By VIJAY PHANSHIKAR :
Countless campaigners, supported by philosophy steeped deep in the Indian thought-process, made glorious by India’s tradition of inclusiveness, are working round the clock for years to redraft a narrative that presented an entirely wrong picture of India....
Y ears ago, when some of them started swimming, they were doing so against the current. They were only a handful, mostly mocked at by the larger society. Regardless, they persisted -- eventually attracting others, too, to join the difficult and even lonely swim. All they had in their favour was faith, an unshakable one. On its strength, they kept fighting the tide. Their numbers swelled slowly but surely. And in time, the current, too, changed its direction. Today, they swim in the direction of the current, get joined in by even bigger numbers every passing day. They form an army of determined men and women dedicated to the cause of establishing the dominance of a correct nationalist narrative in tune with India’s ancient signature nurtured by its history, its ethos, its culture, its knowledge-bank. Operating in diverse fields, all these men and women work systematically to promote their patriotic goal. And they have registered tremendous success in their tireless campaign. Initially, they were a small bunch. Today, they form a formidable army.
This is their story in a nutshell -- representative in nature. The attempt here is only to present a larger picture of how an everexpanding lobby of campaigners changed the manner and method of national discourse and changed the tide of public opinion -- something that the larger Indian society could never imagine earlier. And the most important attribute of this campaign is that it is being conducted in the most democratic manner, without pandering to any political ideology. Yet another attribute of this campaign is that people from all walks of life across religious lines take part in it, making a sincere attempt to correct the wronged and politically-driven narrative. For example, when a television anchor asked Kerala Governor Mr. Arif Mohammad Khan a rather derisive question about the status of Muslims in India, the learned and seasoned leader said in a calm but sharp tone, in effect, that in the 75th year of India’s Independence, every Indian citizen is being cared for in equal measure. Time and again, Mr. Arif Mohammad Khan quotes extensively from the Holy Quran to pinpoint how some elements were misleading not just the Muslims but also the larger Indian society about how the community should conduct itself. He detests the efforts to brand him as Muslim in a political sense. “Yes, I am an Indian Muslim, extremely happy in the country and proud of being an Indian first and Indian last’” he asserts in effect -- time and again. He just demolishes the divisive narrative so vociferously promoted by lobbies of politically vested interests.
To the question about future of Indian Muslims, he says emphatically, “Whatever the future of all Indians will also be the future of Indian Muslims -- under the umbrella of the Constitution”. An endearing narrative that! Supported by India’s very own signature -- beyond politics and ideology, supported by philosophy steeped deep in the Indian thought-process, made glorious by India’s tradition of togetherness, of inclusiveness. Such campaigners are working in the country round the clock for years in a great effort to redraft a wronged narrative that presented an entirely wrong picture of India. In the past some years, this nationalist campaign is being pursued most single-mindedly by countless numbers of people who have spent lifetimes in studying their chosen subjects of Indian history, Indian sciences, Indian literature, Indian politics, Indian industry, Indian philosophy. As they pursue their selfassigned missions, they brave terrible opposition from politically-driven lobbies that have been dominating the Indian thought-scene for decades in the most one-sided manner. This new lobby is populated by people from all faiths, all walks of life -- from politics to academics, from economics to aeronautics, from culture to agriculture, from science to conscience. They grab every possible opportunity to blast into different fora to put forth a correct thought for the common people’s consumption. They are in print-media pages, on electronic media debates, on different channels on social media, on every type of digital platform. They are relentless.
They are the new missionaries of correct narrative. In the past some years, no matter which political party is ruling the country, this lobby has carved a fantastic following out of the larger Indian society. Ancient Indian shastra discusses the idea of vaad -- responsible, respectful debate -- to promote their side of the discourse. They are knowledgeable, they are confident, they are good listeners, they are good advocates of their own points of view. And so, they keep winning audiences in great numbers. This lobby did not explode on the scene all of sudden, of course. For over a century, determined researchers, Indic scholars, historians, philosophers were working silently to create a body of work to dispel an anti-India narrative. Initially, their work did not come to anybody’s notice. However, slowly and surely, they started making their point known in a silently emphatic and authentic manner. They were silent partners of India’s struggle for Independence. And when India became free, all of them just made available to the fledgling nation a whole body of work collected through a lifetime of effort. The new lobby stands on that work -- is adding its own substance to the public discourse in India. It is unjust to cite only a few names and ignore much largers numbers operating in the field like torch-bearers of truth for a nation that is beginning to identify its connect with its ancient signature in the past some years.
