Distortions in Indian History
India gained independence from the British in 1947, or more than fifty years ago. But intellectually and educationally India continues be a European colony. This is because, during the first forty years of her existence as a free nation, the Congress Party and the intellectual establishment, continued to encourage colonial institutions and thinking. The result today is that there is an English educated elite that identifies itself more with the West than with India and her ancient civilization. And the Congress Party, especially after the death of Sardar Patel, has identified itself more with foreign values rather than Indian values. The Communists, who have always been hostile to Indian nationalism, have now joined hands with anti-national forces, which are fiercely anti-Hindu. This is reflected in the attitude and behavior of the English educated intellectuals, including the media.
The signs of this are everywhere — from hostility to Sarasvati Vandana and the Pokharan nuclear tests to begging a European woman of no experience or service to the nation, to rule the country. As a result, this colonial holdover consisting of the Congress, the Communists and the Leftist intellectual class (including the media) have come together to perpetuate anti-national values and interests. This naturally makes them intensely anti-Hindu. It views with fear anything that has even a suggestion of nationalism rooted in Indian history and tradition.
Since Indian nationalism can only exist as a product of the Hindu Civilization, these forces hostile to Hinduism have combined to oppose the rise of national awareness that is now sweeping the country. The result is that they will go to any length to give a negative picture of India and her past. The first step in this is to distort Indian history. Fortunately for them, most of the distortion had already been done for them by the British, and their successors during the Congress rule. So all they had to do was to continue with the colonial version of Indian history. As Swami Vivekananda pointed out more than a century ago:
"The histories of our country written by English [and other Western] writers cannot but be weakening to our minds, for they talk only of our downfall. How can foreigners, who understand very little of our manners and customs, or religion and philosophy, write faithful and unbiased histories of India? Naturally, many false notions and wrong inferences have found their way into them.
"Nevertheless they have shown us how to proceed making researches into our ancient history. Now it is for us to strike out an independent path of historical research for ourselves, to study the Vedas and the Puranas, and the ancient annals of India, and from them make it your life's sadhana to write accurate and soul-inspiring history of the land. It is for Indians to write Indian history."
As Swami Vivekananda pointed out, the goal of the British was to weaken the Indian spirit, particularly the Hindu spirit, because the nationalist movement in India was mainly a Hindu movement. The nationalist movement, which rose to great heights during the Swadeshi Movement following the Partition of Bengal, lost its direction and focus in 1920 when Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed Swaraj for the sake of the Khilafat. This in turn led to the anti-Hindu orientation of the Congress under Jawaharlal Nehru. This was soon joined by the Communists, who worked hand-in-glove with the Congress. The Communists now are little more than camp followers of Sonia Gandhi and her party.
So it is in the interests of these anti-national forces to keep alive the colonial version of Indian history. Thanks to the domination of the Indian political scene by the Congress, Communist intellectuals and fellow travelers were able to dominate the intellectual scene also. As a result, the colonial version of history continues to be taught in Indian schools and colleges. This has led to gross distortions in the history being taught in Indian schools and colleges. These distortions may be classified as follows:
It is worth taking a brief look at each one of them, beginning with the ancient period. The first point to note that it was the ancient period that gave India both its unity and its sense of the nation. The Medieval period was a Dark Age, during which the Hindu civilization was engaged in a desperate struggle for survival. In addition, the forces of medievalism contributed nothing to Indian nationalism. They acted as a negative force and held back progress, taking the country into a Dark Age. They continue to act as a check against progress by holding on to medieval ideas and practices.
The important point to note is that the ancient period was an age of synthesis, when people of different viewpoints like the Vedic, Tantric, Buddhistic, Jain and other sects lived in relative harmony. There was also free exchange of ideas and unfettered debate. The Medieval period was the age of conflict when Hindu society was engaged in a desperate struggle for survival against the onslaught of Jihad — something like what is happening in Kashmir today. What the Congress sponsored Leftist (‘secularist’) historians have done is to exactly reverse this. They have said that the ancient period was an age of conflict between Aryans and non-Aryans, while trying to portray the Medieval period — dominated by Jihad (or religious wars) — as a period of synthesis.
History books today begin with the Aryan invasion of India, which is said to have taken place in 1500 BC. Students are told that the ancient civilization of the Indus Valley or the Harappan Civilization was Dravidian that was destroyed by the invading Aryans. According to this theory, the language of the Harappan seals, which contain a good deal of writing, is some form of Dravidian language, unrelated to Sanskrit. There are nearly 4000 of these with writing on them, but until recently, no one could read them. Recently, the great Vedic scholar N. Jha made a major breakthrough in deciphering it. Following the breakthrough, Jha and I have read and published the writing on nearly 2000 seals. (We have read many more that are yet to be published.) The language of the seals is Vedic Sanskrit. This means the Harappan Civilization was Vedic.
This also means there was no Aryan invasion and no Aryan-Dravidian conflicts either. In Sanskrit, ‘Aryan’ simply means cultured and not any race or language. I am myself a so-called Dravidian who speaks Kannada. Kannada, like all South Indian languages, is heavily influenced by Sanskrit. South Indian dynasties going back time immemorial called themselves ‘Aryas’ because they were followers of the Vedic culture. South has always been a stronghold of Vedic culture and learning. Sayana, probably the greatest Vedic scholar of the last thousand years was a South Indian. (He was the brother of Vidyaranya, who helped Harihara and Bukka found the great Vijayanagara Empire.)
The idea of Aryans and Dravidians as mutually hostile people was created during the colonial period, in which Christian missionaries played an active role. It was part of the British policy of divide and rule. Bishop Caldwell was probably the most influential Dravidian scholar. When criticized for his theories, he defended them "as not only of considerable moment from a philological [linguistic] point of view but of vast moral and political importance." By ‘moral and political’, he meant Christian missionary and British colonial interests.
This shows that one of the main forces behind the Aryan invasion theory, and of education policy in general, was the conversion of Hindus to Christianity to make them accept British rule. According to the Aryan invasion theory, the Vedas and Sanskrit language were brought by these Indo-European invaders and not native to India. (This is now demolished by science and also the decipherment of the Harappan writing.) Using this false theory, the British could claim that India had always been ruled by foreign invaders — first the Vedic Aryans, and later the Muslims. The British claimed to be Aryans (as Indo-Europeans) and therefore only the latest rulers of India, but related to their own ancient Aryans who also were foreign invaders! Christian missionaries took advantage of this by enjoying the patronage of colonial rulers. The presented the Bible as ‘Yesurveda’ — or the Veda of Yesu (Jesus).
