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

Indian archaeologists discover Mahabharat time 4000 year old chariots, weapons

 

Ancient chariots along with eight well-preserved corpses have been discovered by Indian archaeologists in a village of Sanauli 70 kilometers north of New Delhi. The find has been dated to belong to the period 2000 – 1800 BCE and included chariot parts like wheels, axles and poles. The archaeological team proposed a connection with royalty and a warrior class for the findings.[6][7] Some scholars believe it to be very close to post Mahabharat period when a great war was fought in India involving every king and nation.

Sinauli is an archaeological site located in Barot tehsilBaghpat districtUttar Pradesh, India, where 125 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation were found.[1] These graves are dated c. 2200–1800 BC. Sanauli, discovered in 2005,[2] is a fairly recent addition to the list of Indus Valley Civilisation sites in India.[3]

 

The site at Sinauli was accidentally discovered by people levelling agricultural land. The Archaeological Survey of India began excavations at the site during September 2005.[4]

Burials

As of 2007, the graves found are dated c. 2200–1800 BC.[5] and are 125 in number. These are all oriented in a north-south direction and most are identified as primary burials. Some of the burials are identified also as secondary and multiple burials and animal bones are also discovered next to human bones. The age group of buried starts from 1–2 years and includes all age groups and both male and female. Burial goods generally consisted of odd number of vases (3, 5, 7, 9, 11 etc.) placed near the head, with dish-on-stand usually placed below hip area as well as antenna swords, sheath of copper, terracotta figurines, gold and copper bangles, beads of semi-precious stones (two necklace of long barrel shape) etc.[4]

Remains of a burnt brick wall with a finished inner surface ran along the eastern side of the burial. A dish-on-stands and a violin shaped flat copper container having nearly 35 arrow head shaped copper pieces placed in a row are included in other important findings from Sanauli.[5]

A burial ground of this numbers should have been associated with a large habitation site, but so far such an habitation nearby has not been located.[5]

Dish-on-Stand

The survey found that dish-on-stand was usually placed below the hip area, but in some cases was placed near the head or feet. It was clearly an important part of burial goods. Its mushroom-shaped form has not found at any other archaeological sites. It was used as holding stand and in one case, held the head of a goat.[5]

(Source : Wikipedia)

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Can Hindus be accorded minority status in seven states and one Union Territory in India

Report on Hindus in seven states soon: National Commission for Minorities

By Sana Shakil| Express News Service | Published: 26th May 2018 01:55 AM

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM), which was assigned the task of examining if Hindus could be accorded minority status in seven states and one Union Territory, is nearly ready with its report on the issue. A subcommittee set up by the NCM, which is examining the issue, has called the petitioner on June 14 to discuss the matter. Sources said that petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, a politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been called for a “final clarification” on the issue, following which the NCM will soon submit its report to the government. 

The three-member subcommittee was formed in January, based on a plea by Upadhyay in the Supreme Court for granting minority status to Hindus. The court rejected his petition in November and asked him to approach the minorities commission. Headed by NCM Vice Chairman George Kurian, the subcommittee includes NCM members Sulekha Kumbhare and S Manjit Singh Rai.

NCM Chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi confirmed the development and said Upadhyay had been invited to take part in the subcommittee’s meeting on June 14 so that the “points made by the petitioner can be heard in detail”. Rizvi, however, refused to comment on possible recommendations of NCM in the matter. “The matter is being examined by the subcommittee. We cannot say what will be our final recommendations until the report is absolutely ready,” Rizvi said.

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Source includes wikipedia and wikicommons also.

Spoken Sanskrit in Canberra – a roaring success

A basic sanskrit language course was held with the objective to give students a taste of Sanskrit as a living language by introducing them to its basic grammatical structures so that they can start understanding simple texts as well as allow them to use it in daily life.

Participants got an understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the different aspects of this language from its sounds to its rich content and after the course felt enthused to probe further into it.

