What is India?

For a while I had been troubled by the fact that I barely could connect with or understand my own country. I did not want to listen to something just because someone said so, I wanted to see the “real” India unadulterated by exaggerated writings and get a complete picture of the country in one shot. This article presents a frank and personal view point of the real India and I’m responsible for all the facts quoted and will be glad to provide my references. If you are overly “blindly” nationalistic or have “terrorist” tendencies, I’d recommend you to not read further.

       India or Sindhos or Sindhikos or Bharatavarsha is a large expanse of land comprising of the Indian subcontinent. I will not deal with the numerous countries that now make up India. It is stupid because it is just a division amongst us humans. There is an interesting idea about the areas occupied by the countries. The area comprising a country depends on the scale with which it is measured. Suppose we take a satellite picture of the sub-continent and decide to use a scale that is kilometer long. We  get a certain area. Now lets use a scale that is half a kilometer long. This scale can see more minute details and hence will see a larger  area. Similarly if  you use a 30 cm long scale the area will be much much larger as you can measure even smaller articrafts. Take a much smaller scale and you get a country of infinite size :) . 

        Around 30,000 years ago, we humans decided to move out of the African grasslands. We had developed language and had become sentient. We moved in all directions and occupied large tracts of land across the globe which was still connected. The simplest evidence  to prove that we did move out is the language that is still spoken by the tribals in Africa, Asia and Australia. It’s crude and is called Munda and each of them can still speak to another with that tongue! The colors amongst us is not because we were born differently, it is just because of a pigment called melanin that protects us from the harsh UV of the sun. Remove the sun and you don’t need melanin and you become white. It’s as simple as that.

         Around 6000 years ago a second wave of migrations started and a new people moved in to India. These are what are called the Dravidians. They were not ingenious because their language is different from the Munda stream. These guys made use of copper tools as against the gathering economy of the tribal's. They are supposed to have seeped in from the south. At this point humans all over the  globe were beginning to live in one place. The Egyptians and Mesopotamians(Iraqis) had begun mastering agriculture. The Nile and Tigris were breeding human settlements and men began developing math, science and religion. Fast forward one thousand years and the Egyptians had already begun building the worlds most massive structures. The Pyramids had been built and the bodies of kings were mummified. Their art had developed tremendously and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It’s as good as any that we have done with modern tools! At this time we in India were still gatherers. Agriculture had barely begun and we lived in forests and grasslands rearing cattle. There is not much art from the time save for crude clay figurines.  

           At this time, rivers around the globe began an anomalous behaviour. there were massive floods inundating human settlements and people were forced out. Geological data points to this flooding. And this is what may have led to the Origin by flood in various religions. Including the story of Manu in India and in Jewish books. A group of people now fondly called the Vedic people/ Aryans moved in to India right after the floods. They were technologically superior to the copper and bronze  wielding populace that had settled across the nation. The Vedic people came in with Iron and horses. Iron could clear the dense vegetation around the Ganges and for the first time agriculture began in India. Everywhere the Vedic guys went, they spread agriculture. The gathering economies adopted the superior culture. It’s interesting that we humans no matter how much we try to stay separated; have been pushed together by natural forces. We are made to intermingle and exchange ideas and then grow as a species. Once settlements began in India, people had time to do more things. Technologically we did not do much. Most of the time was spent in pondering about intellectual exercises. The climate in India was not harsh and there was no need to fight against nature unlike the other human settlements. The Indus valley was the first Urban settlement and the people were yet to begin writing. They used bullock carts, and reared Rhinos for cattle. They probably traded with the Romans. The “writings” and tablets may not even be a message from the past. The patterns that are found on the writings do not conform to any human linguistic patterns. They are more likely to be totems used to identify a manufacturer or exporter. The exact nature of the tablets will be known very soon. They won’t speak for the people but will only give clues to their living.