Many influential British officials felt that the conversion of Hindus to Christianity would make them readily accept British rule. The most influential of these was Thomas Babbington Macaulay who introduced the English education system in India. He made no secret of his goal of conversion of India to Christianity. In 1836, while serving as chairman of the Education Board in India, he enthusiastically wrote his father:
"Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully. The effect of this education on the Hindus is prodigious. ...... It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolator [Hindu] among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, by natural operation of knowledge and reflection. I heartily rejoice in the project."
So religious conversion and colonialism were to go hand in hand. Christian missions always supported the colonial government, with missionaries working hand in glove with the British government. They supported the Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre also, even though many Englishmen were ashamed of it. In a real sense Christian missions were not religious organizations at all but an unofficial arm of the British Administration. (The same is true of many Catholic missions in Central American countries. Many of them are in the pay of the American CIA. This was admitted by a CIA director, testifying before the Congress.)
It was part of the Macaulayite education program to distort Indian history to serve British colonial and Christian missionary interest. To do this, he employed a German Vedic scholar now famous as Friedrich Max Müller. Macaulay used his influence with the East India Company to find funds for Max Müller's translation of the Rigveda. There can be no doubt at all regarding Max Müller's commitment to the conversion of Indians to Christianity. Writing to his wife in 1866 Max Müller himself explained his purpose:
"It [the Rigveda] is the root of their religion [Hinduism] and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years."
Two years later he also wrote the Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India: "The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?" His job was to uproot Hinduism by giving a negative version of the Vedas!
Unfortunately, the version of history being taught to children in Indian schools and colleges, including the Aryan invasion, is the version created by Macaulay and Max Müller. It is a tragedy. It is not only anti-national but also totally false.
It was claimed by the British, and faithfully repeated by the Leftist intellectuals, that the British unified India. This is completely false. The unity of India, rooted in her ancient culture, is of untold antiquity. It may have been divided at various times into smaller kingdoms, but the goal was always to be united under a ‘Chakravartin’ or a ‘Samrat’. This unity was cultural though not always political. This cultural unity was seriously damaged during the Medieval period, when India was engaged in a struggle for survival — like what is happening in Kashmir today. Going back thousands of years, India had been united under a single ruler many times. The earliest recorded emperor of India was Bharata, the son of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, but there were several others. I give below some examples from the Aitareya Brahmana.
"With this great anointing of Indra, Dirghatamas Mamateya anointed Bharata Daushanti. Therefore, Bharata Daushanti went round the earth completely, conquering on every side and offered the horse in sacrifice.
"With this great anointing of Indra, Tura Kavasheya anointed Janamejaya Parikshita. Therefore Janamejaya Parikshita went round the earth completely, conquering on every side and offered the horse in sacrifice."
There are similar statements about Sudasa Paijavana anointed by Vasistha, Anga anointed by Udamaya Atreya, Durmukha Pancala anointed by Brihadukta and Atyarati Janampati anointed by Vasistha Satyahavya. Atyarati, though not born a king, became an emperor and went on conquer even the Uttara Kuru or the modern Sinkiang and Turkestan that lie north of Kashmir. There are others also mentioned in the Shathapatha Brahmana and also the Mahabharata. This shows that the unity of India is ancient. Also, the British did not rule over a unified India. They had treaties with the rulers of hereditary kingdoms like Mysore, Kashmir, Hyderabad and others that were more or less independent. The person who united all these was Sardar Patel, not the British. But this unification was possible only because India is culturally one. Pakistan, with no such identity or cultural unity, is falling apart.
Harshavardhana was the last great Indian ruler of North India. Several empires continued in the south like the Chalukya, the Rashtrakuta and finally Vijayanagara. Islamic invasions into India began in the 8th century or about a century after Harsha’s death. Iran (or Persia) collapsed within a single generation to the Islamic armies, as did the eastern part of the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople. Arabs intruded into Sind, but their hold did not last. It took the Islamic forces more than 300 years before they could defeat the Hindu kingdom of Afghanistan. Then the invasion of India began in earnest with the Mahmud of Ghazni in the 10th – 11th centuries.
It should be understood that what Islam brought to India — and other parts of the world — was a new kind of warfare that was unknown in ancient times. It was called Jihad. The idea was not merely to conquer a country but to totally destroy its history and civilization. Iran and Egypt had great civilizations going back thousands of years, but they have been totally wiped out. This is what is happening to Afghanistan today and also what the Jihadists are trying to do to Kashmir.
To understand what these warriors brought to India, it helps to look at what believers in Jihad have to say today. The most influential of these was General Zia-ul-Haq, the former president of Pakistan and the father of Taliban. According to him, "JIHAD FI-SABILILLAH is not the exclusive domain of the professional soldier, nor is it restricted to the application of military force alone." The book The Quranic Concept of War, sponsored by him, tells us that "More than mere military campaigns and battles, the Holy Prophet's operations against the Pagans [pre-Islamic Arabs] are an integral and inseparable part of the divine message revealed to us in the Holy Quran. ... The war he planned and carried out was total to the infinite degree. It was waged on all fronts: internal and external, political and diplomatic, spiritual and psychological, economic and military."
This is what Jihad means: was total war — fought not only against soldiers, but also against civilians, including women and children. According to the Urdu instructional manual (called Jihad) carried by the Pakistani militants in Kashmir, "The Quranic military strategy thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the heart of the enemy,… Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means, it is the end in itself. …Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him."
So terrorism is not an exception but an integral policy of Jihad. This is what we are seeing today in Kashmir, and this is also what Islamic vandals like Muhammad of Ghazni and others brought to India. The famous Alberuni, who accompanied Muhammad on his campaigns into India wrote:
"... Nasir-addaula Sabuktagin. This prince chose the holy war as his calling. ... his son Yamin-addaula Muhammad [of Ghazni] marched into India during a period of thirty years and more. God be merciful to both father and son! Muhammad utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions. ... Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion of all the Muslims. This is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and have fled to places which our hand cannot yet reached."
So it was not just the wealth that was looted; Muhammad the Holy Warrior was responsible for uprooting Hindu learning from the places he invaded. This was part of the Jihad to uproot the civilization of India. Here is one telling statistic that should give a true picture of the Islamic rule of India, beginning with the invasions of Muhammad of Ghazni. Pre-Islamic India was renowned for its universities. Great centers of learning like Nalanda, Vaishali, Sarnath, Vikramashila, Taksha-shila, and many more — they attracted students from all over Asia and the world. Following the Islamic invasion of India, all these centers were destroyed. In the centuries following, during the next eight hundred years, not a single university was established by any Muslim ruler. This was a Dark Age worse than what overtook Europe in the Middle Ages. Only in the last century or so is India slowly coming out of this long Dark Age.
