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Post Info TOPIC: Breaking India - Review by Dr.Prema Nandakumar


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Breaking India - Review by Dr.Prema Nandakumar
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Breaking India: Western Interventions 
in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines
 
by Dr.Prema NandakumarBookmark and Share
 

Long ago, we were taught in the geology class that a fault line was one where rocks had been displaced in the solid earth-structure which made it a weak spot threatening the overall stability at some unspecified point of time. Similarities abound in creation and what is true of the material world is reflected in the social life of a nation.  India is, of course, one and indivisible despite the myopic 1947 dismembering indulged in by myopic politicians.  The Indian nation is one from the Sethu to the Himalayas, aa Sethu Himachala.  But then, it has its fault lines too in the sociological structure.  A point noted by Subramania Bharati who did worry about damage to India’s unity one hundred years ago and declared defiantly that this is “sethamillaadha Hindusthanam” (indestructible India) which will remain so even if the Himalayas should crumble away.

A visionary poet’s words are never in vain and one can be sure that India cannot be broken.  The Partition of 1947 was only the despicable act of a handful of political careerists.  Even as it was being implemented, the Tiruchirapalli Radio broadcast Sri Aurobindo’s message on 15th August, 1947. He did not find it to be a solution at all.  Rather, it was an opening for a dangerous future when civil strife would always remain possible:

“This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form - the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India's future.”

While we still await the day of a happy reunion, there are other dangers that have raised their heads with menacing glee.  They have always been there but the generosity of Sanatana Dharma has preferred to remain on its positive course, always sheltering the persecuted who have come here from foreign climes.  As for the maltreated groups in the name of caste and gender within the country, there has been a repeated appearance of reformers who have sought to apply correctives to the situation.  With the renaissance in India that brought to light a number of great personalities like Kandukuri Veeresaling Pantulu and  Mahatma Gandhi, it appeared as if the Indian people were at last emerging from the dark shadows of the past.

Unfortunately for India, the Western style of democracy with its universal suffrage has proved a bane to its unity.  Where illiteracy is still widely prevalent and symbols are a must for electoral candidates, the ruthless politicians have divided the people in terms of vote banks.  Caste that seemed to be waning, has now become stronger than ever with hundreds of caste-based associations and political parties proliferating all over India as the Yadava vote, the Dalit vote or the Minority vote.  With a visionless Parliament still adhering to the Reservation Policy even after sixty years of overprotection, the self-serving politicians have tasted blood.  Sloganeering has helped them consolidate their presence and today India that had boasted of being a single nation protected by the oceans and the Himalayas is in danger of breaking up.  A truth not realized by the common man who is in a drunken doze,  as he is being fed with the flurried excitement of freebies, scams, Niiraleaks, CBI raids, announcements, imprisonments and burning of buses and public property.

Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan have now sounded the first warning by placing in our hands Breaking India.  They reveal the hidden hands that are stirring a witches’ brew.  The three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth had only six hands but now, oh, how many!  The authors of this closely-argued compendium have taken only one instance:  the way the West is dislodging the rocks along two faultlines: Dravidian separatism and the Dalit problem.  The Church with its “intimate strategic alliance” with one Deivanayagam is merrily fabricating the myth of St. Thomas as converting Tiruvalluvar to separate the Tamils from the Vedic stream.  Since even academic institutions are corruption-ridden, Deivanayagam’s thesis on Tiruvalluvar-St. Thomas axis gets a doctorate with electrical ease!  The Institute of Asian Studies merrily allows the Czech scholar Kamil Zvelebil to denigrate the Bhakti Movement and divide Indians into Sanskrit-Aryans and Tamil-Dravidians. Under the aegis of the Institute, Subramania himself becomes a Christian deity!  The director of the Institute considers himself as the Knight Errant who has come forward to free the “Dravidians” from “Aryan oppression”.  We then have Devakala assuring us at seminars that Sanskrit originated after Jesus and came to India with Christianity.  

