India Through Western Eyes

Note: This piece was published in the latest edition of the Oberoi magazine. The published piece contains a few edits. This one is the unedited version. Comments and criticism welcome as always.

India through Western Eyes

  

Heart rending stories of utter destitution inside a slum and/ or on the pavements? Check.

Soul crushing tales of a poor/oppressed AIDS or terminally ill patient? Check.

Tales of police brutality and/or bureaucratic corruption endured by a helpless person? Check.

An elaborate account of a superstitious ritual? Check.

An even more elaborate account of the caste system and present day caste wars? Check.

An exposition of the Hindu-Muslim conflict with mandatory mentions of the Babri Masjid demolition, and more recently the 2002 Gujarat riots? Check.

 

The last two items probably gave it away.

 

I’m talking about the typical themes that feature in a book written about India by Western writers. It’s as if these writers have an India-writing Template that they need to compulsorily adhere to. Of course, these aren’t the only themes but they occur in almost every such book. Other common themes include accounts about temples, different facets of medieval Indo-Islamic culture, contemporary politics, and rural India.

 

India’s embrace of globalisation has reawakened the West’s interest in India, and one major consequence has been an explosion of books about India written by Westerners to such an extent that it qualifies to be called a separate genre in itself. And almost without exception, every such book in this genre reflects the same biases, is uniformly superficial, is ignorant of history, and in some cases, openly dishonest. Equally, almost every writer declares either in the preface or the afterword that he or she dearly loves India. And so the questions persist: what kind of love compels them to regurgitate biases, reflect ignorance, and reinforce the image of India as a poor third world nation which seems to have nothing but endemic poverty, filth, squalor, superstition, oppression of Muslims, and the dreaded caste system? Is it that India has absolutely no redeeming features, not one positive whatsoever?

 

A sense of history is a very reliable guide to unravel seemingly complex issues of the present. And so when we trace the roots of the biases of today’s Westerners writing about India, it quickly becomes clear that they are colonial biases or extensions thereof. Add to this the heady mixture of Indian English journalists and academics explaining again, a colonial view of India to them, the bias comes a full, vicious self-reinforcing circle. For good measure there’s plenty of first person accounts these authors had with Indians from various walks of life in the course of their India-story hunting and in cases where  these accounts don’t serve as good demonstrations of their aforementioned love for India, they serve to reinforce those aforementioned biases.

 

We need to fast forward from the ancient Greeks to about 1600 when the Dutch first set foot on the Indian soil. The 17th thru early 19th centuries were truly heady times both for Europe and India. All of Europe wanted to trade with India, the land of opportunity, the place of plenty…every foreigner was a potential Indian Green Card aspirant. Fast forward slightly more. You had all manner of European travellers entering India–not entirely different from the Western writers on India today. And so–in no particular order–you had the French traveller cum doctor Bernier, his companion Tavernier who travelled in and wrote extensively on India during the later years of Shahjahan’s rule and during and after Aurangzeb’s reign. H.M. Eliott’s masterly “The History of India as told by her own Historians” was published in 1867 and counts as a definitive work. James Todd’s “Annals & Antiquities of Rajaputana,” published in 1920 is second to none in its scope and the vastness of its coverage. And so between when the Europeans discovered India and finally when the british left it, you had writing enough to fill a few mammoth libraries. No subject was spared by Westerners then interested in India: Warfare, politics, education, medicine, magic, religion, culture, Sanskrit, society, art, literature, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, grammar…

 

Early Western scholars who wrote on India were almost unanimous in declaring that India had touched the pinnacle in almost every sphere of human activity. Schopenhauer and Emerson swore by the Upanishads. And then the virus of racism made rapid and spectacular inroads everywhere including India. In an astonishingly swift period, those who had knocked on India’s doors as trader-supplicants suddenly realized that they were the world’s superior race because of their skin colour. Christian theology was recast as a tool to aid and abet colonialism.

 

The consequences of this for India were disastrous. Suddenly India was a land which only had a history of being conquered, had no original culture, was primitive and superstitious, was a society defined and divided by caste, had no literature, had not contributed anything to world civilisation…A new crop of colonial writers and officials emerged with the express purpose of “civilizing the natives.” They set about refashioning almost every aspect of India to suit the colonial project–it’s history, religions, society, education, and so on. Macaulay’s Policy on Indian education is perhaps the most representative of this project. It is this refashioned India that most of today’s Western writers rely upon as a foundation for understanding India. Add to this the Marxist takeover of Indian academia and media post-Independence, and we have a thoroughly distorted picture of the country.

 

As we see, this distortion is faithfully and confidently depicted in contemporary Western writing in the India genre. The most representative of this distortion is the hugely popular India-genre writer, William Dalrymple whom a magazine characterised as a “pompous arbiter of literary merit in India.” However, that’s the least of Dalrymple’s faults. In the garb of professing extreme love for India, Dalrymple has consistently repeated every colonial bias there is about India and has presented a one-sided, and in some cases, a distorted version of its history. His 1998 India travelogue, “The Age of Kali” is a stellar example of this.

 

His bias and/or flawed understanding shine through right on the 10th sentence of his preface. He misrepresents the goddess Parashakti as one “seated on a throne of five corpses.” And he repeats the same mistake in the chapter that deals with Parashakti. The accurate meaning translates to “She who is seated on a throne of the Spirit as in the spiritual.” And so it goes on, this string of ill-informed observations & deductions about ancient traditions, gods and goddesses. He simply can’t stop gushing about all those superstitious Indians thronging at the Madurai Meenakshi temple. Nor can he stop waxing repeatedly about the Goddess’ fertility and her powers of seducing her husband, Lord Shiva. Throughout, the undercurrent of Hindus-as-superstitious plays on like a broken chord. Now these temples, rituals and traditions date back to centuries and have solid philosophical and cultural foundations. It’s clear that Dalrymple has made no effort to learn them but then he doesn’t allow his ignorance to come in the way of his confident pontifications.

 

In another essay, he hunts down a poor woman, a victim of gang rape and manages to coax her story out. The point here is not about her heart rending story but the phenomenon of what’s called Misery Journalism which does precious little to alleviate the suffering of the victim but does wonders to the fame and wealth of Misery Journalists. And Dalrymple indulges in Misery Journalism not once but thrice in the same book!

 

And these misery tales quite obviously, have generous doses of caste, which according to Dalrymple is “central to Hindu philosophy.” Dalrymple needs to show us exactly ONE work of Hindu philosophy that discusses caste. There are works in other realms of Hinduism that talk about caste but caste has no place in the philosophical realm, which chiefly investigates impersonal and abstract concepts. And Dalrymple’s idea of caste emancipation is a covert approval of Lalu Yadav’s 15-year long goonda raj not to mention Mulayam Yadav’s equally brazen criminal enterprise masquerading as Government.

 

The book abounds with such serious factual inaccuracies made worse by not backing them up with even a shred of evidence. However, there’s something even worse than that: distorted history. For instance, on page 2, he claims that Buddhism was wiped out in India by what he calls “an aggressive Hinduism.” This isn’t new–Dalrymple flagrantly, uncritically regurgitates this Marxist lie. From Ambedkar to Rahula Sankrityayana, almost every scholar of integrity is agreed on the fact that it was the medieval Muslim invasions that extinguished Buddhism in India. Equally, he claims that over 200000 Muslims were killed by the Indian army when it liberated Hyderabad in 1948. As for evidence, he again provides none. He also glosses over the barbaric Portuguese Inquisition at Goa as if it were an event of no consequence. And then he shows himself to be quite a believer of the absurd when he parrots the lie about how “the miraculously undecayed body of St. Francis” was put on public display! This was proved to be a fake and reported in the media. One wonders why Dalrymple chose NOT to mention it.

 

And I’ve merely scratched the surface. Almost every other essay in “The Age of Kali” is guilty of factual errors or ill-informed assertions or historical distortions or unsubstantiated opinions. Dalrymple’s claim that his book is a “product of personal experience and direct observation” cannot be a justification to evade accountability for his cultural, factual and historical misdemeanours. In the end, one wonders why Dalrymple is unable to find a single positive aspect in this vast country; it appears as if he finds only filth wherever he travels.

 

What Dalrymple accomplishes in his travels throughout the subcontinent, Katherine Boo attempts in a slum in Mumbai in her singularly unreadable “Beyond the Beautiful Forevers.” It appears as if Katherine Boo is William Dalrymple on acid.

 

And fails utterly miserably.

 

You name the cliché about India, you find it in almost every other sentence here. Caste, Hindu-Muslim strife, the poor, the downtrodden, the beggars, hijras, the lame, the terminally ill, the filthy slums, the corrupt & brutal cops, Old vs New India, venal politicians…all in this Mumbai slum, which Boo likens to a microcosm of India…by the time you reach page 9, you know the book has already gone to hell. Because by then Boo’s conscious attempt wrangle tears out from the reader–with elaborate descriptions of human misery & suffering–stares you in the face. Oh it also contains such gems as “Officer Fish Lips,” her attempt at employing sarcastic humor in describing a Police officer. There’s also a One Leg.

 

But she’s relentless in her ruthless quest of mining the worst of the worst from this Mumbai slum named Annawadi. Never mind the fact that this slum came up by illegally encroaching Government land—a crucial point, which she tries to gloss over as a minor factual irritant. Boo also takes inspiration from 70s Bollywood when she writes that “to be poor…was to be guilty of one thing or another,” a straight lift from the popular dialogue, “is desh mein gareeb hona gunaah hai.”

 

At the end of more than 250 pages of this kind of stuff, you want to jump from the nearest building. Like I said, Misery Journalism is pretty rewarding. Boo’s book won the National Book Award in the US for 2012.

 

And then we have Patrick French, the poor India-genre cousin of Dalrymple who wrote “India, a Portrait,” which is the output of a travel exercise similar to that of Dalrymple.  It may not as bad as Boo’s–in fact, it takes serious talent to reach Boo’s standard–but it is still a pointless meandering and an unnecessary addition to the corpus of Dalrymplesque writing on India.

 

Indeed we wonder what reaches of genius French scales in order to call Sardar Patel a Congress power-broker. This in the first chapter called “Accelerated History” which French liberally peppers with such insidious claims. This chapter tries to compress the pre and post-Independence history of India into a capsule and ends up worsening the disease of factual errors and opinions disguised as facts. It only gets worse from there onwards.

 

Like Dalrymple, French’s quest for scavenging misery is rewarded when he meets a labourer who was rescued from a granite mafia don who had made him his slave, complete with iron fetters. French also uses this story to give his Grand Version of the Dreaded Indian Caste System. Except that this version is dissimilar to Dalrymple’s only in the matter of word choice.

 

French’s book also talks about the post liberalisation India and faithfully adheres to all the Western clichés of “New India” — call centers, Bangalore IT companies, malls, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, the newly affluent urban middle class and so on. Taken together, the book merely resembles an assemblage of newspaper cuttings.

 

To be fair, the only passable section is the one dealing with the dynasty politics that has reached alarming proportions today. In this French displays a semblance of original research and well-founded analyses.

 

In the end, “India a Portrait” is a pointless book that retains much of the colonial biases about India, and follows the template mentioned at the beginning of this piece. One wonders why it was even written.

 

But then, the authors of such books on India know their target audience: the West. They care little if their books are received well or respected in India. And they know they can get away with even gargantuan errors and inaccuracies because the current intellectual climate of India doesn’t pose a challenge to their own intellectual waywardness. Add to this a section of mentally colonized Indian elite which craves Western approval in most matters. Thus we have all manner of Western India experts who are now trying to teach India to Indians.

 

Compare these books with say VS Naipaul another Westerner whose India Trilogy is a masterly collection of firsthand research, penetrating observation and profound insight. He shows none of that bias and is honest in his criticism. His note for instance, on the Taj Mahal as a magnificent building that served no function (An Area of Darkness) is a good example of this honesty. The likes of Dalrymple have waxed in rapture for pages on end describing the structural and artistic beauty of much lesser monuments. It is a very seductive technique for the average reader is sucked in by the mastery of prose and picturesque textual narrative. What’s lost in this are insight and truthfulness, which are ends in themselves.

84 comments for “India Through Western Eyes

  1. jo
    December 4, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    @karan

    Great surprise!!!

    Kohima can’t have a Gandhi statue as the NSCN ( the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland is a Naga nationalist group operating in Northeast India,the main aim of the organization is to establish a sovereign state, “Nagalim” unifying all the areas inhabited by the Naga people in Northeast India and Burma )opposes any Indian icons in their region!!!

    Manipur where under threats from insurgents, neither can the national anthem be sung in schools nor can it be published in school textbooks!!!

    BUT,@karan

    PLEASE TELL ME……..

    How many of our elitist or government schools tell the children about India beyond Kolkata and the culture, names, social dynamics and problems of our border region and northeast in particular?

    How many Indians would be caring for Manipur or Arunachal or Nagaland, inspite of all those patriotic songs? How many of us would be able to tell what kind of name a Naga, a Mizo or a Manipuri love to wear? Or distinguish their faces and not to call them all as ‘chinkies’?