This is the true picture of Medieval India, which was a long Dark Age. As the distinguished American historian Will Durant says, "The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history." Fortunately, Hindu learning survived in places like Sringeri, Benares, Kanchi and a few other places. Also, Indian rulers, especially in Vijayanagara, Mysore and several others protected scholars and artists.
The problem today is that Leftist historians (‘secularists’) claim that none of this happened even though there are literally thousands of ruined temples and monasteries all over India to prove it. One has only to go to Hampi, the former capital of Vijayanagara to see the evidence. Even Akbar allowed Rajputs and other Hindus to join his administration only because he could not find enough foreigners. Otherwise, the policy of the Delhi Sultans and the Moghuls was to import officials from outside the country — just as the British did. All this is whitewashed in Indian history books. For example, students are taught that Babar was a tolerant ruler who loved India. But here is what Babar himself says in his autobiography, the Baburnama.
"Chanderi had been in the daru'l-harb [Hindu rule] for some years and held by Sanga's highest-ranking officer Meidini Rao, with four or five thousand infidels, but in 934 [1527-28], through the grace of God, I took it by force within a ghari or two, massacred the infidels, and brought it into the bosom of Islam."
And when in a particularly happy mood, he wrote the following poem:
For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer;
I battled infidels and Hindus.
I determined to become a martyr.
Thank God I became a holy warrior.
And what did he find interesting in India? "Hindustan," he wrote, "is a place of little charm. ... The one nice aspect of Hindustan is it is a large country with lots of gold and money." In other words, he came to India attracted by loot. For the better part of three hundred years, the Moghuls ruled North India as foreign occupiers, using a foreign language — Persian — in their administration.
This record of Medieval India has been whitewashed in history books in use today. One of the clearest examples of history distortion occurred during the Ayodhya-Ramjanmabhumi controversy. Secularist historians repeatedly asserted that no Ram Temple had been destroyed at the site of Babri Masjid. The first point is that Muslim writers have made no secret of the fact that they destroyed the temple. Here is what Aurangazeb’s granddaughter wrote in 1707, in her Persian work Sahifah-i-Chihal Nasa'ih Bahadurshahi:
"... keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolaters in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing attendance on 'Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer ... and 'keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadh."
In addition to the matter of fact statement of the destruction, what is striking is the tone of intolerance. She was after all Aurangazeb’s granddaughter. In addition, we have archaeological evidence showing that a temple existed at the site. After the demolition of the Babari Masjid by karsevaks on December 6, 1992, archaeologists found a temple under it and also a stone inscription. Here is what an important part of the inscription says:
"Line 15 of this inscription, for example, clearly tells us that a beautiful temple of Vishnu-Hari, built with heaps of stones... , and beautified with a golden spire ... unparalleled by any other temple built by earlier kings ... This wonderful temple ... was built in the temple-city of Ayodhya situated in Saketamandala. ... Line 19 describes god Vishnu as destroying king Bali ... and the ten-headed personage (Dashanana, or Ravana)."
After all this, no one can argue that no temple was destroyed. The distinguished archaeologist Professor B.B. Lal who carried out the excavation at Ayodhya wrote a sixty-page report on his findings. But this was suppressed, thanks to influential secularist historians like Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar and R.S. Sharma. These secularists then put out a propaganda pamphlet on Ayodhya denying that there ever was a temple at Ramjanmabhumi.
While the secularist intellectuals are motivated by their hatred of Hinduism, Muslim intellectuals are driven by fear of Hindu backlash. They know very well that their rulers have persecuted the Hindus for centuries. In fact it was this fear that led to the founding of the Muslim League, with the goal of asking the British never to leave India. Its first president Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, Mushtaq Hussain said that if the British left, "then the rule of India would pass into the hands of that community which is nearly four times as large as ourselves … Then, our life, our property, our honor, and our faith will all be in great danger. … woe betide the time when we become the subjects of our neighbors, and answer to them for the sins, real or imaginary of Aurangazeb, and other Mussalman conquerors and rulers who went before him."
This is still the fear that haunts the Muslim intellectuals in India. That is the reason why they begged the British to hold on to India and protect them. It was this fear combined with the Congress appeasement policy that led to the Partition. It was again this fear that made them support the Congress dynasty from Nehru to Sonia Gandhi. And now, it is the same fear that makes them turn themselves into a vote bank to be manipulated by cynical politicians like Mulayam Singh and Laloo Prasad Yadav.
This fear is baseless. Hindus are not a vindictive people. But the Muslims and their newfound secularist allies cannot expect the Hindus to accept falsehoods about their history and tradition simply to serve their own interests. They cannot whitewash their terrible record and try to put all the blame on the Hindu victims in the interests of their version of ‘secularism’. This would be like blaming the Jews for the Nazi atrocities. The only way of achieving peace and harmony is for the Muslim leadership to acknowledge the crimes of their ancestors and learn to live at peace with their Hindu neighbors. They should also give up intolerant doctrines like Jihad as medieval barbarisms incompatible with civilization. As the late K.M. Munshi wrote fifty years ago:
"If, however, the misuse of this word 'secularism' continues, ... if, every time there is an inter-communal conflict, the majority is blamed regardless of the merits of the question,... the springs of traditional tolerance will dry up. While the majority exercises patience and tolerance, the minorities should adjust themselves to the majority. Otherwise the future is uncertain and an explosion cannot be avoided."
This is exactly what happened at Ayodhya. If the country does not learn its lessons, it will be repeated over and over again. The secularist intellectuals, who were busy falsifying history, were not there to defend the disputed structure at Ramjanmabhumi or protect the victims in the riots that followed. In fact they were the first to run from the scene. The lesson: history cannot be falsified forever. In the end truth will always triumph — satyameva jayate. We should be prepared to face the truth.
Just as ancient and medieval history have been distorted under Congress patronage, history of the Freedom Movement has also been dressed up to favor the Congress and the Communists. This distortion has the following three parts: (1) Building up the role of Gandhi and Nehru while suppressing the contribution of others, notably Subhas Bose. (2) Whitewashing Gandhi’s terrible blunder of supporting the Khilafat Movement and the atrocities of the Mopla Rebellion that followed. (3) Whitewashing the treachery of the Communists. We can next take a brief look at each one of them.
It is commonly believed that it was the Congress Party through its various movements like the Quit India Movement of 1942 that brought freedom to India. This fails to explain the fact that the British granted independence only in 1947 while the Quit India Movement had collapsed by the end of 1942. The question that naturally arises is— why did the British leave in such great hurry in August 1947? The answer was provided by Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the man who made the decision to grant independence to India.
