar Shah was captured and imprisoned. Goalkonda agreed to pay huge ransom. But after receiving the money, Aurangzeb attacked them in blatant treachery. Soon Goalkonda fell as well. King Abu Hussein of Goalkonda was captured and met the same fate as Sikandar Shah.

Marathas had tried to win mysore through diplomacy. Kesopant Pingle, (Moropant Pingles brother) was running negotiations, but the fall of Bijapur to mughals turned the tides and Mysore was reluctant to join Marathas. Still Sambhaji successfully courted several Bijapur sardars to join Maratha army.

After fall of Bijapur and Goalkonda, Aurangzeb turned his attention again to his main target Marathas. First few attempts proved unsuccessful to make a major dent. But in Dec 1688 he had his biggest jackpot. Sambhaji was captured at Sangmeshwar. It was in part his own carelessness and in part because of treachery. Aurangzeb gave him option of converting to Islam, which he refused. Upon refusal, Aurangzeb, blinded by his victories, gave Sambhaji the worst treatment he could ever give to anyone. Sambhaji was pareded on donkey. His tounge was cut, eyes were gorged out. His body was cut into pieces and fed to dogs.

There were many people who did not like Sambhaji and thus were sympathetic to Mughals. But this barbaric treatment made everyone angry. Maratha generals gathered on Raygad. The decision was unanimous. All peace offers were to be withdrawn. Mughals would be repelled at all costs. Rajaram succeeded as the next king. He began his reign by a valiant speech on Raygad. All Maratha generals and councilmen united under the flag of new king, and thus began the second phase of the epic war.

27 Years War TimeLine Marathas under King Rajaram (1689 to 1700)

To Aurangzeb, the Marathas seemed all but dead by end of 1689. But this would prove to be almost a fatal blunder. In March 1990, the Maratha commanders, under the leadership of Santaji Ghorpade launched the single most daring attack on mughal army. They not only attacked the army, but sacked the tent where the Aurangzeb himself slept. Luckily Aurangzeb was elsewhere but his private force and many of his bodyguards were killed.

This positive development was followed by a negative one for Marathas. Raigad fell to treachery of Suryaji Pisal. Sambhajis queen, Yesubai and their son, Shahu, were captured.

Mughal forces, led by Zulfikar Khan, continued this offensive further South. They attacked fort Panhala. The Maratha killedar of Panhala gallantly defended the fort and inflicted heavy losses on Mughal army. Finally Aurangzeb himself had to come. Panhala surrendered.

Maratha ministers had foreseen the next Mughal move on Vishalgad. They made Rajaram leave Vishalgad for Jinji, which would be his home for next seven years. Rajaram travelled South under escort of Khando Ballal and his men. The queen of Bidnur, gave them supplies and free passage. Harji Mahadiks division met them near Jinji and guarded them to the fort. Rajarams queen was escorted out of Maharashtra by Tungare brothers. She was taken to Jinji by different route. Ballal and Mahadik tirelessly worked to gather the scattered diplomats and soldiers. Jinji became new capital of Marathas. This breathed new life in Maratha army.

Aurangzeb was frustrated with Rajarams successful escape. His next move was to keep most of his force in Maharashtra and dispatch a small force to keep Rajaram in check. But the two Maratha generals, Santaji ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav would prove more than match to him.

They first attacked and destroyed the force sent by Aurangzeb to keep check on Rajaram, thus relieving the immediate danger. Then they joined Ramchandra Bavadekar in Deccan. Bavdekar, Vithoji Bhosale and Raghuji Chavan had reorganized most of the Maratha army after defeats at Panhala and Vishalgad.

In late 1691, Bavdekar, Pralhad Niraji , Santaji ,Dhanaji and several Maratha sardars met in Maval region and reformed the strategy. Aurangzeb had taken four major forts in Sahyadrais and was sending Zulfikar khan to subdue the fort Jinji. So according to new Maratha plan, Santaji and Dhanaji would launch offensives in the East to keep rest of the Mughal forces scattered. Others would focus in Maharashtra and would attack a series of forts around Southern Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka to divide Mughal won territories in two, thereby posing significant challenge to enemy supply chains. Thanks to Shivajis vision of building a navy, Marathas could now extend this divide into the sea, checking any supply routes from Surat to South.

The execution began. In early 1692 Shankar Narayan and Parshuram Trimbak recaptured Rajgad and Panhala. In early 1693 Shankar Narayan and Bhosale captured Rohida. Sidhoji Gujar took Vijaydurg. Soon Parshuram Trimbak took Vishalgad. Kanhoji Angre, a young Maratha Naval officer that time, took fort Kolaba.

While this was in work, Santaji and Dhanaji were launching swift raids on Mughal armies on East front. This came as a bit of surprise to Aurangzeb. In spite of losing one King and having second king driven away, Marathas were undaunted and actually were on offensive. From Khandesh, Ahmednagar to Bijapur to Konkan and Southern Karnataka, Santaji and Dhanaji wrecked havoc. Encouraged by the success, Santaji and Dhanaji hatched new action plan to attack Mughal forces near Jinji. Dhanaji Jadhav attacked Ismail Khan and defeated him near Kokar. Santaji Ghorpade attacked Ali Mardan Khan at the base of Jinji and captured him. With flanks cleared, both joined hands and laid a second siege around the Mughal siege at Jinji

Julfikar khan, who was orchestrating Jinji siege, left the siege on Aurangzebs orders and marched back. Santaji followed him to North, but was defeated by Julfikar Khan. Santaji then diverted his forces to Bijapur. Aurangzeb sent another general Kasim Khan to tackle Santaji. But Santaji attacked him with a brilliant military maneuver near Chitaldurg and forced him take refuge in Dunderi fort. The fort was quickly sieged by Santaji and the siege only ended when most of the Mughal soldiers starved and Kasim Khan committed suicide. Aurangzeb sent Himmat Khan to reinforce Kasim Khan. Himmat khan carried heavy artillery. So Santaji lured him in a trap in the forest near Dunderi. A sudden, ambush style attack on Mughals was followed by a fierce battle. The battle ended when when Himmat Khan was shot in head and died. All his forces routed and Santaji confiscated a big cache of weapons and ammunition.

By now, Aurangzeb had the grim realization that the war he began was much more serious than he thought. He consolidated his forces and rethought his strategy. He sent an ultimatum to Zulfikar khan to finish Jinji business or be stripped of the titles. Julfikar khan tightened the Siege. But Rajaram fled and was safely escorted to Deccan by Dhanaji Jadhav and Shirke brothers. Haraji Mahadiks son took the charge of Jinji and bravely defended Jinji against Julfikar khan and Daud khan till January of 1698. This gave Rajaram ample of time to reach Vishalgad.

Jinji fell, but it did a big damage to the Mughal empire. The losses incurred in taking Jinji far outweighed the gains. The fort had done its work. For seven years the three hills of Jinji had kept a large contigent of mughal forces occupied. It had eaten a deep hole into Mughal resources. Not only at Jinji, but the royal treasury was bleeding everywhere and was already under strain.

Marathas would soon witness an unpleasant development, all of their own making. Dhanaji Jadhav and Santaji Ghorpade had a simmering rivalry, which was kept in check by the councilman Pralhad Niraji. But after Nirajis death, Dhanaji grew bold and attacked Santaji. Nagoji Mane, one of Dhanajis men, killed Santaji. The news of Santajis death greatly encouraged Aurangzeb and Mughal army.

But by this time Mughals were no longer the army they were feared before. Aurangzeb, against advise of several of his experienced generals, kept the war on. It was much like Alexander on the borders of Taxila.

The Marathas again consolidated and the new Maratha counter offensive began. Rajaram made Dhanaji the next commander in chief. Maratha army was divided in three divisions. Dhanaji would himself lead the first division. Parshuram Timbak lead the second and Shankar Narayan lead the third. Dhanaji Jadhav defeated a large mughal force near Pandharpur. Shankar Narayan defeated Sarja Khan in Pune. Khanderao Dabhade, who lead a division under Dhanaji, took Baglan and Nashik. Nemaji Shinde, another commander with Shankar Narayan, scored a major victory at Nandurbar.

Enraged at this defeats, Aurangzeb himself took charge and launched another counter offensive. He laid siege to Panhala and attacked the fort of Satara. The seasoned commander, Prayagji Prabhu defended Satara for a good six months, but surrendered in April of 1700, just before onset of Monsoon. This foiled Aurangzebs strategy to clear as many forts before monsoon as possible.

In March of 1700, another bad news followed Marathas. Rajaram took his last breath. His queen Tarabai, who was also daughter of the gallant Maratha Commander-in-Chief Hambeerrao Mohite, took charge of Maratha army. Daughter of a braveheart, Tarabai proved her true mettle for the next seven years. She carried the struggle on with equal valor. Thus began the phase 3, the last phase of the prolonged war, with Marathas under the leadership of Tarabai.