  2. karan
    December 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    The entire north east is in the grip of an unprecedented wave of Christianization with the help of foreign money. Recently on May 5, a huge Jesus statue was unveiled in Arunachal Pradesh said to be the tallest in Asia, in a region where Christian population is less than 5%. But still Kohima can’t have a Gandhi statue as the NSCN opposes any Indian icons in their region.

    So is true about Manipur where under threats from insurgents, neither can the national anthem be sung in schools nor can it be published in school textbooks. Even Republic and Independence Day celebrations are held only in government offices under tight security and wrapped up in minimum possible time.

    No school or private institution is allowed to have a function on such occasions leave aside hoisting the tricolor. The government employees, traders and politicians have to pay a part of their income to insurgents as a routine manner.

    Even the government contract funds must be shared with them and almost 20% of each such contract is distributed in cash to various anti-national outfits.
    What a joke of governance: terror groups are sustained on state funds!

  3. November 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I am proud and confident and “well-read” Sanatana Dharmi. No need to add, I am proud of our culture and philosophy. I admire a lot of the writings on your site and agree with many of them. But I have to say, Katherine Boo’s book is great read. Her book is biographical account of the people. She followed their lives for 3 years, living close to them and documenting it. She has done similar things in US. Whatever picture she is giving is true. We should be introspective at attempts like these, rather than defensive. Compare her work to the fictional work – movie Slum Dog Millionaire. The script was written by Indian. That was real bull. The funniest part was how the anchor of show (played by Anil Kapoor) degrades the main character for his lowly occupation, even gives him to the police. That movie has more PR value than this non-fictional serious work.
    However, +1 on fighting the leftists “good English speaking” intellectuals through your blog. They have done lot of damage and doing now than these foreign authors ( I exclude Katherine Boo from the list, because of her honest account).

  4. som
    October 10, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    @Dota

    DO NOT SPREAD FALSE INFORMATIONS.

    • umuralikrishna
      October 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      @Dota

      DO NOT SPREAD FALSE INFORMATIONS
      At the same time you should also not be jaundiced!

  5. nitha
    October 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    @Dota

    Additional evidence of the truths of Vedic culture is continually being uncovered.

    Some of the Archeological Discoveries of 2002 This lists: 1. Treasures Discovered at the Ancient Angkor Wat,2. Ancient City Found Off the Coast of Mamallapuram, 3. Links Between Ancient India and Mayans, 4. Taxila 600 Years Older than Earlier Believed, 5. Evidence of Ancient Sea Trade Between Rome and India, 6. Shiva Lingams Found in Vietnam, 7. Ancient Hindu Temple Discovered in Indonesia, 8. A 7000 Year Old Temple in Mallesvaram, 9. Satellite Photos of the Ancient Bridge Between Ramesvaram and Sri Lanka, 10. A 40,000 Year Old Cave Painting South of New Delhi, 11. Koreans Search for Roots in Ayodhya.

    Some of the Archeological Discoveries of 2003 lists some of what has been discovered so far, such as: 1. Ancient Cities in Tamil Nadu May Be Over 7,000 Years Old, 2. The Ancient Gene Pool of Tamil Nadu, 3. New Theories Place Ancient Humans in India, 4. Ancient Seals Found at Hatab Site, 5. More Vedic Temples Discovered in Cambodia, 6. Oldest Habited Anthropological Find in India, 7. Ancient Fossil on Ancient Sarasvati River.

    Some of the Archeological Finds of 2004 & 2005 includes: 1. 5000 Year Old Harappan Township Found in Haryana, 2. Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Maritime Spice Route Between India, Egypt, 3. India has the Earliest Art, 4. Aryan burial found in Russian city of Omsk, 5, Ancient Krishna Balarama Coins, 6. Pre-Harappan Evidence Found in Gulf of Cambay, 7. Ancient Nuclear Blasts and Levitating Stones of Shivapur, 8. Tsunami Uncovered Ancient Port City In Southern India, 9 Newly-discovered Mamallapuram temple fascinates archaeologists.

    More Archeological Finds From 2006 & 2007 and After: 1. Astrological Finds in Brazil Rainforests, 2. First Harappan Burial site Found in Sinauli, Uttar Pradesh, 3. Undersea Temple Found Off India’s East Coast. 4. Ancient Vishnu Deity Discovered in Russia, 5. Harappan period cemetery unearthed in UP, 6. New Harappan site discovered in Rohtak district, 7. 2nd Century BC Buddhist Art Cave Discovered, 8. Recent Wood Structure Found at Dvaraka, 9. Archeological find to determine exact age of ancient Dwarka, 10. Buddha Paintings Found in Cave in Nepal, 11. 18 ancient clay seals found at Bhasu Bihar.

    More Archeological Finds From 2008 and After: 1. Tamil Brahmi Script Found in Egypt, 2. Ancient City Discovered in India,3. South American Apple Seeds Found in Ancient Indian Sites, 4. Ancient weapons dug up in India, , 5. 1400-yr-old Monastery Unearthed, 6. Discovery of Older City than Mohenjodaro, 7. Pre-Angkor Civilization Site, 8. Anchor of Chinese make found off Gujarat Coast, 9. City archaeologists discover Harappan graves, 10. 1400-year-old Lakshmi Deity Found in J&K, 11. Australian Aborigines of Indian origin? 12. Statue of Lord Shiva’s sacred bull found at site of ancient Hindu temple in Indonesia, 13. Evidence the People Existed 74,000 Years Ago in India, 14. Ancient Hindu Temples Found in Indonesia, 15. 4,500-year-old Harappan settlement excavated in Kutch, 16. Bronze-era Buddhist sites discovered, 17. Ancient Chola period temple unearthed in North Jaffna,

    The Sarasvati River provides articles on the ongoing discovery and work to recover the route of the ancient Sarasvati River that is described in the Rig-veda, and a satellite photo of the Sarasvati River basin. This includes such articles as: 1. India’s Miracle River, 2. The Recent Research into the Sarasvati River, 3. Efforts to Trace Saraswati’s Origin, 4. Project to Revive Sarasvati River, 5. Indian Satellites Find Water Under Desert, 6. Riddle of the River Sarasvati, 7. Bringing Back the Sarasvati, 8. Unearthing Lost Sarasvati Cities.

    Ayodhya and the Research on the Temple of Lord Rama offers some of the latest developments regarding the archeological research on the ancient temple of Lord Rama at His birthplace at Ayodhya. This has: 1. The article by N. S. Rajarama, “What We Need to Know About Ayodhya”; 2. Archaeological Excavations at Sri Rama Janma Bhumi; 3. Archeological Society of India Says Temple Existed at Ramjanmabhoomi Site; 4. The ASI Report on Ayodhya. 5. Some website for more information, 6. The Ayodhya Issue: A Summary of the History of the Ram Temple, 6. Archeological Evidence of Sri Ram and His Birthplace — A Page from History, by Dr. B. B. Lal.

  6. nitha
    October 10, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    @Dota

    2,500 Years ago, a city bigger than Athens in Orissa

    Experts say the city Sisupalgarh is the most visible standing’ Architectural Monument’ discovered in Bharat. From under the ruins of ancient fort on the outskirts of, Bhubaneswar archaeologists have dug out the remains 2,500 years old which they believe was bigger than Athens. Eighteen pillars were found among remnants of the grand city at Sisupalgarh, a ruined fortification first discovered 60 years ago. The findings include debris of household pottery and terracotta ornaments, pointing to an advanced lifestyle led by the people who lived there. The potteries even have ownership marks on them.

    Dr.Monica L.Smith, head archaeologist from the University of California, who was part of the 12-member team that conducted the excavation, said the site is the most visible standing architectural monument discovered in India so far. It is a huge city that existed about 2,500 years ago.

    The city had four gateways and could have housed up to 25,000 people. Even classical Athens had only 10,000 people, said R.K.Mohanty from Deccan College, Pune, who was part of the excavation team which also had members from the Archaeological Survey of India and University of California.

    It was a very important city with well-built walls and a big expanse. The pillars we found were part of a gigantic structure, probably used for public gatherings, added Mohanty. Sisupalgarh was once ruled by the Kalinga kings.

    Situated on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Sisupalgarh was once a thriving metropolis, with population of over 25,000.

    Dr. Monica L. Smith says, ‘These cities from a very early time about the third or fourth century B.C. were densely populated and urban in every sense of the word”.

    Even though Sisupalgarh was discovered in 1948, it was not until three years ago that excavations started here.

    A team of archaeologists from Deccan college in pune, University of California and Archaeological survey of India are manning the digs.

    Deccan college head Archaelogist Dr. R.K.Mohanty says “ what we have excavated is a very small area of the site. Each area has given a different perspective in the architecture.

    A large variety of pottery discovered, show the high quality of life in the city. Excavations reveal the city was well planned with eight gateways. There was large monument for public gatherings. The whole city was surrounded by large defensive walls.

    Archaeologists believe that it is because of excellent architectural skills the pillars could stand for so many years.

    But so far only small portion of huge site has been excavated.

    Researchers have to depend largely on foreign funding for the excavations as the Government has not yet stepped in to help.

  7. nitha
    October 10, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    @Dota

    INTERFAITH DIALOGUE WITH CHRISTIANS …….???

    RELIGION NOT THE CRYING NEED OF INDIA
    20th September 1893

    Christians must always be ready for good criticism and I hardly
    think that you will mind if I make a little criticism- You
    Christians, who are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the
    soul of the heathen – why do you not try to save their bodies from
    starvation? In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died
    from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches
    all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion
    - they have religion enough -but it is bread that the suffering
    millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They
    ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to the
    starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to the
    starving man to teach him metaphysics. In India a priest that
    preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people.
    I came here to seek aid for my impoverished people, and I filly
    realized how difficult it was to get help for heathens from
    Christians in a Christian land.[Swami Vivekananda]

    @Dota

    Famines inBritish India between 1765 and 1947 Year,Name of famine (if any),British territory
    [1]1769–70Great Bengal Famine Bihar, Northern and Central Bengal10 million, (about one third of the then population of Bengal
    [2] 1783–84,Chalisa famine,Delhi, Western Oudh, Eastern Punjab region, Rajputana, and Kashmir Severe famine. Large areas were depopulated. Up to 11 million people may have died during the years 1782–84.
    [3]1791–92 ,Doji bara famine or Skull famine Hyderabad, Southern Maratha country, Deccan, Gujarat, and Marwar One of the most severe famines known. People died in such numbers that they could not be cremated or buried. It is thought that 11 million people may have died during the years 1788–94
    [4]1837–38 ,Agra famine of 1837–38,Central Doab and trans-Jumna districts of the North-Western Provinces (later Agra Province), including Delhi and Hissar800,000 [5]1860–61Upper Doab of Agra; Delhi and Hissar divisions of the Punjab,Eastern Rajputana,2 million
    [5]1865–67,Orissa famine of 1866,Orissa (also 1867) and Bihar; Bellary and Ganjam districts of Madras,1 million (814,469 in Orissa, 135,676 in Bihar and 10,898 in Ganjam)
    [6]1868–70,Rajputana famine of 1869,Ajmer, Western Agra, Eastern Punjab,Rajputana,1.5 million (mostly in the princely states of Rajputana)
    [7]1873–74,Bihar famine of 1873–74,Bihar,An extensive relief effort was organized by the Bengal government. [8]1876–78Great Famine of 1876–78 (also Southern India famine of 1876–78)Madras and BombayMysore and Hyderabad6.1 to 10.3 million
    [9]1888–89Ganjam, Orissa and North Bihar150,000 deaths
    [10]Ganjam. Deaths were due to starvation as famine relief was not provided in time.
    [11]1896–97,Indian famine of 1896–97, Madras, Bombay Deccan, Bengal, United Provinces, Central Provinces,Northern and eastern Rajputana, parts of Central India and Hyderabad,5 million
    [12]1899–1900,Indian famine of 1899–1900,Bombay, Central Provinces, Berar, Ajmer,Hyderabad, Rajputana, Central India, Baroda, Kathiawar, Cutch,1 million
    [13]1905–06,BombayBundelkhand,235,062 [14]1943–44,Bengal famine of 1943, Bengal,4.5 million

    @Dota

    Is it not time that the descendants of the victims of The Great Holocaust of Bengal sought compensation from the present Government of the United Kingdom? Is it possible to initiate a criminal case against Winston Churchill and all those who were in power during 1942-45 (or during 1765-1947) in British Government? Is that too much to ask for? Do you believe that the systematic murder of six million white-skinned Jews was a crime worthy of punishment, while the killing of thirty million black-skinned people of Bengal does not even deserve a footnote in history?

  8. Hari Om
    October 10, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    @Dota

    INTERFAITH DIALOGUE WITH MOHAMMEDANS …….???

