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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
Loc: KL
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






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

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

"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

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

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

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).]

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

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

The Magnitude of Muslim Atrocities
(Ghazanavi to Amir Timur)

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
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

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


[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.

#1128 - February 23, 2003 04:38 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
--- In IndianCivilization@y...,
kaushal42@n... wrote:

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.

see also Konraad Elst's book on Negationism in India, which is
available on-line

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

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.

". 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

"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.
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,
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

#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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

#1131 - July 03, 2003 08:32 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The Goan inquisition.

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

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).]

#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.


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.

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

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

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".

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

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
AmericasÖand also in
England and Ireland. In all these lands, Isvar was
the religion with
slight variations in the pronunciation of the word
IsvarÖ.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

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,
Öare 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
Afghanistan and
Northeastern Pakistan
(i.e. the
Khyber Pass).
According to Hindu
mythology, Kuvera and
God Shiva
lived in the totally
goldless, frigid, lofty,
bell-shaped or
pyramidical peak of
Kailasa in Western

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.

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

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
(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

The innocent Arizona aborigines
believed these Nagas
from Oudh, Afghanistan (part of
India until the late
1700s) were gods. They even named
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
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

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

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:
(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

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

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

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.

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

Francois Gautier  


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).]

#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.

#1136 - January 10, 2006 04:48 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
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

#1137 - April 14, 2006 05:30 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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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.

#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.

#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
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

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

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

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

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

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.

#1140 - June 13, 2006 04:50 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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Posts: 1030
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Concepts of Nationhood in Bharat

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"
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.

S. Palaniappan

#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.

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

#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 fĂŒr 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

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

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
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

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'

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

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
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.


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.


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.

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

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

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)

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

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.

Paul Kekai Manansala

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

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

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.

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

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 TamilsĂ­ having lived in an area where there was a desert closeby in the pre-Sangkam period of their past. The anthology called Ă«ahana:nu:ruĂ­ 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.”
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 AlliĂ­s marriage to Arjuna who is
also known by the name of 'Vijaya'.

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,

#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.

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

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

#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 wouldn’t 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 Asia’s 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 Mitha’s 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 wouldn’t 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

#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.

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

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

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..

Islam’s Other Victims: India

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

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 Thirukkâneeswaram. 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?


#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

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

> 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

>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

> 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)..


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

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!



#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

#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

Map of Chola Empire

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

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.

#1157 - August 31, 2007 11:41 AM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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The British Holocaust in India,,2155324,00.html

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

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

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.

#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.


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 Kuiper’s (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 Witzel’s 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).]

#1160 - October 22, 2007 02:48 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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(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:

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.

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

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:

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.

mandalam – mandala
mandagam / mandapam - mandapa

Some Tamil words are contracted in Sanskrit.

arundu – ad (to eat)
seviyuru – sru (to hear)

Some words have not changed in Sanskrit.

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.

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).

#1161 - October 22, 2007 02:57 PM Re: History of the Indian Subcontinent
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‘The Indian Theogony: Brahma, Visnu and Siva’ , Sukumari Bhattacharji, Penguin Books India 2000; first published by Cambridge University Press 1970

(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 Laban’s gods into Jacob’s 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 nation’s 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 man’s 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 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 Yaska’s 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 author’s 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.

#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
TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2004 (ID. 2004-05-01)

…… 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 Pillai versus Tilak
……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.

#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
Volume 24 - Issue 19 :: Sep. 22-Oct. 05, 2007

Setu formation : Detailed geological studies already done


Myth vs Science

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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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 Ram’s 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 government’s responses to the opposition to the project as well. They reflect obvious communal vote politics, meant not to lose Hindu votes. Following the Supreme Court’s 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 Centre’s 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 affidavit’s 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 “bridge’s 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 Rama’s 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. NASA’s 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 Parivar’s 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 GSI’s 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 Adam’s 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 GSI’s 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 Adam’s Bridge islands within India’s 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 Adam’s 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 India’s 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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s Bridge system, the latter has not revealed any evidence for basaltic basement, which results from volcanic mechanism.

Adam’s Bridge chain

The geological information on the Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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

Dredging work near Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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 Adam’s Bridge or Ram Sethu. It is this combined scientific evidence that the ASI submitted to the apex court, stating that “Adam’s 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 Adam’s 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.

#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-

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,

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

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

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.

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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