“We fought against Mughals for centuries, but Bharatiya society and the educated people never accepted that they were more civilised and better than us. Even sometimes they faced defeat during resistance with them, but even common people never accepted that these outsiders were more civilised. However, during 150 years of British rule, the intellectual class of Bharat began to believe that we are small, unintelligent, uncivilised and a lot that has contributed nothing to the world. We started hating ourselves. These people forgot their thousand years of history, knowledge and spirituality. We should have come out of these thoughts after Independence.
Unfortunately, this continued. This happened because such a narrative was set by them, by their agents, through academicians, through universities, think tanks, media, opinion making, through the judiciary,” said Dattatreya Hosabale, Sarakaryavah Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Hosabale was speaking at the launch of former MP Balbir Punj’s book, “Narrative, Ek Maya Jaal” on July 28 in New Delhi.
Hosabale said, “There is a difference between Rashtra and Nation, but, we accepted the concept of Nation. The primary reason for the problems the northeast region is facing has been the idea of multination states. We were made to believe that we are multination states like it was for Soviet Russia.”……
“We hesitate to talk about Dharma because we say Bharat is a secular nation. I would like to mention Maharshi Aurobindo, who elaborated on three major contributions by the Indian mind to the world — the discovery of the soul, the discovery of Dharma and the formation of Shahstras. Unfortunately, in the name of secularism, we isolated Dharma. Dharma is the centre of life. Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan had said that Dharma was the base of the Panchayati Raj system during ancient times. So, what is Dharma? Is it only about the process of worship? I think we will have to think on this issue,” he added.
“Is citizenship and nationality the same thing? Citizenship is a politico-legal status, whereas nationality is a socio-cultural concept. Shouldn’t this be debated? We have ended up incorporating Euro-centric ideas into our life, our education curriculum, governance, intellectual discourse, media debates and our view of our society. We have to come out of this slavery. We have to decolonise our minds to understand who we are,” he said.
“If one wants to talk about India to Indians, it must be said in an Indian language. Had this book been written in English, it would have been sold in Khan Market. People would have bought and read it, thinking it was written by an intellectual. We need to break this idea and decolonise our minds. So we must write our core issues in Hindi,” added Hosabale.
He said that to understand India, one had to understand Sanskrit. “But no one wants to study it. People say it is a dead language, a language of the Brahmins, a language of exploitation. Such things have been said for the past 150 years, particularly the last 75 years. So, Sanskrit was removed and so was Indian thought,” he further added.
Speaking at the event, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan lauded social organisations which take action to bring change, in an apparent reference to the RSS, even as he did not name it.
“I am intentionally not naming any organisation… I went to Nagpur, I was invited by the university, I met other people as well, I told them you are doing a lot of work, but what impresses me the most are the Ekal Vidyalayas,” Khan said.
Speaking on his book, former Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj said, “I have endeavoured to unravel the intricate web of narratives that shape our individual and collective identities. These narratives hold the power to influence our thoughts and beliefs, and it is crucial for us to discern the truth amidst myriad of tales. Through this book, I aspire to empower readers with the knowledge to critically analyse the narratives that surround them, fostering a more informed and harmonious society. I hope that ‘Narrative ka Mayajaal’ helps decolonisation of Indian minds.”
“If we want to win this battle of narrative, we must look at our history, our present and towards the future with facts, truth, logic and morality as our constant companion,” said J Sai Deepak, author and lawyer, Supreme Court.