    MASS DESTRUCTION OF HINDU TEMPLE BY AURANGJEB AS PER
    MUSLIM CHRONICLES.
    ” …Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and ALL THE WORSHIPING PLACES OF THE INFIDELS AND GREAT TEMPLES of these infamous people HAVE BEEN THROWN DOWN AND DESTROYED in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success. … All mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense…”
    —————–Muhiyu’d-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (1658-1707) General Order(as per “Mir’at-i-Alam” by Bakhtawar Khan)
    ” …In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his viceroy in Bihar, Daud Khan, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed MANY TEMPLES WERE DESTROYED…”
    -Muhiyu’d-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (1658-1707) Palamau (Bihar)
    ” …Towards the end of the same year when Mir Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the MUGHALS DESTROYED MANY TEMPLES during the course of their operations. IDOLS Were a BROKEN AND SOME TEMPLES WERE CONVERTED INTO MOSQUES. …”
    ————–As per “Alamgir-Nama” by Mirza Muhammad Kazim
    “…The Lord Cherisher of the faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multan, and especially at Benaras, the Brahmin disbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His majesty, eager to establish Islam, issues orders to the governors of all the provinces TO DEMOLISH THE SCHOOLS AND TEMPLES OF THE INFIDELS and with utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these disbelievers…”
    ” …It was reported that, according to the Emperor’s command, his officers HAD DEMOLISHED THE TEMPLE OF VISHWANATH AT KASHI. …” Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)
    ” … During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and over thrower of mischief, as the knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, ISSUED ORDERS FOR THE DEMOLITION OF THE TEMPLE SITUATED IN MATHURA< FAMOUS AS THE DEHRA OF KESHO RAI. In the short time by the great exertions of his officers the DESTRUCTION OF THIS STRONG FOUNDATION OF INFIDELITY WAS ACCOMPLISHED< AND ON ITS SITE A LOFTY MOSQUE WAS BUILT at the expenditure of a large sum…"
    " …Praised be the August God of the faith of Islam, that in the auspicious reign of this DESTROYER OF INFIDELITY AND TURBULENCE, such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of strength of the Emperor's faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. THE IDOLS, LARGE AND SMALL< SET WITH COSTLY JEWELS WHICH HAD BEEN SET UP IN THE TEMPLE WERE BROUGHT TO AGRA< AND BURIED UNDER THE STEPS OF THE MOSQUE OF BEGUM SAHIB, IN ORDER TO BE CONTINUALLY TRODDEN UPON. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad. …"
    " … Darab Khan who had been sent with a strong force to punish the Rajputs of Khandela and TO DEMOLISH THE GREAT TEMPLE OF THE PLACE, attacked on March 8th/Safar 5th, and slew the three hundred and odd men who made a bold defense, not one of them escaping alive. THE TEMPLES OF KHANDELA AND SANULA AND ALL OTHER TEMPLES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WERE DEMOLISHED …"
    " … On 24th Rabi S. (Sunday, May 25th), Khan Jahan Bahadur came from Jodhpur, AFTER DEMOLISHING THE TEMPLES and bringing with himself some cart-loads of idols, and had audience of the Emperor, who highly praised him and ordered that the idols, which were mostly jewelled, golden, silver, bronze, copper, or stone, should be cast in the yard (jilaukhanah) of the Court AND UNDER THE STEPS OF THE JAMA MOSQUE, TO BE TRODDEN UPON…"
    " … Ruhullah Khan and Ekkataz Khan WENT TO DEMOLISH THE GREAT TEMPLE in front of the Rana's palace, which was one of the rarest buildings of the age and the chief cause of the destruction of the life and property of the despised worshipers. Twenty 'machator' Rajputs who were sitting in the Temple vowed to give up their lives; first one of them came out to fight, killed some and was them himself slain, then came out another and so on, until every one of the twenty perished, after killing a large number of the imperialists including the trusted slave Ikhlas. The Temple was found empty. THE HEWERS BROKE THE IMAGES. …"
    " …On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680 (2nd Muharram), the Emperor went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, AND ORDERED ALL THE THREE TEMPLES ON ITS BANKS TO BE DEMOLISHED. …"
    " …On the 29th January/7th Muharram, Hasan Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rana's Palace and REPORTED THAT ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-TWO OTHER TEMPLES IN THE ENVIRONS OF UDAIPUR HAD BEEN DESTROYED. The Khan received the title of Bahadur Alamgirshahi…"
    "… Abu Turab, who had been SENT TO DEMOLISH THE TEMPLES of AMBER, returned to the Court on Tuesday August 10th (Rajab 24th), and reported that HE HAD PULLED DOWN SIXTY-SIX TEMPLES. …"
    " … Hamiduddin Khan Bahadur WHO HAD GONE TO DEMOLISH A TEMPLE AND BUILD A MOSQUE (IN ITS PLACE) in Bijapur, having excellently carried his orders, came to court and gained praise and the post of darogha of gusulkhanah, which brought him near the Emperor's person…"
    "…LARGE NUMBERS OF PLACES OF WORSHIP OF THE INFIDELS AND GREAT TEMPLES OF THESE WICKED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN THROWN DOWN AND DESOLATED. Men who can see only the outside of things are filled with wonder at the successful accomplishment of such a seemingly difficult task. AND ON THE SITES OF THE TEMPLES LOFTY MOSQUES HAVE BEEN BUILT…"
    ———————As per "Mas'ir-i-'Alamgiri" by Saqi Must'ad Khan
    " … The emporer learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone railing presented by Dara Shikoh, remarked, 'In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara Shikoh had restored a railing in a temple. This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. REMOVE THE RAILING.' By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) REMOVED IT…"
    " … News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave, with 400 troopers, TO DESTROY ALL TEMPLES AROUND UJJAIN… A Rawat of the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men…"
    "…… The Emperor learnt from a secret news writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagis and taken him with 15 idols away to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled, flocked to the Censor's house, wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself; so that the latter set the Bairagis free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar …"
    "… The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the darogha of hatchet-men …. ORDERED THEM TO DEMOLISH THE TEMPLE OF PANDHARPUR, and to take the butchers of the camp there AND SLAUGHTER COWS IN THE TEMPLE … It was done…"
    " … When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with A DESTRUCTION TO MANY TEMPLES on the way. On May 21, 1681, the superintendent of the laborers WAS ORDERED TO DESTROY ALL THE TEMPLES on the route…"
    " … On 27 Sept., 1681, the emperor issued orders FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLES at Lakheri…"
    ——————–As per "Akhbarat"
    "… The infidels demolished a mosque that was under construction and wounded the artisans. When the news reached Shah Yasin, he came to Banaras from Mandyawa and collecting the Muslim weavers, DEMOLISHED THE BIG TEMPLE. A Sayyid who was an artisan by profession agreed with one Abdul Rasul to build a mosque at Banaras and accordingly the foundation was laid. Near the place there was a temple and many houses belonging to it were in the occupation of the Rajputs. The infidels decided that the construction of a mosque in the locality was not proper and that it should be razed to the ground. At night the walls of the mosque were found demolished. next day the wall was rebuilt but it was again destroyed. This happened three or four times. At last the Sayyid his himself in the corner. With the advent of night the infidels came to achieve their nefarious purpose. When Abdul Rasul gave the alarm, the infidels began to fight and the Sayyid was wounded by the Rajputs. In the meantime, the Musalman residents of the neighborhood arrived at the spot and the infidels took to their heels. The wounded muslims were taken to Shah Yasin who determined to vindicate the cause of Islam. When he came to the mosque, people collected from the neighborhood. the civil officers were outwardly inclined to side with the saint, but in reality they were afraid of the Royal displeasure on the account of the Raja, who was a courtier of the Emperor and had built the temple (near which the mosque was under construction). Shah Yasin, however, took up the sword and started for Jihad. The civil officers sent him a message that such a grave step should not be taken without the Emperor's permission. Shah Yasin, paying no heed, sallied forth till he reached Bazar Chau Khamba through a fusillade of stones …… THE DOORS (OF TEMPLES) WERE FORCED OPEN AND THE IDOLS THROWN DOWN. THE WEAVERS AND OTHER MUSALMANS DEMOLISHED ABOUT 500 TEMPLES. They desired to destroy the temple of Beni Madho, but as lanes were barricaded, they desisted from going further….
    ———————–As per "Ganj-i-Arshadi"
    http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/modern/temple_aurangzeb.html

  9. som
    October 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    @Dota

    Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), Indian spiritualist

    On 9/11/1893 at World Parliament of Religions, Chicago he said to the gathering

    “We who had come from the east have sat here day after day and have been told in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and we see England the most prosperous Christian nation in the world, with her foot upon the neck of 250,000,000 Asiatics. We look back into history and see that the prosperity of Christian Europe begin with Spain. Spain’s prosperity began with the invasion of Mexico. Christianity wins its prosperity by cutting the throats of its fellow men. At such a price the Hindoo will not have prosperity.
    They come to my country and abuse my forefathers, my religion, and everything; they walk near a temple and say ‘you isolators, you will go to hell’, but they dare not do this to the Mohammedans of India, for the sword will be out, but the Hindu is too mild.
    And may I ask you, Europeans, what country you have ever raised to better conditions? Wherever you have found weaker races, you have exterminated them by the roots, as it were. You have settled on their lands, and they are gone for ever. What is the history of your America, your Australia, and New Zealand, your Pacific Islands and South Africa? Where are the aboriginal races there today? They have all been exterminated, you have killed them outright, as if they were wild beasts. It is only where you have not the power to do so, and there only, that other nations are still alive.

    If Christianity is a saving power in itself, why has it not saved the Ethiopians, the Abyssinians ?”

    ———— ——– ———-

    The Grease and Egyptians engaged in cross cultural dialogue with other Indians.

    WHAT ONE CAN DO WITH “MY GOD IS TRUE ,YOUR GOD IS FALSE AND JESUS IS ONLY SAVIOUR ….OR …… MY GOD IS TRUE ,YOUR GOD IS FALSE AND MOHAMMED IS LAST PROPHET.

    THE CHRISTIANS SHOWED ZERO TOLERANCE ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS WORLD OVER , BECAUSE THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSLAVE AFRICANS,ETHNIC CLEANSING OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND ALSO FOR DESTRUCTION OF GRECO -ROMAN HELLENISTIC AGRO CULTURAL CIVILIZATION.

  10. nash
    October 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    A case to notice ourselves

    Many commentees cite the english names for substantiating our works in art ,science etc.Is it possible to acknowledge bharathiya names where it is known or is it a toughy.

  11. Harish
    October 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    @Dota

    Do not say like that because the American hegemony is over.

    The near future is full of troubles but none are fatal. The US will lose its emission rights as a source of income. The US dollar will cease to serve as the world reserve currency though it will remain the North American currency. Other parts of the world will resort to their euro, yuan, rouble, bolivar, or dinar. The US military expenditure will have to be slashed to normal, and this elimination of overseas bases and weaponry will allow the US population to make the transition rather painlessly. Nobody wants to go after America; the world just got tired of them riding shotgun all over the place.
    The US will have to find new employment for so many bankers, jailers, soldiers, even politicians.

    Americans may listen to Senator Ron Paul who called to give up overseas bases and cut military expenditure.
    Norms of international law and sovereignty of all states should be observed.

    NOW, Indians think that their civilization is superior to Euro & Americans civilization in every conceivable way. They notice that:

    1) Euro & Americans values lacked any conception of equality between men
    2) Euro & Americans art lacked geometric perspective AND NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS ART.
    3) Euro & Americans music lacked harmony AND FULL OF NOISE.
    4) Euro & Americans sculptures lacked that detailed knowledge of human anatomy that one observes in ancient Grease.
    4) Euro & Americans ethics lacked rational autonomy
    5) Euro & Americans culture lacked individualism
    6) Euro & Americans epics were comprised of bland protagonists like Jesus and Moses who were perfect in every way and lacked personality or will
    7) Euro & Americans religions lacked a sense of ethics and subordinated ethics to duty and superstition CAUSED FOR ENSLAVE AFRICANS,ETHNIC CLEANSING OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND ALSO FOR DESTRUCTION OF GRECO -ROMAN HELLENISTIC AGRO CULTURAL CIVILIZATION.

    The Indians has every right to feel that their civilization is vastly superior to Euro & Americans backward, static, and racial ridden culture.

  12. singh
    October 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher), who stated that: “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”

    The well-known early American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, read the Vedas daily. Emerson wrote: “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita”
    Henry David Thoreau said: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”
    Voltaire, (the famous French writer and philosopher) stated that “Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry.” Abraham Seidenberg, author of the authoritative “History of Mathematics,” credits the Sulba Sutras as inspiring all mathematics of the ancient world from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece.

    Vedas paint the picture of scientific religion, where religion and science clap together. Vedas are based on religion, science and philosophy.”
    – Brown
    Hinduism is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology. The Hindu literature is work of a GENIUS
    -Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, Pennsylvania State University

    It looks like that the writers of Vedas and Puranas came from the future to deliver knowledge. The works of the Ancient Arya Sages is mind blowing. There is no doubt that Puranas and Vedas are word of God.
    -Scott Sandford, Space Scientist, NASA

    “How could Hindus (Aryas) have possibly known all this 6,000 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment which did not exist at that time? Such concepts were found only recently. “
    -Dr. Kevin Hurley of the University of California at Berkeley

    Prof. N. Hugen used to be a great critic of the Indian Mythology. However, after investigating more into the concepts of Super Gravity and Anti Gravity, he had also accepted that these together with the hypothesis of the Black Holes could be better understood in light of the insights of Vedic Philosophy.