The signs of strains were showing in Mughal camp in late 1701. Asad Khan, Julfikar Khans father, counselled Aurangzeb to end the war and turn around. This expedition had already taken a giant toll, much larger than originally planned, on Mughal empire. And serious signs were emerging that the 200 years old Mughal empire was crumbling and was in the middle of a war that was not winnable

Mughals were bleeding heavily from treasuries. But Aurangzeb kept pressing the war on. When Tarabai took charge, Aurangzeb had laid siege to the fort of Parli (Sajjangad). Parshuram Trimbak defended the fort until mansooon and retreated quietly at the break of monsoon.The mughal army was dealt heavy loss by flash floods in the rivers around. These same tactics were followed by Marathas at the next stop of Aurangzeb, Panhala. Similar tactic was followed even for Vishalgad.

By 1704, Aurangzeb had Torana and Rajgad. He had won only a handful forts in this offensive, but he had spent several precious years. It was slowly dawning to him that after 24 years of constant war, he was no closer to defeating Marathas than he was the day he began.

The final Maratha counter offensive gathered momentum in North. Tarabai proved to be a valiant leader once again. One after another Mughal provinces fell in north. They were not in position to defend as the royal treasuries had been sucked dry and no armies were left in town. In 1705, two Maratha army factions crossed Narmada. One under leadership of Nemaji Shinde hit as deep North as Bhopal. Second under the leadership of Dabhade struck Bharoch and West. Dabhade with his eight thousand men,attacked and defeated Mahomed khans forces numbering almost fourteen thousand. This left entire Gujarat coast wide open for Marathas. They immediately tightened their grip on Mughal supply chains.

In Maharashtra, Aurangzeb grew despondent. He started negotiations with Marathas, but cut abruptly and marched on a small kingdom called Wakinara. Naiks at Wakinara traced their lineage to royal family of Vijaynagar empire. They were never fond of Mughals and had sided with Marathas. Dhanaji marched into Sahyadris and won almost all the major forts back in short time. Satara and Parali forts were taken by Parshuram Timbak. Shankar Narayan took Sinhgad. Dhanaji then turned around and took his forces to Wakinara. He helped the Naiks at Wakinara sustain the fight. Naiks fought very bravely. Finally Wakinara fell, but the royal family of Naiks successfully escaped with least damage.

Aurangzeb had now given up all hopes and was now planning retreat to Burhanpur. Dhanaji Jadhav again fell on him and in swift and ferocious attack and dismantled the rear guard of his imperial army. Zulfikar Khan rescued the emperor and they successfully reached Burhanpur.

Aurangzeb witnessed bitter fights among his sons in his last days. Alone, lost, depressed, bankrupt, far away from home, he died sad death on 3rd March 1707. I hope god will forgive me one day for my disastrous sins, were his last words.

Thus ended a prolonged and grueling period in history of India. The Mughal kingdom fragmented and disintegrated soon after. And Deccan saw rise of a new sun, the Maratha empire.


Reflection: Strategical Analysis:

In this war, Aurangzebs army totaled more than 500,000 in number (compared to total Maratha army in the ballpark of 150,000). With him he carried huge artillery, cavalry, muskettes, ammunition and giant wealth from royal treasuries to support this quest. This war by no means a fair game when numbers are considered.

The main features of Aurangzebs strategy were :-

Use of overwhelming force to demoralize the enemy This tactic had proved successful in Aurangzebs other missions. Thus he used this even in Maharashtra. On several occasions giant Mughal contigents were used to lay siege to a fort or capture a town.

Meticulously planned sieges to the forts Aurangzeb knew that the forts in Sahyadri formed backbone of Maratha defense. His calculation was to simply lay tight siege to the fort, demoralizing and starving the people inside and finally making them surrender the fort.

Fork or pincer movements using large columns of infantry and cavalry With large number of infantry and cavalry, pincer could have proved effective and almost fatal against Marathas

Marathas had one advantage on their side, geography. They milked this advantage to the last bit. Their military activities were planned considering the terrain and the weather.

The main features of Maratha strategy were :-

Combined offensive-defensive strategy Throughout the war, Marathas never stopped their offensive. This served two purposes. The facts that Maratha army was carrying out offensive attacks in Mughal land suddenly made them psychologically equals to Mughals launching attack in Maratha land, even though Mughals were a much bigger force. This took negative toll on Mughal morale and boosted morale of their own men. Secondly, these offensive attacks in terms of quick raids often heavily damaged enemy supply chains taking toll on Mughal army.
The forts formed backbone of Maratha defense. Thanks to Shivaji, the every fort had provision of fresh water. The total forts numbered almost 300 and this large number proved major headache to Aurangzeb.

Defense of forts till onset of Monsoon Forts are an asset in rest of the year, but are a liability in monsoon as it costs a lot to carry food and supplies up. Also the monsoon in coasts and ghats is severe in nature and no major military movement is possible. Thus Marathas often fought till Monsoon and surrendered the fort just before Monsoon. Before surrendering they burned all the food inside. Thus making it a proposition of loss in every way. Often times Marathas surrendered the fort empty, but later soon won it back filled with food and water. These events demoralized the enemy.

Offensive attacks in terms of evasive raids Marathas mostly launched offensive attacks in the region when Mughal army was away. They rarely engaged Mughal army in open fields till later part of the war. If situation seemed dire, they would retreat and disperse and thus conserve most of their men and arms for another day.
The rivers Bhima, Krishna , Godavari and the mountains of Sahyadri, divide entire Maharashtra region is in several North- South corridors. When Mughal army traveled South through one corridor, Marathas would travel North through another and launch attacks there. This went on changing gradually and in the end, Maratha forces started engaging Mughals head on.

A noted historian Jadunath Sarkar makes an interesting observation. In his own words, Aurangzeb won battle after battles, but in the end he lost the war. As the war prolonged, it transformed from war of weapons to war of spirits, and Aurangzeb was never able to break Maratha spirit.

What Marathas did was an classic example of assymetric defensive warfare. The statement above by Mr. Sarkar hides one interesting fact about this assymetric defense. Is it really possible to lose most of the battles and still win the war?

The answer is yes, and explanation is a statistical phenomena called Simpsons paradox.. According to Simpsons paradox, several micro-trends can lead to one conclusion, however a mega-trend combining all the micro-trends can lead to an exact opposite conclusion. Explanation is as follows.

Say two forces go on war, force A with 100 soldiers and force B with 40 soldiers. Now say in every battle between A and B, the following happens.

If A loses, they lose 80% of the soldiers fighting.
If B loses, they only lose 10% of the soldiers fighting.
If A wins, they lose 50% of the solders fighting.
If B wins, they lose only 10% of the soldiers fighting.

In the case above, the ratio of (resource drain of A / resource drain of B ) is higher than (initial number of A soldiers / initial number of B soldiers). So even if A wins battle more than 50% of the time, they will lose their resources faster and, in the end, will lose the war. All B has to do is keep the morale and keep the consistency.

One of the most famous warrior in ancient Indian history seems to agree with the conclusion above. In Bhishma- perva of Mahabharata, pitamah Bhishma begins the war-advice to king Yudhisthira with a famous quote -
The strength of an army is not in its numbers


It was not Shivajis personality but his vision and his values was what Deccan fought for. They imbibed that vision and made it their own. After that, they were not fighting for their hero, they were fighting for themselves. The secret of why people simply refused to surrender to Mughal power can be found not in Shivajis heroics, but somewhere else. The secret lies in the reforms he brought.

During the short span of his governance, Shivaji brought a manifold of reforms. For the purpose of discussion, I will divide them into four categories. Governance reforms, political reforms, defense reforms and social reforms.

Governance reforms deserve first attention. After the coronation, Shivaji put in place fully functioning governance consisting of Ashta-Pradhan (eight ministers). These eight men were noted statesmen in their era. They laid foundation of formal economic policy, foreign policy and other functions of government.

One key aspect differentiated Shivajis governance through ministers from the prevailing watan and jahagir type of governance division of work based on function rather than geography. To put in management terms, this was horizontal decentralization where each minister was responsible for only one function, say judiciary branch, but was responsible for the entire empire. This was much better than vertical decentralization of watan system, where one person would be named in charge of all affairs of a small region. Horizontal decentralization helped keep uniformity across the whole empire and made it easy for people to migrate, do business, and remain one political entity. Also when divided this way, different branches of government keep check on each other and stop each other from running amok. These ministers kept military focused on the military objectives. They checked personal rivalries between individual commanders. In addition these ministers provided a crucial diplomatic support complementing the military ventures.

Second, Defense strategy reforms. The combined choice of Guerrilla warfare as tactics, the reliance on light infantry and and a solid line of more than 300 strengthened forts represents Shivajis coherent defense strategy. Unlike Rajputs, who stuck to their code of warriors even as Mughal and Persian invaders broke every possible rule of ethics, Marathas retaliated in tit-for-tat way. They preferred guerrilla warfare for defense and engaged in open field battles only when necessary. They never disrespected the women like Khilji and Ghori did, so they were certainly ethical minded. But they never shied from attacking their enemies at night if required. They were more committed to the political objective than the personal objective of bravery.