True, some of them may sound rather too emphatic occasionally, in the process inviting ire of some sections of the larger society. But their overall conduct of the task at hand -- of demolishing a wrong narrative and establishing a correct one -- is exemplary, their facts unquestionable, their manner and method steeped in the science of debate. So successful have these men and women been in their endeavour that common people wait for them on all platforms to present the correct picture of India. In the process, many of this lobby have become national and international icons -- like Swami Ramdeobaba, like Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev. Countless others -- literally countless -- also occupy important space in public mind in different fields. Some talk of Ved while some talk of Ayurved. Some talk about various timelines of history and establish correct dates. Some talk of India’s history in the correct perspective without any distortion of facts. Some talk of how the country suffered at the hands of alien rulers for centuries. Some of them explain with painstaking research the meaning of various traditional practices such as the ones in the Sabrimala shrine, for example.
Some expose the hollowness of various politicallydriven ideologies and promote the right thought in response. One of the areas of work of this lobby is Indic knowledge systems -- represented by vedas and shastras. Some leaders of this segment show us how the findings and observations in Vedic cosmology, for example, are being proved to be right today by modern science. Some establish how the Aryan race did not come into India from outside, but spread all over the world starting from India. The segment dealing with history has established successfully various facts and exposed various falsehoods. The campaigners in this segments have proved how the alien rulers indulged in genocides of native Indians, how they abused political power to cower the Indian population into submission for religious conversion, how the brazen rulers of alien roots destroyed temples and shrines in shocking numbers over centuries, how the shameless invaders burned down libraries, raped women by the thousand. ..!
They demolish many myths of Indian history -- and present to us the correct pictures of real heroes of India without ideological frills that were attached to them by ideological manipulators later. Each of their statements is supported by facts -- which they present with a fine mix of clinical coolness borne from years of study and research and a quiet nationalistic emotion whose innate strength is impossible to be countered or negated. The segment working on social issues also talks of ancient practices and traditions. None of them support caste system, but many of them explain the concept of Varnashram Dharma which is not a vertical social pyramid as modern people tend to think -- in which castes are arranged one on the top of another. They talk of an inclusive social spread that ancient India had for thousands of years without any kind of unrest. Of course, some may feel that the work of this lobby has a religious overtone. But that impression has got no meaning, to say the least. For, among the members of this lobby are people from all faiths, all political ideologies. They may appear to talk about certain issues with a religious dimension. No matter that, their narrative is absolutely academic, to say the least, and therefore beyond demolition. That is also the reason why this lobby has been registering great success in its endeavour to change the societal thinking. To watch all this activity with open eyes is a great joy for anybody.
For, that massive effort is now beginning to change the complexion of India’s current public discourse in an emphatic and authentic manner. That may be reflecting itself in parts in political scenario as well. Yet, it can be said with much confidence that this lobby does not work for that purpose. The sense of independence of the members of this lobby is amazing, to say the least. Some current political references may come up in their presentations, all right, but those are used only for contextual purpose and not for any kind of propagandism. Many members of this lobby lobby individually, too, but operate in tandem, with one another, keeping a keen eye on what others are doing. Some of them function through various institutions as umbrellas for operational convenience and facility. In a series of several articles under the common title of The Bharat Narrative some time back, this scribe had highlighted the meaning of the name meant. The lobby now under discussion has always promoted that Bharat Narrative, the idea of Bharat, the real story of India, the correct picture of what was, is, and will be. The most critical point this lobby has made successfully is that no power in the world will ever be able to suppress the truth of India’s real story and real glory.