            By around 3500 years ago. we had more or less arrived at what we thought  were explanations of the world around us. We concluded that the universe was one massive living creature with every human and every object being a manifestation of a single force called Brahman. The theory connected everything we saw and could be used to explain everything. At this point people were not concerned with accuracy and verification of theories. If something could be argued to be true, it had to be true. Linguistically and religiously we became superior. Once we realized that we could explain everything in the world by presuming everything to be an illusion, there was no incentive to do anything new. Imagine living in a nihilistic world where you exist simply because you “think” you exist. In the end you die and you are not dead because you never existed. Why would you want to do anything when your elders tell you that you did not do anything because you do not exist in the first place? The Vedas were nevertheless written down and the divine rights of kings were asserted. I like calling the Vedas, Upanishads and other ancient documents as the wikileaks of the Priests. They were mostly internal documents detailing accurately what they felt about the people around. It was meant to be kept as an internal secret but it got out and there is nothing doing now. The priests in all civilizations have always been a class of people who manipulate others in spite of knowing what they are doing. They have no moral values and cheating and manipulation come naturally due to their hatred of other people and the feeling of superiority handed by the knowledge of the very people they manipulate.   

             The empires in the south began to consolidate, the Vindhyas kept the technology from the north at bay but the oceans did not prevent a cultural exchange with the Greeks. I always wondered why some of the women from the south looked out of place, they were simply too brightly colored, or had a strange complexion unlike everyone else. The color  could be explained by the melanin  pigmentation due to lack of exposure to the sun but not the structure and everything else. Guess what! the south traded with the Greeks and Romans. They mined gold and diamonds and these were traded for women!!! The southerners at least a few of them bred with the Greeks and that’s the reason they look slightly out of place and way more beautiful. The south began a superb cultural experimentation and built up a rich repository of art unlike the north which was more interested in religion. The iron technology of the north started creeping down south and people shifted from a trade based economy to an agriculture based economy.

               One thousand years later around 300BC, the Buddha came in and blasted the current economy that had become too segregated with no room for growth. Since the best people were not allowed to do any menial jobs including masonry, agriculture and art. All of these fields suffered tremendously. No new ideas were implemented on a large scale and the king and his ministers had to design everything for the people. The people were helpless. It’s weird that the entrepreneurs among them could change everything but they were not allowed to do anything because the society prevented them while the ones who needed change could not make it happen because they had no access to the knowledge required to make the change. Around 150BC, the grammar for Sanskrit had been written down by Panini. For the first time there was a language that exceeded everyone in perfection. The detail given to the language is brilliant. It’s sad that the society prevented such a detail in other fields by simply preventing the best from working there. A single unverifiable theory of life which presumed everything was known produced a stable society with no incentive for anything new or risky.  Asoka introduced the idea of a peace loving empire but it was too far ahead of time and the neighbors did not believe in peace. Theoretically it is nice to be happy with what you have, but its not human to be happy with what you have. There were more invasions. The Persians from Iran came in led by Darius. The Greeks attacked the north through Alexander who retreated after making hordes of alliances. The Mongols, Huns, Afghans, all had their share of fun and loot. During the entire period there was more cultural mixing. New ideas came in but no matter what the religious string did not bend. Khilji came in to India and destroyed most of the temples. The art that remains from the time is not the best. It is true that there are beautiful patterns and life like models. But these do not hold secrets or  symbols that tell a story. The egyptian statues gave tremendous importance to details. I could see the Kings hand and could reel off all his characteristics and then lookup historical documents to verify if it was right and it always was.The lines were accurate enough to tell his story!!!!! The Greek statues are even better, they measured every aspect before they created them. They were accurate enough to reproduce the smallest blemishes. At this time in Greece, The Pythagorean had gathered beginning a process of rational thinking. It was time to explain the world around us in a way by which we could verify it. It was time to learn about ourselves.

                 Buddha and Mahavira together destroyed the hold of the priests and as expected their open religion had a world wide appeal. It gave answers to people who had questions of life. It tried to be rational and this appealed to a large number of people. More civilizations rose in India. It’s an interesting fact that civilizations across the globe exhibit a pattern. There are people moving in rapidly, the cities grown and stagnate and then they fall. No matter which direction we look. A civilization will fall. The egyptians fell, the babylonians fell, the vijaynagar fell, the mughals fell, and the Imperial British fell too. Each time a civilization falls it loses everything associated with it. In case of India a nihilistic world mean a lack of interest in the past and the culture remained the same in spite of a changing world. Th kingship and ministers determined the changes and people just lived their lives. A good king gave a good rule while a bad one gave corruption.

