A NEVER ENDING Conflict-Episodes from Indic Resistance

  • By Amit Agarwal
  • August 12, 2022
  • @amit1119
  • 1714 views

Foreword 

The current period of contemporary India starting from around 2008, will be remembered for a big change in the way we began looking at ourselves. I consider the labelling of a peaceful community that believed – ‘Ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti’ (There is one truth, the wise call it differently), that always wished, ‘Sarve bhavantu sukhinah’ (Let all be happy and healthy), that not only tolerated but respected all faiths and gave shelter to all the persecuted people of the world with equanimity (as spelled out by Swami Vivekananda in his famous Chicago address) as a terrorist community to be the turning point in the battle of ideas. The still-born Communal Violence bill was the epitome of this narrative. Suddenly, millions of young people started questioning what was wrong with being a Hindu and began searching for answers.

 

This change became highly pronounced from 2014, the year Indians broke away from a self-pity and low esteem nation to a confident nation eager to be seen on the world stage. These are very interesting times. From the Left deciding for us, what should be read, what should be disclosed about our history and what was to be suppressed? From being spoon-fed by Macaulay’s education system nurtured and strengthened very carefully by the Left and Nehruvian ideas, the nation is moving toward an open society that is tired of being labelled as losers despite being acknowledged as world leaders as late as in the 1850s, a fact never taught to us. There is, now, impatience at the slow pace of breaking out of the defeatist Left narrative.

 

This period has seen the rise of many young writers and young public intellectuals. We, generally, believe that the RTE (Right to Education) generation is bereft of any sense of history and is happy enough to enjoy life, giving two hoots to social responsibility, and no conscious effort to ring in the change. It is true to a certain extent that in urban centres where English-speaking schools are further fuelling the detachment from our roots with a sanitised version of culture and history. However, rural people have the advantage of better historic memory kept alive with folklore and folk songs. I become positive and hopeful when I see many young men and women stand up for the idea of Bharat – a perennial civilisation with at least 10000 years of documented history, who refuse to buy the idea of India – supposedly born on 15th August 1947, or rather at the stroke of midnight of 14th August 1947.

 

Many of these new generation intellectuals have picked up a pen or embraced the internet to speak and share their views, present factual information with true culture and history to generation Z. Many of these new-age writers and public intellectuals do not come from the humanities stream. But, being from a science background, their works are presented more vigorously with a scientific view of the evidence and a sharp eye for data validation. Thus, the last resort of left historians and social academics that these writers don’t come from academic fields or humanities will not stand the test of time. Some of them may not be able to present their arguments in the strict pedagogic style of academia, but ultimately facts need to be correct to set the narrative straight.

 

Amit Agrawal comes from this new crop of writers. An IIT-trained engineer, he has obviously been reading and absorbing knowledge for quite a few years. His first book ‘Swift Horses sharp Swords’ was an outpouring of years of learning and imbibing history from the western as well as Indian historians. He didn’t depend only on historians like R C Majumdar and Jadunath Sarkar, who have been banished from university shelves in India or considered ‘communal’ now. This book was not just a linear view of history but an integrated look at history with sociological, scientific, and strategic observations. It is an unconventional way of narrating history and happily so. It pulsates with life. Amit contacted me after he had self-published his book. It is a massive book embracing nearly 1000 years of the history of Bharat. For a first-time writer to come up with such a book is commendable. I am sure as he grows as a writer he will hone his writing skills further.

 

Now, he has come up with a new style of presenting Bharatiya history. He has picked up those episodes in history which have been mostly wiped out of history books or presented in a distorted manner. I would look at it as an esoteric choice that covers every region of Bharat. From North West to North East, Eastern to the region south of Vindhya ranges. This approach makes reading much more interesting as it zips across various regions and periods.

 

There is a section on fateful Khilafat agitation that truly laid the foundation of Pakistan. Two of the sections – Story of Kohinoor and Khilafat contain within themselves the entire microcosm of the history of Bharat and the seeds of its future decline. The story of the Vijayanagar Empire presents the best and the worst of our political wisdom and some mistakes that we, as a dharmic society, keep committing even now. The story of undefeated commander Lachit Barphukan of Assam is a glorious history that needs to be told but is not known outside Assam. The tragic Eram massacre of Odisha on 28th September 1942 was worse than Jallianwala Bagh because the firing was ordered by an Indian officer, and has been simply wiped clean from our history books. It is painfully surprising that this episode is obliterated despite it being part of the Quit India movement. In local folklore, it is called Rakta Tirtha Eram (Eram – the pilgrimage of blood). The story of Alexander’s interaction with the fearless Naga Sadhus in 326 BC is a fascinating story of a confrontation between brute force and spiritual prowess. Thus, this collection of forgotten, or wiped away slices of history give you a multi-faceted overview of the history of Bharat from 4 BC, beginning with Alexander and ending with Partition of Bharat, leaving in its wake many thoughts and questions.

 

Being an engineer, Amit loves data and graphics which embellish this book too. He remains honest as a historian. He doesn’t mince words in praise or criticism of both sides on a battlefield. That makes his narration more believable and leaves it to the reader to decide who was right or wrong – the winner or the loser.

 

I am sure that the reader will find this off-beat approach to history-telling gripping, fascinating, and also instructive. People, who claim that history is boring, will change their view on reading this kaleidoscopic view of Indian history. I wish we had such history books that entertain even as they tell factual history; what we in Sanskrit call ‘Itihasa’ – ‘so-it-was’ or as it happened.

 

Ratan Sharda

Author of RSS 360

 

To buy book online

 

Also read

1. The New Communal Violence Bill

2. NAC’s idea of minorities is dangerous

3. Khilafat Movement

4. Lachit Borphukan Memorial photos

5. About Vijayanagar Empire

6. About Pratihara Empire – central India

7. Did Muslims rule India for 800 years

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