Thursday, May 27, 2004
Hindu Kush means Hindu Slaughter
Hindu Kush means Hindu Slaughter
By Shrinandan Vyas
All the Encyclopedias and National Geographic agree that Hindu Kush region is a place of Hindu genocide (similar to Dakau and Auschwitz). All the references are given. Please feel free to verify them.
All Standard reference books agree that the name 'Hindu Kush' of the mountain range in Eastern Afganistan means 'Hindu Slaughter' or 'Hindu Killer'. History also reveals that until 1000 A.D. the area of Hindu Kush was a full part of Hindu cradle. More likely, the mountain range was deliberately named as 'Hindu Slaughter' by the Moslem conquerors, as a lesson to the future generations of Indians. However Indians in general, and Hindus in particular are completely oblivious to this tragic genocide. This article also looks into the reasons behind this ignorance.
21 References - (Mainly Encyclopedia Britannica & other reference books, National Geographic Magazines and standard history books).
The Hindu Kush is a mountain system nearly 1000 miles long and 200 miles wide, running northeast to southwest, and dividing the Amu Darya River Valley and Indus River Valley. It stretches from the Pamir Plateau near Gilgit, to Iran. The Hindu Kush ranges mainly run thru Afganistan and Pakistan. It has over two dozen summits of more than 23,000 ft in height. Below the snowy peaks the mountains of Hindu Kush appear bare, stony and poor in vegetation. Historically, the passes across the Hindu Kush have been of great military significance, providing access to the northern plains of India. The Khyber Pass constitutes an important strategic gateway and offers a comparatively easy route to the plains of Punjab. Most foreign invaders, starting from Alexander the Great in 327 BC, to Timur Lane in 1398 AD, and from Mahmud of Ghazni, in 1001 AD, to Nader Shah in 1739 AD attacked Hindustan via the Khyber Pass and other passes in the Hindu Kush (1,2,3). The Greek chroniclers of Alexander the Great called Hindu Kush as Parapamisos or Paropanisos (4). The Hindu name of the Hindu Kush mountains was 'Paariyaatra Parvat'(5).
EARLY HISTORY OF HINDU KUSH REGION (UP TO 1000 AD)
History of Hindu Kush and Punjab shows that two major kingdoms of Gandhaar & Vaahic Pradesh (Balkh of Bactria) had their borders extending far beyond the Hindu Kush. Legend has it that the kingdom of Gandhaar was established by Taksha, grandson of Bharat of Ayodhya (6). Gandhaar's borders extended from Takshashila to Tashkent (corruption of 'Taksha Khand') in the present day Uzbekistan. In the later period, Mahabharat relates Gaandhaari as a princess of Gandhaar and her brother, Shakuni as a prince and later as Gandhaar's ruler.
In the well documented history, Emperor Chandragupt Maurya took charge of Vaahic Pradesh around 325 BC and then took over Magadh. Emperor Ashok's stone tablets with inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic are still found at Qandahar (corruption of Gandhaar?) and Laghman in eastern Afganistan(3). One such stone tablet, is shown in the PBS TV series 'Legacy with Mark Woods' in episode 3 titled 'India: The Spiritual Empire'. After the fall of Mauryan empire, Gandhaar was ruled by Greeks. However some of these Greek rulers had converted to Buddhism, such as Menander, known to Indian historians as Milinda, while some other Greeks became followers of Vishnav sects (Hinduism)(7). Recent excavations in Bactria have revealed a golden hoard which has among other things a figurine of a Greek goddess with a Hindu mark on its forehead (Bindi) showing the confluence of Hindu-Greek art (8). Later Shaka and KushaaN ruled Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh. KushaaN emperor Kanishka's empire stretched from Mathura to the Aral Sea (beyond the present day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Krygzystan)(9).