Additionally Shivaji launched Navy. Though the Maratha ships were smaller and the weapons inferior in technology, they gave Marathas capabilities to open a sea front. This sea front played a big role in the 27 year war by blocking Aurangzebs supply chains from Surat.

Several social reforms were introduced as well. It is largely this statesmanship of Shivaji that laid the foundation of indefatigable Maratha resistance. Common people fought because ,for them, going back to the horrors of previous governance was simply not an option.

On the economic front, there was a taxation reform. The previous empires had followed a system of taxation that was predatory or at times outright cruel. They had appointed Jameen-dars that collected tax on their behalf. The amount that was to be deposited in the royal treasury was fixed, but the amount that was to be collected from the peasants was left to Jameen-dars. These jameen-dars exploited this opportunity to fill their treasures, driving the farmers to bankruptcy. Over the years these Jameen-dars had built big castles, had their own armies, their own courts and they enjoyed being mini-kings.
Shivaji scrapped this system of taxation and introduced taxes where the amount that was to be collected from the peasants was fixed. The appointed officers were given only limited mandate and authority to carry out their duty to collect taxes. They were often transferred, preventing them from developing too strong local ties. If in any year it did not rain and the farmers lost their crops, the taxes were waived.

Shivajis fiscal policies were conservative. Thus no magnificent monuments like Taj Mahal or Royal Mughal gardens were built by Shivaji. But it was him for whom his nation was ready to die. This fiscal conservative bend shows a striking resemblance to another visionary leader. After the American revolutionary war, Thomas Jefferson refused to pay for the extravagant ballroom maintained by British Viceroy in Virginia colonies noting that such mansions represent colossal waste of taxpayer money.
By contrast, Deccan Sultanates and Mughals had shown little interest in welfare of people. During the 22 years that took to build Taj Mahal, three times there was severe draught and hundreds of thousands of people died. But Shahjahan focused all the money and efforts on building a tomb for his wife.

Its indeed an irony that that Taj Mahal has become symbol of India while the forts that cradled the first swaraj, first rule of people, languish in desolation.

Epilogue:

For centuries , the mountains and valleys, towns and villages of Deccan had gotten used to being a pawn in the game of power. They changed hands as kingdoms warred with each other. They paid taxes whoever was in a position to extract them. For the most part they remained in a sleepy slumber, just turning and twisting in their bed.
Once in a while they sent their sons to fight in battles without ever asking why exactly the war is being launched. Other times they fought amongst themselves. They were divided, confused and did not have high hopes about their future.
This was the condition of Deccan when Shivaji launched his first expedition of fort Torana in 1645. By the time of his death mere 35 years later, he had transformed Deccan from a sleepy terrain to a thundering volcano.

Finally, here was a man whose vision of future was shared by a large general audience. An unmistakable characteristic of a modern concept of nation-state. Perhaps the most important factor that distinguishes Shivajis vision is that it was unifying. His vision went beyond building an army of proud warriors from warrior castes. It included people from all rungs of society sharing a common political idea and ready to defend it at any cost. His vision went far beyond creating an empire for himself in Maharashtra. It included a building confederacy of states against what he thought were foreign invaders. He was trying to build an Alliance of Hindu kingdoms. He went out of his way to convince Mirza-Raje Jaisingh to leave Aurangzeb. He established relations with the dethroned royal family of Vijaynagar for whom he had tremendous respect. He attempted to unify the sparring Hindu power centers.

And they responded. Sikhs in Punjab, Rajputs in Rajasthan, Nayaks in Karnataka, rulers of Mysore, the royal family of Vijaynagar were of valuable help to Shivaji and later to Marathas. It was certainly a step towards a nation getting its soul back.

While he was creating a political voice for Hindus, Muslims never faced persecution in his rule. Several Muslims served at high posts in his court and army. His personal body guard on his Agra visit was Muslim. His Naval officer, Siddi Hilal was Muslim. Thus Shivajis rule was not meant to challenge Islam as a personal religion, but it was a response to Political Islam.

Last but not the least, we must give due respect to one more thing. The seeds of every political revolution can be traced back to a spiritual one and this was no exception. The Bhakti movement in Maharashtra that began with 12th Century saint Dnyaneshwar and spearheaded by saint Tukaram (who was contemporary of Shivaji), played a role of social catalyst of immense effect. It created a forum, a pool in society where everyone was welcome. The shackles of cast system were not broken, but were certainly loosened. Once people were on the same page spiritually, it was easier for Shivaji to get them on the same page politically.

Its tempting for a Maharashtrian to claim the root of success of Marathas solely be in Maharashtra. But at the height of its peak, only 20% of Shivajis kingdom was part of Maharashtra. When Marathas launched northern campaigns in 18th century, it was even more less. Soldiers in Maratha army came from diverse social and geographical backgrounds including from areas as far away as Kandahar to West and Bengal to East. Shivaji received a lot of support from various rulers and common people from all over India.

Thus limiting Marathas to Maharashtra is mostly a conclusion of a politician. It must be noted that the roots of Maharashtra culture can be traced to both ancient Karnataka and Northern India. Shivaji himself traced his lineage to Shisodia family of Rajputs. Maharashtrians should not be ashamed to admit that their roots lie elsewhere. In fact they should feel proud that land of Maharashtra is truly a melting pot where Southern and Northern Indian cultures melted to give birth to a new vision of a nation. Shivaji was far more an Indian king than a Maratha king.

Dear readers, here ends the story of an epic war. I hope this saga gives you a sense of realistic hope and a sense of humble pride. All you might be doing today is sitting in a cubicle for the day ,typing on keyboard. But remember that the same blood runs in our fingers that long long time ago displayed unparalleled courage and bravery, the same spirit resides within us that can once soured sky high upon the call of freedom.

Jai Hind !!



References:

History of Mahrattas by James Duff http://www.archive.org/details/ahistorymahratt05duffgoog

Shivaji and His Times by Jadunath Sarkar http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024056750

A History Of Maratha People by Charles Kincaid http://www.archive.org/details/historyofmaratha02kincuoft

Background of Maratha Renaissance by N. K. Behere http://www.archive.org/details/backgroundofmara035242mbp

Rise of The Maratha Power by Mahadev Govind Ranade http://www.archive.org/details/RiseOfTheMarathapower

Maratha History by S R Sharma http://www.archive.org/details/marathahistory035360mbp

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Kumari: The lost land of Tamils in literary tradition



http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20110422280809000.htm


Frontline
Volume 28 - Issue 08 :: Apr. 09-22, 2011
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU


SPOTLIGHT

The Lemuria myth

S. CHRISTOPHER JAYAKARAN


How it permeated the Tamil tradition through folklore and writings as the lost continent of Kumari.


Excerpts:


Lost land of Tamils

The narratives about Lemuria found their way into colonial India about the time when folklore began to permeate historic knowledge as though they were fact. The writings of Wishar Cerve and the maps of Scott Elliot were brought into Tamil writings by K. Appadurai, in his book Kumari Kandam Allathu Kadal Konda Thennadu (Kumari Continent or the Submerged Southern Land, 1941). The term Lemuria found its way into certain Tamil textbooks and was given the Tamil name Kumari kandam, or continent of Kumari. Names from Tamil classics were given to the mountain ranges, rivers, places and areas. For example, the puranic geography of an axial mountain called Meru as the centre of Jambudvipa (Sanskrit) or Navalan Theevu (Tamil) was accepted, and, later on, these names were attributed to certain parts of Lemuria, giving it acceptability among Tamil readers. In the 1920s, with Tamil revivalism and the efforts to counter the “Aryan” and associated Sanskrit dominance, the concept of Lemuria was wedded to the notion of the lost land referred to in Tamil literature.

There are a few references in Tamil Sangam classics to a landmass that was swallowed up by the sea. Historians consider the first three centuries A.D. as the Sangam period. The reference to the tradition about three Tamil Sangams (assemblies or academies) is noted in Iraiyanar Kalviyalurai, attributed to Nakeerar. According to this commentary, the Pandya kings patronised Tamil poets in their capital, where the Sangam was located. According to tradition, the Mudal Sangam (first assembly), was located in Thenmadurai. When the sea swallowed Thenmadurai, the capital was shifted to Kapatapuram and the second or Idai Sangam was established. The Idai Sangam functioned until a deluge destroyed Kapatapuram. After the deluge, the Pandyas shifted their capital to the present-day Madurai where the last or Kadai Sangam was established.


Some of the important references from Tamil Sangam classics are as follows:

1) in Purananuru 9, verses 10-11 are interpreted as a reference to a Pandya king who ruled a part of the lost land where the river Pahruli flowed.

2) in Silapathigaram (Kadu Kaan Kaathai) (11:17-22) is a reference to a Pandya king who won over kingdoms in Imayam (the Himalayas) and Gangai (the Ganga) to compensate for his land lost to the deluge. Tamil scholars such as Devaneya Paavaanar consider the deluge under reference to be the one that destroyed Thenmadurai.