When B.P. Chakravarti was acting as Governor of West Bengal, Lord Attlee visited India and stayed as his guest for three days at the Raj Bhavan. Chakravarti asked Attlee about the real grounds for granting independence to India. Specifically, his question was, when the Quit India movement lay in ruins years before 1947, where was the need for the British to leave in such a hurry. Attlee’s response is most illuminating and important for history. Here is what Attlee told him:
In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important were the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which weakened the very foundation of the attachment of the Indian land and naval forces to the British Government. Towards the end, I asked Lord Attlee about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhi’s activities. On hearing this question Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, putting emphasis on each single letter — "mi-ni-mal." (Emphasis added.)
The crucial point to note is that thanks to Subhas Bose’s activities, the Indian Armed Forces began to see themselves as defenders of India rather than of the British Empire. This, more than anything else, was what led to India’s freedom. This is also the reason why the British Empire disappeared from the face of the earth within an astonishingly short space of twenty years. Indian soldiers, who were the main prop of the Empire, were no longer willing to fight for the British. What influenced the British decision was mutiny of the Indian Navy following the INA trials in 1946. While the British wanted to try Subhas Bose’s INA as traitors, Indian soldiers saw them as nationalists and patriots. This scared the British. They decided to get out in a hurry.
(Attlee repeated his argument on at least two other occasions, including once in the House of Commons. During a debate in the House of Commons, he told Churchill that he would agree to the latter’s suggestion of holding on to India if he could guarantee the loyalty of the Indian armed forces. Churchill had no reply. The Labour Prime Minister was as much an imperialist as Churchill, but more pragmatic, prepared to see the writing on the wall.)
This will come as a shock to most Indians brought up to believe that the Congress movement driven by the ‘spiritual force’ of Mahatma Gandhi forced the British to leave India. But both evidence and the logic of history are against this beautiful but childish fantasy. It was the fear of mutiny by the Indian armed forces — and not any ‘spiritual force’ — that forced the issue of freedom. The British saw that the sooner they left the better for themselves, for, at the end of the war, India had some three million men under arms. One would have to be extraordinarily dense — which the British were not — to fail to see the writing on the wall.
So, as the great historian R.C. Majumdar wrote, Subhas Bose with his INA campaigns probably contributed more to Indian independence than Gandhi, Nehru and their movements. The result of Subhas Bose’s activities was the rise of the nationalist spirit in the Indian Armed Forces. This is the reason why Nehru, after he became Prime Minister, did everything possible to turn Bose into a non-person. He wanted no rivals.
This brings us to Mahatma Gandhi and his ill-fated Nonviolent Non-Cooperation Movement. Most Indians have been made to believe that it was the first of Gandhi’s movements for India’s freedom. This is completely false. The Non-Cooperation Movement was for the restoration of the Sultan of Turkey as the Caliph. This was known as the Khilafat Movement, launched by Indian Muslims, led by Maulanas Mohamad Ali and Shaukat Ali. In fact, Gandhi postponed Tilak’s Swaraj Resolution by nearly ten years in order to join the Khilafat. (Lokamanya Tilak had died in 1920 and Gandhi and the Ali Brothers launched the Khilafat in 1921. Gandhi even diverted a substantial part of the Tilak Swaraj Fund to the Khilafat.) Indian history books omit the fact that the sole purpose of the Non-Cooperation Movement was the restoration of the Sultan of Turkey.
Gandhi promised the Ali Brothers that the British would be driven out ‘within the year’. The failure of the Khilafat agitation, whose goal was to replace the British Raj with what Annie Beasant called ‘Khilafat Raj’, led to a Jihad known as the Mopla Rebellion in which thousands of innocent people were slaughtered. (Moplas are a Muslim sect of the Malabar district in Kerala.) History books, controlled by the Congress-secularist establishment rarely mention the Mopla Rebellion, which was the main result of the Gandhi-Congress support for the Khilafat Movement. What is so bad about it that they want to hide it? Sir Sankaran Nair, an eyewitness to the Mopla horrors had this to say in his book Gandhi and Anarchy:
"For sheer brutality on women, I do not remember anything in history to match the Malabar [Mopla] rebellion. ... The atrocities committed more particularly on women are so horrible and unmentionable that I do not propose to refer to them in this book." (See Gandhi, Khilafat and the National Movement by N.S. Rajaram for several eyewitness accounts.)
This brutality was to be equaled if not surpassed in the holocaust of the Partition — now being re-enacted in Kashmir. What was Gandhi's reaction to the Mopla outrages? He called the Moplas "God fearing" and said they "are fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner they consider as religious." This from the Apostle of Nonviolence!
The message of the Khilafat was not lost on Muslim leaders like Mohammed Ali Jinnah. (He had opposed the Congress support for the Khilafat.) He correctly recognized that the Congress leaders would always back down in the face of threat of violence. They would rather appease than fight on principles. This happened repeatedly — in 1948 and 1972 in dealing with Pakistan, and also in the 1950s in dealing with China and Tibet. Nehru abandoned Kashmir to Pakistan (through the UN) and abandoned also Tibet to China, sacrificing India’s national interests. As Congress ruled India for forty years following independence, this practice of appeasement gave India the label of a ‘soft state’.
The Congress’s appeasement policy reached its absurd limit, when the Nehru Government succumbed to Gandhi’s blackmail and gave Pakistan 55 crore rupees at a time when Indian troops were fighting the Pakistanis in Kashmir. I already noted that Gandhi had diverted a substantial sum from the Tilak Swaraj Fund to the Khilafat, in addition to postponing Tilak’s Swaraj Resolution in favor of the Khilafat Movement.
Another source of distortion of this period of history is rooted in the treacherous role played by the Communists. This is a matter of record, though Communist intellectuals, by monopolizing institutions like the ICHR, are trying to whitewash their role. To understand their treachery, we should recognize that Communist leaders in other colonized countries were first and foremost nationalists who fought for freedom. Next, they came from the masses. This is true of leaders like Mao of China, Ho Chi Min of Vietnam, Fidel Castro of Cuba and several others. Indian Communist leaders on the other hand come mostly from the English educated elite. They have always looked to the West for everything. So when India was fighting for her freedom, the Communists were agents of foreign governments like Germany, Russia, Britain and finally even Pakistan!
