Happy Independence Day India

15th August 2018, Happy Independence day India, home and birthplace of Hindus.

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Hindu Council in its 20th years

In 1998, five pioneer Hindus of Sydney came together, Dr Anand Lalchandani co-founder of Sri Mandir in Auburn, Dr A Balasubramaniam co-founder of Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh, Surinder Jain co-founder of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Bhagwat Chauhan of VHP Australia and Mr Jagdish Raniga of Braham Kumaris. Together they founded Hindu Council of Australia. Sanjeev Bhakri and his team pioneered the celebration of Diwali as a grand community festival under the banner of Hindu Council. Many more helped Hindu Council become the grand organisation of Hindus all over Australia, that it is today.

Hindu Council has over 40 temples and Hindu associations as its members and has become the voice of Australian Hindus.

We will be celebrating 20th Diwali this year in Sydney.

 

 

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Jalaram Bapa a saint from Virpur

A once mighty civilization that India was, it continues to produce men and women of exceptional abilities from time to time and from place to place. The land of Punjab is Vir Bhumi, land of Kerala is Punuruthana Bhumi, land of UP and Utrakhand is Dev Bhumi, land of Bengal is Reform Bhumi, land of Bihar Jharkhand is Shanti Sandesh Bhumi, land of Tamilnadu is Kalaa Bhumi and so on. The land of Gujarat is famous as Sant Bhumi. Each Bhumi or land or state has produced many stars in its category.

Jalaram Bapa idol at a temple in Vadodara, dressed in colorful attire on occasion of Jalaram Jayanti holding a danda and wearing a turban.
Jethwarp – Own work

Gujarat has produced many saints. One such saint of Gujarat who lived mostly in 19th century affectionately known as Bapa (meaning great Dad) started a tradition of feeding the poor, the needy and everyone else who came to him. I had gone to Virpur where Bapa was born and witnessed his open kitchen, open to all, his earthen vessel that quenches the thirst of all and a place that does not accept donations. Even after 200 years, Bapa continues to shower his blessings and money has never been a problem to serve. 

The main shrine of Jalaram Bapa is located at Virpur. The shrine is actually the house complex where Jalaram lived during his lifetime. The shrine houses the belongings of Jalaram and the deities of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana and Hanuman worshipped by him. It also has on display the Jholi and Danda said to be given by God.[5] But the main attraction is the portrait of Jalaram Bapa. There is also an actual black and white photo of Jalaram Bapa, taken one year before his death.[7]

The temple is one of a kind in the world in a way that it has not been accepting any offerings since 9 February 2000.

Jalaram Bapa popularly known as Bapa was a Hindu saint from Gujarat, India. Bapa is revered by many people around the world for his saintly qualities and his ability to work miracles but most of all he is remembered for his selfless acts of charity.

Bapa was born on 14 November 1799 in the town of Virpur near Rajkot in India. He got married to Virbai at the age of sixteen. Virbai Maa, as she is popularly known, supported Bapa wholeheartedly in his saintly duties. Bapa’s feats of kindness, his devotion to God and his miracles are well documented.

At the age of 20, after obtaining his Guru’s blessings, Bapa started his Sadavrat (‘an oath forever’), providing free food to every person, at first to sadhus (monks) but later extended to anyone who dropped in. Inspired by his insatiable desire to feed the poor and needy, many became his devotees. True to Bapa’s desire and nearly 200 years later this tradition of feeding people continues to this day in Virpur.

For his devotees this meal is now a Prasad. Virpur has become an important Pilgrimage centre in India and attracts thousands of visitors daily.

Although Bapa origins were from the Lohana community his work and influence extended to all as he considered all castes and religions equally worthy of help and respect.

Bapa died in 1881 whilst praying. He was a divine soul who worked selflessly for humanity. His deeds are inspiring millions of people to follow the path of humanity and service. His birthday (Jayanti) each year is celebrated by many thousands of people across the world. His mandirs everywhere still serve the same Prasad of “Rotla, Khichdi, Kadhi and Shaak” and preach about the completely unselfish and kind deeds of Bapa.

