A Critical History of South Asia
Below seen crossing the river Ganges Akbar’s
Indian empire was like a grid of imperial towns, roads and markets which
pressed heavily on existing society and modified it, though only at certain
points. For not even Akbar could guarantee safe passage through the interior of
India. William Hawkins, a British merchant making his way inland from the port
of Surat in the year 1609, reported how he was forced to hire a troop of 50
soldiers to protect his caravan, since 'the country is so full of outlaws and
thieves that a man cannot stir out of doors without great forces'. From the
time of Akbar’s death in1605 on the ‘Moghul Empire’would gradually
fall apart only to be re-integrated later by the British East India Company-during
the 18th Century. There was a Persian invasion in the 1740's. It all started
when Bombay, a Portuges Colony, became British in 1661, when it passed to
Charles II as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza. Finding the cost of
maintaining the place prohibitive, the Monarch leased it to the East India
Company in 1668. There was a Persian invasion in the 1740's, and what the
centrifugal tendencies of the empire concerned power was devided between the
nawabs (Moghul provincial governors) and the Marathas who owed allegiance
to a potentate known as the Peshwa of Poona. And originally appearing as
a Hindu sect, the Sikhs in the sixteenth century formed a milita, hood, had no
castes,and turned against the Moghuls forming a third power. By the 1750s, when
the final disintegration of the Mughal state began, both the English and the
French East India companies had transformed themselves into minor powers along
the coast. At the end of the century a momentous acquisition was made when the
company was allowed to occupy Fort William, which it had built at Calcutta. And
in 'One body corporate and politic': 2005, Philip Jared Stern described
the East India Company in the later seventeenth century as “a State in the
disguise of a Merchant” replicating the remarks of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke
who inveighed against the perversion, as they saw it, of a body of traders that
"turned sovereign". And Burke sought the impeachement of the
companies Governor, Warren-Hastings...
While few people understand the wider background of Hindutva as a political religion here the first in depth study on the internet today.
Promoted by Indian (and Chinese) nationalists today, it gives a sowewhat twisted political spin to what at best is a complex scientific story. Click to see a current overview of Archeological research per 2005:
Archaeology is mainly about our own culture in the present, rather than about past cultures (since what matters about recalling the past is who remembers what and how at any given point in time and space), collective memories often imply a particular image of archaeology. In fact a look at archaeological sites and artifacts in past and present, show that their meanings have varied enormously, and also today they mean different things to different people.
The Delhi High Court Thursday issued notices to producers of 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising', sought a permanent injunction on the screening of 'The Rising'.
The ‘most expensive’ Indian movie opened recently in London and New York, and in India itself "The Rising" was also timed with a book about the 1857 incident. Come out! Get ready! It's for our religion! From biting these cartridges we shall become infidels!' On a sleepy Sunday afternoon in March 1857, an agitated sepoy in the English East India Company's 34th Native Infantry marched on to the parade ground in Barrackpore, exhorting his comrades to join him in protecting their religion from the Europeans. Although part folklore, there are many ''Alhas'' (folk-songs) telling the story about Pandey's life , how he joined the British Army and his participation in the annexation of Awadh which changed his attitude towards the ''goras''. Thus it is not surprising that the issue has raised controversy not only in the UK, but also in India. Fact is, the British Sepoys (derived from the Persian sipah, meaning "soldier") at the time, were obtained from the nawab of Avadh. (see P. Barua, The State at War in S.Asia, 2005, p.56.)
The Partition of S.Asia/ Shameful Flight by Stanley Wolpert, 2005
August 9, 2005: Stanley Wolpert uses as a starting point for his new book the exclamation by Winston Churchill that it was a "shameful flight". Next Wolpert places much of the blame on Lord Louis Mountbatten, the cousin of the king, for the drawing of border lines through the middle of Punjab and Bengal. Although it is true that as Wolpert shows, civil unrest among Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs escalated as Independence Day approached, he fails to detail much of the reason for the partition. So let us start with the most important one, language.
eSocial Science Research 22 July, 2005: On Thursday July 21, 2005, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a day after his meeting with President G. Bush at he White House warned that rising violence in Kashmir could jeopardise peace talks with Pakistan.