Kanishaka was a Buddhist and under KushaaN influence Buddhism flourished in Gandhaar. Two giant sandstone Buddhas carved into the cliffs of Bamian (west of Kabul) date from the Kushan period. The larger Buddha (although defaced in later centuries by Moslem invaders) is about 175 ft tall (10,11). The Kushan empire declined by 450 AD. The Chinese traveller Hsuan-Tsang (Xuan-zang) travelled thru the region in 7 th century AD and visited many Buddhist religious centers (3) including Hadda, Ghazni, Qonduz, Bamian (3,10,11), Shotorak and Bagram. From the 5 th thru 9 th cenury AD Persian Sasanians and Hepthalites ruled Gandhaar. During their rule Gandhaar region was again influenced by Hinduism. The Hindu kings (Shahiya) were concentrated in the Kabul and Ghazni areas. The last Hindu Shahiya king of Kabul, Bhimapal was killed in 1026 AD. The heroic efforts of the Hindu Shahiya Kings to defend the northwestern gates of India against the invaders are described by even al-Biruni, the court historian of Mahmud of Ghazni (12). Some excavated sites of the period include a major Hindu Shahiya temple north of Kabul and a chapel that contains both Buddhist and Hindu images, indicating that there was a mingling of two religions (3).
Islamic invasions on Afganistan started in 642 AD, but over the next several centuries their effect was marginal and lasted only a short time after each raid. Cities surrendered only to rise in revolt and the hastily converted returned to their old religion (Hinduism or Buddhism) once the Moslem armies had passed (3).
THUS TILL THE YEAR 1000 AD AFGANISTAN WAS A FULL PART OF HINDU CRADLE.
HINDU KUSH AND THE HINDU GENOCIDE
Now Afganistan is a Moslem country. Logically, this means either one or more of the following must have happened:
a) original residents of Hindu Kush converted to Islam, or
b) they were slaughtered and the conquerors took over, or
c) they were driven out.
Encyclopedia Britannica (3) already informs us above about the resistance to conversion and frequent revolt against to the Moslem conqueror's rule from 8 th thru 11 th Century AD. The name 'Hindu Kush' itself tells us about the fate of the original residents of Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh during the later period of Moslem conquests, because HINDU KUSH in Persian MEANS HINDU SLAUGHTER (13) (as per Koenraad Elst in his book 'Ayodhya and After'). Let us look into what other standard references say about Hindu Kush.
Persian-English dictionary (14) indicates that the word 'Kush' is derived from the verb Kushtar - to slaughter or carnage. Kush is probably also related to the verb Koshtan meaning to kill. In Urdu, the word Khud-kushi means act of killing oneself (khud - self, Kushi- act of killing). Encyclopedia Americana comments on the Hindu Kush as follows: The name Hindu Kush means literally 'Kills the Hindu', a reminder of the days when (Hindu) SLAVES from Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afgan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia (15). The National Geographic Article 'West of Khyber Pass' informs that 'Generations of raiders brought captive Hindus past these peaks of perpetual snow. Such bitter journeys gave the range its name Hindu Kush - "Killer of Hindus"'(10). The World Book Encyclopedia informs that the name Kush, .. means Death ..(16). While Encyclopedia Britannica says 'The name Hindu Kush first appears in 1333 AD in the writings of Ibn Battutah, the medieval Berber traveller, who said the name meant 'Hindu Killer', a meaning still given by Afgan mountain dwellers who are traditional enemies of Indian plainsmen (i.e. Hindus)(2). However, later the Encyclopedia Britannica gives a negationist twist by adding that 'more likely the name is a corruption of Hindu-Koh meaning Hindu mountains'. This is unlikely, since the term Koh is used in its proper, uncorrupted form for the western portion of Hindu Kush, viz. Koh-i-Baba, for the region Swat Kohistan, and in the names of the three peaks of this range, viz. Koh-i-Langer, Koh-i-Bandakor, and Koh-i-Mondi. Thus to say that corruption of term Koh to Kush occurred only in case of Hindu Kush is merely an effort to fit in a deviant observation to a theory already proposed. In science, a theory is rejected if it does not agree with the observations, and not the other way around. Hence the latter negationist statement in the Encyclopedia Britannica must be rejected.
IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT ONE OF THE FEW PLACE NAMES ON EARTH THAT REMINDS US NOT OF THE VICTORY OF THE WINNERS BUT RATHER THE SLAUGHTER OF THE LOSERS, CONCERNS A GENOCIDE OF HINDUS BY THE MOSLEMS (13).