When the Second World War began, because of the Stalin-Hitler Pact, the Communists found themselves on the same side as Nazi Germany. They were ordered by Stalin to support Hitler’s war as a war against imperialist countries like Britain and France. When Germany attacked Russia in June 1941, the Indian Communists made a 180-degree turn and began supporting the British! This meant working against national leaders like Gandhi and Subhas Bose, who were seen as enemies of the British. The great historian R.C. Majumdar wrote:
"During the great national upsurge of 1942, the Communists acted as stooges and spies of the British Government… Mr. Joshi (of the Communist Party) was placing at the disposal of India the services of his Party Members… Joshi had, as General Secretary of the Party, written a letter in which he offered ‘unconditional help’ to the then Government of India and the Army GHQ to fight the 1942 underground workers and the Azad Hind Fauz (INA) of Subhas Chandra Bose… Joshi’s letter revealed that the CPI was receiving financial aid from the British Government, had a secret pact with the Muslim League…"
As part of their pact with the Muslim League, the Communists openly supported the demand for Pakistan, "but went much further by saying that every linguistic group in India had a distinct nationality and was entitled … to secede." After independence, the Communists struck a deal with the Nizam’s Government in Hyderabad and joined hands with the Razakars to fight Hyderabad’s accession to India with Pakistan’s help. When Sardar Patel sent troops into Hyderabad, Kasim Rizvi ran away to Pakistan, handing over the bulk of his guns and other arms to the Communists. The Communists kept up an armed insurrection in the Telengana region for a few years until ordered to stop by the Soviet dictator Stalin.
The Communists supported China’s attack on India and 1962 and also the Chinese nuclear tests, while vehemently opposing India’s successful tests at Pokharan. It is this formidable record of treachery that the Communist intellectuals are trying to erase by controlling institutions like the ICHR, NIEPA and NCERT. They have now joined hands with the Sonia Congress in a desperate struggle for survival.
For over forty years after independence, India was ruled directly or indirectly by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. As a result, national interest was often sacrificed for personal dynastic interests. On at least three occasions, Nehru sacrificed India’s interests for the sake of international glory for himself. First is his well-known blunder of referring Kashmir to the United Nations when Indian troops were on the verge of driving the Pakistanis out of Kashmir. The next was his betrayal of Tibet to please China and gain glory for himself in Korea. The third was his failure to settle the border with China because of his preoccupation with his fantasy of Pancha Sheel. Nehru’s colossal blunder in Kashmir is well known, so I will briefly discuss his fiasco in dealing with Tibet and China.
But first I want to highlight an important but often overlooked point. It was not Pakistan that created the Kashmir problem. Nehru created the problem with his two blunders: referring Kashmir to the United Nations and agreeing to the present cease fire line or the LOC. At the very least Nehru should have asked for the Indus River as the Line of Control. Similarly, what I want to next is explain that it was not China but again Nehru that created the border problem with China with his multiple blunders. With his blunder upon blunder Nehru sacrificed thousands of lives— both soldiers and civilians. His grandson Rajiv Gandhi contributed his own share of blunders by sending Indian troops into Sri Lanka unprepared. Let me next examine the Chinese scene.
In the year 1950, two momentous events shook Asia and the world. One was the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and the other, Chinese intervention in the Korean War. The first was near, on India’s borders, the other, far away in the Korean Peninsula where India had little at stake. By all canons of logic, India should have devoted utmost attention to the immediate situation in Tibet, and let interested parties like China and the U.S. sort it out in Korea. But Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s Prime Minister, did exactly the opposite. He treated the Tibetan crisis in a haphazard fashion, while getting heavily involved in Korea. India today is paying for this folly by being the only country of its size in the world without an official boundary with its giant neighbor. Tibet soon disappeared from the map. As in Kashmir, Nehru sacrificed national interest at home in pursuit of international glory abroad.
India at the time maintained missions in Lhasa and Gyangtse. Due to the close relations that existed between India and Tibet going back centuries and also because of the unsettled conditions in China, Tibet’s transactions with the outside world were conducted mainly through India. Well into 1950, the Indian Government regarded Tibet as a free country.
The Chinese announced their invasion of Tibet on 25 October 1950. According to them, it was to ‘free Tibet from imperialist forces’, and consolidate its border with India. Nehru announced that he and the Indian Government were "extremely perplexed and disappointed with the Chinese Government’s action..." Nehru also complained that he had been "led to believe by the Chinese Foreign Office that the Chinese would settle the future of Tibet in a peaceful manner by direct negotiation with the representatives of Tibet…"
This was not true, for in September 1949, more than a year before the Chinese invasion, Nehru himself had written: "Chinese communists are likely to invade Tibet." The point to note is that Nehru, by sending mixed signals, showing more interest in Korea than in Tibet, had encouraged the Chinese invasion; the Chinese had made no secret of their desire to invade Tibet. In spite of this, Nehru’s main interest was to sponsor China as a member of the UN Security Council instead of safeguarding Indian interests in Tibet.
Because of this, when the Chinese were moving troops into Tibet, there was little concern in Indian official circles. Panikkar, the Indian Ambassador in Beijing, went so far as to pretend that there was ‘lack of confirmation’ of the presence of Chinese troops in Tibet and that to protest the Chinese invasion of Tibet would be an "interference to India’s efforts on behalf of China in the UN". So Panikkar was more interested in protecting Chinese interests in the UN than India’s own interests on the Tibetan border! Nehru agreed with his Ambassador. He wrote, "our primary consideration is maintenance of world peace… Recent developments in Korea have not strengthened China’s position, which will be further weakened by any aggressive action [by India] in Tibet." So Nehru was ready to sacrifice India’s national security interests in Tibet so as not to weaken China’s case in the UN!
It is nothing short of tragedy that the two greatest influences on Nehru at this crucial juncture in history were Krishna Menon and K.M. Panikkar, both communists. Panikkar, while nominally serving as Indian ambassador in China, became practically a spokesman for Chinese interests in Tibet. Sardar Patel remarked that Panikkar "has been at great pains to find an explanation or justification for Chinese policy and actions." India eventually gave up its right to have a diplomatic mission in Lhasa on the ground that it was an ‘imperialist legacy’. This led to Nehru’s discredited ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’. Mao had no reciprocal affection for India and never spoke of ‘Chini-Hindi Bhai Bhai’ — or its Chinese equivalent. Far from it, he had only contempt for India and its leaders. Mao respected only the strong who would oppose him, and not the weak who bent over backwards to please him.
Sardar Patel warned Nehru: "Even though we regard ourselves as friends of China, the Chinese do not regard us as friends." He wrote a famous letter in which he expressed deep concern over developments in Tibet, raising several important points. In particular, he noted that a free and friendly Tibet was vital for India’s security, and everything including military measures should be considered to ensure it. On November 9, 1950, two days after he wrote the letter to Nehru, he announced in Delhi: "In Kali Yuga, we shall return ahimsa for ahimsa. If anybody resorts to force against us, we shall meet it with force." But Nehru ignored Patel’s letter. The truth is that India was in a strong position to defend its interests in Tibet, but gave up the opportunity for the sake of pleasing China. It is not widely known in India that in 1950, China could have been prevented from taking over Tibet.