    “Finally we came to conclusion that Universe is shaped like a egg but this information was already present in Hindu Literature.”
    (Alan Kogut, NASA)

    “This is amazing to find the facts proven only in 20th century
    already present in Hindu Holy Books”.
    (D. Gubbins, University of Leeds, Department of Earth Sciences, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK)

    Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961), Austrian theoretical physicist, best known for his discovery of wave mechanics, which won him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933, wished to see: “Some blood transfusion from the East to the West” to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”

    ”In all the world,” writes Schroedinger in his book, My View of the World (chapter iv), “there is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction….The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.”

    Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been allowed to run counter to scientific laws, moreover the former is never made a condition for the knowledge they teach, but there are always scrupulously careful to take into consideration the possibility that by reason both the agnostic and atheist may attain truth in their own way. Such tolerance may be surprising to religious believers in the West, but it is an integral part of Vedantic belief.
    – Romain Rolland
    Standing outside of Cern, which houses the large Hadron collider in Geneva is a statue of the Hindu God Shiva. Shiva is the destroyer or transformer of the world, following Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver. Shiva’s dance is the cosmic cycle of creation and destruction, and even describes the way that particles arise and transform; a perfect analogy for what Cern is trying to accomplish— to unlock the secrets of the Universe or as a person of faith might put it, to know the mind of God, the Universe or Brahman.

    Sage Kanad (circa 600 BCE) is recognized as the founder of atomic theory, and classified all the objects of creation into nine elements (earth, water, light or fire, wind, ether, time, space, mind and soul). He stated that every object in creation is made of atoms that in turn connect with each other to form molecules nearly 2,500 years before John Dalton. Further, Kanad described the dimension and motion of atoms, and the chemical reaction with one another.
    The eminent historian, T.N. Colebrook said, “Compared to scientists of Europe, Kanad and other Indian scientists were the global masters in this field.”

    Dr. Carl Sagan, (1934-1996) famous astrophysicist, in his book, Cosmos, says: “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.“

    Describing the Nataraja, Lord Shiva in the form of cosmic dancer, he says: “These profound and lovely images are, I like to imagine, a kind of premonition of modern astronomical ideas.” Sagan continues, “A millennium before Europeans were willing to divest themselves of the Biblical idea that the world was a few thousand years old, the Mayans were thinking of millions and the Hindus billions.”

    In the television series “Cosmos”, he acknowledges that of all the world’s philosophies and religions those originating in India are remarkably consistent with contemporary scenarios of space, time and existence.

    “Amid all the beliefs of Europe, and of Asia, that of the Indian Brahmins seems to me infinitely the most alluring. And the reason why I love the Brahmin more than the other schools of Asiatic thought is because it seems to me to contain them all. Greater than all European philosophies, it is even capable of adjusting itself to the vast hypotheses of modern science. Our Christian religions have tried in vain, when there were no other choice open to them, to adapt themselves to the progress of science. But after having allowed myself to be swept away by the powerful rhythm of Brahmin thought, along the curve or life, with its movement of alternating ascent and return, I come back to my own century, and while finding therein the immense projections of a new cosmogony, offspring of the genius of Einstein, or deriving freely from the discoveries, I yet do not feel that I enter a strange land. I yet can hear resounding still the cosmic symphony of all those planets which forever succeed each other, are extinguished and once more illumined, with their living souls, their humanities, their gods – according to the laws of the eternal To Become, the Brahmin Samsara – I hear Siva dancing, dancing in the heart of the world, in my own heart.” – Romain Rolland

    • nitha
      October 9, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      The discovery of an ancient Vishnu idol in an excavation in Russia confirms certain ideas :

      The report says that the area in which the idol was found is called Staraya Maina. In the Rig Veda, there is a passage that goes, Itham ascati pasyat syantham, ekam starayath mainaa-kaalam. This translates into Staraya Maina is the name of the land of the 45 rivers (on whose banks the noble Rishis conducted the famous Horse Sacrifices), where the sun god descends into one fifty two forty seven. While the first line identifies a location, the second line talks about the exact latitude and longitude at which the solar spectrum produces interference lines at one, fifty two, and forty seven.
      The extreme precision of the calculations show the advanced science of the Vedic period, and also a thorough knowledge of SI units (it has been conclusively proven that French scientists stole the system from the Indians.

      The discovery of the idol confirms the location in Russia, identified in the Rig Veda as rus soviath sapthamahanagaratham (the ancient and holy land of the 722 flying vehicles). The ancient connections between the Russians and the Indians has been unequivocally confirmed.
      In Russian orthodox Christianity, worship is conducted very much like in Vishnu temples. The Russians refer to the feast of Vizhnyir Ekoratsya Vikhunh, directly corresponding with Vaikhunda Ekhadasi.

  13. nikhil
    October 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM
  14. som
    October 9, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    @Dota

    There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.Most number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations.One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.Most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins.This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line,who are the real Dalits of India.

    In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

    The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries, Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably Hinduism.

    So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

    55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.

    There is no reason to believe that the condition of Brahmins in other parts of the country is different. In this connection it would be revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as stated by the Karnataka finance minister in the state assembly: Christians Rs 1,562, Vokkaligas Rs 914, Muslims Rs 794, Scheduled castes Rs 680, Scheduled Tribes Rs 577 and Brahmins Rs 537.

    Appalling poverty compels many Brahmins to migrate to towns leading to spatial dispersal and consequent decline in their local influence and institutions. Brahmins initially turned to government jobs and modern occupations such as law and medicine. But preferential policies for the non-Brahmins have forced Brahmins to retreat in these spheres as well.

    Brahmins are still suffering due to actions of the selfish and glory seeking leftist bramnins who came to power after Independence its high time that brahmins start getting vocal. Brahmins are by no means minority.
    Maybe it was THEIR ancestors single largest mistake that they were always King makers but not kings.

  15. ravi
    October 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    INDIA THROUGH WESTERN EYES

    “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.” ~ Albert Einstein

    “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim.” ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr

    “When I read the Upanishads, I found a profundity of world view that made my Christianity seem like third grade.” ~ Huston Smith

    “India was the Motherland of our race and Sanskrit the Mother of Europe’s languages.India was the Mother of our Philosophy, of much of our Mathematic’s, of the ideals emboded in Christianity …of Self-Government and Democracy, In many ways Mother India is the Mother of us all..” ~ Will Durant

    “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border” ~ Hu Shih

    “You’d have to be brain dead to live in India and not be affected by Hinduism. It’s not like Christianity in America, where you feel it only on Sunday mornings … if you go to church at all. Hinduism is an on-going daily procedure. You live it, you breathe it.” ~ Marcus Leatherdale

    “Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that all men desire to see and having seen once even by a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined. India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellect; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soul.” ~ Mark Twain

    “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still. A millennium before Europeans were wiling to divest themselves of the Biblical idea that the world was a few thousand years old, the Mayans were thinking of millions and the Hindus billions” ” ~ Carl Sagan

    “In India, our religions will never at any time take root; the ancient wisdom of the human race will not be supplanted by the events in Galilee. On the contrary, Indian wisdom flows back to Europe, and will produce a fundamental change in our knowledge and thought.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

    Read on here… http://www.hinduwisdom.info/quotes1_20.htm

  16. som
    October 9, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    “If Greek culture has influenced Western civilization, we must not forget that, in spite of the inestimable benefits of Greece to India, the ancient Greeks themselves were also sons of Hindu thought. As has already been mentioned, Pythagoras went to India in order to draw from the very source the principles which constituted the foundation of his doctrine and which in its turn influenced Plato, Socrates and even Aristotle to a certain degree. Apollonius of Tyanae, Plotin, did they not follow in the footprints of their predecessors, in directing themselves towards far-off India? China, Persia, Islam – the three-fourths of Asia – these civilizations which had already been influenced by the missions of Asoka, were they not attracted by India’s wisdom? That is the reason why ancient India is our Mother. In the measure that we Westerners make our intellectual and spiritual genealogy reach back to India shall we learn to love her and to consider in its true light her wisdom, the patrimony of every man.” ~
    – Louis Revel(French author of The Fragrance of India : landmarks for the world of tomorrow)
    http://vmohanty.quora.com/Louis-Revel-on-ancient-India

    • karan
      October 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      @som
      BUT….BUT….BUT….
      According to Gospel For Asia-a recent issue of the Texas-based magazine:
      “The Indian sub-continent with one billion people, is a living example of what happens when Satan rules the entire culture… India is one vast purgatory in which millions of people …. are literally living a cosmic lie! Could Satan have devised a more perfect system for causing misery?”

      But such attitudes are nothing new, of course. Christians have waged such ‘spiritual warfare’ against their enemies for centuries, and with the same kind of language.
      There are two important points here. First, we must not assume that the ‘developed’ West is free from wilful ignorance. Indeed, wilful ignorance is often a very useful weapon. We need enemies, and, as religious people, we need demons. The utility of Islamophobia is a case in point.Besides, there’s a useful role for such bigotry within the system: as a foil for the liberal powerful to prove their liberal credentials.
      And ‘spiritual warfare’, for the evangelical Christian movement, is not just a matter of prayers and metaphor: it is also, very decisively, a matter of ‘virtuous’ troops, tanks, and drones.

      • nitha
        October 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        The Church inviting Hindus for an interfaith dialogue while going ahead with converting weaker sections of Hindu society through force, fraud and allurements, is like a pickpocket preaching virtues of renunciation to a man while relieving him of his purse. Hindu scholars and Sanyasins must make stoppage of conversions by Church in theory and practice as a pre-condition to their participation in any interfaith dialogue. They should not fall prey to the sweet language that is designed to deceive them and other Hindus. For, Ko va durjanvagurasu patitah kshemeñ yatah puman? (Who has ever escaped unscathed after falling in the trap of words of a wicked man?)

        • som
          October 9, 2013 at 2:35 PM

          Why don’t the rich (many are super rich) among the Hindus of INDIA do enough for the destitute of BHARAT so that the Christian Missionaries will not be able to lure them with gifts like by-cycles, shanties etc.?

        • ravi
          October 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

          @nitha
          Interfaith dialogue……..???
          The Church has no use for authentic scholars like Ram Swarup or Sita Ram Goel precisely because their critique is too comprehensive, too accurate and too fundamental for its comfort.

      • ravi
        October 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        @karan

        YES… is not just a matter of prayers and metaphor… it is also, very decisively, a matter of ‘virtuous’ troops, tanks, and drones!!!!

        The Bush Doctrine of spreading freedom and human rights has been called today’s version of Manifest Destiny. It presupposes that America must impose its own social and political principles on others, in the others’ best interests.

        Any perceived threat to the status quo of privileges and entitlements that Westerners take for granted is sufficient provocation to trigger the revival of Christian fundamentalism. Post-9/11 is seeing the rise of this fundamentalism from its latent state.

        False information is more dangerous than acknowledgment of one’s ignorance. Most Hindu leaders naively equate Christianity with Catholicism, US Christianity with European Christianity, and see all Christian denominations as being the ‘same’. They lack any past about Christian Liberation Theology, Inculturation strategies, constructive theologies, Christian Zionism, and so forth. When they gleefully quote that church attendance is down in the US, they fail to consider that home based Christian prayer groups have replaced church going in many communities across America, and such groups now represent a major component of fundamentalist Christianity.

        “Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil. Yoga leads to Hinduism and all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation,” proclaimed Vatican’s former chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth on November 28, 2011 at a film festival in the Italian city of Umbria, where he was invited to introduce a movie about exorcism called “The Rite”.

        • nitha
          October 9, 2013 at 11:07 PM

          @ravi

          YES….YES….YES…..

          Most liberal Americans are simply unaware of the international political machinations of evangelicals. Funded and supported by the American Christian right, they promote a literal and extreme version of Christianity abroad and attempt to further a fundamentalist Christian political agenda using unscrupulous methods. In India, picking up where the colonialists left off, they have gone so far as to revive discredited racial theories and fabricate scholarship in a dangerous game of divide and rule.
          In south India, a new identity called Dravidian Christianity is being constructed. It is an opportunistic combination of two myths: the “Dravidian race” myth and another that purports that early Christianity shaped the major Hindu classics!

          The “Dravidians,” the theory goes, were the original inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent and were driven to southern India by the invading, lighter skinned and racially different “Aryans.”

          While there is no mainstream “Aryan” political party in India, the Dravidianization of mainstream identity in the southern state of Tamil Nadu keeps the pernicious pair alive. The Aryan/Dravidian constructs are mutually dependent, and have been very successfully used to generate conflict, including violence (as in Sri Lanka in recent years).

