The extreme hostility towards Bharat’s past has also currently manifested as intolerance towards the present political system which does not succumb to the ideas of both Eurocolonialism and Euromarxism.
Eminent South Asian archaeologist, Professor Dilip K Chakrabarti gave a talk in Delhi in November 2014. It was sponsored by the Centre for Policy Studies and the Diwan Chand Institute of National Affairs. Professor Chakrabarti highlighted certain important issues on the current status of ancient Bharateeya historical studies. He pointed out that among our universities and research institutes, only a few offer courses on ancient Bharat. Even among this handful of institutions, the places where the subject is taught with some kind of competence and expertise are very few. Professor Chakrabarti emphasised that Bharateeya are not seriously interested in their ancient past and there is no prestige in its study and at the end there are no job opportunities. There is also an emerging trend of hostility from a particular group of modern historians towards ancient Bharateeya studies.
Much before Professor Dilip Chakrabarti outlined this anti national trend emerging in ancient Bharateeya studies, Professor Govind Sadashiv Ghurye, veteran sociologist highlighted it. Ghurye opposed foreign funded projects since he articulated that they lacked transparency and Bharateeya scholars were not provided space and independence by foreign research agencies. Professor Ghurye’s bitter opponent was Verrier Elwin, Anglican Missionary and Deputy Director, Anthropological Survey of India. Verrier Elwin was virulently resistant towards the integration of hunting–gathering communities with mainstream agricultural societies in Bharat. He argued that the effect of contact upon those who are integrated with the larger Hindu society has been disastrous, resulting in moral degradation and psychological depression which he termed as “the loss of nerve”. G S Ghurye regarded the creation of Excluded and Partially Excluded Tribal Areas as the colonial strategy of divide and rule. In his work Aborigines, Ghurye charged Verrier Elwin for following a policy towards tribes which he termed ‘isolationist’ and maintaining them as “museum for the study of anthropologists”. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru appointed Verrier Elvin as an adviser on tribal affairs for north-eastern states of Bharat, and later he was appointed Anthropological Adviser to the Government of NEFA (North East Frontier Agency). NEFA was one of the political divisions in British India and later the Republic of Bharat till 1972, when it became Arunachal Pradesh.
Two ideological groups, Eurocolonialism and Euromarxism are opposed to Bharat’s cultural and political integration. These western political ideologies were born, nurtured and sustained on intolerance, deprivation and violence. Although externally hostile in the name of political ideas, they have unanimity in the context of resisting Bharat’s cultural integration. Both are ideologically united in Bharat baiting. They join hands in the propagation of the Aryan invasion theory. Both have consistency in targeting the scientific heritage of Bharat. They have uniformity in the mortification of Bharateeya traditions. They express solidarity to fulminate against the idea of Bharat’s cultural unity. The history and legacy of relationships between Church missions and colonial state was a major theme of discussion at the International Conference held in April 2015 at the University of Copenhagen. The very theme of the conference was ‘Colonial Christian Missions and their Legacies’. In the Marxian and Capitalist context, the neglect of colonial societies by European Polity has been recently highlighted. Post-colonial scholars such as María do Mar Castro Varela and Nikita Dhawan contend that Marx defended a “Eurocentric model of political emancipation that consistently ignores the experiences of colonised subjects in non-Western societies” and “failed to develop his studies of Bharat and Africa into a fully elaborated analysis of imperialism.” Edward Said of Colombia University highlighted in his writings how Marx postulated that even in destroying Asia, Britain was launching a real social revolution. Although there are counter arguments that Marx also took a keen interest in pre-Capitalist societies, it cannot be denied that his perceptions were moulded by western convictions.