3) According to Adiyarku Nallar, poem 104:1-4 from Mullai Kalithogai indicates that the Pandya king resettled the survivors of the deluge in certain Chera and Chola territories. It is portrayed by certain Tamil writers that the series of deluges destroyed the Tamil civilisation and the survivors spread out and civilised other parts of the world.


The Tamil tradition about a lost land was committed to writing after the 10th century by commentators like Nakeerar in his commentary on Iraiyanar Akapporulurai. Nachinarkiniyar and Adiyarku Nallar followed him. Those who wrote the commentaries exaggerated the extent of land that was submerged by the deluges referred to in Silapathigaram and Kalithogai. According to the commentators, there were 49 countries ( nadu) in the lost land of Kumari and the distance between the river Kumari and the river Pahruli that flowed in the lost land was 700 katham, which according to one calculation is about 770 km.

The crucial question is whether the land referred to as Kumari was as large as a continent? The advocates of Kumari kandam interpreted the term nadu to mean country. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala many small towns and villages have in their names the term nadu, which basically referred to a settlement, as opposed to kadu, or forest. In the above Tamil references there is no mention of the term kandam, referring to land the size of a continent.

According to Pingala Nikandu, a lexicon of ancient words, k andam means country. In the words of the historian N. Subrahmanian (1996), “It is possible that a small area of land (to the extent of a present-day district) was lost by sea erosion and Pahruli and Kumari were parts of that territory and that the king shifted this capital to some other place. But in all probability that event occurred only in the 5th or 4th century B.C. Such erosions on a limited scale were not unknown to the southern and eastern seaboards of Tamil Nadu. If the fiction is removed from the fact, the entire romantic superstructure called the theory of the Kumari kandam will stand exposed, as non-history” ( The Tamils - Their History, Culture and Civilisation; pages 26, 27).

If the oral traditions and the subsequent writings exaggerated the size of the submerged land called Kumari, what was the background to the lost land referred to in Sangam literature?


Sea-level changes

Geology emerged as a scientific discipline in the late 19th century when both scientific and popular imagination was dominated by Biblical accounts of creation and deluges. Dramatic geological events were attributed to catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Eventually, the understanding of phenomena such as plate tectonics, continental drift and sea floor spreading dismissed the catastrophe theories. The speculation about land bridges and lost continents faded into obscurity elsewhere in the world but not quite so in Tamil Nadu.

Since the early part of the last century major strides have been made in the geological and geophysical understanding of the earth. For instance, in 1912 Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, explained the concept of continental drift; in 1924, the British geologist Arthur Holmes explained that the convection current in the mantle could cause continents to drift; in 1962, the American Geologist Harry Hess pointed out that continental drift could be explained by sea-floor spreading; in 1966, the concept of sea-floor spreading was established by independent oceanographic data involving microfossils, sediments of the sea floor, measure of heat flow from the earth's interior and palaeo-magnetic and seismic studies.



Since the first oceanic sounding in 1840, the study of oceans, including their chemistry, biology, geology and physics, has advanced in the last century. Improved coring devices have enlarged our knowledge of the oceans, and deep ocean floors have been mapped by echo-soundings and ultra-sonic signals. In the 1940s, seismic methods were also used to study the ocean floor.

Evidence of former glaciations on a wide scale became overwhelmingly conclusive in the last century. During the past two million years, there have been five major glacial advances and five glacial retreats as the globe began to warm. The last of such periods is the present period known as Holocene. The last Ice Age caused the fragmented distribution of Homo sapiens, and the enormous environmental changes that took place with global warming had a profound influence on the prehistory of humankind.

Extensive studies were done to understand global warming during the interglacial periods; sediments were subjected to meticulous analyses to establish the age and palaeo-geographical conditions in many parts of the world.

For instance, about 18,000 years ago, during the time of the last Ice Age, ice sheets in the poles spread much wider and the sea level was more than 100 metres lower than it is today, exposing a large area of land along the continental shelf. Then Siberia was connected to Alaska and along this land bridge, the peopling of the Americas and migration of animals happened over a long period. At this time, the landmass of present-day Papua New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania were joined together as were the British Isles with Europe. After the last Ice Age the level of the Indian Ocean, like the rest of the oceans, fell. Sri Lanka was connected to the Indian peninsula by a landmass, which now lies under the Gulf of Mannar. In the following 8,000 years, global warming continued and large masses of ice and glaciers melted, raising sea levels in stages and inundating low-lying lands. The portion of the continental shelf of the south Indian peninsula and the land that connected it to Sri Lanka also went under water as the sea level rose.

Records of sea-level fluctuations and related climatic changes are preserved in the layered sediments of the seabed. These can be studied through data such as faunal contents and nature of sediments. Rajiv Nigam and N.H. Hashimi of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, have done extensive work on sea-level rise by analysing sediments for microfossils such as pollen and foraminifera to determine palaeo-climate and by dating corals from the continental shelf in the west coast of peninsular India. The team studied marine sediments to generate proxy climate records through which changes in palaeo sea levels could be deciphered.

Nigam and P.J. Henriques, also of the NIO, have developed a regional model for palaeo depth determination on the basis of percentage of foraminifera in surface sediments of the Arabian Sea. The significant results of the study on palaeo sea levels are that the sea level was lower by 100 m about 14,500 years ago and by 60 m about 10,000 years ago and that during the last 10,000 years there had been three major episodes of sea-level fluctuation. These sea-level changes had affected human settlements and peopling of the coastal areas and had left their signatures on archaeological events.

Once the status of the periodic sea-level rise was established, it was easy to decipher the configuration of the coastline, giving allowance wherever applicable to tectonic activities and deposition of silt at the confluence of rivers. The Naval Hydrographic Office, Dehra Dun, has produced hydrographic charts (INT 717071-1986 717071-1986 to the scale 1:10,000,000 and INT 7007706-1973 7007706-1973 of scale 1:3,500,000) pertaining to Cape Comorin-Gulf of Mannar, where it surveyed the depth of the sea floor with echo-sounders, which measure the sea floor contours with great accuracy.


Changes in southern India

It is possible to demarcate the land lost to the sea in the south of India from postglacial inundation maps that indicate the significant changes in the coastline.

The author has prepared inundation maps on the basis of bathymetric contours and the sea-level curve for the central west coast to work out the configuration of the coastline south of India since the last Ice Age. This study shows that about 14,500 years ago the sea level was lower by approximately 100 m than the present sea level. The land between the present coast and the bathymetric contour of 100 m roughly was the land that was exposed during that time.

In other words, hypothetically, if a 100 m column of sea water were to be removed, the land that went under water would be exposed. At that time the present Gulf of Mannar was a landmass of 36,000 sq. km connecting Sri Lanka with peninsular India and the coast was wider by about 80 km to the east, south and west of present-day Cape Comorin exposing a triangular mass of 6,500 sq. km adjoining the Cape. The coastline was 25-35 km wider than the present near Cuddalore and about 25 km wider near Colombo.


Global warming

The increased rate of global warming between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago saw the sea level rise almost 50 m, inundating low-lying lands and covering a major part of the exposed continental shelf. About 10,000 years ago, the sea level was about 50 m lower than the present sea level. At that time, the land extended about 25 km south of the Cape and the coast was about 40 km broader than the present coastline along the east and the west, which exposed about 1,000 sq km of land near Cape Comorin. Rameswaram and Mannar were joined by land and the land that extended in the present-day Gulf of Mannar was a 2,500-sq km stretch marked by sedimentary formations and coral reefs.



BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

AN INUNDATION MAP by S.C. Jayakaran. He prepared the map on the basis of bathymetric contours and the sea-level curve for the central west coast to work out the configuration of the coastline south of India since the last Ice Age. It shows that about 14,500 years ago the sea level was lower by about 100 m than the present. The land between the coast now and the bathymetric contour of 100 m was the land that was exposed then.


As the research of Rajiv Nigam indicated, sea levels continued to rise and reached the present level around 6,000 years ago. This is about the time Sri Lanka evolved as an island. Between 4,000 and 3,500 years ago, heavy rains, in addition to melting of snow, also contributed to the sea level rise. It rose by a couple of metres and fell to the present level about 2,000 years ago.

It is scientifically uncontested that the earliest Homo sapiens developed in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago and migrated to Europe and Asia. Genetic evidence and fossil records of early human beings indicate that they came out of Africa as early as 100,000 to 60,000 years ago. Their descendants migrated to the Far East, probably along the coastal areas adjacent to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal around the Indian peninsula, Sri Lanka and then north into China and south into Sumatra.

As the sea levels rose, resulting in periodic flooding and deluges, prehistoric settlements that were located in the low-lying coastal lands and the exposed continental shelf were inundated. The people who lived in the coastal area of the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka and who escaped the deluges perpetuated the oral tradition of a lost land. It is my considered opinion that it is this development that gave rise to the legend of Kumari kandam.



Also read:


(1)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/50051

Aug 2, 2010


Google's map of India's continental shelf : Kumari Kandam?