Similar to Europe where ‘signioral castles’ became increasingly vulnerability of to the field artillery maintained by king and queens, from the middle of the fifteenth century onwards. This became a crucial factor in the rise of centralized monarchical states all over the world. Thus were early 2005, I pointed out that a gendered/racial categorization of the Indian populace by the British gave rise to several stereotypes like the manly Sikh, the devious Maratha, and the loyal Gurkha. And although recent criticism by the BBC stating 'soldiers did not burn villages when the inhabitants refused to grow opium', seems valid. Viewing "The Rising," one can ad that it was partly as a reaction to the warfare 'with France in Europe', that 'The British Company' proceeded to involve itself more actively with 'local politics.' This becomes particularly apparent when one doesn't only consult British, but also French sources as I am doing in this case.
P.2: The ferocity of the May 11, 1857, Hindu and Muslim sepoy-mutiny in India, provoked a crisis of national conscience and a series of searing if often painfully ambivalent condemnations of British actions in India both prior to and during the war. The dissident, disillusioned, antipatriotic strain of Victorian "mutiny writing," in fact was, a forerunner of modern-day antiwar literature and the modern critique of racism.
On the right uncovered by the December tsunami in Mahabalipuram, 70km south of Madras, are the remnants of a stone house and a half-completed rock elephant from the Pallava dynasty. There are also two giant granite lions, one seated and another poised to charge, recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India . The Pallava dynasty dominated much of South India from as early as the first century BC to eighth century AD and Mahabalipuram is now recognised as the site of some of the greatest sculptural achievements in India. European mariners and travelers, who visited Mahabalipuram in the 18th century, wrote about the existence of “seven pagodas”. On February 11, a team of divers Archaeologists dived to re-discover the ancient port city, submerged off the coast of Tamil Nadu, India, picture on the left.
Although local archeologists have fully explained it, the fact that the ruins of the coast here in Mahabalipuram are of the same temple complex as the remaining shore temple has raised renewed speculations about the lost continent of the Tamils elsewhere called, Lemuria . Though some conceded that it might be far-fetched to insist that mankind first emerged on Lemuria, given that geologists claimed that it had submerged before the appearance of humans on Earth, the Government of Tamilnadu in 1975 insisted that Dravidians (and hence Tamil speakers) are the most ancient peoples of the subcontinent (Government of Tamilnadu, Tamilnâttu Varalâru: Tolpalarikalam, History of Tamilnadu: Prehistoric times, Madras,1975, 124). In addition to naming, claiming, and commemorating, place-making is a also way of constructing history itself, of inventing it, of fashioning novel versions of `what happened here. Click to enter the Tamil lost world plus an overview of Atlantis and Lemuria:
A reason cited for A.V.Advanis attempt to excape the BJP he leads, is a lawsuit he has not been able to block any longer. I start with a first hand look at one of its sub-groups that co-defender in this case is the 'World Hindu Council':
Following is a critical assessment also of the Advani Government with research that I started one year ago (September 2004) when they were still in power, and completed by June 2005, when Advani first announced his resignation
A picture taken in present day Assam-India of the Ahom/
Phake (the Ahom kingdom grew out of the Mon and Khmer kingdoms from
around 1000 A.D.). Other ethnic minorities in Assam are Aiton and Khamti
comparable to the ‘hill tribes’ still living also in Burma and N. Thailand.
Aryans, in East and West
At Nuremberg, twenty men were tried and eleven were executed for their active involvement in the brutal mechanism of the Third Reich.
By the mid-19th century Freemasonry was permeating Bombay's intellectual atmosphere with its ideas of a "religion" underlying all religions, and individual and societal perfectibility.
British India was the site of imperial innovation and intellectual endeavour, standing at the centre of numerous imperial circuits of exchange, including the expansive and dense personal, publishing, governmental and cultural networks that transmitted Aryanism from British India into South-East Asia, the Pacific and beyond.
Voltaire hoped to prove how all the principles of Christian theology that had been lost with the Veda, could still be found in the “Ezour Vedam”, thanks to its retrieval and circulation by a French ‘philosophe’.
The message of The Arctic Home of the Vedas was tailor-made to appeal to the chauvinism of the orthodox community. While its pseudoscientific thesis in no way revolutionized the way historians view the Vedic period, Tilak's theory did have significant implications: The Vedic texts need not be deciphered.
In the spring of 1878, Madame Blavatsky wrote to a follower of Swami Dayananda Sarasvati leader of the reform group the Arya Samaj: “Is our friend a Sikh? If so, the fact he should be, as you say, 'very much pleased to learn the object of our Society' is not at all strange.
R.C. Majumdar's view that Indians knew little of their history in the early nineteenth century, prior to the impact of Western scholarship, may seem brusque.