Max Muller: A paid employee of the British Empire, who translated the Rig Veda in a demeaning style. The hidden duplicity and secret of his life.
Max Muller (1823-1900) German philologist and Orientalist. He was a British agent, especially employed (in 1847) to write the translations of the Vedas in such a demeaning way so that the Hindus should lose faith in them. His personal letter to his wife and mother dated December 9, 1867 reveals this fact.
He was highly paid for this job. He was paid 4 pounds per sheet of his writing which comes to 800 pounds of today (1999). This is an incredibly high price for only one sheet of writing. But the British were in such an imperative need to get someone to do this job and Max Miller was the right person, so they paid whatever Max Muller asked for.
Max Muller's letters dated August 25, 1856, February 26, 1867, and December 16, 1868 reveal the fact that he was desperate to bring Christianity into India so that the religion of the Hindus should be doomed.
His letters also reveal that:
He lived in poverty before he was employed by the British. His duplicity in translation was praised by his superiors, and in London, where he lived, there were a lot of Orientalists working for the British.
To Chevalier Bunsen, 55 St. John Street, Oxford, August 25, 1856, he wrote:
"I should like to live for 10 years quite quietly and learn the language, try to make friends, and then see whether I was fit to take part in a work, by means of which the old mischief of Indian priestcraft could be overthrown and the way opened for the entrance of simple Christian teaching.Whatever finds root in India soon overshadows the whole of Asia."
To the Dean of St. Paul's (Dr. Milman), Stauton House Bournemouth, February 26, 1867, he wrote:
"I have myself the strongest belief in the growth of Christianity in India. There is no country so ripe for Christianity as India, and yet the difficulties seem enormous."
(source: The True History and the Religion of India: A Concise Encycloedia of Authentic Hinduism - By Swami Prakashanand Saraswati p. 268 - 270). For more on Max Muller refer to chapter FirstIndologists and Aryan Invasion Theory).***
As Max Mueller, the propagator of the Aryan invasion theory, wrote to his wife, "It took only 200 years for us to Christianise the whole of Africa, but even after 400 years India eludes us, I have come to realize that it is Sanskrit which has enabled India to do so. And to break it I have decided to learn Sanskrit."
The soul of India lies in Sanskrit. And Lord Macaulay saw to it that the later generations are successfully cut off from their roots.
|(source: Assaulting India's pluralist ethos - by D. Harikumar The Hindu).
For more on refer to chapter on Education in Ancient India).
See a similar page exposing the Western Indologists HERE
Although I have been in the US since 1962, I seem to have remained unaware of how American schools are imprinting concepts of Indian identity and Hinduism on the minds of American youth including children born to Indian parents. It was probably because I never had children of my own. My recent inquiries of Indian parents about this issue revealed that not many Indian parents are fully cognizant of the extent of misinformation that is being parlayed to young Americans, not just about India but about most non-European civilizations.
After availing of an early retirement from our professional lives, my wife and I spent a year studying Art History after which we became volunteer docents at a local art museum. In our roles as docents we came in contact with elementary and high school students who visited the museum to augment their knowledge of world history and ancient civilizations. After a year's experience of interacting with school kids I have become convinced that something needs to be done, especially with regard to the way non-Judeo Christian communities are being portrayed in the text books that our students use and the manner in which their teachers are trained to deal with Asian, African, Latino and Native American traditions.
India, in my opinion receives the worst treatment of all at the hands of our teachers of world history. China and Japan fare a lot better. My African-American colleagues with whom I often talk about India's image in the US greet me with their "welcome to the club" slogan. They remind me that Indians "have to fight the battles like they themselves had to struggle with in order to make the white Americans concede at least partly that Africa is more than a mere continent that sent them their slaves". Those who have resided in the US since the early 1960s may recall the debates that when the US Nobel Laureate William Shockley and his friend, Professor Arthur Jensen began to popularise their (now-discredited) theories of racial inferiority of African-Americans. It took nearly four decades of systematic challenges by the black community to correct the distorted stereotyping of blacks, some of which continue even today in a subtle fashion.
Likewise, during the last three or four decades, the negative images of India and Hinduism in particular have been promoted by our movies and talk show pundits (Indiana Jones, Oprah Winfrey, 60 Minutes et al). These have contributed to the inability of many of our school teachers to present a balanced portrayal of the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh traditions to their students. Hinduism seems to fare the worst at the hands of our school systems. The average American teacher's knowledge of Hinduism, which is the core component of India's cultural heritage, is often stilted by the sensational portrayals of that faith by our mass media. Though a few inquiring Indian parents seem to be aware of these problems, I am unaware of organised efforts in most states of our land (except in Virginia and California) undertaken by the Indian community to address this issue. I also realise that the extent of such prejudiced portrayals of India may vary from state to state, the worst being in our Bible belt in the South.
