[Marxism] Fw:Fw: [foil] India under Modi is living through a Dark Age: Professor DN Jha
Marla Vijaya kumar
marlavk at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 06:12:12 MST 2016
This is posted on Foil.net. It is interesting and informative reading.Vijaya Kumar
On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 4:55 PM, Sukla Sen <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:
India under Modi is living through a Dark Age: Professor DN Jha
December 26, 2015
[Video: Professor DN Jha with Teesta Setalvad]
Teesta Setalvad, of Communalism Combat interviews Professor DN Jha on
Dietary Traditions in Early India, the calculated mis-representation
of Early Indian and Medieval History by the present government under
the direct control of the Sangh Parivar and the ‘dark age ‘ of
Superstition and un-Reason being promoted by the current political
Teesta Setalvad: What are the real reasons behind the antagonism
between your historical research and findings on the Lifestyle of
early India and its Dietary Traditions and supremacist forces like the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its parliamentary wing, the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)? What sort of threats have you had to
Professor DN Jha: They (the RSS/VHP/BJP) have attacked me. They have
threatened me and filed a (false) case against me in 2001. The root of
the issue is that the fact that the RSS-VHP combine w ant to declare
India a vegetarian country. Someone had even recently suggested that
“Cow should be declared the national animal”.
Their main aim is to project the country as a vegetarian country when
this does not reflect the truth, the historical reality. We have large
sections of Indians who are non-vegetarian: Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar,
Bengal, North East, this entire region is where large sections, the
majority of the population are non-vegetarian by cultural habit. This
includes both Brahmins and non-Brahmins. It is therefore utterly
incorrect to say, or to project that Indians, or large sections of
Indians are vegetarians. That is the first point. The second part is
the ‘Cow’ is part of this imposed food culture. This leads to another
of the dictums that they want to promote, “Cow is our Mother and
therefore should not be killed, or consumed.”
Teesta Setalvad: There was an attack on you in year 2001 after which
a Hyderabad Court issued a two year injunction against the publication
of your book. Thereafter you had it published from London. What
were the reasons for the antagonism against this book?
Professor DN Jha: In this book, I had specifically argued, that
Indians consumed beef long before the arrival of Islam in India. This
was specifically crucial to present, and argue because a common notion
perpetuated by the propagandists of the Sangh Parivar is that it is
only Muslims who consume beef. Long before the coming of Islam on the
sub-continent, beef was widely consumed. In the Vedic period it was
particularly widely consumed. This is what I have argued with
evidence, in my book.
The sacrifices were so many and frequent during the Vedic period
which involved the sacrifices of many animals including the cow.
Yagnavalka, the sage in fact expressed his preferences for the meat if
it was tender (Taittiriya Brahman categorically tells us: `Verily the
cow is food' (Atho annam via gauh) and Yajnavalkya's insistence on
eating the tender (amsala) flesh of the cow is well known.). This
is what made the forces who wish to declare India a vegetarian country
tried to suppress. There was a many pronged attack on me: physical
threats, attacks and a case. Their (intimidating ) tactics did not
Teesta Setalvad: Are you fearful of yourself and security with the
brute majority of these forces, the RSS and this government?
Professor DN Jha: The fear and insecurity is always there. They have
in the past targeted other persons like MF Husain also.
Teesta Setalvad: Last year, you questioned Arun Shourie’s rendering
(interpretation) of Allauddin Khilji’s attack on the Nalanda Vihar.
What is the politics behind this attempt?
Professor DN Jha: One thing is clear, that in the Medieval period,
both Temples and Buddhist Vihars were sacked, and attacked, and
damaged. I simply and firmly controverted that the attack on Nalanda
Vihar was not conducted by Allauddin Khilji because there is no
historical evidence that he went there, on that route, at all. Maybe
if he had reached there, he would have attacked the university. He
certainly attacked Bihar Sharief and ransacked the Monastery there and
also the shrines near Bhagalpur. There was no question or attempt to
deny that in certain areas some rulers, who were Muslim, did in fact
ransack some places of worship. But the point (in my rebuttal) was
that Nalanda Vihar, regarded as an ancient university that housed
learning and scholarship in the early Indian period – a symbol of
knowledge – that particular University was not attacked/sacked by
Teesta Setalvad: What were the motives behind such raids, attacks, and
sackings of religious places of worship during the Medieval period?
