Sunday 15 January 2017

History of Bharatvarsha -2

But our real ties are with the Bharatavarsha that lies outside our textbooks. If the history of this tie for a substantially long period gets lost, our soul loses its anchorage. After all, we are no weeds or parasitical plants in India. Over many hundreds of years, it is our roots, hundreds and thousands of them, that have occupied the very heart of Bharatavarsha. But, unfortunately, we are obliged to learn a brand of history that makes our children forget this very fact. It appears as if we are nobody in India; as if those who came from outside alone matter.

From which quarter can we derive our life-sustenance when we learn that our tie with our own country is so insignificant? In such a situation we feel no hitch whatsoever in installing others' countries in place of our own. We become incapable of feeling a mortifying sense of shame at the indignity of Bharatavarsha. We effortlessly keep on saying that we did not have anything worth the name in the past and thus for everything, from food and clothing to conduct and behaviour, we now have to beg from foreigners.

Fortunate countries find the everlasting image of their land in their own history. It is history that serves as the introduction to one's own country during one's childhood itself. In our case it is just the opposite thing that happens: it is the history of our country that has kept our own land obscured to us. From the invasion of Mahmud to the arrogant imperial declaration of Lord Curzon, all the historical annals till yesterday, are only a mass of strange mist for Bharatavarsha. These accounts do not give clarity to our vision of our motherland. In fact, these only serve to cloud it. These accounts throw a beam of artificial light on such a spot that in our own eyes the very profile of our country is made dark.

And in that darkness the illumination of the pleasure chamber of the Nawab makes the dancing girl's diamond ornaments gleam and the purple froth of the wineglass of the Badshah appears as the bloodshot sleepless eyes of excess and dissipation. In that darkness our ancient temples cover their heads and the peaks of the tombs of Sultans' sweethearts fashioned in white marble and embellished with gorgeous craftsmanship haughtily bid to kiss the world of stars. The sound of galloping horses, the trumpet of elephants, the clang of weapons, the wavy grey of the vast array of army camps, the velvet covers flashing golden rays, the foamy bubble-shaped domes of masjids, the eerie hush of that abode of mystery — the inner apartments of the royal palaces with eunuch guards keeping vigil over them — the ensemble of all these strange sounds and colours and sentiments produce an enormous magical world in that darkness. What is the point in calling this the history of Bharatavarsha? All these have kept the Indian ancient text of eternal and beatific value (punyamantra) covered within the jacket of an Arabian-nights romance. Nobody any longer opens that book; and our children commit to memory every line of the Arabian-nights romance. And later, on the eve of its dissolution, as the Mughal Empire lay dying, it signalled the beginning of a spate of deception, treachery and murder, as though among a group of vultures coming from afar and descending on the crematorium. Is an account of this too the real history of Bharatavarsha?

And then began the English rule with its five-yearly divisions like the crisscross houses on the chessboard. Bharatavarsha is even smaller there. In fact, the only difference it has with the chessboard is that here houses are not evenly distributed between black and white; here ninety percent are only white. For the sake of just a morsel of food we are now buying everything, from good governance to good legal system to good education, from a huge "Whiteway Ledle Store". All other shops are now closed. It may be that from courts to commerce, everything relating to this concern is "good", but in a corner of its clerical office the space assigned to Bharatavarsha is awfully small.

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