QUOTE


1. The Google map could now be reached by clicking on the followiing link:

http://tinyurl.com/2c44q8z




3. Let's not overlook the fact that there was a submergence of a major sea port and city, Puumbukaar (or kaavEripuumpaddinam), barely 2,000 years ago:

http://drs.nio.org/drs/bitstream/2264/1161/2/INCHOE_Proc_2004_2_820.pdf

SUBMERGENCE OF POOMPUHAR - STUDY BASED ON UNDERWATER EXPLORATION AND COASTAL PROCESSES
The city could not have been simply washed away from land far out into the sea by some tsunami. That the city was submerged must mean that there was a significant rise in sea level (in that local region, and not globally) and/or subsidence of land. This occurred not some 18,000 years ago, but around the beginning of the Common Era (CE), barely 2000 years ago.


4. Now going back to the Google map referred to in (1) above:

What is now regarded as continental shelf, would have been land sometime in the past. Beyond the continental shelf is the continental slope before the plunge to the ocean bed. Even if the land corresponding to the shelf were no larger than it is today, it is still a sizeable area. Taken as 100km by 100km, it is an area of 10,000 sq km. Much larger than the areas covered by the Egyptian and Sumerian civilzations (?)


UNQUOTE



(2)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/43198

Aug 23, 2009



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/21999
Mar 15, 2006


mEl or mElai (west) and kIzh or kIzhai (east)


QUOTE

2. In fact, I recall reading - some time ago - an explanation for the Tamil words for the directions of East (kizhakku) and West (maeRkku). It also common to say kIzh-thisai (East) and maEl-thisai (West). These literally mean referring to the East as the 'descending direction' and the West as the 'ascending direction'. The explanation is based on the landscape of the submerged continent of Lemuria or Kumari Kandam. It is said that towards the East the land was low lying, whilst it was high rising (e.g. ridges) towards the West......

UNQUOTE


The scholars concerned believe that the Western Ghats had extended further south into Kumari.

The following post indicates how science may help shine light into old myths of the great floods, particularly relevant here because the first two Tamil Academies (Sangams) were ended by such floods:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/26925

Comet crash & mega-tsunami of Indian Ocean : Kumari Kandam ?

The New York Times

November 14, 2006
Ancient Crash, Epic Wave
By SANDRA BLAKESLEE

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/scienc...and&emc=rss

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/54198

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#1499 - March 08, 2012 02:43 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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The Shipping Technology of Cholas

[url= http://www.sangam.org/2007/10/Shipping.php][/url]

Chola Navy

[url= http://www.enotes.com/topic/Chola_Navy][/url]


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#1502 - April 04, 2012 05:43 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Dvaraka, Kumari Kandam, Dhola Vira

[url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQZFS9Hij0M]

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#1504 - May 13, 2012 11:34 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Challenges to caste system among medieval Tamils

Of the 58,800, recorded inscriptions in Indian languages, 44,000 are in South Indian Dravidian languages, and 28,000 are in Tamil alone, Karashima said in pointing out how there is ample scope in Tamil for a statistical study to bring in reliable information and perspective.

Karashima was steadily working on statistical data of Tamil inscriptions ever since his publication A Concordance of Names in Chola Inscriptions, compiled along with Subbarayalu and Matsui was published in 1978.

Through his analysis, Karashima has also shown how there were challenges against the Brahmanical order of caste hierarchy in the Tamil country.

Behind the formation of i&#7693;a&#7749;gai/ vala&#7749;gai [Idang-kai/ Valang-kai] groups in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we may perceive the challenging idea, that the people conceived of, namely, changing the caste system which was made hierarchically based on the Brahmanical ideology, by bifurcating the jati groups horizontally into i&#7693;a&#7749;gai [Idang-kai] (left hand) and vala&#7749;gai [Valang-kai] (right hand), he argued in his paper.

There seems to have been an aspiration among the people who founded i&#7693;a&#7749;gai/ vala&#7749;gai [Idang-kai/ Valang-kai] organizations towards an egalitarian society and this is something new to South Indian medieval society, he further said.

Idang-kai and Valang-kai were umbrella social organisations that gave new horizontal identity to various communities of vertical hierarchy in the Brahmanical order.

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=35174

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Edited by webmaster (May 13, 2012 11:35 AM)

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#1506 - September 04, 2012 03:40 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Chola Navy and Marine Corps

http://claws.in/index.php?action=master&task=1205&u_id=183

Prakash Katoch


Did ancient India have a Marine Corps? Yes, it did. Considering that aircraft and helicopters were not on the scene in medieval India other than in epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat, the Navy or rather Naval Infantry of the Chola Empire could well be classified as the Marine Corps of that period. Historical records actually mention of Chola Navy having a core of Marines including trained saboteurs who were trained pearl-fishermen employed for diving and disabling enemy vessels by destroying / damaging the rudder. The Imperial navy of medieval Cholas was composed of a multitude of forces in its command. In addition to the regular navy, there were many auxiliary forces that could be used in naval combat. Chola Navy had the capacity to establish beachheads and or reinforce the Army when required. Expeditionary voyages of the Chola Navy were accompanied with other naval arms of ancient India. Chola Navy played a vital role in the conquest of then Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Bengal and present day Indonesia. The array of Hindu temples built in South East Asia stand witness to exploits of the Chola Navy.

As per recorded history, Chola Admirals commanded much respect and prestige in the society, even acting as diplomats in some instances. From 900 CE to 1100 CE, the Chola Navy had grown from a small backwater entity to that of a potent power projection and diplomatic symbol in all of Asia. The early Chola naval ships are known to have rudimentary flame-throwers and catapult type weapons but at the height of power of the Chola Dynasty (985-1014 CE) the Cholas incorporated foreigners, mainly Arabs and Chinese, in their naval ship building program and developed modern combat ships of that era that gave them blue water capability. What is more significant is the organization and classic employment of Naval Infantry in Chola conquests in foreign lands. Chola Navy was thus effectively employed for securing beachheads, against sea pirates, protection of SLOCs, trade commerce and diplomacy, extending Chola influence to China and Southeast Asia. The Tang dynasty of China, the Srivijaya Empire in the Malayan archipelago (now Indonesia) and the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad were their main trading partners.

The author is a veteran Lieutenant General of the Indian Army

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#1549 - January 06, 2014 09:28 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Chronology and the Upanishads Koenraad Elst

The first six or so of the Upanishads easily predate the Buddha.

[url=http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/chronology-and-the-upanishads-koenraad-elst/]

Editor's Note: the Mahabharata event is mythology and did not take place anytime in history. The Mb dating places the Mb event millions of years ago during the Dvapara yuga when Australopithecus were walking on earth and the Homo genus had not yet branched.
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Edited by webmaster (January 06, 2014 09:30 AM)

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#1552 - March 04, 2014 10:10 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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#1557 - September 01, 2014 04:12 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Tamil Nadu had elected judiciary 1,200 years ago

Tamil Nadu had an elected judiciary more than 1,200 years ago, with rules stipulating that the judges should have sterling character (su vrittaraiai iruppar), should have passed examinations in legal treatises (Dharma Sastras), should rely only on written evidence (lekhya pramanas) and so on. This is borne out by two inscriptions in Tamil found at the Sri Ambalavana Swamy temple at Manur near Tirunelveli, and the Sri Bakthavatsala Perumal temple at Tiruninravur, 30 km from Chennai.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ta...e?homepage=true

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#1560 - April 10, 2015 01:33 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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When Hindus ate beef, India was NEVER conquered

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/when-hindus-ate-beef-india-was-never-conquered/20150324.htm


When Hindus ate beef, India was NEVER conquered
March 24, 2015 11:06 IST

'There is a remarkable link between the eating of beef (or at the very least, tolerating the eating of beef) and India being a superpower.'

'In India, whenever an empire was strong, religion took a back seat.'

'Alternatively, whenever religion asserted itself, the main empire of India crumbled...'

'By seeking to ban beef in every state that it rules, the BJP may well be taking India on the route to becoming a weakling,' warns Amberish K Diwanji.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Maharashtra has chosen to ban beef derived from oxen.

Many are up in arms against the move, saying it is aimed at harassing the Muslims and Christians, in particular, and against all non-vegetarians in general (including Hindus) since the cost of other meat will go up with the non-availability of beef in the market. Similar steps have been taken by BJP governments in other states.

For the BJP, banning the slaughter of bulls and oxen (the killing of cows was banned decades ago by the Congress) is part of its aim to assert the nation's Hindu identity.

The Mauryan Empire at its zenith.

But the BJP also styles itself as a nationalist government committed to turning India into a superpower. It often recalls a glorious Hindu past, harking back to the likes of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Chandragupta and Samudragupta, and Harshvardhan. This was in the millennium before Muslims hordes entered India (though Arabs had captured Sind in the 8th century).

The problem is that there is a remarkable link between the eating of beef (or at the very least, tolerating the eating of beef) and India being a superpower. Put another way: In India, whenever an empire was strong, religion took a back seat.