Professor DN Jha: In the medieval period, within India and outside
there have been attacks and raids on religious institutions,
Church(es) sometimes, Mosque(s) sometimes. And there should be no
question of concealing this. But it is important to understand that
the motive behind this destruction was not always religious. There
were political reasons and other motives too. This complexity needs to
be understood. The raid and sacking of the Somnath Temple was
motivated by the wealth amassed there. But this was not always the
case behind other incidents and raids. Often the motive was to get
at/destroy the idol of the kul devata in the shrine who the local
Rajah/King worships and who/which provides legitimacy to the rule of
that king. There are several such examples un South India, where
temple idols were the motive and were sought after and destroyed.
The other thing is, that it was not only rulers who happened to be
Muslim, who had used this strategy (in medieval times) Even Hindus
used it, Hindu rulers in Kashmir for example. Kalhana’s Rajataringini
provides evidence of this, where the Hindu kings caused immense damage
to the Buddhist Viharas. There are also many instances where the loot
from the Buddhist Viharas (by Hindu rulers) was used to build temples.
This kind of evidence turns their (the Sangh Parivar) ill-conceived
argument in Ayodhya regarding the Babri Masjid, on its head. (Their
propaganda is that only Muslims destroyed temples because they wish to
cast the Muslim as the enemy).It is critical to study and learn
history from a rational and independent perspective.
Teesta Setalvad: Professor Jha, today we are witnessing a discourse
today, from the Prime Minister downwards, from persons in official
positions, that is officially promoting an irrational and
non-scientific approach to the learning of history. I refer
specifically to utterances like there was ‘plastic surgery in ancient
times’, the ‘evidence of stem cell research in the Mahabharata’,
aircraft technology in early India are being made by persons in
responsible, official positions. (Official) books in the schools of
Gujarat and Haryana (by Dinanth Batra) are actually officially
promoting an un-scientific and irrational temper among the young. How
grave is the danger of this to future generations of young Indians in
the 21st century?
Professor DN Jha: The danger is very grave. I believe India under Modi
rule is living in a dark age. It is shocking that the Prime Minister
of a modern country should be making statements of the kind he has
done: statements that legitimise superstition and irrationality: that
there was plastic surgery, stem cell research and aircraft technology
in early India.
Being a Prime Minister he simply must not make such statements. By
doing so he is facilitating an age of supersitition , irrationality
and ignorance. Source(s) and Evidence in the understanding of History
will now have little place and Faith will replace Reason, Source and
Evidence. This is a battle between Faith (Vishwas) and Logic (Reason,
Tarq ) that we are witnessing.
Teesta Setalvad: There is now an (official) obsession under the Sangh
Parivar’s rendering of History, with pushing back the date of the
Vedas (Rig Veda) and the Mahabharata and Ramayana by hundreds of years
if not thousands, to enable a crass labeling of all that is Indian as
‘Hindu.’ How should this misuse of the state machinery by this
ideological rendering that includes the re-writing of official texts
based on this irrational history be countered?
Professor DN Jha: The RSS (and its Parivar) has been propagating
that the Adivasis (indigenous peoples) are ‘Hindu’ and Muslims are the
invaders and outsiders. Behind this is the motive to claim original
inhabitant status for the Hindus. It is therefore an obsession for
them to prove the antiquity of the Vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The American based Global Hindu Foundation in fact states so on its
website that the ‘Hindu’ civilization is One lakh 18,000 years old!!
This is an obsession to prove original inhabitation status.
Teesta Setalvad: How should the ordinary citizen counter these moves?