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Maharishi Sushruta, a surgeon famous in Melbourne

By:Surinder Jain.

The Royal Australia College of Surgeons (RACS), trains surgeons and is responsible for maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand.  It aims to foster and promote the pursuit of excellence in surgical education and actively supports innovative surgical research, aid projects in underprivileged communities, skills transfer and education programs.

A statue of Surgeon Sushruta in the Royal Australia College of Surgeons, Melbourne

In its building, among some of the most prominent ancient physicians, one may come across a statue of Sushrata with the plaque mentioning him as Father of Surgery.

When contacted, the RACS were very proud of having the now famous statue in their building. The statue is displayed at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne and has been on display since early June 2018. It is made of marble with a granite base, is 1.2 m high and weighs a massive 550Kg. It is installed in the Skills lab area, East wing level 1 of the building and according to the RACS college, is a true work of art.

The college also has a collection of many rare and significant books in the field of medicine in its Cowlishaw Collection. A 1907 English translation of the works of Sushruta known as Sushruta Samhita by Kunjalal Bishnagratan is a part of that prestigious collection. According to the college, Sushruta is a foundation figure in Indian medicine and surgery and is hailed as the Indian counterpart of Hippocrates . 

College museum which holds the translation of Sushruta Samhita is open to the public twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 12noon (check with the college here for latest details). The college curator can arrange private tours for groups or if people are interested in viewing a particular item. That can be arranged by contacting the college curator at Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia, Telephone: +61 3 9276 7447, Fax: +61 3 9249 1219
Email: college.curator@surgeons.org

 

Dr K M Cherian

The statue was donated to the college by one its Alumni, Dr K M Cherian. Dr Cherian performed India’s first successful Coronary Artery bypass surgery in 1975. He also performed the country’s first heart transplant after legalization of brain death. The first Heart- Lung Transplant, the first Paediatric Transplant and the first TMR (Laser Heart Surgery) were also performed by him[1].

He started his career in Christian Medical College Hospital, in Vellore as lecturer in Surgery. He did his FRACS in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1973 from RACS, while being a migrant in Australia. He also worked in New Zealand and  the United States. He worked as a Special Fellow in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama under Dr. John W. Kirklin and in the University of Oregon under Dr. Albert Starr. He is an honourable Prof at the Yangzhou University, China. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1991. 

Dr Cherian is very fond of and inspired by Sushruta.

Sushruta statue at RACP East wing 1, Melbourne

The Indian epic Mahābhārata lists Suśruta amongst the sons of Viśvāmitra, the legendary sage.[8] [9] The Bower Manuscript, an early birch bark document, dated to the Gupta era (between the 4th and the 6th century), is an Indian text and is one of the oldest manuscripts known to have survived into the modern era.[3] It mentions the ancient Indian tradition of “garlic festival”, as well as a mention of sage Sushruta in Benares (Varanasi).[6]

The Suśruta-saṃhitā (works of Sushruta) is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered a foundational text of Medicine. The treatise addresses all aspects of general medicine, and the translator G. D. Singhal dubbed Suśruta “the father of surgery” on account of the extraordinarily accurate and detailed accounts of surgery to be found in the work.[5] 

A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar. In the sign next to the statue, Patanjali Yogpeeth attributes the title of Maharishi to Sushruta, claims a floruit of 1500 BC for him, and dubs him the “founding father of surgery”, and identifies the Sushrut Samhita as “the best and outstanding commentary on Medical Science of Surgery”.

The Suśruta-saṃhitā was known to the scholar Dṛḍhabala (fl. 300–500 CE)[7] and some concepts from it can be found in the Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa, that is dated to the sixth century BCE,[6] 

The Suśruta-saṃhitā, in its 184 chapters contains descriptions of

The text discusses surgical techniques of

It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery.