As for the innumerable missionaries beginning with Robert de Nobili who have played havoc with South India’s unity for serving their proselytization work, the less said the better! Then there are individual Christian zealots who infect the cultural scenario with Christian indoctrination.  After Leela Samson took over as the director of the famous Kalakshetra, she has been systematically unseating the place of Hindu gods and goddesses in the institution.  A person belonging to the ‘Minority Community’ cannot be questioned.  This is why the steady Pakistanisation of areas within India is being winked at by our vote-catchers all over the nation.

As Rajiv and Aravindan pile up cold, hard, printed facts, one is deeply disturbed that so much is going on in India itself.  There are then the forces abroad wearing the veil of academia which are funding the attempts to destabilize India by this new evangelism that wants to gobble up people, places and history itself.  The West is made to believe that Indians who come in the Vedic stream are by nature racist, the oppressors of the South Indians.  Ah, not all South Indians are racist, they add.  The Brahmins are the culprits. It is no use arguing with the Tamil-based ‘Dravidians’ that it is in the language and literature of the Brahmins that Tamil is found in its Dravidian purity.  In an orthodox Vaishnava household, even today, they will not refer to rasam and payasam but speak of “saatramudhu” (saaru + amudhu, essence + nectar) and “kannamudhu” (kannal + amudhu, jaggery + nectar)!   

But why would I blame the West?  How about our homegrown theoreticians abroad like Vijay Prashad, Angana Chatterji and Meera Nanda?  As the vicious rug is being woven by such dubious scholars who sell their souls for a hatful of foreign money, the US Government is contributing its own gargantuan mite to destabilize India through encouraging conspiracy theories of Hindu terrorism.  In the hands of such avaricious power-centres, the Dalit population is subjected to systematic indoctrination.  The Dalits are kept in the dark about how much the so-called Sanskrit-brahminhood has done to bring them out of the clutches of other castes then and the Dravidian politicians now.  Religious leaders like Adi Sankara and Ramanuja not only denounced untouchability but sought to apply proper correctives.   The work of eminent Brahmins like C. Rajagopalachari and Subramania Bharati are being blacked out.  And even the elite do not know that it was a Vedic scholar, an eminent yogi and disciple of Ramana Maharishi, Kavya Kantha Ganapati Muni braved the orthodoxy by proving that untouchability had no Vedic or Sahstraic sanction. At the 1922 All India Congress session in Belgaum, Ganapati Muni delivered an address in Sanskrit leading to the conclusion that “it is not against scriptures to remove untouchability.”

So when are we going to throw aside our Oblomovian doze?  Is it going to be ‘Fragment India’ or ‘Build up India’?  Breaking India has the political chess-board ready with the chessmen in display. How shall we checkmate the former and win the latter?  

About the authors of Breaking India
Rajiv Malhotra: Rajiv Malhotra is a public intellectual on current affairs, world religions and cross-cultural encounters between East and West. His career has spanned the corporate world as a senior executive, strategic consultant and successful entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries. His Infinity Foundation, seeks to foster a better global understanding of Indian civilization. Rajiv's work argues that the dharma offers a complex and open framework for a genuine dialogue among diverse peoples, rather then a zero sum game. He shows the limitations of globalization when it is a parochial imposition of Western paradigms. He is well known as a speaker and writer for a wide audience and is frequently interviewed and invited to deliver keynote addresses. He serves on the Board of Governors of the India Studies program at the University of Massachusetts, and served as a Chairman for the Asian Studies Education Committee of the State of New Jersey.

Aravindan Neelakandan: Aravindan Neelakandan is 31 years old and is working with an ecological NGO called Vivekananda Kendra - Natural Resources Development Project - in Kanyakumari.  A post-graduate in Economics, Aravindan has been actively involved in NGO activities related to rural women/youth empowerment. He has a special interest in studying missionary strategies and conversion tactics.

Breaking India:  Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines 
by Rajiv Malhotra, Aravindan Neelakandan  
(Amaryllis, J-39, Ground Floor, Jor Bagh Lane, New Delhi 110003  xiv + 650 pages.  2011.  Rs. 695.)



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