9. THE FALSE GODS
9. THE FALSE GODS
The Indian mind�s spontaneous tendency is that of bhakti, of worshipping �That� which it feels is above himself. While it is a wonderful trait which has brought an innocence and a freshness to the Indian psyche, it has been taken advantage in modern times by politicians, Christian missionaries and intellectuals. Mother Teresa, the Mahatma Gandhi, Rama Rao, or Sonia Gandhi, while they may have been outstanding personalities in their own right, have all, consciously or unconsciously exploited this innocence, whereas they did not always deserved the status of Gods or semi-Gods given to them.
WAS MAHATMA A MISFIT?
MAHATMA GANDHI was indeed a great soul, an extraordinary human being, and a man with tremendous appeal to the people. But, unfortunately, he may have been a misfit in India. Karma, or fate, or God, or whatever you want to call it, made a mistake when they sent him down to the land of Bharat. For at heart, Gandhi was a European, his ideals were a blend of Christianity raised to an exalted moral standard and a dose of liberalism "a la Tolstoy". The patterns and goals he put forward for India not only came to naught but also sometimes did great harm to a country, which unquestionably he loved immensely. Furthermore, even after his death, Gandhism, although it does not really have any relevance to Modern India, is still used shamelessly by all politicians and intellectuals to smoke screen their own ineffectiveness and to perpetuate themselves in power. To understand Gandhi properly, one has to put in perspective his aims, his goals, and examine the results today.
What remains today in India of Gandhi's heritage? Spinning was a joke. "He made Charkha a religious article of faith and excluded all people from Congress membership who would not spin. How many even among his own followers believe in the gospel of Charkha? Such a tremendous waste of energy, just for the sake of a few annas is most unreasonable," wrote Sri Aurobindo in 1938. Does any Congress leader today still weave cotton? And has Gandhi's khadi policy of village handicrafts for India survived him? Nehru was the first to embark upon a massive Soviet-type heavy industrialization, resolutely turning his back on Gandhi's policy, although handicrafts in India do have their place.
Nowhere does Gandhi's great Christian morality find more expression than in his attitude towards sex. In India sex has (was at least) always been put in its proper place, neither suppressed, as in Victorian times, nor brought to its extreme perversion like in the West today. Gandhi's attitude towards sex was to remain ambivalent all his life, lying naked with young girls "to test his brahmacharya" while advocating abstinence for India's population control. But why impose on others what he practiced for himself? Did Gandhi think for a minute how millions of Indian women were expected to persuade their husbands to abstain from sex when they are fertile? And who will suffer abortions, pregnancy, and other ignominies? Again, India has totally turned its back on Gandhi's policy: today its birth control programme must be the most elaborate in the world
For the entire world, Gandhi is synonymous with non-violence. Gandhi loved the Bhagavad Gita. But did he grasp its message ? Did he understand that sometimes non-violence does more harm than violence itself? That violence at times is Dharma, if it is done for defending one's country, or oneself, or one's mother, or sisters?. Gandhi never seemed to have realized, for instance, the great danger that Nazism represented for humanity. A great Asuric wave had risen in Europe and threatened to engulf the world and it had to be fought - with violence. Calling Hitler "my beloved brother", a man who murdered six million Jews in cold-blood, just to prove the purity of his own race, is more than just innocence; it borders on criminal credulity. And did not Gandhi also advise the Jews not to react violently � which is as good as letting themselves butchered? Gandhi did also great violence to his body, punishing it to blackmail others in doing his will, even if he thought it was for the greater good. And it may be asked, what remains of Gandhi's non-violence today? India has fought three wars with Pakistan, had to combat the Chinese, has the second biggest army in the world, and has to counter insurgency movements in Punjab, Assam and Kashmir...
