Connecting Regions of Asia.

XENOPHOBIA- THE HIDDEN CORE OF INDIAN NATIONALISM

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On December 28 this year the  National Congress ,the oldest surviving party in India, celebrated its 126th birthday without a word about the man who fathered it – Alan Octavian Hume a British civilian who passionately loved India and during the heyday of the imperial rule ,dreamed of Indian self rule in near future .
Besides his political enthusiasm, he was an ornithologist in his own right and can  said to be the father of Indian ornithology .Now a question that forces itself : What prevented the present National Congress to maintain a discreet silence on Hume ? 
The answer is no foreigner however great might be his contribution to India ,can ever  hope to be accepted until she becomes a Hindu as Margaret Nobel did ,defending Hindu prejudices and superstitions.
 Modern India was not made by Nehru as the Congress court historians would have us believe, but thousands of  British   civilians,missionaries ,visionaries,engineers ,entrepreneurs ,scholars who came to love the country with all its beauty an ugliness .
One can at random recall such names as Willam Carey Alexander Duff ,David Hare Father Lafont,Lord Bentinck Beams ,Sir Cotton ,Alexander Cunningham, James Princep , Sir G A Grierson ,Roland Ross and many others .
Very few Indians are familiar with their names ,not to speak of their enormous contribution to Indian culture and human knowledge in general . James Princep deciphered the Brahmi script making it possible to read  ancient edicts ,plaques and texts. 
Cunningham an indefatigable  archaeologist ,recovered or discovered  India’s past which Indians take pride in .But there are no streets or educational institutions named after them .
The most curious case is that of Roland Ross the man who discovered how malaria is transmitted through mosquitoes. He did his research mostly in Calcutta and at Mahanad ,a village about 50 kms north to the city .It brought him a Nobel which he so richly deserved .
Of all countries India benefited most from this breakthrough as every year the dreaded disease carried off millions .In Calcutta there is no memory of Ross and the house at Mahanad was wantonly pulled down a few years back .The city does not also  remember the great English novelist Willam M Thackeray who was born here.
European cemeteries present a sad look  .Most of the plaques have been stolen or defaced ,statues dismembered and cenotaphs vandalized. 
     This will give one  the impression that Indians are the most ungrateful people and barbarous too .But this had not been always so .
Rammohun Roy ,the first nationalist ,was cosmopolitan in his outlook though deeply rooted in Indian culture – both Hindu and Muslim .He was for free trade not only of commodities but ideas as well .Even at such an early time he came to see without any prejudice that only English could be the unifying language of India .
Our early nationalists like Dadabhai Naoroji ,Ranade ,Tayebji were progressive Liberals  who rightly realised India had much to learn from the West particularly its science culture and ,political and economic institutions. They did not suffer from any inferiority complex ,nor were they cultural chauvinists .Next came the Hindu nationalists who were the products of Hindu revivalism .
They were less progressive ,often conservatives but they were not averse to Western influence. One modern historian Kris Manjapra calls it ‘ swadeshi deterritoralized imagination’ .Japan and Germany vying vigorously with Britain were their models .Things changed altogether with the coming of Gandhi  .He was for the total rejection of the West ,chronic non cooperation and extollation of the village with its caste oppression, patriarchy, groupism and ignorance.He won’t have science ,technology, health care system or modern educational institutions.
 For him the civilization of the West is an eight day wonder while Hindu civilization is eternal. Later Ambedkar impatiently rejected this villagism calling the  villages cesspool of casteism, superstition poverty and oppression. Gandhi’s followers would pursue their utterly negative politics to the detriment of the nation in making .
Muslims were not ready to buy his idealized  ‘ram – rajya ‘ and they came up with another vision of the imagined community- a pan Indian Muslim nation- Pakistan .Gandhi’s atavistic politics took a heavy toll on Indian culture. India regressed in most matters .
In 1930 CV Raman got  the Nobel for his original contribution to science but there two more physicists – Bose and Saha who well deserved it .In the last ninety years no Indian scientist could get a Nobel nor could it produce a writer of Tagore’s height .Both Satyajit Ray and Amartya Sen two internationally acclaimed figures were born in British India and educated in the institutions that grew up under the British rule .
         After the Independence Gandhi’s chellas or fanatical followers had one thing left – a hatred for good things that the British had built with much labour and imagination. .Had there been no Nehru ,a man with culture they would certainly tore them down. For one thing – they were mostly half educated or uneducated ,having no capacity to understand the great achievements of persons like Carey ,Elphinstone, Cunningham, Grierson ,Hume or Ross.Their rage will now be directed to the English language which they tried  to replace with Sanskritised Hindi which Nehru,with a wry sense of humor ,admitted he didn’t understand .In this they were not very successful but they succeeded in ruining most of universities once known for their excellence and stalling the natural growth of vernaculars which was stimulated by close contact with English language and literature. Actually, Gandhi’s appeal was to the latent xenophobia that characterized Hindu society for more than a millennium. In the latter half of the 10th century Alberuni ,the great Iranian Muslim scholar noted the strong dislike of foreigners among Hindus .Mamud’s successful raids and massacres must have something to do with this visceral antipathy but it had already taken on  a pathological character. He noted with much insight ” All their fanaticism is directed against those who do not belong to them – the foreigners ‘ He further observed  ” The Hindus believe there is no country but theirs; no religion like theirs ; no science like theirs .They are haughty ,foolishly vain ,self conceited and stolid ” .Gandhi only strengthened this vain self glorification and added to it a sense of victimhood which has been been skillfully manipulated by all the governments that came to power and become a tenor in the ultra rightist Hinduta propaganda. One is often both appalled by the frightening growth of barbarism and obscurantism under Hindutva dispensation but it has its roots in the Hindu psyche itself  and more importantly, in the Gandhian movement which played up such sentiments for quick political gains .It is also  no wonder that in the absence of the British ,this hatred would be directed to Muslims who retain so much of ‘ foreign ‘ elements in their culture as well as Christians .This is exactly what is happening in India .Hindutva barbarism is nothing but mutated Gandhism .The same hatred and malevolence mixed with humbug.

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