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"History will judge"

"History will judge"

Publication: www.vigilonline.com
Date: January 21, 2004
URL: www.vigilonline.com

Thoughts on issues of current interest [my comments - as an Indian citizen - within square brackets], including instances of some double standards of our public figures, especially in the construction of Indian identity (all those Macaulayan myths, and the hypocrisy that is Nehruvian secularism) - Krishen Kak

[According to The Hindu, Jan 17, 2004, "Activists demand lifting ban on book" and "Scholars protest vandalism".  The former is about that Shabnam Hashmi-led/Harsh Mander-promoted "non-structured organisation" called ANHAD demanding the lifting of the Maharashtra Government's ban on James Lane's book on Shivaji because this is "bending backwards to appease the communal and fascist elements" and there is the government's "danger of losing the support of the sane and secular forces of this country" (obviously meaning itself and others like it).  The latter is "over a hundred scholars from across the globe", including that eminent historian Romila Thapar, protesting the related BORI vandalism because "a centuries-old tradition in India of social and intellectual tolerance is being destroyed before our very eyes....The world is watching, and history will judge" (and obviously, again, the world is them and history is what they say it should be). On Jan 18, 2004, The Hindu reported "Historians protest ban on book" - SAHMAT joined the chorus with eminent historian Irfan Habib and others stating that "It is quite clear that our cultural heritage is not safe with the fundamentalist forces having a free run in the country. They are being actively encouraged by the ideology that preaches intolerance and has no respect for half-a-millennium-old monuments, contemporary art practices and scholarly pursuits".

Ach, true, very true.

The West Bengal government's ban on Taslima Nasreen's book because it offended some Muslims is not the "appeasement of communal and fascist elements" but is well within the "centuries-old tradition in India of social and intellectual tolerance" and, therefore, needs no protest.

The razing in free India of well over a hundred temples in Kashmir, and the conversion of Hindu sacred places into Muslim shrines even today ("Koshur Samachar", New Delhi, Jan 2004:21) is by "sane and secular forces" and, therefore, needs no protest.

The destruction over more than half a millennium of over 2,000 temples was by an ideology that respects "old monuments" and, therefore, needs no protest.

The genocide - by international legal definition - of the Kashmiri Pandit community in Kashmir is a "contemporary art practice" and, therefore, protest against it is itself to be protested against  (V'mala 9).

And the disrespect to and Freudian innuendo over divinities sacred to the majority in our country is "scholarly pursuits" and, therefore, needs no protest.  These scholars - and artists - wouldn't dare apply the same manner of interpretation or depiction to, say, the Islamic god and his prophet. But that is their academic freedom, isn't it?

Check out the videoCD "Terror on the Kashmir Minorities....And The World Remained Silent" (available through http://www.francoisgautier.com )

Eric Hoffer describes fanaticism as a "malady of the soul of the world" and identifies it as "a Judaic-Christian invention" ("The True Believer", NY: HarperPerennial, 1989:168).

No, I do not condone the BORI vandalism. But I invite you to read Shylock's speech in The Merchant of Venice,III.i - the one that has "...if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?.....The villainy you teach me, I will execute...".

All through recorded history, which are the ideologies characterised by the fanatic destruction of the others' "national consciousness incarnated in books" (http://www.harvardmag.com/on-line/110388.html )? - the firing of the Alexandria library, the burning of non-Muslim scriptures, the sack of Nalanda university, the incineration of the Aztec and Maya codices, the literary holocaust of 100 million books in Nazi-occupied Europe, the Serbian bombing of the Bosnian national library, and the ransacking of the Baghdad museum are only some examples of biblioclasm from hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of the destruction by these ideologies of the cultural resources of others.

It is to these very ideologies that these scholars and historians belong, or that they consider "secular" (V'mala 20).  That these ideologies not only have openly declared their intention to wipe out the world's last major paganism but are actively and successfully engaged in doing so, therefore, needs no protest, because to these scholars and historians it is these ideologies that are "sane".

We pagans, by implication, are "insane".

Whose history, therefore, is to sit in judgement?]

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