This issue was recently highlighted at the 5th International Conference of the World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) held on July 9-11, 2004 at the Shady Grove Campus of the University of Maryland by a paper presented by Yvette C. Rosser of the University of Texas at Austin and titled "Stereotypes in Schooling: Negative Pressures in the American Educational System on Hindu Identity
Formation". That study found that "stereotypes about India and Hinduism when taught as facts in American classrooms may negatively impact students of South Asian origin who are struggling to work out their identities in a multicultural, and predominantly Anglo-Christian environment". Rosser's work is based on surveys of both teachers who teach world history in our classrooms and Indian students who are being taught by these teachers.
The study found that the teachers devoted only seven per cent of their preparation time to Asia of which most of it was consumed by Japan and China. Latin America received six per cent, Middle East four per cent and Africa three per cent. Eighty per cent of their learning time was devoted to European history! The amount of time spent in class instruction of these cultures reflected a similar distribution of effort. The students who were interviewed by Rosser were all of Indian descent. They were often befuddled by the contradictions that resulted from what they learnt about Indian culture and Hinduism through their teachers vs. what they derived from interacting with their Indian parents and Indian friends of non-Hindu faiths.
This is a serious issue with implications for the formation of both identity and character of not only the Indian youth but also of their non-Indian counterparts with whom they will have to interact socially and live with for the rest of their lives. Aren't we after all "one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all"? Our great seal proclaims "e Pluribus Unum", "out of many, one"! Neither American's cultural identity nor his/her roots should be demeaned owing to the ignorance of our teachers, especially when we the taxpayers are paying their salaries!
This article showcases the pathetic situation of Hindu portrayal in the US textbooks and why edits have to be made for fair portrayal. In a nutshell, the textbooks are full of negative and disparaging portrayal of Hinduism and paints a very positive picture of other religions.
My own interactions with my adult American friends lead me to conclude that most of them appear to have got their entire education about India and Hinduism either from the television and newspapers, or magazines like the National Geographic and Readers Digest or through visits to museums. This is particularly so with regard to their knowledge of Hinduism.
Most of them know about India's three Cs: Caste, Curry and Cows and the three Ps: Polytheism, Poverty and Population! They know little or nothing about the distinctions between polytheism and pantheism. The more "sophisticated" ones know a little about Gandhi, mostly through Richard Attenborough's movie. They are also the ones who are more likely to ask you about "sati", "bride-burning" and "the Kashmir" problem.
With more than a million practicing Hindus now in the US and with nearly 800 Hindu temples and ashrams here, there is no reason why Hindu temples in each state (a la the African-American churches) cannot take leadership roles in systematically examining the high school textbooks that the children of their worshippers use in schools. Should they find factually incorrect or demeaning characterisations of India and its Hindu, Jain, Buddhist or Sikh religious traditions in these textbooks, they should bring them to the attention of their local school boards with requests to rectify them.
Not doing so will surely affect the identity and character formation of both Indian and non-Indian youth who are the future citizens of this nation. In order to do all that, there needs to be a united voice of Indians of non-Abrahamic traditions in every community. I believe that the temples of the Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist faiths are uniquely suited to perform such functions. It is indeed both sad and surprising that Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist temples in the US have not yet formed at least a web-linked and non-dues paying national council or association or consortium to discuss and resolve problems that affect the identity of future generation of Indians here who want to remain as adherents of their faiths into which they were born. The monotheistic faiths (Judeo-Christian & Islamic) in the US have their own separate linkages that inform each other of important issues facing their respective faith communities. They do so with lightning speed whenever they suspect that their images or reputations are being distorted. I believe that the Hindu temples (due to their large numbers) are uniquely suited to take a lead in the development of such a consortium, council or association to tackle issues concerning representations of their religious traditions in our school systems.
Not too long ago, there were many articles in the US and Indian media about the denigration of Ganesha, Ramakrishna Paramahans, Shivaji etc by the sophomoric writings of euro-centric American professors associated with US schools of divinity. Complaints about such writings were lodged by both Indian scholars in India as well as scholars from among the NRI communities here in the US and UK. But the latter (critics) were often unfairly caricatured by a few Judeo-Christian as well as Indian "intellectuals" characterising the critics as Hindu fundamentalists or ignoramuses who are unfamiliar with our Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.
It was even more baffling for me to learn that some of these American (Judeo-Christian) professors who routinely defame Hinduism and its deities and heroes through their writings are frequently invited by Hindu groups and even given honoraria and garlanded and feted for their "contributions". Most Hindu hosts seem to be unaware of the fact that their "distinguished lecturers" who often identify themselves primarily as professors of "Eastern religions" at reputable universities are in actuality serving as principal faculty of their respective schools of divinity. These schools of divinity have ulterior motives in offering degrading interpretations of non-Abrahamic faiths.
Rosser reported in her study that one Indian student said that he was asked in a class discussion why Indians always worshipped rats, fed them and allowed them to multiply when it is well-known that they can harbour vectors capable of spreading bubonic plague.
They have no interest what so ever in teaching any student the virtues of India or its predominant Hindu civilization, which has contributed, to the evolution of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hinduism's core value of pluralism and its tolerance of all faiths are seldom highlighted, nor discussed as more conducive to the preservation of world peace than our monotheistic Abrahamic faiths can ever hope to be if the latter remain wedded to its exclusivist religious philosophy steeped in their respective beliefs of infallibility.
