Is India in danger of becoming a failed state? At the moment there is no such imminent danger, but we need not be complacent about it. Let us remember that the USSR broke into sixteen countries and Yugoslavia into four, and no one foresaw it even one year before it happened. India was conquered by foreigners at the height of our prosperity and scientific achievements and not when we were weak but because we failed to understand the nature of the challenge to our integrity.
It must be therefore kept in our mind that there are today certain trends which if we do not rectify then it could disintegrate our nation in the future. Therefore, our national integrity to be protected must be constantly nurtured.
We cannot do this unless we first identify what are these negative trends that we have to change. We cannot also effectively respond unless we understand the nature and complexity of the challenge of the task. What makes the task of defending the nation'sintegrity much more difficult today is that the opponents to our integrity are not obvious as crude and brutal entities such as Ghazni, Ghori, or Clive in the past were. The means of communication and the supply of funds in the hands of our elusive enemies of today for camouflaging their evil purposes, are multiples of that available in the past. Today therefore there is not a physical war to contend but a battle of minds and wits.
Hence the first trend that we have to change, a trend set into motion by Jawaharlal Nehru and followed by imitators of Nehru in other political parties as well, is the de-nationalisation of the Indian psyche. Patriotism has become today an infra dig sentiment amongst the intelligentsia, while selfish individualism of self above the nation come what may, is being seen as the norm for progress.
Modernisation of outlook is moreover taken as equivalent to westernisation. Even Indian politicians claiming to represent the masses have given up Indian dress and are seen in stuffy western suits and tie looking much like waiters in a five star hotel.
This type of denationalisation is symptomatic of a deeper malaise, namely that the Indian is losing his identity. They are increasingly being regarded as an Indian merely holding an Indian passport document and no more, and that his or her commonality to others in the nation is nothing more than what they feel for a crowd on a railway platform.
Hence, the first trend to reverse is the denationalisation of the Indian identity, and establish a clear strong identity in the mind of every Indian, a pysche that enables him to connect to, and proudly own up that his being belongs to India'scivilisational history. For true Hindus this is easy to inculcate. For others, the identity linkage with our history can be established when they proudly own up that their ancestors were Hindus.
India'sidentity, that is Hindustan, thus can then be thought of as a land of Hindus and of those others who proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus. Only these two categories of persons will therefore possess a Hindustani identity. Possessing a Republic of India passport therefore does impart a Hindustani identity. It only indicates the technicality of Indian citizenship and a consequent right to Constitutional freedoms.
To bolster this Hindustani identity and connectivity to our civilisational past, we as a nation must first require that every Hindustani must either know Sanskrit or ensure that his or her child or grandchild learns Sanskrit. Now that internationally it is recognised, following the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) publication of the result that in the field of Artificial Intelligence (roughly, storing of knowledge in the computer) Sanskrit is the best language for accumulation of knowledge in a computer, there should be no inhibition now for all to adopt Sanskrit as our sole national link language for our national renaissance. Hindi with a progressively increasing Sanskrit vocabulary can be a means to that end.
Let us remember, every Indian language already has a high proportion of words in common with Sanskrit. Tamil has 40 per cent of words in common, while Bengali and Malayalam have close to 75 per cent. All Indian language scripts including Devanagari have evolved from Brahmi with common phonetic principles. Grammar, syntax, and evocatives are also common to all Indian languages.
Sanskrit should have been re-throned in 1947, when temporal power was de facto restored to the Hindu majority. But the Indian state formally adopted a peculiar nihilist concept of secularism, which concept anyway was never properly defined or debated in any forum. For example, the concept left vague what an Indian'sconnection was with the nation'sHindu past and legacy.
In the name of secularism, it was taboo for a public servant even to break a coconut or light a oil lamp to inaugurate an official function on the ground that religious symbols must not invade public life. Such orthodoxy was promoted by Jawarharlal Nehru and his Leftist advisers. But then at the same time government took over supervision of temples, legislated on Hindu personal laws, and regulated religious festivals, but kept aloof from the Muslim and the Christian religious affairs. Thus secularism as a principle was foisted on the Hindus without making them understand why they had to abide by such legislation but not Muslims and Christians.
Electoral politics further confounded the issues arising out of secularism, and hence the Indian society became gradually and increasingly fragmented in outlook and of confused perspective. Hindu society became divided by caste that became increasingly mutually antagonistic.
