By Bhanupratap Shukla
THE Mahakaal (Lord Shiva) gave opportunity to write the history of India to foreign aggressors includ-ing Slaves and Sultans, Mughals and Europeans. They wrote the history of India in the manner they wanted. The same opportunity the Leftists got from the Congress government in post-Independence India. The communists exploited this opportunity as best as they could. Why did the Congress governments abdicate the academic responsibility in favour of the communists? Did they do so under the presure from the then Soviet Union? It was possible. What did the nation lose in lieu of this abdication? It could not be without a price after all.
The Congress Party has always been neglecting educational and economic development all through its misrule. But their crime against history was their greatest sin against Bharat Mata. They had entrusted the writing of Indian history to those who had always dreamt of destroying India. It is common knowledge that the communists have believed India to be not a nation but a multi-national country having as many as sixteen nations in it. They had supported the two-nation theory on the basis of religion and had even supported the partition of India and birth of Pakistan on that basis. What kind of history of India such people would have written? Can one expect them to write the history of India which could appreciate the unity of India? Can they ever perceive what is the meaning and nature of this eternal nation? Can they write a history which can describe the true personality of our Mother Eternal?the Bharat Mata?
When Dr Murli Manohar Joshi began to Indianise the education system, the Congress-communist unholy alliance termed it ?saffronisation?. But by doing so they exposed none but themselves. They have never explained why they used such a pious term in such a negative and sarcastic manner. Just as the term ?secularism? has always remained mystified in Indian context, similarly they sought to use ?saffronisation? as an abuse without ever explaining what they thought of the great tradition of sacrifice and chivalry associated with saffron.
And who are these people who are denigrating saffron? They are the ones who committed the most heinous sin of painting the Indian history red. For decades they sought to denigrate India and Indian achievements. They do not want to go into the roots of the question why Indianisation (?saffronisation? for them) is required in the first place. The great tradition of penance and sacrifice which is associated with saffron constitutes the basis for our place in the comity of nations. Our present existence is very much based upon the glory that saffron represents. One may remember the threats to our existence. Remember on November 6, 1999 the Pope had declared his intention to Christianise entire India. One must read the 36 pages of denigration of the United Nations Conference of all Religions by the Pope and remember his boycott of the conference.
The same communist intellectuals never speak against the madarasa run by fundamentalist Islamic groups due to vote-bank politics. Is it not due to their dual character? Who can deny that an unholy alliance among the English-educated elitist Macaulayists, Marxists and madarasa-produced Talibans is the greatest danger to the unity and integrity of India?
Why does the Pope want the whole of earth only for the Christians? Similarly, one must remember the public speech by the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Delhi delivered on March 6, 2001 in which he had defended the Taliban'saction of destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha. One must also remember the posters that the Student'sIslamic Movement of India (SIMI) has put up all over the country in which they claim to be waiting for another Mahmood of Gazhanavi. What would be the predicament of India between these two religious giants?the missionary and the jehadi? If one were to ask this question from the communists, they may or may not answer. But they do believe the Muslim League to be progressive. Just as they had supported the demand of Pakistan in May 1941, they still prefer Muslims to Hindus in the hope that they could get some en block votes.
The reality is that the Mahakaal has begun to write another chapter and that is about change. The appeasement is now a policy of the past. One-sided secularism is no more in fashion. The sarva panth samabhava is the new creed. These changes are perceptible even at the world stage. All the radical and violent creeds are being rejected. In the end the tradition of sacrifice will have its day and that day is near, not far in future. No one can deny the realities of history any more. No one can hide the facts of history to suit someone else'spolitics. No one, similarly, can find fault with the drive of Indianisation in education that Dr Murli Manohar Joshi had started. The truth has begun to percolate down to the masses and any amount of din cannot drown the voice of truth any further.
The people of the country are already aware that the communists under the patronage of the Congress did play mischief with the history of India. Now they have even come to know who began to spoil the system in the first palce and why? One cannot expect the highest public morals if negationist history is taught, if the character of the freedom fighters is painted in negative and if the general appraisal is anti-India. Such negative and negationist history can only spoil the various institutions of the national life, be it administration, or judiciary or journalism or any other institution for that matter. This has led to many distortions in the national life and there are our enemies who are getting benefitted by these distortions.