You should not be surprised if you had heard from your children that they had not heard anything good about India or its many religious traditions from any of their teachers. I wonder how many of them were told by their teachers that India is the largest democracy in the world with a secular form of government, that it is a country that has never had a military coup, never invaded another country, allowed Christianity to thrive even before it spread to Europe, gave haven to Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians when they fled from the onslaughts of Islam, and gave birth to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. They also may not have heard from their teachers that India is the seventh most industrialised country in the world, and that it contributed a great deal to ancient mathematics, astronomy, bronze casting, surgery, and vaccination, Yoga, Ayurveda etc.
But, your children may have been asked inane questions by their classmates based on a sensational TV or magazine account of some weird practice going on somewhere in India as it happens everywhere, even in our own, viz., the United States of America.
For example, Rosser reported in her study that one Indian student said that he was asked in a class discussion why Indians always worshipped rats, fed them and allowed them to multiply when it is well-known that they can harbour vectors capable of spreading bubonic plague.
This occurred after a TV show aired an item concerning veneration of rats in a temple in Rajasthan. I too recall someone asking me whether that practice was typical of Hinduism. My response was that it was no more typical of Hinduism than it is of Christianity if we were to infer that all Christians handled rattlesnakes in their Sunday worship as some congregations in West Virginia or the Boot Heel of Missouri still do in order to test and affirm their own "sinless" lives since their last worship in that church!
The Judeo-Christian, African-American and Latino parents (Latinos less vigorously than the former two groups) exercise constant vigilance to ensure that the facts about their respective cultures are not degraded or slandered by any teacher. If they do, their representatives on the school boards promptly take them to task. Now, it is the turn of Asian-Indian parent's here, particularly Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist parents to find out from their children what they are learning about India and its many religions and their traditions. And, if they find that their schools are not offering a balanced account of India's history, its achievements and its religious traditions, I do believe that the parents have an obligation to seek remedial action from the administrators of their schools.
At least for posterity's sake, they must act. If they do not, they are in my humble opinion, short-changing their own commitment to Sanatana Dharma. They are also missing a golden opportunity to highlight the ancient wisdom of the Hindu traditions as codified in Sanatana Dharma, which celebrates religious pluralism and diversity. I know of no other faith other than Hinduism or an ancient land other than the pre-Mughal and the pre-Colonial Indian subcontinent which permitted the thriving of multiple faiths and demonstrated its hospitality to all those who came to its shores seeking refuge from religious persecution or trading opportunities.
The extent of such prejudiced portrayals of India may vary from state to state, the worst being in our Bible belt in the South.
Even in recent times, India has provided refuge to Tibetans fleeing from persecution in their own homeland. More than two thousand years before our Founding Fathers in this Nation envisaged a country which shall become that "shining city on the Hill" where religious pluralism and diversity shall thrive so that we can remain an example for the rest of the world, the Indian subcontinent was practicing it! India continues to remain as that "shining" land mass of religious tolerance even despite the relentless provocations of the arrogant factions of the monotheistic faiths.
It is not a well-appreciated fact here in this country that India's Sanatana Dharma had always espoused such a pluralistic tradition as befitting the peoples who inhabited that subcontinent. Middle East too was a haven for pluralism with its pre-Christian Semitic and African cultures as well as the very early Christian churches of the first four centuries of the Common Era. They were all destroyed consequent to the bastardization of the ancient eastern Judeo-Christian faiths when these essentially "eastern Jewish and Orthodox.
Eastern Christian faiths" were hijacked nearly 1700 years ago by the Western imperialist powers to convert them into exclusivist creeds and make them become tools in their quests for world domination. Unfortunately, the Islamic rulers embraced the same fervor for co-opting religion in the service of expanding political power. The follies of all such perversions, past and present are now becoming more obvious in recent years with the resurgence of militancy among the ignorant minorities of the Abrahamic faiths who are either willing to maim and kill for proving their exclusivist superiority and nearness to God or belittle and ridicule those who perceive God differently. In that context, the parents of our Indian-American children have a stellar opportunity to show their neighbours of Abrahamic faiths the redeeming values and traditions of Sanatana Dharma and the latter's intrinsic nearness to the true tenet of the American creed, EPLURIBUS UNUM!
(Dr. Alexander is a US citizen and has retired from the medical profession.
He has held several executive medical positions in the US Department of
Affairs, US Department of Defense, US Army Medical Corps, Reserve Components
and has held professorial appointments at several medical schools during
his 40 years of medical career in the United States.)
India celebrates the 150th anniversary next year of the Indian mutiny or "first war of independence", when Indian soldiers of the British army rebelled against their colonial masters.
Conventional history says native Hindu and Muslim soldiers, known as sepoys, revolted against the British East India Company over fears that gun cartridges were greased with animal fat forbidden by their religions.
Not so simple, says internationally acclaimed writer and historian William Dalrymple.
In the first of a series of BBC interviews with newsmakers in South Asia, he says his research for a book on the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar threw up startling revelations.
Why do you say that the 1857 mutiny was primarily a war of religion when it has been widely regarded as a rising against British economic policies?
