History and Cultural Issues

27 Years ago, on this day original inhabitants of Kashmir valley, reduced to micro minority after brutal persecution of centuries were forced to flee their homes again. This was their seventh exodus and first and only exodus of such kind in modern independent India.

This is part 3 of the series on Indic Mercantile collaborations.

Madhukar Dathathreya Deoras aka Balasaheb Deoras is commonly known as the third Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). But, that he was a social reformer par excellence is not much talked about by the so called elites. Balasaheb Deoras took over as the Sarsanghchalak when Guru Golwalker passed away on June 5, 1973.

Take a moment and close your eyes, think of the one person you would want to be if you had the choice. This is the definition of a role model- a position with incredible power. Now imagine if ten million or more wanted to be the same person. That is the colossal power of a celebrity role model.

Last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a grand Shivaji statue on Arabian sea off Mumbai coast. With that a hue and cry was raised from usual quarters on the cost of the project. There were arguments how the money could have been better spent on poor or how it’s a waste of taxpayers fund etc.

This is part 2 of the series on Indic Mercantile collaborations. Here is part 1 of the series.

We have recently initiated a series on collusion of Indic merchants with invaders [1] which has sparked off substantial debate. We welcome the meaningful exchanges, and would like to share our preliminary thoughts on some of the more recurring questions so as to continue the process.

India has suffered tremendously over more than 1200 years from the plunders of external Invaders of Islamic and Christian origin. A once glorious civilization which led the world in almost every aspect was reduced to a “third world country” begging others for even basics like food grains in early years after independence.

Introduction and background:

Author's Note:The authors are heartened at the response the article has received, and the meaningful discussion it has initiated.

If you haven’t followed this series from the beginning, you might want to check this list for the earlier posts.

27th of November 2016

To start a discussion about any society, there is no better way than starting with issues that affect the society. Right from the time when I was in my secondary school I knew of all the ‘social evils’ that the Hindu society suffers from. I was aware of these because in our history and social study books there was sort of a war against these ‘evils’, chapter after chapter and year after year.

November 17 is celebrated as Sanjan day - the day the Parsi community is said to have landed in India. Known in India as Parsis for being originally from Persia, they follow Zoroastrian religion. When they arrived at a little town in Gujarat called Sanjan, the local Hindu king Jadi Rana or Jadav (Jadeja) Rana gave them shelter and permitted them to practice their religion and traditions.

In the prequel, we started from the period in which peasant movements had just originated and were experiencing an uneasy co-existence with Congress.

Gandhi is invariably posited as an icon for India and humanity, and identified with Hinduism, particularly in US and Europe.  Dignitaries visiting India never miss the customary trip to Rajghat, and Indian prime ministers and presidents inaugurate one Gandhi memorabilia or another during each of their official international trips.

In the week gone by, Ministry of Water Resources, headed by Uma Bharti, made a significant announcement regarding Saraswati River of yore. It released a report on Palaeo Channel of North West India: Review & Assessment by Expert Committee. The Ministry had constituted a committee of experts some 6 months back to find the facts about ‘mythical’ Saraswati.

Each major historic event in India left a number of Indians displaced and lost to History. The first waves of such lost children of India begins in the tenth century with the beginning of Muslims raids into India under Mohammad Ghori and Ghazni and only continue under British rule until the 20th century.

While Gandhi is often credited with liberating India from the British, with pure non-violence and force of character, the claim that he procured India freedom, let alone `bina khadak, bina dhaal', has recently been disputed at multiple levels (eg, by Ambedkar,  British premier Atlee etc.). We raise a more fundamental question here.