Intro: The constant allegation of saffronisation is nothing beyond a ceaseless strategy to divert academic contemplation and public awareness from the global game plan which is diabolic for Euro-Marxists and Euro-colonialists in India.
There is striking similarity between Euro-Colonialism and Euro-Marxism (Western Marxism is a body of various Marxist theoreticians based in Western and Central Europe.)While György Lukács's History and Class Consciousness and Karl Korsch's Marxism and Philosophy, first published in 1923, are often seen as the works that inaugurated this current, the phrase itself was coined much later by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a well known left ideologue and French Phenomenological philosopher (Pheno-menology is a broad discipline and method of inquiry in philosophy, developed largely by the German philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.)
Both terms Euro-Colonialism and Euro-Marxism are united in the propagation of the Aryan invasion theory. Both are unanimous in targeting the scientific heritage of India. Both express strong unanimity in attacking Indian traditions and culture, and exhibit tremendous solidarity to oppose the idea of India’s cultural unity.
JM Blaut, Professor of anthropology and geography at the University of Illinois at Chicago who discussed the issues of Marxism and Eurocentric diffusion, to most Marxist thinkers such as Bernstein, Bauer, Hilferding, and Kautsky reflected that the European world was the edifice of historical changes, past and future, and non-Europe was the recipient of this diffusion.
In 2005, Eric Sheppard, Professor of Economic Geography argued that contemporary Marxism has Eurocen-tric traits when it supposes that the third world must go through a stage of capitalism before “progressive social formations can be envisioned”.
In India, any trend unyielding to such conventional guidelines of Euro-Marxist historiography which questions left historians who dominate established historical research is always condemned as saffronisation. This is evident from the resolution of the Indian History Congress recently passed at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. The resolution claimed that it meant to oppose efforts to project Indian science as fact and establish myths as history. India has not witnessed any isolated or mass protests condemning science as anti religious; equivalent with Papal inquisition (Mediveal or Papal inquistion was not an institution but a judicial procedure. It was established as a method of seeking out and trying heretics by Pope Gregory IX in 1231.) No scientific institution was dissolved or premier research terminated for questioning orthodox religious norms and beliefs. Nor did we read any reports of science censured in educational institutions.
But the resolution passed by Indian History Congress at JNU was questioned. Noted Indologist Michel Danino in an article published in The Hindu, January 4, 2015 titled ‘Neglect of Knowledge Traditions’ accused that the kind of historiography that the authors of the Indian History Congress resolution represent is responsible for this situation. He argued that mainstream historical books on classical India such as Professor DN Jha’s Ancient India or Romila Thapar’s Penguin History of Early India are totally silent on India’s scientific achievements.
Danino pointed out that Jha briefly mentions Aryabhata and Varahamihira. His statements about Aryabhata are factually wrong and he is virtually silent on Brahmagupta and Bhaskaracharya and their line of prestigious successors who survived till the 14th century. Romila Thapar also limits her discussion on Indian science with few sentences on Aryabhata and Varahamihira.
Danino wrote that as an Indologist he has nothing to do with saffronisation. But his write up provoked the orthodox Euro-Marxist establishment. In his letters to the editor of the English Daily The Hindu, Professor DN Jha, former Head of the Department of History, Delhi University accused Danino of being ignorant in ancient Indian science and technology and mentioned that his works lacked scientific vigour. Professor Jha claimed that his own work extended only upto 6th century AD which could not include later events. He also charged Danino of being ignorant in chronology of ancient India.
In a rejoinder Danino wrote, “If Jha can include various aspects of post 600AD such as Hsuan Tsang of 7th century, Sankaracharya of 8th century, Kailasanath temple of 8th century and Al-Biruni of 11th century why not Brahmagupta who is considered the father of Algebra and who substantially influenced Arabic Mathematics.” Danino charged that it was a clear attempt of circumventing Brahmagupta and Bhaskara-charya and their successors.
Marxist historians who sideline India’s history of science and traditional knowledge systems should look back how science was mutilated by their forefathers under Communist regimes. There are numerous events in erstwhile Communist Russia of imposing Marxist line on science from the institutes and universities to the presidium of the colossal Academy of Sciences, to deliberations in the Secretariat of the Central Committee, and finally to Stalin’s table where the final judgments were made.
Reputed Soviet physiologists such as LA Orbeli, PK Anokhin, AD Speransky and IS Beritashvily were assaulted for deviating from Marxist guidelines. Consequently, Soviet physiology self-excluded itself from the international scientific community for many years. The Chinese Academy of Sciences was also explicitly modeled on the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Most scientific research ceased. In extreme cases, individual scientists were singled out as “counter-revolutionaries, research work of prestigious institutes was frozen, and the research staff was sent to distant regions for political training under Communist comrades.