Patel on the other hand recognized that in 1950, China was in a vulnerable position, fully committed in Korea and by no means secure in its hold over the mainland. For months General MacArthur had been urging President Truman to "unleash Chiang Kai Shek" lying in wait in Formosa (Taiwan) with full American support. China had not yet acquired the atom bomb, which was more than ten years in the future. India had little to lose and everything to gain by a determined show of force when China was struggling to consolidate its hold.
In addition, India had international support, with world opinion strongly against Chinese aggression in Tibet. The world in fact was looking to India to take the lead. The highly influential English journal The Economist echoed the Western viewpoint when it wrote: "Having maintained complete independence of China since 1912, Tibet has a strong claim to be regarded as an independent state. But it is for India to take a lead in this matter. If India decides to support independence of Tibet as a buffer state between itself and China, Britain and U.S.A. will do well to extend formal diplomatic recognition to it."
So China could have been stopped. But this was not to be. Nehru ignored Patel’s letter as well as international opinion and gave up this golden opportunity to turn Tibet into a friendly buffer state. With such a principled stand, India would also have acquired the status of a great power while Pakistan would have disappeared from the radar screen of world attention. Much has been made of Nehru’s blunder in Kashmir, but it pales in comparison with his folly in Tibet. As a result of this monumental failure of vision — and nerve — India soon came to be treated as a third rate power, acquiring ‘parity’ with Pakistan. Two months later Patel was dead.
Even after the loss of Tibet, Nehru gave up opportunities to settle the border with China. To understand this, it is necessary to appreciate the fact that what China desired most was a stable border with India. With this in view, the Chinese Premier Zhou-en-Lai visited India several times to fix the boundary between the two countries. In short, the Chinese proposal amounted to the following: they were prepared to accept the McMahon Line as the boundary in the east — with possibly some minor adjustments and a new name — and then negotiate the unmarked boundary in the west between Ladakh and Tibet. In effect, what Zhou-en-Lai proposed was a phased settlement, beginning with the eastern boundary. Nehru, however, wanted the whole thing settled at once. The practical minded Zhou-en-Lai found this politically impossible. And on each visit, the Chinese Premier in search of a boundary settlement, heard more about the principles of Pancha Sheela than India’s stand on the boundary. He interpreted this as intransigence on India’s part.
China in fact went on to settle its boundary with Mayammar (Burma) roughly along the McMahon Line following similar principles. Contrary to what the Indian public was told, the border between Ladakh (in the Princely State of Kashmir) and Tibet was never clearly demarcated. As late as 1960, the Indian Government had to send survey teams to Ladakh to locate the boundary and prepare maps. But the Government kept telling the people that there was a clearly defined boundary, which the Chinese were refusing to accept.
What the situation demanded was a creative approach, especially from the Indian side. There were several practical issues on which negotiations could have been conducted — especially in the 1950s when India was in a strong position. China needed Aksai Chin because it had plans to construct an access road from Tibet to Xinjiang province (Sinkiang) in the west. Aksai Chin was of far greater strategic significance to China than to India. (It may be a strategic liability for India — being expensive to maintain and hard to supply, even more than the Siachen Glacier.) Had Nehru recognized this he might have proposed a creative solution like asking for access to Mount Kailash and Manasarovar in return for Chinese access to Aksai Chin. The issue is not whether such an agreement was possible, but no solutions were proposed. The upshot of all this was that China ignored India — including Pancha Sheel — and went ahead with its plan to build the road through Aksai Chin.
This is still not the full story. On the heels of this twin blunder — abandonment of Tibet and sponsorship of China, with nothing to show in return — Nehru deceived the Indian public in his pursuit of international glory through Pancha Sheel. Pancha Sheel, which was the principal ‘policy’ of Nehru towards China from the betrayal of Tibet to the expulsion of Dalai Lama in 1959, is generally regarded as a demonstration of good faith by Nehru that was exploited by the Chinese who ‘stabbed him in the back’. This is not quite correct, for Nehru (and Krishna Menon) knew about the Chinese incursions in Ladakh and Aksai Chin but kept it secret for years to keep the illusion of Pancha Sheel alive.
General Thimayya had brought the Chinese activities in Aksai Chin to the notice of Nehru and Krishna Menon several years before that. An English mountaineer by name Sydney Wignall was deputed by Thimayya to verify reports that the Chinese were building a road through Aksai Chin. He was captured by the Chinese but released and made his way back to India after incredible difficulties, surviving several snowstorms. Now Thimayya had proof of Chinese incursion. When the Army presented this to the Government, Menon blew up. In Nehru’s presence, he told the senior officer making the presentation that he was "lapping up CIA propaganda."
Wignall was not Thimayya’s only source. Shortly after the Chinese attack in 1962, I heard from General Thimayya that he had deputed a young officer of the Madras Sappers (MEG) to Aksai Chin to investigate reports of Chinese intrusion who brought back reports of the Chinese incursion. But the public was not told of it simply to cover up Nehru’s blunders. He was still trying to sell his Pancha Sheel and Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai to the Indian public. Even today, Nehru’s family members exercise dictatorial control over the documents pertaining to this crucial period. Even documents in the National Archives are not available to scholars without permission from the Nehru-Gandhi family heirs. This is to protect his reputation from being damaged by the truth.
The sorry catalog of blunders continued after Nehru’s death. In the Bangladesh war, India achieved one of the most decisive victories in modern history. More than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers were in Indian custody. The newly independent Bangladesh wanted to try these men as war criminals for their atrocities against the people of East Bengal. The Indian Government could have used this as a bargaining chip with Pakistan and settled the Kashmir problem once and for all. Instead, Indira Gandhi threw away this golden opportunity in exchange for a scrap of paper called the Shimla Agreement. Thanks to this folly, Pakistan is more active than ever in Kashmir.
This sad string of failures holds an important lesson in history. The Congress has always been a party held together by a personality — first the Mahatma, later Nehru, and now Sonia Gandhi. It is inevitable therefore that force of personality rather than concern of national interest should have influenced major decisions even at crucial points in history. This was so in Kashmir, in Tibet, over the border dispute with China, the Shimla Agreement, and most recently, the misadventure in Sri Lanka. It is India’s misfortune that this personality dominated entity should have controlled the fate of the nation for the better part of half a century since independence. The question for the future is — will history repeat itself or have the people of India learnt their lesson. The Congress apparently has not. This is clear from its behavior preceding the brief war with Pakistan over Kargil, when Sonia Gandhi tried to takeover the Government in a coup under false pretences.
