First, the Britons! Now, the Americans!
Indians have to learn to be independent citizens!
How to stand up to the brain-washing and other soft power and strong arm tactics?
Indians have a long history of brain-washing by the British rulers. From education to scholarship to literature to what Indians believe as an independent nation, we are still under the spell of the British influence.
Take the simple case of Indian students doing research in the UK universities. For instance, if we take the case of research in Indian history, it is, I am told, that if you take the story of the British Raj, it is generally taken for granted that on the whole the rule of the Raj was beneficial to the Indians!
If you take a negative view, then, it is sure that you won’t be welcome to do such a research and very likely you might not get any funding or other support.
Now, we in India still follow many of accounts of what the British administrators-turned British experts on Indian affairs, from the venerable Vincent Smith history of India to other histories of India by other British writers.
Just now, I went through the histories of such scholars, latest being the one by Perceval Spear. These books are age-old and I am sure every other reader of Indian history might have gone through such books.
In my just recent reading on, notably on the first and Second World War there is this basic assumption behind such events.
It was what the British government did and what the British, in short, what the particular Viceroy did is the only account there. And for the other issues, the historian always takes the stand that the particular period is not fully written about and only when the full archival material comes for scrutiny, we might get a full picture!
When we will get a full picture? When the full archival material is to come?
The insights I gained after my visits to the South East Asian countries, China and Philippines, in particular, where I got to see and learn about how the Americans entered the second world war and how the war came to an end. It was Doughlas McArthur who went to Japan in August 1945 and accepted the surrender of Japan and that was how the war came to an end.
It was only when the Japanese entered Burma and then Indian territories in Khokima that the British got alerted and the war took a different turn and the war came to an end after the Normandy landing.
The point is that we in India are taught to learn about Mountbatten, not about MacArthur! More about Churchill, not about Roosevelt.
Also, how the Indians got freedom. It was in 1945 war negotiations, among Roosevelt, Churchill. Stalin and China and the French leaders, among whom the now forgotten heroes, the Chinese Nationalist leader Chain Kei-shek and Madam Chian Kei-shk sat as equals, the Chinese patriots urged Roosevelt to grant freedom to India. It was on Roosevelt’s insistence Churchill sent the Crips Mission.
In 1945 China was a free and independent country. India as still a colony!
Of course, there is still the dropping of the atom bombs by Truman.
No one talks about this episode in any of the histories or memoirs!
Nor, do the British writers say much to us.
Much more hurting, in my view is that the first and the second world wars imposed a heavy pain on Indians. Not only had we sent our soldiers like cattle to the killing fields. We underwent untold privation, famine, disease and much else reduced Indian people to pitiable state.
No one says much about these other sides of the story. What is even now depressing is the fact that we have so many reputed scholars, historians and economists, more economists for some inexplicable reasons, who are all happily settled abroad, in UK and US universities and come home every December for holidays and while they are here they hold forth so much advice to us and then go back to their cost nests!
I often wonder whether these so called scholars from free countries would ever dare to speak like that in their country of adoption.
Can the Indian scholars talk freely their minds in UK universities? Now?
Can the Indian experts and scholars who serve on Obama’s various councils, would dare to talk differently?
Can they take a stand and say what the USA did in surveillance of Indian Internet communications, the very many revelations made by Edward Snowden,
Even our Prime Minister didn’t dare to open his mouth when he met President Obama recently in Washington!
This is where we are today!
The point I want to make here is this:
Indians have had a long history of slavery, right?
Now, are we any better, when it comes to standing up for our country’s freedom and independence?
See what a country like Brazil did when its President, the much admired, Dilma Rousseff, rose up at the UN General Assembly and openly criticized the US government for doing this much-scandalous spying business on friendly countries like Brazil.
Where was our Prime Minister on such an occasion? He as just listening to his Brazilian counterpart in utter helplessness?
Or, what was he doing? Keeping quiet?
Is this what independent India we are creating for ourselves and our children and future generations?
What sort a nation are we?
I am afraid our education hasn’t given us any modicum of courage, moral impulse in us to stand up and speak the truth and stand up for our principles and national honour.
I want to request members of Indian Parliament and other higher dignitaries in the political class to ponder over what I have said ere.
We have to create an education system and curriculum that first gives us a sense of real independence of spirit.
This is not an easy task, I know. I know this ate of affairs for I have been running this magazine for years trying to break free from the hold of entrenched mental makeup of Indians. We are a nation of mental slaves. We have to consciously overcome this deep-rooted trait.