What can be done to counter the atrocity literature developed against India by Western propagandists?

By Sunil Kumar

The answer to your question is very complex. A process of systematic denigration of India’s ancient traditions has been in motion for the past 200 years, since the conquest of the subcontinent by the British.

For all their faults, Mughals and earlier Sultanates were hostile outright, and a few scholarly people like Dara Shikoh were appreciative and implemented native Indian(Hindu, Buddhist, Jain) insights as part of his world-view.

Max Muller, a missionary employed by the British in the Victorian age to interpret ancient Indian texts had a devious agenda. In fact, he was to foreshadow what came later – far more worse and unhinged than him.

This is what he said in a letter to his wife, “My translation of the Vedas will affect the fate of India and the growth of millions of souls in the country. It is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3000 years.” This led to what the turncoat politician Arun Shourie called “Harvesting our Souls”. India is one of the biggest material and spiritual markets on the planet.

Monier Williams; a name known to some people as a compiler of a Sanskrit dictionary: had this to say at a speech in the Oxford Missionary Conference in 1877;’When the walls of the mighty forces of Brahmanism are encircled, undermined and finally stormed by soldiers of the cross, the victory of Christianity will be complete.’

It is the strength and resilience of Hindu culture that carried on despite such vindictive attempts.

Given his fervent belief in the unscientific Biblical nation of the creation of the world merely 6000 years ago in 4004 B.C., Muller concocted a date for the fictitious Aryan invasion of India at around 1400 B.C, approximately 1000 years after the supposed Biblical(Noah) flood in around 2400–2200 B.C

Muller’s efforts at historiography were unchallenged until the latter half of the 20th century, due to the fact that during his time, India was a colony, and after independence we had the curious case of Marxist historians in India who have a particular animus towards the Hindu religion.

Our first Prime Minister Nehru was too busy with his woolly-headed socialism and admiration of the West to build an effective global media setup for us. It’s what Arnab Goswami talked about before setting up ‘Republic’, when he wanted something akin to BBC, CNN or even RT(Russia Today) from an Indian media organisation. His channel, however is still more local in flavour.

Logical fallacies and unscientific facts are present to a greater extent in Abrahamic faiths like Islam, Christianity and Judaism, but the communists in India who like everywhere else should ideally be atheists, fawn and refuse to challenge these doctrines.

Now for Western propaganda in the present day. Ideologues in these largely Christian countries are narcissistic to a large extent, and since their world-view has been largely coloured by 1700 years of intermittent warfare, role of the Church and then the Renaissance, global empires and the subsequent rise of science which led to the decline of religion.

Most of the population including large sections of the ‘so-called’ intelligentsia hardly knows about India’s complex religions, its philosophy and culture apart from the usual stereotypes served up by their media.

Most of the world including India itself and the West even more so is absorbed in their personal lives and hardly care. Yoga has become more of a physical exercise rather than the profound spiritual search it once was. From Maharajas and snake charmers, present-day ‘pop culture’ and Western media has moved on to India’s IT prowess, massive population and the ‘negativity’ of rapes. But, why should we only talk about that part of the world?

The greater challenge in my opinion is now the million mutinies within. Indians – who are servile wogs, true Macaulayputras come up with extensive critiques, most of it fabrication.

I don’t deny that there are some genuine problems, but most of the hate manufactured is deliberate and full of vitriol.Nearly every politician is out for his electoral survival, votebanks and not some genuine spirit of development, environment or nation-building. Take a look at headlines every day, and you implicitly know what I mean.

What can be done to counter this? I guess you know to some extent – attempts already made. From Batra stopping Wendy Doniger, and scholars like Rajiv Malhotra, David Frawley to journalists such as Hindol Sengupta, Francois Gautier and portals like Swarajya, there is a concerted attempt to counter the flood of disinformation.

Not all of Western coverage is atrocity by the way, some of the best studies of ancient and present India have been done there due to bureaucracy, lack of funding/motivation and neglect in our universities. Even China, a communist nation has opened a research institute to focus extensively on ancient Indian Buddhist texts.

But, it’s 2018. A high-handed approach and banning anything is foolhardy – it gives oxygen to more ruffians to come up with some more drivel. The internet is a great tool either way – depends on what people use it for. So, the best strategy to counter any malicious propaganda is be informed yourself and logically challenge wrong beliefs.

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