It is rather remarkable that all these papers in the National Archives have never been properly explored before William Dalrymple
Up to now most of the data used by historians exploring 1857 has come from British sources. In the research for my new book, The Last Mughal, my colleague Mahmoud Farooqi and I have used the 20,000 rebel documents in Urdu and Persian which survive from the sepoy camp and palace in Delhi, all of which we found in the National Archives. In the rebels' own papers, they refer over and again to their uprising being a war of religion. There were no doubt a multitude of private grievances, but it is now unambiguously clear that the rebels saw themselves as fighting a war to preserve their religion, and articulated it as such.
So was it less a rebellion against foreign domination as commonly believed?
The two are closely linked: but what the rebels most objected to in the foreign domination of their country was the way the British threatened their religions - the words din and dharma [the Muslim and Hindu words for religion] appear constantly in rebel proclamations, and were used as war cries by the combatants. They certainly appear far more regularly than secular declarations of the right to self-government or economic freedom, both of which are occasionally mentioned, but far less frequently than concerns over British intentions to impose Christianity on them.
Would you call it the first Indian jihad or holy war? The majority of sepoys who revolted were Hindu, weren't they?
Between 65-85% of the sepoys in each regiment were upper-caste Hindus. But as the uprising spread and progressed, the sepoys were joined by large numbers of freelance jihadis, while in Delhi the failure to provide pay or food for the troops meant that the number of sepoys gradually diminished as August progressed and many returned home, hungry and disillusioned.
By the end of the siege of Delhi, several observers estimated that the jihadis made up at least half of the remaining resistance, and it was they who put up the stoutest resistance when the British finally assaulted the city on 14 September.
You say that the sepoys were revolting against the rapid inroads made by missionaries and Christianity in India?
That is certainly the grievance that is articulated most frequently in the rebel papers we have translated. It may well be that Delhi is a different case to the various other uprisings elsewhere in the country.
You say the first suicide fighters were born during the mutiny. How do you prove this?
I have never said these were the first. There are references to suicide jihadis among the Ismaeli Assassins of Syria and Persia from the 11th Century onwards. But there are clear and specific references among the Mutiny Papers to a regiment of jihadis arriving in Delhi from Gwalior who are described as "suicide ghazis" who had vowed never to eat again and to fight until they met death at the hands of the kafirs [infidels] "for those who have come to die have no need for food".
You say that the flag of jihad was raised in Delhi and the mosque was at the centre of it. What was the reason for this "Islamist" uprising in Delhi?
It was much the same as the motivation behind the rising of the sepoys: a distrust of British intention with regard to the imposition of Christian laws, education and religious practices. In addition, there were those who believed they were following the Koranic injunction to turn the Dar ul-harb, the Abode of War, back into what they believed should again be the Dar ul-Islam, the Abode of Islam.
Do you have any idea of how many Hindus who converted to Christianity or Christians were cut down during the mutiny?
Yes. There are specific references to the sepoys hunting down and killing all the Christian converts they could find on the day they first took Delhi. The first to be killed was a very high-profile convert called Chiman Lal who used to run a hospital in Daryaganj and was an official of Bahadur Shah Zafar. His conversion to Christianity had been a huge scandal in 1852, and he was immediately pointed out to the rebel troops on the morning of 11 May.
Do you think Indian historians deliberately overlooked or ignored the historical evidence when researching the mutiny?
No, but it is rather remarkable that all these papers in the National Archives have never been properly explored before: I feel rather like an Indian historian would feel if he were to go to Paris and find almost unused the complete records of the French Revolution sitting in the Bibliotheque Nationale. I think the difficulty of the Urdu shikastah script, and the strange late Mughal scribal conventions must have deterred many researchers. And for cracking that I have to thank the skill and persistence of Mahmoud.
What kind of evidence have you sifted through over what period of time to come up with your "war of religion" thesis?
This has been a four-year project. As well as the material in the National Archives, remarkable material has turned up in London, especially in the India Office and the National Army Museum, in Rangoon and especially the Punjab archives in Lahore. I have also used two long, detailed and reliable first-person Urdu accounts of the uprising in Delhi that have never before been translated into English.
The most interesting of these is an account called the Dastan i-Ghadr of Zahir Dehlavi who was a young official in Bahadur Shah Zafar's household. I have been able to make numerous discoveries simply because, strangely enough, very little serious work has been done on 1857 in Delhi.
Hindu nationalist and right-wing groups in India are still railing against conversions and many states are trying to ban them. Do you think the jihad continues and could there be a second uprising or rather huge social upheaval against Christianity in India?
No. Those conversions that take place today are fringe activities usually taking place among tribal groups and sponsored by American Baptist organisations. What happened in 1857 was an uprising across the length of Hindustan, the modern cow belt, against the suspected religious activities and aspiration of the central government in Calcutta. So what is going on today - such as the church burning in Dangs of Gujarat in 1998 - is on a very different, much smaller scale.
In view of your findings, don't you find next year's celebrations in India to celebrate the uprising slightly misplaced, in a sense?
