What we Should Be Thankful for About India
By Stephen Knapp
Recently I read some reports on a
conference in which India’s history was discussed with the conclusion that there
is little reason to be proud of India’s past 1000 years for what some people
call the enslavement by invaders. But I have a different view.
Of course, we know and recognize that India has been
attacked and in many ways dominated over the past 1000 years by invaders of all
kinds. It has cost India millions of lives and the loss of the great esteem that
India had been known for. But now things have changed. We do not have to live in
those memories, nor base India’s identity on those times. We can be thankful for
the tolerance, durability, perseverance, and flexibility that India and its
people are known for, and that the culture of India still exists, and the
intellectual character of its society is not only still intact but is blossoming
now more than ever.
It was only a matter of becoming free again from the
dominance of outsiders, those invaders and the exploitation they imposed on
India’s people and its resources, to finally allow India to again flex its
intellectual wings to become a major force with which the world must recognize
and engage and reciprocate. As we can see, even India’s economy is surpassing
the economy of England, which was one of India’s dominating forces for a few
centuries. It was only a matter of time when India’s superior culture and the
ingenuity and intellectual capacity of India’s people would again shine forth.
Therefore, I say there is much to be thankful for to be
where India is now. But there are lessons we need to remember. India needs to
remember that one of the prime reasons for the last 1000 years of attacks and
dominance by outsiders was the lack of unity among the princely states to defend
themselves from the invaders. When the Muslims first entered India, they were
repelled. By they returned with a bigger force and cut through. But if other
princely states would have joined in to help, they could have easily fought off
the invading forces. But that did not happen. So, one by one, the princely
states were attacked and defeated, which lead to the domination over India by
outsiders for so many years. This should not be allowed to happen again.
Other lessons we should learn is to make sure we do not
become apathetic to the need to defend India’s culture. Apathy is one of the
most dangerous symptoms that allows you to be defeated by those who hate you or
want to exploit you. Secondly, the divisions among the Indians should be viewed
as superficial, and not very relevant to the ongoing existence of the
cooperation and respect we need to show each other for our future development.
Thirdly, the secular media, when secular in many cases means to be anti-Hindu or
even anti-India, needs to be recognized as a major challenge to our unity and to
the future well-being of India and its people. To have a press which amplifies
or magnifies anything that can be interpreted as anti-Hindu is obviously working
against the very culture and vibrancy and unity of Indian society.
India was one of the greatest and most developed and
wealthiest countries in the world, and gave the planet inventions and
developments for which the world enjoys the fruits of today. These were such
inventions as in metals, textiles, medicine, surgery, rhinoplasty, and
mathematics, and on and on, which were way ahead of the rest of society, and
without which the world would be devoid of many of the developments that came
from these inventions. (Anyone can read more about these in my book,
“Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture.”) Furthermore, we should
recognize how the Vedic philosophy and its spiritual understanding and the
wisdom of India’s great rishis and sages were so well accepted and respected
that it influenced many other cultures throughout the world. (Anyone can read my
books “Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence” and “Mysteries of the Ancient
Vedic Empire” for lots more information on this point of view.) As a foreigner,
I constantly count my blessings that I came across the Vedic philosophy and
culture of India.
So, now that India is again free to chart its own course
and destiny, Indians should be proud of what it has offered in the past and use
that as a sign of what it can offer in the future.
However, we should dedicate ourselves to what works now.
We can see how well India gave contributions to society in the past, but also
how the invaders interfered with India’s continued progress, because if the last
1000 years of slavery, as some call it, did not happen, who knows how much
farther ahead in progress India might be today. So, we should also reject those
foreign influences that have the power to be a hindrance to what India and its
people were and what they are today. We should reject the foreign influences and
recognize the way they slaughtered so many Indians and destroyed so many of its
temples, and forcefully converted so many people, and imposed such events as the
horrible Goan Inquisition, and still today inflict the feeling and politics of
division. (My book, “Crimes Against India” describes much more of this history.)
We should reject those cultures or religions that are
outrightly opposed to Vedic and Indian values, or that have a history of
slaughtering millions of Indians or destroying thousands of temples, or
forcefully converting people to foreign or invader’s religions. If they have had
such little respect and so much disdain for us in the past, that is not likely
to change any time soon. They may, in fact, simply look at what they do now as
conducting unfinished business–the continued conquest of India.
What benefit is there to cater to these outside,
anti-Indian and anti-Hindu forces and organizations? At the time of this
writing, the ex-CM of Mizoram wants to declare it as a Christian country that
should separate from India. How many more times is this going to be allowed to
We should also reject things like communism and see it as
an outside force that does not and has never worked, and which in India is now
only a distraction in its attempted implementation.
Am I proposing nationalism? No. I am only proposing that
India depend on what actually works, what actually benefits all of India as a
people. And we can find that what actually produced the higher consciousness,
intellectual capability, flexibility, etc., is what had always been a part of
India’s Vedic lifestyle and culture.
That does not mean we reject everything that comes from
the west or outside of India. We can take whatever actually benefits India. But
we take the best and leave the rest. Nonetheless, we should use the proven
formulas of what comes from India, what we know works best for India.
Actually, India should try to become as self-sufficient
as possible, especially agriculturally, technologically and philosophically..
That is what India was over 1000 years ago, which attracted so many people,
including all of its invaders, to come to India. But if India becomes more
self-sufficient, then whatever difficulty happens to the rest of the world,
India is least affected by it. It remains a contributor to the world, not a
taker, and remains in control of its own destiny. The more you depend on others,
the more you depend on their approval, and then their dictates. India should be
above all that. This will really show the flexibility and versatility of India,
which Indians should value. It’s India’s system, culture and lifestyle that has
protected it all these years, and that is what we must be thankful for.
A good lesson in this regard is Britain. It was once a
great empire, but now has become reduced to a small island. And even what is
left of its own culture is gradually disappearing and changed by the inflow of
immigrants into the country that are not assimilating. We need to make sure that
does not happen to India. We should have learned our lessons very clearly from
the last 1000 years to plan India’s destiny wisely, and for that we should be
[Home] [The Books by Stephen Knapp] [Book Reviews] [The World Relief Network] [Articles to Read] [Seeing Spiritual India] [Introductory and Travel Videos] [A Little Book of Prayers Mantras & Gayatris] [Krishna Darshan Art Gallery] [Vegetarian Recipes and Resources] [Stay in Touch with Us] [Jokes and Anecdotes] [How You Can Help]