Alternatively, whenever religion asserted itself, the main empire of India crumbled and was soon destroyed by another power, either from within India or from outside India.

Today, by seeking to ban beef in every state that it rules and across India, the BJP may well be taking India on the route to becoming a weakling.

In ancient India, killing and consuming animals was part and parcel of life of all. Hindus then were overwhelmingly non-vegetarian. There are historians who have pointed out that back then Hindus ate beef. And back then, India was never conquered. Never!

Even the mighty Alexander (hailed as 'the Great' by Western historians) merely conquered the Punjab; his troops, fearful of facing the might of Magadha, preferred to return home. It was a Russian historian or military officer (regretfully I can't recall his name) who pointed out that rather than mutiny, as claimed by Western historians, Alexander's troops might have simply refused to fight Magadha after the bruising victory over Porus. The homesickness myth was merely created to explain away this embarrassing retreat across the Indus.

The Magadha Empire was followed by the Gupta Empire, and later that of Harshvardhan, all before or during the first millennium of the Common Era (CE), a time when, historians tell us, Hindus ate not just meat but also beef. Meat eating then was common practice (and caste was based on profession, not birth).

The very fact that Buddhism, which was born and blossomed in north India circa 200-300 BCE (Before CE), places absolutely no restriction on eating beef shows that back then, there was no restriction on eating beef among the Hindus, which practice Buddhism followed.

By contrast, Sikhism, born more than 1,500 years later in northwest India, accepted the then prevailing practice of not consuming beef (even as Sikhs devour other meat).

In contrast, Jainism, born around the same time as Buddhism, banned the killing of all animals, thus forever restricting itself to a narrow fringe of followers such as traders.

The Chola Empire at its zenith. (see link)

But do note, when consuming meat and beef was common practice, it was Hindu emperors who ruled over this huge subcontinent. Similarly, at the cusp of the first and second millennia CE, the Chola Empire, with meat-eating kings and soldiers, achieved unmatched glory in creating a maritime empire as far as Indonesia.

A later legatee of this empire, a Hindu based in Southeast Asia, would create the world's largest temple in faraway Angkor Wat of Kampuchea (Cambodia).

Towards the end of the first millennium CE, some changes took place in India. Buddhism waned and Hinduism, with a system of caste based on birth, reasserted itself. The revival was led by Adi Sankaracharya. Somewhere around this time, some castes chose to distinguish themselves from the Hindu masses by resorting to vegetarianism.

Brahmins, who had overcome the challenge of Buddhism, increasingly became vegetarian, along with the Banias (who were strongly influenced by the Jains). Why this happened is not yet very clear.

Simultaneously, there was born the ridiculous myth of vegetarian diet being 'superior' to the non-vegetarian diet, if only to help the Brahmin assert his own superiority over the other castes.

Now the coincidence: As vegetarianism spread among the influential sections of the Hindus, they suffered repeated defeats. Through the second millennium CE, Hindus would never rule over the larger part of India (till 1947), and would be subjugated to empires that were created by Turks, Afghans, Mughals, Portuguese, and lastly the British.
New History: Earliest Times To Present Day (General) Books
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All of them meat eaters, all of them beef eaters. The only Hindus who came close to ruling India were the Marathas (who love their mutton!).

A professor of comparative religions, Arvind Sharma, has argued that Hindus turning away from beef actually happened after Hindus lost political power to the Muslims. Not killing the cow became a mark of identity and faith.

The theory is that Hindus stopped eating beef as a cultural assertion and reaction to the presence of Muslims in their midst, similar to Brahmins turning completely vegetarian to stand out among fellow Hindus.

There is merit in this argument: One tends to assert one's identity when feeling threatened. Just see how Indians abroad behave!

The rise and fall of empires is much more than just diet. When a Rajput defeated a fellow Rajput, they both shared similar diets, as did the different Muslims kings who fought each other (Turks, Afghans, Mughals), and later when the Portuguese and British faced each other.

Many, many factors go into the rise and fall of empires (it is an entire subject by itself). The better known reasons include politics, population, economic power, and military prowess.

There are also other reasons such as the role of religion (usually negative), social factors, and technological advancement (which, in itself, is a reflection of society).

But what is undeniable about the history of India is that those who ruled India for most of the first and second millennia, regardless of religion, ate meat. And beef. Let us ponder that thought as we go about banning various forms of beef.

Yet, eating or not eating beef is not really the issue. It is merely a reflection of the tolerance that the ruling class shows for the people and their faiths. What is undeniable in India is the inverse link between a strong State and secularism (howsoever defined).

In India, whenever religion has asserted itself, the State (empire or kingdom) has crumbled (sooner or later).

Alternatively, whenever a ruler kept religion (and religious practices howsoever important for the followers of that faith) at bay, that kingdom became an empire, and the empire in turn prospered.

Thus, Asoka's turn to Buddhism led to his empire ending within years of his demise. Akbar's secularism saw him create a strong Mughal empire, one of the mightiest in the world then (exactly what we aspire for India today), but with a few decades of his death, Aurangzeb's religious policies saw the Mughal empire crumble from within.

Less well known is that the Peshwas's increased religiosity is probably what stopped the Marathas from replacing the Mughals.

For instance, before the Third Battle of Panipat, the Marathas had in tow some 30,000 pilgrims keen to visit the temple towns of north India. Pilgrims accompanying an army! Then, when cholera broke out in the enemy camp and the best strategy would have been to attack (in the December 1760-January 1761 period), religious considerations about an auspicious time meant the Marathas waited till the day of Makar Sankranti.

How can religion decide battle tactics? A far cry from the time when Shivaji decided his battle plans based on intelligence, not religion. The Portuguese failed to build an empire because they were too busy converting people to Christianity, and turning the general public against them.

By contrast, the East India Company kept religion at bay even as its plunder activities turned to empire building.

In that context, the increasing Hinduisation of India, the determination of some politicians to assert the Hindu religion within India, is the recipe for the weakening of India. If that should happen it is just a matter of time before India weakens internally.

THE EXAMPLE OF GUJARAT

Gujaratis are perceived as being overwhelmingly vegetarian. They are not; but the dominant castes, such as the Jains, Banias, Brahmins, and Patidars are vegetarian. When under British rule, as the trading class of Gujaratis (vegetarian) set up trading post across India and the world, they gave the impression of a vegetarian Gujarat.

M K Gandhi, a Modh Bania, and Vallabhbhai Patel, a Patidar, further cemented the notion of Gujaratis as vegetarian. It is true that many Gujaratis are vegetarian. But not all! And no one can deny that Gujaratis are one of India's most successful communities in the commercial world.

While the Gujaratis's commercial success is undeniable, their military history is marked with failure. Gujarat (or what is now Gujarat) is one of India's most conquered states, having come under the Rajputs, Turks, Afghans, Mughals, Marathas, and finally the British. Excluding the British, the others over time became a part of the state.

While Gujarati society makes a virtue of being vegetarian, it has not helped fend off invaders.

There is nothing wrong in being vegetarian. It is every person's personal choice. There is, however, everything wrong in believing, and propagating, howsoever latently, the notion that vegetarian societies or people are superior. Or that a country is better for it.

The history of India, and Gujarat, shows that those not tolerating beef or meat, sooner or later, come under the rule of invaders. Let those who seek to ban beef realise that behind great powers have been meat consumers.


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#1568 - May 28, 2016 05:13 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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African slaves, warriors and rulers in India

http://indianexpress.com/article/researc...oose-to-forget/



African rulers of India: That part of our history we choose to forget

The elite status of the African slaves in India ensured that a number of them had access to political authority and secrets which they could make use of to become rulers in their own right, reigning over parts of India.

adrija-roy
Adrija Roychowdhury
Updated: May 28, 2016 6:16 am
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When your family has been ruling for hundreds of years, people still call you by the title of Nawab, says Nawab Reza Khan, tenth Nawab of Sachin as he traces his familys regal history. Reza Khan currently works as a lawyer and lives in the city of Sachin in Gujarat. He says his ancestors came from Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia in East Africa) as part of the forces of Babur. Eventually, they conquered the fort at Janjira and later occupied Sachin and ruled over their own kingdoms.

The Nawab of Sachin is a personified remnant of a glorious African past in India. Africans have, for centuries been a part of Indian society. While the slave trade from Africa to America and Europe is well documented, the eastward movement of African slaves to India has been left unexplored.

The systematic transportation of African slaves to India started with the Arabs and Ottomans and later by the Portuguese and the Dutch in the sixteenth -seventeenth centuries. Concrete evidence of African slavery is available from the twelfth-thrirteenth centuries, when a significant portion of the Indian subcontinent was being ruled by Muslims.