 

Nepal, Text- 12th-13th century; Images- 18th-19th century Books Ink and opaque watercolor on palm leaf Gift of Emeritus Professor and Mrs. Thomas O. Ballinger (M.87.271a-g) South and Southeast Asian Art

Sushruta says that in his works, he has presented the teaching of his guru, Divodāsa[16] a physician who taught in a school in Kashi (Varanasi, India) in parallel to another medical school in Taxila (on Jhelum river, ancient India),[17][18] sometime between 1200 BC and 600 BC.[19][20]  The text uses terminology of Samkhya and other schools of Hindu philosophy.[32][33][34]

The text was translated to Arabic as Kitab Shah Shun al-Hindi’ in Arabic, also known as Kitab i-Susurud, in Baghdad during the early 8th century at the instructions of a member of the Barmakid family of Baghdad.[138][10] Yahya ibn Barmak facilitated a major effort at collecting and translating Sanskrit texts such as Vagbhata’s Astangahrdaya Samhita, Ravigupta’s Siddhasara and Sushruta Samhita.[139] The Arabic translation reached Europe by the end of the medieval period.  In Italy, the Branca family[11] of Sicily and Gaspare Tagliacozzi (Bologna) became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.[10]

The text was known to the Khmer king Yaśovarman I (fl. 889-900) of Cambodia. Suśruta was also known as a medical authority in Tibetan literature.[138]

Ancient indian text Sushruta samhita shastra and kartarika, surgical instruments 1 of 4

A cataract surgery was found by Sushruta and was subsequently introduced to other countries. Sushruta Samhita mentions the operation in which a curved needle was used to push the opaque phlegmatic matter (kapha in Sanskrit) in the eye out of the way of vision. 

“vv. 57-61ab: In moderate season, after unction and sudation, the patient should be positioned and held firmly while gazing at his nose steadily. Now the wise surgeon leaving two parts of white circle from the black one towards the outer canthus should open his eyes properly free from vascular network and then with a barley-tipped rod-like instrument held firmly in hand with middle, index and thumb fingers should puncture the natural hole-like point with effort and confidence not below, above or in sides. The left eye should be punctured with right hand and vice-versa. When punctured properly a drop of fluid comes out and alsoe there is some typical sound.”

The cataract operation method described by Sushruta continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages and is still used in some parts of Africa and in Yemen.[20] For the most part, it has now been replaced by extracapsular cataract surgery. The first references to cataract and its treatment in Europe are found in 29 AD in De Medicinae, the work of the Latin encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who used Sushruta’s method and called it Couching.

Sushruta Samhita manuscript

 

The Sushruta Samhita states, per Hoernle translation, that “the professors of Ayurveda speak of three hundred and sixty bones, but books on Salya-Shastra(surgical science) know of only three hundred”.[125] The text then lists the total of 300 as follows: 120 in the extremities (e.g. hands, legs), 117 in pelvic area, sides, back, abdomen and breast, and 63 in neck and upwards.[125] The text then explains how these subtotals were empirically verified.[126] The discussion shows that the Indian tradition nurtured diversity of thought, with Sushruta school reaching its own conclusions and differing from the Atreya-Caraka tradition.[126]

Anatomy and empirical studies

The different parts or members of the body as mentioned before including the skin, cannot be correctly described by one who is not well versed in anatomy. Hence, any one desirous of acquiring a thorough knowledge of anatomy should prepare a dead body and carefully, observe, by dissecting it, and examine its different parts.

—Sushruta Samhita, Book 3, Chapter V
Translators: Loukas et al[8]

The Sushruta Samhita is best known for its approach and discussions of surgery.[44] It was one of the first in human history to suggest that a student of surgery should learn about human body and its organs by dissecting a dead body.[44] A student should practice, states the text, on objects resembling the diseased or body part.[130] Incision studies, for example, are recommended on Pushpaphala(squash, Cucurbita maxima), Alavu (bottle gourd, Lagenaria vulgaris), Trapusha (cucumber, Cucumis pubescens), leather bags filled with fluids and bladders of dead animals.[130]

Reconstructive surgery techniques were being carried out in India by 800 BC.[8] Sushruta made important contributions to the field of plastic and cataract surgery.[9] The medical works of both Sushruta and Charak, are originally in Sanskrit language.

