Fri04202018

Last updateWed, 18 Apr 2018 1am

THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

Is it ignorance or agenda that drives Indian history narrative? The myth about Islamic contribution to India

Actor Girish Karnad’s attack against V.S Naipaul,a Nobel laureate and celebrated author, at the Tata Literature Live festival was totally undeserving and in bad taste. It smacked of deep-seated prejudice and ignorance. Girish Karnad has showcased his vile agenda when he misinterprets Naipaul’s books India: A wounded civilization as anti-Indian Muslim. In his book Naipaul is only highlighting the wounds inflicted by the foreign invaders.

Karnad’s criticism of Naipaul stems from a historical narrative that is an apologist version of Indian history. A version which trivializes the real impact of Islamic invasion on Hindu society and which tries to weave a story of denial; ascribing positive aspects of the Islamic invasion of India like the Indo-Islamic cultural syncretism, while sweeping away the mass destruction and holocaust that ensued as mere generalization, isolated incidents, figment of Hindu imagination or plainly inevitable. People like Girish Karnad, William Dalrymple, Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib and few others have taken up the burden of projecting a benign image of Muslim rule in India, while the atrocities are ignored as isolated incidents. Dalrymple is one of the foremost proponents of the positive effect of Islamic invasion of India and how India ‘supposedly’ benefited from a bloody invasion.An apt analogy for such apology theorists would be deeming the rape of India as a fusion of two bodies and the resultant child a happy reminder of such a rape. The child is then brainwashed into accepting the rape of his mother as a good thing.

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Beyond Belief: We Are Not All the Same

Beyond Belief We Are

Believer, the recent documentary by Reza Aslan, succeeded in creating quite a buzz among Hindus all over the world. Most people took umbrage over the fact that Aslan zeroed in on a fringe community of ‘believers’ as if they were representative of Hinduism. Aslan was sly enough to acknowledge that theAghoriare a fringe group but that’s as good as saying nothing at all because in the ‘religion’ called Hinduism being a fringe group is quite the norm.

How justified are Hindus, intellectually speaking, in our objections to Aslan’s representation of our so-called religion? Not very, I’m afraid. This is because the problem we are contending with is a conceptual one first and foremost. It has little to do with the facts that one drums up in support of this framework. If Hindus are willing to swallow the conceptual framework thrust upon us by Aslan, then we have no solid ground to stand upon when disputing the facts.

How do we look at the world and who taught us to look at it this way? TheVedicseers did not cram a set of beliefs down our throats. Instead they made unparalleled discoveries with respect to what is Real and developed ways to access the Real, which they labeled as ‘Sat’. The key to lasting happiness lay in self-inquiry that provides access to the Real. Everyone can strive to be happy by following different paths to happiness based on their individual capacities and differences.

Meanwhile in the deserts of the Middle East there was another group of people that saw the world very differently. They claimed – as a factual truth – that there is an entity called God, who is the Creator of the world and who governs the world by his will. This God is the true God and if you don’t want to face dire consequences, you had better represent God’s truth the right way.

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10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Hinduism

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Hinduism

1. Hinduism’s core principle is pluralism.

Hindus acknowledge the potential existence of multiple, legitimate religious and spiritual paths, and the idea that the path best suited for one person may not be the same for another. The Rig Veda, one of Hinduism’s sacred texts, states Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti, or “The Truth is one, the wise call It by many names.”

As a result of this pluralistic outlook, Hinduism has never sanctioned proselytization and asserts that it is harmful to society’s well being to insist one’s own path to God is the only true way. Hindus consider the whole world as one extended family, and Hindu prayers often end with the repetition of shanti – or peace for all of existence.

2. Caste-based discrimination is not intrinsic to Hinduism.

Caste-based discrimination and “untouchability” are purely social evils not accepted or recognized anywhere in the Hindu scriptural tradition. The word “caste” is derived from the Portuguese “casta” — meaning lineage, breed, or race. As such, there is no exact equivalent for “caste” in Indian society, but what exists is the dual concept of varna and jāti.

Sacred texts describe varna not as four rigid, societal classes, but as a metaphysical framework detailing four distinctive qualities which are manifest, in varying degrees, in all individuals. Jātirefers to the occupation-based, social units with which people actually identified.

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Varna v/s Caste – The Hidden Truth

Varna vs Caste

“India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. She was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs, much of our mathematics, mother through Buddha, of the ideals embodies in Christianity, mother through the village communities of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.”