Who is at the root cause of this malady? Naturally, only those people would be responsible who began to teach the young generation wrong, negative and negationist history. And now these very scholars and intellectuals have raised the bogey of ?saffronisation?. Not only they, but their links with politicians who benefitted from these distortions in history must also be exposed.
Similarly, the people are also asking whether ?saffronisation? and ?Indianisation? are not terms with similar meanings. Does the saffron not represent the best of Indian tradition? Is Indian nationalism a negative concept like European nationalism? Should the distortions of history not be corrected? Should we continue to teach the Leftist brand of history which teaches our children that Aryans were foreigners but Mughals were swadeshi, or Guru Govind Singh was a militarist, or Guru Teg Bahadur was involved in plunder and rapine? Should it be allowed to keep the achievements of Indian science and technology hidden from our students? Should we continue to tell them that India made almost no contribution to the world civilisation and that Indians have always looked towards the West for almost everything? Should we continue to believe in such a history which is nothing more than a collection of Indian defeats and incidents which can only generate disrespect for the nation? Should we continue the policy of hiding new research from the children only because the results of this new research are not liked by the ruling elite of this country as it creates hurdles for its politics of minoritism? Why should information about all religions not be given to the students? Is it not true that since Independence, the Radhakrishnan Commission (1948-49), Kothari Commission (1964-66), National Education Policy (1989), Ramamurthy Committee (1990), CABE Policy Committee (1992), Core Group on Value Orientation of Education (1992), have all underlined one after the other to make the education value based? If making the education system value based is saffronisation then why not welcome it?
Why, despite all important commissions? and committess? clear recommendations, education remained non-Indianised? Is it not true that it was this factor which was responsible for declining moral values in the national life, breaking up of the family and declining individual morals in the social life?
Similarly unexplainable is the objection to teaching Sanskrit even as an elective subject although everyone knows that it is the very soul of India. Why is there so much of objection on everything pertaining to India? One may legitimately ask what name should be given to those who object to India and Indianness?people with extraterritorial loyalties? Or foreign stooges? Or anti-national elements? One may similarly ask whether those who are presenting the national colour saffron in negative light are not denigrating the national flag also in which the national colour appears on the topmost strip? Even a staunch materialist like Jawaharlal Nehru had underlined the need to spiritualise education. The same communist intellectuals never speak against the madarasa run by fundamentalist Islamic groups due to vote-bank politics. Is it not due to their dual character? Who can deny that an unholy alliance among the English-educated elitist Macaulayists, Marxists and madarasa-produced Talibans is the greatest danger to the unity and integrity of India?
Dr Murli Manohar Joshi had achieved a lot in the last five years as the Union Minister for Human Resource Development. He had corrected many a distortions in history. His emphasis was on the overall development of the students, reducing the load of his school bag and on new research. These were all welcome steps. These steps should not be treated with disdain and sarcasm by calling them ?saffronisation?. This is a disrespect to saffron, the colour representing the greatest Indian values of sacrifice and chivalry. The earlier system of education had put too much of emphasis on marks. The mad rat-race for marks had dehumanised the system despite the fact that better and more advanced systems for evaluation were already available. Due to the old system a number of students used to take the extreme step of even committing suicide on failure in the examinations. All this certainly needed change. When it came to change, they sought to change it from the British origin system, to a communist system which was equally non-Indian. One can have a look at what they had done to the education system of West Bengal. Even now they teach that Vasco da Gama discovered India. They teach Aristotle'scontribution to political science and Adam Smith'sto economics but Kautilya'sArthashastra, Shukracharya'sand Bhisham'scontribution to political science and other Indian contributions to knowledge are ignored.
We Indians have a cyclical concept of time and not a linear one. Our itihas chakra dances in the hands of the Mahakaal. Man is a virtual nobody in the cosmic scheme of things. Continuity and change are two dimensions of the same reality. One must accept both of them gracefully otherwise the Mahakaal takes no time in making one totally irrelevant. Some of the Congressmen now understand the futility of standing on the wrong side of the kaalpravah. Others have also begun to understand that saffron cannot be the basis for an abuse.
What saffron represents is the song eternal of the soul of India. This nation has again begun to sing that song. The time has come now that no one can denigrate Mother India. If any forces live in the past and day-dreams about keeping the children of this Mother Eternal in servitude, the kaalpravah will drown them in no time.
(The writer is a reputed columnist, thinker and former editor of Panchjanya.)