British physicians traveled to India to see rhinoplasties being performed by Indian methods.[12] Reports on Indian rhinoplasty performed by a Kumhar vaidya were published in the Gentleman’s Magazine by 1794.[12] Joseph Constantine Carpue spent 20 years in India studying local plastic surgery methods.[12] and finally in 1814, he performed the first major surgery operative procedure on a British military officer who had lost his nose to the toxic effects of mercury treatments.[13] Instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were further modified for use in the Western world.[13] 

Indian method of nose reconstruction, illustrated in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1794

Sushruta, states Tipton, asserts that a physician should invest effort to prevent diseases as much as curative remedial procedures.[124] An important means for prevention, states Sushruta, is physical exercise and hygienic practices.[124] The text adds that excessive strenuous exercise can be injurious and make one more susceptible to diseases, cautioning against such excess.[12] Regular moderate exercise, suggests Sushruta, improves resistance to disease and physical decay.[124] Shushruta has written Shlokas on prevention of diseases.

A number of Sushruta’s contributions have been discussed in modern literature. Some of these include Hritshoola (heart pain), circulation of vital body fluids (such as blood (rakta dhatu) and lymph (rasa dhatu), Madhumeha, obesity, and hypertension.[46] Kearns & Nash (2008) state that the first mention of leprosy is described in Sushruta Samhita.[135][136] The text discusses kidney stones and its surgical removal.[137]

With so much in his book (Sushruta Samhita), no wonder Maharishi Sushruta has been called Father of Surgery and it is no surprise that a prestigious and learned college like The Royal Australian College of Surgeons has given Sushruta such a place of honor in its temple of learning.

(Credit:Wikipedia)

 

 

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Take a Quiz on Hindu Diaspora

Please enter your email:

When and where was a first Ravan effigy ever, burnt in Australia?

 
 
 
 

After gaining its independence in 1957, Malaysia became a secular country? Yes/No

 
 

Which country held until 1935, a swing festival known asTriyampavai-Tripavai whose name is derived from names of two Tamil language Hindu chants: Thiruvempavai and Thiruppavai meaning “opening the portals of Shiva’s home”?

 
 
 
 

Java was ruled by Hindu kings from 4th to 15th century? Yes/No

 
 

Which province do most Pakistani Hindus live in Pakistan?

 
 
 

Khmer empire of Cambodia were Hindu kings? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism came to Singapore between 7th and 10th century? Yes/No

 
 

Most Hindus in Singapore today are ethinic Indians? Yes/No

 
 

Hindus in South America, are chiefly the descendants of Indian indentured labourers? Yes/No

 
 

When was the first Ganesh visarjana festival held in Sydney with clay Ganesha being immersed in the ocean at Stanwell Tops beach?

 
 
 
 

Hinduism came to Fiji as Hindu contract workers started arriving there from 1879 onwards? Yes/No

 
 

According to the Australian census of 2016, Hinduism was the fastest growing religion of Australia? Yes/No

 
 

Which religion replaced Hinduism as the main religion of Khmer in 13th century?

 
 
 

Many non-Balanese communities follow practices very akin to Hinduism? Yes/No

 
 

When did the first Malay Hindu state appear in Malaysia?

 
 
 
 

What is known as a Bimong in the Cham language of Vietnam?

 
 
 

Like Indian Hindus, do Balenese Hindus also have four varnas of classification in their society? Yes/No

 
 

Fiji Hindus are also classified into four varna system? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism was the main religion of Cham people in Central and South Vietnam between 2nd and 15th century? Yes/No

 
 

Like Malayasia and Indoneasia, Hindus in Singapore also suffer religious prosecution? Yes/No

 
 

Why did last of the Java Hindu Kings retreated to Bali?

 
 
 
 

Hinduism is the leading single religion of the Indo-Caribbean communities of the West Indies? Yes/No

 
 

Which people’s Hinduism was known by these names, namely Tirta, Trimurti, Hindu, Agama Tirta, Siwa?