– William James Durant (1885-1981), American writer, historian, and philosopher.

The debate about caste system in Hinduism has been raging for over a century now. Every layman who has even a little knowledge about Hinduism, talks about only two things-‘Caste system and the Aryan Theory’. The whole narrative about Hinduism today, even among Hindus, is only about these 2 things. ‘Manusmriti’ is quoted as proof of how the Brahmins had subjugated the lower castes through the millennia and kept them down at a level where they could never rise from. The Britishers thus portrayed themselves as the ‘New Aryans‘ who came to rescuethe ‘Dalits’ form the tyranny of the Brahmins and the upper classes. The ignorant, poverty stricken masses now had a scapegoat– the Brahmins and a stick– ‘the rigid, evil caste system  and the Aryan Theory‘ to beat them with. This was manna from the heavens for the radicalized muslims who were in full Jihad gear after the fall of the Caliphate in Turkey. They too latched on to the same agitprop to justify their brutal, genocidal invasions as just another crusade to civilize the local barbarians, like the Aryans did before them. The fact that, lack of any evidence, archaeological or historical made no difference. Propaganda became the new history of India and what was taught by the British was left untouched by the well-trained anglicized ‘British Sepoys’ even after Independence.

When the 1st Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru made this remark ,

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Varnas – A journey to its roots

Varnas  A journey

We see divisions all around us – in nature, in society, within government, within our own body. Even an ant or honeybee colony seems to have division of labor. Interestingly even in socio-economically evolved west we see such patterns are strong and even run in families. We see doctors marrying doctors, engineers run in families, needless to say software consultants marrying another one. A simple insight into William Sears family of doctors is sufficient to prove that human beings build their success based on their family roots. Even in US, though there may be not many recognizable patterns, serving armed forces usually runs in the family for many. 

So if it is natural for humans to gravitate to comfortable patterns, then why casteism in Bharat has become a monster? In fact, casteism is not Varnashrama. We saw in Fourfold Hindu Dharma, that four Varnas exist: Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. In this article, we will definitely stay away from the socio-econo-political aspects of Varnas, in their current form of casteism. We are going to challenge the traditional thought of Varna as a birth-right.

Our gaze is going to be centred more on the spiritual angle. This will enable us to get rid of some of the common misconceptions, some deliberately mischievously propagated by West. Many well-funded proselytizing agencies from West are deepening the fractures invented by the British legacy we have inherited. 

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Karwa Chauth

 Karwa Chauth

"Karwa Chauth’ is a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. It is popular amongst married women in the northern and western parts of India, especially, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

The Time:
This festival comes 9 days before Diwali on ‘kartik ki chauth’, i.e., on the fourth day of the new moon immediately after Dusshera, in the month of ‘Karthik’ (October-November).

The Meaning:
The term ‘Chauth’ means the ‘fourth day’ and ‘Karwa’ is an earthen pot with a spout – a symbol of peace and prosperity – that is necessary for the rituals. Hence the name ‘Karwa Chauth’.

The Ritual:
Married women keep a strict fast and do not take even a drop of water. They get up early in the morning, perform their ablutions, and wear new and festive raiment. Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya are worshiped on this day along with the 10 ‘karwas’ (earthen pots) filled with sweets. The Karwas are given to daughters and sisters along with gifts.

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The Basis of the Hindu Identity and Cause for Unity

The Basis of the Hindu Identity

There are many factors that make up the Hindu identity, and they help outline the similarities among all Hindus, and actually help unify us in that identity and purpose in life. So let us go through some of the most important points.

1. First of all, all Hindus can be said to follow Santana-dharma, and Dharma is the path to complete balance and harmony. But that balance is based on realizing our spiritual essence, which means our spiritual identity beyond the body and the ever-changing material existence in which we find ourselves. And the processes for spiritual realization, there are more than one, are described in the Vedic texts, which is our second point.

2. Hindus accept the authority of the Vedic texts. This is the foundation of our Dharma, and to not accept the authority of the Vedic literature is to be avaidika. We don’t have only one book, but a whole library that describes and helps us understand the difference between matter and spirit, and how we are essentially spiritual beings, but also the different ways of understanding the Absolute Truth, or God.

One of the unique features of the Vedic literature is that it is based primarily on questions and answers. It is not a religious dogma that must be accepted without question, but we find that we can ask any question we want, and chances are it has already been asked and answered somewhere in the Vedic shastra.

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