Hindustan, known abroad as India today[e.g., Yindu guo in Chinese, Hind in Arabic], is thus appropriately defined as a nation of Hindus and those others in the nation who accept that their ancestors are Hindus and revere that legacy. Parsis, Jews, Syrian Christians come in a special category of Hindustanis, those who were welcomed by Hindus since they came to Hindustan seeking refuge from persecution in their own lands abroad, and who willingly accepted to abide by, and adopt certain cultural customs of Hindus. They also intermarried with Hindus and hence of Hindu ancestry.
To the credit of Parsis, they have never to date demanded any special privileges as a minority. They had even rejected privileges and quotas offered to them by the British imperialists saying that they were comfortable and safe with the Hindus. Muslims and Christians who together ruled India for a 1,000 years against the will of Hindus ought to learn from Parsis as to how to bring out the best in Hindus. Hence, Hindus unprovoked are the most accommodative people, formally acknowledging that all religions if faithfully practiced will lead to God [It must however be made clear while all religions will lead to that destination, Hindus believe that their path is not only more efficacious but God can be realised here on earth without having to wait to go to heaven after death].That is the glorious Hindu tradition, the ethos of compassion and co-option that is unparalleled in world history.
Second, another trend that de-nationalises the Indian psyche is through continual falsification of history in texts adopted for curriculum in the education system, thereby to disconnect and disinherit the contemporary Indian from the past glory of Hindu India. The intrinsic Hindu unity has been sought to be undone by legitimising such bogus concepts as Aryan-Dravidian racial divide theory or by propagating that India as a concept never existed till the British imperialists invented it, or that Indians have always been ruled by invaders from abroad.
There is no such word as ?Aryan? in Sanskrit literature [closest is ?arya? meaning honourable person, and not community] or Dravidian [Adi Sankara had in his shasthrath with Mandana Mishra at Varanasi, called himself as a ?Dravida shishu? that is a child of where three oceans meet, i.e., South India]. The theory was deliberates distorted by the British imperialists and propagated by their witting and unwitting mental Indian slaves.
Incidentally, the Aryan-Dravidian myth has now been exploded by modern research on DNA of Indians and Europeans conducted by Professor C. Panse of Newton, Mass. USA and other scholars. In light of such new research, the British Broadcasting Corporation[BBC] service in it'sOctober 6, 2005 service completely debunked the Aryan?Dravidian race theory stating that: ?Theory was not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist ideas? [www.bbc.co.uk, religionðics homepage, Thursday, 6/10/05].
Efforts are however afoot to bolster the disparagement of our past in the new dispensation today. A rudderless India, disconnected from her past would, as a consequence, become a fertile field for religious poachers and neo-imperialists from abroad who paint India as a mosaic of immigrants much like a crowd on a platform in a railway junction.
Even the patriotic and anguished writings of Dr. Ambedkar, and his oration in the Constituent Assembly for a strong united country have been vulgarised to advocate Hindu society'sdisintegration. In his scholarly paper presented in a 1916 Columbia University seminar [and published in Indian Antiquary, vol. XLI, May 1917 p.81-95] Dr. Ambedkar stated : ? It is the unity of culture that is the basis of homogeneity. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that there is no country that can rival the Indian Peninsula with respect to the unity of it'sculture. It has not only a geographic unity, but it has over and above all a deeper and much more fundamental unity?the indubitable cultural unity that covers the land from end to end.? Ambedkar wrote several such brilliant books, but alas, Nehru and his cohorts so thoroughly frustrated him that in the end bitterness drove him to Buddhism.
Thus, if this degeneration and disconnect are not rectified and repaired by a resolve to unite Hindustanis [Hindus and those others who proudly identify with India'sHindu past], the Hindu civilisation may go into a tail spin and ultimately fade away like other civilisations have for much the same reason.
That is, by a failure to usher a renaissance after 1947 India lost her opportunity to cleanse the accumulated dirt and unwanted baggage of the past. The nation missed a chance to demolish the birth-based caste theory as Ambedkar had wanted to do.
To resist these two pernicious trends we first need a virat Hindu unity. Numbers [of those claiming to be adherents to Hinduism] do not matter in today'sinformation society. It is the durability and clarity of the Hindu mindset of those who unite that matters in the forging of an instrument to fight this creeping danger.
Indians are being today systematically prepared for psychological enslavement, conceptual capture and are being subtly brain-washed. Hindus are being lulled by denationalisation of their pysche, while Muslims and Christians are being subject to relentless propaganda that they are different, and are citizens of India as would be a shareholder in a company run for profit. By nurturing a concept of Hindustani identity as defined above, we can fight the sinister attempt to undermine our nation'sintegrity.
(The writer is Chairman, Centre for National Renaissance, New Delhi, former Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Law & Justice and can be contacted at A-77 Nizamuddin East, New Delhi, e-mail: [email protected])