Unlike the Jewish holocaust, the exact toll of the Hindu genocide suggested by the name Hindu Kush is not available. However the number is easily likely to be in millions. Few known historical figures can be used to justify this estimate. Encyclopedia Britannica informs that in December 1398 AD, Timur Lane ordered the execution of at least 50,000 captives before the battle for Delhi, .. and after the battle those inhabitants (of Delhi) not killed were removed (as slaves) (17), while other reference says that the number of captives butchered by Timur Lane's army was about 100,000 (18). Later on Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that the (secular?) Mughal emperor Akbar 'ordered the massacre of about 30,000 (captured) Rajput Hindus on February 24, 1568 AD, after the battle for Chitod' (19). Another reference indicates that this massacre of 30,000 Hindu peasants at Chitod is recorded by Abul Fazl, Akbar's court historian himself (20). These two 'one day' massacres are sufficient to provide a reference point for estimating the scale of Hindu genocide. The Afgan historian Khondamir records that during one of the many repeated invasions on the city of Herat in western Afganistan, 1,500,000 residents perished (11).
Since some of the Moslem conquerors took Indian plainsmen as slaves, a question comes : whatever happened to this slave population? The startling answer comes from New York Times (May-June 1993 issues). The Gypsies are wandering peoples in Europe. They have been persecuted in almost every country. Nazis killed 300,000 gypsies in the gas chambers. These Gypsies have been wandering around Central Asia and Europe since around the 12 th Century AD. Until now their country of origin could not be identified. Also their Language has had very little in common with the other European languages. Recent studies however show that their language is similar to Punjabi and to a lesser degree to Sanskrit. Thus the Gypsies most likely originated from the greater Punjab. The time frame of Gypsy wanderings also coincides early Islamic conquests hence most likely their ancestors were driven out of their homes in Punjab and taken as slaves over the Hindu Kush.
The theory of Gypsie origins in India was first proposed over two centuries ago. It is only recently theta linguistic and other proofs have been verified. Even the Gypsie leadership now accepts India as the country of their origin.
Thus it is evident that the mountain range was named as Hindu Kush as a reminder to the future Hindu generations of the slaughter and slavery of Hindus during the Moslem conquests.
DELIBERATE IGNORANCE ABOUT HINDU KUSH
If the name Hindu Kush relates such a horrible genocide of Hindus, why are Hindus ignorant about it? and why the Government of India does not teach them about Hindu Kush? The history and geography curriculums in Indian Schools barely even mention Hindu Kush. The horrors of the Jewish holocaust are taught not only in schools in Israel and USA, but also in Germany. Because both Germany and Israel consider the Jewish holocaust a 'dark chapter' in the history. The Indian Government instead of giving details of this 'dark chapter' in Indian history is busy in whitewash of Moslem atrocities and the Hindu holocaust. In 1982, the National Council of Educational Research and Training issued a directive for the rewriting of school texts. Among other things it stipulated that: 'Characterization of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Moslems is forbidden'. Thus denial of history or Negationism has become India's official 'educational' policy (21).
Often the official governmental historians brush aside questions such as those that Hindu Kush raises. They argue that the British version is the product of their 'divide and rule' policy' hence their version is not necessarily true. However it must be remembered that the earliest reference of the name Hindu Kush and its literal meaning 'Hindu Killer' comes from Ibn Battutah in 1333 AD, and at that time British were nowhere on the Indian scene. Secondly, if the name indeed was a misnomer then the Afgans should have protested against such a barbaric name and the last 660 plus years should have been adequate for a change of name to a more 'civil' name. There has been no effort for such a change of name by the Afgans. On the contrary, when the Islamic fundamentalist regime of the Mujahadeens came to power in 1992, tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs from Kabul, became refugees, and had to pay steep ransom to enter into Pakistan without a visa.
In the last 46 years the Indian Government also has not even once demanded that the Afgan Government change such an insulting and barbaric name. But in July 1993, the Government of India asked the visiting Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra to change its name because the word Jerusalem in its name is offensive to Moslem Fundamentalists.
It is evident that Hindus from ancient India's (Hindustan's) border states such as Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh were massacred or taken as slaves by the Moslem invaders who named the region as Hindu Kush (or Hindu Slaughter,or Hindu Killer) to teach a lesson to the future Hindu generations of India. Unfortunately Hindus are not aware of this tragic history. The Indian government does not want the true history of Hindu Moslem conflicts during the medieval ages to be taught in schools. This policy of negationism is the cause behind the ignorance of Hindus about the Hindu Kush and the Hindu genocide.