From the early seventies the left activists started controlling academic and research institutions in Bharat. A senior economist, requesting anonymity made an interesting revelation to The Telegraph dated July 26, 2013. He said in the 1970s, it was a given rule that if one had economic beliefs that weren’t aligned with Marxism, Bharat wasn’t the place to be an academic. This trend spread in major Bharateeya Universities. In May 2013, Delhi University's Academic Council asked the sociology department to revise their syllabus due to “more than necessary number of papers on Marx” and inclusion of Bharateeya thinkers like Ambedkar. There were objections on the over emphasis of Marxism in history. This was the case in almost all universities in Bharat. In West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala Gandhian studies were virtually cornered by papers on Marxism. Historians of West Bengal and Kerala universities have shown profound contempt for early Bharat. Earlier in June 2003, former Chairman of ICHR, Professor MGS Narayanan critically observed that the ICHR worked like a monopoly. Even applications for projects were never available and proposals never got a response. 80 per cent of the research funding was cornered by three universities, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Calcutta University, and Aligarh University where the left dominated the academics. Professor Narayanan also observed that only those in the good books of the Left had a place in ICHR. In an article written in The Telegraph dated July 26, 2014, Historian Ramachandra Guha scrutinised that Marxist historians in Bharat dominated social science by providing support in 1969 to the Congress party which was reduced to a minority in the Lok Sabha after a split. Guha reollects his first academic job, at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata where the unwritten rule was that that any new entrant to the Centre must be a Marxist as well. With change in government by 2014, the heydays of left also passed away. We should understand that the Left parties which dominated Bharateeya academics scuttling every voice of dissent are currently lamenting on ‘saffronisation’ due to loss of their dominion.
In January 2010, the Department of Sociology of Delhi University formally inaugurated a new European Study Centre at its premises funded by the European Union. It included the ‘re-design of the existing sociology syllabi of the Post Graduate and M. Phil programme at department’ in consultation with European scholars. Likewise, near Kochi in Kerala, the Marxist historians excavated the site at Pattanam keeping aside Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Bharateeya Universities. The project was undertaken by the Marxist controlled Kerala Council for Historical Research. For last ten years Euro-American scholars such as Istvan Perczel, Roberta Tomber, De Romanis Fernando, Robert Isanman and Derek Kennet who are also Biblical scholars, have been in the forefront of the excavations at Pattanam. Following heavy criticism from archaeologists and historians, a month back, the ASI cancelled the license for excavations at Pattanam under Marxist historians.
Syed Hussain Alatas, Malaysian academician, evaluating the ‘captive mind’ condemned third world intellectuals with their persisting obsession with imported and inherited theories of knowledge unfamiliar to their culture and society and their intellectual traditions. At the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, an International Conference on ‘Decolonising Our Universities’ was held in June 2011. The participants highlighted the alleged harm done to universities outside the West by “the tutelage and tyranny of Western institutions.” They complained that in non-Western nations “indigenous intellectual traditions” have been denigrated and marginalised. The group that included participants from Australia, China, Bharat, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and Uganda, issued a call to action: “We are firmly convinced that every trace of Eurocentrism in our universities – reflected in various insidious forms of western controls over publications, theories, and models of research must be subordinated to our scintillating cultural and intellectual traditions.”
At the Penang International Conference, Claude Alvares criticised the Bharateeya academic society for blindly submitting to western Intellectual tradition. Alvares argued that in Bharat, western science including western social science is unquestionably accepted by its academic monarchs indicating the unconditional intellectual rout of its so-called thinking or academic community. The country's (so-called) 'finest' minds – those who qualify for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) – are harvested in a handful of imported institutions that serve as unabashed recruiting grounds for production systems and economies abroad. UNESCO –World Social Science Report, 2010 concludes that for all practical purposes, social science research outside the non-European world is insignificant in quality, and it is rarely cited.
