Why has Asceticism led to the weakening of Bharat

750 to 1000 AD

 This period is being referred to just to take you to the point of Muslim invasion which is why am very brief. Wherever possible I have drawn comparisons between our attitude then and now.

The three great dynasties during this period were the Palas of eastern India, the Gurjara-Pratiharas of western India and the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan. Under Dharmapala and Devapalla the Palas claimed allegiance of nearly the whole of north India. Then came the Pratiharas who under the Bhoja and Mahendrapala, brought under direct administration territory from Kathiawad in the west to northern Bengal in the east. Both of them felt the brunt of the Rashtrakutas. Under Dhruva and his son Govinda III, they proved to be greatest military power in India. No other power south of the Vindhyas, played such a dominant role in the history of North India, until the advent of the Peshwas in the 18th century.

The Pratiharas (modern day Rajputs) stood as a bulwark against the Muslims of the Sindhu Valley. It has been asserted by various Muslim rulers that the Pratiharas were the greatest foes of the Muslims and could easily defeat the latter but when they advanced the Muslims threatened to destroy the Sun-God in Multan which made the Pratiharas retreat. Would not a Muslim want to be alive rather than destroy the temple? Mark the similarity in attitude then and during the Kandhar hijack episode. Why are Indians are so defensive and irrational? Their failure to grasp the significance of contemporary events was the principal reason for the Pratiharas and Shahis (Hindu rulers of Afghanistan) indifference to the great danger.

They had probably gone into a shell, not kept track of what was happening in the outside world. It is similar to the India between 1940 to 1991.Having said that, I believe that the Internet has and will keep Indians abreast with the latest happenings in the world.

Unfortunately this mentality had not changed. When the IC flight was hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandhar everyone kept on worrying about the death of 150 people in case, we did not release those Pakistani jehadis or let Indian commandos hijack the plane. No one thought or said aloud, what would be the consequences of releasing hard core terrorists. Encouraged by a feeble Indian response, terrorists have killed more than 2,000 people in the year 2000. Did anyone think about the impact on the security force’s morale or the mother of a 23year old Captain who lost her son to Jehadi bullets in the Valley.

Another example of such negative, defeatists thinking is on the Nuclear question with Pakistan. The media keeps on talking of our inability to take the Pakis head on in Kashmir or elsewhere because they will Nuke us. Yet no one will say that if they bomb us, nothing of Pakistan will be left thereafter, since we have the bomb too. Indians will not be sitting with their hands tied. The Pakistanis know that we love life so much, read scared that the fear of a Paki bomb is enough to deter us.

The Rashtrakutas (Kannada was their mother tongue) went one step further. They befriended the Muslims and gave them all facilities for setting in their territory. They even allowed Muslim settlements to build mosques and to be ruled by their own governors. Political wisdom, I wish Chankya were alive! Their attitude is undoubtedly a manifestation of that spirit of religious tolerance, which has characterized India for centuries. Be tolerant but!

Some thousand years later, did Nehru behave any differently with China? The Govt of India was one of the firsts to recognize the People’s Republic of China, 90 days after the Communist regime was proclaimed on 01/10/1949. When a country raised the issue of human rights in the UN, Krishna Menon said that a discussion on the same was not possible since China was not a member. In 1951, in the UN General Assembly, India voted against a resolution branding China as an aggressor in Korea. In 1955, Nehru personally chaperoned Chou En-lai to the Bandung Conference and introduced him to the assembled African and Asian dignitaries.

During this period was born the great saint Sankara (788 to 820 AD). He created an extraordinary position for Vedanta. Writers belonging to Vaishnava and Saivite sects began to utilize Vedanta as the philosophical basis and background of their sects. He unified India into one cultural unit and reiterated the superiority of Sanathan Dharam.

Yet Indians retained high social character as is borne out by the tribute paid to the mental and physical qualities of Indians by an Arab observer Ibn Khaldum “The Hindus says Masudi are distinct from all other black people in the point of intellect, government, philosophy, strength of constitution and purity of color”.

Comments - How naïve could we be? We are either unable to identify our enemy or start with an attitude that since we cannot take on the enemy befriend him. Being good boys, moralistic does not work in international diplomacy, here there is only one mantra, National Interests. The Muslim invasion that followed weakened India.

Though, the Ahimsa preached by Jainism is of a more extreme form than Buddhism, there are numerous instances of Jain kings and generals who were not averse to warfare since they followed the Jain precept of doing one’s duty, it did not constitute violation of Ahimsa as prescribed by the code of Sravaka. Unfortunately this has been overlooked by most historians, philosophers and politicians.

Receive Site Updates