COMMENTS & FUTURE WORK
Although in this article Hindu Kush has been referred to as Hindu slaughter, it is quite possible that it was really a Hindu and Buddhist slaughter. Since prior to Moslem invasions influence of Buddhism in Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh was considerable. Also as the huge 175 ft stone Buddhas of Bamian show, Buddhists were idol worshipers par excellence. Hence for Moslem invaders the Buddhists idol worshipers were equally deserving of punishment. It is also likely that Buddhism was considered an integral part of the Hindu pantheon and hence was not identified separately.
This article barely scratches the surface of the Hindu genocide, the true depth of which is as yet unknown. Readers are encouraged to find out the truth for themselves . Only when many readers search for the truth, the real magnitude of the Hindu genocide will be discovered.
1. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.5, p.935, 1987
2. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.14, pp.238-240, 1987
3. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.13, pp.35-36, 1987
4. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great (as described by Arrian, Q.Curtius, Diodoros, Plutarch & Justin), By J.W.McCrindle, Methuen & Co., London, p.38, 1969
5. Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, by Veer Savarkar, Savarkar Prakashan, Bombay, 2nd Ed, p.206, 1985
6. Chanakya - a TV series by Doordarshan, India
7. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, pp.36-41, 1987
8. V.Sarianidi, National Geographic Magazine, Vol.177, No.3, p.57, March 1990
9. Hammond Historical Atlas of the World, pp. H4 & H10, 1993
10.W.O.Douglas, National Geographic Magazine, vol.114, No.1, pp.13-23, July 1958
11.T.J.Abercrombie, National Geographic Magazine, Vol.134, No.3, pp.318-325, Sept.1968
12.An Advanced History of India, by R.C.Majumdar, H.C.Raychaudhuri, K.Datta, 2nd Ed., MacMillan and Co, London, pp.182-83, 1965
13.Ayodhya and After, By Koenraad Elst, Voice of India Publication, p.278, 1991
14.A Practical Dictionary of the Persian Language, by J.A.Boyle, Luzac & Co., p.129, 1949
15.Encyclopedia Americana, Vol.14, p.206, 1993
16.The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol.19, p.237, 1990
17.Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, pp. 54-55, 1987
18.An Advanced History of India, by R.C.Majumdar, H.C.Raychaudhuri, K.Datta, 2nd Ed., MacMillan and Co, London, pp.336-37, 1965
19.Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, p.65, 1987
20.The Cambridge History of India, Vol.IV - The Mughul Period, by W.Haig & R.Burn, S.Chand & Co., New Delhi, pp. 98-99, 1963
21.Negationism in India, by Koenraad Elst, Voice of India Publ, 2nd Ed, pp.57-58, 1993
Rewriting Indian History - by Francois Gautier
Rewriting Indian History
by Francois Gautier
Reviewed by C.J.S. Wallia
"From my perspecive as a secular humanist, and my own experience, I regard a typical liberal Indian Muslim to be as good a human being as any other Indian." c.j.s. wallia
Rewriting Indian History is a provocative new book by the French writer Francois Gautier, who currently serves as the political correspondent in India for France's top newspaper, Le Figaro, and for Switzerland's leading daily, Le Nouveau Quotidien. Having lived in India for 25 years has helped him "to see through the usual cliches and prejudices in India to which I subscribed for a long time, as most foreign (and sometimes, unfortunately, Indian) journalists, writers, and historians do."
Rewriting Indian History,the author prefaces, "might well be called an antithesis" for it questions many of the assumptions in the "standard" treatises by Euro-centered colonialist historians and their imitations by Indian Marxist writers.
Gautier focuses mainly on the Muslim period of India's history. "Let it be said right away: the massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese."
However, the British, in pursuing their policy of divide-and-rule, colluded "to whitewash" the atrocious record of the Muslims so that they could set up the Muslims as a strategic counterbalance to the Hindus. During the freedom struggle, Gandhi and Nehru went around encrusting even thicker coats of whitewash so that they could pretend a facade of Hindu-Muslim unity against British colonial rule. After independence, Marxist Indian writers, blinkered by their distorting ideology, repeated the big lie about the Muslim record.
