INDIA was a superpower for centuries till about 1500 AD, that is about five hundred years ago. There was no dimension of human endeavour then in which India did not dominate the world. India was such an economic powerhouse that traders from all over the world flocked to India to buy goods.
The land mass now known as USA, in 1676 could sell ice only to India, brought all the way from Boston by ship, preserved by a heavy coating of saw dust [see the book Tudor Ice Company, Houghton Miffling Publishers, Boston]. The Kanchipuram raja saw nothing else that he did not already have in his kingdom. India invented the number system, the decimal, algebra, astronomy and calculus that revolutionised mathematics in the seventeenth century. This is acknowledged by Albert Einstein, who said: “The world must be grateful to India for she taught us how to count.”
India discovered and developed rocket science to the point that rockets were used in warfare against the British in the Coromandel coast. This is acknowledged by Verner von Braun, the father of US rocket science, and George Gamov, the famous science history author. India invented surgery centuries before Europe discovered medical science. Now we are informed by Bruce Rich in a recent book:To Uphold The World: A Call For A New Global Ethic From Ancient India ( Beacon Press 2010) that Ashoka (circa 1700 BC) and later Chanakya had laid down the ethical governance principles for state craft which is most applicable today in a globalised world! In NASA’s Journal of Artificial Intelligence, we are informed that Sanskrit is the language most suited for storing knowledge in a computer. Yoga and Gita are now being taught the world over to improve health and control stress. Haldi, neem and jeera are becoming the main ingredients for medicinal cure of diseases like Alzheimer’s. The West thus has to teach us now what our ancestors already knew.
India today has the potential to become a Global Super Power. It is territorially a large country, geographically a peninsula with a strategically commanding view of three major seas which could potentially provide a basis to control ship traffic from the Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean by putting toll gates at the Malacca Straits, a long continuing civilisation (over ten thousand years), a large and young population(average age of 29 years compared China of 38 years, and Japan of 47 years)- which is termed as Demographic Dividend, and as proven inventors of cutting edge scientific discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, surgery and recently in high quality IT software. At present India has demonstrated innovative capacity in Chip design, Thorium reactors, Biotech, and Pharmaceuticals.
Then what is holding Indians back from realising the motherland’s superpower potential and become one? In one phrase it is our present ruling elite’s illegitimate Anglo -Indian culture and a mindset to appease and capitulate to those who want to belittle or control India. Our academic elite has swallowed the concocted history which at the core is a deliberate fabrication of our past such as the “Aryan” and “Dravidian” race theory, that we Indians were never of one identity, and that whatever modernity we have today is due to the tutelage of British imperialists which had liberated us from the Hindu obscurantism.
This is the substance of Macaulayism. The Nehru family, with the exception of Rajiv Gandhi, has functioned as its sword arm suitably conditioned mentally by Kim Philby and other KGB agents of Britain. That meant for the British that it was better to be Marxist than nationalist. Of course, this capitulationism attitude is in reverse today faced with the new Indian generation and the growing popularity of Hindutva sentiment.
That is why Marxist historian Romila Thapar in her Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture in Sri Lanka recently did a somersault of 180 degrees from her past British programmed propagation of Aryan-Dravidian Race theory. Poetic, since my friend Neelan, a Harvard law graduate, whose memory it was, was killed by the LTTE because he was a moderate and constitutionally minded Tamil. The Marxist terrorist LTTE hated that kind of Tamil.
Again, why are we not a permanent veto-holding UN Security Council member? Because when the Americans offered the seat to us in 1950 to replace China- which had become Communist in 1949 and hence expelled from the UN, Nehru declined the offer by saying that the seat belonged to China ! Our elite media termed it as Nehru’s “nobility”. China sneered at our foolishness. In 1962 they answered Nehru’s nobility by humiliating India on the battlefield. Indian soldiers were kept unprepared for that conflict because Nehru was too busy preaching peace abroad for enhancement of his personal image and may be for a Nobel Peace Prize too. Unfortunately the Nehru mindset virus persists even today -of placing personal image above national interest and in caring for Western world applause than for the poor Indian’s security.
Why is Kashmir a blood oozing wound on Bharat Mata’s head ? Because when the Indian Army was securing Kashmir in 1947, Nehru appealed to the UN to take control and agreed to a ceasefire. Why? Because Lady Mountbatten wanted it that way.
Why India was enslaved first by Islamic invaders and then the British plunder?India began to decline from 1500 AD, after Islamic invaders captured Hastinapur (Delhi) and established a 250 year dynasty of brutality. Hindus lost to Islamic invaders because we practised the most ethical and civilised rules for warfare which Islam did not believe in. Three principles guided warfare amongst Hindus kingdoms: (1)War will be conducted from sunrise to sunset (2) It shall not be conducted inside of towns and villages or agricultural fields but in barren open fields  The loser if he apologised, then he was forgiven, his troops and captured weapons restored to him so that he can return home. That is why Prithiviraj Chauhan forgave Mohammed Ghori so many times. It was Chhatrapati Shivaji who first understood the Islamic invaders, and when invited by Afzal Khan for dinner, he came prepared for the worst and survived.
But by the time the Mahrattas understood that our civilised rules would not suffice, it was too late to prepare for new enemies because India had been bled thoroughly and was anemic. When the British imperialist arrived to loot, Mahrattas could not complete the task of liberating India. India was therefore completely impoverished by 1947 when the British left the country after having completely and systematically looted the country.
India after sixty years of Independence now has revived substantially and regained the potential to become a Global Super Power. India despite Partition is still territorially a large country; geographically a peninsula with a strategically commanding view of three major seas which could potentially provide a basis for a developed Indian navy to control foreign ship traffic from the Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean and vice versa by putting toll gates at the Malacca Straits; a long continuing civilization [over ten thousand years), a large and young population(average age of 29 years compared China of 38 years, and Japan of 47 years)- which young population is termed as Demographic Dividend, because of our proven past inventors of cutting edge scientific discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, surgery and recently in high quality IT software. At present India has demonstrated innovative capacity in future technologies such as of Chip design, Thorium reactors, Biotech, and Pharmaceuticals.
Then what can hold Indians back from realising the motherland’s Superpower potential to become one? In one phrase it is our present ruling elite’s illegitimate Anglo -Indian culture and a mindset to appease and capitulate to those foreigners who want to belittle or control India.
What then needs to be done to realise our potential to become a global power again is, first to develop a new Indian mindset by all of us accepting our Indian identity as Hindu(which includes Sanatana Dharma, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Zoroastrian) or by proudly acknowledging that his or her ancestors were Hindus (which Muslims and Christians can do this if they want to be considered as having an Indian identity).
To develop this mindset we need to make three more commitments-(i) to learn the true history of India (ii) to learn Sanskrit and (iii) a collective psychology to rise to the defence of the Indian wherever and whenever he or she is besieged or beleagured, I have discussed this all in detail in my book to be released on August 15th, titled Hindutva and National Renaissance (Haranand Publications). That is all that we need because we have everything else.
(The writer is a respected economist and former Union Minister.)