                 Islam started from a Pagan building housing a Shiva linga, the phallus is what exists inside Mecca. And the muslims are praying to a phallus and its not surprising they don’t want their women to see it :P . Islam built upon the Christian missionary style and made it more ruthless. They too the same stories as  the christians, downgraded christ to a messiah and upgraded Mohammed to the last prophet on earth. The muslims believe in Jins and fairies but believe that other gods from other religions are bad! The Ghazni’s and Ghori’s first attacked India for the diamonds and gold. The south had huge mines and most of the gold was stored in temples which had transformed through the patronage of kings into centers of art (read dancing girls).They were bestowed with riches and the girls entertained crowds. The ghaznis took the gold and returned and in line with mohammeds atrocious destruction of all statues in Mecca, they destroyed temples or built mosques on top of them. this was standard practice amongst all empires. When you defeat an enemy, you want the people to respect the conqueror and the best way to do this is to destroy the one thing that is most precious to the people or the one thing that holds them in place. This simply did not work in India because things worked differently here unlike the rest of the world. People didn’t even care if the temple was looted or destroyed, they simply rebuilt it. Somanath was rebuilt 17 times in the same spot and was looted each time. The Mughals gave a saner rule in India. They promoted Islam in the true sense. Islam like Buddhism stresses an equality for all. It is wonderful but is muddled by the 70 Virgins and heaven theories. The gist of Islam is wonderful and it probably had to add unrealistic grants in order to convert people. It did a great job in civilizing people for whom life did not mean much.

                 The Renaissance and Reformation in Europe marked the first solid fight against dominance of the priests and kings. Men rose and brought down empires. The movement changed us humans dramatically. We began a new journey to understand ourselves but this time in an open manner. We decided not to accept someone’s word just because they said it. We would do something only if it made sense. Thousands of men died Da Vinci, Copernicus, Brahe died for what they believed in setting of a fire that freed men from the clutches of the unworthy. Within two hundred years, the renaissance had inspired men across the globe. The Americans rose up against the Imperial British and created a nation for freedom , honesty and justice loving people. The 1857 war for Indian Independence was just a war against being forced to consume use a culturally taboo material. For the first time we Indians said “Enough”. I stood on the very grounds wherein we said No and decided to fight to death against the most powerful and disciplined army in the world. The British were forced to govern India as the East India Corporation had become too powerful of a company to be let loose. The government was forced to commission historians into finding out more about India. And it was these historians who discovered everything written above! The renaissance made the Europeans look back into their past and the need to govern properly made the British go back into India’s past.

                 We decided to question everything just as the Europeans did during the renaissance. The British framed laws and brought under one Umbrella, the entire Indian sub-continent. Many old taboos were outlawed. Powerful dacoits were subdued and truth, honesty and justice were brought back in to the fore. But these values mean little in a nation that is poor and has to fight to be alive. Poverty breeds dishonesty. But in spite of it, we came together and within 90 years we stood with freedom in hands. The British did what was logical and gave back freedom to the 540 states that comprised India.

                 The 540 states joined hands to form one nation called India and thus we were born 64 years ago. The priests still wield power but it is only a matter of months before they will be exterminated. Things have changed dramatically. People from any field can now enter any field and this has created a tremendous improvement in everything. Innovation has entered our lives in unheard of ways. We are not living to realize a dream nation that existed in the past. The Hastinapur or Dwaraka or Ayodhya were just mythological cities built by exaggeration. We are now building a nation and are creating a world of our own. Everything we do is what will set the pace for the future. It’s exciting to live in a time wherein you can decide what is good and bad and live with the good.

                 There will always be a day when we will want to stop citing the concept of a world connected with everything. I believe that the concept of Brahman is not an end. It is a beautiful idea and modern physics provides a viewpoint wherein everything is connected by Quantum Entanglement. The idea of brahman was simply far too ahead of time. It stunned people because it was beyond comprehension at the time. The Brahman is not the end, it is the beginning of the foundation for an exciting journey to understand ourselves. We know that we are closely connected with the world around us. We know that we are all connected. But why? Why do we exist? Why exist even in an illusion? Why become Sentient and ask this question now? It is these questions and finding answers to them that will drive the new nation. We will start where we stopped 3000 years ago. We will create a nation whose aim is to not just breed people but to understand this wonderful creation of nature called me. We get to lay down the rules and I’m proud of it. I’m no longer bound by boundaries, this world is all mine :) . I’m proud to be an Indian and an earthling and most importantly a human. I have my answers. 

Category: 0 comments