It must also be said that, whatever his saintliness, his extreme and somehow rigid romanticism did enormous harm to India. This romanticims has two names: Muslims and Untouchables. Ultimately Gandhi contributed to the partition of India by his obsession to always give in to the Muslims; by his obstinate refusal to see that the Muslims always started rioting (Hindus only retaliated); by his indulgence of Jinnah, going as far as proposing to make him the Prime Minister of India. As early as 1923, Sri Aurobindo had observed: "Hindu-Muslim unity should not mean the subjection of the Hindus, as every time the mildness of the Hindu has given way. The best solution would be to allow the Hindus to organize themselves and the Hindu-Muslim unity would take care of itself. Otherwise, we are lulled into a false sense of satisfaction that we have solved a difficult problem when in fact we have only shelved it"
Gandhi's love of the Harijans, as he called them, was certainly very touching and sprang from the highest motivations, but it would have found a truer meaning in Europe where there are no castes, only classes. Glorifying the scavenger as a man of God makes good poetry, but little social meaning, even if the traditional conception that man is superior to others because he is born a Brahmin is not rational or justifiable. Wrote Sri Aurrobindo: " a spiritual or cultural man of pariah birth is superior in the divine values to an unspiritual and worldly-minded or a crude and uncultured Brahmin." Once more Gandhi took the European element in the decrying of the caste system, forgetting the divine element behind. And unfortunately he sowed the seeds of future disorders and of a caste war in India, of which we see the effects only today.
Gandhi must have died a broken man indeed. He saw India partitioned, Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, and his ideals of Charkha, non-violence and Brahmacharya being flouted by the very men he brought up as his disciples. His heritage, however, is not dead, for it survives where it should have been in the first instance: in the West. His ideals have inspired countless figures, from Martin Luther King, to Albert Einstein to Nelson Mandela, the Dalai-lama or Attenborough, and continue to inspire many others. Gandhi's birth in India was an accident, for here there is nothing left of him except millions of statues and streets and saintly mouthings by politicians who don't apply the least bit of what Gandhi had taught so ardently.
RAMA RAO, AN ACTOR OR A CHIEF MINISTER ?
It�s a ramshackle studio on the outskirts of Hyderabad, with everywhere policemen, who are guarding all doors and gates. In the compound's courtyard, under a tent, a puja, complete with sacred fire, mantras and chantings, goes on, performed by about 30 brahmins, who are praying day after day, for the success of the film being shot within. Inside the main building, a forest of papier-mache has been created, with its trees, flowers, rocks, a sparkling cascade and even a solitary peacock on top of a small cardboard hill. And there, sitting in a corner, legs crossed, eyes closed, seemingly deep in meditation, hair tucked on top, garbed in an orange dhoti, bedecked with jewels all over the body, forehead smeared with ashes, is the honourable chief minister of Andhra .Pradesh himself, the legendary N.T. Rama Rao. NTR is filming the story of Vishwamitra, the Vedic king, who, after having challenged the sage Vashwita for the possession of his magic cow, undertakes a tapasaya of 12 years, momentarily interrupted by heaven's court dancer. Menaka. He finally becomes a Brahma rishi and thereafter works ceaselessly for the good of his people.
With an eye on the coming elections. NTR is working non-stop, even sometimes late into the night, so that the film can be released all over India, as the campaigning gains momentum. On the set, the Chief Minister does everything: directing, acting, casting, looking after the smallest details: the angle of the camera, the colour of the paint on the rocks, the intensity of the lighting.... In the film, Vishwamitra has a court around him:
servants, relatives, admirers, diwans, soldiers. And so it seems, has in real life the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. By 11 a.m., every day, the studio is filled up with those who have managed to go through the different security checks. There are the ministers awaiting their guru's orders, Telugu Desam delegations from all over the state in search of a blessing, important people who are seeking some favour from the rishi of modern India, and simple folk who have come for a darshan. By 2 p.m..Rama Rao appears to notice that his ministers have been waiting for him for hours. With a peremptory wave of the finger, he calls his PRO, whose hands are literally shaking, while he reads to his master a statement to be released to the press on the resignation of the opposition MPs. The chief minister, his mind absorbed in his film, hardly listens, interrupting the poor man several times, to issue orders for the shooting of the next scene ....