Not at all - 1857 was a pivotal point in Indian history. It changed everything, and the disastrous course of the uprising dramatically highlighted the shortcomings of the old Mughal feudal order. When Delhi fell in September 1857 it was not just the city and Zafar's court that was uprooted and destroyed, but the self-confidence and authority of the wider Mughal political and cultural world.
Only 90 years separated the British victory at the gates of Delhi in 1857 from the British eviction from South Asia through the Gateway of India in 1947. But while memories of British atrocities in 1857 may have assisted in the birth of Indian nationalism, it was not the few surviving descendants of the Mughals, nor any of the old princely and feudal rulers, who were in any way responsible for India's march to Independence.
Instead the Indian Freedom Movement was led by the new Anglicised and educated colonial service-class who emerged from English-language schools after 1857, and who by-and-large used modern Western structures and methods - political parties, strikes and protest marches - to gain their freedom. Had 1857 not happened, modern Indian history might have taken a quite different course.
William Dalrymple was speaking to the BBC News website's Soutik Biswas. His new book, The Last Mughal, is due to be published by Bloomsbury next month.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/06 15:00:03 GMT
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 11:36:34 +0530
From: "sanjeev nayyar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dr Manmohan Singh praised British rule during a recent trip to U.K. Surely they did some good work in India but the damage that inflicted on the Indian economy, political scene and culture cannot be imagined. The following articles attempt to throw some light on how they ruined India.
1. Secularism, an International Perspective tells yu how the
brits gave us a perverted concept that has no meaning.
2. Decolonising the Indian Mind' - we continue to allow our lives
& minds to be ruled by the British, the article gives you numerous
examples of the Brit view and the corresponding Indian one.
3. How the Brits created the dowry system in punjab and divided
us, created a hindu sikh divide.
4.How the British made India a poor country - looks at the Indian
economy from 1000 to 1947.
5. History of urdu - brits used language to accentuate the hindu
6. Rediscovering India by Dharampal -
Bullet Point Summary of key points.
· To the British darkness and ignorance had wholly different meanings and to the majority of them, these terms conveyed not any ignorance of arts and crafts or technology, or aesthetics but rather the absence of the knowledge of Christianity and its scriptural heritage.
· Peasants, artisans, those engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel, or in the various processes of its flourishing indigenous textile industry, or its surgeons and medical men, even many of its astronomers and astrologers belonged to this predominant section i.e. Sudras is unquestionable.
· Some of the important changes brought about the British were (i) revenue enhancement and centralization, (ii) attempts at breaking the sense of community (geographical, or based on occupation or kinship) amongst the people of India, (iii) reducing their consumption to the minimum through higher taxation and lowering of wage rates, and (iv) an imposition of newer concepts of property rights and laws.
· They created a system of landlordism, ryotwari and peasant indebtedness.
· Deliberate & planned lowering of the wages of Indians.
· When the British began to conquer India, the majority of the rajas in different parts of India had also been from amongst such castes which have been placed in the sudra varna.
a.. Yet it can, perhaps also be argued
that the existence of caste has added to the tenacity of Indian society,
to its capacity to survive and after lying low to be able to stand
b.. The British demonized caste because it stood in the way of their breaking Indian society, hindered the process of atomization, and made the task of conquest and governance more difficult.
c.. Today's backward classes or Sudras cultural and economic backwardness is post 1800 due to impact of British economic policies.
d.. Madras Presidency 1822 survey showed sudras and castes below formed 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the total students in the Tamil speaking areas.
e.. Some of today's Bihar's notified tribes were whose ancestors were warriors and gave unceasing battle to the British till they got exhausted and succumbed to the overwhelming British power. Besides being warriors, their main occupations are said to have been of ironsmith (Iuhar) etc.
· In 1804 according to The Edinburgh Review wages of the Indian agricultural laborer were also much more than British counter part.
· There is a paper by Capt. Halcott on the drill plough employed in south India. He has said that he never imagined a drill plough considered as a modern European invention, at work in remote village in India
· High Yields were on account of the variety of seeds available to the Indian peasant, the sophistication and simplicity of his tools, and the extreme care and labor he expended in tending to his fields and crops.
a.. Around 1800 India had 15-20 lakh weavers with
mining being major industrial activity. Due to British policies by 1820
Indian industry was on its knees.
b.. There are accounts of the Indian process of making steel which was called 'wootz'. The British experts who examined samples of 'wootz' sent to them by one Dr. Helenus Scott have commented that it is decidedly superior compared in any other steel they have seen.
· Incidentally, modern plastic surgery in Britain is stated by its inventor to have been derived from and developed after the observation and study of the Indian practice from 1790 onwards.
a.. Because of the British desire to invest newly
acquired British capital, a new structure of industrialization began to
be established in various parts of India, especially round Calcutta and
Bombay, by about 1880.
b.. The larger proportion of the historical and traditional professionals of Indian Industry however, even today, work outside the modern industrial complex, and mostly work individually and on their own. In the idiom of today they would form a fairly large proportion of the 'Backward' and 'Other Backward' castes.
c.. According to current findings the India-China region produced around 73 per cent of the industrial manufactures of the world around 1750.