It is unnecessary to go into the details of this sordid episode, but a basic question needs to be asked. There are complaints all around that Sonia Gandhi is destroying the Congress party because of her inexperience and her style of functioning. But the same Congressmen were willing to bring down the Government and install her as Prime Minister — just as Pakistani soldiers were infiltrating across the LOC in Kashmir. The question is — what would have been the fate of Kashmir and India, had the coup attempt succeeded, with the immature not to say irresponsible Sonia Gandhi in the place of Vajpayee as Prime Minister, with the likes of Jayalalitha and Subramanian Swamy in control? It does not take much intelligence to see that Kashmir would have been lost, giving Sonia Gandhi an excellent excuse to declare Emergency leading to dynastic dictatorship. This would bring back European rule with a vengeance.
At the very least, the episode involving the infamous tea party and the coup attempt showed that there are people at the highest level who have no conception of national security. Anyone who indulges in such a reckless adventure, treating the nation and its interests in such a lighthearted manner is unfit for high office.
This is what India escaped in April 1999 — no thanks to the Congress party. Nehru may no longer be on the scene but his legacy of sacrificing national interest for personal gain — or what N.R. Waradpande in a forthcoming book on Nehru has called ‘assault on nationhood’ — continues unabated. By no stretch of the imagination can the dynasty or its party be called nationalistic. The behavior of the Congress party in mindlessly supporting Sonia Gandhi’s coup attempt at the cost of national interest shows both Nehru and his party in their true colors.
As I just noted, even some documents in the National Archives are not available to scholars if the Nehru family members feel that they might contain any damaging information. But the Congress, joined by the Communists, went much further, especially when Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister. Just as Nehru sought control of the 'commanding heights of the economy' with his socialistic planning, he and his successors built a centralized educational establishment that would perpetuate his anti-Hindu view of Indian history and civilization. This led to anti-Hindu forces dominating education for nearly fifty years.
The first minister of education was Maulana Azad — said to be a 'nationalist' Muslim and a close friend and open admirer of Nehru — at least in public. Azad was an indolent man and an ineffective administrator, but with a strong commitment to exalting the glory of Islamic rule in India. (He had also a hand in sabotaging R.C. Majumdar’s multi-volume work on the Indian Freedom Movement, which at times was critical of the Congress.) So the official rewriting of Indian history had begun — with its whitewashing of the horrors of Islamic rule accompanied by the introduction of anti-Hindu propaganda — describing Hinduism as full of inequities and Islam as egalitarian. Nehru himself had set the trend with his glorification of Muhammad of Ghazni and Babar.
Under this program of de-Hinduisation, vandals and terrorists like Ghazni, Babar and Aurangazeb were treated as bringers of civilization and equality, while portraying such freedom fighters as Shivaji, Rana Pratap, Chandrashekar Azad and others as obstructionists standing in the way of progress. But thanks to the official hospitality extended to such historical revisions, the influential National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) came to be dominated by scholars who pursued the Nehruvian agenda or were willing to cater to it. The same was true of another influential educational body — National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA). Independent minded historians and other scholars who were not prepared to toe this official line were removed or made ineffective.
A fateful event that played into the hands of the Secularists was the appointment of Nurul Hassan as education minister in the Indira Gandhi regime. He claimed to be a Marxist, but he pursued an anti-Hindu agenda like a Muslim Fundamentalist. (After the creation of Pakistan, many Muslim Fundamentalists pretended to be Marxists, and kept attacking Hinduism for its ‘inequality’.) As a result, anti-Hinduism acquired a stranglehold on education. NIEPA is a particularly influential body that administers and oversees educational policy in India. NCERT controls textbooks and other materials that are used in schools and colleges in India. Both were now under the firm control of anti-Hindu forces.
Through his control of these two powerful bodies, Nurul Hassan became education Czar in India. He extended patronage to the Marxist dominated Jawaharlal Nehru University and Muslim separatist Aligarh Muslim University. They were allowed to provide consultants and experts on all educational matters. As a result, these two academically undistinguished but politically opportunistic universities have come to command resources and influence out of all proportion to their merit.
A single example should help give an idea of the dangers of this centralized feudal educational policy. For over 20 years, H.S. Khan headed the history and sociology division of the NCERT. He is known to hold the view that India became civilized only through the introduction of Islam. This incidentally is also the official Pakistani line. This was also the view of Nurul Hassan who was of course the patron of H.S. Khan. This is taking the Aryan invasion idea a giant step forward (or backward).
In 1986, on Khan's initiative, textbook writers in all the states were directed to change the version of history to accord with the anti-Hindu model. Specific guidelines were issued to all the states instructing them not to glorify any period of history — meaning any Hindu period — as a Golden Age; the Gupta period therefore was not to be glorified despite its great achievements. As a further step in de-Hinduisation and rehabilitation of tyrannical Muslim rulers, Hindu leaders like Shivaji, Chandrashekara Azad and Rana Pratap were not to be described as freedom fighters against alien rule, but treated as terrorists who opposed 'civilized and civilizing' rulers like Aurangazeb. As a result, the anti-Hindu agenda, which had been gaining strength since the early 1950s, accelerated dramatically under the feudal regime of Nurul Hassan. Only now, following the rout of the Congress party in the 1999 elections, their monopoly has come under threat. This has made these men and women resort to desperate measures like what is coming out in the ICHR scandals.
From all this two points become clear. First, the history being taught in Indian schools and colleges was created by colonial masters and their willing servants to serve anti-national interests and damage India’s heritage and culture. Second, institutions created to serve national educational goals were dominated by self-serving individuals who are hostile to national aspirations. The result is that institutions like the ICHR fell into the hands of mediocre scholars with political influence. They have contributed little of significance because of their worship of the West and their inferiority complex. They have built no Indian schools of thought, especially in history. This had been foreseen by Sri Aurobindo long ago when he wrote:
"[That] Indian scholars have not been able to form themselves into a great and independent school of learning is due to two causes: the miserable scantiness of the mastery of Sanskrit provided by our universities, crippling to all but born scholars, and our lack of sturdy independence which makes us over-ready to defer to European [and Western] authority."
There is another problem. In the fifty years after independence, the Government and its agencies like the ICHR, NCERT and NIEPA have supported only such scholars who are weak in scholarship and afraid of thinking independently, but willing to toe the official line. They are products of the Macaulayite education system, which was created to produce colonial servants and not independent thinkers. When we look at scholars doing independent work like Natwar Jha, David Frawley, R.C. Majumdar, Shriakant Talageri, Sita Ram Goel and others, none of them has received support from the Government. (I too have received no support though I have worked closely with several distinguished scholars including Jha and Frawley on important problems like the decipherment of the Indus script.)