Gautier cites two eminent historians who wrote free of any colonialist or ideological agendas, basing their accounts on documents by contemporary Muslim chroniclers themselves: Alain Danielou in Histoire de la Inde: "From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoilations, destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of 'a holy war' of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilisations, wiped out entire races." And the well-known American historian Will Durant in The Story of Civilization: "...the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within." (From my perspecive as a secular humanist, and my own experience, I regard a typical liberal Indian Muslim to be as good a human being as any other Indian.)
Gautier should have continued with the Will Durant quote: "The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India's boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600-1000 A.D.) India invited conquest; and at last it came. This is the secret of the political history of modern India. Weakened by division, it succumbed to invaders; impoverished by invaders, it lost all power of resistance, and took refuge in supernatural consolations; it argued that both mastery and slavery were superficial delusions, and concluded that freedom of the body or the nation was hardly worth defending in so brief a life. The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry."
About Gandhi's whitewash of Muslims, Gautier observes: "Ultimately, it must be said that whatever his saintliness, his extreme and somehow rigid asceticism, Gandhi did enormous harm to India... The British must have rubbed their hands in glee: here was a man who was perfecting their policy of divide-and-rule, for ultimately no one contributed more to the partition of India, by his obsession to always give in to the Muslims; by his indulgence of Jinnah, going as far as proposing to make him the prime minister of India."
Worse yet, Gandhi's anointed disciple, Nehru, propagated false readings of Indian history in his books and speeches. Gautier quotes Nehru's "amazing eulogy" of the tyrant Mahmud Ghazni, the destroyer of Mathura's great Hindu temples, Gujarat's Somnath, and numerous other Hindu and Buddhist temples. When Nehru, the arrant appeaser of Muslims, became India's first prime minister, he appointed a fundamentalist Muslim, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, as the first education minister. Under Nehru's pseudo-secular rule, "Hindu-bashing became a popular pastime." Moreover, Nehru "had a great sympathy for communism.... He encouraged Marxist think-tanks such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University [JNU] in New Delhi, which has bred a lot of 'Hindu-hating scholars' who are adept at negating Muslim atrocities and running to the ground the greatness of Hinduism and its institutions." These Marxist "historians," well-ensconced at JNU, have long been masterminding the politically correct textbooks of India's history used in Indian schools. No wonder, JNU is also known as "the Kremlin by the Jumna." For a long time, the Indian Marxists had been so brainwashed that whenever it rained in Moscow -- the capital of their "only true fatherland"-- they opened their umbrellas in Delhi.
To be sure, dissenting voices were raised against Gandhi's whitewash of Muslims. Before the partition of India, Aurobindo Ghosh, the great Hindu poet-philosopher, posed the question about Islam: "You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live with a religion whose principle is 'I will not tolerate you'? How are you going to have unity with these people?... I am sorry they [Gandhi and Nehru] are making a fetish of Hindu-Muslim unity. It is no use ignoring facts; some day the Hindus will have to fight Muslims and they must prepare for it. Hindu-Muslim unity should not mean the subjection of Hindus. Each time the mildness of the Hindus has given way. The best solution would be to allow the Hindus to organise themselves and Hindu-Muslim unity will take care of itself, it will automatically solve the problem. ...I see no reason why the greatness of India's past or its spirituality should be thrown into the waste basket, in order to conciliate the Muslims who would not be conciliated by such policy." Another strong dissenter was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Seeing through Nehru's pseudo-secularism, Patel commented, "There's only one nationalist Muslim in India: Jawarharlal Nehru."
Gautier warns: "Even today, there is no doubt that Islam has never been fully able to give up its inner conviction that its own religion is the only true creed and that all others are kafirs, infidels. In India it was true 300 years ago, and it is still true today. Remember the cry of the militants in Kashmir to the Pandits: 'convert to Islam or die!' ... The Hindu-Muslim question is just plainly a Muslim obsession, their hatred of the Hindu pagans, their contempt for this polytheist religion. This obsession, this hate, is as old as the first invasion of India by the original Arabs in 650 AD. After independence, nothing has changed: the sword of Allah is still as much ready to strike the kafirs, the idolaters of many gods."