And indeed, everybody seems to be terrified of Rao, from the ministers to the soundman; and even his two sons (one acts as the cameraman, the other as a prop-man) appear to fear him. Finally, those who have come for interviews get their due: the men either go to NTR head bowed, hands joined as if praying, or touch his feet seeking his blessings; the women, blushing and nervous, stand by his side so that the official photographer can fix that immortal moment for posterity. Quickly the break is over and the CM dismisses everybody and resumes his shooting. But then, one may ask, when and how does he manage to look after the affairs of his state? "It's simple," says a bureaucrat, who, for very obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous. "The whole government is paralysed because nobody dares say anything to him: he is only told what he wishes to hear, he is only shown reports which praise him. No personal initiative survives as everybody is too scared to take a decision that would irk him.". And he could have added that there is no money left in the state' s coffers, as it has all gone into the subsidy schemes for the poor: rice at Rs 2 a kilo (In the film, Vishwamitra, impatient with rice that takes six months to mature, creates his own hybrid that grows in a tree), or donations and free dhotis for the untouchables (Indra refuses untouchables access to heaven; So Vishwamitra creates his own heaven where Harijans can enjoy a quiet after-life!).
Yet, it is obvious that Rama Rao is a man of power, with all its attributes: he sleeps only a few hours at night and is up at 3 a.m. (he actually calls his ministers before sunrise every day); he is able to stand on the set for hours at a stretch, when everybody is long exhausted; he sees everything, knows everybody, remembers everyone's name; and has the knack to use people and take fast decisions. And, according to some insiders, NTR believes he can become India's next prime minister, though he won't admit it publicly. Can he do it? Will the people give him the mandate? "But you don't understand," said a photographer from Eenadu, the largest Tetugu daily in the state, ha has no doubt he can, because he thinks he is the reincarnation of Vishwamitra"....
EXPLODING THE MOTHER TERESA MYTH
IT is quite extraordinary that the saintly icon which is Mother Teresa is being attacked by foreigners � in this particular case a film produced by Tariq Ali for Britain's Channel 4, for being "a friend of the despots and a religious bigot to boot" � and she is being defended by the cream of India's intelligentsia, be it Vir Sanghvi, Editor of Sunday magazine, who says: "Gosh he is so outrageous," or Sunita Sen,who gushes in India Today. "Bad faith, bad taste".
But has not the film missed more relevant points, which could be summarized thus:
1) What does Mother Teresa really stand for?
2) Why do Indians defend her so ardently?
Foremost one should say in defence of Mother
Teresa that she certainly is doing saintly work. After all, there is
no denying that it takes a Westerner to pick up dying people in the
streets of Calcutta and raise abandoned orphans, a thankless
task if there is one. Indians themselves, and particularly the
Hindus, even though their religion has taught them compassion for
4,000 years, have become very callous towards their less fortunate
brethren. The plague has recently shown the widening gap between
the fortunate and the less than lucky.
This said, one may wonder: What does Mother Teresa really stand for?
Is caring for the dying and orphaned children her only goal? Well, if you have observed her carefully over the years, you will notice that she does not say much. She does speak against contraception and abortion, in a country of nearly one billion, where an ever growing population is spiking whatever little economic progress is made, where the masses make life more and more miserable, invading the cities, crowding their streets and polluting the environment; where for 40 years the Indian government has directed a courageous and democratic birth control programme (this must be said, for China has achieved demographic control through autocratic means).
What else does Mother Teresa say: she speaks of the dying in the streets of Calcutta, of course, of the poor of India left unattended, of the misery of the cities. Fair enough, but then it must be pointed out to her, that she projects to the whole world an image of India which is entirely negative: of poverty beyond humanity, of a society which abandons its children, of dying without dignity. OK, there is some truth in it. But then it may be asked again: does Mother Teresa ever attempt to counterbalance this negative image of India, of whom she is the vector, by a more positive one? After all she has lived here so long that she knows the country as well as any Indian, having even adopted Indian Nationality. Surety she can defend her own country? She could for example speak about India's infinite spirituality, her exquisite culture, the amazing gentleness of its people, the brilliance of its children...
Unfortunately, Mother Teresa says nothing. For the truth is that she stands for the most orthodox Christian conservatism. There is no doubt that ultimately Mother Teresa's goal is utterly simple: to convert India to Christianity, the only true religion in her eyes.
Did you notice that she has never once said a good word about Hinduism, which after all is the religion of 700 million people of the country she says she loves, and has been their religion for 6000 years. This is because deep inside her, Mother Teresa considers, as all good Christians do, particularly the conservative ones, Hinduism a pagan religion which adores a multitude of heathen gods and should be eliminated.
For make no mistakes about it, there has been no changes about the Christians or Protestant designs on India since they arrived with the Portuguese and the British.
