British Conquest of India - Unwritten History - Part III
I was referring to how history is really a sequence of social changes and wars are really driven by such social changes. Not just wars, kings are made and un-made by those actions of the society.
India had a major social change wrought by the influx of Hindu thought overruling the thoughts of Jains and Buddhists who ruled the roost then.
This thought introduced into the country, some good things and some bad things. Two important concepts stand out for critical review. One, the thought of Karma. Two, the thought on Education.
They said and accepted that Karma decides how you are born and how you lived in this world. As per Hindu doctrine brought in by the then priest class, four different varnas existed and the birth into the varna was because of your earlier karma. Any reference to something which can never be proved is so easy to hold.
So what happened was, any disease was thought of as a karma. If you had leprosy it was because of your karma. If your village was ransacked by thieves and robbers, that was also because of karma. If you were put in jail for no fault of yours by the king, then that too was because of karma. If the muslims came and destroyed your temples, took away your women, that was all karma! Though Karma seem to explain some of the unexplained problems in life encountered by every human being, it also paved way for an all-accepting lifestyle killing the normal instinct to survive. Killing the spirit of inquiry and innovation. So much so, that there were hardly any great scientists whom we could boast of on such simple things as materials, mathematics, astronomy, etc., after the first few centuries of our civilisation. People who created underground drainage system in Indus Valley did not practice nor develop upon it, in their Gangetic civilisation or across the country. Of course, the Hampi ruins show us, a fantastic piping and watering system climbing over high hills to the city. Where and how did this technology that existed once was lost in the sands of time? The second social curse was the cause.
Education was restricted to a few. A few, who could communicate using that education to God. And to those who had to fight for the country and rule the nation. With education restricted, decadence set in and in a few centuries we lost the preeminence built by our fore fathers. Technologies that made the iron pillar at Delhi was not recorded because the 'Engineers' had no education. Our architects could build Ankor Vat in Cambodia but there is no record of how it was designed. Engineer was not important! He needs no education. Another casualty of lack of education, was the record keeping capability. Somewhere down the line, nobody maintained records. Even if done, it was in piece meal. So, if we want to know our history, we need to depend on records maintained by Chinese, English and the foreign visitors!
These two factors also brought in a naiveness in the society that was too hard to believe. We would call that foolish. Just plain fools! Fools to believe everything that was said in the name of faith. If someone said a crocodile is sacred and it is great to die in its mouth. People went to die and become feed to the croc! This custom still exists, though human feed is prohibited.
In order to ensure that no foreign thought crept in and changed the people who were subdued and ruled with an iron hand, it was even made out that going into the sea to distant lands was evil. And people believed it. The country that set sails to Rome, Greece, Persia, Egypt and South Africa in the west and Burma, Bali, Cambodia and Vietnam in the east, now folded its sails to sit and stare at the vast black mass of sea and feared it for the worst.
Mentally defeated, it was only a matter of time, before the Indian grew physically sedentary. India was presented on a platter to the marauding invaders over a period of time. Politics was exemplified by Chanakya. After Chanakya, who? After the first millennium, there seems to be a thought vacuum in the society. This naturally, is the major social cause. And any society that crumbles thus can be defeated. After all, if the people are fools how can their leader be intelligent. He will be the best fool or rather the worst fool. It is said 'a drove of sheep cannot have a wolf as its leader'.
This weakness displayed itself for the Mohammedans and later, for the British to harness. So much so, that Gandhi later was surprised and expressed in long lengthy words and speeches, 'I am surprised how thirty crore Indians could be conquered and ruled by just thirty thousand white men!' Thinking more of it, it looks very insane today. It will not take more than one day to over throw them and have our own self rule!
But our Karma stopped us. Our foolishness stopped us. You may call this foolishness as divisions between us, our lack of unity, our lack of knowledge, our fear of death, whatever. It is all our foolishness, primarily, fed and nurtured by a lack of education and blind, unquestioning faith in black religions.
These social changes are important. But for these changes that happened over centuries in India, we would not have been easy feed for the British nor to the Mohammedans earlier!
The worst is, we still have both of them right in our midst. A misunderstanding of what Karma stands for, in our foolishness. Karma is not about your earlier birth, it is about your current birth. You do something wrong now, you will get it back certainly. This is to correct a human life and make society peaceful. This is not about your earlier birth. May be, there are certain things that we are unable to explain. But we need to research on them and find why they exist. And as in leprosy, where there is a virus causing it, there could be something that research will unfold. But the foolishness to believe everything, unquestioningly, still happens in this country.
We still cannot work together. We need twenty thousand political parties to voice our concern. We do not believe that when a person joins a group, he changes the colour of the group with his thoughts and actions. Every party, changes colour when a new person joins with a new thought. And every person has a right to his own thought. Why are we still foolish?