· Cloth was manufactured in practically all the 400 districts. Many districts of south India had 10,000 to 20,000 looms in each district even around 1810. Also India had some 10,000 furnaces for the manufacture of iron and steel. Indian steel was considered of very high quality and in the early decades of the nineteenth century, it was being used by the British for the making of surgical instruments.
a.. In 1763 smallpox was consciously and deliberately
introduced in North America by the British military commander to kill local
See you at the site, Share the Wealth, Cheers & Om
Over the years we have all heard about the many attempts that have been made in India to convert various sections of society from Hinduism to either Christianity or Islam. Many Indians, are not fully aware of how the war against Hinduism is happening, nor how serious it is. It is taking place on many levels, and because of this, in some areas, the practice of Hinduism is declining rapidly.
When I was traveling, I had gone on a lecture tour, speaking every night at places like Mumbai, Nagpur, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Hyderbad, Bangalore, Trivadrum, and Chennai. So I had the chance to meet with many of the intellectuals and some of the spiritual leaders in these areas, and learned how conversion was a very hot issue.
Now I don't have anything in particular against Christianity itself. I was born and raised a Christian, so I know what it is, but also how they work. My main contention is when the teachings that are said to come from Jesus are twisted and misinterpreted into something that does not spread the genuine love of God and humanity that we are all supposed to develop, but becomes the dog-like barking and criticism against every other religion that is not Christian. This does not only go on toward every religion outside of Christianity, but also within it between Catholics and Protestants and other denominations. It seems that this faith has become not something that promotes our similarities for cooperation, but our differences in that everyone who is of a unrelated Christian denomination are all going to hell.
In regard to India, there is a great number of missionaries of various denominations who are working there right now, all competing for the most number of converts. The Southern Baptists alone are a group that has nearly 100,000 career missionaries in North India, all working to spread the "good word." We also find that in order to make converts from Hinduism some of the numerous Catholic priests in Southern India dress like sannyasis, and call their organizations ashramas. This is to make Christianity more similar to the Vedic traditions. Bharat Natyam dance is also taught in the Christian schools, but with Christian symbols and meanings replacing the Vedic. This is all in the attempt to actively sway Hindus over to Christianity.
Some of the tactics that the Christian missionaries have used to help make converts is to offer cheap polyester pants to the tribals of the Northeast if they become Christian, or even offer motor bicycles if they help convert their brothers, which also means their wives and family. In Madhya Pradesh, as noted in the Neogy Report, the missionaries give small loans on interest to the tribals, who cannot pay back such loans easily. However, if they become Christian, then such loans and the interest are dismissed. This is what goes on in the democracy of India, and under the tolerance of the Hindus, while if one such incidence would ever occur in a Muslim country, the result would be an immediate expulsion of the missionary from that nation.
Another trick that has been done is that missionaries, while treating the sick, will give medicine of no value and ask the tribal to take it while offering prayers to his local deity. Naturally, no cure of disease is likely to occur with the useless medicine. Then the missionary gives the tribal real medicine and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to Jesus. Then when there is a recovery, it is attributed to the power of Christ and not to the medicine. Such conversion activities take place these days more often in the tribal areas under the guise of social service. However, true social service should be done without expecting anything in return, including conversion.
Another thing that takes place is mass healings at meetings similar to revivals. What they do is pay people to attend the healings portraying themselves as being sick, or invalids on crutches, etc., who then get called up and are miraculously cured of their disease. This is attributed to the power of Christ, which then convinces many tribals that they too can benefit in various ways if they become Christian. This has not had much of an effect amongst the Brahmin classes, but the lower classes who attend are more vulnerable and are impressed by such things, and are then swayed toward Christianity. This is why Christian conversion tactics have been focused more toward the tribal areas than other regions of India. So these conversions are not taking place due to pure preaching of the Bible or the message of Jesus, but are accomplished by trickery and the emphasis on material facility. This is, of course, what is being objected to by the general Hindu population. However, when or if people convert for purely spiritual reasons, then there is no objection.
Another way conversions are accomplished is with the promise to the Dalits or the lower caste Hindus that they will not have any more caste recognition by becoming Christians. However, after conversion many find out that this is not true. Even amongst the converted Christians there is found to be a caste mentality, with the lower castes forced to use separate doorways, separate seating, or have marriages performed only among equal caste Christians. When this becomes obvious to those who are newly converted, some of them want to come back to being Hindus again, which has been facilitated by such organizations as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
An interesting point is that in spite of these duplicitous ways of converting that the Christians have used, the Christian churches have threatened violence against the process of reconversion back to Hinduism that had been launched by the VHP. It was Rev. V. K. Nuh, secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Convention who said, "If someone tries to impose their faith, Christians in this region will not surrender. There will be a battle and we shall have no option. There will be a physical and religious war if attempts are made to propagate Hinduism by forceful means in the Northeast." In this same line of thinking, Rev. M.D. Oaugma, head of the Garo Baptist Convention of Mehgalaya said, "It could be a threat to Christianity if we remain silent to the VHP's game plan of mass conversion. We shall have to fight, we shall have to resist." ( Maharashtra Herald, July 11, 1998)
Of course, it is easy for Hindus to be nonchalant toward other religions because they feel that each spiritual path takes you toward God. So in this light, it is alright to be tolerant of them or let them thrive. But the problem is that not all religions feel the same way toward Hinduism. Some feel that Hinduism is a culture that should be removed or destroyed. An example of this is that in Northeast India, in countries like Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur, they have witnessed a surge of nearly 200% in their Christian population in the past 25 years due to the wily tactics of foreign missionaries. Their grasp is so strong now that practicing Hinduism is forbidden in some areas. Hindus can no longer do worship or arati in the open because of the fanaticism in parts of the land. Durga puja has become almost obsolete as deities are destroyed or stolen in broad daylight. This confrontational climate has led to numerous militant outfits sponsored by the Church who are fighting for secession from India. So now the Eastern portion of India wants to secede from it, and another part of India will be lost if this should happen.
