Hindus have every reason to be proud. Never mind the many setbacks we have encountered we have always overcome. Sometimes battles are long and hard, few lost, but overall we have triumphed.
Indentureship is a proud story for us to talk about. Despite coming as bonded laborers, our indentured ancestors survived the hardships and triumphed. We also brought prosperity to the failing sugar economies of Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad.
Prior to the coming of the Indians, others such as the Syrians, Portuguese, Chinese and even free Africans from the smaller islands and even the US, all failed to turn around the collapsing economies of those territories. The Indians were also responsible for the economic diversification of the economy. Rice, vegetable and dairy farming were introduced and slowly business enterprises were added to the economic mix. Indians made the sacrifices and educated their children in the professions of law and medicine and other services and skills.
The Roman Catholic and the Anglican Churches made limited inroads into converting Indians to Christianity. A major push came from the connivance of the colonial government and the plantocracy to introduce the Canadian Mission to spread the gospel among the Indians. This project looked deceptively successful in the beginning but was an abysmal failure in the long run.
Hindus were not prepared to exchange their dharmic way of life for ‘Mary had a little lamb’ education. Most communities in the cane fields had kutis where the culture of learning was kept alive until the birth of the Maha Sabha schools in 1952. The immediate impact of this education trust saw the collapse of the Presbyterian Church. The Canadian missionaries, seeing the writings on the walls, packed their bags and left for Canada, leaving their local brown sahibs to manage their failed enterprise.
The birth of the Maha Sabha and its introduction of education to Hindu boys and girls is the most envious social event in the colonial world. It was a positive step to develop the minds of young Hindus. Today the Maha Sabha remains one of the more successful educational boards in the country.
Resisting evil and fighting for dharma is nothing new to Hindu society. After toppling kingdoms after kingdom Alexander of Macedonia was made to surrender and flee India. The empire he attempted to establish was short-lived and today there is hardly anything left to remind of his presence.
The Greeks and the Muslims, made inroads into India because of the spread of Buddhism which distorted the Hindu social system. The warrior culture was suppressed and a culture of ahimsa was adopted. It was this soft underbelly that the invaders exploited. Wherever Islam was able to score big there were large Buddhist population such as Peshawar in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and pockets of northern India.
In the Gangetic Plains and southern India, the Hindu kingdoms resisted Islam. In fact, when the Aurangzeb, the last Mughal emperor, attempted to expand his influence into south India he was met with defeat which eventually collapsed Mughul rule.
The total demise of the Muslim rule was saved by the invasion of the British under the aegis of the East India Company. The exploitation of the people and resources of the country only increased as the wealth was exported to Great Britain. The Indians, never accepting foreign rule united and resisted the East India Company in what came to be known as the First War of Independence in 1857. The British, fearful of a repeat of this massacre, disbanded the East India Company and brought India under the direct rule of the British Parliament.
India’s struggle against British rule was the longest and fiercest in the history of colonial society. The refusal of the Indian people to accept foreign rule despite the efforts of the British to create a class of “brown sahibs” was a slap on the face of the British. In 1947 when independence was wrested, the British with its thousands of missionaries only succeeded in converting 1% of the Indian population to Christianity. The British Raj was a dismal failure!
If today the West continues to have sway over India in a limited way, it is only because of its influence over few suppliant members of the society who exploit the constitution to suit their sinister ends. Nevertheless, with the Modi’s BJP government in power, this small group is becoming insignificant daily as their anxiety and desperation grow.
The survival of India is a witness to the most heinous crimes committed against humanity by colonial powers and proponents of Abrahamic doctrines. As long as Hindu India stands, there will be a voice that echoes the rights of indigenous peoples and their cultures. That Hindu voice reminds humanity of a pre-Christian and pre-Islamic past.
So, if you are a Hindu there is all reason to be proud, except that you are a ‘Born Again Hindu’ using a western yard stick to judge Hindu society.