 
 
 
 

The population of Hindus in Pakistan and in Bangladesh has remained stable since after their independence? Yes/No

 
 

The earliest influence of Hinduism in Philippines can be traced by archaeological evidence to be from around

 
 
 

There are no Hindu temples left in Pakistan? Yes/No

 
 

The earliest evidence of Hinduism in Java comes from which century?

 
 
 
 

When did the first the Arya Samaj missionary arrive in French Guyana?

 
 
 
 

Did Khmer Hindu society of Cambodia had the Hindu four varna system for classifying the society? Yes/No

 
 

Most Malaysian Hindus are Tamils? Yes/No

 
 

Nyepi and Galungan are Buddhist festivals of south east Asia? yes/No

 
 

When did the first Hindus came to Australia?

 
 
 
 

In Bali, the word Pura means?

 
 
 
 

In which country is Ramakien (Ramayana) is a popular epic and Ayutthaya (Ayodhya) is a city named after the birth place of Rama?

 
 
 
 


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Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Please go to Take a Quiz on Hindu History to view the test
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Europeans brought their caste system into India

By:Surinder Jain, 2nd July 2018.

It is known what the word caste used so commonly in India comes from ‘casta’ in Portuguese. In Spanish America (and many other places), racial categories were formal legal classifications. Racial categories had legal and social consequences, since racial status was an organizing principle of Spanish colonial rule.

The system of castas was more than socio-racial classification. It had an effect on every aspect of life, including economics and taxation. Both the Spanish colonial state and the Church required more tax and tribute payments from those of lower socio-racial categories.[1][2]

Spanish ideas about purity of blood (which historically also related to its reconquest of Spain from the Moors), the colonists established a caste system in Latin America by which a person’s socio-economic status generally correlated with race or racial mix in the known family background, or simply on phenotype (physical appearance) if the family background was unknown.

Other methods of categorization were based on the degree of acculturation to Hispanic culture, which distinguished between gente de razón (Hispanics, literally, “people of reason”) and gente sin razón (non-acculturated natives), concurrently existed and supported the idea of the racial classification system. Castas is a Spanish word that is used in New Mexico history to describe pueblo people and New Mexicans. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European elites created a complex hierarchical system of race classification. 

Cagots (a minority found in the west of France and northern Spain) were forced to use a side entrance to churches, often an intentionally low one to force Cagots to bow and remind them of their subservient status.[10] This practice, done for cultural rather than religious reasons, did not change even between Catholic and Huguenot areas. They had their own holy water fonts set aside for Cagots, and touching the normal font was strictly forbidden.[11] These restrictions were taken seriously; in the 18th century, a wealthy Cagot had his hand cut off and nailed to the church door for daring to touch the font reserved for “clean” citizens.[12]

Holy water font for Cagots in Oloron cathedral, Béarn

Cagots were expected to slip into churches quietly and congregate in the worst seats. They received the host in communion only at the end of a stick. Many Bretons believed that Cagots bled from their navel on Good Friday.[7]

 

A page from the manuscript Seventy-two Specimens of Castes in India, which consists of 72 full-color hand-painted images of men and women of various religions, occupations and ethnic groups found in Madura, India in 1837, which confirms the popular perception and nature of caste as Jati, before the British made it applicable only to Hindus grouped under the varna categories from the 1901 census onwards.

It is this system of “casta” that was applied by the British in India to classify Indian society into castes and then mistakenly assumed a caste (jati) to be a part of the four varnas.

(credit:wikipedia)

[Click here to read more ….]
 
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What Would India Look Like Today Had It Not Been Colonised By The British ?

While British rule brought about untold change and modifications to India, it is hard to imagine an India without its embedded British characteristics.

 
While some changes might’ve been good and other bad, the fact of the matter is that, British colonialism completely changed the face of the nation for better and for worse.
 
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Tributes to Prof Raja Jayraman, former Vice President

Prof Raja Jayraman is remembered by us all. He did so much work for Hindu education in schools and for promoting interfaith harmony in Australia as Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia. Tributes are still pouring in.