If the Catholic Church in particular is supposed to espouse the message that God is love, and that it is by love of God and neighbor that mankind is saved, it certainly hasn't shown much of that kind of love toward any other religion. With the Pope's recent call for conversions in Asia, it certainly shows that it is not a friend of other religions, but still holds the goal that other spiritual paths should be brought down to be replaced by Christianity. This should be clearly understood. This is also the case with the Baptists and other denominations.
While I was in New Delhi, I also met with Mrs. Shanti Reddy, a member of a government agency called the National Committee for Women. She revealed that another thing that missionaries have done was to kidnap young Indian children. What one Christian missionary couple in Chennai was doing before they were arrested was to bride tribals into giving their young baby girls to them. They would pay the tribals as little as 2000 to 5000 rupees for baby girls, and then turn around and sell the girls to foreigners for as much as $30,000 to $40,000. According to the records that had been confiscated from the missionaries' home, this had been a thriving business, and nearly 25 of such transactions had already taken place. The Indian authorities said they probably saved 300 baby girls from such a fate from the indications on the records they found. So this has been another one of the forms of activities that such missionaries do for their own benefit and profit against the real interest of India. However, whenever Hindus react with force against such people, they are labeled as fundamentalists, antagonists, or worse.
Another way that India is slowly losing its Vedic culture is through the process of secular or English and Christian education. Of course, in public schools all Vedic books have been removed from the curriculum. So there are no possibilities to study the ancient Indian literature or art. So Vedic values are no longer part of what the children are taught. Furthermore, the Christian schools, often staffed by Christian missionaries, can teach Christian values in their classes, and include a short study of the Bible everyday, or the Koran if it's an Islamic school. The so-called secular government has even helped them with free land and facilities. Since these schools offer English in their education, along with good discipline, many of the middle classes of Indians are favoring sending their children to these schools. Today, in the Indian cities, many of the parents of children are the graduates of Christian schools, who also send their own children to such schools. As this trend continues, there will be a decreasing number of Hindus in the educated sector. Thus, children in India, with the help of the secular government, are learning Christian values and perceiving their own history and culture as something less than honorable. They are taught that such important books as the Bhagavad-gita, Ramayana, Bhagavat Purana and other Vedic texts are nothing more than mythology, and not a result of one of the most profound civilizations in the world. They are also taught that their own God is but a demon and the only real way to God is through Jesus.
An example of this is that a few devotees from the New Delhi Iskcon (Hare Krishna) temple go out and give presentations to the children's classes in schools. Some of the questions that are asked by the children are, "Who is your God?" and "What can your God do for me?" and so on. Obviously, these questions are nothing but a direct result of the Christian and English oriented education that these children are receiving. Now I ask anyone, isn't this practically a covert form of conversion? This form of education indoctrinates the children to doubt their own culture, and disrespect their own history and traditions. As a result of this form of education, the Hindu population is slowly forgetting the unique history and lofty culture of their homeland.
As I traveled around, it was not unusual to see elementary schools around India with the name something like "Saint Xavier's School." People should know that this Francis Xavier, who is now one of the greatest so-called "saints," feverishly declared, "When I have finished baptizing the people, I order them to destroy the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters." (From " The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier," 1993, pp 117-8) This was his goal, to destroy Indian culture and make India a Christian nation. So it is ironic that now India embraces the schools that honor him in this way. How could they not know his true intention?
What is often not recognized is that, up until recently, for the last 50 years the politicians who have been directing the destiny of India are the ones who have an anti-Hindu attitude. They have set the economic direction and the educational policies that the country has been forced to follow. They have also promised the protection of the religious minorities with the hopes of acquiring votes. This has been one of the reasons why the secularists in the Congress party have treated everything that is Hindu with disdain.