There is, however, a major difference between African slavery in America and Europe and that in India. There was far greater social mobility for Africans in India. In India, they rose along the social ladder to become nobles, rulers or merchants in their own capacities. In Europe and America, Africans were brought in as slaves for plantation and industry labour. In India on the other hand, African slaves were brought in to serve as military power, says Dr Suresh Kumar, Professor of African studies in Delhi University.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Nawab Ibrahim Mohammad Yakut Khan II of Sachin (1833-1873) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

These were elite military slaves, who served purely political tasks for their owners. They were expensive slaves, valued for their physical strength. The elite status of the African slaves in India ensured that a number of them had access to political authority and secrets which they could make use of to become rulers in their own right, reigning over parts of India. They came to be known by the name of Siddis or Habshis (Ethiopians or Abyssinians). The term Siddi is derived from North Africa, where it was used as a term of respect.

The Nawab of Sachin and Janjira

The political power acquired by Africans in the Deccan, in particular in Janjira and Sachin, is best demonstrated in a painting by Abul Hasan, that depicts Emperor Jahangir taking aim at the head of the African slave Malik Ambar. The political career of Malik Ambar can be traced back to a time when he was known as Chapu. He was initially bought as a slave in Ethiopia by an Arab merchant. Later, after being resold a number of times, he somehow landed in the court of Ahmadnagar as one among the hundreds of Habshi military slaves there.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Jahangir Shooting Malik Ambar through the head, painting by Abul Hasan; Circa. 1616

By the mid-sixteenth century, the Mughals had increased their appetite for the South and were aggressively trying to encroach upon the Nizam Shahi dynasty that ruled much of Deccan. In 1600 AD, the Ahmadnagar fort finally fell into the hands of the Mughals. However, the presence of the Mughals in the Deccan was still limited and Ahmadnagars surrounding countryside still lay with the troops deployed by the Nizam Shahi state of which Malik Ambar was a part.

It was during this period that the African slave grew to be a political game changer. Commanding a troop of 3000 cavalrymen, he proved to be a major obstacle to the Mughals appetite for the Deccan. The painting by Abul Hasan is testimony to what a nuisance the Ethiopian soldier had become to the Mughals.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Left: Nawab Haider Yakut Mohommad Khan of Sachin (1930-1947) Right: Nawab Ahmad Khan of Janjira ( 1879-1922) {Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins}

Malik Ambar constructed a fort at Janzira, located in the Konkan coast, by the end of the sixteenth century. It still stands intact, currently under protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). At Janjira, the Africans developed their own kingdom (with their own cavalry, coat of arms and currency) which the Mughals and Marathas failed to occupy despite repeated attacks. Later, the African rulers of Janjira went on to occupy another fort at Sachin in modern day Gujarat. The present Nawab of Sachin, Reza Khan says the title of Nawab was given to our ancestors by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, since they had not allowed his competitor Shivaji to occupy the Janjira fort.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Court of Arms stamp in Janjira (Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins)

The Habshi Sultans of Bengal

A large number of royal coins found in Bengal tells the story of a time when the region was ruled by Africans who had been originally brought as slaves. Much of Bengal, in the thirteenth century was being ruled by the Muslim Sultans of Delhi. The Bengal Sultanate was established by Shams al-Din Ilyas Shah in 1352. Historian Stan Gordon has recorded that during this period a large number of Abyssinian (inhabitants of Ethiopia in East Africa) slaves had been recruited in the army of the Bengal Sultans. They did not just work in the army, but also rose to get involved in major administrative tasks such as act as court magistrates, collecting tolls and taxes and involved in services of law enforcement.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Habshi coins from the fifteenth century excavated in Bengal (Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins)

Eventually, the Abyssinians in the army managed to seize power from the Sultans under the leadership of Barbak Shahzada, and conquered the throne of the Bengal Sultanate. Barbak Shahzada laid the foundation stone of the Habshi dynasty in Bengal in 1487, and became its first ruler under the name of Ghiyath-al-Din Firuz Shah.

Ghiyath-al-Din was followed by three other Abyssinian rulers. His successor, Saif al-Din Firuz is considered the best of the Habshi rulers. He is said to have been a brave and just king, benevolent to the poor and needy, and a patron of art and architecture, says Stan Gordon. Firuz is believed to have patronised the building of a number of religious and secular structures. Most well known among these is the Firuz Minar at Gaur which still stands tall, in a good state of preservation. The Firuz Minar is often compared to the Qutub Minar in Delhi, both in appearance and also in its significance of a victory tower.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Firuz Minar located in Gaur (Source: Wikimedia commons)

The Habshi rule of Bengal was very brief and came to an end in 1493 AD, when Sayyid Husain Sharif Makki seized the throne and founded the Husaini dynasty.

Sidi Masood of Adoni

Adoni is situated in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. In the fifteenth century it was part of the Vijayanagar empire. With the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the city came in the hands of the Bijapur Sultanate. As part of the Bijapur Sultanate, Adoni got one of its most important governors by the name of Siddi Masood Khan. Masood was a wealthy merchant from Abyssinia.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Shahi Jamia Masjid at Adoni was constructed by Sidi Masood Khan. (Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins)

Siddi Masood was the vizier of Bijapur and was virtually the ruler of Adoni. He improved upon the Adoni fort and also built the Shahi Jamia Masjid. Apart from architectural constructions, he is known to have patronised a sizeable number of paintings under his reign. It is possible that he also founded the school of painting at Adoni, which is a variant of the Bijapuri style.

The Abyssinian rulers reign at Adoni came to an end when Aurangzeb captured Bijapur in 1686. Records suggest that a dramatic fight took place on the banks of the mosque built by Siddi Masood, following which he surrendered since the mosque was very dear to him. Aurangzeb appointed Ghazi ud-din Khan as governor of Adoni, replacing Siddi Masood.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Sidi Masood improved upon the Adoni fort. (Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins)

Apart from the above rulers, historians are still trying to recover more about African elites in the past. It is possible that the first ruler of the Sharqui dynasty in Jaunpur in the fourteenth century was an Abyssinian. African rulership was perhaps also a part of Sinds history. However, not enough documentary evidence has been unearthed to make these claims.

Presence of Siddis in Contemporary India

Today, approximately 20,000 to 50,000 Siddis are residing in India and Pakistan, with the majority concentrated in Karnataka, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Makaran and Karachi. In contrast to their part of royal privileges, most of them live in conditions of abject poverty.
Africans, Africans in India, racism in India, African rulers, African history, African slaves, African slaves in India, Janjira, Sachin, Nawab of Janjira, Nawab of Sachin, African elites in India, African elites, Habshis, Siddis, Siddis in India, Habshis in India, Malik Ambar, Habshis of Bengal, Sidi Masood Adoni, Kenneth Robbins, express research Today, approximately 20,000 to 50,000 Siddis are residing in India and Pakistan, with the majority concentrated in Karnataka, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Makaran and Karachi. (Source: Express Archives)

Anthropologist Kiran Kamal has been working on the Siddi presence in India for the past couple of decades. He lived amongst a group of them in Mundgod Taluk (Karnataka) for a year. They live in dense forest areas, literally cut off from everyone. says Kamal. He observed the way Siddis interacted with people in a market place and says that they would always maintain a distance. There is a strong fear of Non-African Indians. Indians also have a very disrespectful attitude towards them, despite using them for all the hard labour.

Poverty, lack of access to education and racism are some of the reasons why the Siddis live in solitude today. They did not even know they originated from Africa, says Kamal. On being asked about how an awareness of their history might help them, Kiran Kamal says that, it does help in spurring a motivation from within. But substantially it does not have much value. What is mainly required is that all the Siddis come up socioeconomically and are well integrated into the larger society.

Dr. Kenneth Robbins, author of African elites in India, is of the opinion that it is necessary to shed light on the ruling status of Africans in India. The purpose is to see India in a different light, to understand social mobility in India. It is important for Indians to take note of the place that Africans had at one point secured in the country.

A major difference in the history of African presence in the rest of the world and that in India is that racial discrimination was not a feature. Nowhere else in the world had they ruled. However, I do not know why, this part of their history has been ignored, says Dr. Suresh Kumar. He goes on to explain that the elite history of Africans in India is particularly significant in todays times considering that instances of racial prejudices keep occurring in various parts of the country.




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#1569 - June 02, 2016 04:29 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Indus era 8,000 years old, not 5,500; ended because of weaker monsoon

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india...ow/52485332.cms

KOLKATA: It may be time to rewrite history textbooks. Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have uncovered evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization is at least 8,000 years old, and not 5,500 years old, taking root well before the Egyptian (7000BC to 3000BC) and Mesopotamian (6500BC to 3100BC) civilizations. What's more, the researchers have found evidence of a pre-Harappan civilization that existed for at least 1,000 years before this.

The discovery, published in the prestigious 'Nature' journal on May 25, may force a global rethink on the timelines of the so-called 'cradles of civilization'. The scientists believe they also know why the civilization ended about 3,000 years ago climate change.

"We have recovered perhaps the oldest pottery from the civilization. We used a technique called 'optically stimulated luminescence' to date pottery shards of the Early Mature Harappan time to nearly 6,000 years ago and the cultural levels of pre-Harappan Hakra phase as far back as 8,000 years," said Anindya Sarkar, head of the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kgp.