          The Dravidian identity is now being increasingly Christianized. A new religion called “Dravidian Christianity” has been invented through a sudden upsurge of writings designed to “discover” the existence of quasi-Christianity in Tamil history prior to the coming of the “Aryan” Brahmins. The project is to co-opt Tamil culture, language and literature and systematically cleanse them of Hinduism. Christian interpretations and substitutes are being injected into the most cherished symbols, artifacts and literary works of Tamil Hindu culture.

          Western churches send billions of dollars to Tamil Nadu, the epicenter of the project to harvest Indian souls. While the sheer scale of intellectual fraud and prejudice is breathtaking, the church’s political clout has enabled it to permeate university research, education, museums, politics and film. The state government is even supporting the production of an epic feature film on St. Thomas that will popularize this myth.

          They claim that the Bhagavad Gita, Tamil classics and even Sanskrit originated after Christ and under the influence of Christianity.
          A 2005 conference in New York had the theme, “International Conference on the History of Early Christianity in India.” Senator Hillary Clinton greeted it with the message:

          “I am confident that the breadth of resources presented during the conference will shed light on the impact of Christianity on medieval and classical India and its effects on the cultural and political climate of India….”

          This is for Breaking India.
          » See related post “European misappropriation of Sanskrit led to the Aryan race theory” – Rajiv Malhotra

      • George
        March 19, 2014 at 7:42 AM

        And yet for everything false there is also truth to be had if one really wants it in the one true God who created us all. And by sending his son into the world to save sinners by dying for them on the cross, who also was buried, and rose from the dead the third day, and returned back up to heaven. And through repentance for ones sins against God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ one can be saved from sin and eternal hell and go to his heaven by trusting in the atoning blood of his son at the cross as the one sacrifice for sins forever. At fbn radio dot com is much more information on such true things to be had for free , just as the gift of God is eternal life through him.

  17. Hari Om
    October 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    God is both form and formless…he is everything that is why he is God
    HE is both one and many… again same reason…

    Nobody has a monopoly say in Hinduism.
    Pluralism is as valid as monotheism.

    Karma includes Bhakti and Jnana. Jnana includes Karma and Bhakti, Bhakti includes Karma and Jnana. They go hand in hand. You cannot advance too far with one leaving the other two behind. They have been separated in all philosophy only so that they can be understood independently.
    They must be applied together.

    The Vedas are not ONE BOOK. they have compiled in the form we know now for ease. Hundreds of Rishis who composed thousands of Suktams in tens of thousands of couplets.

  18. Hari Om
    October 8, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Actually Abrahamic religions(Christianity & Islam)are terribly driven by ego.
    {Ego is master of Unconscious state of human mind. Ego lives upon “Time” (past, present, and future). It determines the time and relates with human emotions, weaknesses, beliefs, and thoughts}
    Abrahamic religions(Christianity & Islam) as per Ego:
    .Past is SIN (Shame).
    Present is NOTHING but a testing (all life difficulties are hateful same as an enemy).
    Future is FEAR of Judgement for Heaven or Hell.

  19. Hari Om
    October 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    SCENARIO# 1 “CHRISTIAN EUROPE”

    FROM WHERE THIS WORD CAME FROM i.e. SECULARISM
    In case of Lutheran, Calvinist or Catholic – claimed to be the true Christian church i.e. the internal problem of Christian Europe; SHOULD NOT BE projected universally as SECULARISM .

    (DIFFERENT)SCENARIO# 2 “INDIA”

    IN THE NAME OF SO CALLED DIVINE REVELATION;
    THOUGH IT IS NOT GENERAL HUMAN PREDICAMENT PROSELYTISM SHOULD BE TREATED AS ILLEGITIMATE.SINCE ALL TRADITIONS ARE A PART OF HUMAN QUEST FOR TRUTH TO MAKE SOME COMMUNITY :
    The dynamic of proselytism by accepting the message in this SO CALLED divine revelation of Christianity and Islam who receive these revelations should try to convert others into accepting the message in this SO CALLED divine revelation,

    AS THE PROSELYTISM IS AN INTRINSIC VALUE OF THESE RELIGION ,THE RIGHT TO DO SO SHOULD BE TREATED AS ILLEGITIMATE AND NOT TO BE PROTECTED IN THE
    NAME OF SECULARISM,

    THOUGH IT IS NOT GENERAL HUMAN PREDICAMENT .

  20. Harish
    October 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Islam refutes Christianity:

    Muslims definitely accept Jesus as a prophet of great importance and respect him as such. But Muslims simply cannot accept the Christian claims that Jesus
    (i) was the Son of God,
    (ii) had a Virgin Birth, or
    (iii) was Resurrected. These Christian claims would make Islam irrelevant and contradict Islam’s essential historical purpose.
    If Jesus made the supreme sacrifice by which humans may get redeemed, then why is there any need for Prophet Mohammed or the Koran?
    The vast majority of Muslim clergy teach that he was a great prophet, as were many dozens of other Abrahamic prophets, but he was no Son of God, nor had a Virgin Birth and, most of all, he was not Resurrected after being crucified.
    Yet, these three claims of Christianity are necessary to the legitimacy of Christianity and are non-negotiable.
    BOTTOM LINE:
    Christianity’s History-Centrism cannot be accommodated within Islam’s History-Centrism.

    Christianity refutes Islam:

    Islam’s claim that the Koran is the exact words of God, and hence is perfect and final, is simply unsustainable in Christianity.
    For if this were valid, it would make Christianity obsolete and superseded by Islam.
    Why would one need an older version of God’s word if he has sent a new version specifically to replace the older one, as is claimed by Islam? Christian theologians do not accept Koran as the perfect record of the final word of God.
    Furthermore, Islam also demands (without room for negotiations or ambiguity whatsoever) that the Kaaba (located in Mecca) is absolutely unique, cannot be replicated, and is the only direction in which prayer must be offered five times daily.
    Clearly, this would undermine Christian institutions’ authority to collect donations, interpret the canons, provide the ‘true history’, etc.
    BOTTOM LINE:
    History-Centric claims that are necessary conditions to be a Muslim are simply impossible for Christianity to accept.

  21. som
    October 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Erwin Schrödinger(the Nobel Prize winner in Quantum Physics), in speaking of a universe in which particles are represented by wave functions, said: “The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. This is entirely consistent with the Vedanta concept of All in One.”

    “There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction… The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.”

    Schrödinger’s biographer Moore, wrote: “His system – or that of the Upanishads – is delightful and consistent: the self and the world are one and they are all. He rejected traditional western religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naïve – and will not understand Quantum theory and consciousness.”

    In his famous essay on determinism and free will, he expressed very clearly the sense that consciousness is a unity, arguing that this “insight is not new…From the early great Upanishads the recognition Atman = Brahman (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent, the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.”

  22. som
    October 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Almost all religion have at same point of time in their histories believed in REINCARNATION-including Christianity .
    Reference of REINCARNATION in the new Testament were deleted only in the fourth century when Christianity became in official religion of the Roman Empire.
    .
    It was sometime in the year AD 553 that the second Council of Constantinople declared REINCARNATION as hearsay.
    These decisions were intended to increase the power of the Church by making people believe in the Church by making people believe that their salvation depended solely on the church.

  23. karan
    October 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    “Some foolish men declare that a creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected. If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression.”
    “Actually God is very stuff out of which Universe is made of. and God is the creative energy ”
    “And creator and creation are the same.”

    • ravi
      October 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      @karan
      If God can exist without being created, why can’t this life itself exist without being created? If you accept that something is possible without being created, then what is the trouble? Then why think about a God who created the world? The East says God is not the creator, God is the creation. Nobody has created it, it is there. It has been so always, it will be so always – sometimes manifest, sometimes unmanifest; sometimes visible, sometimes invisible. It goes on moving in a periodical rhythm, in a circle. But existence itself is uncreated and it has no goal.

      • nitha
        October 8, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        About Hinduism & Eternal drama of evolution.
        From the mundane to the metaphysical, cycles feature prominently in Hindu teachings and practice. Human life and spiritual evolution, through birth and rebirth (samsara), is a cycle; karma, the universal of law cause and effect — another cycle; even ritual yogic breathing (pranayama) is a cycle. Hindu history too has cycled and recycled. Times of open inquiry have lead to ritualistic steadfastness. Ages of ritual perfection have devolved into periods of blind faith. Frustration from these periods has opened up to golden ages of introspection and inquiry. These have then been followed by somewhat rebellious eras of exuberant devotion and so on. The wheels keep on turning in the Hindu world regardless of the roads that she travels and any turns, bumps, or skids she encounters along the way.

  24. October 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    This “racism” that Sandeep talks about did not just fall out of the sky, and neither was it based on skin colour. There is nothing inherently superior about white skin and the Europeans knew this. The Euros based their prejudice on the premise that their civilization was superior to Indian civilization in every conceivable way. They noticed that:

    1) Indian values lacked any conception of equality between men
    2) Indian art lacked geometric perspective
    3) Indian music lacked harmony
    4) Indian sculptures lacked that detailed knowledge of human anatomy that one observes in Michelangelo
    4) Indian ethics lacked rational autonomy
    5) Indian culture lacked individualism
    6) Indian epics were comprised of bland protagonists like Ram and Sita who were perfect in every way and lacked personality or will
    7) Indian religions lacked a sense of ethics and subordinated ethics to duty and superstition.

    The British and Europeans had every right to feel that their civilization was vastly superior to India’s backward, static, and caste ridden culture.

    • umuralikrishna
      October 8, 2013 at 7:00 AM

      Every race and culture has the right to be prejudicial about its culture. As such they find the Hindu culture through this jaundiced eye. But what Hindu India sees is not limited to the existence In this world of only Hindu race but recognises other races and cultures. Hindu culture is humanistic in intent though in practice this may not have been evident. Hindu race and culture is endowed with more humanism through strict spirituality. For example, every individual is free to follow his own faith and does not entangle himself in to others.

      • October 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Humanism is about emphasizing the horizontal relationship between individuals. Hinduism does not do this, but instead, emphasizes a vertical relationship between man and the universe. Arthur Danto said it best when he stated that the Hindu feels at one with the universe without feeling at one with any special portion of the universe, especially his fellow man. Humanism is about acknowledging the the humanity of the other whereas Hinduism is about separation and segregation. Hinduism and Humanism are poles apart.

        Like a lot of Indians, you have confused indifference for tolerance. The Europeans who visited India over the centuries noticed that the Brahmin intellectual class was utterly incapable of cross cultural dialogue, because they had no experience with it despite being visited by various outsiders over time. The Arabs and Persians engaged in cross cultural dialogue with other cultures. Ibn Al Nadeem wrote about Indian religion and culture in the 10th century. Al Biruni wrote a comprehensive history of India. Where did the Brahmins engage other cultures? Did they translate foreign works into Sanskrit? I’m genuinely asking because if I’m wrong I’d like that pointed out. The Brahmins showed zero awareness about the world outside India and were preoccupied with their solipsism and escapist Hindu religion.

        • nash
          October 9, 2013 at 1:36 PM

          Here is a site http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/ that has video lectures on “Ayurvedic Inheritance of India”under the General Section.
          It is at variance with your points.

    • Dheeraj
      October 13, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      Here is my counter argument
      1. To your point 1 : Have you heard of the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution ? Those bloody massacres took place in the first place because there was not a shred of equality to be found in their civilization. Even Michael Faraday was humiliated because he wasn’t a “Gentleman”. Read classics like “Pride and Prejudice” which outline the inequalities in European societies based on birth. They were the ones who enslaved native Americans and native Africans. Equality my ass.
      2. To your point 6, Why just stop at Ramayana? Have you even heard of Mahabharata every person has unique characterization? or perhaps about BanaBhatta’s Kadambari or Shudraka’s Mricchikatika? Talk to me when you have read them.
      3. To your point 4: On the contrary , Indian ethics had the highest amount of rational autonomy. You can find discourses on ethics which have extremely different view points. From Charvaka to Buddha to Adi Shankaracharya. They interpreted nature in radically different ways and all of them were accepted. India was the only place where spiritual, philosophical and ethical issues were resolved through debate (just read about the debates of Mandana Misra and Adi Shankara). There was no Pope who claimed that sun revolved around the earth and anyone who disagrees should die.
      4. Indian religions are the only ones which say that all religions lead to one god. All others believed that they were right and everyone else was a blasphemer.
      5. Indians were indeed very open minded until the British bullshit which made Indians more conservative. Read Kamasutra and the arguments propounded there.
      6. Actually, European art actually destroyed Indian art. Art need not exactly represent reality in every proportion. It is changed to give an artistic essence. By your arguments, even van gogh lacked geometric perspective and by your arguments, is a bad artist.
      You seem to me like a person who tries to justify his stupidity through high sounding words. Please learn to count till 100 first before you can pass comments on Indian culture.

    • gokul
      November 3, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Dear friend @Dota please, art lacks geometric perspective! nature by itself shows you that geometry is but a small part of art. Indian music lacked harmony!! Indians charmed snakes using the pungi. please take time to research into Indian music before you can comment on it. Ah! and the classic comparison to Michelangelo, he is one of my favorites followed by Leonardo Da Vinci, tell me Dota how many other sculptors like him have there ever been? Ayurveda was a medicinal practice that the world learnt from India, so tell me how many Vagbhata’s (one of the contributors to the book Ashtanga Hridayam ) do you know. My dear friend just because a country is different from another it doesn’t mean it needs to be changed, that act by itself shows the incapability of the British to accept a country as it is, and has “no right” to enforce its own ideals. Though they might have had the right to feel that their civilization was vastly superior, they had no right to barbarically try and enforce it else where.

