Our problems?political and economic?flow from our legacy of slavery, first under successive Muslim invaders and, later, of the British. We became a free nation about sixty years back, yet continue to suffer the pangs of the wrongs the invaders did to us, our history, culture and ethos. We had no history, no culture, no tradition and, above all, we were not a nation till they made us sublime by ruling over us?they tell us. To hammer home this message in our mind, the British found the western educated Indian elite whom the aliens, in the words of Macaulay, wished to promote as ?a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in morals, opinions and intellect.? The Communists, loyal to international communism, too promoted and patronised the alien line.
In the preface of this book, Subramanian Swamy identifies the ideological framework of conservatism which, he states, ?promises change while preserving the best in our past? to achieve national renaissance. ?A common history, language structure, folklore and a common perception of the same, of the people and binds them into a nation. Lack of it divides nations, sooner or later?. For this it is necessary that we understand who we are?
Swamy cites the example of Mughal and Vijayanagar empires. The Mughals ruled for about 150 years, the latter for over 350 years. Yet the ?history books of today hardly take notice of the latter?. The territory under Krishna Devaraya'srule was much larger than Akbar?s, and yet ?the Great? is only the latter.
He identifies two-pronged threat to Hindus: conversion and terrorism. He maintains that ?terrorism cannot be fought by appeasement? and calls upon Hindus to take fight against terrorism (jihad) as dharmayudh. He has tried to summarise the distilled wisdom as fundamentals of Hindu unity: First, a Hindu, and those others who are proud of their Hindu past and origins, must know the correct history of India. Two, respecting all religions Hindus must demand from others that such respect is a two-day obligation?to defend the right of others to adhere to their own religion, then other religionists have to stand up for Hindus too. Three, Hindus must prefer to lose everything they possess rather than submit to tyranny or to terrorism. Fourth, they must have a midset to retaliate when attacked. Fifth, to qualify as true Hindus they must make efforts to learn Sanskrit and the Devanagari script in addition to their own mother tongue.
A genuine Hindu awakening cannot be directed against any other community. If a person wants to be called a Hindu, he enumerates nine points to which he must subscribe.
He wants the country to be known as Hindustan. Just as the Ganga river is known as Ganga despite so many rivers merging into it along its journey to the sea, India'shistorical mainstream is Hindu despite the contribution to it by Islam and Christianity.
Till 1780, India was a developed and prosperous country by standards of those times. The country enjoyed a ?massive? balance of trade surplus. In fact, it was India, the Golden Sparrow, that fascinated successive invaders. When the last one, the British, left India independent, it left India a poor and underdeveloped nation by modern industrial standards of 20th century.
Nothing divides our nation today, he says, more than linguistic differences for which forcefully he pleads for uniting the nation by adopting Sanskrit as the ultimate national language of India and Devnagiri as a compulsory alternative script for all Indian languages.
He suggests Hindi to be continually Sanskritised till Hindi dissolves itself into Sanskrit. Sanskrit grammarian Panini is now being called ?the first software man without the hardware? and credited with making Sanskrit ?precise, concise and complete?.
It is a ?must read? book for all who have the faculty to think independently and who have the interest of the nation uppermost in their mind. He may appear to be utopian, yet he is not unrealistic, irrelevant. The remedy he seeks may not be the panacea, but is worth a trial with the least harm to anybody.
(Har-Anand Publications Pvt. Ltd., E-49/3, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-110 020.)