The team had actually set out to prove that the civilization proliferated to other Indian sites like Bhirrana and Rakhigarrhi in Haryana, apart from the known locations of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan and Lothal, Dholavira and Kalibangan in India. They took their dig to an unexplored site, Bhirrana and ended up unearthing something much bigger. The excavation also yielded large quantities of animal remains like bones, teeth, horn cores of cow, goat, deer and antelope, which were put through Carbon 14 analysis to decipher antiquity and the climatic conditions in which the civilization flourished, said Arati Deshpande Mukherjee of Deccan College, which helped analyse the finds along with Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.

The researchers believe that the Indus Valley Civilization spread over a vast expanse of India stretching to the banks of the now "lost" Saraswati river or the Ghaggar-Hakra river - but this has not been studied enough because what we know so far is based on British excavations. "At the excavation sites, we saw preservation of all cultural levels right from the pre-Indus Valley Civilization phase (9000-8000 BC) through what we have categorised as Early Harappan (8000-7000BC) to the Mature Harappan times," said Sarkar.

While the earlier phases were represented by pastoral and early village farming communities, the mature Harappan settlements were highly urbanised with organised cities, and a much developed material and craft culture. They also had regular trade with Arabia and Mesopotamia. The Late Harappan phase witnessed large-scale de-urbanisation, drop in population, abandonment of established settlements, lack of basic amenities, violence and even the disappearance of the Harappan script, the researchers say.

"We analysed the oxygen isotope composition in the bone and tooth phosphates of these remains to unravel the climate pattern. The oxygen isotope in mammal bones and teeth preserve the signature of ancient meteoric water and in turn the intensity of monsoon rainfall. Our study shows that the pre-Harappan humans started inhabiting this area along the Ghaggar-Hakra rivers in a climate that was favourable for human settlement and agriculture. The monsoon was much stronger between 9000 years and 7000 years from now and probably fed these rivers making them mightier with vast floodplains," explained Deshpande Mukherjee.

Indus Valley evolved even as monsoon declined

They took their dig to an unexplored site, Bhirrana and ended up unearthing something much bigger. The excavation also yielded large quantities of animal remains like bones, teeth, horn cores of cow, goat, deer and antelope, which were put through Carbon 14 analysis to decipher antiquity and the climatic conditions in which the civilization flourished, said Arati Deshpande Mukherjee of Deccan College, which helped analyse the finds along with Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.


The researchers believe that the Indus Valley Civilization spread over a vast expanse of India stretching to the banks of the now "lost" Saraswati river or the Ghaggar-Hakra river but this has not been studied enough because what we know so far is based on British excavations. "At the excavation sites, we saw preservation of all cultural levels right from the pre-Indus Valley Civilisation phase (9,000-8,000 years ago) through what we have categorised as Early Harappan (8,000-7,000 years ago) to the Mature Harappan times," said Sarkar.

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At 8000 years, Indus Valley civilization is now officially the world''s oldest civilization! That now proves to the world that we Indians are actually the pioneers of civilization in human history!!Tarun

The late Harappan phase witnessed large-scale de-urbanisation, drop in population, abandonment of established settlements, violence and even the disappearance of the Harappan script, the researchers say. The study revealed that monsoon started weakening 7,000 years ago but, surprisingly, the civilization did not disappear.


The Indus Valley people were very resolute and flexible and continued to evolve even in the face of declining monsoon. The people shifted their crop patterns from large-grained cereals like wheat and barley during the early part of intensified monsoon to drought-resistant species like rice in the latter part. As the yield diminished, the organised large storage system of the Mature Harappan period gave way to more individual household-based crop processing and storage systems that acted as a catalyst for the de-urbanisation of the civilization rather than an abrupt collapse, they say.


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#1572 - January 11, 2017 01:46 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent [Re: webmaster]
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Sanskrit is Tamil and NOT Indo-European


http://drkloganathan.blogspot.my/2016/12/sanskrit-is-tamil-and-not-indo-european.html

The colonial construction of Aryan Invasion Theory where it also talked of Dravidian folks, identified as the Dashus of Rig Veda, who were conquered by the invading Aryans and pushed to the South and forth, was based on the wrong classification of Sanskrit as Indo-European allied to the Greek, Latin and such other European languages.

What I challenged is this basic assumption, by denying it and claiming that Sanskrit, seen as a variant of SumeruTamil is also Dravidian as much as Tamil and so many other Indian languages. I also claimed the same goes for Pali and hence suggested that possibly all Indian languages are Tamil in essence and hence the construct of Indo-European or Indo-Aryan family of languages quite vacuous,

Here what I want to describe is the story behind it all, on how I came to this conclusion that goes counter to the widespread view of the Indologists both European and Indian that led to the marginalization of the Tamil contributions in shaping the essences of Indian languages and culture with disastrous political repercussions as well.

Now when I started my SumeruTamil studies in the seventies, I became aware of the fact that many Sumerian words are better retained in Sanskrit than in C.Tamil. A good example is Su.merian ji; meaning life, soul etc and which is Sanskrit jiwa rendered ciivan in Tamil. I also noticed that many words actually Pure Tamil are wrongly attributed to Sanskrit even by Tamil scholars.

A good example of such words is karma where it is derived from the Sumerian root garu: to set up, to do etc. This word that is philosophically so important and present in almost all Indian languages is actually ultimately SumeruTamil.

Such observations made think of a common origin for both C.Tamil and Sanskrit where later I also included Pali.


The Early Sanskrit Texts I Studied


Even as a young man in the sixties, still an undergraduate student, over and above my mathematical courses, I also attended philosophy course which the university ( University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand) allowed.

The course was mainly on Western philosophies and in order to compare them I also collected books on Indian philosophies which included the Ten Upanishads translated and transliterated into English by Prof. S. Radhakrishnan himself. Later after returning to Malaysia I also collected many other texts in Sanskrit. Now it was in the eighties that I collected the Vedas specially the whole of Rig Veda, translated and transliterated into English by Swani Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidhyasankar and published by Veda Pratisthana, New Delhi.

Using these and many other texts including of course the quite easily available Bagavath Gita, I began, comparing the lexicon and grammar of Rigkrit and Sanskrit with SumeruTamil and convinced myself that there is a linkage but the nature of which I was not clear.

It was then that I had rudiments of Evolutionary Linguistics forming in my mind and on the basis of which I began to articulate that while C.Tamil is a direct evolute of SumeruTamil, Rigkirit is not so because such a direct recognizability was lacking. However I described the relationship that Rigkrit has SumeruTamil as its base language and where the original meanings of the Rig Veda slokas can be recovered only by recovering the SumeruTamil BASE.


The Publications

I did not rush into publications on this discovery and so far I have not published any major paper on this as I have dome on SumuruTamil. However having convinced myself over several years of thinking, I began publishing these findings only in the Cyber Space, around the year 2000 in the various egroups I created and had access to. This is how it stands to this day where I am in the hope of a future generation of Linguists will take up such studies and discover more and more of the linkages Sanskrit has with SumeruTamil.

I took Rig Veda as my source of Rigkrit and Bagath Gita as my source of Sanskrit language. I did not use many of the dictionaries as I wanted to analyse the whole sentences and not isolated words as available in the dictionaries. Consistent with the basic principles of Evolutionary Linguistics the basic unit of analysis is the sentence and not the words. In this way I also avoided the pitfalls of seeking the protoforms of Constructive Historical Linguistics of the West where they can easily construct protoforms by comparing a collection of similar etymas and claim language family identities. Taking the sentence as the basic unit of analysis, it was not necessary for me to construct protoforms and so forth. Having taken a sentence in Rig Veda or Bagavath Gita, what I did was to construct the Base Form and which is a sentence in SumeruTamil, possibly that by transforming which the sentences in Rig Veda and Bagavath Gita were produced.


Evolutionary Linguistics

I believe that Aurobindo initiated Evolutionary Linguistics where he does not talk of Protoforms but rather embryonic forms because he was quite unhappy with the quite unfounded claims of the Western scholars with their Constructive Historical linguistics where they can easily be mistaken about the root words. The protoforms are not the ROOTS and hence such studies cannot help out in identifying the language from which a certain word could have originated and spread through diffusion to many other languages.

I believe the enormous influence of Sumerian in the formation of ancient European languages and the fact that Rigkirit (Sanskrit) has SumeruTamil as its base language, may account for the lexical correspondences between these languages. They constructed the notion of Indo-European family of languages only because they failed to notice the COMMON origins of most of these words from Sumerian.

Thus the evolutionary view into Historical Linguistics and the common origin of both C.Tamil and Sanskrit explains why there are many similarities and parallels between both languages so much so that both can be said to be from the same family of languages viz, Tamil.



Prayoga Viveekam

It is here that I came across the 17th cent AD Pirayoga Viveekam in Tamil where the author takes up a comparative study of the grammatical features of both Tamil and Sanskrit and concludes that the differences are very little so much that in modern parlance both languages can be classified as belonging to the same family of languages, a concept that was not available at that time.


Loganathan @ Ullaganar

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