Colonial Distortions & Correcting History: One Step at a Time
This excerpt comes from Anuraag Sanghi (2ndLook).. From a post titled, “1857: History and Propaganda“. It is shocking..and depressing how the discourse was deliberately perverted – and how we continue to remain ignorant to this day…Pl take a moment to subscribe to his blog if you have not already done so and pl share and help spread awareness…
*** Excerpts from 1857: History and Propaganda by 2ndLook ***
…A man who is much (wrongly) admired in India today – Max Mueller. For instance in Max Muller’s colonial propagandist history, when it comes to Indian triumphs over Semiramis, she becomes half-legendary. Yet in another book, the same Semiramis becomes one of ‘the great conquerors of antiquity.’ In a matter of a few pages, he dismisses Indian history completely, in a half-Hegelian manner.
Aiding Max Mueller, English poets were press ganged into this propaganda war.
…Just before 1857 War, the writing of another ‘influential’ poet, John Keats, became popular. In a hubristic haze, Keats wrote how,
The kings of Ind their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
And all his priesthood moans,
Before young Bacchus’ eye-wink turning pale.
Much of modern history’s debates and questions were born during this time – verily created to wage a propaganda war against India – and the world. India’s cultural stature in the pantheon of world’s societies was reduced to a minimal role – and the Greek Miracle was born.
This propaganda war continued well for another 100 years. In the middle of WW2, Britain pulled out a general from the Italian theatre of war and sent him to India – to head colonial India archaeological operations.
One evening in early August 1943, Brigadier General Mortimer Wheeler was resting in his tent after a long day of poring over maps, drawing up plans for invasion of Siciliy. Mortimer Wheeler was invited to become the director general of archaeology by the India Office of the British government in its last years of rule in South Asia … Summoning a general from the battlefields of Europe was an extraordinary measure, an admission both of the desperate condition of Indian archaeology and an acknowledgment of its vital importance. (from The Strides of Vishnu: Hindu Culture … – Google Books).
Why would the glorious British Empire, on which the sun never set, struggling for its very existence, in the middle of WW2, suddenly pull a general back from the battlefield – and put him into archaeology! Especially, when it was clear that they would be departing from India – sooner than later.
Considering what theories came from Mortimer Wheeler’s rather fertile ‘imagination’ and his rigourous archaeological process, raises even more questions. There may be the facile answer that the British were after all ‘searching for history and truth’.
And it led Mortimer Wheeler to remark,
“They demonstrate with astonishing clarity the extent to which the brief transit of Alexander did in fact Hellenize almost instantly vast tracts of Asia populated previously by nomads or semi-nomads and villagers”
It is this one incident which possibly has answers to many unanswered questions like: -
- The amount of energy expended by the West in defending the Aryan Invasion /Migration Theory,
- The lack of access to Indian scholars of the archaeological sites in Pakistan,
- The many myths in Indian history,
- The clues to the partition of India
- The dating problems
Just why did the world’s foremost imperial power, struggling for its very existence, suddenly pull a general from the battle field, in the middle of WW2 – and put him on the job of digging dirt.
Only one explanation fits – it had to be a struggle for its own existence at a higher level!
5000 Years Of Poverty
By the end of the 19th century, Colonial India was de-urbanising. Populations in Indian agrarian network was increasing. Agricultural taxes were high. Hence, food production declined. Famines had become a regular feature. Industrial production was a distant memory. British colonial rule – especially from 1925 onwards, drastically changed the economic situation in India. From the richest to the poorest in a short period of a 100 years.
Tragically, our illustrious Finance Minister, P.Chidambaram says “I want to end 5000 years of poverty” in the Parliament and the media. In contrast, at various fora, there are discussions about how India will become a super power in this century.
While Chidambaram is factually incorrect, Indophiles are unrealistic. They fondly hope and believe that India is a one step away from being a super power. At best, we have a unique history. To improve the outlook on India’s uncertain future, a better understanding of our situation and more investments (not only money) are required.
*** End of Excerpts***
Related Posts: Max Meuller and Correcting History, A Restorative Account of Victorian Holocausts. Also Read: We Are, What We Know and why I am no longer sure if 1857 was a Revolt? a Mutiny? a War of Independence? or Jihad? ..or indeed all the above…