Surinder Jain

Professor Raja Jayaraman left his mortal body on last Thursday; his funeral will be at 2 pm on Monday, June 4, at Lotus Pavilion, Macquarie Crematorium, Delhi Road
Nihal Agar
 
He will be missed and at our meeting of RfP we will remember him with a minute silence led by Gayatripana. May his memory be a blessing.
Josie
 
Deeply sad to hear the news about Raja ji. He will be missed for his enthusiasm , witty comment and thorough knowledge on many aspects . 

Sanjeev Bhakri

Sad to hear that the towering Personality Raja Jayramanji passed away , but relieved that this fighter, kept fighting till the end, true to his usual grit. 
I would say that I was one of the fortunates to have interacted with this Committed Hindu & hope to live and imbibe a fraction of his commitment towards social & Dharmic cause.
HSS ( Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh)prays the almighty to provide sadgati to this wonderful aatma. 
We hope that the family can recover from this great loss. 
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih 
Ramyavaran
 
Really sorry to hear the death of Raja ji. 

I used to call him Good Jayaraman. He was so humble, polite, receptive and good listener. 
May God bless him to Rest in Peace 
Jay Raman
 

Saddened to hear  Revered Sri Raja Jayaraman ji passing away. it  is a great loss to us all and the Hindu community at large.  May Bhagwan GauriShankar ji bestow peace to the departed Soul of revered Rajaji and give strength to the family to bear this great loss.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva Bandanaan-Mrityormuksheeya Maamritat
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih 
Radha Krishna Sharma
 
Very sad to learn about Raja jis passing away. He was a truely committed  to social work.

It was a great pleasure and honour to work with him for many years. 
Soul never dies, only changes body. May he travel to next journey peacefully.
I sadly will miss him.
Tara 
 

Very sorry to hear about the passing away of Dr Jayaraman ji. May God bestow peace to the departed soul.

Vijai Singhal

Very sorry to hear about Raja ji. May his soul rest in peace.
Vikas Chopra
 
It’s really sad and hard to believe that Prof Raja jayraman ji not with us. I’m with Rajajis family at this hour of time. May god give solace to the departed soul. 
Chandrakant Kulkarni 
 
Very sad to know that Dr Raja ji is left us. I  am deeply sad that I couldn’t meet him in last few weeks. I am not in Sydney for last month and will be back on 10th so I am not be able to with you all at this moment of sorrow.
Dr Raja ji will always be an inspiration to us all the time.
I pray for him and convey my deepest condolences 
Bhagwat Chauhan
 
Very sad to hear. Om Shanthi.
Sai Pravastu
hari om 
 
very sad to hear. Om shanthi shanthi shanthi 
Manju Nath
 
Sorry to hear that. RIP.
Ashwani Jain
 
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The Case for India by Will Durant

Book Review by : Vijai Singhal

The Case for India

This book was written by Will Durant, an American writer, historian and a philosopher in 1930 after visiting India. Given below are some of the abstracts from this book which can be freely down loaded from the Internet. The book was written without the help or cooperation by any Indian.

Will Durant had made an in-depth study of the Indian civilisation, which he declared as one of the oldest and the greatest civilizations that mankind had ever known. He went to India to see for himself but was appalled to see almost one fifth of the human race suffering poverty and oppression bitterer than anywhere on the earth. He had not thought it possible that any government would allow it’s subject to sink to that misery. The British conquest of India was an invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company utterly without scruple or principle.

Writing about the rape of a continent, he says, “When the British came, India was politically weak but economically prosperous. It was the wealth of 18th Century India which attracted the commercial pirates of England and France”. Quoting Sunderland, he says, “Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world existing anywhere had long been produced in India. India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her Textile goods-the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen and silk-were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelain, ceramics of every kind, quality, colour and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal-iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture-equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, great bankers and financiers. Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea. Such was the India which British found when they came.”