  25. Siddharth
    September 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I must commend Sandeep for a well posted impression of West’s fascination as well as fractured opinion of India. However, never forget what Mark Twain said, ‘East is east, and West is west, and never the twain shall meet’.
    Richness of culture and architecture of the past, did not preserve India’s prominence. It is harder to preserve the past, unless the value system is kept intact. India’s reputation as a faraway and forever land was well deserved. It was a welcoming place, a bridge between West and East. But sadly, all that has been eroded. India has reached a critical threshhold of population and ideas. Airways, waterways and roadways are filled to capacity.
    The younger generation have to somehow find ways to improve the flow of communication between different segments of society. The bottleneck in the country has to be widened, which in turn leads to violence. There has to be more options for people to consider. A return to more conservative values, ie. not staying out late, having one meal at home, and greater social work will help alleviate some of the ills that plague the country. India is a like a quilt stitched together. What westerners see as a fractured society, is a warm ‘quilt’. Future of India is steady, if people are encouraged. The holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are always at work, but the hardest one part is the middle, to preserve and be good ‘Vaishnavites’, both culturally and practically.

    • nikhil
      October 9, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      “In a world where the powers are determined by the share of the world’s knowledge, reflected by patents, papers and so on…it is important for India to put all her acts together to become a continuous innovator and creator of science and technology intensive products.” The importance of scientific and technological advancement in today’s highly globalised environment cannot be overstated.-A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

    • singh
      October 9, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      THE FUTURE OF INDIA
      Every night in Kolkata children can be found sleeping alone and vulnerable on station platforms and in the surrounding areas. They are without their parents, thin and unkempt. Many are ill, all are vulnerable and most are exposed to serious forms of exploitation. They have little or no ability to change their lives.
      It is for children such as these that Future Hope India was established.

  26. Chetan
    September 18, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    sir you forgot to mention how western authors like to bring up rape in india all the time.

    • singh
      October 9, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      @Chetan
      Who has the highest number of rapes in the world?

      The title sadly goes to Sweden, which now sees one out of every four Swedish women being the victim of rape.
      The escalation of rape in Sweden is so bad that in July of last year there were an average of five rapes a day reported in Stockholm. Think about that for a minute; five women being raped a day in a modern civilized city. This isn’t Afghanistan or Mexico we’re talking about; it’s Sweden.
      Muslim rape wave in Sweden
      http://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/muslim_rape_wave_in_sweden/

      • som
        October 9, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Hundreds Of Muslim Women In Sweden Run From Being Murdered By Their Own Families

    • karan
      October 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      @Chetan

      Every nine minutes a married man commits suicide in India due to alleged misuse of section 498a of IPC against them, taking the toll to around a whopping 64,000 every year, says a report.

      “National Crime Records Bureau statistics reveal more incidences of suicide by married men than by married women. In 2012, approximately 64,000 married men committed suicide vis-a-vis 32,000 married women,” says D S Rao, president of Hridaya-Nest of Family Harmony, an NGO, quoting a survey by it.

      “Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. The offence is Cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.”

      This had passed by Indian Parliament in 1983, Indian Penal Code 498A, is a criminal law (not a civil law)

      THE HUSBAND, HIS OLD PARENTS AND RELATIVES ARE IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED WITHOUT SUFFICIENT INVESTIGATIONS and put behind bars on a non-bailable terms. Even if the complaint is false, ONE WILL BE PRESUMED GUILTY UNTIL ONE PROVES ,THAT HE IS INNOCENT.

      SO EVERY MARRIED MAN ARE AT RISK AND IT IS DANGEROUS FOR THE SOCIETY.

      http://www.498a.org/498aexplained.htm

      • Harish
        October 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM

        God please stop this 498a. 99% of the cases are fake and the women are taking advantage of this. 498a is legal terrorism – kidnapping of family, harassing and extortion of money.
        Please help them the juges of india stop this? 498a. Stop stop stop stop stop
        Indian parliament please stop this talibani terrorism
        A suicide case:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0QCrD6guxYY#t=0
        It is common to hear of harassment of wives by their husbands.
        THESE CASES HAPPEN EVERY DAY.
        But harassment of husbands by their wives is a trend that is growing. Hundreds of such harassed husbands gathered in legislators’ home to press for amendments to IPC section 498A or the Dowry Act which they say is misused by wives to harass their husbands
        Harassed husbands meet in city

    • som
      October 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      @Chetan

      DO NOT BOTHER ABOUT “WOMEN IN INDIA” BUT START WORRYING ABOUT” MEN IN INDIA” ,VICTIM OF ARTICLE 498A OF IPC.

      1 married man ends life every 9 minutes in India!
      http://www.samachar.com/1-married-man-ends-life-every-9-minutes-in-India-nkdoNKcfebb.html

  27. karan
    September 14, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    INDIA through western eye in just “JEWEL IN THE CROWN ” during British Raj,either is it matter of PRIDE or SHAME ???

    INDIA or HINDUSTAN which name had been given by GREEK or PERSIAN ,one name also their ,which had not been given by others i.e.BHARAT named after King BHARATA.

    BHARATA was a legendary emperor of India, and is referred to in Hindu and Jain theology. He was son of King Dushyanta of Hastinapura and Queen ?akuntal? and thus a descendant of the Lunar Dynasty of the Kshatriya Varna. BHARATA had conquered all of Greater India, uniting it into a single political entity which was named after him as “Bh?ratavar?a”.

    According to ancient Indian epic legend of the Mahabharata as well as the numerous puranas and diverse Indian history, BHARATA Empire included the whole territory of the Indian subcontinent, including parts of present day PAKISTAN, AFGANISTAN, CHINA, IRAN, TAJIKISTAN, UZBEKISTAN, KYRGYZTAN, RUSSIA TURKMENISTAN, NORTH-WEST TIBET, NEPAL and BANGLADESH.

    This represented as the ideal sample of great empires, which was dominated by harmony, wealth and prosperity.
    There are many references to “BHARATA CHAKRAWARTI” in the sacred Jain texts. He conquered all of the earth and the worlds above and reached the top of “Meru” or “Sumeru” mountain (the center of the world and tallest mountain) and placed a flag. But upon reaching the top he saw numerous such flags of world conquerors before him. This made him feel very insignificant and he took the diksha and attained nirvana.

    BHARAT (along with India) is the official English name of Republic of India and BHARATA GANARAJYAM is the official Sanskrit name of the country, while BHARATA GANARAJYA is the official Hindi name.

  28. U.Muralikrishna
    September 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    In my opinion it is high time that further debate on this topic is stopped.
    umk

  29. September 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    @Pradeep nag

    I still maintain that you have missed the point of this article and my point. People like Dalyrymple and Katherine Boo are DELIBERATELY showing a “bad” India so that people in the US and other Western countries look down upon the people of India and continue to feel “good” about where they are. In addition, such people feed the “white man’s burden” phenomenon on the need to intervene in internal Indian matters and/or also convert the people to “liberate” them from the “Oppressive Hinduism”. All problems of India are mostly blamed on Hindus, which is not fair. That’s what pisses me off.

    This article is not arguing that there are no problems in India and that everything is great.

    Now, to your points:

    1) “You live in US? Does not it show something about contradictions you put forth? Why you migrated to US when you could have contributed to modern civilization in India? I am not offending you but think rationally rather than on steroids.”

    I was born and brought up in the US. So, did not migrate here in search of a job or so. However, I do agree with your point about the problems in India. I am not denying it. But, you have to realize that these problems can be resolved through reforms put into place by ethical governments (or by force, as China is doing). Corrupt Congress needs to be removed and replaced with true leaders who care about the country regardless of social and religious diversity and not resort to minority appeasement.

    On this point, I am contributing to the modern civilization in India by being part of and contributing to movements in India that work on creating social change and education opportunities for the underprivileged. You will find most of the NRIs outside of India do this.

    2) “Every society has a problem, my comments simply accepting problems and have a positive outlook, is that inferiority complex?”

    In your original post, you started off by saying “we have not contributed anything but population. And, I am ashamed of that”. From a pyschological perspective, this is a classic case of a colonized population having developed an inferiority complex.

    China has a bigger population that India. If you visit China, you will see that many of their problems are very similar to India’s problems. The same is in Malaysia, Indonesia and many other Asian countries.

    But, you never see the Western Academia or the Western media write equally as much crap about these countries as they write about India.

    And, China and Japan are still proud of their heritage and are dealing with their societal problems not by simply seeking help from the West, but by standing on their own feet and adopting best practices from around the world.

    My point, again – yes, we need to accept it. But, don’t have to be overly ashamed about it, because many of these issues are not just self-made. They are a result of a lot of internal and external factors in India.

    3) On your points related to modern technology and civilization – yes, I agree that India has not had significant contributions at the moment. Then again, you can count the countries in your hand that have – US, Germany, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Japan, etc. Except for the US and Japan, all the countries have gotten rich by colonizing the poorer nations of Asia and Africa. You could wonder what India’s situation would have been had it not been colonized by the British?

    You should also keep in mind that while the Indian contributions may not be currently helping India, they are certainly helping the West!

    4) On human rights – Yes, I agree that there are human rights violations in India. And, even simply, a lot people in India treat their servants, garbage collectors, etc. as mere property as if they can dispose of them when done. So, I do agree with you.

    However, you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of agencies outside the UN that create human rights reports and articles and target India for ulterior motives (e.g. conversion).

    Please read Rajiv Malhotra’s book called “Breaking India” (www.breakingindia.com).

    5) I do know about the current epidemics in India – Diabetes, Heart problems, depression amongst youth, etc. I am not putting a wool over my head and denying these things.

    In conclusion, the central point of my argument was as follows:

    India has and is contributing to modern civilization. The contributions may not be as big or high as the West or the way the West may define, but they cannot be sidelined nonetheless. India’s contributions may not be helping India as much today (partly because Indians are so busy consuming Western material garbage faster that the good things that the West has to offer). But, India, as we know today is a young nation that is only 67 years old. It is struggling to grow and prosper while accomodating diverse group of people and a large population that lacks education, along with a corrupt political system. But, such problems do exist in other countries and therefore Indians need not be overly ashamed or answerable to outside forces. Indians can and will be able to solve their own problems. They don’t need policing from the West in another form of colonization (this time, cultural and social colonization). Indians can and will be able to solve their own problems. This is what Mahatma Gandhi stood for. Gandhiji wanted India to stand on its own and be great on its own. He did not want India to simply mimic the West and become its puppet.

    Accepting our problems does not mean that we need to be ashamed or belittle ourselve. Accepting their problems with self-confidence is what great leaders and personalities do.

  30. Jooske
    September 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    “He shows none of that bias and is honest in his criticism. His note for instance, on the Taj Mahal as a magnificent building that served no function (An Area of Darkness) is a good example of this honesty.”

    The great writer proceeds on the basis that the Taj Mahal is an Islamic building. It is more likely to be not.

    Taj Mahal: Was it a Vedic Temple? The Photographic Evidence

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm

    This presents photographs (listed below in two collections) that show the Vedic influence
    found in such buildings as the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, and other structures in India.

  31. D.Bose
    September 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Contributions of India in modern time

    1) Radio transmission invented by JC Bose, demonstrated in the Royal Institution. Marcony has copied the same instrument

    2) SN Bose is one of the creator of uantum Mechanics. The concept Boson comes from him.

    3) UN Brhamachary invented medicines for lack fever.

    4) PC Roy invented basic foundations of many of the modern medicine

    5) Among the Nobel Prize winniners: Raindranah Tagore in literature; CV Raman in Chemistry, Hargobind Khorana in medicine; Chandrasekhar in astronomy-Physics; Amartya Sen in Economics.

  32. david db
    September 9, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    what has india contributed to modern civilization?

    • pradeep nag
      September 10, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      David

      I agree w/ you, we Indians have not contributed anything except for population :), I am ashamed of that. However India has the potential to contribute immensely and we need west’s help to achieve that. Example is our IT, software, Managers have nurtured, contributed and took it to new heights to silicon valley.

      We need to change the polity of India and bring the past glory of India, where Aryabhata (space, invention od zero), Sushrutha (health and surgery), art and craft like in the past.

      Regards
      Pradeep

      • September 12, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        Dear David,

        First off, Pradeep above seems to be an apologetic Indian who has not done his research properly and just wants to agree with the West’s continued misportrayal of India. If he cared to read the numerous books, articles, etc. out there about India’s contributions to modern civilization, he would have answered your question properly.

        Now, to answer your question:

        I am assuming “modern civilization” as the 19th, 20th, and 21st century, since, from a Western point of view, the “modernization of the world” happened most rapidly during this era with things like the industrial revolution.

        So, what has India contributed?