The source of Muslim's fanatical aggression, Gautier points out, is the Koran itself, from which he quotes: "Slay the infidels, wherever ye find them and prepare them for all kind of ambush"; and "Choose not thy friends among the infidels till they forsake their homes and the way of idolatory. If they return to paganism then take them whenever you find them and kill them."
In the section on Ayodhya, Gautier says that demolishing the Babri Masjid has proved that Hindus too can fight. He criticizes Nehruvian "secularism" as interpreted by the Congress party to mean "giving in to the Muslims' demands, because its leaders never could really make out if the allegiance of Indian Muslims is first to India and then to Islam or vice-versa." For many of India's Hindu journalists, this pseudo-secularism has meant "spitting on their own religion and brothers." Curiously, Gautier does not mention Arun Shourie's well-researched, lucidly articulated columns, which, in recent years, have laid bare the pretentions of Nehruvian pseudo-secularism.
From my own perspective as a secular humanist, I believe that any whitewashing of historical record is counterproductive. No matter how lofty the ideals of a current cause, any whitewash of history tempts the fates. To forget history will always be fateful; to forgive its horrendous facts can be redemptive. Forgive -- but never forget -- history. A salient example of making sure that the horrors of history are not forgotten is the contemporary German state's law prohibiting any World War II history that whitewashes the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jews, Gypsies, and Poles. The Jews rightly insist that the world must never forget what happened to them. Where is the Hindu Holocaust Museum?
The historical record of the Muslim rule in India is soaked in blood -- just take a look at the documents left by contemporary Muslim chroniclers. Yet, as a secular humanist, I would like to make a distinction between an ideology and its adherents, especially those born into it. From my own experience, I regard a typical liberal Indian Muslim to be as good a human being as any other Indian.
In the opening chapter, Gautier briefly examines the "tainted glasses" which made Euro-centered historians expound gross "disinformations" about ancient India: the discredited Aryan invasion theory; the deliberate mistranslations of the Vedas; and the erroneous theory of the origin of the caste system.
Throughout the book, Gautier quotes Sri Aurobindo, and in the concluding chapter, "The Final Dream," pays an inspired homage to the great visionary's writings.
Like Konraad Elst's Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam, Francois Gautier's Rewriting Indian History contributes to the growing literature of dissent against the "standard" textbooks of India's history.
History's biggest hoax - The Aryan Invasion Theory!
THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY
The main idea used to interpret the ancient history of India, which we still find in history books today, is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this theory, northern India was invaded and conquered by nomadic, light-skinned RACE of a people called 'ARYANS' who descended from Central Asia around 1500 BC, and destroyed an earlier and more advanced civilization of the people habitated in the Indus Valley and imposed upon them their culture & language. These Indus Valley people were supposed to be either Dravidian, or AUSTRICS or now-days' Shudra class etc.
Basis of the Aryan Invasion Theory
We should first note that the Aryan invasion theory is totally foreign to the history of India, whether north or south, which has no literary or historical record of any such event. Prior to the invention of the idea by 19th century European scholars, there was no tradition of an Aryan invasion anywhere in India, in either contemporary or ancient records.
The Aryan invasion theory is based upon the idea that Aryan represents a particular group of people. In the classical view of the Aryan invasion the Aryans are a particular ethnic group, speaking a particular language. However in Vedic literature Aryan is not the name of the Vedic people and their descendants. It is a title of honor and respect given to certain groups for good or noble behavior. In this regard even the Buddha calls his teaching Aryan, Arya Dharma; the Jains also call themselves Aryans, as did the ancient Persians. For this reason one should call the Vedic people simply the "Vedic people" and not the Aryans. If one takes Aryan in the Vedic sense it would not be like talking of the invasion of good people, as if goodness were a racial or linguistic quality!
The Development of the Aryan Invasion Idea
European scholars following Max Muller in the 19th century decided that the Vedic people whom they called the Aryans after a misinterpretation of that Vedic term - invaded India around 1500 BC. They were said to have overthrown the primitive and aboriginal culture of the time, which was thought to be Dravidian in nature, and brought a more advanced civilization to the land (though they themselves were still regarded as barbarians). The indigenous aborigines were identified as the Dasyus or inimical people mentioned in the Vedas.