It would have been more wise if instead of getting provoked by Michel Danino, the Marxist historians in India would have taken the effort to go through the encyclopedic work on History of Indian Science published in 1971 by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). It has published meticulous works on India’s scientific heritage. Professors BV Subbarayappa, DM Bose, SN Sen, SP Raychaudhari, RC Majumdar, KA Chowdhury, JL Bhaduri are few of the eminent scholars associated with this work since more than four decades.There are also encyclopedic works on Indian medicine especially Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata by Professor MS Valiathan, currently, National Research Professor at Manipal University. Important to note, these eminent personalities in science and medicine are not saffron ideologues.
As a means to challenge the hegemony of Eurocentric knowledge, indigenous universities have been founded in various Latin American countries. They demand that multiple ways of knowing be recognised as valid, and suggest that indigenous knowledge can inspire new methodologies.
The Marxist historians should be aware of two events that invited global attention in 2004 and 2008. On June 18, 2004, a 2m tall statue of Shiva-Nataraja, the Lord of Cosmic Dance was unveiled at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva. The statue, symbolising Shiva’s cosmic dance of evolution and dissolution, was given to CERN by the Indian government to celebrate the research center's long association with India. On the pedestal are quotes from physicist Capra: “In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance.
The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.” The other is from India-born art historian Ananda K Coomaraswamy, who called the Nataraja “the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of.” It was an appropriate metaphor of East-West symbiosis. Can we separate myth and science in this context too? Just for information, even Dr Kakodkar does not belong to the saffron brigade.
The other incident occurred in 2008. Professor George Gheeverghese Joseph of Manchester University delivered a lecture on the ‘Transmission to Europe of Non-European Mathematics’ on September, 2008 at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). He focused on Indian School of Mathematics of the 14th century, in Kerala. It was founded by Madhava of Sangamagrama. He spoke about “The Politics of Writing Histories of Non-Western Mathematics.”
In a provocative address, this Indian Professor cited the example of the discovery of infinite series as one instance in which possible Indian and other Asian influences on European mathematics have been neglected in the past. He also questioned the trend of non-Western contributions generally neglected in histories of science and the difficulty for new evidence on non-Western contributions to become accepted and then percolate into standard histories of science and technology. (His book Crest of the Peacock:
Non European Roots of Mathematics was published in 1992 by Penguin.)
Europe’s thirteenth century onwards successful venture of relocating the European mind in its classical Greek roots is lauded and expounded in the Indian universities as ‘revival of learning’ and as ‘renaissance’. But when it comes to India, the political intellectuals dismiss exactly the same venture as ‘revivalism’ and ‘obscurantism’….It is these people wearing various garbs—liberal, left, secular modern—who oppose, more often than not, from sheer ignorance, any attempt to introduce Indian traditions of thought in the mainstream education system—a classic case of self-hate taking the form of mother hate.”
The other face of Marxist historians should be understood by our civil society. Talking high on secular and scientific history during daylight, the Marxist historians, especially at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi has entered into a flagrant pact with churches in India and abroad for excavating the site at Pattanam in Kerala and proving it as the holy place where Apostle Thomas landed in India for conversions in the first century AD. The excavations are conducted by Marxist historians who specialised in Modern India under Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) dominated by left historians.
If adding values in education is
Karnataka Governor Shri Vajubhai R Vala said, “If adding values in education is saffronisation, then nothing wrong in it.” He was inaugurating a two-day national conference on ‘Value initiatives in institutions
The KCHR director, Dr PJ Cherian, a modern historian who specialised his research on Communist agitations of Central Kerala is directing Pattanam excavations. Professor DN Jha has unambiguously stated in his two works Ancient India—In Historical Outline (Reprint 2007) and Early India—A Concise History (2004) about the arrival of Apostle Thomas in India.
The real face of Marxist history constructs is much more shocking. Dr CI Issac, a former Professor of History has put forward documents on how the archaeological value of Pattanam has been enhanced. The site of Pattanam was subjected to trial trenching in 1998 by Shajan K Paul a PhD student in Faculty of Marine Sciences, of Cochin University. He transferred unknown antiquities from the site to Union Christian College in Aluva where PJ Cherian was in teaching faculty. What antiquities have been transferred from Pattanam is still unknown.
The Centre for Heritage Studies in Kochi was granted license by ASI in 2004 (File No—1/36/97 EE) This license was allegedly hijacked from them by the Kerala Council for Historical Research to excavate Pattanam. It is also alleged that select antiquities might have been removed and required antiquities deposited at the site before beginning the excavations. Although these allegations came up in 2012, the former KCHR chairman Professor KNPanikkar who is a JNU luminary and Marxist historian, is virtually silent. He has not countered these allegations.
It clearly reveals myths are conveniently transformed into history by Euro-Marxists as part of a global agenda in association with international religious denominations.
BS Hari Shankar (The writer is a senior Archaeological Researcher)