        1) The Industrial Revolution of Britain was heavily financed by steeling capital and raw materials from India after the British has conquered parts of it. For example (thanks to http://indiantake.blogspot.com/2010/11/india-role-in-industrial-revolution.html):

        On 23 June 1757, the English East India Company defeated Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal, in the Battle of Plassey. The British thus became masters of east India (Bengal, Bihar, Orissa) – a prosperous region with a flourishing agriculture, industry and trade.

        The East India Company started collecting revenue from this region and sending it to Britain. This provided the capital. It also started seizing raw cotton from the cotton farmers and sending it to Britain. This provided the raw material. Finally, it brought the manufactured textiles from Britain into India – without any duties or tariffs – and sold them here. This was their free market.

        This itself is a HUGE topic. The internet is full of credible sources that show how much of the Indian Revenue System was used by the British to finance their own progress.

        2) Many intellectuals from Thoreau, Emerson, Schopenhauer, Einstein, Twain, etc. have been influenced in may ways from Indian philosophical, scientific and metaphysical systems

        3) Indian geniuses like JC Bose (who successfully applied semiconductors for practical use), SN Bose (who famously is associated with the Bose-Einstein particles BOSON), Srinivas Ramanujan (one of the smartest mathematicians of his time) are well known for their contribution to modern civilization

        4) The entire Yoga movement (though selectively adopted by the West) is a testament to Indian philosophical and spiritual genius. From the Beetles to Bill Gates to Madonna to you name the celebrity – all have benefitted from Yoga postures and meditation. Millions of Westerners come to India today in search of peace and purpose in life. You should try to check out places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, etc. as well as some of the Yoga and spiritual retreats in other parts of India

        5) Ayurveda, the ancient science of medicine, has created a multi-billion dollar industry today. Brands like Aveda are perfect examples of how the West has selectively adopted Indian/Hindu ideas to its advantage and made billions of dollars

        6) Vegetarianism was a concept completely foreign to the West. But, now, a huge chunk of the intellectual and elite population of the Western World is completely vegetarian, vegan or at least vegetarian/vegan a few days a week

        7) Indian scientists, intellectuals, etc. have successfully pioneered new techologies and shaped the future of silicon valley (and continue to do so)

        8) Many Indian scientists were part of the project to build the Large Hadron Collider, the project to find the so called “God Particle” or Higgs boson (yeah, the same BOSON particle I refered in point 3)

        9) Many Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in the World Wars as well as in UN Peace Keeping Missions around the world. Yet, this fact is relatively unknown to the rest of the world and even in India because the government does not make any efforts to assert national pride

        10) Business Process Outsourcing – You may be familiar with this – Since the 1999 Y2K issue and the growing advances in techology, India has become one of the biggest places in the world to outsource key IT processing services, thus saving US, European and other companies billions of dollars and making a lot of people very rich. Outsourcing, which has been given a bad stigma by the Western Media, has actually benefitted the lives of many people around the world and created many efficiences in business management

        I can go on but I think these should serve as enough examples for both you and Pradeep. I encourage you to remove your Western Lens and look at the world from a different perspective.

        Best,
        Abhimanyu

        • pradeep nag
          September 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM

          You can only collect handful of contributions from India (what is the percent of contribution to modern civilization?). Accepting your failures is apologetic? Instead of living in a lala land, do a reality check and think of how we can bring back past glory or Bharat.

          • September 13, 2013 at 1:38 AM

            Dear Pradeep,

            No, I am not collecting a handful of contributions from India. Since this is a blog and not a book or a whole website, I decided to list a handful. The contributions of India are numerous.

            I am certainly not living in Lala Land. I am aware of India’s shortcomings and the current problems plaguing India.

            But, your post above belittled India’s contributions as merely “problems” such as “over population”. David’s question did not ask you to accept your mistakes or anything like. He simply asked what India has contributed to modern civilization. But, many Indians, upon being challenged to educate others on their heritage, shy away and give apologetic answers like “Ok, yeah, we admit….India is a mess”. Why the inferiority complex bro?

            I live in the US, and believe me, there are a lot of social problems (rape, murder, sadistic murders, etc.) here. Recently, a man was given 1000 years in prison because he had kept three girls in his basement and raped them for 11 years! Read here – http://news.yahoo.com/life-prison-plea-deal-man-held-cleveland-women-175723025.html.

            People here suffer from childhood obesity, anxiety, depression, divorce, homelessness, etc. And, these numbers are growing here. US has its own domestic violence issues and fanaticism. So, every developed country has their problems. Yet, if you talk to Americans here, they will not be meek and apologetic and say “yeah, we admit that America has a lot of problems”.

            In essence, you are missing the point of Sandeep’s post here. India is studied through the Western lens and even Indians are taught to learn through the Western lens. So, the questions they ask are also in the same framework and the answers they give also look to satisfy the same framework. (To illustrate this phenomenon, I recommend reading Rajiv Malhotra’s book “Being Different”, available on Amazon and Flipkart)

            In order for Indians to wake up, they first need to be educated on the fact that India has had a glorious past (not through today’s Indian textbooks which only give preferences to Mughal and British achievements) and has also contributed significantly to modern civilization. Then, they need to shun the western paradigm and do a “Purva Paksha” or “Counter Examination” of the West in their own framework and come up with ways to see where the West stands truly. How many articles and serious academic works out there have you seen that examine the West through the same lens that it uses to examine countries like India? Please do share those with me, because I struggle to find too many meaningful ones. How many universities in India are writing articles and academic papers on the “Caste System of America” or “Child and Female Abuse in Western Developed Societies”?

            Furthermore, I am not sure what you mean by what is the percent of contribution? How do you define that? Do you define by how many iPhones India has given? Do you define it by how many millions of Ferraris, Bentleys, etc. India has given? Whose definition are you employing?

            You need to keep the contributions in perspective. India, with all its problems and lack of resources, has still contributed a lot to the world. It may not only be in the form of technological gadgets (though you will be surprised to know that many Indians have worked on things like Windows, Microsoft Office, Google’s phones, Bose Radio, etc.), but in form of intellectual capital supplied around the world. Daughters and sons of India have travelled and settled around the world and they continue to make strides in many places.

            There are ways to measure the percent of contributions. And, then there are those that cannot be measured. For example, how will you measure the impact of the creation of transistor radio? How will you measure the impact of Swami Vivekananda’s and Paramhamsa Yogananda’s arrival in the West? How do you measure the physical and mental benefits that people get from doing Yogasanas, Transcendental Meditation, etc.?

            India as you know today is only a 67 year old nation. Out of the 67 years, most years have been governed by idiotic socialist and minority appeasement policies of the Nehru dynasty and Congress. No wonder India is in a political mess. India can truly shine today when the people of India create a revolution and overthrow corrupt politicians and take pride in Mother India and nationhood. This has to come from the people.

            By the way, you will be happy to know that I am currently working on projects and awareness that will help bring back the glory of Bharat.

            Best,
            Abhimanyu

          • pradeep nag
            September 13, 2013 at 2:30 AM

            You live in US? Does not it show something about contradictions you put forth? Why you migrated to US when you could have contributed to modern civilization in India? I am not offending you but think rationally rather than on steroids.

            Every society has a problem, my comments simply accepting problems and have a positive outlook, is that inferiority complex?

            What is modern civilization? Technology/Science, Health care, Infrastructure, Law and Order, Human rights, equality, freedom etc

            Technology — We indians live on jobs and technology outsourced to us. What is the technological contribution india did apart from handful of things you mentioned. Did we invent computer? Automobile? Airbus? Petroleum? anything that you use in everyday of life?

            but in past we invented zero, etc

            Health Care: Put your hand on heart and tell me did we invent any medicine or molecule that saves life. Our pharma industry is copy cat, just copies molecule and does mass production. I myself in India was victim of depression, anxiety and obesity, was not able to get diagnosed, I had to read in internet and understand my condition and had exercise and relax and control my food (I am a vegetarian), Indians are grain based vegetarians not vegetable vegetarians :), India is Diabetes and Heart disease capital, if you think indians dont have epidemics then you dont know anything about India.

            but in past we had ayurveda and sushrutha did brain surgery.

            Infrastructure: 60% of Indian population shits in open air, water borne and contagious diseases in rural areas.

            do we have sanitation facility? water facility? good roads? good educational institutions? etc

            Law and Order: I dont have to tell anything.

            Human rights: You dont want to believe in UN reports, because they have western lens?

            equality and freedom? every year lots of riots based on religion, language, caste etc

            If you are still proud of India I cannot help but can only pity you. but mind you I am proud of BHARAT that was a vishwa guru once.

            I will be inferior, belittled, ashamed or whatever you say till we accept our problem and move towards making better India.

            We used to be a great nation once but if you say we are even now a great nation I am sorry I dont have time to argue with you.

    • som
      October 9, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      @david db

      What has india contributed to modern civilization?

      Ans: Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India.* Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.* India was one of the richest countries till the time of British rule in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, had come looking for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.The Art of Navigation & Navigating was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘NAVGATIH’. The word navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nou’.Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. According to his calculation, the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun was 365.258756484 days.The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian Mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians.Quadratic Equations were used by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10*53 (i.e. 10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 B.C.during the Vedic period.Even today, the largest used number is Terra: 10*12(10 to the power of 12).Until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds in the world
      (Source: Gemological Institute of America)

      Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism,physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.

      Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

      • karan
        October 9, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        @som
        Dr George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester says the ‘Kerala School’ identified the ‘infinite series ’- one of the basic components of calculus – in about 1350.

        According to Dr George Gheverghese Joseph of Great Britain’s University of Manchester, the discovery is currently – and wrongly – attributed in books to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz at the end of the seventeenth centuries.

        The team from the Universities of Manchester and Exeter reveal the Kerala School also discovered what amounted to the Pi series and used it to calculate Pi correct to 9, 10 and later 17 decimal places.
        And there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the fifteenth century. That knowledge, the team argues, may have eventually been passed on to Newton himself.

        Dr Joseph made the revelations while browsing through obscure Indian papers for a yet to be published third edition of his best selling book ‘The Crest of the Peacock: the Non-European Roots of Mathematics’ by Princeton University Press.

        He said: “The beginnings of modern maths is usually seen as a European achievement but the discoveries in medieval India between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries have been ignored or forgotten.

        “The brilliance of Newton’s work at the end of the seventeenth century stands undiminished – especially when it came to the algorithms of calculus. But other names from the Kerala School, notably Madhava and Nilakantha, should stand shoulder to shoulder with him as they discovered the other great component of calculus- infinite series.

        “There were many reasons why the contribution of the Kerala school has not been acknowledged – a prime reason is neglect of scientific ideas emanating from the Non-European world – a legacy of European colonialism and beyond.

        “But there is also little knowledge of the medieval form of the local language of Kerala, Malayalam, in which some of most seminal texts, such as the Yuktibhasa, from much of the documentation of this remarkable mathematics is written.

        He added: “For some unfathomable reasons, the standard of evidence required to claim transmission of knowledge from East to West is greater than the standard of evidence required to knowledge from West to East.

        “Certainly it’s hard to imagine that the West would abandon a 500-year-old tradition of importing knowledge and books from India and the Islamic world. But we’ve found evidence which goes far beyond that: for example, there was plenty of opportunity to collect the information as European Jesuits were present in the area at that time.

        “They were learned with a strong background in maths and were well versed in the local languages.

        “And there was strong motivation: Pope Gregory XIII set up a committee to look into modernizing the Julian calendar. On the committee was the German Jesuit astronomer/mathematician Clavius who repeatedly requested information on how people constructed calendars in other parts of the world. The Kerala School was undoubtedly a leading light in this area.

        “Similarly there was a rising need for better navigational methods including keeping accurate time on voyages of exploration and large prizes were offered to mathematicians who specialized in astronomy.

        “Again, there were many such requests for information across the world from leading Jesuit researchers in Europe. Kerala mathematicians were hugely skilled in this area.”

        Aryabhatta-siddhanta (AD 499), one of the greatest Indian astronomer-mathematician, was the first to discover that the Moon and the planets reflect the light from the Sun, and that the planets follow an elliptical orbit around the Sun.

    • nikhil
      October 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      @david db

      Do you want to know ,what has india contributed to modern civilization?
      Ans:

      Fifteen Indian Inventions and Discoveries That Shaped the Modern World – Part 1

      Fifteen Indian Inventions and Discoveries That Shaped the Modern World – Part II

  33. Awadhesh
    September 9, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    So true

  34. Bhawana Dixit
    September 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    I think we Indians need to have more rational outlook. I wish people respect women and don’t treat them as commodities.
    http://nonexecution.blogspot.in/2013/08/independence67.html

    http://nonexecution.blogspot.in/2013/08/independence67_16.html
    http://practicalamendments.blogspot.in/

  35. Madhu Sameer
    September 8, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Thank you for this insightful commentary. I have long since felt, and experienced, the disconnect and the blatant abuse of power by the Western Media. I – and my children have been victims of the so called justice system in US for the last 12 years, and continue being so. I honestly believe the Westerners project their own dysfunctions, their own disabilities, their own oppression onto the Eastern Countries (even the Middle East, where I lived happily for 9 years before setting foot on this soil in 1998). I have found nothing but oppression, discrimination, and injustice heaped on women and children in this country. Being a social worker, I have my finger on the pulse of the country. I interact with the marginalized sections of the society. Despite all laws, and despite all the PR, what we see here is covert mutilation of the feminine, and the children, and suppression of the information. There is such a brialliant but superficial layer of glitz about equality, that the rotting within is well hidden.