The extreme hostility towards Bharat’s past has also currently been manifested as intolerance towards the present political system which does not succumb to the ideas of both Eurocolonialism and Euromarxism. The writers who accuse about intolerance in Bharat have clear Left-Maoist ideology. Ashok Vajpayi, K Sachidanandan and numerous writers who have recently returned their awards back to Sahitya Academi in the name of growing intolerance in Bharat are intimately associated with SAHMAT which is controlled by CPI (M). The others in Sahitya Academi returned awards accusing growing intolerance in the country include Kedar Nath Singh, Rajesh Joshi, Manglesh Dabral, Kashi Nath Singh, Krishna Sobli and DN Srinath are leftists. It is a false propaganda that the writers who returned the awards are liberals without any ideological inclination. K Sachidanandan and his left colleagues protested against the arrest of top Maoist leader Kannampally Murali by the Maharashtra anti terror squad in May 2015 at Pune. There are other occasions in which Sachidanandan has defended Maoists in the name of human rights. Sarah Joseph, another writer who returned the award to Sahitya Academi was AAP candidate from Thrishur Lok Sabha constituency of Kerala in 2014. Self styled tribal activist Ganesh Devy has been a recipient of Ford Foundation grant. Ganesh Devy’s NGO Bhasha received over Rs 12 crore in eight years. The Bhasha Research and Publication Center headed by Ganesh Devy received around 56 lakh rupees from Ford Foundation. Ganesh Devy was unwilling to return Sahitya Academi and Padmasree awards when tribals underwent violence and eviction in Assam, Western Ghat regions and Central parts of Bharat. Devy has returned Sahitya Academi award due to “first time growing intolerance in Bharat since Independence”. Evidences are coming to light that Ganesh Devy’s NGO received funds from Christian Religious organisations such as Catholic Relief Service in the US and the Holy Cross Provincialate at Switzerland. In 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) put the $12.5 billion Ford Foundation on a watch list over funding it to activist Teesta Setalvad in 2009. At that time she was pursuing legal cases on post Godhra violence in Gujarat.
Ghulam Nabi Khayal and Nayantara Sehgal who returned the awards to Sahitya Academi did not find any intolerance in anti sikh riots of 1984, Raghunath temple and Quasim Nagar massacres of Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, or the Mumbai riots in 1993, and 2008. Ashok Vajpayi did not trace an iota of violence when the CPI (M) launched the Nandigram massacre in West Bengal butchering nearly two dozen villagers. There were no protests from these left wing writers when Bhagalpur, in Bihar and Deganga in West Bengal in the east, Doda in Jammu & Kashmir and Muzaffarnagar UP in the north, Mumbai in the west and Marad in south turned red and innumerable lives were perished. These writers did not observe any intolerance in any of these massacres. For them these massacres represented Bharat’s pluralism. Waryam Sandhu who returned his award was a Naxal activist. He did not identify any intolerance when Maoists bombed a bus in 2010 and killed 76 civilians at Dantewada in Chhatisgarh.
Eurocolonialism and Euromarxism have jointly launched a cultural bomb on Bharat. As Kenyan novelist and post colonial theorist Ngugi wa Thiongo argues, the effect of cultural bomb is to annihilate people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. The intellectuals and writers who virtually represent left political strategies have been inherently hostile towards Bharat’s past which is evident in their writings. They have remained truculent towards any individual or movement which critically defends Bharat. They have remained rancorous towards any political system that shields Bharat’s unity. This venomous hostility towards cultural Bharat manifests in multiple ways. Certainly any violence has to be condemned. Dadri is condemnable. But we have to remember that during last ten years, there have been numerous instances of inhuman violence towards dalits, women and children in Bharat. There were riots and rampage. They have been conveniently kept aside by the left writers who maintained an unscrupulous silence as part of a well knit political strategy. This strategy has a global network. Let there be a nationwide public debate on the depth and width of intolerance in Bharat. Circumventing such debates, the current argument about rising intolerance in Bharat is a political agenda which is an outcome of extreme hostility towards nationalism.
Dr B S Hari Shankar (The writer is a Researcher at India Policy Foundation, New Delhi)