|Vol. V, No. 34 chaitra 27, 2009, April 7, 1952 Four Annas. Air-/4/6|
Great Britain had to see its Magna Carta and other trivialities through a magnifying glass and depict its dubious past as “glorious” before it could persuade its people to make the country great “again”. Not so Nehru. For him even our unequalled past is gall and wormwood—perhaps because it is pre-Muslim and therefore not quite “secular”. An incurable myopia rules his outlook on life and things in Ancient Bharat. He misses their foundational value for the future. It is a sad lack in the make-up of his otherwise attractive personality
I cannot refrain from presenting two other quotations from Nehru’s book to illustrate how he wanted to develop his conception of “Indian Nationalism” by belittling the Bharatiya culture.
As regards the Saint-Reformer, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and his Arya Samaj, (of which late Swami Sraddhanandaji was one of the most brilliant products), Nehruji wrote:-
…”It was, in essence, an aggressive militant movement. And so it happened, curiously, that Arya Samaj, which, of many Hindu sects, probably came nearest to Islam, became a rival and opponent of Islam. It was an attempt to convert the defensive and static Hinduism into an aggressive missionary religion. It was meant to revive Hinduism. What gave the movement some strength was a colouring of Nationalism. It was, indeed, Hindu Nationalism raising its head. And the very fact that it was Hindu Nationalism made it difficult to become Indian nationalism”…(Vide page 436).
As against Nehru’s verdict, we read as follows from Yogi Sri Arobindo’s pen:-
“We can imagine his (Dayanand’s) Soul crying still to us with our insufficient spring of manhood and action,….
Sri Arobindo further wrote about Swami Dayananda:- … “The essential thing is that he seized justly on the Vedas as Bharat’s Rock of Ages and had the daring conception to build on it a whole education of youth, a whole manhood and a whole nationhood. Here was a very soldier of Light, a warrior in God’s world, a sculptor of men and institutions, a bold and a rugged victor of the difficulties which matter presents to spirit. The whole sums itself to me in a powerful impression of Spiritual Practicality.”
After referring to the contributions of Swami Dayananda, Bhagawan Ramkrishna and Swami Vivekananda, Nehru wrote:-
… “Thus, it is interesting to note that the early waves of Nationalism in India…… were religious and Hindu……………..
Another interesting thing to note is that these reforms and progressive movements…………….tried to fit in, as far as possible, the new scientific and political ideas derived from the West with their old religious notions and habits. So they tried to harmonise the two by trying to show that all modern ideas and progress could be traced back to the old sacred books of their religion, this attempt was bound to end in failure. It merely prevented people from thinking straight, Instead of thinking boldly and trying to understand the new forces and ideas which are changing the world, they were oppressed by the weight of ancient habits and tradition. Instead of looking ahead and marching ahead, they were all the time furtively looking back. It is not easy to go ahead, if the head is always turned and looks back”. (Vide page 437)
This really appears like an attempt to preach Nihilism and Western Materialism with a vengeance, from one angle of looking at things, which we may characterise as the “Bohirmookhin Bhab”, totally ignoring the “Antarmookhin” aspect. Little wonder that the Communists are gaining in strength in India!
By I.P. Barua, Assam State Jan Sangh President