Sunday, July 10, 2011

IFIH's Working Paper on Indian Nationalism

The International Forum For India's Heritage (IFIH) has a nice working paper on inspiring the young in India and instilling nationalistic values in them. We present some of their noteworthy recommendations below:

(a). The lives of the great early exponents of Indian nationalism, for instance Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sri Aurobindo, Sister Nivedita, Subramania Bharati and others, must be taught in an inspiring manner. Also a collection of brief extracts from inspirational writings by a wide selection of Indian Nationalists and freedom fighters, from all regions of India, should be made available to students as supplementary reading material.

(b). A certain number of misconceptions still plague the way in which the freedom movement is taught; for instance, the notion that the Indian nation came into existence only thanks to the colonial masters; the failure to highlight the distinctive features of Indian nationalism as compared to Western types of nationalism; the eclipse of a number of important early pioneers of the freedom movement, their values, thoughts, action and role; the depiction of some freedom fighters as “terrorists”; party considerations in highlighting one group of leaders resulting in sacrificing the importance of the contributions of other leaders. A fair and objective account of the freedom movement, devoid of any ideological bias, is yet to be written.

(c). Keeping in mind the cultural roots of Indian nationalism, which are far more ancient than the colonial era, Sanskrit should be taught at primary, middle and secondary levels. In particular, the two great Indian Epics, which have long played a considerable role in culturally unifying the nation, must be studied, preferably through innovative methods such as those outlined above. Here again, reference may be made to the recent Supreme Court judgement, which explicitly “emphasized the importance of Sanskrit study and declared the omission of Sanskrit from CBSE syllabus as unjustified.”

(d). The above recommendations are, in fact, part of a process of decolonization of the Indian mind, an indispensable process if students are to become truly Indian, conscious of what India has stood for throughout history and can still offer to humanity today and tomorrow.

Emphasizing teachings and lives of nationalist thinkers, sanskrit, the truth regarding the freedom movement, and decolonizing the Indian mind are really very important and the effort of IFIH must be commended.

Here, we want to mention a few points which get lost in the confusion created by the constraint of political correctness owing to our secular socialist system.

Some of these are:

1. While decolonizing Indian mind, we must also emphatically de-Islamize (de-moghulize) India.

2. Thus, in language, we must de-urduize, de-arabicize and de-persianize Hindi used by the population. Instead the Sanskrit roots of Hindi must be strengthened. Modern day Hindi news channels, movies are imposing Arabic and Persian on Indian people while calling it Hindi.

3. Similarly, we must also de-moghulize the names of our cities. Cities like Aurangabad, must be renamed. Recall that Aurangzeb was a tyrannical Muslim ruler and who terrorized Hindus, and we must surely not be celebrating his name! Names like Ahmedabad, Allahabad, and so on must GO!


And there are many more to be added. We welcome readers' suggestions.

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