Another aspect of the loss of Vedic culture in India is that the younger Indian people, especially ages from 15 to 25, are readily giving up Vedic customs to follow the more decadent so-called freedoms of the West. They see the western movies, they read what the celebrities say in the papers, and they admire them and want to adopt their forms of dress and lifestyles. Thus, in the big cities like Mumbai you have Indian couples living together without marriage, which is something you never would have seen before a few years back. Now the Vedic principles are looked upon as something obsolete, something that restricts the style that those who look to the West want to adopt. Thus, they are leaving Indian traditions behind and losing respect for anything Vedic. In this way, they adopt foreign standards, or lose so much respect for Indian and Vedic values that they become embarrassed to admit their Hindu background and heritage. Furthermore, Sanskrit scholars at the temples are also slowly dying out, and the modern Indians view the Ramayana and Mahabharata as merely myths or gaudy television shows.
Although India has been invaded by outsiders so many times and has always survived, what we are talking about is more than mere property or geography. What is actually being threatened is the basis of Indian culture itself. As younger generations give up their Vedic heritage, even if they return to it later when they are older and looking for more philosophical support, with whatever percentage of loss occurs with each generation, time has shown that it is never fully recovered. A portion of it is lost forever.
How many more generations will go by before we see a big drop in this percentage due to the process of secular (meaning Christian or English, or even Islamic) education, or with the present rate of conversions by tactless Christians? This percentage could easily drop well below 50% in only several more generations at the present rate of change.
How many more generations will it take before the Hindu majority is no longer a majority, but a minority in its own country? As Hinduism declines, you will see that the demands on the government and those voted into politics will also change, and the laws will also alter more in favor of the increasing minority religions at the expense of declining Hinduism. Then as the years go by there will appear only small clusters of Hindu or Vedic communities, most likely centered around prominent holy places, until the more aggressive religions act in ways to diminish these as well, in the same way that they are presently doing in other countries.
The point of all this information is that it is time for all Hindus and followers of the Vedic culture, Sanatana-dharma, to realize what is actually happening and give up your timidness or nonchalance and speak out while such freedom still exists. We must become more pro-active for defending this culture. The point is that if you do not take it seriously, I can assure you that there are others who take this inaction and tolerance extremely seriously to promote their own goals and religions in India. It is because of this that India may not always remain the homeland of an active and thriving Vedic culture as it is now. We need to protect whatever is left of it and maintain the present liberties that Hindus still have in India. Then we all can continue to engage in Vedic traditions without hindrance, and with full freedom. For this, we need to unite ourselves in a concerted effort to make this happen. And it most certainly is possible.
Recently, as told to me by Professor Subash Kak, it was noted in a reputable publication that now 1% of the Russian population claims that they are Hindu. The article stated that this was primarily due to the preaching efforts of Iskcon. This shows a major social impact. This shows what is possible if we can work together in a concerted effort. This is why I am convinced that if we all work in a pro-active way under the banner of a united family of Vedic followers, we can keep and even expand the present freedoms that we now have to practice Vedic traditions, and keep India as the homeland of Vedic culture, the most ancient roots of humanity.
India must be protected and kept as the homeland of the Vedic heritage, Sanatana-dharma, Hinduism. Without it, what is its value, in spite of whatever else it accomplishes? The value of Hinduism and India are clearly expressed in the words of the famous English theosophist Dr. Annie Besant. She put great emphasis on the value of India, its history, the Vedic culture, and its importance to the world. As written in the cover notes from the book, Hindus, Life-Line of India, by G. M. Jagtiani, she says: "After a study of some forty years and more of the great religions of the world, I find none so perfect, none so scientific, none so philosophic, and none so spiritual as the great religion known by the name of Hinduism. The more you know it, the more you will love it; the more you try to understand it, the more deeply you will value it. Make no mistake; without Hinduism, India has no future. Hinduism is the soil into which India's roots are struck, and torn of that she will inevitably wither, as a tree torn out from its place. Many are the religions and many are the races flourishing in India, but none of them stretches back into the far dawn of her past, nor are they necessary for her endurance as a nation. Everyone might pass away as they came and India would still remain. But let Hinduism vanish and what is she? A geographical expression of the past, a dim memory of a perished glory, her literature, her art, her monuments, all have Hindudom written across them. And if Hindus do not maintain Hinduism, who shall save it? If India's own children do not cling to her faith, who shall guard it? India alone can save India, and India and Hinduism are one."
In this light, it is absolutely necessary that as followers of Sanatana-dharma, Vedic culture, we realize that we need to repair whatever differences we have between us regarding whatever issues there may be. This is necessary in order to work with some cooperation with whomever we can if we expect to be a substantial force in defending the Vedic cause. Otherwise, all the issues that invariably come up, although these should not be ignored, should not take so much of our attention that our preaching stops. Otherwise, we will only serve as contributors to the continuing deterioration of all spiritual standards as the age of Kali progresses. This preaching, of course, means that we must all stay in touch with and practice the Vedic standards.
We cannot allow ourselves to be led into the danger of endless debate that leads to inaction. We all must be pro-active in some way to help defend and spread Vedic culture. Then we can work together to keep the freedom we presently have to practice the Vedic traditions and keep India as the homeland of a thriving, dynamic, and still living tradition. Such freedom does not come without its challenges, and we must be prepared as a society to meet those challenges. To take such freedoms for granted means that it's only a matter of time before they are lost. And that is exactly what some people want to happen. So we must be willing to work all the harder to prevent such a decline of our Vedic heritage.
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