    As for culture, and evolution, the only Westerner who has studied it in any depth was Carl Gustav Jung. And he ended by imitating the Eastern Heritage into his brand of psychology and copyrighting it under his own name. Analytical Psychology, or Jungian Psychology, as it is now called, is simply a regurgitationof Oriental and Indian philosophies, stolen and put into new bottles for the purpose of commercialisation. But at least it has been done appropriately, and with due regards.

    I spoke at a conference in Spokane a few years ago, on the subject of Hate. A Jewish delegate from the White House was there. She was appointed by the White House to ensure that people do not forget the Holocaust. Her only job was to keep the memories of the Holocaust alive in US, and hence the world. After the lecture, I asked her to give me areason why I should know, or remember the Holocaust, except as a historical event that has the same historical meaning, and importance as does slavery, and the two World Wars. I pointed out my Indian heritage and asked her if she even knew about Jalianwala Bag incident ? It was an uncomfortable moment in the lecture hall, where the faces of half the audience – from the East and Middle East – glowed in appreciation, and the other half – the audience from the Western countries – showed that I they considered me utterly ignorant, illiterate and stupid to have questioned the role of the Holocaust.

    Your observation that there exists no voice to promote Indian heritage, and counter the attacks on our culture, is absolutely accurate. In my small library at home, I too have amassed a plethora of books on Indian Gods and Godesses. Whereas some of them provide research based information, others are simply pitiful in their depiction of Indian heritage and philosophies. There have been times I have been motivated to do something, write something, perform some research of my own, but financial constraints on such a noble endeavor have limited my abilities, and my motivations. There are no scholarships available to help people like me at grad schools or colleges, to write dissertations. No research grants available to conduct true indepth research. There are no opportunities presented to pursue anything that is Indian. The common man in the West does not even KNOW what a great country India once was, and how it was enslaved, broken, and has been liberated only 65 years ago. Trust me on this – an average American does not know that India has been independent for only 65 years. It comes as a shock to them when I say we have done a great deal in 65 years. It is then that they begin to appreciate who we are.

    Indian govt spends a huge amount of money marketing India as a destination for tourism. But until there is educational funding that will promote good research on India, and everything Indian, we will continue being devoured by the imperialists. Nothing has changed from the time East India Company stealthily landed on our soil. Only the mechanism is a little more subtle and has a different name now. The organisation are designated as educational, globalisational, and trade and commerce organizations. The mandate is the same – to destabilize the region, to eradicate the culture, and to take over the economy.

    Perhaps my comment has rambled a bit, but the issues that your commentary touched on, were many, and spawned several threads of consciousness. Hence I may be excused for trying to weave all the issues together.

  36. som
    September 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    BUT the period between 350 and 550 CE is known as the Golden Age of India because of the large achievements Indians made in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, science, religion and philosophy. The decimal numeral system, including the concept of zero, was invented in India during this period. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors in India. The Golden Age in India came to an end when the barbaric Hunas invaded and captured most of northern India in 500 CE.

    The dynasty was founded by Chandra (Candra) Gupta I (r. 320 – c. 330). The Gupta era was once regarded as India’s Classical period, but new archaeological evidence has given the Mauryan empire that designation. Nevertheless, the Gupta period is noted for the flourishing of Sanskrit literature (see Kalidasa), its sophisticated metal coins, its advanced mathematics (which made use of decimal notation and the numeral zero and at that time was more advanced than anywhere else), and its astronomical advances.

    After the Kushanas, India saw political unity only under the second great dynasty of ancient Indian history after the Mauryas, the Guptas.

    The imperial Guptas were great conquerors, efficient administrators and renowned patrons of the arts, science and culture. What’s more, they lasted pretty long too; they had at least six strong rulers before the dynasty petered off, which meant greater stability than any kingdom had ever known in Indian sub-continent. Their reign is called the Golden Age of ancient Indian history.

    There is evidence, the first traces ever, of fundamentalism as the staunchly Guptas set about reviving the older religion. It is in this era also that we see the beautifully simple and free-spirited Indian philosophy settling down into a more rigid mould of a religion that we now call Hinduism. There could be reasons for this, though.

    For when the Guptas came on the scene India had just seen a long line of Indo-Greek, Indo-Bactrian, Indo-Parthian, in short Indo-anything except Indo-Indian rulers. and even then they had to continuously wage bitter battles to keep foreign invaders like the Sakas off their backs. So naturally they reached deep back to their roots so to speak, in reaction against all things foreign. To revive the glory of the `old’ culture, which had been obscured by the so-called foreign rulers, must have been a matter of pride for them. In this, however, came certain downs. For example the caste system came back with a vengeance but no longer as the flexible loose social structure of the early Indian days, but a strict code that later became such a curse for India.

  37. allwynmasc
    September 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    about westerners only writing about desperate poverty, filth, human misery etc I agree with one observation i read somewhere maybe on some blog it said tht Indians expect westerners to notice the good india (billionaire, bollywood, industries, affluent eng speaking middle class, infrastructure etc etc) along with the bad india(poverty etc as mentioned earlier) but the latter gets their laser focus for the most SIMPLEST PSYCHOLOGICAL REASON that the things which constitute GOOD INDIA have been witnessed by westerners in their homelands since their birth so the buildings, hotels etc don’t impress them one bit as they have seen it all and much more being born in already highly developed countries but the BAD INDIA hits them very hard in their guts as they have definitely not witnessed that levels of human misery on the streets in USA, london, france – not even close! Hence all they take back from india is wht hit them the most in their psych tht is the desperate human misery and poverty! In the end its just psychology more than any planned effort to report only the negatives about india.

  38. September 5, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Indian police may beat someone but not as cruel as for example Toronto police that shoots and kills 9 year olds. They don’t know anything but gun. That aside, children of migrants to western countries fall into two broad categories. One that loves India but does not write or say so. One that is more vocal is the one in pursuit of a good career and writes/talks according to the template you show above. If you read abstracts of what the professors in Toronto university study on India, again your check points and add a little bit of gender inequality etc. These are the masters that career seeking children of immigrants follow. These are the ones that participate in media and spread their Check point version of India. They have a lot of misunderstanding about India which is proved by their suspicion and inability to work with Indians. They dread being proven wrong because they know they are wrong. A biology student with no background in Sanskrit teaches Sanskrit in University of Toronto! There are many well educated Sanskrit scholars (Vidwans) in Toronto but they are in temples! How could a secular person interact with someone working in a temple! In contrast all studies on China are positive! Please add gender issues to your Checklist!

    • umuralikrishna
      September 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      This brings the saying: “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!”. You need to just simply substitute money for power. Hindu philosophy is broader in its approach to everything in the Universe: please note – Hindu scriptures exhort an individual as:- (Sanskrit) Sarvey Janah sukhino bhavanthu, meaning all mankind should be happy. In a way this is and integrated form of what Christianity preaches- love thy neighbour as thyself. This dictum also has its equivalent in the Hindu scriptures: Aatmavat Sarva Bhootaanam ( in Sanskrit)!

  39. S
    September 5, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    The propaganda machinery of the church is also in place here, and make no mistake, Goebbels could have learned a lot from these masters. Owning news channels with fake names, magazines, books (there’s a so-called “Shiva trilogy” going around written by a so-called Amish that is clearly either the work of a madman or a malicious writer), and crypto christian authors like Arundhati Suzanne Roy, her latest work being “the hanging of afzal guru”. Indians are bombarded by propaganda right now.

  40. Jooske
    September 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    “For instance, on page 2, he claims that Buddhism was wiped out in India by what he calls “an aggressive Hinduism.” This isn’t new–Dalrymple flagrantly, uncritically regurgitates this Marxist lie. From Ambedkar to Rahula Sankrityayana, almost every scholar of integrity is agreed on the fact that it was the medieval Muslim invasions that extinguished Buddhism in India. “

    Questionnaire for “Marxist Professor” Darlymple

    http://voiceofdharma.org/books/htemples2/app4.htm

    QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE MARXIST PROFESSORS

    “I attended a seminar on the Mandal Commission Report held in the
    Gandhi Peace Foundation in October, 1990. One of the participants who
    spoke in support of the Report was Shri Hukam Dev Narain Singh Yadav,
    an MP of the Janata Dal at that time and a Minister in the Chandra
    Shekhar Government some time later. Speaking of Brahminical tyranny,
    he referred to the time when rivers of the blood of Buddhist monks
    were made to flow in the Buddhist monasteries (jab bauddha vihãroñ mêñ
    bauddha bhikSuoñ kê rakta kî nadiyãñ bahãî gayî thîñ). The following
    dialogue took place between myself and the speaker at the end of the
    latters talk:

    I: Could you kindly name the Buddhist monasteries where it happened,
    and also the time when it happened?

    Speaker: I will not pretend that I know. I must have heard it from
    someone, or read it somewhere.

    I: I give you six months for finding a single instance of Hindus
    murdering Buddhist monks. I am demanding only one instance, not two.

    Speaker: I will try.

    The speaker looked to me to be one of the finest men I had ever met.
    His voice had a ring of sincerity in whatever he said. His humility in
    presenting his point of view was more than exemplary. I expected him
    to remember my question and provide an answer. But two and a half
    years have passed and there is no word from the eminent politician
    occupying a high position in the public life of this country.

    I know that the evidence demanded by me does not exist. It is a Big
    Lie being spread by Hindu-baiters. Hindus have never done what they
    are being accused of. My only point in mentioning the incident is that
    even honest people can become victims of hostile propaganda which is
    not countered in good time.”

    • umuralikrishna
      September 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      “My only point in mentioning the incident is that
      even honest people can become victims of hostile propaganda which is
      not countered in good time.”. This type of examples are not unknown. You have the stark example from the epic Ramayanam itself, namely, Kaikeyi. But at the same time we have Prince Bharata, the son of Kaikaeyi herself, to counteract the evil and the ill effect

  41. Jooske
    September 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    This was proved to be a fake and reported in the media. One wonders why Dalrymple chose NOT to mention it.

    chose NOT to mention it!

    (Needs an exclamation mark-often what is left out is more important than what is in the article/book.)

  42. Jooske
    September 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    “Add to this the Marxist takeover of Indian academia and media post-Independence, and we have a thoroughly distorted picture of the country.”

    “picture of the country.” And in particular its history.

  43. September 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    The more important question is “What do we mean by India?”.. there are two different entities existing in what we call as india.. the Metro India, which can trace its history to colonial history.. and the Traditional Bharath, which is the actual 5000 year ancient civilization, that is still now continuing..

    The Metro India has inherited the power from britishers, and has replaced them as new age colonisers.. whereas the rape of traditional Bharath continued even more vigorosly than british period..

    So please tell me which one do you refer, when you say India?

    The current political, administrative, and economic system that is in force today are all Colonial Systems.. whereas the traditional administration, traditional polity, are all dismantled and in a state of paralysis..

    There needs to be fundamental shift in the thinking of those hindutvavadis who speak of nationalism..

    I have written a detailed piece on how the Telengana issue is a resurgence of Traditional Bharath against Colonial India..

    http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/telengana-the-first-nail-on-coffin-of-colonial-india/

    • umuralikrishna
      September 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Metro India (in your own words) is for the individual life style pattern, while the traditional Bharath is for the society’s, life style pattern!

  44. arindam
    September 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    The only solution to the bias is for India to grow strong as a nation , as Chines proverb says something to the effect that only strong can expect reasonableness and weak are subjected to ridicule and pity.

  45. TG
    September 4, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    Poverty. Check.
    Casteism.Check
    Poor Living Standards.Check
    Blame Congress. But who voted for them? The people of India. Who discriminates on the basis of caste?The people of India.

    We were told to pray to the mountains and rivers as our fathers and mothers. Nobody stopped our parents from telling us this fact. There was no Congressi or a westerner.

    Did India listen? No.

    I recently came back from my Manimahesh Kailash Parikrama Yatra in Chamba. That is as close as possible you go to mother nature. Its foreigners who are cleaning up the mess created by the Indians at 4000+ meters.

    Our history and philosophy is great. But when Indians themselves are not respecting it, why blame the foreigners?

  46. Anuk
    September 4, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    Dear Sandeep, The biggest problem we are facing is not how west views India, it is how we Indians are viewing India. Thanks to rapid westernization in the name of development, today, important national issues are being viewed as of little or no importance. The priority for internal and personal matters are getting national importance, thanks to diversionary tactics of political & media culprits.

    We should not allow divisive politics in the matters of National importance. If India becomes a powerful nation with right thinking people, the silly & illogical arguments made by westerners can be easily rebutted.

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