This shows that the Government has been supporting political favorites rather than capable scholars. When we look at Government sponsored scholars the picture is dismal. The only time anyone hears about them is when there is a scandal or a political dispute like the ICHR scandal. They have no important contributions that can be compared to, say, the decipherment of the Indus Script. They are political hangers-on rather than historians. They are able to get away with it because of their monopoly hold over the establishment.
It is clear that a self-respecting nation like India cannot allow this disgraceful state of affairs to continue. It cannot have its children’s education controlled by men and women with slavish minds and a hostile attitude towards the nation and its history and culture. The first step is to break the monopoly of these people, which has already begun to happen to some extent. But this is only because there is a Government in power that is more nationalistic in orientation than previous Governments. A more permanent solution should be found so that history and education are not subject to the whims of politicians and special interests.
So both the causes and the consequences of this domination by anti-national interests are clear. The question now is how to remedy the situation? The first step would be to rewrite history books based on the latest findings and the primary sources. But this is not enough, for history can change as more discoveries are made. To ensure a free-spirited inquiry and unfettered research, there should be no Government organizations that tell educators and scholars how to write and teach history. This means disbanding organizations like NIEPA and NCERT. They have become little more than centers for thought control and political propaganda. The ICHR should be reorganized strictly as a funding agency that invites and funds proposals. For any major research program, several scholars and/or groups of scholars should be funded so that independent schools of thoughts can flourish. It should never be allowed to become the monopoly of a single ideological advocacy group as happened under the Congress regime.
But ultimately, the nation’s education system should be changed to encourage to independent and critical thinking. No subject or personality should be placed beyond review and criticism. As Karl Popper once observed: "If our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men make great mistakes." This means that no one — be he Mahatma, Prophet or anything else — can be put beyond the pale of review and criticism.
Popper of course was speaking in the context of the Western Civilization. Indian sages have also expressed similar views. In his Vishnu-tattva-vinirnaya, Sri Madhvacharya said:
"Never accept as authority the word of any human. Humans are subject to error and deception. One deludes oneself in believing that there was a man who was free of error and beyond deception, and he alone was the author of any text."
And Bhagavan Buddha said: "Accept nothing on my authority. Think, and be a lamp unto thyself."
This should be the guiding principle of education and intellectual life.
This is only a brief summary of the distortions deliberately introduced into Indian history, first by the British and then by their followers in the Government and the intelligentsia. I have written this section as a guide for readers who want to follow up on the topics discussed in this essay. The literature on the subjects discussed in this essay is huge, but I will point to a few easily available works.
On ancient India, there have been so many new discoveries that most books written before 1985 or so are more or less obsolete. The book Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization by N.S. Rajaram and David Frawley (Voice of India, New Delhi) gives a picture of Vedic India based on primary sources and scientific evidence. The two volumes by Shrikant Talageri, Aryan Invasion Theory, A Reappraisal and Rigveda— A Historical Analysis (Aditya Prakashan, Delhi) provide a comprehensive study of the Vedic and Puranic sources. The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India by David Frawley (Voice of India) is a popular account of the subject. The Politics of History by N.S. Rajaram (Voice of India) is a systematic study of the colonial and missionary background to the Aryan invasion theory. Missionaries in India by Arun Shourie (Harper Collins, New Delhi) discusses in detail the Christian missionary background to the British colonial politics.
For a detailed discussion of the decipherment of the Indus script and its ramifications see The Deciphered Indus Script by N. Jha and N.S. Rajaram (Aditya Prakashan, Delhi). For a popular account of the new picture of ancient India based on the latest discoveries including the decipherment, see From Sarasvati River to the Indus Script by N.S. Rajaram (Mitra Madhyama, Bangalore).
When we come to the medieval period, there is no single work that is satisfactory. The most comprehensive account is the eight-volume History of India as Told by Its Own Historians translated by Elliot and Dowson, recently reissued by DK Publishers of Delhi. Several works by K.S. Lal, including The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, Twilight of the Sultanate, Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India and Muslim Slave System in Medieval India (Aditya Prakashan, Delhi) are highly informative. Jihad: The Islamic Concept of Permanent War by Suhas Majumdar (Voice of India) is a brilliant study of the subject. The best source for understanding the ideology of Islam (and Jihad) and its application in India is The Calcutta Quran Petition by Sita Ram Goel (Voice of India, Delhi). Sita Ram Goel has also written the two-volume Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them? (Voice of India), which is a monumental compilation relating to the temples destroyed in Medieval India. His book The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (Voice of India) is a highly readable summary. Voice of India has also published several volumes on the Ayodhya dispute. See for example Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea Scrolls by N.S. Rajaram (Voice of India). See Negationism in India by Koenraad Elst (Voice of India) for a brilliant account of the falsification of history by secularist historians.
For the modern period also there are few satisfactory books that view the freedom movement objectively. The best by far is the three-volume History of the Freedom Movement in India by R.C. Majumdar (Firma-KLM, Calcutta). The Tragic Story of Partition by H.V. Seshadri (Jagarana Prakashan) is an excellent account of the Congress blunders that led to the tragedy. Muslim Separatism, Causes and Consequences by Sita Ram Goel (Voice of India) is a valuable summary of the same topic but with some new insights. Gandhi, Khilafat and the National Movement by N.S. Rajaram (Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore) offers a revisionist view as well as eyewitness accounts of the sadly neglected Mopla Rebellion. For the betrayal of Tibet and the India-China relations, The Fate of Tibet by Claude Arpi (Har-Anand, New Delhi) is the best source. India Betrayed: Role of Nehru by Brigadier B.N. Sharma (Manas, New Delhi) is a valuable source on the India-China relations including the border problem.
For a thorough expose of the corruption of national institutions, see Eminent Historians by Arun Shourie (Harper-Collins, New Delhi) and also Profiles in Deception by N.S. Rajaram (Voice of India, New Delhi).
On the subject of spirituality as the foundation of nationalism, there are several works, from Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda to our own times. A collection of essays on the Sri Aurobindo’s sayings on nationalism called India’s Rebirth (Mira-Aditi Centre of Mysore) is indispensable for understanding the spiritual foundation of nationalism. These are further explored and expanded in A Hindu View of the World by N.S. Rajaram (Voice of India, New Delhi). The two books by David Frawley Arise Arjuna and Awaken Bharata (Voice of India, New Delhi) expand on these themes as well as analyzing the contemporary Indian scene.