In a new essay, the economics professor from the LSE highlights the flaws in this version of history.
The following propositions are at the core of the Hindu nationalist doctrine:
– India has always been a single nation since prehistoric times as Bharatavarsha or Aryabhoomi.
– India got enslaved when Muslim invaders came from the North-west from the eighth century onwards – Mohammad Bin Qaseem and then Mahmud Ghazni followed by the Delhi Sultanate and then the Mughal Empire. Muslims are foreigners. The corollary of this xenophobia is to deny that the Aryans came to India from elsewhere. There is a tension about reconciling the Indus Valley culture with the story of Aryan incursions. The Hindu nationalists deny point-blank that Aryans were foreigners.
– The British did not create a single Indian entity. It was always there. The education which Macaulay introduced created the elite – Macaulay-putras – who behave and think like foreigners.
– In 1947, 1,200 years of slavery came to an end. (Narendra Modi said as much during his first speech in the Central Hall of Parliament after his election.) India was at last free to assert its true identity as a Hindu nation.
– Congress secularists, however, went on privileging Muslims whose loyalty is always to be doubted as their nation is Pakistan.
The stuff of bogus history
These propositions raise several conceptual and historical issues. Let’s examine them.
First, there is the issue of the native versus the foreigner. The British were clearly foreigners. They came when they had a job to do and never settled in India or “colonised” it as they did Rhodesia or Australia. Muslims emperors, on the other hand, did not go back and made India… (read further-)