Listen to what Lord Hastings, Governor General of India, had to say in 1813: "The Hindoo appears a being limited to mere animal functions.... with no higher intellect than a dog or a
monkey"! Mother Teresa is much more clever than Lord. Hastings. She knows that on the eve of the 21st century, it would look very bad if she would openly state her true opinion about Hinduism: so she bides her time. But ultimately is not charitable work, whatever its dedication, a roundabout manner to convert people? For without any doubt the people she saves from the streets will ultimately become Christians � and if you ask those "elite" Indians who know her well, such as the photographer Raghu Rai, a great admirer of her, she always comes out after some years with: "it's now time for you to embrace the true religion" (Rai politely declined).
The second point then is: why does India's intelligentsia, the Vir Sanghvis and Sunita Sens, all of whom are born Hindus, defend her? These are intelligent, educated people, they must surely have some inkling of Mother Teresa's true purpose. Or do they? Do Sanghvi and Sen, or Naveen Chawla, Mother Teresa's ever admiring biographer, understand what Mother Teresa really stands for? That she is someone basically hostile to their culture, their religion, their way of life? Does Sanghvi know that Hindu society has always been the target of Christians since their coming here? Does he understand that he and a thousand of his peers, who belong to the intellectual elite of India and keep praising Mother Teresa, are doing harm to their country and opening it to its enemies? The Christian influence is very strong in India today: it shapes the minds of its young people, in a subtle way, through its schools, which many of the children of the rich attend. It moulds the thinking of the tribes it has converted, particularly in the North-East, where the missionaries have always covertly encouraged separatism (see the remarkable book "Indigenous Indians" by the Dutch Scholar Konrad Elst).
But ultimately it must be concluded that the Indian intelligentsia who defend Mother Teresa and are constantly attacking Hinduism, as Sanghvi does, are a product of three centuries of English and Christian colonialism, which successfully created an Indian elite cut off from its roots and hostile to its own culture. Mother Teresa is an incarnation of Western post- colonialism and the Nobel Prize she got is their endorsement of her work,
As for the Indian government's stand on Mother Teresa, it is like biting one's own tail and it seems quite stupid. Why make Mother Teresa a national figure when she represents today the worst publicity for India at a time when the country is trying to shed its image of poverty and backwardness? Surely Mother Teresa deserves praise for her work. But there are hundreds of other selfless, courageous individuals in India, who do not hog the limelight and go on with their service to the nation in true Christian humility. The deeds of Mother Teresa should be reviewed in their proper perspective. But then, when she dies, the Indian government will probably declare 7 days of mourning!
For make no mistake about it, the wonder that is India, its great culture, its philosophy, its inner spiritual genius is today under mortal threat. It is attacked both from within by its minorities - of which the Christian lobby, although not the most visible, is essentially hostile - and in the process they may make allies with the Muslims, the other monotheist religion, with whom they partake of the same hate for Hinduism. And from without, by hostile neighbours. And what will India become if the Mother Teresas� of this world, helped unwittingly by Sanghvi and his peers have the last word? It will lose what makes Her unique on this earth, different from all others, above most of them and become another Westernised, Christianised, standardised society, having lost its soul along the way. Thank you Vir Sanghvi and Sunita Sen!
SONIA GANDHI AND THE GREAT ARYAN MYTH
Everything has already been said about why Sonia Gandhi holds such a fascination for India: the fact that she belongs to the Nehru dynasty towards which the rural people have the bhakti tendency we were earlier talking about, and which the Congress propaganda machine has been exploiting full swing since independence, creating the impression in the minds of the simple villagers that the Nehru dynasty is akin to God. Or the eternal inferiority complex that a part of the Indian intelligentsia seems to be holding towards the West. This is particularly striking amongst a section of the Indian media, which always appears to look at India through a western prism and constantly worry how the foreign press views India, how the foreign countries - particularly the United States of America - perceive India, what the Human Right agencies say about India. The fact that Sonia Gandhi seems to hold a great fascination for foreign correspondents based in India, even though she has no political qualifications, even though she has never given interviews to any of them, does not help either. But think what would happen if a Hindu would try in France or the USA the same "Empress" trick she is doing on India, he would be bashed-up by the local press. Nevertheless, most correspondents write sympathetically about her (while running down what they call the "Hindu nationalists"); one of them (Jean Leclerc du Sablon from Le Figaro actually wrote in an editorial "that Sonia is going to bring a bit of morality in Indian politics" ! Is that a case colonial hangover..