Professor DN Jha: There is an overall atmosphere of irrationality and
intolerance that prevails today. Prtests of writers has been called
“manufactured protests and manufactured rebellion.” Is the RBI
Governor also part of this manufactured rebellion is a moot question!
Protests are important. But only protests will not make a dent any
more. It is critical that we do more; all academic groups of History,
Science and Literature should come together and mobilize the people.
Teesta Setalvad: There has also been a systematic assault on our
institutions of learning as well; unqualified persons have been
appointed to positions who have nothing to do with the disciplines of
History or Science. I refer to the appointments to the Indian Council
of Historical ResearchICHR), the National Book Trust (NBT), the
Children’s Book Trust (CBT) and even the Science Congress. There is a
calculated move to erode Institutions of Learning, from within. What
will be the consequences of this erosion of institutions of research
Professor DN Jha: This is part of a calculated agenda. The Assault on
Reason. Part of this agenda is to completely and utterly ruin and
destroy Institutions like the ICHR, the NBT and other institutes
founded with a vision and that ensured independent, rational thought
and quality. This is part of a clear-cut agenda of theirs, towards
un-Reason that they are pursuing. Their goal is what their Gurus have
written or decreed, be it Guru Golwalkar or Savarkar. What they do
not understand is whatever their Gurus have stated in their time, it
was ridiculous rnough in the early 20th century, it is now even more
outdated and narrow (these articulations). There is a serious threat
to this country. This country, Indian society is already and will, in
future, suffer great damage from this. People need to fight this
firmly and re-invent methods of struggle.
Teesta Setalvad: Last question, Professor Jha. What would be your
message to the young person, with what approach should he or she
approach the learning and study of History ?
Professor DN Jha: History must be read with a critical analsysis of
Sources and Evidence. The approach must be critical and scientific. It
cannot be, ‘whatever is written or stated in the Mahabharata is true.”
If this latter (irrational) way is promoted and if that is the
approach, then we will come up with the statements of the kind that
the Prime Minister made on Karna and Stem cell research and Plastic
Surgery in ancient times!
We must analyse critically all Sources, cross-check /study different
the Texts; have a Multi-Disciplinary Methodology all of which are
critical to the learning of History: Archaeology, Economic and other
disciplines also provide an insight. We must enrich our understanding
of history through this approach.
The interview is a joint production of CC, Newsclick and Hilleletv,
the interview took place at Delhi in early November 2015.
One Man’s Beef http://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/jul/13/historybooks.highereducation
Rightwing historians are obsessed with Rigveda because of their
anti-Muslim stance: DN
Hindu right wrongly says Muslims brought beef-eating — Hindutva
history is a mystery: D N Jha;
 Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions.
 References in the book: Many gods such as Indra and Agni are
described as having special preferences for different types of flesh -
Indra had weakness for bull's meat and Agni for the meat of both the
bull and cow, It is recorded that the Maruts and the Asvins were also
offered cows. In the Vedas there is a mention of around 250 animals
out of which at least 50 were supposed to be fit for sacrifice and
consumption. In the Mahabharata, there is a mention of a king named
Rantideva who achieved great fame by distributing food grains and beef
to Brahmins. Later day, Brahminical texts also provide the evidence
for eating beef. Even Manusmriti did not prohibit the consumption of
beef. As a medicine: In therapeutic section of Charak Samhita (pages
86-87) the flesh of cow is prescribed as a medicine for various
diseases. It is also prescribed for making soup. It is emphatically
advised as a cure for irregular fever, consumption, and emaciation.
The fat of the cow is recommended for debility and rheumatism.
 Family/Community/ Deity (of a lineage)
 Indian prime minister claims genetic science existed in ancient
PM Modi takes leaf from Batra book: Mahabharat genetics, Lord Ganesha;
Fears grow in India about Hindu 'Modi-fication' of education; The
Prime Minister and Early Indian Science
Fears grow in India about Hindu 'Modi-fication' of education
Peace Is Doable
Foil-l mailing list
Foil-l at insaf.net
More information about the Marxism