The entry of these debauches saw the radical change in our culture when women were pushed women were pushed behind the purdah, to save them from the lusty gaze of infields. This was the period which started off the subjugation of the feminine sex. Culture and high ethical practices in our society prevalent from 3000 BC – the Indus Valley Civilisation, through the centuries to Mahavira, Gautam Buddha, Chandra Gupta Maurya, Emperor Ashoka and Harsha Vardhan era – suddenly started undergoing a radical change.
Our beliefs in mythology were definitely responsible for tolerance and laid back attitude in the face of these brutal invasions. Indians have believed in the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. When the situation became intolerable, this confidence in support of the super-natural, facing calamities, resulted in following a policy of tolerance. Prayers in temples and yagnas were performed to call upon the saviour and people looked up, heavenwards in resignation and believed it their destiny.
There were great sages and leaders after the founding of the Mughal Empire like Guru Nanak, Rana Pratap and Shivaji who tried to restore our culture and lost glory but were only successful for short period. Shivaji set a good example for the Hindu population and culture. He fought and defeated the Mughal might and restored Maratha superiority. However this was in a limited area. Aurangzeb in the meanwhile was ruthlessly intolerant of anything non-Islamic and to harass the ethnic majority, reimposed the abhorred Jaziyatax on them. His orthodoxy and intolerance resulted in rebellion all over the country and he squandered away all the treasured in suppressing them and destroying Hindu temples.
The third battle of Panipat in 1761 saw the Marathas lined up against the combined might of Nawab of Oudh, Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Rohilla chiefs. Here come the end of the Marathas and ethnic supremacy and from this period, the British power was on the ascendancy. It started the period of emancipation for the ethnic culture and society. The British were a more civilized race compared to the earlier fanatics although their attitude in matters of supremacy hardly differed.
The Hindu culture had seen a mass upheaval during the Islamic period with mass destruction of temples, mass conversions-mostly forced and abduction of women. This had already left a lot of animosity between the two religious of Hindu and Muslim. The converted Muslims tried to further prove their allegiance by stricter orthodocy, absorbing portions of practices which were not necessary and going further in their religious bigotry and hatred for their former religion. The divide was complete.
The British were cunning and knew the value of this divide, to be exploited for their our purpose. The posts of confidants, butlers, valets and coachmen were practically the monopoly of the Muslims. The ethnic culture saw the amalgamation of all the three different cultures-Hindu, Muslim and British – although each tried desperately to retain their identity. The worst trick that the British played, with the leaders of both communities, greedy for power, was the partition of India on the basis of religion.
The mayhem, rape and butchery which followed was reminiscent of the Nazi purge. Half the Hindu and Sikh population migrating to their homeland, were victims of extreme fanaticism, lost all their belongings, their young daughters and women carried away or maimed for life. It would definitely have been better, after this level of holocaust, to have the population of two communities separated.
Pakistan and Bangladesh had declared themselves Islamic States with the minority, having no right worth the name. Even when their religious places were attacked, their property looted and their women raped or carried away, they got no relief from the law. A single Ram Mandir/Babri Masjid demolition saw our country burning whereas the hundreds of temples destroyed or desecrated in its aftermath, drew no response from the law of the land. Taslima Nasreen, the famous author, persecuted by Islamic fundamentalists in her country, Bangladesh, brings out the sordidness and truth in her book ‘Lajja’-the Shame.
The affinity of the majority of Muslims living in their community oriented ghettos, lies with the enemy country Pakistan. They indulge in all sorts of subterfuge, criminal acts, acts of sedition and terrorism, to create an atmosphere of anarchism. The miniscule few amongst them who are true nationals and patriots, mostly the educated class, have their voices suppressed. Add to this the dilemma of pseudosecularism practiced by most of the politicians, the situation created is really high pressure and ready to explode.
Today the country appears to be unified but a little probing discovers different images of the country for different Indians. We are a fragmented society. The feeling of being Indian be intensified. Indianness should have to be kept in mind.