The East India Company management profiteered without hindrance; goods which they sold in England for $10 million they bought in India for $2 million. The Company paid fabulous dividends that its shares rose to $32,000 a share. By 1858 the British Government took over the captured and plundered territories as a colony of the Crown. England paid the Company handsomely and added the purchase price to the public debt of India to be redeemed, principal and interest at 10.5% out of the taxes on the Hindu people. Province after province was taken over by offering rulers choice between pension and war. James Mills, historian of India, wrote: “Under their dependence upon the British Government … the people of Oudh and Karnatic, two of the noblest provinces of India, were by misgovernment, plunged into a state of wretchedness with which… hardly any part of the earth has anything to compare”.

“The fundamental principle of the British has been to make the whole Indian nation subservient… they have been taxed to the utmost limit; the Indians have been denied every honor, dignity or office”.… F J Shore testifying to the House of Commons in 1857.

“The Governments’ assessment does not even leave enough food for the cultivator to feed his family” – Sir William Hunter, 1875.

Economic destruction – The English destroyed the Indian industry. India was forced to become the vast market for the British machine-made goods. They ordered that manufacture of silk fabric must be discouraged but the production of raw silk be encouraged. A tariff of 70-80 % was levied on Indian textile while the English textile was imported duty free into India. It might have been supposed that building of 30,000 miles of railways would have brought prosperity to India. But these railways were built not for India but for England, for the British army and British trade. Similarly Indian shipping industry was ruined. All Indian goods were to be carried by British ships. There was a big drain of revenue through payment of salaries and pensions to English officials. In 1927 Lord Winterton showed, in the House of Commons, that there were some 7500 retired officials in England drawing annually pension of $17.5 million. From Plassey to Waterloo, 57 years, the drain of India’s wealth to England was computed by Brooks Adam to be 2½ to 5 billion dollars.

Social Destruction – When British came there was a system of communal schools, managed by village communities. The agents of East India Company destroyed these communities and the schools. In 1911 Hindu representative Gokhale introduced a Bill for compulsory primary education. The Bill was defeated. After British took possession of India the illiteracy rate in India increased to 93%. Instead of education the Government encouraged drinking of alcohol. In 1922 the government revenue from sale of alcohol increased to $60 million annually. There were also 7000 opium shops operated by the British government. In 1901, 272,000 died of plague. In 1918 there were 125 million cases of influenza, and 12.5 million recorded deaths.

There is a chapter devoted to Mahatma Gandhi and his Satyagraha movement. Gandhi was an idealist. In 1914 when the 1st World War broke, Gandhi saw the war as an opportunity for securing Home Rule by proving the absolute royalty of India to England. India contributed $500 million to fund for prosecuting the war; she contributed $700 million later in subscription to war loans; and she sent to the Allies various products to the value of $1.25 billion. The suspension of the revolutionary movement enabled England to reduce India army to 15,000 men. The number of Indians persuaded to join the army to fight in the war was 1,338,620 which was 178,000 more than troops contributed by combined Dominions of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Indian fought gallantly but none of them were granted a commission. Nothing came of that sacrifice by the Indian people. Lord Curzon wrote: “British rule of the Indian people is England’s present and future task; it will occupy her energies as long a span of the future as it is humanly possible to forecast”.

In the later part of the book the writer has stated arguments from England’s side, for example: “if India has seen the decay of her old domestic handicrafts, it is because she rejected modern machinery and methods of industrialization; India did not exist as an entity, there are seven hundred nativ

e states, forever at war; no common language, 200 different dialects and the caste system dividing the people etc.”. Later on he debunks these claims, for example the British government has always been friendly to caste, because caste divisions make the British task of holding people in subjection easier, on the principle of “divide and rule”. They encouraged Moslem communities to gain weight against Hindu nationalism. Shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi was aimed to secure support of Moslems against the Hindus.

In conclusion he states: “I have tried to express fairly the two points of views about India, but I know that my prejudice has again and again broken through my pretense at impartiality. It is hard to be without feeling, not to be moved with a great pity, in the presence of a Tagore, a Gandhi, a Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose, a Sarojini Naidu, fretting in chains; there is something indecent and offensive in keeping such men and women in bondage”.

Vijai Singhal

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