But what has never been said is this : the White Skin of Sonia may also bewitch Indians because of the theory of the Aryan invasion, which is still taken as the foundation stone of the History of India. According to this theory, which was actually devised in the 18th and 19th century by British linguists and archaeologists, the first inhabitants of India were good-natured, peaceful, dark-skinned shepherds, called the Dravidians, who had founded what is called the Harappan - or Valley of the Indus civilisation. They were supposedly remarkable builders, witness the city of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistani Sind, but had no culture to speak-off, no litterature, no proper script even. Then, around 1500 B.C., India is said to have been invaded by tribes called the Aryans : white-skinned, nomadic people, who originated somewhere in Western Russia and imposed upon the Dravidians the hateful caste system. To the Aryans, are attributed Sanskrit, the Vedic - or Hindu religion, India�s greatest spiritual texts, the Vedas, as well as a host of subsequent writings, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, the Ramanaya, etc�
This was indeed a masterly stroke on the part of the British : thanks to the Aryan theory, they showed on the one hand that Indian civilisation was not that ancient and that it was posterior to the cultures which influenced the western world - Mesopotamia, Sumeria, or Babylon - and that whatever good things India had developed - Sanskrit, literature, or even its architecture, had been influenced by the West. Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being the mother of all Indo-European languages, became just a branch of their huge family; thus, the religion of Zarathustra is said to have influenced Hinduism, and not vice versa. And on the other hand, it divided India and pitted against each other the low caste dark-skinned Dravidians and the high caste light-skinned Aryans, a rift which is till enduring.
But today, this theory is being challenged by two new discoveries, one archaeological and the other linguistic. Firstly, in the Rig Veda, the Ganges, India�s sacred river, is only mentioned once, but the mythic Saraswati is praised FIFTY times. For a long time, the Saraswati river was indeed considered a myth, until the American satellite Landstat was able to photograph and map the bed of this magnificent river, which was nearly fourteen kilometres wide and took its source in the Himalayas. Archaeologist Paul-Henri Francfort, who studied the Saraswati region at the beginning of the nineties, found out that the Saraswati had "disappeared", because around 2200 B.C., an immense drought reduced the whole region to aridity and famine. "Thus, he writes, most inhabitants moved away from the Saraswati to settle on the banks of the Indus and Sutlej rivers". According to official history, the Vedas were composed around 1500 BC, some even say 1200 BC. Yet, the Rig Veda, describes India as it was BEFORE the great drought which dried-up the Saraswati, which means in effect that the so-called Indus, or Harappan civilisation was a CONTINUATION of the Vedic epoch, which ended approximately when the Saraswati dried-up.
Recently, the famous Indus seals, discovered on the site of Mohenja Daro and Harappa, have been deciphered by Dr N. Rajaram, a mathematician who worked at one time for the NASA and Dr Jha, a distinguished linguist. In the biased light of the Aryan invasion theory, these seals were presumed to be written in a crude Harappan (read Dravidian) script, although they had never been convincingly deciphered. But Rajaram and Jha, using an ancient Vedic glossary, the Nighantu, were able to prove that the script is of Sanskrit lineage and have so far deciphered 2000 seals. As the discovery of the Saraswati river, the decipherment of the Indus scripts also goes to prove that the Harappan Civilization, of which the seals are a product, belonged to the latter part of the Vedic Age and had close connections with Vedantic works like the Sutras and the Upanishads.
Hence, it is becoming more and more clear that there never was an Aryan Invasion in India, a theory which was imposed upon the subcontinent by its colonisers and is today kept alive by Nehruvian historians (such as Romila Thapar), Christian missionaries (it is thus easy to convert the downtrodden tribals and Dravidians, by telling them that Hinduism was a religion thrust upon them by the hated "Brahmin" invaders) and the communists (who hate anything Hindu). But as long as India will not rewrite its history books and teach its children to be proud of its ancient and INDIGENOUS civilisation, there will be other Sonia Gandhi�s who will come and exploit India�s Secret Craving For The White.