Famous Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh reopens

Fifty years ago, the Beatles arrived at an unlikely location in Rishikesh at the invitation of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The visit has passed into rock’n’roll legend even as the ashram has fallen into ruin. Much of the fabled White Album was composed in these now-derelict halls and bungalows.

Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia, is an ashram close to the north Indian city of Rishikesh in the state of Uttarakhand. It is located on the eastern bank of the Gangesriver, opposite the Muni Ki Reti area of Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training centre for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. The ashram gained international attention between February and April 1968 when the English rock band the Beatles studied meditation there, along with celebrities such as DonovanMia Farrow and Mike Love. It was the setting for the band’s most productive period as songwriters, where they composed most of the songs for their self-titled double album, also known as the “White Album”.

The site was abandoned in the 1990s and reverted to the local forestry department in 2003, after which it became a popular visiting place for fans of the Beatles. Although derelict and overrun by jungle, the site was officially opened to the public in December 2015. It has since become known as Beatles Ashram and held an exhibition in February 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in Rishikesh.

The Maharishi’s lease on the ashram’s land expired in 1981 and the yogi decamped to the Netherlands in 1992. But certain followers remained until the early 2000s, when India’s Supreme Court ordered them to leave. Everything is crumbling, overgrown: the kitchen, the printing press, the post office where John Lennon waited for daily postcards from Yoko Ono even though he was travelling with his wife.

In 2017, the Uttarakhand Forest Department announced a $20 million renovation for the ashram, including a souvenir store and educational areas. “We plan to develop Chaurasi Kutia as an eco-tourism centre,” says Sanatan Sonker, director of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. “Our aim is to link the ashram with local villagers and help them earn their livelihood through tourism.”

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#Beatels #Rishikesh #Maharishi #Yoga #Music #Meditation

Rohingya Muslims committing crimes against infidels confirms Amnesty International

Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh): 

Hindu residents of Chikanchari in the troubled Rakine state of Myanmar had a miraculous escape from a killer squad of Rohingya militants who had butchered Hindu inhabitants of neighbouring villages. After a long march from their village, they arrived at Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar where thousands of Hindus and Rohingya refugees had already migrated from the neighbouring country after the violence that was unleashed on 25 August last year.

The tales narrated by the inhabitants of Chikanchari have been corroborated by  Amnesty International which names the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) or Harakah al-Yakin as having carried out the carnage resulting in the death of 99 persons from Hindu villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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Hindu Council supports Girmit day celebrations

Commemoration of Girmit Dewas at Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre of ACT Inc. (HTCC) – Canberra

19 May 2018.

Members of Fiji Community who are members/devotees of HTCC have been marking Girmit Dewas (arrival of the first ship load of Indians to Fiji on 14 May 1879) by hosting a prayer meeting at HTCC premises for some years now and this year it was held on Saturday 19 May. On this occasion, The Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) lended its full support for the event.

The function was officiated by Temple Priest, Acharya Prakash Chandra Pandey, and presided over by vice president of HTCC, Shri Kamal Singh. The program included puja, recital of Ramayana by three mandalies and addresses by Pandits, Anil and Rama Sharma, Shri Prakash Mehta, President, Hindu Council of Australia and Shri Basu Banka, President, HTCC.

In his message Shri Prakash Mehta reminded the congregation that the Indians had Lord Rama with them in the form of Ramayana which they had brought with them and this gave them the strength and courage to face the adversities which they encountered. Regular recital of Ramayana has not only helped to preserve Hindu culture, but also supported to pass language to next generation. It is really inspiring lessons for new migrants. He thanked the organizers’ for hosting the ceremony in memory of their ancestors and the Hindu Council of Australia was happy to support the event.

Approx. 150 people, mainly Indo-Fijians but a growing number from India attended the function. It was also attended by Shri Kanti Jinna, Vice President HCA and Santosh Gupta, coordinator of ACT chapter of HCA