The roots of Sanatana Dharma are very deep in India so much so that people born in India cannot escape from its effect.
Sanatana Dharma binds India together. It is the soul of India. Temples are the backbone of Sanatana Dharma civilization. Neither the British Invaders nor Islamic invaders understood this fact about India. While Islamic invaders tried to destroy Sanatana dharma through violent attacks against Indian natives, the British invaders used violence as well as literary chauvinism. Both were eventually defeated by the inherent strength of Sanatana Dharma. There were three things free in pre-British India and all were centred around temples – Education through Gurukul system, Medicine through Vaidyas in Temples, and Free Food through Temples. Temples were a major conduit for social assistance, social reform, research, culture, education, thought leadership, traditions, social justice and social well-being. Islamic invaders and British colonialists recognized this early on. While Islamic invaders destroyed Hindu temples, the British initiated policies to control the temples to extract revenues. It is deeply saddening to see the same old imperialistic policies of controlling temples continuing even after independence from colonizers. This is the third Freedom Movement of India, for the soul of India. Free Temples, Free the Soul.
According to Max Mueller in 1868, “India has been conquered once, but India must be conquered again, and that second conquest should be conquest by education.
According to British economist Angus Maddison, India’s share of the world economy went from 24.4% in 1700 to 4.2% in 1950. India’s GDP (PPP) per capita was stagnant during the Mughal Empire and began to decline prior to the onset of British rule. To put it in current perspective, the USA controls around 21% of global trade today. Both Islamic and British Invaders actually brought poverty and bloodshed to India. Max Mueller compared Islamic rule to Cats prowling on a mouse, that was the level of violence against followers of Sanatana Dharma. When Thomas Babington Macaulay toured India between 1834 and 1838, he was shocked to see the cultural superiority of India and also the wealth of India. He initiated a “civilizing mission” to convince Indians that anything European is superior, and anything Indian inferior. They preached the English language to be superior to Sanskrit and other vernacular languages and Indian scriptures inferior to anything European.
In Macaulay’s own words, “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.” We can see the result of that British strategy in today’s Indian society, the ‘Brown Angrez’ of India despise Indian culture and language.
The actual words from Macaulay’s report to British Parliament in 1835: “I accept catholic beyond and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, an absolutely bedevilled nation.”
Macaulayism became the de facto philosophy of British rule in India after 1838. British Imperialism changed track from trade profits to cultural+ideological domination of India akin to other imperialistic countries such as Spain, France and Portugal. British campaign made an introduction of English and Christianity their focal point in their campaign against natives of India. English was held superior to Sanskrit and all vernacular languages. That was reinforced by creating colleges and institutions that produced English speaking graduates who were considered for top positions in the British Colonial government. The effect of their imperialistic policies continues to date in Indian society. Ever since the independence of India, secular parties of India continued this British policy of cultural subjugation of Hindus, the original natives of India. Some of the Initial leaders of Independent India were trained in British universities and their thought process closely followed their British masters. They were Macaulay’s interpreters and British slaves.
According to Max Mueller in 1868, “India has been conquered once, but India must be conquered again, and that second conquest should be conquest by education. Much has been done for the education of late, but if the funds were tripled and quadrupled, that would hardly be enough (…) By encouraging a study of their own ancient literature, as part of their education, a national feeling of pride and self-respect will be reawakened among those who influence the large masses of the people. New national literature may spring up, impregnated with Western ideas, yet retaining its native spirit and character (…) New national literature will bring with it a new national life, and new moral vigour. As to religion, that will take care of itself. The missionaries have done far more than they themselves seem to be aware of, nay, much of the work which is theirs they would probably disclaim. The Christianity of our nineteenth century will hardly be the Christianity of India. But the ancient religion of India is doomed—and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?”. Max Mueller initiated English translation of Vedic scriptures of India to destroy the spirit of India and create a class of Indians who doubt their own scriptures. Max Mueller’s unauthorised translations are still being taught in Indian Universities and also in western universities. His attempt was to show Indian Vedic Culture to be inferior to Christianity. He wanted Indians to accept Christianity to a large extent. Even today, Indians who were educated in Max Mueller inspired educational Institutes of India to show a disdainful attitude towards Sanatana Dharma. They are infamously referred to as ‘Brown Angrez’ or ‘Confused Desi’.
Free all temples of Sanatana Dharma from government control. Let Sanatana Dharma, the soul of India, breathe”
The third British Colonialist, Herbert Hope Risley (a race scientist) formally divided all Hindus into Caste System in 1901 census in India. He used the ratio of a width of nose and length of a nose to formally divide Indians into Aryan, Dravidian and seven other castes. Generally, a Varna system depends on the quality qualification for social classification. But, Herbert imposed British designed caste system on Hindus. This is very well recorded in history as well.
Despite all British machinations, the Indian independence struggle produced the finest of logical arguments against Christian British narrative. Their imposition of English as a superior language of sorts worked as a double-edged sword against them. They underestimated the intellect of Indian leaders who intelligently used the English language to defeat British propaganda. British education system resulted in a vibrant group of freedom fighters who even though firmly rooted in Sanatana Dharma traditions communicated effectively in English, thereby defeating British arguments in their own language. However, Imposition of English and western culture on Indians did produce some confused Indians but in the long run, they were not able to impact the rich cultural ethos of Indians. British claims on development efforts in India have been conclusively defeated by facts already reported by many researchers. British did nothing for India except looting.
British colonial rule was eventually defeated in India in 1947 due to armed as well as a peaceful unorthodox challenge to their ideology by smart Indians. On one hand, Rani Laxmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and many others presented a military challenge to British Christian Imperialists, on the other hand Mahatma Gandhi, Vir Savarkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, B R Ambedkar and many others represented peaceful philosophical challenge in English language to the British imperialists.
The roots of Sanatana Dharma are very deep in India so much so that people born in India cannot escape from its effect. The thought process of Indians is dictated by Sanatana Dharma. Language even though plays an important role in development of mindset but culture plays an even bigger role. Modern India has produced English speaking Sanatana Dharma leaders. That’s the resilience of Indian culture. Post Independence, successive Indian governments and private organizations have done their bits to revive the sanskrit language and other cultural symbols of Sanatana Dharma. But a lot needs to be done to undo 1000 years of oppression by Islamic and British invaders. Sanatana Dharma as an institution depends on practitioner more than the organization. However, today, in the age of information, organization & finance is needed to promote the adoption of Sanatana Dharma as the heartbeat of India. Many private Indian cultural organizations have contributed immensely to Sanatana Dharma without any government support. The continuation of Sanatana Dharma in India is a mass movement and that is itself the strength of Sanatana Dharma. All other countries of the world support their main cultures, except India.
If temples in India are protected and given back to their respective communities then prosperity will be seen at grassroots in India. If Indian government wants to get credit for saving the soul of India then it has to do only one thing which doesn’t need any budgetary provisions: “Free all temples of Sanatana Dharma from government control. Let Sanatana Dharma, the soul of India, breathe”. That will be a major relief to majority of Indians. Freeing Indian temples will ensure that India grows economically, culturally and socially at a much higher pace. It will also ensure Vishwa Guru stature of India. Jai Hind !
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.