The rationale behind the late date for the Vedic culture given by Muller was totally speculative. Max Muller, like many of the Christian scholars of his era, believed in Biblical chronology. This placed the beginning of the world at 400 BC and the flood around 2500 BC. Assuming to those two dates, it became difficult to get the Aryans in India before 1500 BC!
It is important to examine the social and political implications of the Aryan invasion idea:
1. It served to divide India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other.
2. It gave the British an excuse in their conquest of India. They could claim to be doing only what the Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done millennia ago.
3. It served to make Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures. With the proximity and relationship of the latter with the Bible and Christianity, this kept the Hindu religion as a sidelight to the development of religion and civilization to the West.
4. It discredited not only the 'Vedas' but the genealogies of the 'Puranas' and their long list of the kings before Buddha like Rama and Krishna were left without any historical basis. The 'Mahabharata', instead of the great war, became a folk lore. In short, it discredited the most of the Hindu tradition and almost all its ancient literature. It turned its scriptures and sages into fantacies and exaggerations.
5. It served a social, political and economical purpose of domination, proving the superiority of Western culture and religion.
However today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it in question. I am highlighting some of the more important evidence that have come through in the recent past that clearly refutes and negates the Aryan Invasion theory.
1. New excavations - Harappan Civilization:
After the formulation of the Aryan invasion theory, archeology did not stop. New finds continued. These however have gradually undermined the invasion theory.
Harappan civilization (3100-1900 BC) was the largest in the world up to its time. Harappan sites have now been found as far west as to the coast of modern Iran, as far north as Turkestan on the Amu Darya river (a region usually identified with the Aryans), as far northeast as the Ganges, and south to the Godavari river. A site has even been found on the coast of Arabia. Thousands of sites have been found with several cities, like Ganweriwala on the Sarasvati river and Dholavira near the ocean in Kutch, as large as the first two major cities found, Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Most sites remain unexcavated and new explorations are likely to push the boundaries of this civilization yet further. A civilization of this size could not have been quickly or easily overrun by either migration or invasion.
Further, given the facts that there was no destruction of Harappa and no evidence of any large scale migrations of people, the latest form of "the Aryans coming from the outside" (as for example, represented by Romila Thapar, who is a well-known Marxist historian generally opposed to Vedic culture) is of a gradual migration of small groups pastoral peoples during the same period of the second millennium BC.
It is now generally agreed that the decline of Harappan urbanism was due to environmental changes of various kinds, to political pressures and possible break in trading activities, and not to any invasion. Nor does the archaeological evidence register the likelihood of a massive migration from Iran into north-western India on such a scale as to overwhelm the existing cultures
2. The Rediscovery of the Sarasvati River:
The retreat of the Aryan invasion theory has been accompanied by the rediscovery of the Sarasvati river of Vedic fame (by the American satellite, Landsat). Recent excavation has shown that the great majority of Harappan settlements were east, not west of Indus. The largest concentration of sites appears in an area of Punjab and Rajasthan along the dry banks of the Sarasvati (now called the Ghaggar) in the Thar desert. Hundreds of sites dot this river, which appears to have been the breadbasket of the culture. Mohenjodaro and Harappa, the first large Indus sites found, appear to be peripheral cities, mere gateways to the central Sarasvati region. Infact, it has been suggested that the Indus Valley civilization be renamed as the "Sarasvati vedic Civilization" in view of these findings.
It is well known that in the Rig Veda, the honor of the greatest and the holiest of rivers was not bestowed upon the Ganga, but upon Sarasvati, now a dry river, but once a mighty flowing river all the way from the Himalayas to the ocean across the Rajasthan desert. The Ganga is mentioned only once while the Sarasvati is mentioned at least 60 times. Extensive research has shown that the Sarasvati changed her course several times, going completely dry around 1900 BC. However, as per the the Aryan Invasion Theory, the so-called Aryan invasion took place in 1500 BC.
If so, how could the Vedic Aryans know of this river and establish their culture on its banks if it dried up before they arrived?
