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India and Sanskrit: The Source of World Literature

India and Sanskrit- The Source of World Literature

Sanskrit, if it is the original language since the creation, is also the source of world literature. Laura Elizabeth Poor observes in her book, Sanskrit and Its Kindred Literature-Studies in Comparative Mythology, “I propose to write about the literature of different nations and different centuries. I wish to show that this literature is not many but one; that the same leading ideas have arisen at epochs apparently separated from each other; that each nation however isolated it may seem, is, in reality, a link in the great chain of development of the human mind; in other words to show the unity and continuity of literature…”

“The histories of Phoenicians, Cartheginians, Romans or Greeks, were so many detached pieces of information…But the moment the mind realizes…that one nation is connected with all others, its history becomes delightful and inspiring…And it is to the Sanskrit language that we owe this entire change…Sanskrit was a spoken language at the of Solomon, 1015 B.C., also of Alexander, 324 B.C.”

In this same line of thought, it has been determined that the Sanskrit Rig-Veda is the oldest piece of literature in the world. Reverend Morris Philip,


पढ़ना मत! अपनी मूर्खता को पकड़े रखना- कश्‍मीरी पंडित के पूर्वजों ने मूर्खता की थी, उनकी अगली पीढ़ी गाजर-मूली की तरह काट दी गयी, भगा दी गयी! ‎

पढन मत अपन मरखत क पकड रखन

हिंदुओं में एक विचित्र बात है, वह अपने इतिहास से सबक लेने को तैयार ही नहीं है! और ऐसा नहीं कि यह आज की बात हो, यह हमारे पूर्वजों से चली आ रही मूढ़ता है, जिसका खामियाजा इस बेहद खूबसूरत देश को बार-बार भुगतना पड़ा है। अब कल मैंने 1946 के चुनावी परिणाम के आधार पर बताया था कि आज भारत में जो मुसलमान हैं, उनमें से 90 फीसदी के पूर्वजों ने पाकिस्‍तान निर्माण के पक्ष में मतदान किया था और उन्‍हीं के वंशज आज आतंकी याकूब मेनन के लिए सड़क से लेकर सोशल मीडिया तक पर उतरे हुए हैं। यह आधुनिक भारत का ऐतिहासिक तथ्‍य है। लेकिन कुछ मूढमति इसे मानने को भी राजी नहीं हैं! मेरा बस इतना आग्रह है कि कम से कम मुझे गलत साबित करने के लिए ही सही, लेकिन इतिहास की पुस्‍तक हाथ में तो पकड़ लो!

एक दूसरी प्रजाति के मूढमति हैं, जो कहते हैं कि इतिहास को पुस्‍तक में ही बंद रहने दो, बाहर निकालने पर नफरत फैल जाएगी। वो यह नहीं समझ पा रहे हैं कि एक बार इनसे इनके बाप का नाम छीन लिया गया तो ये 'हरामी' की श्रेणी में आ जाएंगे! अंग्रेजों व वामपंथियों ने यही किया। भारत से उसका मूल इतिहास छीन लिया, जिसके कारण ऐसे 'हरामी' सोच वाले लोग आज मौजूद हैं। वैसे भी अंग्रेज व वामपंथी ने तो तुम्‍हें विदेशी आर्यन्‍स कहा ही है, अर्थात हरामी। कम से कम सही इतिहास से तुम उन्‍हें तो झूठ साबित कर पाओगे या फिर हरामी रहने में ही सुख मिल रहा है? मित्रों से क्षमा मांगता हूं, लेकिन मुझे ऐसे दोगलों के लिए यह शब्‍द लिखना पड़ रहा है।


Why I Am A Hindu

why i am a hindu

I was a born and brought-up as a catholic and knew absolutely nothing about India, ‪#‎Hinduism‬ and Hindus. When I was a young Frenchman of 19, I had the privilege to hear about the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, through a friend, whose father was the last Governor of Pondichery. My friend told me that a caravan of 5 cars was about to drive from Paris to Pondichery. On a hunch, I joined this caravan.

Upon arriving in Delhi after driving trough nine countries, I felt I had come home and that this country was a very special place.

I lived in the Pondichery Sri Aurobindo ashram for seven years. These were wonderful times: the Mother was still alive and everything looked new, everything seemed possible. One read Sri Aurobindo, of course, as he was the Master and the inspiration of the place, but one either did not understand or felt disconnected to his political writings.


Are Brahmins the Dalits of Today?

Are Brahmins the Dalits of Today.png

At a time when the Congress government wanted to raise the quota for Other Backward Classes to 49.5 per cent in private and public sectors, nobody talks about the plight of the upper castes. The public image of the Brahmins, for instance, is that of an affluent, pampered class. But is it so today?

50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!

There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.

Did you know that you also stumble upon a number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations? One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.


Decolonizing the Humanities

Decolonizing the Humanities

Humanities are the foundation of any society. National leaders and thinkers must be schooled in the humanities, with deep roots in the nation and the society they seek to lead.

And Indian humanities have deep spiritual roots.

While India is politically free, it remains spiritually colonized. The problem lies in the failure of humanities educations. Science and technology have no political or cultural boundaries.

The humanities on the other hand are intimately tied to a particular culture and civilization. Imposing an alien set of values and measures on Indian culture lies at the heart of the failure of the humanities in India: it is essentially a borrowing from India’s most recent colonial experience—the Islamic and the European.

The Indian elite is applying largely materialistic values and measures borrowed from these alien civilizations to study Indian history and culture. This can be compared to applying European music theory to the study of Indian music. The result is grotesque.


Is it time for India to revisit Reservation Policy ?

Is it time for India to revisit Reservation Policy.png

The intricacies of Indian social setup have always given a tough time to the policy makers of the country to put in place public welfare schemes, which may serve the purpose of one and all alike. Thereon, when the society is already divided on religious, communal and various other grounds, what is the need to divide it further by drawing lines in the name of the reservation? Reservation if on one hand is the only ray of hope for some socially disadvantaged sections of society to move forward in life, on the other hand it is the same reservation, which is preventing a sick and an ailing person from becoming healthy.

The reservation issue raised in Gujarat is a reminiscent of the Mandal Commission Protests of 1989 and reflects the glimpses of 2008 reservation issue, raised then by the Gujjars of Rajasthan, demanding 5% reservation from Rajasthan government. The Gujjar agitation of Rajasthan assumed the ugly shape, the moment Gujjars from the adjoining states started showing solidarity with them and ultimately resulted in the incidents of killing, vandalism, arson and many more.


Sardar Patel’s Foreign Policy

Sardar Patels Foreign PolicyNow that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured that the country “acknowledges” the contributions of India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel towards the independence and making of “Modern India”, it is worth debating the relevance of the great man, better known as the “iron man”, who could have, had he wanted, become independent India’s first Prime Minister in place of Jawaharlal Nehru. Obviously, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which ruled India for three generations, has underplayed the role of Patel all these years; but that is a different story. 

Commentators have usually focused on Patel’s record in India’s domestic sphere.  And it is understandable as he was the Home Minister. That is why one listens more and more on Patel’s role in the integration of almost all the Princely States, which under “the Independence of India Act”, as determined by the then colonial power Great Britain, were left free to join either India or Pakistan or retain their so-called independence, with what constitutes India today.