India Really Independent?
15th, 2005 will signify 58 years of freedom for India. Jawaharlal
Nehru, India’s first prime minister gave a speech to
Constituent Assembly at midnight on August 14, 1947. “At
the dawn of history India started on her unending quest…she
has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals
which gave her strength. We end today, a period of ill fortune
and India discovers herself again.” His speech inspired
us with ideals about a new beginning for India.
India lived up to these ideals?
Although the British no longer occupy India,
is she really independent of their influence?
they were in India, we began to follow
their traditions, their philosophies, and their lifestyle. We
silently allowed them desecrate our heritage, culture and religion.
Yet now, it is we, the Indians that continue to propagate their
regime. We continue to honor those that tried to destroy our
the biggest tragedy has been in the area of religion. We have continued
to carry the torch for the British missionaries in their attempts
to dissuade our belief system. We continue to allow the desecration
of the essence of Bhartiya culture and tradition - the scriptures.
Not only do we believe in wrong information, we allow for the propagation
of it through textbooks in prestigious Indian schools and universities.
Fictitious theories about the Aryan invasion, the history of Indian
civilization, the origin of our scared Sanskrit language are being
taught to our youth even today.
take one example of a great Indian philosopher, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan,
President of India from 1962 - 1967. Widely renowned for his philosophical
writings and lectures, he was highly influenced by the books of
the European writers who wrote about Hinduism and the history of
India. His own writings perpetuated the British belief system rather
than the knowledge of Bhartiya scriptures.*
example he wrote in his book Indian Philosophy Vol.1, “Rama
is only a good and great man, a high-souled hero, who utilized
the services of the aboriginal tribes in civilizing the south, and
not an avatar of Vishnu. The religion it reflects is frankly polytheistic
Radhakrishnan remarked that “brahamanization of Krsna religion
and elevating Vishnu as the great God took place around 300BC.”
In his writings he has called the early Hindus ‘the beast,’
the Divine wisdom of the Rishis ‘the God-making factory,’
and defined the Vedic religion as ‘the religion of the primitive
man in the world of ghosts and goblins who were only satisfied with
bloody sacrifices.’ He described the teachings of the Upnishads
and the Puranas as ‘speculation, myth, parables and heretical
doctrines,’ called Mahabharat ‘a non-Aryan epic poem’
and tells that ‘the higher mysticism of Yog Darshan
was mixed with drug intoxication.’
In fact, Hinduism, originally called Sanatan Dharm, is
a universal religion intended for the whole world, not for any specific
race. The Vedic culture is the heritage of world civilizations and
we should be proud that it originated in India, not shy away from
it. The spiritual wisdom of ancient India is a gift to mankind and
we as Indians need to cherish, nurture and be proud of it.
of us want to be “like the West”. We wear Western clothes,
watch cable TV, send our children to convent schools and allow them
to be taught by the very books that were authored by the British.
The impressions of our freedom struggle are from a history book
in English rather than our national language. Trousers and shirts
replace traditional dress. Urban youth are shying away from Indian
culture and gravitating towards Western assimilation. Modernization
has been equated with Westernization. Somewhere along the way 150
years of the ‘Raj’ has definitely left its mark.
have somehow lost our way towards the pursuit of independence, and
have continued to be ruled by an invisible ‘Raj’.
We have lost sight of our quest. We have forgotten the ideals which
gave us strength. There is still time to change the future, to return
to our roots. We can re-discover India’s timeless teachings,
we can change the generations to come. Perhaps the question is not
whether we have the ability to do it, but rather will we take on
His book and thousands of others like it are prescribed for higher
studies in Indian institutions.
2004 The Vedic Foundation
This article may be reprinted with permission in writing
from The Vedic Foundation.