This clearly establishes that Rig Veda must have been in existence long before the the supposed-aryan invasion.
3. Indus seal:
The Vedic culture was thus said to be that of primitive nomads who came out of Central Asia with their horse-drawn chariots and iron weapons and overthrew the cities of the more advanced Indus valley culture, with their superior battle tactics. It was pointed out that no horses, chariots or iron was discovered in Indus valley sites.
This was how the Aryan invasion theory formed and has remained since then. Though little has been discovered that confirms this theory, there has been much hesitancy to question it, much less to give it up.
However,further excavations have discovered horses not only in Indus Valley sites but also in pre-Indus sites. The use of the horse has thus been proven for the whole range of ancient Indian history. Evidence of the wheel, and an Indus seal showing a spoked wheel as used in chariots, has also been found, suggesting the usage of chariots.
Moreover, the whole idea of nomads with chariots has been challenged. Chariots are not the vehicles of nomads. Their usage occured only in ancient urban cultures with much flat land, of which the river plain of north India was the most suitable. Chariots are totally unsuitable for crossing mountains and deserts, as the so-called Aryan invasion required.
Ancient History Revised
We have examined the Aryan invasion theory and seen how it has continually failed to prove itself. Therefore we must look at the history of India and the world in the light of the collapse of the invasion theory. The acceptance of a Vedic nature to Harappan and pre-Harappan civilization creates a revolution in our view of history, not just of India but of the entire world.
Now, based on what has been presented above, following facts about an ancient and glorious period of India clearly emerge:
1. The Aryan Invasion and Racial theories, and Aryan-Dravidian conflicts are a 19th century fabrication by some European scholar. They are being exploited even now for political reasons.
2. The hymns of Rigveda had been composed and completed by 3700BC, this can be scientifically proved.
3. The language of the Indus script is related to Sanskrit, the language of Vedas.
4. The Indus valley civilization should be aptly called as Sarasvati Vedic civilization, as the new evidences and right interpretation of the archaeological findings indicate.
5. There is now strong evidence that the movement of the ancient Aryan people was from east to west (and not the other way), and this is how the European languages have strong association and origin in the Vedic Sanskrit language.
6. The ending of Indus Valley and the Sarasvati civilization was due to the constant floods and drought in the Indus area and the drying up of the Sarasvati river. This had caused a massive emigration of the habitants to safer and interior areas of the Indian subcontinent and even towards the west (East to West movement).
7. There was no destruction of the civilization in the Indus valley due to any invasion of any barbaric hordes.
8. The Vedic literature has no mention of any invasion or destruction of a civilization.
9. There is no evidence in any of the literature which indicate any Aryan-Dravidian or North-South divide, they were never culturally hostile to each other.
10.The population living in the Indus valley and surrounding the dried up Saraswati river practiced the Vedic culture and religion.
The above, clearly, establishes the need for re-writing our history textbooks - which has been majorly influenced by Nehru's "History of India" (that subscribes to the Euro-centric view of Indian history), and severly twisted by the post-independence Socialists / Marxists.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Why this blog...
There is a reason why i embark on this blog. Like most of you, I too used to hold on to the same beliefs as instilled in us, right from childhood (am sorry if this sounds like an address from a higher plane, honestly, it's not meant to be that way). Beliefs regarding our history (primarily), culture, freedom movement and so on. And like most of India at large, I was comfortably ensconced in those convictions. Life went on.
Or did it really?
Certain events in the recent past, coupled with availability of time at hand, forced me to do some thinking, and revisit my basic paradigms. I researched material available on the net, in the books, articles etc in trying to find these answers. While most of these questions led (and continue to lead) nowhere, the very miniscule of those answers really slapped me out of my rut and the conventional. And they in turn raised more questions.
These are questions the answers to which have shook me, and have forced me to take an entirely fresh view of who I am, and where I come from. Not all of it is pleasant, but thats not the point here.
As I continue to seek more answers, I find myself disconnecting from my once unquestioned dogmas; am feeling like an outsider, as I increasingly question and get out of this delusional & intended brainwashing.
In this blog, I seek to post some articles that may help some of you to question your own beliefs.
But, the question is: Are you ready to accept what you get as answers? Its your call, please make it wisely.